Kendo’s Healing Message for August

Kendo is acutely aware that a need for healing can be an acutely subjective position to be in. It’s inevitable that whatever is not right with ourselves or in our lives draws our focus to the problem to at least a small degree, and sometimes it can command a great deal of our attention. However, Kendo raises our awareness of this phenomenon because understanding this and acting on it in the right way can immensely help with actually becoming healed.

Anyone who’s visited the Nagasaki Retreat has heard about the greatest gift of being in the grounds, and that is the understanding that we are a part of the beautiful ‘big picture’ of nature we experience there. Amidst such beautiful surroundings it’s easy to connect with nature and feel a part of it, easy to let our personal subjectives selves fall away and appreciate that we have a place in something bigger and immensely elegant and benevolent. That connection itself is healing.

It’s more difficult to make that connection when we’re in the midst of our busy lives, especially if we are conscious of a problem that we feel needs healing energies. Meditation is a huge help, of course – stilling the mind and liberating our intuitive selves brings wisdom and perspective, and, of course, freedom from anxiety. But we are westerners – between meditations we look to the mind for all our answers, and this is where some of Kendo’s perspectives can be so helpful.

The one he wishes to illustrate in this message is the subjectivity of needing healing, as described above. The closest parallel to the best approach to our own needs is his stick-burning ceremony – here, the ceremonial stick is ritually burned, releasing the hopes and wishes we’ve written on it to the power of nature. We’ve done all we humanly can, so now we surrender the matter to a greater power, outside ourselves, but to which we have made a connection. It’s a meditative and mindful experience in itself.

However, we can take this action further. Whatever our need for healing, having done everything within our power, Kendo recommends that we leave the problem in the hands of nature’s big picture, and then consider the needs of others. There is a world around us within which are many needs for healing besides our own, and if there is anything we can do to help others, we strengthen nature’s ability to heal everyone who needs it, as well as ourselves. Anything we can do will make a difference, including reaching out on any level and supporting charities which help others, but simply having a caring attitude towards all who need healing strengthens that power for everyone, including ourselves.

As Kendo points out, this is a perspective, a new way of looking at things – having done all we can for our own well-being, we should consider that of others. It’s an act of humility, of generosity, of selflessness, and of concern for the quality of our entire society. This may be the most useful meaning of the phrase ‘Heal Thyself’ – doing so by caring about others and what we can do for them.

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