Kendo’s Healing Message for December

Kendo’s December Healing Message falls around mid-way between the American ‘Thanksgiving’ holiday and Christmas, and the sentiments of both are entirely appropriate to reflect upon at this hectic time of year, and indeed anytime.

‘Thanksgiving’ is an opportunity to reflect upon the things and events from the previous year for which we would do well to reflect upon and be thankful; too often in the western world we tend to expect our blessings rather than counting them, and this simple gesture of humility can illustrate the link between the health and positivity of our own attitudes and the ‘quality of life’ we experience.

The sentiments of Christmas centre around peace and goodwill, both of which feed into the ethic of forgiveness, which itself is a gesture of humility and optimism for human relationships going forward.

Kendo has long championed rising with courage and confidence to meet the challenges we face in life, not only from a position of strength through peace but also from a perspective of Zen-based wisdom. Strength is found in the peace, clarity, and inspiration found in meditation, but in the best ‘Zen through Kyu Shin Do’ tradition, recalling humility and goodwill as we begin our meditations is extremely powerful.

There is an ‘urban legend’ of sorts regarding Marcus Aurelius, a Roman general, wherein despite his exalted and revered status he hired an ordinary man to walk behind him to constantly say to him, “You’re just a man, you’re just a man.” Whether apocryphal or not, this story illustrates self-knowledge, wisdom, and humility, and – no doubt – an awareness of the strength born of a healthy inner balance that can come from such an enlightened approach to one’s place in the world.

We cannot know what challenges will arise in our lives, nor how great they may be, but it is important not to allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by them. There are things that we can change in life and things that we won’t be able to, but we may not realise how able we are to mitigate the impact of a challenge simply by applying a good attitude towards it. Feelings of panic or desolation will obscure our ability to see avenues for constructive action, and, logically, they won’t help mitigate a difficult situation, and Kendo’s perennial advice remains the key – find Zen peace, let it all fall away, and let your intuition wisely guide you.

All at the Nagasaki Retreat wish everyone a happy and peaceful festive season, and at this time of year Kendo would encourage us all to reflect upon the following: be thankful for your blessings, be humble in your strengths, and be confident in knowing that you always have the power to be a force for good, for optimism, and for positivity in the lives of others and indeed the whole world.

Comments are closed.