Kendo’s Healing Message for February

Kendo has long advised that it’s meeting challenges that really helps us to grow – when faced with a conundrum we have to find a solution, even in those circumstances when reason doesn’t seem to help… Then, the intuitive self must be recruited and listened-to.

Perhaps one of the most challenging areas of life is other people. Our friends are great – people who think in similar ways to us, people who are supportive and contribute to whatever we do; consequently, our friends enrich our lives, they make all the good stuff go further and wider such that we have a wonderfully positive feeling of community, shared well-being, and shared positive goals.

However, by being part of the ‘solution’, our friends don’t challenge us. As comedian Bill Bailey once wrote in one of his comedy songs about teenage angst, “How can I feel pain when you’re being so supportive?”!

Of course, the practicalities of life throw up plenty of their own challenges, not least of which is finding our own peace of mind amidst the many demands on us, and in order to be the best we can be it is our duty to find the ways and make the arrangements necessary to do this (hint: meditate – Zen through Kyu Shin Do!).

But, Kendo advises that there is an ancient philosophical approach to karma which actively looks for challenges. It could be compared to asking for extra homework – which may seem masochistic, but since human life itself could be described as a constant learning journey, in both aspects of the comparison extra study always pays off.

Which brings us back to people. The old adage about ‘not judging’ is a good starting point, but it’s passive inasmuch as it’s possible to just leave things there and not consider another person’s position any further, or how you may be able to contribute to each other’s lives. Differences which may challenge us are wide-ranging, from culture to religion to work to leisure interests to sports, and more, but particularly motivation. For example, why would someone want to do harm? Why would someone want to ‘troll’? Why is someone apparently argumentative?

Kendo advises that the challenge is to avoid thinking that someone else is just ‘wrong’, or ‘unpleasant’, or ‘malicious’, but to appreciate that there are reasons behind all human actions. We are unlikely to ever know the background to someone else’s motivations, and it’s acknowledging this ‘not-knowing’ that can help us give others space, without judging them.

Kendo counsels that judging is inappropriate because it’s a rational device used to ‘close the door’ on something, thereby ending the opportunity for broader understanding. The ‘best person we can be’ is always open to broader understanding, which will lead to open-ness, which will lead to the potential for building bridges with people we might otherwise shut out, and it would be a shame to miss out on finding common understanding which may not have been immediately apparent.

Someone may be malicious because they have been wounded in the past, and giving them the ‘cold shoulder’ won’t give them any reason to view the world more favourably. Someone may seem argumentative because they have a completely different style of thinking, and disengaging with them won’t help either of you make the most of possibilities discussed together. Kendo recommends that beyond ‘not judging’, be open to your intuitive self for ways of keeping channels open between yourself and others; such altruism will inevitably help unite rather than divide, and you may even make some surprising new friends, thus broadening your enlightened community.

Comments are closed.