Kendo’s Healing Message for January

We’re now almost a couple of weeks from the New Year, and its sense of fresh opportunities may well be beginning to fade as we’ve returned to our regular routines. However, Kendo would remind us that New Year optimism is worth remembering every day of the year.

At the Retreat, if you sit in the Contemplation Seat, you’re facing the eastern horizon where the life-giving sun rises every day. Kendo celebrates the New Year by acknowledging its first sunrise, and this is celebrated in Japan as symbolising new energy, new beginnings, and healing. He recommends that our guests meditate at the Contemplation Seat, whatever time of year they’re here.

The power of positive thought is immense – it can motivate, energise, and inspire, even when circumstances can be difficult or even disheartening. There are many reasons why we might feel negatively about our lives, but Kendo would recommend that we recognise when we’re feeling low as the cue to do something about it.

It’s been demonstrated that depression quite literally stops the mind working creatively, and if that’s combined with a “what’s the point?” feeling, we can find ourselves stuck in a bleak place. It’s a natural response to do this – we’re only human after all, and don’t have a boundless capacity to endure all ills – or do we?

One of the reasons Kendo is such an advocate of meditation is that it re-boots the mind, ending persistent negative thoughts and allowing new possibilities to be seen. He reminds us that the mind is a finite thing – it’s job is to make sense of our environments as best it can, but it has limits, and when they’re exceeded, it’s actually unfair of us to expect it to yield every answer to every problem. Worry is an emotional state that distracts the mind and prevents it from working properly, and, as we all know, worry is self-sustaining – we need to break the cycle of seeing no solution and being worried about it.

So, instead of being preoccupied with an apparently insolvable problem and worrying about how and when you’ll sort things out, break the cycle yourself – even if you don’t have the time or opportunity to meditate, a little visualisation can work wonders.

Imagine you’re here at the Retreat, sat in the Contemplation Seat, facing east. Visualise the sun appearing on the horizon, feel its warmth on your skin, and welcome the renewal it represents – regard it as representing all the promise of the first sunrise of a New Year. When you come back from this little visualisation you’ll feel calm and strong and optimistic, relieved of worry and able to look at things in a new way.

By returning to these lovely images whenever you need to, you’ll be able to live every day of the year with the same optimism as you felt on its very first day.

Kendo wishes you all a Happy and Healthy New Year.

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