Kendo’s Healing Message for January

As the hope of a return to a more normal life emerges this new year, Kendo recommends that we pause and think about what sort of life we should return to.

Kendo has observed previously that it has been all too easy to ‘go with the flow’ of consumerism, from buying foodstuffs wrapped in single-use plastics to being tempted to take advantage of low-cost flights to overseas holiday resorts, and unthinkingly engaging in so much more that is bad for our ecosystem. But, we now know that last year was among the hottest ever, that the 2021 climate summit ended with necessary changes to coal use being diluted, and that plastics have become a huge environmental problem.

The healing messages have previously observed that during visits to the Nagasaki Retreat, guests are reminded that they are a part of the majesty of nature, that regardless of how beguiling intellectual pursuits are, our own health and well-being is best served by remembering that we are a part of nature, and not separate from it. Technology is a particularly persuasive distraction, from social media to streaming entertainment services to computer gaming – recalling our fundamental link with nature can easily fade when compared to the richness of mental pleasures.

It has become clear that we can no longer ignore our responsibilities to the natural ecosystem in which we live. It is resilient and forgiving and even self-healing, but it can only withstand so much, and the time has come for us to act in accord with keeping nature itself healthy, as opposed to mindlessly ignoring its needs. After all, we would not subject another beloved person to a constant barrage of toxins and endless demands on their resources – we would be sensitive to their health and well-being, and so it must be for nature itself.

But Kendo would not chastise us for the life-styles we have ended up with – he would simply ask that we expand our awareness to include a concern for the greater ecosystem upon which we are ultimately entirely dependent. This seed of awareness can be likened to an acorn from which mighty oaks grow, and this is the ideal – the more enlightened our approach to the natural world around us, the more we will heal it and ultimately benefit all of humanity.

If any New Year’s Resolution is to be entertained, this should be paramount; as we enter our Kyu Shin Do meditations, the peace of Zen will liberate our intuitive response, which is fundamentally in tune with nature in any event. There’s nothing wrong with intellectual pursuits – they just need to be properly prioritised and not revered over what really matters, as meditation will reveal.

Kendo wishes everyone a healthy and happy 2022 and beyond, as enhanced by meditatively pursuing the peace and intuitive wisdom that can be found in Zen.

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