Kendo’s Healing Message for March

Disbelief. Shock. Helplessness. Outrage. It’s rare for such powerful emotions to be so powerfully stimulated, but current events in Ukraine were unexpected and are extraordinarily cruel. It has been said that seeing the suffering of other people helps to put our own lives into perspective, but such comparisons are likely to give rise to another unwelcome negative emotion: guilt. These are genuinely difficult times, even for the uninvolved.

Whilst we care about the suffering of others and do whatever we can to help, how can we deal with the sheer unfairness and all the challenging emotions surrounding the situation the Ukrainian people face? Further, is it even appropriate to seek to feel these things less keenly, to feel less appalled ourselves? Sharing the outrage can feel like a kind of solidarity.

Kendo would point out that this is a classic situation where attempting to rationalise our current strong feelings simply won’t work – it’s beyond the capacity of the mind to do so. He would advise that feeling what we currently feel is entire natural – it’s an empathising response – but emotions of this magnitude can become a big, intractable ‘knot’, trapping us in a static mood of impotent anger. What to do? How to cope?

If ever, now is the time for clarity and wisdom, of knowing how to move beyond our righteous but paralysing reactions – now is the time to seek the counsel of our intuitive selves, and we do so in Zen.

Kendo suggests that because of the sheer magnitude of our feelings right now, it may not be easy – we may need a few goes at stilling the raging torrents and finding the calm waters, within which the wisdom of our intuitive selves is reflected. But we must try. Only our intuitions know how truly capable we are, and if we can do the work of seeking their counsel, they will guide those abilities to the wisest, most positive actions, actions which we likely can’t conceive through our current emotional ‘red mist’.

For every possible benefit, Kendo says let us still the noise, the confusion, the disbelief, and in Zen find calmness, wisdom, and righteous purpose. However counter-intuitive it may seem under the current circumstances, let it all fall away and proceed to a deeply powerful re-boot of our perspectives on this unfamiliar and unfair world. Now is certainly a time for wiser heads to prevail, and we do ourselves, our families, and the whole world the greatest service by seeking to gain such a wise head. Once you’ve done it you’ll appreciate what you’ve gained, but be ready to do it again – these most challenging of times are ready to swamp us emotionally yet again, if we let them.

Seek the peace of Zen – regularly – and let the benefits of the wisdom found therein flow from you.

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