Kendo’s Healing Message for September

To ask questions of life itself is entirely natural, particularly for us in the west. Even if one is completely at peace with one’s life – including work, relationships, hearth and home, resources, prospects – the process of living life can give rise to questions of a higher nature, such as, “What’s it all for?”, and “What am I achieving, beyond more of the same?”

These are known as existential questions, and are absolutely within the ‘wheel-house’ of western intellectual exploration! Of course, one of the principal purposes of meditation is to re-boot the mind and shut down the possibility of existential questions giving rise to anxiety, but could such questions themselves have a positive function? Might indulging them be of help to the enlightened meditator?

Kendo would say, “Yes.” Those who know his approach to meditation will have heard of Zen Kyu Shin Do, the process of visualising all your earthly concerns placed at a safe distance away from you – in orbit around you – on your journey into the absolute peace of Zen. Existential questions can join those concerns at that safe distance, and, your intuitive wisdom, liberated by stilling the mind, will, on your return to the intellectually-dominated conscious world, yield the answers they seek.

Buddhism enjoins us to be the best we can be, and even though it seems a disarmingly simple aim (although, not necessarily an easily-achieved one), that’s all we need to ‘know’. Meditation is an excellent antidote to the knots of questions and anxieties that the conscious mind is so capable of weaving, but Kendo’s path is one of ‘recruiting’ the mind in that Buddhist aim.

Wherever you find yourself, whatever you find yourself doing, whatever immediate situation crops up, you can remind your conscious mind of how things look and feel immediately after meditation, when all is still and clear and so wonderfully calm. Then, you understand everything, answers come easily and without anxious negotiations in the face of imagined difficulties – it’s easy to be your best self.

Kendo recommends taking this recollection into all that we do, however mundane or routine it may seem. Recalling ‘the Buddha within’ transforms our own lives and the lives of all around us, but that’s not all – Kendo adds that this simple process answers all existential questions, effortlessly.

“What are you achieving?” You are the core of an atmosphere of positivity and benevolence which inevitably affects others positively. “What’s it all for?” Just as society pre-dated you, you would hope for it to be as benevolent as possible for your entrance into, and continued existence in, the world; being the best you can be is making a significant contribution to the general benevolence of society for those yet to come into the world, and into the future.

Kendo observes that being the best you can be is, of course, its own reward, but even if one is tempted to consider such an aim through an existential lens, for all concerned, the only logical conclusion is that it would be irrational not to do it!

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