Kendo’s Healing Message for August

This month’s Healing Message falls upon a Friday, which makes it a spiritual successor to Kendo Nagasaki’s debut on another Friday 13th many years ago. Both Kendo and the man behind the mask have undergone many changes over that time, and, just as they have done, it’s always worth reflecting on the person we have become over time.

Someone once remarked that the only person one should strive to be better than is one’s own prior self, and this is great advice – it’s a kind of personal ‘kaizen’, which is Japanese for continuous improvement. Of course, Buddhism encourages humility and striving to understand one’s place in nature and the world, and while we should let go of any negativity we may feel towards ourselves, we should also develop a healthy attitude towards our personal successes – confidence in ourselves needs to be free from ego, and finding this balance can only lead to more of that ‘kaizen’.

Kendo’s Kyu Shin Do Meditation is an excellent way to let go of all the external thoughts and feelings and attitudes and apprehensions we may have about ourselves, and even if we don’t recognise those in ourselves, perhaps we would benefit from opening our intuitive awareness to the kind of person we are. Day-to-day survival in the western world is very much an intellectual battle, we are so beset on all sides with distractions and third-party opinions that we really don’t have the opportunity to understand ourselves.

Whatever your circumstances, you can benefit from re-booting your self-image! As you begin your meditation, the Kyu Shin Do approach should be to place everything you think about yourself at that safe distance away from you, in orbit around you, so that you can get to know yourself intuitively in the peace of Zen. Do this with a good heart – you shouldn’t expect negative feedback from your own intuitive self! It will have the honesty of true wisdom, and it will reveal your achievements as well as your opportunities to grow further.

This is not mere ‘navel-gazing’ – you are making an earnest effort to understand yourself ‘sui generis’, completely in-and-of yourself, free from anyone else’s attitudes, and even your own, which may have been improperly influenced by others. Let it all go, and meet yourself, discover yourself, and continue the good work of finding the Buddha within you.

Taking the wisdom of non-judgmental self-awareness out into the world will present it with the best person you can be, which – as Kendo has promoted for so many years – benefits you, your family, and the whole of society around you.

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