Kendo’s Healing Blog Message for September

This message was posted in Kendo’s Healing Blog for September. Its theme is the unique energies of Yakushi, the “Medicine Buddha” – enjoy!

One of the lesser-known things about the spirit guide Kendo Nagasaki is something that perhaps should be obvious – as a samurai in his past lives in ancient Japan, he was a Buddhist. In both of the two past lives he has described, he found himself on the path to enlightenment characterised by Zen Buddhism, most dramatically during his life in Kamakura, when Zen was new in Japan and evolved expressions particular to the samurai. In contrast to the peace of seated meditation also existed challenging the consciousness with the sheer intensity of existence, with loud and physical expressions of spontaneity, and, of course, with the unfathomable koans.

As diverse as Zen is, that of Buddhism is even greater, and one of its most fundamental aspects is its ancient healing tradition. This was one of the first aspects of Buddhism to develop in Japan – Yakushi Nyorai, or the Medicine Buddha, came to be revered throughout Japan, not only for the well-being of individuals, but also for the whole nation. This influence continues to this day – of the 88 temples on the Shikoku Ohenro pilgrimage, the second greatest number of temples dedicated to a particular aspect of the Buddha are those dedicated to Yakushi, after Kannon, the Goddess of Mercy.

With his characteristic medicine jar in his left hand, Yakushi became a Buddha beseeched for relief from and protection against ailments, but his right hand also expressed something of great importance in healing – the affirmation to “Fear Not”. Modern science has shown that worry elevates cortisol stress-hormone levels, which is not good when you are trying to heal – in favouring our fight-or-flight capacity, cortisols impede peripheral blood-flow and cell regeneration, and inhibit the absorption of nutrients from food, so we should certainly be as peaceful and un-fearful as possible when seeking to heal. Yakushi has been imparting this essential wisdom since as long ago as the 6th century AD…

Kendo will be telling us much more about Yakushi the Medicine Buddha in the future, but for the time being, it will help all in need of healing to imagine a peaceful seated Buddha, a small medicine jar resting on his outstretched left palm, and his right hand raised, palm towards you, gently assuring you to fear not. Even the mighty samurai occasionally needed healing, and they sought the Medicine Buddha’s dual gift of healing and secure peace.

Kendo’s healing message for September is, therefore: draw positive energy from the image of Yakushi – be well, and fear not.

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