Kendo accepts that consumerism is taken for granted in capitalist societies, but acquiring material possessions in the belief that they will bring happiness is likely to lead to disappointment. There are several points to be aware of in regard to “things”.
In recognising and appreciating excellence, a finer vibration of the senses is invoked, in the same way that appreciating beauty imparts some of that very beauty to the self. This is also true of the finest cars, the most elegant houses, the most beautiful jewellry - all these things can - and should - be appreciated, but the quality of how one appreciates them is important: it must be in and of themselves, and not as the trappings of wealth.
Beautiful things, such as fine art paintings and sculptures, are the physical manifestation of artistic inspiration, brought into being by the exercise of great skill; it is good to have such things around you, because they will refine the vibration of your soul. But be judicious in how elaborate you make your surroundings, or the purity of any true art within them will be drowned.
Much jewellery can be described as highly artistic and very beautiful, and the minerals and metals of the earth so fashioned can provide very complimentary accents to a healthy body, but be modest and highly selective in what you choose to wear; in choosing to follow the path of spiritual wisdom, you are seeking to work in harmony with the forces of the earth and its elements, so not only should jewellery enhance you, you should enhance it.
Perform some form of physical training every day. You should develop a training regime that develops and maintains your strength, fitness, and discipline. A combination of aerobic and strength exercises, or perhaps Tai Chi, or a martial art such as judo are all excellent.
Maintain an even temperament. Never forget the lessons of karma – things will almost never be what they seem, and you will be tested again and again to consider the hidden meanings rather than simply reacting to a situation.
It is the hardest lesson to be objective in real time, to think before reacting, but this is what you must do. Cultivate an attitude whereby you maintain your awareness of complex and hidden forces at work always, and don’t react until you have considered everything you can think of.
Don’t allow yourself to become involved with trivia. It has been well said that television is the opiate of the masses, and for all enlightened purposes this is true. It has been shown that watching television burns fewer calories than sitting in a blank room doing nothing; this is because with no stimuli, the mind looks for stimuli and the body maintains its posture, all of which burns more calories than being a couch-potato. Don’t watch television because you have nothing better to do – doing some meditation or training is an infinitely preferable alternative.
If you have absorbed and begun to live by the wisdom expressed previously, then you have been highly selective and discriminating about what is in your mind – you must do the same with your body.
The most important aspect of eating is to pursue purity. The body must be pure and free from toxins, and it must be fuelled by pure foods; seek to avoid processed foods as much as possible, and bear in mind that fresh, uncooked vegetables such as salads are much better for you than cooked vegetables. Canned fish is a hugely under-rated resource, being rich in high quality protein and omega-3 oils. Fresh fruit is also highly nutritious. Above all, Kendo Nagasaki recommends a low GI diet, which encourages the body to become an efficient fat-burning machine.
Anti-oxidants are crucial to maintaining health, lean-ness, and freedom from impurities. Ideally, adhere to the ancient Japanese maxim of eating an emperor's diet, which includes food of 5 colours - black white, red, green, and yellow. The colours in natural foods indicate the presence of a wide variety of anti-oxidants, and this simple observation will serve you very well.