REN: THE VIRTUE OF HUMAN-HEARTEDNESS
'The whole is more than the sum of it's parts' is a key principle in Chinese Medicine. A notion captured by the great Chinese physician Sun Simiao. The first to introduce a system of ethics into Medicine, and known as the "King of Medicine". Health involves caring for the whole of the person.
Sun Simiao emphasised the great importance of compassion and care for creating good health. The Chinese virtue of Ren, a mysterious word which can be translated as "human-heartedness". It describes the innate capacity of empathy that engenders basic care, dignity and appreciation between people.
In our modern society, life is often going at such a pace to not allow the proper time, space or attention for this kind of relating. We can spend far more time in waiting rooms, than relating sincerely with our doctors. To feel met, heard and witnessed are basic needs of good health.
Shiatsu as a health practice fully embodies the virtue of human heartedness. With the necessary time, space and attention, the Shiatsu Practitioner's primary concern is to promote good health within you. Disease, illness and pain are held within the over-arching attitude of care and compassion. The client also develops this same attitude towards their own mind and body, allowing a deeper, natural healing.
cultivating the heart-mind
As a human being, we are all capable of experiencing states of happiness, appreciation, joy, peace, and love.
We have learnt this directly from our own life experience at times, however fleeting or pervading it may have been. Across history and cultures, many traditions have taught ways to develop this potential of humanity in different ways. These highly positive states have been shown to be significantly supportive to the general state of our health.
Below is some guidance from the Buddhist tradition, well known for developing human compassion and love.