The Art of Reiki...



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A Path

A blog post I read recently began “In its original form, within Japanese Buddhist circles in the late 19th Century, Reiki was a path to enlightenment”. (End of quote). The remainder of the post focused on the healing practice.

Not only “was a path to enlightenment”, but still is, in the western form and practice. More than that, one does not need to become more “Japanese” or to adopt Buddhism or its philosopy.

There is absolutely no harm, and a certain satisfaction, in immersing oneself in the Japanese language and culture, or developing an understanding of Buddhist thought and meditative practices. But “the way” is not these things.

The risk is as it has always been, of too much mind, Japanese mind, Buddhist mind, right mind, and more.

The “way” of Reiki can be found in the everyday hands-on practice, and the here and the now.

Note “everyday” and “here and now”.


Recently I happened upon an online posting of an image of the Reiki practice depicted as an iceberg. The part above the water line was labelled as the hands on practice and the bulk of the iceberg below water as a meditation based practice.

I didn’t have an issue with the iceberg concept as a metaphor for the contrast between what you see, as against the unseen aspects of the practice that are the experience.

My disconnect was with the inference that the the hands on treatment practice (the bit out of the water) was the lesser part of the practice, and that the larger unseen portion (labelled as a multi aspected meditative practice) was the most important part.

For me, the bit you can see, the very human “hands on” physical practice on oneself and with others holds an aspect that is of its very nature meditative or mindful, is a complete “wholing” relational experience, that leads into the deeper experience.

There is not need for “more” than that. This has been my experience.

The Manual

I had known my lovely young friend “M” a number of months before she asked a question about my practice of Reiki, and in the process informed me that she had taken first and second degree.

I asked a few cautious questions and she offered that she didn’t actually practice, just did a bit here and there. And on second degree practice, “I never really got into it”. Then came words I have heard oh so often, “But I have a manual, so I can get back into it if I want to.” My best guess, based on long experience, is that “the manual review” wont happen.

I dont use manuals, never have. The form I teach is simple, just the simple basic practice. My intent in a class is to encourage and inspire the student to practice, and to have that practice teach them the nuances and depth of the practice they have been taught. That actually works.

Hawayo Takata, who brought the practice to the western world stressed that “Reiki was simple”, to “practice practice practice”, and to “let Reiki teach you”. I could not hope to do more.

Fix Me

“Can you fix me in 20 minutes?” was the question asked by a passerby who had stopped outside my shop.

She was serious.

I gave her my standard “I dont fix people. What happens depends on you. We can only see what happens”.

I share the story only to offer the comparison with the question asked by someone else, which was "Would you be willing to work with me. I would like to have a Reiki treatment from you.”

Theres a world of difference between the two.

On a Promise

“I’m am coming to see you for a therapy session.” said my friend.

“Why now?” I asked. Until this moment he had not shown the slightest interest in taking up a long standing offer of a complementary session.

His answer: “I observe people. I have seen how they look, the way they walk, before they go into your shop, and I see how they look afterward. I want to experience what that difference is.”

Feedback like that is priceless.

Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry — all forms of fear — are caused by too much future, and not enough presence.

Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of nonforgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence.

- Eckhart Tolle

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