Although Reiki is best known in the West as a complementary healing modality, it was originally a practice for spiritual development. Reiki is often translated as “Universal Life Force Energy” or “Guided Universal Spiritual Energy.” The “ki” in Reiki is the “universal spiritual energy”, the underlying ground of all that is, and it was a key principle of several Eastern philosophies and practices.
Reiki as a method of coming into harmony with that spiritual energy is reflected in the original Reiki precepts, the initial practice Usui taught his students:
Just For Today:
Release your anger,
Let go of your worries,
Appreciate the moment,
Commit fully to life’s path,
Cultivate compassion for yourself and others.
Frans Stiene, Reiki Master and co-founder of the International House of Reiki, discusses how this is reflected in modern Reiki training and practice in a recent post, excerpted below. (Notice the quote by Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of the martial art Aikido, and a contemporary of Mikao Usui, founder of Reiki. Aikido can be translated as “The Way of Harmony of the Spirit” or “the Way to Harmonize with the Spirit of the Universe.”)
“Each and every master, regardless of the era or the place, heard the call and attained harmony with heaven and earth.”
The Okuden level of the system of Reiki teaches symbols and mantras. The second symbol and mantra is called, in modern teachings, the emotional mental symbol. However, within the traditional teachings of Mikao Usui the characteristic of this symbol and mantra is harmony.
Harmony is a quality used in all traditional Japanese spiritual teachings to remind the practitioner to practice harmony with herself and the universe.
“The master of harmony alone understands life, and he who lacks it is foolish in spite of all other knowledge that he might have acquired”.
Hazrat Inayat Khan
Attaining harmony within yourself and the universe is one of the key elements within Mikao Usui’s teachings. The first step within Okuden is to meditate for a long period of time, 6 months, 1 year or 2 years on the first symbol and mantra to embody the quality of earth energy. When we have stabilised that within our own being we can take the next step and focus on the second symbol and mantra for a prolonged period of time. Traditionally, the second symbol and mantra is associated with heavenly energy and is connected to Amida Buddha. Amida Buddha is often pictured descending on a cloud from heaven to help all sentient beings.
Read the rest of Frans’ article on the International House of Reiki – and be sure to check out the rest of this excellent resource on Reiki.
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