28 Apr 2015

Reiki Zen


 Reiki (pronounced “ray-key”) is a Japanese healing technique that channels life-force energy in each of us to promote balance and peace. This healing technique aids in stress reduction, physical, emotional and spiritual healing, relaxation and promotes positive balance throughout one’s whole being. By moving "stuck" Chi (energy) in one's body, Reiki will rejuvinate your mind, body and spirit.

Reiki (or life-force energy) is administered through the Reiki Practitioner/Master’s hands and is based on the principle that life- force energy flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one's life-force energy is low or "stuck", then we are more likely to be sick or feel stress. But, if our energy is balanced and at its optimal level, we are happy, healthy and full of life.

 The Reiki Practitioner/Master serves as a positive conduit to balance the energy in the client’s body to promote relaxation and well-being and address any special needs whether physical, emotional or spiritual.
Reiki is Universal Life Force Energy that is transmitted through the hands of a channel (person) who has been “keyed in” or connected more directly to the energy source through an initiation process. The channel giving the energy is simply a conduit allowing the Light to pass through him or her into another. Reiki is an ancient but simple, natural and safe process for healing oneself and others on the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels. Anyone can learn to tap into this higher energy of unlimited, Divine Intelligence and facilitate healing. As a Reiki healer you are the open channel through which Divine energy flows.

Zen is the practice of full awareness, or mindfulness, of our lives. Not the lives we think we have, but our life as it actually is. One of the primary supports in mindfulness practice is zazen, or sitting meditation. On Sunday evenings the Zen Sitting Group gathers from seven o’clock p.m. to eight-thirty p.m. to practice mindfulness through sitting meditation (zazen), walking meditation (kinhin), and readings. Our practice effort consists in two twenty-minute sitting periods, with five-minute walking practice in between. You may sit in any number of lotus positions or use a chair. The evening is structured to provide breaks between sitting periods, but if sitting becomes too uncomfortable you may adjust your position at any time.

Energy bodywork has been used through the centuries to help balance the energy systems in the body fed by the Universal Life force called 'chi" or "ki" in Asian Medical Theory. Based upon the science of Accupuncture, "Shiatsu", means "finger pressure" and is a hands on form of bodywork that calms and relaxes the  autonaumic nervous system. Normally, the nervous system remains in a state off "fight or flight" and stands ready in any moment to react to stressors in our lives. Energy bodywork encourages the nervous system to "stand down" and ease into a state of parasympathetic whereby the body, mind and spirit may then process the stressors already present from a lifetime of experiences.  This may be compared to a "meditative" state, where one is very calm yet still able to be aware of the practitioner's touch and enviornmental stimuli in the room. At this moment, the body may then absorb and process the stressors, emotional trauma and physical pain already present and come to a place of balance, understanding and harmony. This frees up the energy blockages in the meridian pathways, thereby giving the released energy to the entire body organism to be used where the body directs it on its own, creating a release of tension and condensed energy which promotes a feeling of relaxation, is energizing and rejuvenating to the body, mind and spirit and also connects these aspects of being human in a synergized communication.

Reduce high blood pressure
Relieve asthma
Migraines Stress
Relieve pain
Accelerate healing of wounds, injuries and infections
Help prevent development of disease and much more.

Usui Reiki Simbols
Usui Reiki symbols are sacred and are to be kept confidential. They are only revealed to those who are about to be initiated into the Second or Third degree of Reiki. The reason for this is explained later in this article. However, it is possible to discuss their nature, how they work and their history while we continue to honor this trust. Reiki symbols are an important and very interesting part of Reiki practice. They allow one to focus the energy of Reiki for specific purposes. (For a detailed explanation of what the symbols can be used for, see the book, "Reiki, The Healing Touch," or the audio cassette tape set, "The Reiki Class" offered in this issue.) There are a total of four symbols in the Usui system of Reiki. Three are given in Reiki II and one in Reiki III. There are other symbols that people are using and while they have value, they are not a part of the Usui system.
Usui Reiki symbols are not as mysterious as they might seem. They have actually been created from Japanese kanji which means they are simply words from the Japanese language. Their names can be found in a Japanese/English dictionary. The first two symbols vary from this somewhat. While the names of the Power and Mental/Emotional symbols are Japanese, the symbols themselves may be shamanic or a combination of Sanskrit and Japanese kanji. It is a practice of Japanese Buddhists' to sometimes combine ancient Sanskrit with Japanese kanji in their sacred writings and symbols so the way these first two symbols are drawn may have been influenced by this practice.

Mrs. Hawayo Takata (Takata Sensei) brought Reiki from Japan to the West in 1937 and continued to practice and teach until her passing in 1980. Because of her devotion, Reiki has been passed on to millions of people all over the world, and the numbers continue to grow! And as you will see, if it wasn’t for her, Reiki most likely would never have been discovered by the West and even in Japan would have been practiced secretly by only a small number of people.

Until the 1990s, the only information we had about Reiki came from Takata Sensei. Her story of Reiki was recorded on tape, and this recording is still available along with a transcript of the contents. In the past most people including many authors simply accepted Takata Sensei’s interpretation of the history of Reiki as accurate without attempting to do any additional research. Because of this, her version of the story was repeated in all the earlier books written on Reiki. (Fortunately many current authors are using more recent historical information.)

In the course of researching the origins of Reiki, I learned that Takata Sensei took liberties with the history of its development. In 1990, for example, I wrote to Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan where Takata Sensei reported that the founder of Reiki, Usui Sensei, had held the office of president. I had hoped to gain additional information that would help us understand who Usui Sensei really was. I also contacted the University of Chicago, from which Usui Sensei had obtained a degree according to Takata Sensei. Neither university had ever heard of him. This disappointing discovery led me to wonder if other parts of the Takata Sensei version of Reiki were also inaccurate. In talking with several early Reiki Masters about this discovery, I was told that Takata Sensei had westernized the story of Reiki by changing certain details and adding others to make it more appealing to Americans.

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