Semantics is the study of meaning in linguistics or language. Our everyday language is human-made and we fall into various patterns with it, often letting loose interpretations and mistakes become established ways of communicating. This is even more striking when we use language to describe non-ordinary phenomena. In fact it’s fun to see how inventive we have to become in using a limited language to describe mind-boggling levels of reality. It also takes some subtlety of thought and discrimination to distinguish how semantics can obscure truth.

From the colorful language of quantum physics to the way language is used to frame issues in the current political landscape, semantics very much reflect how we understand life, and where we find meaning. And meaning of course is essential in making life rich, purposeful and gratifying.

Let’s now look at some ways in which the language of Reiki has been put on autopilot. Firstly, autopilot describes a state of unconsciousness, a state lacking normal awareness of self or environment, and we don’t want to be on autopilot in any sphere of life. The semantics of Reiki poses unique challenges as it:

  1. Communicates about non-ordinary states of reality.
  2. It’s both a noun and a verb.
  3. It’s derived from a linguistic system based on ideograms.
  4. It has a set of presuppositions and perceptions attached to it.

Reiki is the name of a state of spiritual Unity consciousness plus its energetic display as it impacts and enhances human life in a physical setting. At the same time it points to a nonphysical origination and a return to it. It has also become associated with the set of practices that engender this state of Unity or Oneness, as a catch-all word in common use. Thus we have Reiki the noun and its many levels of meaning, as well as Reiki the verb and its misuse:

  • Doing Reiki.
  • Sending Reiki.

You can reiki someone or an object, reiki a place, a time past or in the future. You can reiki the whole body or one part. Animals and pets can be reiki’d, as can water and food. Reiki a tree or piece of land, a well or a seed. Reiki your important papers, wallet or checkbook, your car and home environment.

In none of these applications are you doing Reiki. There’s already so much doing in daily life. If you’re doing Reiki too, it defeats its purpose. There’s also a doing mindset. Action is important and when right must be taken, but doing is often not right action because it’s born out of distraction. The doing mindset is materialistic in the sense that it doesn’t allow for being and essence. Doing is a constantly hungry entity that can’t ever complete because its premise is erroneous. Nike says “Just do it.” Radio Shack says “Do stuff.” We are a culture of the busy and project-oriented to our detriment.

Reiki is a state of Be-ing and nondoing. There’s nothing to do. It’s unforced and natural, flows on its own and takes its own course according to your needs and what will grow you. Nondoing has no boundary or specific identity, color or agenda, form or substance. It rests in the awareness where thoughts disappear.

Reiki is also undoing. The undoing of traumas, mistakes and personal dramas; the undoing of material identification and the grip of  physical self over your true nature. Again, no doing is involved.

Next time instead of saying, “Let me do Reiki on you,” or “I’m going to do Reiki on myself” say: Give, share, presence, conduit, call, bring, invoke, flow Reiki.

And the same trap appears when we say, “I’ll send you Reiki.” There is nothing to send! Yes, Reiki is available nonlocally through you, but since it isn’t from you, it can’t be sent. It can only be made available.

It’s very important to always remember that Reiki brings out from within the person an original state of wholeness, balance, harmony and wellbeing, whether it’s shared in-person or distantly. This original state has been termed our ‘true nature’ and it’s a state of Oneness.

In Oneness there isn’t any separation and no need to send Reiki, which can only be presenced anyhow. Distant Reiki simply unifies the practitioner with the receiver. The practitioner is the conduit, but once Reiki flows both are present in the experience together. Nonlocal healing is facilitated at a quantum level, so the language of time and space really doesn’t fit. It’s not a text message you’re sending, an email or package.

Reiki is truly available in the present. The present is no-time and no-space. It can only be experienced in the absence of ego. The words you use to describe and understand Reiki bring along mental constructs that can be helpful or not. If you’re doing Reiki, then you’re time-bound. It becomes another item on your to-do list and no longer a practice. If you’re sending Reiki, then you think you possess it, that it’s yours to send, whereas in fact Reiki simply arises out of the ground of being.

Reiki is most effective when you’re in neutral. Not the drive of ambition, anxiety, or anticipation. Or the reverse of anger, judgment, or condemnation.

Stop doing Reiki. Stop sending Reiki. Practice Reiki. Give and share it. Speak it’s truth, live and be it. Every other lens is a hindrance.


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Reiki Semantics: Are You on Autopilot?