In a recent Reiki class while I was teaching the practice of giving yourself Reiki, I described it as “self-friending.”
It certainly is. I usually emphasize the embracing and nurturing effects of this application of Reiki. Yet, it had not expressed verbally in that way before. This led to a summation of Reiki as follows:
One of the unique features and benefits of Reiki is how it enables the practitioner to give themselves Reiki. This has many positive effects (see The Trifold Inner Support of Reiki | Reiki Boosts Physical, Psychological and Spiritual Capacities | Reiki as Mindful, Awake Touch | What Can Reiki Heal?). One that isn’t talked about a lot is how it’s a major self-hug. In an affirming and appropriate way. There may be a tendency in readers learning about Reiki, or even practitioners themselves that a self-hug is somehow overly sweet, or too diva-like.
When one puts their own warm hands on their body and loving Reiki flows into the physical being, as well as the mental and emotional being, our society’s trend to self-deprecate and be critical with ourselves is immediately counterbalanced.
Reiki also permeates the spiritual being and that will be addressed as we move along.
Self-friending and self-compassion are synonymous, except with friending there’s the added element of companionship. There are meditative practices to bring this about. They lack the specialness of touch, and especially Reiki touch. Meditation has a substantial place in Reiki as well and will be addressed below.
The ability to make contact with oneself and share a connected experience of loving, spiritual healing is a profound blessing. It’s direct, visceral and grounded. Mind and its traps are neutralized. The hands take over without neurotic dissecting, expecting, judging and doing. It’s a restful relationship with one’s heart, body and the overused mind. It allows one to be and there isn’t enough that can be said about that!
What’s communicated is that life’s friendly, one’s not alone, there’s an intricate web of support and kindness, and alleviation of suffering is not only possible, it’s right in one’s hands.
Furthermore, there’s a marked enhancement in the relationship we have with ourselves. This is a key relationship as it determines the quality of all the others. One’s own Reiki hands on the body helps with the acceptance of the body. Since Reiki permeates the mental/emotional realm as well, acceptance is offered there too. Acceptance is the threshold to self-awareness, insight and healing.
Reiki’s ability to heal is probably its most well-known and popular feature and benefit. Reiki understands the continuum of body, mind and soul and brings healing where it’s needed and when. It meets the practitioner wherever they are, for whatever they may be ready for and accompanies them along the path. With its innate wisdom and compassion, Reiki brings trust and confidence in being able to have physical and mental health, and spiritual well-being.
Healing is a mystery. What heals, how and when isn’t a linear, rational progression. Healing is always possible and available. Since Reiki is a practice-based teaching, regular application of its methods means the practitioner is engaged in a healing lifestyle. A healing lifestyle is both preventive and proactive. Reiki improves and maintains wellness. Self-awareness and biofeedback enhanced by Reiki lets the practitioner take necessary health steps ahead of symptoms presenting fully. Or to heal after symptoms manifest.
In spiritual literature self-realization and enlightenment are often used in tandem to refer to the liberation of an individual from limitations caused by identification with conditioned beliefs, fears, desires, and habits. This liberation essentially sprouts the divinity that resides in everyone. However one relates to this divinity or spirituality is personal. Once sprouted it matures the ego or little self to an understanding of how to be free of conditioning.
A very misunderstood and little elaborated truth about Reiki is that in actuality it’s a path to self-realization and enlightenment.
Where this comes into play most significantly is the meditative practices of Reiki.
A significant majority of Reiki classes will only teach hands-on Reiki and pad that with some bits and pieces. The founder of Reiki, Usui Sensei (see Mikao Usui 1865-1926 ) was in fact a meditation teacher and spiritual guide. He wanted to help people end their suffering through their own satori or self-realization. He understood that once the spiritual Self is accessed and engaged, a higher reality filters through all the layers of the individual creating lasting, positive transformation.
The specific meditations that are embedded in the system of Reiki are its true foundation. Hands-on Reiki rests on and grows out of the premise of these practices, and without them is an untethered practice that has no solid tradition to back it.
Throughout history and in all cultures meditation has been the primary method of shifting from the small self to the greater Self. Reiki is a balanced path. It doesn’t negate the small self, the legitimate needs and challenges, and often brought on neuroses of the human being. Reiki’s approach is comprehensive. It recognizes that the human being must also grow, that self-realization begins with the daily obstacles that life presents. A higher reality can’t be embodied until the physical, mental and emotional being has done a fair share of housekeeping.
Meditation is where we encounter wisdom and compassion in a personal way, in a way that imbues our being and informs our heart, mind and actions. The Reiki meditations are designed to first cleanse and realign the meditator. They work through the infusion of Universal Ki at all layers of human existence.
It has to be made clear that Universal Ki is not only the vital energy that enlivens creation. In its universal form Ki is a set of Divine attributes: Wisdom, Compassion, Power, Light and Intelligence. This is the Ki that the Reiki meditator interacts with, and funnels as a hands-on practitioner.
The initial cleanse and realignment open the way for the body, mind and soul to vibrate at much higher frequencies and for the Hara to be activated and strengthened. The Hara is a key vibrational center within the body (see The Hara: A Physical and Spiritual Center).
As the Reiki meditator interacts with a large volume of quality Ki, there’s a shift in consciousness from personal dramas, negative mind states, illusions, fears and limiting beliefs. This happens over time, but also in each sitting.
The Reiki meditations also destress the human system completely. More importantly, there’s contact with meditative consciousness which is elevated, expansive, spacious, peaceful, clear, and full of spiritual light.
Ultimately, there’s a shift in consciousness from the little self to the knowing of one’s own true nature (inner divinity / spirituality), which with continued practice becomes more and more embodied and a much larger percentage of what and who one is in the world.
This is the ‘realized’ part.
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Reiki Master-Teacher of Authentic Japanese Usui Reiki in Fort Lauderdale at my South Florida Oasis Reiki Dojo. Meditation, Healing, and Spirituality training and services, and educator.