Reiki is a way of life. It is a way of living with wisdom and compassion. Wisdom is meta intelligence; that which has broken the limits of the rational mind. Compassion is meta love; that which has broken the limits of the human heart. Reiki is also a teaching with certain practices and methods. Often we give precedence to the method over the way. Methods are there to facilitate the way.

Methods improve who we are, bring out our gold, transform us to be what we really are. The way is what is naturally there.

Morris Graves, The Circle Void, 1970

To become a better Reiki practitioner means to become a better person. ‘Better person’ here means fully being the best of who you already are, not some radical refashioning of who you are. Improving as a practitioner improves you as a human being too because that’s the nature of Reiki. Of course, you have to apply Reiki sincerely to yourself and your life. As we partake of the wisdom and compassion that’s available through Reiki, we become more and more their likeness.

The methods of Reiki vary. There are meditative practices, healing practices, purifying and charging methods, empowerment, and addressing the psyche. There are also methods to cultivate and wield primordial universal forces. All work simply, directly, and effectively. The methods are there to engender a greater, abiding set of qualities and states of being.


Wisdom and compassion are the path in Reiki


What is Wisdom?

Information is just bits of data. Knowledge is putting them together. Wisdom is transcending them.

— Ram Dass

Wisdom has four tiers:

  • Data
  • Information
  • Knowledge
  • Wisdom

We start with raw data. Raw data isn’t necessarily useful, it’s isolated and not cohesive. If that data can be intelligently organized, it becomes information. Information we can use. Information that’s absorbed by a person, understood and internalized becomes knowledge. Wisdom is the application of knowledge that has matured and integrated, that’s become part of a person’s inner knowing.

Wisdom has its mundane side; wisdom applied to the affairs of the world, which is still preferable to approaching the world without wisdom. Then wisdom has its truer face; wisdom as a way to understand life, nature, the cosmos, and the age-old questions of existence, what it is, what it means.

It’s the existential aspect of wisdom that Reiki facilitates and enhances. When this level of wisdom is gathered, internalized, lived and applied, it also informs more practical day-to-day concerns.

Wisdom is a naturally expansive state. It roots in a person and once rooted it expands because that’s its nature.

Wisdom’s tiers of concern:

  • Self
  • Others
  • Society
  • Biosphere
  • Cosmos

When we begin to consider others, society at large, our physical and natural environment and how it all fits into a cosmic picture, we also expand our mind and heart (compassion). Wisdom informs our thinking, our mind and heart. We begin to get the sense that nothing is separate and isolated. This is accompanied by an equal concern for generations to come and how the living of today, with its actions and creations, will serve the future.

Let’s take a moment to consider Sanskrit terms that indicate wisdom:

Jnana (“knowledge/wisdom”): Both worldly knowledge and world-transcending wisdom, depending on the context.

Jnana-Yoga (“Yoga of wisdom”): The path to liberation based on wisdom, or the direct intuition of the transcendental Self (atman) through the steady application of discernment between the Real and the unreal and renunciation of what has been identified as unreal (or inconsequential to the achievement of liberation).

— by Georg Feuerstein

Wisdom and intuition are linked. We’re all endowed with intuition. It’s educated and socialized out of us, but it’s there and can be revived. Intuition is lumped together with instinct, or gut feeling. Instinct is a more animal sense, a useful one, but not real intuition.

Intuition is a soul faculty. It happens in the Heart. Intuition isn’t the knowing of mundane things, but the full birth and establishment of the spiritual in us. When we awaken to our spirituality, which like intuition is an intrinsic part of our makeup, this is wisdom in action.

Reiki excels at awakening us to intrinsic parts of our being that have been for various reasons lost to us. It does this through the practices Reiki comes with, and universal teachings that support these practices.  Reiki opens a person to truth; both personal and universal truth.

Wisdom and compassion are personal and universal. Personally wisdom and compassion make human life happier, and more fulfilling, creating wellness, reducing suffering, and bringing a broad perspective from which to make choices and contributions to the world.

Universally wisdom and compassion are eternal factors, coexisting prior to creation and permeating creation. Embodying them personally deciphers and enhances life.

Here’s one more definition from Georg Feuerstein:

Prajna (“wisdom”): The opposite of spiritual ignorance (ajnana, avidya); one of two means of liberation in Buddhist yoga, the other being skillful means (upaya), i.e., compassion (karuna).

Any time we’re dealing with core factors of life, a rich tapestry becomes available. After all, ‘wisdom’ and ‘compassion’ are just two little words. It isn’t immediately obvious that they give rise to many qualities and states of being:


Human qualities often come in clusters. Altruism, inner peace, strength, freedom, and genuine happiness thrive together like the parts of a nourishing fruit. Likewise, selfishness, animosity, and fear grow together.

— Matthieu Ricard

Spirituality works at the level of the common denominator. It’s efficient and universal in appeal. Reiki is a teaching which unfolds our innate spirituality. Each time we practice Reiki in its meditative or healing form, we partake of the wisdom that’s embedded in the core of reality. Reiki too comes from this same source. When we partake of wisdom, we partake of compassion. They are inextricably linked, living parts of the engine of the universe even before the engine was built.

What is Compassion?

In simple terms, compassion and love can be defined as positive thoughts and feelings that give rise to such essential things in life as hope, courage, determination, and inner strength… Compassion is the wish for another being to be free from suffering; love is wanting them to have happiness.

— Dalai Lama

There’s that clustering again, that efficiency. This is precisely why spirituality or Reiki which directly accesses our spirituality is so transformative. It dispenses with surface details and goes straight to the heart of it all. One thing must be clear about transformation:

Transformation is not change; transformation is growth.

— Swami Rama

It’s a matter of growing into what and who we already are. This is a journey best taken with compassion alongside. When we grow to forgive ourselves and others, heal the past, be true in the present, and bring home the understanding that the future is a realm of possibilities, compassion is the companion we need. Compassion makes it possible to be human and divine, to appreciate the world and aspire to its betterment, to suffer and see suffering and break and be put back together in miraculous ways. Compassion is true strength and true gentleness.

Wisdom engenders compassion and compassion engenders wisdom. When wisdom permeates because we practice, compassion follows because wisdom tells us it makes sense. Similarly, when compassion permeates because we practice (practice Reiki, i.e., living out our spirituality), we become wise to truth.

Here are some sensible truths:


Just as parents care for their children, you should bear in mind the whole universe.

— Zen Master Dogen

Not one single atom opposes us.

— Zen Master Hongzhi

As we learn to have compassion for ourselves, the circle of compassion for others — what and whom we can work with, and how — becomes wider.

— Pema Chödrön

Reiki is compassion in action, both inwardly for the practitioner, and from that foundation outwardly in the world and in nature for the benefit of all.  Reiki works with humans and animals and trees. It’s effective with and helps all parts of life and society. Why? Because it’s a path, an authentic way to embody spirituality, to make it every moment.  What’s so significant about spirituality? Only that it’s the living tissue of existence.

Sometimes people get the mistaken notion that spirituality is a separate department of life, the penthouse of existence. But rightly understood, it is a vital awareness that pervades all realms of our being.

— David Steindl-Rast

Wisdom and compassion are categories on this blog. So is Oneness, as is Healing. Wisdom and compassion are one, and lead to Oneness. Oneness is our original state of being. Reiki is abiding and resting in Oneness.

Healing and the truth of Oneness access each other. Healing returns us to Oneness. Oneness draws us to healing. Healing prepares us for enlightenment. Oneness is enlightenment. Healing makes way for truth. Oneness is truth.

Nonordinary eyes see Oneness. Ordinary eyes see separation. Reiki is the healing of the illusion of separation.

Extend the boundaries of the glowing kingdom of your love, gradually including your family, your neighbors, your community, your country, all countries—all living sentient creatures.

— Paramahansa Yogananda

Related: Audio and PDF

Introduction to Authentic Japanese Reiki Training Classes and Reiki Healing

August 2, 2011 marked the 4th year of this blog’s life.
This post is a celebration.

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Wisdom and Compassion as the Path in Reiki

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