Healing begins when you aren’t trying to do anything. This is the practice of non-practice.


— Thich Nhat Hanh

Before expanding on the quote above, let me make very clear that there’s still a practice to be put in place, to be engaged in and commit to while we refine our ability to heal and evolve. The quote doesn’t address the conundrum ‘to practice or not to practice,’ but the orientation we have as we practice.

Practice is a button-pusher for all of us, for various reasons. You can read thoughts about the virtues of practice here.

When a truth is expressed, it holds across all disciplines because it’s truth. It’s also lovely to find confirmation and validation for the same truth one has observed and taught for many years. The particular truth expressed in this quote applies very well to Reiki in its hands-on format.

My introduction to hands-on Reiki for self or others in a Reiki class always includes the following, before any other specifics:

  • It’s in Reiki’s nature to flow.
  • Reiki begins to flow as soon as there’s touch or at the first hand position.
  • Reiki flows because you’ve been properly trained, have received proper Reiju (Japanese attunements), and there’s an intention to Reiki yourself or another.
  • There’s no ignition switch to get Reiki to flow.
  • There’s no need to visualize Reiki, put a color on it, direct it in a particular way, send it into an organ, or any other manipulation that the mind may invent.
  • None of these manipulations will enhance Reiki, and will in fact detract from it.
  • Be an empty pipe, and let Reiki flow!


Why? Because Reiki is a state of non-doing!

If we’re busy doing, then Reiki steps aside and lets us have the spotlight. If instead we just place our hands on, Reiki is able to flow through that empty space of allowing and being.

How is it that we miss these truths? Because we come to Reiki from a societal worldview of DO-ing.

In everything else we’re trained in, educated or learn we’re always told to ‘do.’ Our orientation is as doers! Since we haven’t cultivated another orientation, we’re immediately compelled to ‘do’ Reiki, and that’s unfortunate.

Because… Reiki is a state of BE-ing.

It’s in the nature of Reiki to function this way, but I often wish all healers adopted this orientation. When it comes to healing, the more we’re removed from concepts the better. The simpler we keep healing, the better it works.

Certainly there are subtleties and degrees of knowledge in healing, but the flowering of healing itself is always non-conceptual and uncomplicated. It’s direct, spontaneous and self-generated. Healing can never come from the outside and is really a matter of activating a seed that already exists.

As mentioned in the previous post, if there’s a wound physical or emotional, the seed of its healing also exists simultaneously and for as long as the wound remains. Healing can’t be done, but it can be facilitated.

With Reiki the best way to facilitate is to apply Reiki and remove your own agenda, mental formations and emotional attachments from the process.

This is a good approach for all healers. Many healing systems involve the practitioner much too directly and intellectually, or rely on complicated methodologies.

To me, it’s a blessing that in Reiki the practitioner remains awake and mindful, and also unresisting, and yielding as needed so that the seed of healing can self-generate within.

The practitioner is non-active during Reiki, which is different than inactive. Yet the practitioner is also not active, and especially not ‘busy’ while giving Reiki.

This may sound difficult, but thanks to the states of peace, depth, compassion and being present Reiki brings, the practitioner is able to abide in the moment.

It’s also a great relief to just witness the seed of healing flower.


Work with Pamir

Reiki as Mindful, Awake Touch

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The Non-Practice of Hands-On Reiki

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