The Art of Reiki...



Blog - The Art of Reiki

Love IS

There are emotions and feelings called ‘love’. Real enough, but based in neuro-chemical brain states rooted in survival and reproductive programming.

The Love we truly crave, the Love that endures, that fulfils, is the Love that is the experience of beingness in the now moment, that is allowance, that is acceptance, that is forgiveness.

You are the One you have been waiting for.

The Practice

Before I began the Reiki practice, I (from time to time) used an intuited natural “healing” ability that feels very much like the experience of what I now know as ‘Reiki’. Externally it 'looks like’ Reiki. My best healing story comes from that time. I have not abandoned this original ability, and allow its expression when the moment calls for it. But it is not, and was not “Reiki”.

The original calligraphic character for 'Reiki’, a word picture from the Japanese language, has many meanings, one of which inspired Mikao Usui (the founder of the Usui System of Reiki Healing) to use the expression 'Reiki’ to label the method that he founded, and the form of his practice. 

By inference, if the form of the practice in its many aspects is not recognisable as the one Mikao Usui founded, then it is not 'Reiki, the Usui System’. That is a round about way of saying that the Usui System doesn’t own the word 'Reiki’, and practices that are called 'Reiki’ are not necessarily 'The Usui System’. Nor are they 'Usui Shiki Ryoho’, or “Usui’s way of doing it”. Sounds messy and it is.

There is a point to this.

The system is superficially simple to the outside observer or the casual practitioner. Yet it is a finely crafted and essentially human construct from the perspective of a deeper experience of it as a disciplined practice. What it looks like on the surface and the deeper experience are worlds apart. To know it, one has to engage in the deeper experience, to allow it to reveal who and what we are as a human being.

This enters, as spiritual practice so often does, into the realm of allowing the practice to reveal its meaning to us, as against imposing our meanings on the practice .

Classy Question

A “friend” posed a question a while ago as to why I taught first and second degree separately. “Is it because you make more money that way?”

There were so many assumptions underlying the question I didn’t know quite where to begin, assumptions about motivation, about Reiki, about making money, and more.

So I put aside my initial need to correct the assumptions, and answered with the simple truth. “It’s because it is what serves a student best.”

Without the grounding in the hands on practice, which is what I teach in first degree, the student doesn’t have a foundation into which second degree practice can be integrated. The risk is that second degree easily becomes just another “layer of stuff”.

Second degree is not more “powerful” than first degree, but it is a different way to practice. Each level has its own lessons and teachings that arise out of the practice, which is all about experience, and not something that can be taught.

What I do in the class is provide the inspiration and encouragement to simply do the practice.

A Path

A blog post I read recently began “In its original form, within Japanese Buddhist circles in the late 19th Century, Reiki was a path to enlightenment”. (End of quote). The remainder of the post focused on the healing practice.

Not only “was a path to enlightenment”, but still is, in the western form and practice. More than that, one does not need to become more “Japanese” or to adopt Buddhism or its philosopy.

There is absolutely no harm, and a certain satisfaction, in immersing oneself in the Japanese language and culture, or developing an understanding of Buddhist thought and meditative practices. But “the way” is not these things.

The risk is as it has always been, of too much mind, Japanese mind, Buddhist mind, right mind, and more.

The “way” of Reiki can be found in the everyday hands-on practice, and the here and the now.

Note “everyday” and “here and now”.


Recently I happened upon an online posting of an image of the Reiki practice depicted as an iceberg. The part above the water line was labelled as the hands on practice and the bulk of the iceberg below water as a meditation based practice.

I didn’t have an issue with the iceberg concept as a metaphor for the contrast between what you see, as against the unseen aspects of the practice that are the experience.

My disconnect was with the inference that the the hands on treatment practice (the bit out of the water) was the lesser part of the practice, and that the larger unseen portion (labelled as a multi aspected meditative practice) was the most important part.

For me, the bit you can see, the very human “hands on” physical practice on oneself and with others holds an aspect that is of its very nature meditative or mindful, is a complete “wholing” relational experience, that leads into the deeper experience.

There is not need for “more” than that. This has been my experience.

The Manual

I had known my lovely young friend “M” a number of months before she asked a question about my practice of Reiki, and in the process informed me that she had taken first and second degree.

I asked a few cautious questions and she offered that she didn’t actually practice, just did a bit here and there. And on second degree practice, “I never really got into it”. Then came words I have heard oh so often, “But I have a manual, so I can get back into it if I want to.” My best guess, based on long experience, is that “the manual review” wont happen.

I dont use manuals, never have. The form I teach is simple, just the simple basic practice. My intent in a class is to encourage and inspire the student to practice, and to have that practice teach them the nuances and depth of the practice they have been taught. That actually works.

Hawayo Takata, who brought the practice to the western world stressed that “Reiki was simple”, to “practice practice practice”, and to “let Reiki teach you”. I could not hope to do more.

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