I first encountered Reiki about 7 years ago. Little did I know then that it would go on to change my life and become the foundation of my own business. I want to introduce you to the philosophy of Reiki and the Reiki Principles over the next few weeks and months. This month’s pod on NHR will focus on the introduction – what Reiki is, where it came from and a brief look at the principles and some mindful meditation. In the coming months I will break down each principle and we will look at Living without Anger, Living without Worry, Living in Gratitude, Living with Integrity and Living with Compassion. It is my hope that by the end of this series of Reiki blogs and podcasts that you will find a deep inner peace by bringing the Reiki principles to life in your day to day actions.

People often ask me what Reiki is and it is a difficult concept to explain to someone who has never heard of it. My personal experience of Reiki is that it is like a deep ocean of calm within me and it provides a stable anchor when things get tough. Reiki means Universal Life Force Energy and the system as we know it and use it in the West originated in Japan in the 1920’s. Usui Mikao was a Buddhist priest who went on a journey of discovery and brought this ancient healing form back to life in Japan. (Note the Japanese form to place the surname first hence Usui Mikao).

The system was then further developed by one of his students, Dr Hayashi and then he passed his teachings on to Mrs Kawayo Takata, a Hawaiian woman. She brought the teachings to the USA and Canada and she taught a further 22 Masters – they have now spread this system of natural healing throughout the world.

In the West Reiki is primarily seen as something that we do – it is often viewed as another complementary therapy. A system of hands on healing that a therapist carries out with a patient. It is, however, so much more than a physical healing tool. It is a holistic system for balancing mind, body and spirit. It harmonises all aspects of a person – mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. It promotes relaxation and well-being on all levels.

It enables a person to become “whole”. Unlike other complementary therapies, the practice of Reiki includes a spiritual discipline – practitioners are encouraged to use meditation, energy-cleansing techniques and spiritual principles for living. They are encouraged also to self-treat daily with Reiki – not just for their own personal healing but also for their personal and spiritual growth and development.

I have built my life around Reiki and these practices now for the last 7 years and I can honestly say that my life has changed for the better. I used to be a stressed out, emotionally barren woman who could barely make ends meet. I was fooling myself into believing that I was happy on the outside when in fact I was screaming inside. I was trapped in a self-made prison of protective walls and I didn’t know how to get out. I had lost myself along the way. I built the walls when my dad died when I was just 14 years old. I grew up over night and then had to take on a persona of being tough and in control so that nobody would see how broken I was. I’ve shared the details of my story on my website – you can check it out there as I don’t want this blog to be about me. I just wanted to share how my life has changed since using this wonderful healing energy every day. I am now in a stable and happy relationship, I have left my stressful corporate job and am running my own thriving Reiki business which teaches others how to find their unique light with Reiki and I am happier than I have ever been.

Reiki can do all this for you – if you let it in. Too often I see people treating it as just another therapy that’s offered. I was guilty of that myself when I first started out. I treated it as another certificate and another way to help people on the surface – I missed the point of the self-healing and the entire philosophy of it. I now make sure that when I teach Reiki in my Reiki School I ensure students see Reiki first and foremost as a tool for self-healing and development and secondly as a hands on healing tool for others. In this way they can have the transformational healing that I have personally experienced.

So how does it work?

Life force energy – also known as chi, ki, prana, etc., flows through our bodies in energy pathways called meridians. As well as flowing around the body it also flows in and around our aura – the field of energy that surrounds us. This energy field responds to everything we say, think and feel and when we are surrounded by negativity or if we are thinking negative thoughts then blocks and imbalances can occur in this energy field. We are unconsciously absorbing everything around us all the time so Reiki works to help clear these blocks and imbalances. If these imbalances and blocks are not cleared they gradually become more dense over time and eventually lead to physical illness or disease in the body. Because Reiki energy vibrates at such a high level it easily breaks up and clears these blocks and imbalances. It charges the energy field with positivity and love – it balances out the chakras (the body’s energy centres) and allows life force to flow cleanly around the entire system. It strengthens and accelerates the body’s own natural healing abilities. It also gradually begins to open the mind, heart and spirit to accept and understand the deeper levels of healing needed. It is an intelligent energy that finds its way to where it is needed most so each time you have Reiki you receive exactly what you need.

Do you need to be spiritual for it to work?

Not at all – Reiki will work whether you believe in it or not. It is better if you can approach it with an open mind and allow it in but Reiki will work nonetheless. You do not have to have any specific religious or spiritual belief – it is not a religion or cult. The spiritual principles are simply there to help you work on your own healing.

So what are the principles – what is the philosophy?

Usui formulated the following principles while developing the Reiki system as we know it: –

The secret method of inviting happiness
The wonderful medicine for all diseases of the body and the soul
Just for today
Do not be angry
Do not worry
Be grateful
Word hard (on yourself)
Be kind to others

In the morning and the evening sit in gassho (prayer position) and chant these words with your mouth and your heart.

For the improvement of body and soul, Usui Spiritual Energy Healing Method
The founder, Usui Mikao

Listen to the pod for more and to practice some mindful techniques – no time now? Then read on …

Let’s take a look at these principles in a little more detail – I will go into each one in a deeper way over the next few months so that you get a full understanding of them but for today I will simply touch on each one.

“Just for today” – this is such an important principle. Quite often when you try to change your mindset or give up a bad habit you get overwhelmed by the enormity of the situation and the fact that “forever” is a very long time. By incorporating the “just for today” approach you can break down your changes into manageable chunks. For example it is easier to say that just for today I won’t eat that chocolate cake rather than saying I will never eat chocolate cake again.

The other part of the “just for today” concept is that you learn to live in the moment. Today is a collection of moments. This concept teaches us to fully live in the moment each day. Mindfulness is a very powerful thing and can encourage greater happiness and well-being.

I want you to take a moment now to check in with your body – how are you sitting or standing? Is your head up straight or tilted to the left or right? Are your shoulders hunched or relaxed? What is your mouth doing – is it smiling or are your teeth clenched? Are you warm or cold? HOw are you breathing – deeply or in a shallow manner?

This simple exercise puts you in the moment and this is one of the keys to the Reiki philosophy. Just for today – in other words live in the now. Let’s try another exercise – I want you to simply breathe in and out and on the in breath say the word Here and on the out breath say the word Now -take a moment to do that now.

How do you feel now? I bet you are more relaxed than before? This is a wonderful practice to do each day and really puts you in the present moment!

So let’s move on – Do not anger. You can recover the balance of mind and emotion with Reiki. Anger just hurts yourself and others. It is a negative emotion which has no place in Reiki. Using the “just for today” concept you can learn to become mindful and recognise when anger is bubbling up. Just by stopping and taking a moment to recognise it you can often remove yourself from the situation or choose to react differently. Anger is a loss of control. When you work with Reiki energy and meditation you can recover this loss of control and transmute the anger into a more positive response. Quite simply being angry is a conscious choice – often just a habitual reaction to a set of circumstances – so with practice, we can choose not to be angry. More on this next time in our “Living without Anger” blog and pod!

Do not worry. Learning Reiki and using it daily is the step for learning to fully trust the universe. Do not have any unnecessary worries or fears. Do your best today and let the universe take care of the rest – keeping your mind peaceful. It is the key to being able to fully trust that you release all fear. Worry comes from fear and from having a “what if” mentality. Practising the mindfulness and using these principles you can choose not to worry and choose to stay in the here and now.

Be grateful. As you use Reiki and become Reiki you naturally become more thankful and grateful for the gift that is Reiki. You begin to realise that we are all connected and that the universe is inherently abundant. Being grateful opens you up to receiving more lovely experiences from the universe as you raise your energy frequency to be thankful for what you have rather than complaining about what you don’t.

Work hard on yourself (sometimes translated as do your work honestly). This just means that you will work hard – not that you normally don’t do honest work! It promotes working hard for what you want – it doesn’t mean you have to be unhappy in your work rather it promotes that you work at something you love in order that you can happily do it and be honest with yourself daily. You can use Reiki in your daily life and work. A lazy mind is bad for you. People grow through work and learn through everyday life. It means to be true to yourself and to work hard on yourself and your spiritual development. Reiki is a disciplined practice which becomes a lifetime journey of learning and development if you let it.

Be kind to others. A sense of oneness can be developed naturally through Reiki healing. Reiki is a practice of love. A healthy society can only be established through the co-operation of a large number of people. In the universal dimension there is no distinction between self and others, only the existence of the same soul. Be kind to others is therefore synonymous to be kind to yourself.

Just think the more people that learn Reiki and are Reiki, the more people will live by the principles above and how much better will that make our world?

Usui’s memorial stone reads: –

“If Reiki can be spread throughout the world it will touch the human heart and the morals of society. It will be helpful for many people, not only healing disease, but the Earth as a whole.”

I hope you have enjoyed this topic – if you are interested in learning Reiki please do get in touch with me. I am a registered teacher with The Reiki Guild and you can find details about the courses on offer on my website http://www.rocksnrituals.co.uk/reiki-training.

Next time we will look at living without anger. In the meantime be mindful and be Reiki.