Often teachings can become too strict, with too many rules laid down by the teacher. When teachings become too strict, we can’t move in the open expanded spacious flow of universal energy. Instead we are bound by rules and boxed in by ideas and concepts. At this stage, our practice becomes stiff instead of flowing. These rules, labels and concepts also mean that our practice can not move into the organic way of our True Self.
If we follow strict rules and concepts a teacher has laid down, we are following the teacher’s experiences. But the teacher’s experiences might be very different from ours. Maybe the teacher likes a specific way of placing the hands during a hands-on healing session. Suddenly these hand positions become a must and you start to question yourself; if you do not place your hands exactly as the teacher did, will your hands-on healing sessions “not work”?
Or, if the teacher feels heat and interprets that it means this or that, suddenly that becomes the standard interpretation. Or, the teacher might not like black and puts a rule in class that when you do hands-on healing you should wear only white or light colors. But all of these are the teacher’s experiences and not yours. The teacher is there not to imprint his experiences on you, but to help you to find your own fluid experience.
However, if we just do what comes into our monkey mind, then we are just making things up. And maybe that is not helpful at all for ourselves or for our client. Thus there needs to be balance between firm and flexible, or in other words, between stable common sense and being in the flow.
Being in the flow means that the flow comes from our True Self. This in turn means that to be in the flow takes time and practice, as it takes time and practice to really tap into our True Self. Let me point it out again because this is very important: the flow does not come from our confused mind full of worry, fear, anger and attachment. This flow is the true flow from our True Self.
Let’s look at the precepts, in which we can see these teachings:
Do not anger
Do not worry
Be true to your way and your true self
Show compassion to yourself and others
The precept “be true to your way and your true self” is an important reminder. This precept in Japanese is “Gyo o hageme” which often has been translated as “work hard”, “work honestly”, or “practice diligently”. However, there is a wonderful depth to the word gyo 業.
Gyo can mean work, patience, karma and pure experience.
This pure experience means knowledge derived from the direct experience of our True Self.
Hiroshi Doi translates this precept as: “Do what you are meant to do”.
But to do that, this “doing” needs to come from our True Self. Thus at a deeper level gyo o hageme means “be true to your way and your true self”.
But if we look at the precepts, we can see that to be true to our way and our being we have to let go of our worry, fear, and anger, and be grateful for all that we encounter. Hence it is not that easy to step into the flow.
Thus the teacher is there to help you to be true to your way and your True Self, not to box you in with her/his ways. The more we get boxed in with a teacher’s way, the harder it is for us to remember our own way and to be true to our True Self.
A good teacher therefore will adjust each student’s practice according to the student’s experience, state of mind, and physique. For example, the practice of a novice student with a racing, stress-filled mind and arthritic knees will be very different from an experienced student with a relaxed mind who is able to kneel or sit cross-legged for long periods of time. In making appropriate recommendations and adjustments to your practice, your teacher slowly helps to lay bare your True Self, your Reiki. And in this way, now your practice starts to flow from your True Self.
Based in Holland, Frans Stiene teaches in North America, Europe, UK, Australia and Asia.
Frans is also the author of Reiki Insights, it is the continuation of his previous book The Inner Heart of Reiki, taking your personal practice and understanding of the system of Reiki yet another step deeper.