Becoming the Symbol and Mantra

Michele BaughmanArticles, English 13 Comments

dance symbol

Through Shinpiden I learned that the point of working with the symbols is to open to that energy within myself. Once I become that energy, it will be available for a client to draw upon as needed in a Reiki treatment without me consciously trying to use the symbol. It will also be a natural part of me. The symbol/mantra are tools, but ones that assist me to become one with that energy. They do not hold the power in themselves, but are tools that are used to open me to the energy so that it will be present when needed. The symbol/mantra may be released when I become the energy.

I started working daily with CKR over two months ago. Each day I do symbol/mantra and then sit within the space created. At first, I would actually feel my body becoming heavier with each symbol drawn. The spiral seemed to drag at my physical body. I was being drawn into this weighted sensation of earth. My limbs became dense and energized. For the first time in my life, I started to feel solid and firm. My body became alive for me. I became conscious of it even when I wasn’t sitting in meditation. The way I treated my physical body became noticeable. Awareness of the neglect and abandonment of my own body was not an easy thing to face. I struggled to justify the neglect and poor health decisions. Sitting in meditation did not allow me to forget or justify but to see with clarity. I started to feel everything- the weight of my body, the stress on my joints and yet there was this sensation of being held and not being alone. That solid foundation started to surface allowing me to find the courage (along with the work on precepts for all is interconnected) to face myself. I had always felt ungrounded and hyperactive and now I knew that was an illusion. Feeling the clarity of my body helped me to sense that I am ground; I am of the earth and her solidity. I would feel this sense of rightness and clarity seep through me during meditation.

My mind quieted and I felt this expansion through my senses. There was clarity to my presence which was completely foreign. Fear and anxiety did not have a place here. At first, this created a major amount of resistance. I felt comfortable in my old habits. My life had been built in some ways on fear and anxiety and this shattered their presence. I started to see through working with CKR and precepts that I had cultivated this to control my environment in an attempt to feel safe. Wow, this hit at my very core. Working with CKR helped me to feel grounded and supported so that I could begin to work with this. If not for my meditation with CKR, I’m not sure that I would have been able to take the steps needed to open up and see clearly what I had been doing in my life. My whole being craved meditation with this opening experience of clarity and groundedness. I started to feel strong and surer of myself.

In the beginning, I would feel this sense of clarity and solidity for a little while after my meditation each day. I’ve noticed that as time has gone on this time period has continued to expand naturally. There are times when I have found myself drawing CKR and saying the mantra before I’m even conscious of needing connection to that energy. It is always available; not just when I’m in meditation. That was an eye-opener for me. To really understand that earth energy is all around me and in me. It is not something that is given to just a few; it is open to all of us. I spent so much of my life in chaos that this sometimes feels too easy. I mean it is a commitment and work, but I still have to work with my mind in realizing that it does not have to be gotten with trauma or pain. It is natural and available, I had just lost the ability to really open and communicate with it. 

I now am feeling the connection between the earth energy and the hara. Lately, while I’m meditating with CKR I feel my hara start to heat up and radiate throughout my belly. This freaked me out the first time, but I realized that this was part of the communication. I was being shown the location of my hara. It is actually deep inside me, near my spine, not on the surface where I would visualize it. This has also helped with my breathing meditations. I also found out that I could focus on the hara and tap into the earth energy without having to draw symbol or do mantra. I bring my awareness to my hara and feel the sensations from my CKR meditations. This has really opened me up. When I start to feel overwhelmed, unfocused or fearful, I bring my awareness to hara and feel myself opening again to the earth energy. Within a few moments, I begin to calm down and connect again. Working with CKR has helped me to see that earth energy is connection. I’m connected to all that is around me. All things are grounded within the earth energy.

The grounded, focused energy is beginning to translate to all areas of my life without my conscious awareness. This is wonderful. I didn’t realize that it would assist me in so many areas. I have started organizing my work areas to be more functional. I have always tried to do this but would become overwhelmed and just stop. Now, it just sort of happens with none of the confusion, frustration or chaos of the past. It is liberating. I feel like I’m actually alive and functioning with many opportunities available. Household chores are no longer a challenge for me to complete and I actually am enjoying them. I feel a connection to them that was missing. It feels good to get them completed and to see how much it lightens the whole household. I did not realize how my actions were connected to the vitality of those in my household. I feel optimistic and no longer as fear ridden as before. Fear and anxiety still pop up and sometimes it takes me a while to realize they are there. Once I do, I’m able to focus on my hara and feel the clarity and grounding of the earth energy. 

I believe that my work with CKR is also starting to naturally stay open during reiju and Reiki treatments. The last reiju I did brought this to my awareness. I started the reiju and a few minutes into it my hara got really hot and stayed that way throughout the entire reiju. I asked the person afterwards about her experience. She said that a huge weight descended upon her and at first she was frightened, but that soon gave way to a warm feeling. The warm feeling filtered down through her body and continued out through her feet. She felt as though she had been planted into the ground. It was relaxing and she felt solid. She went on to tell me that she always felt ungrounded and this gave her an experience of what it could feel like. I have also experienced my hara heating up like that when offering Reiki to my cat friends. The work with CKR is opening this space inside me so that if that energy is needed it can be accessed without me. That is very humbling and beautiful.

Michele Baughman is a Shinpiden graduate of the International House of Reiki and lives in the USA.

Comments 13

  1. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    Thanks for your great article, direct experience is really the key to it all.
    The symbols and mantras are taught within Okuden, which means inner or hidden teaching, this point towards our true self which is hidden within each of us.
    By using the symbols and mantras internally we start to re-discover our true self, but when we keep using the symbols and mantras externally we might find it very hard to re-discover what is hidden within ourself.

  2. Avatar of Selene Jones

    What a beautiful essay- thank you so much for sharing it! I have just started the 21 Day program (outlined in the Japanese Art of Reiki) and it has begun to shift some things within me. I cannot wait for my 2nd round doing that program where I focus on the symbols! You’re doing wonderful work within your own life and by sharing your experience with us! Thank you again!

  3. Avatar of drpankajshukla

    A very vivid, honest,  nonpretentious   and wonderful relation of the experiences that can greet the reiki practioner…:)

  4. Avatar of Helene Williams
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  7. Avatar of Michele

    Thanks everyone for the feedback.  The beginning months of my practice have really been an experience.  Working with CKR has opened a connection to earth energy and helped to focus me.  Which in some ways has added new challenges as I work through what this new awareness brings forth.  I certainly understand from experience now why we think about it as a practice.  It just keeps unfolding in beautiful and so often unexpected ways.

  8. Avatar of תרגום ספרים
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  10. Avatar of Solar Well
  11. Avatar of RockoBVT

    I just finished Okuden and Animal Reiki training and so enjoy reading your post.  I find myself resistant to CKR.  Not to the symbol, which I love, but to the sound and the heaviness it creates within my body.  I too have led a life based on fear and anxiety and created patterns and habits to compensate.  Your words inspire me to work with CKR to expand myself and release those old habits.  Sincere blessings to you.

  12. Avatar of Frans Stiene
  13. Avatar of Michele

    Hi Rocko,
    I relate to resistance to CKR.  I had a similar response to first working with the symbol/mantra.  I have been working with ADHD behaviors for most of my life and through a great deal of spiritual work I came to understand that I would amp up everything around me to take me out of the moment so that I would not be so vulnerable.  The ADHD behaviors were my coping strategy for a fearful life in a way.  Working with the CKR really challenged this old coping strategy.  The feeling of being solid and physically present in a world I often tried to escape was very intimidating and brought up so much of the old fear patterns that I was often overwhelmed.  It really helped having the precepts, mediation and daily self-Reiki to support this work of releasing the fear patterns that I was triggering.  Over the last 9 months I have started to feel comfortable in my body and being more present.  As this has opened up the physical sensations in the body have lessened and I have noticed that now I have this sense of everything sort of tightening up or coming more into focus or clarity.  This has created a new round of fear triggers to work with as the sharpening of my being is bringing me further out of the fantasy type land and more to the here and now.  It is absolutely amazing.  I have grown so much over these months and really feel here on this earth.  I still struggle as more of my fears are triggered but with the help of the precepts etc. it is much less overwhelming and I can see it as an exciting journey.  I know quite often Frans has reminded me about patience and perseverance.  I believe I had many lessons to learn (and more I’m sure) on these two concepts.  Being patient and gentle has helped a great deal as it cut down the self-criticism and helped to reduce expectation which I do still struggle with.  Enjoy yourself and this journey- although challenging it is also filled with light and joy.  Blessings to everyone!

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