Heart/Mind and Hands on Healing

Frans StieneArticles, English 6 Comments

neon hands in gassho

I often get asked the question from Reiki teachers and students alike: Why do some practitioners and/or teachers have more energy coming out of their hands than others?

Some even go further then that and ask: Why do some practitioners and/or teachers emanate more energy from their whole being than others?

When some of these practitioners put their hands on someone it feels like a tingling moving through the body, like electricity. Or a heat, warmth, or light emanating from their body/being.

This greater amount of energy is really only possible through personally practicing the meditations taught within the traditional Japanese system of Reiki.

Mikao Usui’s Students

A note from Mikao Usui’s student states:

“We humans hold the Great Reiki that fills the Great Universe. The higher we raise the vibration of our own being, the stronger the Reiki we have inside will be.”

Another student of Mikao Usui, Kaiji Tomita wrote this in his book Reiki To Jinjutsu:Tomita Ryu Teate Ryoho about Hatsurei-ho, a Japanese Reiki meditation technique:

“Sit in the seiza position and gassho with the objective to gather/concentrate the energy from the heart into the palms of the hands. Hold the hands together without using force from the arms or the shoulders. Drop the shoulders and clasp the hands, joining the fingers lightly, and feel the alignment of the posture.”

“If you have followed the previous steps and stayed focused on the palms of your hands, they will likely start to feel warm. This is what (tomita ryu) calls reiha (Jap: wave of rei). It describes the tingling sensation that is comparable to an electrical current. The heat created and the wave of rei are what constitute spiritual energy. Even if the sensations are weak at first, they should become stronger as you keep concentrating.”

Hatsurei-ho, literally translates as: Generating a greater amount of spirit.

By looking at some of Usui-san’s students we can see that we need to meditate to let the energy/Reiki come out from within.


Hatsurei-ho and other elements within the Japanese system of Reiki point towards a very important location, our heart/mind.

Within Hatsurei-ho we place our hands in gassho in front of the heart centre, and within Okuden Reiki Level II we find the mantra HSZSN. Within the kanji of HSZSN is the the kanji of Nen 念 and within this we can also see the kanji of Shin/Kokoro 心. They call Shin/Kokoro the radical of Nen, a radical is a clue to the origin of the kanji and also to the general meaning.

Shin/Kokoro means; heart/mind, wholeheartedness, the enlightened mind, essence, the mind as the principle of the universe, centre, core, etc.
In these traditional teachings there is no division between the heart and our mind, they are seen as one.

 So why is Shin/Kokoro the key to generating a greater amount or stronger flow of energy?

Traditionally the heart/mind moves the blood and Ki/energy. 

It is in the heart/mind centre that the earth and heavenly energy unite. When these unite we gain harmony between the two opposite elements, therefore creating harmony within our own energy, which in turn creates a greater flow of energy.

But to unite heaven and earth energy within our heart/mind centre we first need to become earth and heavenly energy. This, of course, is taught within the traditional Japanese Reiki teachings in Okuden Level II in which the first two symbols and mantras represent earth and heavenly energy. But we need to become them, not just intend it, this is a very important part of Usui-san’s traditional way of teaching.

This union also creates an openness, like an open welcoming heart or like an open mind which doesn’t get angry or worried when something happens. The more open we becomes the more energy emanate from our whole being. And the deeper we go into this openness the more we start to remember our own innate great bright light. Or in other words, when our heart/mind becomes clear and open our True Self is revealed.

When our heart/mind centre becomes clearer and clearer we also start to feel a greater amount of energy flowing out of our hands, this is also due to the heart meridian through which the energy flows. The heart meridian flows upwards from the heart into the lungs into the arm pits and then down into the arms to the hands into your little fingers. Therefore, the clearer the heart, the clearer the heart meridians, the more energy will flow out of your hands. 

This is why Hatsurei-ho is such an excellent meditation practice to purify the heart meridian and create an openness within our heart/mind and therefore generate a greater flow of energy into your hands and being. 

Your heart is not in it 

Have you ever heard the saying; Your heart is not in it?

The deeper meaning of this saying is that when our heart/mind is not in the practice of hands on healing or a reiju/initiation/attunement then we are not connecting the practice with our True Self, from our core so to speak, thus there is not much energy flowing. The more we perform these practices from our heart/mind, the more energy will flow through our whole being. But this, of course, takes time as we first need to purify the heart/mind centre and unite the earth and heavenly energy.

Openness is like space

When our heart/mind is open we become like space, no beginning or end, completely open, unified with the universe. This also means we start to become more openminded, letting go of anger and worry, because in this open space nothing sticks.

Like a bird who flies in the spacious open sky it leaves no trace at all, and this will be the same with our heart/mind, we leave no trace, something comes up in our mind/heart but we do not cling, so no trace is left.

When we look into space we see nothing at all because in reality we cannot see space, therefore by becoming like space we are free of all projections, nothing clings to space and space has enough openness to accommodate everything.

This, in turn, will generate a tremendous amount of compassion, or in other words, we can say that openness and spaciousness is compassion. This is why Usui-san has the precept: show compassion to yourself and others, he is pointing out this open heart/mind state. Because if we want to be compassionate to all sentient beings we need to be able to accommodate everything which can only happen when our heart/mind is free from clinging.

Our hands

So how does hands on healing and openness work together? If our heart/mind becomes more open and spacious then we start to realize that working with the hands is only the first step of the system of Reiki. At this stage we start to Be Reiki and the energy within our being is so open and spacious that it travels and emanates through your whole being. Here we can just sit opposite each other and let the healing happen all by itself.

“Human consciousness can go anywhere in the universe in an instant”.
 Note from a student of Mikao Usui

“Because of the ritualized movement of hand positions in human Reiki treatments, it’s easy to fool ourselves into believing that we are somehow controlling the healing process, “sending” energy with our hand positions “here” and “there.”In reality, hand positions have nothing whatsoever to do with the deeper process of healing. Hands are a very superficial way for humans to connect to energy when we are first learning. The true power of energy, however, lies in the ability to completely let go of our reliance on our hands and allow the energy to flow throughout our entire body. More than that, we must learn to allow the energy to flow even deeper-beyond our physical bodies and into our minds and spirits.”
 Kathleen Prasad – Reiki for Dogs

Anshin Ritsumei

Many Japanese Reiki teachers say that Usui-san achieved Anshin Ritsumei/Enlightenment. Anshin means: heart/mind in peace. So, again we see that Usui-san’s teachings point towards an open heart/mind.

So, let’s step into the footsteps of Usui-san and open our heart/mind by delving deeper into the system of Reiki.

Comments 6

  1. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    Hi All,

    Here is another important element. Usui-san wanted to rediscover his own True Self his pure heart/mind, anshin ritsumei and he did this through meditating for 21 days.
    Before you are allowed to do these kind of meditations in Japan you must have a done a lot of prior meditations else the 21 days will not be helpful at all, in fact the opposite.

    This means that if we want to step into the foot steps of Mikao Usui and rediscover our own heart/mind, True Self/Reiki we need to practice the meditations he taught within his system.


  2. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    Hi All,
    Here is another thing to think about. Why do we feel more energy when we open our heart/mind? This is because our heart/mind is connected to our inner great bright light, and as we all know light need energy. Thus the more we remember our own innate great bright light the more we start to feel that energy moving through us because one can not be without the other.

    In many spiritual traditions they call this feeling Inner Bliss.


  3. Avatar of Frans Stiene
  4. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    Hi All,
    Just received this wonderful quote from Paul in Hawaii.

    “Aiki is love. It is the path that brings our hearts into oneness with the spirit of the universe to complete our purpose in life by instilling in us a love and reverence for all of nature.”
    Morihei Ueshiba

  5. Avatar of Elly

    Thank you, Frans, for another wonderfully informative post! There is nothing sadder than seeing a Reiki practitioner slapping or rubbing their hands together before a hands-on session to try to make them warmer. Anyone who is truly at home in their body knows that heat comes from within. Hatsurei-ho is a great way to reconnect to the universal energy that flows through all things, should the practitioner have lost his way. So are Reiki self-healing and Hado breathing. The main thing is trusting your body, trusting Reiki, and trusting your practice, not turning Reiki into a stupid competition, as you point out. Practice and humility, not ego and a wall full of Reiki certificates, will get you where you need to go.

  6. Avatar of Frans Stiene

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