How Reiki Symbols and Mantras have Affected my Life

Simon Bailey Articles, English 13 Comments


After attending my Western Style Reiki level two course, I came away a little perplexed. I felt as though something wasn’t quite right with some of the teachings. This was not the fault of my teachers, but more with how the Reiki teachings have been passed down through the Reiki lineage.

The thing that didn’t feel right for me was the use of the symbols. Don’t get me wrong; I certainly could feel a difference with each symbol and the different vibrations they created when we used them during the course.

I was more uncomfortable with how we applied these symbols and how they were to be used during treatments. This process, just didn’t feel right, in fact, I politely challenged the symbols and their use, especially the concept where we were taught to apply them all at the same time.

My teachers took my challenge on board and said they would speak to their teachers. This I loved, but unfortunately the answer came back the same….

“Apply all the symbols and let the Reiki energy decide which one to use”

This didn’t make sense to me. After completing my Reiki level one course, the experiences both with self-healing and hands on healing for others, was amazing. The results, and people’s experiences, built up such a trust in me with Reiki. Simply, set your intent and allow the energy to do what is needed for the highest and greatest good. So, I thought ‘why do we need to use symbols then?  If we simply apply all symbols and allow the energy to choose which symbol, why not just let the energy choose in the first place, with no need to apply any symbols?’

I decided not to use the symbols as I was taught. Instead I followed my intuition and used CKR or SHK whenever I felt guided to.  I left HSZSN to distant healing only.

I felt much more comfortable using the symbols this way. 

Then I attended my Reiki Master course. During this course we learnt the DKM symbol. We were told that we could use just this symbol now.  Although, if necessary we could use CKR to power this symbol up.

The course itself was amazing, the difference in the energy, was such a leap forward. But again, I left feeling a little indifferent about the symbols.

If there was a symbol that meant we didn’t need to use the other two symbols, then why didn’t we just learn this one?  And, if this symbol was so powerful, why did we need to use CKR to power it up. However, the fact that we could just use one symbol and allow the energy to work for the highest and greatest good, without having to choose which symbol we felt we should use, made me feel more comfortable.

I started to use DKM during my treatments. Again, I could feel a difference in the energy while using it.

After a while, I started re-evaluate the symbols again. After a few years of practice, I had such confidence in Reiki and how it would always work on what was needed at the time.  I eventually let go of the symbols during treatments and went back to allowing the Reiki energy to guide me. 

I continued to practice this way until I came across “The Japanese Art of Reiki” by Frans and Bronwen. After reading this book I felt drawn to attend one of the IHReiki courses. A year or so later, I got the opportunity to do so. This book, as I am sure it has done so with many, really resonated with me. It just made simple sense.

The first day was entirely dedicated to the Reiki symbols. Frans went through each symbol with such clarity and understanding.  It finally seemed right. The understanding of the symbols, how they interlinked and their purpose.  The philosophy behind them, was so interesting.

We chanted the symbols as a group, which was amazing. We meditated with the symbols, which again, was a brilliant experience. The day just left me bubbling with excitement, and with a real need to get home and practice.

As soon as I got home I started my daily practice.  Everyday was a new experience, which left me even more eager to practice the next day.

I am now writing this, with only three weeks of practice behind me. This is because a question has been asked….

After having worked with the mantras and symbols how do you feel that they have affected your life?

The simplest answer would be for me to say, it has changed everything that I had ever thought about Reiki. I don’t really want to make this next comment, because it’s used way to easy in life these days, but it really does sum up everything.  Using the Mantras, symbols and daily practice has changed my outlook on life itself. 

I have already stated that it has only been three weeks of practice.  But I feel as though I have been practicing for years.  Not because I am not enjoying it, or that it is chore. But because so much seems to have changed in that time, and the number of different experiences I have had since the course is just mind blowing. I have been very blessed in life to have, many wonderful and personal experiences spiritually, but I’ve never had so many in such a short space of time.

One of the biggest things to change is myself. Many people have commented how I have changed, some commenting that I am different man.

I have noticed how different the Reiki treatments are, and again, clients have commented how different their Reiki sessions feel. They are not aware that I have attended a course or that I am doing anything different with my Reiki practice.

By far the biggest change is the fire within me. It has truly been reignited.

I can feel the internal fire roaring inside. And there now seems to be a sense of peace and deep understanding within.  I am beginning to truly find myself and understand who I really am. 

Having experienced so much in such a short space of time, I know that I have truly found what I have been searching for.

A spiritual practice where I know that in time, I will reach an understanding far beyond my comprehension right now.

Simon Bailey is a Shinpiden Reiki Level III graduate of the International House of Reiki. Simon runs the Navitas Centre in the UK.

Comments 13

  1. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    Hi Simon,
    Great insights. I think that if we start to internalize the symbols/mantras, as they were meant to be, we can go much deeper into our own personal practice which in turn will help us to create a much deeper space for our clients to heal themselves. Plus as you have experienced this will also have an effect on your reiju/initiations/attunements.

    Isn’t it interesting that we first say, let the Reiki do its work we can’t direct it, and then at the same time we say put this symbol in your client for this or that?! This to me is very contradictory.

    True too about the DKM, why do we need to power it up if it is already so powerful, again it is contradictory.

    This was also one of the reasons we started to look at how the System of Reiki was traditionally taught in Japan.

    Keep up the good work.

  2. Avatar of seema

    Hi Simon,
    Your blog resonant with me as well. I have been practicing for few months now and have “changed” in several ways . You are so right every day is a different day and also seems like practicing for years because lot has changed . Its same with me. I am yet to take a direct in person class with Frans all this I have learned “distantly” on Skype yet the teachings have been so profound that I never feel any different , its a amazing journey isn’t it. good luck with everything. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Avatar of Sundar Kadayam

    Hi Simon,  Great post!  Exhilarating isn’t it, when nagging doubts fall away, when confusing elements get replaced with clarity, when the light of truth emerges in its package of simplicity and profundity, when the beauty and consistency and depth of the system of Reiki reveals itself in the manner in which Frans and Bronwen have researched and share their teachings about Reiki as it was originally formulated by Usui san!!  Here’s to your deepening practice!
    Thanks for sharing!

  4. Avatar of Kelly McDermott-Burns

    Thanks for the post Simon.  I too had questions because things didn’t add up. Like if drawing CKR added power to an area why not draw it everywhere? Anything worth doing is worth overdoing after all. 🙂 And all this drawing the symbols all over the walls, floor and ceiling. Whew! I’m tired before the session even starts. When I was finally exposed to IHR’s teachings everything fell into place and my practice deepened tremendously. Like I told my Reiki II students this a.m. You are gonna LOVE this!!

  5. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    Hi Kelly,
    I had the same issue, if CKR adds power, why not use it during each hand position?
    This is the same with SHK, emotional mental healing, why not use it with each hand position? How do we know, as practitioners/teachers what a client is really feeling, impossible. We might have some inclination but that is just that.

    This is why when we become the symbols/mantras ourselves then they are infused with each movement we do, and the client can take from it whatever they need.

  6. Avatar of Simon Bailey

    Hi everyone,

    Thanks for your kind comments.

    Frans – It is amazing!! It is so much easier to keep it simple. Thanks for your comments and support.

    Seema – Thank you for your kind comments. I am sure when you have the chance to attend the course with Frans, you will love it. It truly has opened many doors for me personally. Keep me posted. Would love to hear how your journey is going. Very best wishes.

    Hi Sundar – I couldn’t agree more with your comments. It is a beautiful thing… simplicity. Thank you for your comments and for your recent posts, I have found them most interesting.

    Hi Kelly – I have had many great experiences with the symbols and my Western Teachers are lovely, I think the world of them. But I do agree, everything does feel like it has fallen into place for me also. Many blessings.

  7. Avatar of seema

    Hi Simon,
    Thank you for the wishes , will keep you updated how is it going. Wish you also more to uncover and discover about yourself !. Yes , I am also looking forward to learn more and to discover more about myself 🙂

  8. Avatar of Christine

    Thank you for this post and sharing your experience with the reiki symbols.

    Personally, I love the simplicity of Usui Reiki Level I. I simply place my hands and let reiki practice speak for itself, whether I treat myself or others. I don’t “do” anything in the energetic that is not visible in the physical. I am providing reiki sessions to wounded veterans and their family members who often have not heard of reiki practice before. Keeping things simple and transparent ensures their informed consent.

    Frans, I have read a lot of different information about the reiki symbols. Did Mikao Usui use symbols when he practiced? Thank you for your response!

  9. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    Hi Christine,

    Traditionally the symbols and mantras were used for your own personal self development. You would meditate on them. For example you would meditate on one symbol and mantra for 20 minutes. You would do this each day for a long period of time so that in the end you will become the symbol and mantra. What i mean by that is that you embody the energetic quality which the particular symbol and mantra symbolises.

    Then when you do hands on healing on someone there will be no need to draw symbols etc.. Also drawing symbols on someone to do something doesn’t seem right, how do we really know what another person needs? So when we have become the energy the client can take from that whatever he/she needs, not what we think we need. This way is also more in-line with the precept, show compassion to yourself and other. This precept means do not judge, else we are not compassionate.

    The symbols and mantras became externalised after Usui-san death with the teachings of Hayashi etc..

    Hope this helps.
    See that you are in Fairfax, did some evening talks there a few years ago and will be teaching in Reston next year.

  10. Avatar of Christine
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