If we translate HSZSN, 本者是正念, one of the tools within Okuden Reiki Level II, it means: I am right mindfulness.
Right mindfulness is about making sure our mind doesn’t get carried away by labeling things. We normally label what we see, feel, hear, touch, or smell either good or bad and then deal with it accordingly. However, when we have a direct experience of right mindfulness, we begin to stop labeling things, we just see them as they are, and we don’t get carried away by our dualistic thinking.
When we have an understanding of Right Mindfulness we are not distracted by all the confused dualistic thoughts which come up. This is often called “munen”, no thought.
This poem reflects Right Thought:
In spring the flowers,
In autumn the moon,
In summer the breeze,
In winter the snow,
If in the serenity of the heart,
there is no attachment,
all seasons are well. – Hui-K’ai
In the traditional Japanese spiritual teachings there are 4 different kinds of mindfulness to understand:
1. Mindfulness of the body
2. Mindfulness of feelings (repulsive, attractive, or neutral)
3. Mindfulness of the mind
4. Mindfulness of the phenomena
They are there to help us remain mindful that we are all interconnected, of the same essence, or One.
It is the first step to experiencing non-duality.
If we look at the system of Reiki, the more practitioners gain a deeper direct understanding of right mindfulness by internalizing the symbols, the more they start to see that there is no distance, no past/present/future, just Oneness.
Usui-san put gems into his teachings to hint at what he was really trying to teach. We can only help others to find their non-dual nature if we have re-discoverd it for ourselves. This is also why level II is called Okuden, inner or hidden teachings, they help us to re-discover what is hidden within us. If we use the tools taught in Okuden Level II externally, we will begin to have difficulty in getting the direct experience, but when we internalize them we can begin to gain a much deeper experience.
Shonen 正念 is part of the Buddhas teachings of the Eightfold Noble Path.
As Usui-san was a Buddhist practitioner we should not be surprised to see traces of his own personal Buddhist journey in the System of Reiki.