Excerpt from Mrs. Takata’s diary Dec 10th 1935:
Meaning of “Reiki” Energy within oneself, when concentrated and applied to patient, will cure all ailments – it is nature’s greatest cure, which requires no drugs.
It helps in all respects, human and animal life. In order to concentrate, one must purify one’s thoughts in words and to meditate to let the true “energy” come out from within.
It lies in the bottom of the stomach about 2 inches below the navel. Sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes, concentrate on your thoughts and relax.
So what is Mrs Takata saying in her dairy? She is actually instructing us in three very important aspects of working with the energy and system of Reiki. These three aspects every Reiki practitioner would do well to remember as they will keep you on the right path of self-practice and growth.
First she explains that Reiki is within us! She then goes on to describe its location – at the bottom of the stomach. Lastly she instructs us on how to perform our personal practice – sit in a comfortable position, close the eyes, concentrate and purify our thoughts.
Which Reiki branch or school still instills these simple but effective teachings into their students?
Nowadays many major Reiki branches claim that Reiki comes from outside of us and that we are the channel for the energy to flow through. But where does that leave the practitioner? From this description practitioners would believe that they need to connect to the energy from outside of themselves. And the more we begin looking for this energy outside of ourselves, the more we become side-tracked. It is similar to if the sky would begin looking for the sky – it wouldn’t find it.
People are looking for happiness and that is the reason why many people take up the system of Reiki. In this process of looking for happiness they may spend time searching for things outside of themselves; like a new car, new clothes, a new spiritual practice etc. But looking for happiness outside of ourselves is really just happiness seeking itself, as, in essence, happiness comes from within us. It is always there, waiting for us to recognize it.
If both Reiki and happiness are within then it is possible to see that the deeper we go into our own energetic understanding with self-practices such as the system of Reiki, the easier it is to connect with that illusive ideal of happiness.
So when did Reiki practitioners start looking outside of themselves for Reiki and move away from Mrs. Takata’s advice? It was way back in 1935 during her Reiki training that this diary entry was made. A classical Japanese way of teaching is to not tell the student about the teachings but rather to let the student discover information through the practice itself. Let’s not forget that Mrs. Takata was writing in her diary, a private place for reflection. Perhaps it was something that she discovered for herself in her practice and perhaps it was something she expected her students to discover by themselves in their practice. If this is the case then it cannot be guaranteed that any of her students came to this point of understanding especially as this understanding is not commonly taught in the system of Reiki. Therefore, this leads us to the speculation that many teachers today have not progressed far in their personal practice.
What happens if we practice that Reiki is external? If Reiki is within ourselves and we are Reiki then we have the responsibility to ensure that this energy moves clearly through us. By placing Reiki outside of ourselves we take responsibility away and hand it over to something external. So if things go wrong in our lives we have somewhere to place the blame and it is not on ourselves.
If, as most practitioners agree, Reiki means universal energy then how can we be apart from this energy? We are and always will be universal energy (Reiki). This Reiki is everything; you, me, the trees, the computer – everything we come in contact with. Universal energy is also non-dual in nature which means that if we keep on looking outside of ourselves for Reiki we will never find it as we would be coming from a dual perspective. This corresponds with the Reiki III symbol/mantra which in Japan often represents non-duality.
The kanji of Reiki in Chinese means Ling Chi and Ling Chi is described in China as the most subtlest and most highly refined of all the energies in the human system and the product of the most advanced stages of practice.*
For more reading please see: The Deeper Meaning of Reiki
The second aspect Mrs. Takata wrote of was place for self-practice that is two inches below the navel. This is called the hara or tanden and is the first of the Japanese energy centres we have called the three diamonds. For your spiritual development within the system of Reiki the hara is the foundation. Without it your practice becomes unstable which may lead you to take a side-path going nowhere. To stay on the main path strength and connection through the hara are a must.
You can find out more about the hara here: The Japanese Energetic System
The last of the three aspects written of in Mrs. Takata’s diary was that we also need to concentrate. Nowadays many schools teach that you can place hands on yourself and watch TV or place your hands on someone else and keep chatting to them or others around you. In both cases we are loosing the required concentration thus scattering our focus and energy work making it less effective for ourselves and others. To support this concentration we purify our thoughts in order to have the right thoughts as we go into a space of non-duality. Once within we are taken in a circle as it there that we realise the interconnectedness of everything. We are Reiki.
Thank you Mrs. Takata!
*Excerpt from Chi-gung: Harnessing the Power of the Universe by Daniel Reid.
Bronwen and Frans Stiene are the co-founders of the International House of Reiki and co-authors of The Reiki Sourcebook, The Japanese Art of Reiki, Your Reiki Treatment, The A-Z of Reiki Pocketbook and the Reiki Techniques Card Deck. Bronwen and Frans teach in the USA, Europe and Australia. Visit the Courses page to find a course near you.