Kaizen (改善) – improvement, an action taken to improve
Kaizen is an interesting term. In the context of Usui Reiki Ryoho, Shin Shin Kaizen refers to the continual improvement of one’s body (health) and mind (wisdom) though earnest practice.
For me, this can mean a variety of things; daily teate (hands-on healing), consistent meditation, living the precepts, etc. All of these formal methods are great, helpful, and are to be encouraged.
Still, as always, there’s a deeper aspect to these teachings. In the idea of Kaizen, there’s an assumed sense of change. Namely, that only through change do we have the ability to grow and improve.
Change, in this context, can be understood in two ways; letting go of old habits (do not anger/worry) and practicing wholesome habits (cultivating gratitude and compassion)
With committed (daily) practice, we can learn to loosen old knots and react in ways we intend as opposed to ways we’ve been conditioned.
On the other hand, by refusing the natural changes in life, by grasping onto things such as our own views, likes, dislikes, do we cause our own problems. By holding on, we fight the current, swim upstream and unknowingly plant the seeds for stress, anger, fear, worry, etc.
So just let go right?
Sounds simple enough but honestly, old habits die hard. Seriously. I share these insights as I learn myself!
Nothing like a bout of worry or fit of rage to shake up one’s mechanical practice; empty practice is worse than nothing at all. With empty practice, one gains a false sense of security that their efforts are anything more than wasted time.
Only with continual full-hearted practice (kokoro) does the practice really come alive.
Only with this alive practice can we honestly work toward good (善) change (改).
Only you are in the way of your own peace of mind/body.
Keep it up / let it go!