According to the Japanese teachings of the system of Reiki, one of the symbols/mantras is connected to the Japanese Deity Kannon. If we choose to work from this perspective of the Reiki teachings, then we can benefit by understanding and even embodying Kannon’s teachings.
Considering that the Thousand-Armed Kannon has one thousand arms on its one body, if the mind stops at the one holding a bow, the other nine hundred and ninety-nine will be useless. It is because the mind is not detained at one place that all the arms are useful.
As for Kannon, to what purpose would it have a thousand arms attached to one body? This form is made with the intent of pointing out to men that if their immovable wisdom is let go, even if a body have a thousand arms, everyone will be of use.
When facing a single tree, if you look at a single one of its red leaves, you will not see all the others. When the eye is not set on any one leaf, and you face the tree with nothing at all in mind, any number of leaves are visible to the eye without limit. But if a single leaf holds the eye, it will be as if the remaining leaves were not there.
One who has understood this is no different from the Kannon with a thousand arms and a thousand eyes.” ~ Takuan Sōhō
What Takuan is saying is that when we embody Kannon we free our minds, releasing ourselves from being caught in a cycle of judgement. If we do become caught, it is as if we are using just one hand of Kannon while rendering the other hands useless.
To embody Kannon’s wisdom is to have completely open and free minds, minds that never stop at any one spot, that never label what they feel or experience. This understanding affects every aspect of a Reiki practitioner’s personal and professional practice.
Interested in Kannon? Check out this information and these statues.
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.