Within Okuden Level II we find the mantra Sei Heki. In many teachings it is referred to as meaning ‘mental habits’; thus when we work with the mantra, we clear these mental habits. In those teachings the mental habit may be seen as addiction to smoking or drinking, to our fears, or to some ‘thing’ that we can’t seem to quit, to stop doing, or to let go.
However there is a much deeper layer to Sei Heki. So let’s first take a look at the kanji of Sei Heki.
Sei Heki 性癖
Sei 性 – essence, the inner essence of something as opposed to its outer form, innate, personal quality, one’s nature, the quality or constituent by which one becomes a buddha, suchness (in Buddhism, ‘nameless and characterless reality in its ultimate nature’)
Heki 癖 – habit, idiosyncrasy (a mode of behaviour or way of thought peculiar to an individual), craving.
Sei Heki as a whole is often also translated as inclination.
So what is that one inclination, that mental habit we all have? What is our fundamental inclination, our fundamental metal habit?
The most fundamental inclination, the most fundamental mental habit, is that at the centre of our mind, conscious or unconscious, is the inclination to return to our true nature. This fundamental habit is like a seed floating in our mind throughout beginingless time, infinite time, and all we have to do is ripen this seed in our present life. This is what is pointed out by the kanji of Sei 性; this seed is the quality by which one becomes a buddha. By chanting and meditating on the mantra we start to water this seed so that it can come to fruition in our current life, in our day to day life, just for today! How can this be possible?
“We could say that our desire for happiness is, in a way, an attempt to rediscover our original state of mind.” – The Dalai Lama – Book of Joy
Because as Mikao Usui pointed out already, our essence is buddha-nature, our inner great bright light. Or in other words, in our essence we are Reiki. This also is pointed out within the associated symbol of the mantra Sei Heki. That particular symbol comes from the seed syllable of Amida Buddha, which is called hrih or kiriku. Amida represents freedom from all our attachments. Thus when we have let go of all our attachments we have laid bare our inner essence, our true nature. The name Amida stands for boundless light; hence it is also pointing out to our inner great bright light.
Thus when we meditate on the symbol, we start to water that seed which lays deep in our mind. That seed is our fundamental inclination, our fundamental habit that we want to lay bare…our inner great bright light.
This also is why Reiki Level II is called Okuden in Japan. Okuden stands for inner and/or hidden teachings. This points out that traditionally the tools taught within that level were for rediscovering what was hidden deep inside of us, our true nature. But we can only really rediscover this when we start to internalize these tools, hence when we meditate upon them for prolonged periods at a time. So, through diligent practice, let’s water our fundamental mental habit so that we can lay bare our inner essence…today!
“As a human being, you have the profound desire to be free from suffering and know oneness. But real oneness is not something you can understand objectively; you must become one with it.” – Dainin Katagiri – Each Moment is the Universe
Based in Holland, Frans Stiene teaches in North America, Europe, UK, Australia and Asia.
Frans is also the author of Reiki Insights, it is the continuation of his previous book The Inner Heart of Reiki, taking your personal practice and understanding of the system of Reiki yet another step deeper.