by Frans Stiene
“Practice and enlightenment are not two.” – The Essence of Zen – The Teachings of Sekkei Harada translated and edited by Daigaku Rumme
Within the precepts we find the sentence: gyo o hageme – practice diligently. Sometimes people have translated this as work hard; a better translation is practice diligently. But from a traditional Japanese perspective, what does that mean?
First, let’s consider, what does practice mean? If we look at the system of Reiki in a modern sense, we may think it means that we have to do hands on/off healing or do a specific meditation practice. This is in one way true. But there is a much deeper meaning to it and that is that practice from a traditional Japanese perspective means realization, enlightenment.
“Practice is realization itself” – On Zen Practice: Body, Breath, and Mind by Hakuyu Taizan Maezumi
Thus in a deeper way Mikao Usui is saying that right now, right today, right at this moment we are already realized, we are already Reiki. We are already the great bright light – dai komyo – true Self.
“The point of our practice is not to become something other than what we already are, such as a buddha or enlightened person, but to realize or become aware of the fact that we are intrinsically, originally, the Way itself, free and complete.” – On Zen Practice: Body, Breath, and Mind by Hakuyu Taizan Maezumi
Therefore, in a broader sense we can translate practice diligently like this: diligently remember your true Self, that you are Reiki. In a way the rest of the precepts point this out as well. Because in that state of mind of Reiki – great bright light, true Self, realization – there is no anger or worry, there is just gratefulness, and compassion to yourself and others.
“If you wish to attain ‘suchness,’ practice ‘suchness’ immediately.” – The Essence of Zen – The Teachings of Sekkei Harada translated and edited by Daigaku Rumme
And Mikao Usui said today, which means right in this moment. Not tomorrow, not in 10 years time but right in this moment. Thus in all we do today we are already Reiki, we are already realized, we are already our true Self. Or as Zen master Sekkei Harada so beautifully points out, if you wish to attain enlightenment – realization, practice enlightenment – realization right now, immediately.
So right now, immediately practice no anger, no worry, being grateful, and compassion to yourself and others. Right now, practice that you already are the great bright light, dai komyo, that you are Reiki.
“Practice is to realize this “Mind of Great Peace” in the condition right now, both in the physical and mental realms. It means realizing that we must not look elsewhere.” – The Essence of Zen – The Teachings of Sekkei Harada translated and edited by Daigaku Rumme
Often we think when we practice, “I will become the bright light tomorrow”…or next year. But when does that time come? And when are you bright enough?
“In fact, though, the teaching is that the point we thought was the end is actually the place where practice begins.” – The Essence of Zen – The Teachings of Sekkei Harada translated and edited by Daigaku Rumme
All of these teachers point out the same thing: we begin our practice with the end. Or in other words, we begin our practice with the notion that we are Reiki already, that we are realized already, that we are whole already, that we are the great bright light already. We are already the embodiment of the precepts: right now, right today. Mikao Usui was one of those wonderful teachers who pointed this out as well, but to see this we have to dive deeply into the system of Reiki.
“If practice is not at the centre of these precepts, though, they will lose their meaning.” – The Essence of Zen – The Teachings of Sekkei Harada translated and edited by Daigaku Rumme
To practice diligently does not mean that we are reaching or looking towards the end of some long and winding road. Practice is to realize that we are already there, that we are already Reiki, and already have the “Mind of Great Peace”. And because we start with the end it becomes easier to bear the precepts in our mind and weave them into all parts of our daily life, today.
“Peace is not something to hope for in the future. Peace is something that we can be in every moment. If we want peace, we have to be peace. Peace is a practice and not a hope.”
– Thich Nhat Hanh
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.