“Practice makes perfect” goes the old adage.
If you want to run a marathon, you practice running a marathon … until you can!
If you want to swim the backstroke, you practice swimming the backstroke … until you can!
If you want to play soccer, you practice playing soccer … until you can!
If you want to cook great vegan chili, you practice cooking great vegan chili … until you can!
If you want to write evocative poems, you practice writing evocative poems … until you can!
This is how we learn anything new, until we are adept at it, and eventually get perfect at it.
When we falter or slip in our practice of anything like this, there’s only one thing to do, which is to return to the practice.
When we do get adept at whatever we have been practicing, or even achieve a peak capability with it, we still have to continue practicing. This is why someone like Usain Bolt, even after winning Olympic medals kept practicing, so he could sustain the perfection or height he had reached, and perhaps even exceed the same.
What is true about learning anything in life is also true for any spiritual practice, true for things like meditation.
If you want to meditate, you practice meditating … until you can!
If you want to be mindful, you practice being mindful … until you can!
If you slip, if you falter in the practice, there’s only one thing to do, which is to return to the practice.
And if you do get adept at the meditation, or even achieve a peak experience with it, you still have to continue practicing. This is no different from the examples above. Just because it is ‘meditation’, a ‘peak experience’ is not a get-out-of-jail-free card; i.e. there is no shortcuts there, just a return to the practice, and continuing the practice.
How does this work with the Reiki precepts of Usui san? To me, applying this perspective to the Reiki precepts, reveals something unbelievably fabulous!
If you don’t want to be angry, you practice not being angry … until you are no longer angry … and that is a state of peace and clarity.
If you don’t want to worry, you practice not worrying … until you are no longer fearful … and that is a state of freedom.
If you want to be humble, you practice being humble … until you are free from pride, the ego, and attachments.
If you want to be honest, you practice honesty … until you are living authentically at all times.
If you want to be compassionate, you practice compassion … until you are truly compassionate to yourself and others in all situations.
What kind of person can remain:
– In a state of peace and clarity
– In a state of freedom
– In a state of no-ego, no-attachments
– In a state of authenticity
– In a state of compassion
always, everywhere they are, whatever they are doing?
To me, this is the state of an awakened one! One who’s being expresses peace, clarity, freedom, truth (authenticity), love (compassion). At all times. In all situations. This is a person whose “great bright light” is shining always, in a pure manner. This is a person in whom the separate-I has fallen away, for all practical purposes.
If by practicing the Reiki precepts, when we get adept at it, we are exhibiting our inner nature, the great bright light. When we get adept at it, and are abiding in this state, we are the great bright light itself. i.e. We are awakened. “Enlightened”, if you will.
In turn, one can simply declare that practicing living by the Reiki precepts prepares one to be enlightened.
For me, this is at the same time an obvious conclusion, and one that blew my mind! Hiding in plain light, in the Reiki precepts of Usui san, is the path to personal perfection, so to say, or rather the path to awaken to the perfection that our true nature is, or the path to enlightenment.
Frans Stiene, reminded me of this important thing. Another way the Reiki precepts are translated is as follows:
Do not be angry
Do not worry
Practice this diligently
Show compassion to yourself and others
This translation literally includes the importance of practice right within the precept itself. With all these clues, how can we simply think of Reiki any more as just a method of hands-on healing? Right there, in open light, lie the Reiki precepts of Usui san, which point to the foundation of a practice to enlighten oneself, awaken oneself.
“Practice makes perfect” goes the old adage. And one might logically say, of the system of Reiki that the “Practicing the system of Reiki makes perfect enlightenment”.