Transcript of a talk by Frans Stiene about the Reiki Precepts just when Covid started. (March 2020)
The Reiki precepts are such an important element. So when we look at the Precepts – do not anger, do not worry etc. I think it’s such an important element particularly nowadays. I was in the UK on the weekend and it was still all fine! I taught a Reiki III class – it was fantastic! We wanted to go to a restaurant on Saturday evening and it was booked, completely full – everybody was out and about! You know, I think sometimes we get so worried and caught up in all these worries. Then of course, when we worry that there is no food, or other things (no money etc.), then most of the time the side effect of that is we get angry. So it’s a really interesting time at the moment, and this is why it’s so important to make sure that we’ve been practicing.
If we only start to practice now when we are sick or feeling really overwhelmed by everything, then we don’t have a base foundation. But if we have been practicing before shit hits the fan, and shit always hits the fan (like nowadays for example), then at least we have something solid to fall back upon.
So make sure you keep practicing – not just hands-on healing, but also really working , meditating upon the mantras and the symbols. A lot of people when they only focus on hands-on healing, they go to bed and put their hands on themselves and fall asleep. The next morning they say, “Oh man I did a really great hands-on healing session”, but actually they were just sleeping. This is really important. Sleeping is nice but your mind is dreaming all sorts of stuff and as energy follows the mind…well you guess what happens, not really healing, just sleeping and dreaming.
Traditionally when you did hands-on healing in Japan you would just do hands-on healing sitting in seiza. So no sleeping but being really, really focussed.
The most important part is being really, really focussed.
Why do we get worried? We think about the future and so we’re not really in the present moment.
Why do we get angry? We think about yesterday, or what happened a few minutes ago, and we get angry.
Therefore it’s really important nowadays specifically, but ultimately every day, to embody those Precepts. And how do we embody those Precepts? We sit on our butt and do our meditation practice – Jōshin Kokyū Hō for example is really important because of the breathing down into the hara and really feeling centred, really feeling grounded. You will find that support within yourself – that groundedness doesn’t really come from outside, you really need to find that within yourself.
Of course you can ask for outside help, but that is not always available – particularly if you have to be by yourself in your home. It can be really tricky, so make sure that you really learn how to centre yourself – within yourself.
I used to live in a forest for a long time, 18 years or so, and then I moved back to Holland and now I live on the 11th floor. There’s a beautiful park out here in front of the apartment building and someone said a while ago, “Frans – every day you have to go out to walk in the park to get grounded.” And I said, well yeah that’s all good and well, but the grounding is really inside of you. If I have to go outside everyday, to find groundedness outside of myself, that won’t work.
Of course going outside to a park will help, but I have to be grounded on the 11th floor. So how can I do that? It’s really deep inside of myself. So it’s really important that we learn that and therefore do not get carried away with the anger and worry. This is what I like about the Precepts.
Think about the Precepts – do not anger, do not worry, be grateful, be true to your way and your being and be compassionate. The Precepts are also saying how to preserve your energy. Ask yourself this – if you’ve been worried the whole day, do you feel tired at the end of the day or do you have a lot of energy? You probably feel really tired! If you’ve been angry all day do you feel energised at the end of the day, or do you feel really tired? You will probably feel very tired. Why? Because you spend all your energy, worry and anger. So therefore it is really important to maintain your energy. The Precepts are all about maintaining your energy and your balance. So if you have enough energy within yourself, and you get a virus (or sickness), or outside situations change – you’re not allowed to go to work or you have to stay inside – then at least you have preserved your energy to deal with whatever is happening in your daily life.
Therefore the Precepts are not just something on the wall, but really to find something in your mind. Of course we can also say the Precepts need to be in your heart, but sometimes the heart gets a little bit emotional, doesn’t it. We all think about love and then we have a lot of love issues. So the heart is great but needs to be heart and mind. Because if we are still attached to all these emotional heart things, then again, we get worried and we get angry. So it has to be nice and clear in our state of mind.
I was in the elevator yesterday with two young kids who were just laughing. It was really nice, because I had just been out on the street at the supermarket and everybody seems to be worried. And they’re all collecting these trollies full of stuff, they don’t care about other people. This is another really important element. We don’t need to hoard food. What we need to do is actually just go to the supermarket, get what we need and come back. We don’t need 500 rolls of toilet paper sitting in a cupboard. I lived in India for two years (one year in Darjeeling) and sometimes there was no water for a week, sometimes there was no toilet paper. Sometimes they closed the whole town down due to political circumstances and this is how you learn to live. We have so much stuff – we’re so fortunate in our modern world. If you look at Africa or certain countries where people hardly have any food, we’re still so lucky. We have to really find it within ourselves so that we can actually share! Give those toilet rolls away if you have enough – share them through your apartment building, go to your neighbour. It’s okay! I think this is such an important element – that we remember our stability and therefore remember our love and compassion. To be kind to each other.
Of course sometimes we feel overwhelmed, that is quite natural, particularly when we don’t know what’s going to happen – but stay sane. If we all run around like chickens without heads, then we can’t help anybody, right! The only way we can help people is if we soften our anger, soften our worry, be grateful, be true to our way and our being, and be compassionate to ourselves and others!
Being compassionate to yourself doesn’t mean hoarding toilet paper. That means actually sitting down on your butt and find that centre within yourself so that you do not get angry and worried when shit hits the fan. I think this is why the system of Reiki is so wonderful.
Here’s another thing – a lot of people are sending healing towards the world, which is great, don’t get me wrong – but most important is you. First of all is you. You are the world, you are the universe. If we don’t really sit on our butts to practice, then sending to the world is externalised. We first need to find it within ourselves.
I love this Taoist quote, “If you want to see happiness in the world you need to find this happiness within yourself”. Well actually the whole quote is more complicated. If you want to see a happy world, you need to have a happy country. If you want to have a happy country, you need to have a happy country. If you want to have a happy country, you need to have a happy city. If you want to have a happy city, you need to have a happy family. If you want to have a happy family, you have to find that happiness within yourself.
First of all comes yourself. You are the universe. So, this is also really important. Of course distance healing to the planet etc. is great, but if we still feel a lot of anger and worry in ourselves then that is already affecting us, others, the world etc… so much.
Do you know what I’m trying to say? So imagine, we all know when someone walks into the room and is angry – we can feel it. So it means that our anger has an effect on the community. But if you see it globally, it has an effect worldwide. This is why all these things ultimately happen. If we think about heaven on earth – what is heaven on earth? When we all feel the happiness and joyfulness inside. That will have an effect on everything around us. We are made of earth, water, fire, air and space. Therefore it is really important that we find a balance within ourselves – within earth, water, fire, air and space. That will automatically have a ramification on the world outside. But do keep sending healing to the world, it is great, but most importantly find your own balance. If I still feel angry and worried and I send some healing to the world, it will be infused with anger and worry. It’s not going to go anywhere, it’s not really helpful. First of all, help yourself. Feel balanced, happy, open and centred. Then automatically that will have an impact on the world. The world is not something separate from yourself. Thich Nhat Hanh, a beautiful teacher, calls it interbeing, which means we’re all interconnected with each other. My actions will have an effect on everything else and this is something we really need to realise, particularly in times like this.
Most of all we need to realise it every day. We should have realised it already, before all of this started! That way we don’t panic, we don’t get worried, we don’t hoard stuff and we can be compassionate to people in our local community. I saw a beautiful note yesterday in the elevator saying “If anybody needs some help with shopping, childcare or whatever, contact this number” and I thought it was great! I thought maybe I should sit in the elevator today, there is a little seat there and I’ll just keep chanting some precepts or a mantra and whoever comes into the elevator gets a little chanting session! Or maybe I’ll put a note on the elevator that the door is open and you can stay five meters away if you’re scared, and I’ll just do some chanting and people can benefit from it.
Of course we can go outside of ourselves and ask for help, that is really important, but make sure you help yourself. Really sit down and start to practice – no matter if it’s yoga, tai chi, chi gong – all of that. All of that is self practice, particularly when we sit down on our butt and it strengthens our immune system. Why? Because we stop getting angry and worried.
It’s great to have the Precepts on the wall and it’s great to repeat them three times a day (which is what some people say), but we all know that is not enough. If that was enough then I would print out the Precepts in Dutch and go downtown, hand them out and tell everybody to just recite them three times a day and you have no more anger, no more worry, no more fear, you’d be grateful for the rest of your life and compassionate to yourself and others for the rest of your life! But we all know it doesn’t work that way.
I was at a Japanese Shingon Temple the other day and we were asked to do some chanting. In the chanting leaflet they gave us there was a mantra, and it told us to chant it three times. I was sitting there and we started to chant, and the priest who was leading the chanting came to this mantra that says three times. Instead we end up chanting it for twenty minutes! Man, it was so powerful, so remember, it’s not just three times and it’s not just on the wall, even if it looks beautiful there – it needs to be in your mind to have an effect on everything around you. I will now chant a little bit of the precepts, so sit back and enjoy, set your intent for healing, reiju or spiritual blessing – whatever intentions you need to feel the deep interconnectedness. Let’s see what happens when you put your butt nice and firmly where you are sitting – sit straight, take a couple of deep breaths into the hara just below your belly-button. That is the centre of your body – so when we feel centred, we will get less angry and worried.