Reiki has arrived in my life just a few years ago. I knew, from the first attunement, that the connection I had just rediscovered was for life, and it was something that would become part of my day to day life very quickly.
I have longed to be able to be in a position to help others make a connection to a spiritual path, for a long time. Having been a Buddhist for many many years, I have developed a strong motivation and desire to help others find a way, a lifestyle, that would lead them to experience oneness, interconnection, and help them rediscover their true nature, which in Reiki is normally called Great Bright Light.
I have trained with different teachers, and I am a teacher myself now, so I have experienced Reiju several times, both from the giver and from the receiver perspective. Ultimately there is no giver, receiver, or anything to give, so probably I should say student and t eacher instead.
A teacher has a great responsibility towards the students. A good teacher in fact has to enable the students to find their own inner teacher, rather than depend on a person. In order to achieve such results, a teacher has to practice daily, for several years. They have to train themselves to become what they preach. A great teacher has to understand the mind, the energy, how the two are interlinked and work together, and of course, connection, to other people, to the universe.
A teacher, of course, also has to be knowledgeable, know the history, the theory, and the techniques, but ultimately, the most important thing is that their teachings come from their experience. When I say “understand the mind, and the energy”, I therefore mean a type of understanding that goes beyond rationality, beyond what our brain can understand through language and logic.
Understanding the mind, and energy, as well as connection, requires engaging the heart, feeling, experiencing.
We are made of light, we vibrate, and the more we work on ourselves, the more we practice, the more we raise our vibrations, closer to the light. In other words, the more we practice, the more we shed the heaviness of anger, worry, fear, and the more we embrace and embody the lightness of gratitude, diligence, compassion.
It is, I believe, when we understand Reiki in this way, and our role as teachers, that a ritual such as Reiju becomes something very important.
If we hold two matches in our hands, and light the first one, when we put them closer together, at some point the second one will be set on fire as well, even though the first one hasn’t touched it. The heat from the first one is enough to raise the temperature of the second one to a point where it can start burning by itself.
I see the Reiju as something quite similar. It is important that the teacher has practiced seriously on herself, for an extended period of time. And of course, it is also important that the student is committed to the practice, and during the Reiju, he’s open, willing to receive, or maybe a better word could be participate.
The teacher stands in front of the student and holds a space in which a deeper form of communication can happen. A communication that happens between consciousnesses, minds, energy fields. The two, even for a brief moment, become one, and in that space, the teacher’s experience and energy might help the student raise his own consciousness, his own energy field.
This can have wonderful results, it can boost the student to such an extent that finally something ripens. Something that maybe has been simmering close to the surface for a while, and needed that kick, that the teacher provided.
Of course, the opposite can also happen, the teacher too, can benefit greatly from the exchange.
We usually consider the teacher as more advanced than the student, but ultimately, we’re all here to learn, and so we can understand why we say that during a Reiju, there is no giver, no receiver, nothing to give.
There is participation, communication, connection. The two become one, and partake in an experience that can benefit them both greatly. In that moment, the teacher is the student, and the student is the teacher, they are one.
I love the expression that says “I am a way in which the universe experiences itself”. From this perspective, a Reiju can be seen as the universe experiencing the union between teacher and student. A union that is never the same. Not even between the same people, because of course, everything is changing all the time, we’re never the same, never in the same place.
I love performing Reiju, and I also love receiving it from my teachers. It is a very intimate moment, of connection, peaceful. The heart opens up, willing to let go of everything, willing to heal, to share a brief moment in time, a dance, between two light beings.
We know that the ritual was introduced probably after Mikao Usui, and the reason it’s likely to be to help practitioners keep their focus while performing it. As well as the introduction of the symbols, the connection to the Hara in the movements, and the hand positions. All probably designed to help and guide those who perform the ritual. So that they stay in that
very precious mindstate where the ego is shed, and we can truly appreciate a moment of interconnection.
I think having the ritual is beneficial. I personally find it helpful, it helps putting me in that mindstate I need to be when performing it.
The first times I have performed a Reiju, I had all sort of questions coming to my mind. Do I feel superior, because I’m giving a Reiju? Do I feel I’m actually doing, or giving something? What are the subtle ways in which my ego is clinging to this moment, too scared to let go? How can I see it? How can I truly understand if my heart is open or if I’m doing this from my head?
These, and many other questions, have gradually faded away, and the more they fade away, the more they leave space. Space for me and the other person to dance within. Space to let go of who is doing what. Let go of worries about performing the movements well, worries about outcome. More space, to simply feel, experience, and (not surprisingly) to feel joyful, grateful to have this incredible opportunity of sharing something this precious.
What I get from it can’t easily be explained through language, nor I dare saying I am completely aware of what it is, but the feeling that I’m left after Reiju is all I need to know that I want to do more, that it is helpful, that it is something connected to the light that every practitioner tries to uncover and share with the rest of the world.
I think my journey is still very long. There is much more to understand, much more to dig deep, much more to practice. It’s a lifelong journey, so there is no end to it. I know Reiki will be there in every step, I know Reiju will help me take those steps, and hopefully, I will be able to help and motivate my students too.
Based in Australia, Bronwen Logan (Stiene) teaches the system of Reiki is co-founder of the International House of Reiki and Shibumi International Reiki Association as well as co-author of the critically acclaimed books The Reiki Sourcebook, The Japanese Art of Reiki, A-Z of Reiki Pocketbook, Reiki Techniques Card Deck and Your Reiki Treatment. Bronwen is also the voice of their audiobooks and of the Reiki meditations available in the shop.