Reiki Symbols: Air Writing

Frans Stiene Articles, English 2 Comments

air writing

Within the Japanese culture there is the term kūsho 空書 which translates as air writing.

“The term kūsho is unfamiliar to most speakers of Japanese, but when the phenomenon itself is demonstrated, both native and non-native speakers universally recognize it: typically, a writer either trying to recall a specific kanji, or to acquire a new kanji, makes small, precise gestures tracing out parts of the kanji with a bare fingertip of his or her dominant hand on a tabletop or on the open palm of the non-dominant hand, often with the heel of the hand braced against a surface and the eyes averted, rolled up to the ceiling, or even closed. Writers may employ kūsho only fleetingly or, they may sustain it uninterruptedly while inspecting kanji that they are trying to learn; or they may resort to kūsho episodically when faced with intermittent challenges in kanji recall. Sometimes writers produce kūsho in the air, unsupported by any surface, imagined or real. They may produce kūsho on the top of their kneecaps, or the side of their legs, out of sight under a table top.” – “Air Writing” and Second Language Learners’ Knowledge of Japanese Kanji by Margret Thomas

Within the traditional Japanese teachings of Mikao Usui there are 4 symbols. These are taught within Okuden Reiki II and Shinpiden Reiki III.

The first symbol has its roots in the kanji of kami 神, the second symbol is derived from the seed syllable hrih/kiriku, the third symbol is in reality compressed kanji, and the fourth symbol is also just kanji. Kanji is a Japanese style of writing.

Traditionally, to be able to learn these symbols and kanji within the system of Reiki, air writing, kūsho, is used. But this is only the first step, the beginning so to speak. A new student needs to know these symbols and kanji by heart; in fact they need to embody the symbols with their whole being.

But many teachers and students can stay stuck on the air writing part, the kūsho. It’s easy to understand why: it looks cool and it seems like we are doing something. And it is a kinesthetic movement; we might even feel something while we move our hand and draw the symbols or kanji. But air writing is just the basic first step!

Kūsho, air writing, is only there to help us to learn how to draw the symbols and kanji, a beginner’s practice. The next step is to know the symbols and kanji by heart, in our mind. At this stage we have no need to draw a symbol with our hand because we now know it by heart. And then the next step is to see that we are the symbols and kanji and they are us. In fact, we now realize that the symbols and kanji, through embodiment, are pointers to a very specific state of mind, the mind of anshin ritsumei – enlightenment.

This specific state of mind can only start to be laid bare through prolonged meditation on the symbols and kanji that Mikao Usui placed within the system of Reiki. If we only air draw these symbols and kanji once in a while, it will not trigger the right state of mind within us. This is very easy to check for yourself. For example, take the kanji of peace 和平 and draw it in the air in front of you now and then. Are you now feeling peaceful 24 hours a day? Do you have no more anger and worry 24 hours a day? Of course not; let’s be honest. It takes much more than just to air draw the kanji of peace once in a while in front of you.

Let’s check another thing. Can you just air draw the kanji of peace over a person and now they suddenly feel peaceful 24 hours a day? Do they now have no more anger and worry for 24 hours a day? Of course not. Again, let’s be honest. It all takes so much more than that.

Therefore we can now slowly start to see that air drawing kūsho of the symbols and kanji are just the first basic step and that in fact we can take our personal practice to a much deeper level if we start to meditate on these symbols and kanji for prolonged periods at a time. So take the plunge and deepen your practice, start to meditate on the symbols and kanji and see what effect it will have on your daily life and your hands-on/off healing sessions.

Over time, you will find that the symbols and kanji are not just written in the wind or on the air. The symbols and kanji are within us – are us – and we are the symbols and kanji.

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