Reiki and Surrendering

Bronwen and Frans StieneArticles, English, Photos 13 Comments


Surrendering ourselves to spiritual energy (Reiki) is not that easy as we are so programmed by our upbringings or, as is often in the system of Reiki, by our teacher/s. When we surrender we move in an organic way – no dogmatic steps, movements or hand positions – but completely free.

How do we learn to surrender?

This happens when we go deeper within the system of Reiki. The first major emphasis on surrender is in Okuden Level II where we learn specific practices like Reiji-Ho and Byosen Reikan-Ho. These two practices help us to become more organic, free flowing. And these two practices are just the beginning, they are the stepping stones towards the next state of mind, Reiki Undo!

Within both Reiji-ho and Byosen Reikan-ho you perform specific movements to help you to feel the body’s energetic movement. Within the first practice you bring your hands to your forehead and in the second practice you move your hands over the body sensing a specific area. These defined movements still indicate the use of ritual, although these practices are a step closer to a freer practice than fixed hand positions, for example. Remember that both of these practices can also be utilized on yourself, they are not necessarily for your client.

To become more free and organic and to be able to take the next step of moving into the Reiki Undo state of mind, we also need to work with the symbols and mantras taught within Okuden. When we begin meditating on these symbols and recite the mantras, we gradually become more open, and the more open we become the easier it is to merge with the universe, and consequently the more we are in a state of surrender. 

Reiki Undo means movement of spiritual energy. To really move with spiritual energy we need to let go of any preconceived ideas and previous experiences. In other words letting go of the past, present, and future, as it is only at this stage of our development that we can move in complete surrender.

By movement we are not referring directly to physical movement. Reiki Undo is about spiritual movement and includes the moving of the mind, voice, body and energy. In fact any kind of movement. And it all comes from a state of surrender.

Surrendering is about not clinging to our experiences, movements, sounds, or hand positions. If we cling we become like plastic cling wrap, completely tangled! 

“Let it go. Let it out. Let it all unravel.” Thank you, Leunig. Surrendering means being free of the past, present and future. You just Be.


Cartoon form page 49 of Leunig’s “Introspection”



Comments 13

  1. Avatar of Sundar Kadayam

    Frans – excellent and timely article.  Helps clarify a few things that are coming up in my very next teaching session.  Just how amazing it is that sprinkled through the system of Reiki are so many jewels just like those you share above, that open the door to the experience of that delicately subtle and supremely powerful state of surrender! 

    SIDEBAR:  In my experiment to teach the system of Reiki as a year-long program, increasingly I’ve become convinced that a year is not enough, and your article here affirms the same!  There is so much wisdom embedded in the system, and there is so much opportunity for deepening personal practice through tools like what you share above, that I truly think it is such a sad thing that we’ve come to learn the first level or even the first two levels of the system of Reiki over a weekend quite often! Sorry, I digress!

  2. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    Hi Sundar,
    Glad to hear you like it.

    We could see a weekend as the beginning stage but….the student needs to go home and practice, without personal practice the system of Reiki will not hold. The teacher also needs to make him/herself available to guide the student through their practice.

    For me true Reiki Undo comes from the state of mind of DKM, the great bright light, as it is at this stage that we are in a non-duale state of mind, therefore we can surrender completely.

  3. Avatar of Elly

    Hi Frans and Bronwen! I’m so glad you addressed this important topic in a blog post, with your usual mix of profundity and practical detail. As you say, we all need to learn the art of grateful surrender, even if it goes against our prevailing cultural heritage. I hope this post gets lots of people practicing!

  4. Avatar of Kathleen Prasad

    Thanks for a great article Frans, I think maybe its the most important (and difficult) thing we can do in our practice of Reiki: to surrender.

    I think animals are the best teachers of this. Because in order to connect successfully with animals, we have to let go of everything: hand positions, expectations about what the animal “should” do during treatment, hopes for the outcome…even holding onto our inner thoughts and feelings can affect whether an animal says yes to Reiki connection with us. Animals help us learn to let go and just “be” Reiki—they show us how to share a beautiful healing space, rather than “do” a healing action. So they help us also let go of our ego.

    And even more, in this space of “being” we realize that we can even let go of our species differences, because in reality we are all one energy. Such a deeper way to experience Reiki:)  Yes, the animals always manage so effortlessly, patiently and compassionately to show us when we’re on the right track:)

  5. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    Hi Elly,
    Glad you like it. Yes it is a very important element, to really be in the flow of Reiki we need to learn how to surrender completely, or as the precepts say, letting go of the “I”.

    Hope to meet you one day.

  6. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    Hi Kathleen,
    I totally agree with you. Reiki Undo for me is also the movement of interconnectedness when we sit opposite an animal, even if the animal is 6 meters away. The more we are in the Reiki Undo space the more we just Be, because it is in this stage that we have become a vehicle for the universe, everything is moving all by itself in the most organic way.

  7. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    A little history on moving in the state of surrender.

    More then 5000 years ago the Chinese people used to dance (Chin. Wu – meaning dance = Mu in Japanese – see a previous blog) to clear their energy and obstacles. The dances had no specific form, it just came from within, from being completely in the state of surrender. This complete state of surrender was the start of Zi Fan Gong – meaning: Spontaneous Qi Gong, sometimes also called Zi Ran Qi Gong (Zi Ran means natural).

    From this state of surrender they also made sounds which was called Yu Zhou Ge: sound of heaven. However over time the layers came and we stopped being in the state of surrender. Now specific techniques, movements, and sounds were being created as people forgot how to be in the flow of the universe. But all of these specific techniques, movements, and sounds are there to help people to realize this inner state of surrender again so that we can be free.

  8. Avatar of Kris Azzarello

    Great article, Frans!  I needed time to imbibe the teaching.  Surrender can be difficult because we tend to cling to our cherished ways of doing things, seeing things, believing things.  We even cling to our belief that we ARE surrendering!  Lots to to reflect upon!

  9. Avatar of Frans Stiene
  10. Avatar of Sundar Kadayam

    Frans,  Increasingly, I am realizing that the Reiki code is not just hidden in the symbols, but in literally every aspect of the system, in the tools / techniques, concepts / ideas that are embodied in the system.  It is as if the entire system is carefully structured to help a practitioner to move into surrender, and eventually into the realization of their DKM-ness! 

    For instance, I now see that Joshin Kokyu Ho is a tool to cultivate the beginnings of surrender.  How?  The meditation method of Joshin Kokyo Ho systematically increases the sense of groundedness, i.e. increases the sense of belonging in the body and the earth which makes all of the body, and away from the mind.  By increasingly embracing the idea that we are here in this body and it is ours and increasingly noticing that it is inseparable from the earth itself at so many layers, it creates a rift and a parting from the firm grasp of the mind and the ego that drives it.  This parting from the ego-driven mind is the beginning of surrender.

    For instance, I see the Reiki Precepts are a tool to cultivate the beginnings of surrender.  How?  The precepts in their totality are about moving us into the present, and away from the state of fearing the future, or worrying about the past.  Through the notion of humility / gratitude, the precepts nudge us away from the grip of the clingy and ever-wanting nature of the ego to accepting what is already here in the present.  Through compassion to oneself and others, the precepts nudge us away from the critical and judgmental thinking of the ego-driven mind, and into the space of accepting oneself and others as they are here and now in the present. Through the idea of working hard on one’s own practice, and one’s movement through the world following the precepts, they are nudging us to break free from the grip of the ego-driven mind, and into a space of steadily living in the present without the push and pull and clinging and driving of the ego.  This is also the beginnings of surrender, i.e. being able to live in the now, and navigate life being present.

    I feel so much awe and respect for Usui-san whenever I get another insight or realization like this—just how much depth and beauty is there in this system, and so many pathways and tools to arrive in that same space of DKM!

    Thanks again for putting this article together!

  11. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    Hi Sundar,

    Yes Usui-san created the whole system of Reiki so that we could surrender, plus it is also that when we can surrender completely we become a clear vehicle for helping others. Without surrender no compassion for others. We might talk about heat in our hands or the pain in our back is gone but they are really just side effects of the real purpose of the system of Reiki, surrendering is the real purpose.

    As you discover in Joshin Kokyu Ho and in the precepts, all the elements talk about surrendering.

  12. Avatar of Susan

    Ahhh!  It is so true that surrendering is the essence of our practice and our learning how to life fully, richly and delightedly on this earth.  We think we are in control but that is just an illusion.  We are all hanging by a gossamer thread and through the moment by moment practice of recalling that,  we can be kept in the present moment.  Nature provides us with a direct experience of surrendering.  I went for a walk a few days ago and I watched as a leaf fell and took a sweet, winding and slow descent into the arms of a patiently waiting branch.  At first I thought it was a bird because it appeared to be flying.  I got closer and saw it was a leaf, not a dear bird.  Like that leaf we are all in a free fall.  I never went skydiving or flying on a trapeze but I have had the experience of being in the hospital a number of times without any healthcare practitioners knowing what was wrong with me.  Those experiences helped me to learn how to ‘free fall’.  Thanks to the post that Bronwen and Frans placed here about a week ago, I read Olga Rasmussen’s poetic words on this topic of surrendering on her blog dated Monday, March 18, 2013 and entitled, “Robins Dancing in Late Winter/Early Spring.”
    The link to Olga’s blog and the reading is just below.
    Thanks, Bronwen and Frans for providing all of us with a way of connecting to and deepening our Reiki practice through reflection.

  13. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    Hi Susan,
    Olga’s blog is wonderful, love her writings.
    We see surrender in nature all the time, the trees, the wind, the earth, you name it. However we as human beings have moved away from this natural surrendering and have started to lead an artificial life. This is why we need to practice so that we can go back to living in surrender.

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