Relaxing into Healing and Enlightenment

Sundar Kadayam - USA English 18 Comments

relax water lantern

Sundar 2 I learned western Reiki and practiced it as a healing art for many years.  And then, after learning Komyo Reiki from Hyakuten Inamoto san, and subsequently traditional Usui Reiki from Frans Stiene, I’ve practiced it as a path to awakening, i.e. a spiritual path.  And even as I shifted to practice Reiki as a spiritual path, the healing work that I did only became more powerful!

The rationalist in me has been wondering for a while now about how the system of Reiki is able to be a healing art and a spiritual practice / path at the same time!  I’ve wondered about what was common between the notion of healing and the notion of awakening, and what was it about the system of Reiki that seemed to facilitate both with ease!

Recently, I was pondering about this aloud, with a friend, who is a healer with deep gifts of intuition and perception.  He simply and bluntly told me “Sundar!  Reiki is spiritual energy.  Even when you work with it as a healing art to begin with, how can the spiritual awakening part of it be far behind?”  I love it when someone straightens me up like this, in a snap, when I’m all tangled up in a quest to “understand” it all 

Still, the curiosity was very much there, to understand if there was something common between the notion of healing and the notion of enlightenment!  I want to share with you some insights and perspectives I’ve had in this regard.

Whenever I’ve engaged in healing work for others using Reiki as a healing art, I’ve noticed that in the vast majority of cases, the recipient would go into the deepest relaxation they’ve encountered.  In fact, most of the time, the recipient would go into a state that I’ve referred to as “meditative sleep”, to contrast that from the ordinary state of disturbed sleep that people have gotten used to in the modern world.

Since the time I’ve engaged in practicing Reiki as a spiritual path, I’ve noticed the same type of deep relaxation emerge from the practice, and manifest in life as the ability to move more easily and readily with the flow of life.  Over these past few years, people around me in the work setting or the home setting would remark just how calm I always seemed to be, and how comforting it was for them to be around me.  That “calm” presence was genuinely a product of deepening practice, which I believe has led me to deeper states of relaxation, not just when I was practicing, but when I was living my life!

Breaking these observations down a bit, here’s what I’ve noticed  …

Relaxation and a Reiki treatment 

  • A Reiki treatment session, using hands-on-healing methods, or even the so-called distance-healing methods, produces deep relaxation for the recipient (and could do so for the practitioner as well).
  • Often, recipients go into a state of deep sleep, a kind of meditative state, free from stress and the grip of the mind.
  • The deep relaxation felt by the recipient enables the body’s natural healing mechanisms and healing follows, in the manner suitable for the person in their situation at that time.
  • The healing may not be exactly what the recipient expected.  And the healing may not be permanent.   But the healing that ensues returns the mind-body-spirit to the optimal state of balance and harmony possible at that time in that person’s life.

Relaxation and the Reiki practice

  • Reiki practice produces a deep sense of peace and calm, i.e. a state of deep relaxation.
  • The deep relaxation felt by the practitioner is accompanied by things such as being able to go with the flow of life events.
  • This is the kind of deep relaxation that incrementally but surely goes deeper with practice.  And I’ve noticed that if I invested in my practice consistently for, say, 3-4 weeks, that I could continue to coast through life with that calm and relaxed feeling.  But, when I went without investing in my practice for longer periods of time, I’ve noticed that I’d be irritable, angry, more prone to holding stress, more prone to reacting from the state of being stressed. i.e. The state of relaxation was directly correlated to whether I was consistently investing in my practice of not!
  • The deepest form of this deepening relaxation is simply resting in one’s being, in the now. And that state is what we might call satori, or en-lighten-ment!

This is one way I’ve now come to understand how the receipt of a Reiki treatment can heal a person, and how the practice of the system of Reiki can lead them to satori!

Put another way, if we are able to truly relax at the deepest level of our existence in this mind-body-spirit, we would be awakened to our real nature.  And the practice of the system of Reiki enables the practitioner to systematically deepen their ability to relax into their being and into the present moment, leading them systematically to the state of awakening.  And when such a practitioner offers their presence to a person in need of healing, healing ensues to the degree that the practitioner is adept in offering their entire presence and the recipient is able to accept healing in its fullest, however that may manifest.

Frans Stiene shared this beautiful quote with me recently, which more succinctly describes what I try to share above:

…some pure and gifted meditators create a field of bliss around themselves through their spontaneous luminous power, and use their pure elements to help others attain the same level and join them in the same mandala and same mind.
~ Thinley Norbu

The idea of relaxation seems to be the key common concept that underlies how a practitioner experiences and moves through states of awakening and how healing can ensue in others, who are in the practitioner’s presence.  So, are healing and awakening really dissimilar concepts?  Or are they more inter-related than meets the eye?  It seems to me that receiving a Reiki treatment and experiencing healing is just one shift that moves the recipient closer to their own fuller awakening, whether that shift is a small nudge in that direction, or a big leap.  For example, I’ve had people who have gone on to make sensible adjustments in their lives as a result of the healing they experienced – something that I’d say is a step towards their own fuller awakening.  

In like vein, a practitioner who experiences a deepening of their ability to relax and move with the flow of life is just moving that much closer to their own fuller awakening. 

In that sense, healing at different levels and awakening at different levels are but points on the same arc, ideas on the same continuum.  I see this as the continuum between the dual extremes of identity with one’s mind-body and identity with one’s true nature or satori or enlightenment, i.e. the continuum of awakening. i.e. To me, it seems that the constructs of healing and awakening, therefore, are not just interrelated but they are inseparable.

Frans Stiene, in his classes and writings, has often said that hands-on-healing, Reiju, CKR, SHK, HSZSHN, DKM, all are same in their essence.  They may seem different in their exterior nature, but are same in their innermost nature.  Different entry points into the same continuum of awakening.  This is why a chanting practice, a hands-on-healing session, the offering or receipt of Reiju, all are innately equipped with the same potential to heal AND to lead one to full awakening.

Add that as one more reason we can be in awe of the mastery of Usui san in his construction of the system of Reiki!

As always, this is evolving thinking from one practitioner of the system of Reiki.  What do you think? 

Sundar Kadayam is a Shinpiden graduate of the International House of Reiki.

Comments 18

  1. Avatar of Frans Stiene
  2. Avatar of Denyce Peyton

    Another enlightening article, Sundar. As I read your words I felt a warm flow of Reiki. You truly embody the spirituality of the system of Reiki in your being.


  3. Avatar of Elly
  4. Avatar of Sundar Kadayam

    Frans: It was a pleasure having you here in Cincinnati for the 3rd year, and good to share additional thoughts and ideas with you.

    Denyce, Elly: Glad you liked this article.  Funny thing—As the challenges increased over the past week in my life and the low level stress just increased noticeably, I was wondering about what it would mean to relax so completely into my being.  Just then, I get this email from IHReiki that this article on Relaxation from me has been published on the blog, and I rushed to read it, and momentarily wondered how nice it would be to meet the guy who wrote this 🙂  Glad to see that he surfaces once in a while with useful info to share 🙂

  5. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    Hi Sundar,
    You made me smile with your comment, yes the person who is relaxed and open is often hidden, sometimes pops out but quickly seems to disappear again.
    Hopefully one day we can shed all our layers…

  6. Avatar of seema

    Thank you Sundar for an inspiring article. Its giving me inspiration to work on my personal practice which is all over right now,—directionless

  7. Avatar of Susan Andrews

    Thanks, Sundar, for always shedding additional light on this beautiful spiritual practice.  I so enjoy reading your articles.

  8. Avatar of seema

    The more now I am thinking about this—personal practice , reiki treatment and the relaxation I am thinking now every once in awhile, as I sit quietly and focus inward, another kind of consciousness comes through. Its like some one else is inside deep inside and I am only listening to that person, its like there is a distance between me and my mind..and I am trying to listen and it makes me question instead of just doing what the mind says….is that what you feel in state of relaxation…?

  9. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    Hi Seema,
    When we feel deeply relaxed our own inner wisdom comes more and more forward.
    Inner wisdom and our Reiki (True Self) can not be separated, just like water and wetness.

  10. Avatar of seema

    Hello Frans,
    It seems its almost like more you know yourself the less you know and the less you know yourself , more you want to know…I am supposed to guide how to relax classes :)…lot more to know self before that !
    Thanks , like the example of water and wetness , makes sense.

  11. Avatar of Frans Stiene
  12. Avatar of Sundar Kadayam

    Hi Susan & Seema, thanks for those kind words. 

    Seema, to add to what Frans shared about your insights and question … for me, what I’ve noticed is that the investment in personal practice has helped awaken in me, an aspect of my being that I can best call the “witness”, i.e. something that is detached from the automated reactions and thought processes of my mind, something that independently observes the flow of events, and giving me a choice to extricate myself from even the most stuck situations where I’m hopelessly stuck in some old reactive mental pattern.  As Frans says, the more I invest in my practice, the deeper this sort of thing gets, leaving me wondering just how deep this rabbit hole goes! This is what comes, I guess, from gazing upon the infinite while being bound in the finite domain!

  13. Avatar of seema

    Hello Sundar , thanks for sharing , don’t you then think when you are independent from thought processes of your mind you and your mind are separate ? meaning then you actually are not listening to your mind blindly and doing things without questioning the mind and then when you are separate from the mind you are not stuck in the old habits. But what you said about “witnessing” the events makes much sense now. I have learned Reiki in Usui/tibetian model and for the longest time wasn’t even aware that there are so many so called “fusions” and new age branches, I though this is what it is until I decided to teach and kind of investigate , now I feel I donot know anything. I hope may be one day I can get a drop of it. BTW I have read your article about teaching reiki and your journey , which was in several parts. Thank you it was very enlightening for me.

  14. Avatar of Sundar Kadayam

    Hi Seema,  “… not listening to your mind blindly and doing things without questioning the mind …” as you say, is a kind of freedom isn’t it?  It is a great step in the direction of living without fear, worry, anger, judgment etc. (all mind stuff), and into the space of living with humility, gratitude, compassion etc.—this is the essence of the system of Reiki, what the precepts of Usui san point us to. 

    I know what you mean when you say “… now I feel I donot know anything. I hope may be one day I can get a drop of it …”.  That sort of doesn’t really change as you go deeper 🙂  As Frans says, at any point it feels like we are only seeing / knowing the “tip of the icerberg”.  And that is consistent with what the great spiritual works of the world say, like this beginning sentence of the Tao Te Ching “The Tao that can be named is not the eternal Tao” – i.e. if we think we can explain the Eternal (“the Universe”, “the Tao”, “Spirit”, “God” etc.), describe it, and know it, then that which we are explaining, describing or knowing isn’t the Eternal.  Kind of keeps us humble during the course of our spiritual journey, doesn’t it 🙂


  15. Avatar of seema

    Thank you Sundar for sharing your insight..its funny that way that one looks out to find peace , knowledge etc but never one realize its all inside you. Trying to know others but never know ” yourself” ..Like Frans said tip of iceburg , this wealth inside you is never ending more you dig more you get you wont feel deprived of it . Like you said for keeping us humble I think this will have a balance for being humble and firm when needed is the key, either or or doesnt seem to go very far I am finding it out 🙂
    looking forward to this journey
    Thank you for sharing your knowledge appreciate it 🙂

  16. Avatar of Joe Moon

    Hi Sundar,
    I would like to thank you again for your series on teaching and also this new addition.  The relaxation effect does seem to be an important component of awakening/healing.  I like to think/describe it as rediscovering a way/feeling that we had at birth…before all the garbage/conditioning/ways we are supposed to behave/relate to the world were imprintedconditioned onto our minds.  Considering it In this way, it is a familiar sensation that we have a memory of and Reiki provides a way to return to it.

    Hi Seema,
    The way the mind reacts to being defrocked of its illusion of self separate from everything else is a very curious display.  The “messages” the mind releases into the meditative state are as Frans says “…our own inner wisdom comes more and more forward…”.  Also as Sundar says we develop the “witness”.  The witness it seems is the state of mind of budding wisdom…a fertile ground within consciousness where wisdom may sprout and bloom.  Let me state for the record that I also know nothing and also feel we are only scratching the surface here.  These observations were born of the meditative space after many years of my analytical mind filling my head with inexhaustible thought in “self” defense of “I” being dissolved. These thoughts were generally peaceful and loving at first until I began work within to discover hidden layers of angers and fears.  Had the witness not been present, I would have been very disturbed by the dark thoughts that arose.  Discernment seems to arise from the ground of the witness and allows us to be non-judgemental at the appearence of such dark thoughts it is the development of fearlessness that removes the barrier…a pandora’s box if you will …constructed by the mind to keep such thoughts at bay.  It takes more courage than I ever thought I had.  In the end thoughts are thoughts good or bad and of little substance.  When we realize this they can be released.  Letting go seems to be a large component of awakening as well.  There are still many layers…I hope this wellspring never runs dry…it is so liberating.  The energy required to keep them contained “in the box so to speak” is recovered for experiencing the now once these demons are released.  It is not our thoughts that make us who we are but our compassionate action.  From the developing space of the witness (non-dual, non-judgemental) wisdom and the practice of universal compassion (true nature?) and continuous practice thereof seem to manifest naturally. Still learning…very exciting to be on this path…makes working toward continual practice that much more enjoyable…and teaching!  That is becoming less difficult as the space expands.

  17. Avatar of seema

    Hello Joe,
    I think I understand a little about what you are saying about ” These thoughts were generally peaceful and loving at first until I began work within to discover hidden layers of angers and fears.” and like you say “letting go seems to be large component , I think I might be in between that stage of not letting go and facing fears , anger is not all there , may be it will come after fear who knows whats hidden. I want to say here that I am not a “direct student” of Frans , never did any direct , in person learning but at about the time I started teaching( last year) great part I dedicate to him. Just by attempting to try to follow the elements of reiki has changed how my mind and practice is some thing I missed when I started Learning Reiki in 2005 . I am glad I never stopped it.Its very nice, peaceful and enlightening for me to read what you all are writing . I have not experienced the things what you all are saying but that means all good that I have lot lot more to learn :). Thanks Frans for this opportunity and platform !

  18. Avatar of Sameera Gupta

    Hello Sundar! this article of yours has made very clear the purpose of self healing daily. Till date i was not at all regular in this,  may be because i never understood Reiki so clearly. you have shown a fairly simple and entirely new arena to it. thank u so much.

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