Self practice is in reality also practicing for and with others; we can not divide them – self is others and others is self.
Within the system of Reiki we often hear the terms self-care and self-practice. Most of the time they point towards the aspect of hands-on healing on ourselves, and hands-on healing on ourselves is a wonderful aspect of self-care.
However, there are many more tools within the system of Reiki which also are techniques for self-care and self-practice.
Do not anger
Do not worry
Be true to your way and your being
Show compassion to yourself and others
By meditating on the precepts we start to gain insights into why we get angry and worry, why we are not grateful and not being true to our way and our being, and why we are not compassionate to ourselves and others. These insights will help us to let go of our anger and worry, and therefore we become more grateful, true to our way and our being and more compassionate. All of this will trigger an inner happiness and openness within ourselves; thus, it is self-care and self-practice. By meditating on the precepts, we are healing our confused monkey mind.
Mantras and Symbols
Traditionally the mantras and symbols were utilized within the system of Reiki as meditation tools. We focus our mind on the symbol and we chant the mantra. By doing this we start to become more focused; we slowly stop following our thoughts to the past, present, and future. The less we follow our thoughts to the past, present, and future the more open and relaxed we become. This in turn starts to create a more open flow of energy through our whole body, because an open expanded mind means an open and expanded free-flowing energy. Since energy follows the mind, the calmer our mind is, the calmer our energy will be. The more open-minded we become, the more open our energy will be, until we become so open that we are now as expanded as – and one with – the universe. Thus we can see that the mantras and symbols also are tools for self-care and self-practice.
Within the system of Reiki there also are specific meditation practices like Joshin Kokyu Ho and Hatsurei Ho. These practices help us again to calm our mind. The calmer our mind is, the calmer our body and energy becomes.
Current scientific research shows that meditation practices in which we focus on our breath or a mantra, or contemplate, are very beneficial for healing ourselves. Science now tells us that meditation practice reduces blood pressure, lessens heart and brain problems, strengthens our immune system, and helps us to become less anxious and depressed. Thus we now also can start to see that these meditation practices within the system of Reiki are self-care and self-practice.
The reiju is yet another form of self-care and self-practice. By performing a reiju on someone else, the teacher enters a state of expanded consciousness in which she will try as much as possible to remember the union with all that is. By doing this, the teacher will start to feel her whole body becoming more at ease; maybe she will even experience a feeling that her body is not there at all. This in turn will trigger a free flowing energy through her whole being, which in essence is healing in nature. Thus reiju also is self-care and self-practice.
As stated before many people, when they mention self-care or self-practice, are talking about doing hands-on healing on themselves. However, as we now can see, all the other tools within Mikao Usui’s teachings are also practices for self-care and self-practice. Thus if we are asked what we are doing, it would be much clearer and to the point to say that we are doing hands-on healing instead of self-care or self-practice. Because when we say self-care or self-practice, we also can mean that we are meditating on the precepts, meditating with the symbols and mantras, practicing the meditation techniques like Joshin Kokyu Ho and Hatsurei Ho, or performing a reiju/initiation/attunement. The clearer we are in saying what we are doing, the clearer our practice becomes, and thus, the clearer our point is to the wider public, so that when we talk about our practice within the system of Reiki, people will know what we are talking about.
Self is Others
Now we come to the juicy part, self is others and others is self. We can not separate them in our practice because on the deepest level of healing, wholeness, we are all interconnected. One of the precepts is; “show compassion to yourself and others”, Mikao Usui was already pointing out that self is others and others is self. But what is compassion to ourselves? Real compassion to ourselves is trying to remember our True Self – Reiki, because that is the deepest form of healing. However, by remembering our True Self we start to rediscover our inner wisdom and compassion, which we can utilize to show compassion to others. What is compassion to others? Helping others to remember their True Self.
Thus the best intent for when we practice the techniques for ourselves is that we do it to remember our True Self so that we can help others to remember their True Self.
“The spiritual level of the practitioner directly reflects the effect of Reiki. In a sense, the more you are enlightened, the more the effectiveness of Reiki enhances. The more you practice Reiki for saving others, the brighter your innate light shines to drive away clouds covering your mind. I think this is the quintessence of Reiki. I hope that Frans Stiene’s way of understanding Reiki spreads in the world to enlighten those who practice Reiki based on a superficial understanding of the tradition.”
-Takeda Hakusai Ajari (direct disciple of the late Sakai Yusai Dai-Ajari)
While our intent is not to “practice Reiki for saving others” from an egoistic standpoint, our practice helps us to become more compassionate to ourselves and others, to experience and embrace the interconnectedness of all. In this way, we can help ourselves and others move ever closer to healing and wholeness, to our True Self.
Based in Holland, Frans Stiene teaches in North America, Europe, UK, Australia and Asia.
Frans is also the author of Reiki Insights, it is the continuation of his previous book The Inner Heart of Reiki, taking your personal practice and understanding of the system of Reiki yet another step deeper.