The Emptiness of Hands-on Healing

Bronwen Logan Articles, English 6 Comments

We often talk about hands-on healing and what it does and how it works. I’d like to relate it to a simple idea, and, for once, it actually has to do with the hands (a smile emoji should probably go here). The reason I say this is because many years ago we boiled down the elements of the system of Reiki to just five major points, and in doing so we took the emphasis off hands-on healing. Prior to this it seemed that many people thought that that was what “Reiki” was. Some people, for example, had no idea that there were actual self-healing practices such as the foundation meditations taught in the system. In naming five equal elements as requirements for studying the system of Reiki, we were recognising that a complete system was actually there for us all to benefit from. 

In our everyday lives, when we think of hands, we think of doing and creating and making and holding and shaking and placing and all sorts of physical activity. When we discuss hands-on healing as a part of the system of Reiki, we speak of the hands as tools to help us focus as we open ourselves to be in this healing space with our client or ourselves. To stop our minds from running away creating shopping lists, our hands are there to give us something to navigate and work with. They allow us to imagine a connection with a body, a connection that might otherwise be difficult to visualise in our minds. We are using the physical body to be exactly that, the physical key to connecting with our minds. By drawing our physical and mental selves together we rest in our open heart, a non-dual space of openness: the perfect healing space.

Yet, this ritual has even more depth to it. When we place our hands on or near a body we have an intention to allow whatever needs to happen – to happen, without expectation or diagnosis. Our intention releases us to exist in this open-hearted space. And it is here that my simple idea occurs and where our hands help us out. 

When we place our hands on or near a body we open our hands, we don’t hold them shut in a fist. We open them so that our palms are bare to the world. They are empty and suppliant and naked, not holding onto any pain or angst or worry. Even though our history is etched into our skin, we remain free to be or do, unlike a closed fist that imprisons who knows what inside its darkness. In this simple physical action we are teaching ourselves how to live, how to work with hands-on healing, how to perform reiju, how to chant and open ourselves to the symbols.

This action of complete and unafraid openness is a mirror of living the Reiki Precepts…

For today only
Do not worry
Do not anger
Be grateful
Be true to your way 
Be compassionate to yourself and others

Like a guiding rope through the dark, we can follow the practice as it directs our consciousness into the light.

We speak of letting go of the concept of giving and receiving and even of spiritual energy itself. We can take that a step further with our hands-on healing. We don’t need to do anything, as our hands say it all.

“To receive everything, one must open one’s hands and give”
The Zen Way to the Martial Arts by Taisen Deshimaru 

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