The Japanese View of Reiki (part 2)

Frans StieneArticles, English 4 Comments

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In this second part, we continue where we started within part one, investigating how Mikao Usui’s teachings link with the Japanese spiritual traditions of Zen, Martial Arts and other spiritual practices of old. Again I will use quotes from these teachings, with my commentary below them to help you to get a better understanding of Mikao Usui’s teachings. In part one we could clearly see that Mikao Usui pointed out that the first point of call is to look within ourselves to lay bare Reiki – our True Self. This True Self is non-duality, or also called emptiness.

“In Buddhism, we use the words no or not to show that nothing has its own separate existence, everything is interconnected and produced by interdependent co-origination.” – Dainin Katagiri, Each Moment is the Universe.

This interconnectedness and interdependent co-origination is emptiness. We can see how Mikao Usui also used this within his precepts: anger not and worry not. Mikao Usui used the word “not” in his precepts to point us toward this emptiness, non-duality. And it is only through the direct experience that we can start to embody the precepts in all we do.

“Everything in the Universe possesses Reiki without any exception.” note from a student of Mikao Usui, supplied by Hiroshi Doi

This note from a student of Mikao Usui also points out this non-dual nature. Everything in the universe posses Reiki – this clearly is a direct pointer that Reiki is within everything. There are no exceptions, and therefore that Reiki is of non-dual nature.

“Komyo exists in me and I exist in Komyo.” – note from a student of Mikao Usui supplied by Hiroshi Doi

Again this note from a student of Mikao Usui points out this non-dual nature, komyo. Komyo 光明 means bright light and is used a lot in Japanese Buddhism to indicate the wisdom of a Buddha – your true self. What is this wisdom? Emptiness – non-duality.

“Your true self is not something separated from others; it is interconnected and constantly working with others. Where? Not in your own small territory, it’s working in the huge universe! In Japanese, that working is called komyo – light. The functioning energy of the whole world is the light of the self. Because light is working from moment to moment, the whole world constantly manifests itself as the human world. At that time, the whole world is within the light of the self.” – Dainin Katagiri – The Light That Shines Through Infinity

This interconnectedness – non-duality is called komyo. Mikao Usui also emphasized this by the Reiki III symbol and mantra 大光明 dai komyo, great bright light.

“Usui Sensei taught Shinpiden students one on one and he showed them the kanji dai kômyô, which indicated the consciousness of a Shinpiden practitioner.” – Hiroshi Doi Spain 2015 seminar

大光明 dai komyo is really the aim of the system of Reiki, our non-dual nature. Mikao Usui pointed this out again and again, especially when he was teaching Shinpiden one on one.

“The training according to the Natural Law of this whole world develops human’s spirituality. When you are convinced of this Truth, your committed training actualizes the unification with the Universe. The word you speak and the action you take becomes One with the Universe and they effortlessly work as the absolute limitlessness. This is in other words, the true nature of the human.”from 会員のみに配布する霊気療法のしおり Leaflet of Reiki Ryoho –Members Only. It was issued by the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai when Wanami sensei was the 5th president.

The Usui Reiki Ryoho also points out this non-dual nature and that we can only be convinced of the truth, the true nature of a human, our true self, through committed training. What is this committed training? Meditating on the precepts, chanting the precepts, practicing the meditations joshin kokyu ho, seishin toitsu, hatsurei ho, performing hands on healing in a state of meditation, chanting the mantras, internalizing the symbols, and practicing or receiving the reiju/attunement/initiation as an act of meditation. We can find this pointer towards training also within the precepts: gyō o hageme – practice diligently.

“It appears difficult for European languages to express the connotations embraced by the word “gyo.” which carries a sense of strengthening the mind (spirit) and enhancing the personality, as a human being, by training the body.”The Body, Self-Cultivation, and Ki-Energy by Yuasa Yasuo

We can find this mind-body interaction within the precepts as well: shinshin kaizen 心身改善 – improve your mind-body. But this mind-body improvement is not just a reiju/attunument/initiation or some hands on healing on yourself where you are distracted. It is only through special training, especially meditation.

“This approach to body and mind as a unity was not generally viewed as a ‘naturally’ experienced phenomenon, however, but rather as a synergy requiring conscious effort and special training (shugyō修行). This training often took the form of meditation (either sitting meditation or more dynamic types of meditation through movement), as a practice through which the harmony of mind and body could be cultivated. The goal of such training was typically expressed as the attainment of an ‘awakening’(satori悟り)” – Yuasa Yasuo’s Theory of the Body by Britta Boutry-Stadelmann

This satori is 大光明 dai komyo and could only be laid bare through meditation and that is why Mikao Usui’s system is all about meditation. So again and again Mikao Usui is urging us to meditate so that we can free our mind to lay bare our true self, our innate great bright light, to experience emptiness, non-duality.

“When one sincerely believes in the absolute power of Nyorai and the dharmic universe, surrendering body and mind to this force, the mysterious healing power, kaji, will appear.” – Kaji : Empowerment and Healing in Esoteric Buddhism by Ryuko Oda

Traditionally 大光明 dai komyo is linked to the Buddhist deity Dainichi Nyorai. And as we can see below in this teaching from Ryuko Oda, a famous Shingon priest, it is through surrendering our body and mind, ego, to this force that the mysterious healing power will appear. These days we often learn straight away how to do hands on/off healing on people, animals, the world, all beings – but in essence true healing only appears when we realize 大光明 dai komyo, emptiness, non-duality, our true self.

“Dainichi Nyorai personifies the essential nature of the universe and also symbolizes the wisdom and compassion which allows us to realize the true world of our mind.” Kaji : Empowerment and Healing in Esoteric Buddhism by Ryuko Oda

This is why Mikao Usui’s precepts are all about the mind and that compassion is the last precept. It is through emptiness that true compassion and wisdom are laid bare. This compassion and wisdom is traditionally symbolised by the kanji of the sun and moon 明.

“To practice giving you need wisdom. Compassion without wisdom is no gift at all.” – Mushotoku Mind The Heart of the Heart Sutra Commentary on the Hannya Shingyo by Master Taisen Deshimaru

Thus by looking at the traditional teachings of Mikao Usui and the essential Japanese spiritual ideas and practices, we can see that the system of Reiki is first and most of all a practice to lay bare our true nature, our true self, emptiness, non-duality. This, in fact, needs to be taught and highlighted early on, within Shoden Reiki I, so that a student can see in which direction they need to go. And which direction is that? It is right this way – the direction of non-duality, of pure compassion.

Comments 4

  1. Avatar of Dr Malcolm Pearce

    Brilliant! Franz.
    Back in the Sixties I found my way into Zen thoughts, Martial Arts and The Lotus Sutra.
    In the Eighties I began my journey into Reiki.
    I feel very much at home with your discourse.

    1. Avatar of Frans Stiene Post
  2. Avatar of yuiko

    I’m glad that I got in touch with this wonderful system, Reiki. It had helped me maintain my overall well-being and helped me maintain a balance of life. Thank you for teaching us about the benefits of Reiki through your blogs.

    1. Avatar of Frans Stiene Post

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