The Way of Reiki  – Transcript of a conversation with Yolanda Williams for the Reiki Healing Summit 2022  

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The Way of Reiki Book
The Way of Reiki  - Transcript of a conversation with Yolanda Williams for the Reiki Healing Summit 2022   3

Yolanda Williams:                  
Okay, so today we are with the wonderful Frans Stiene! Frans, I want to thank you so much for coming to have this discussion with me today.

Frans Stiene:
Thank you. I’m super excited about it. Really great to see these kinds of projects happening, so that’s fantastic!

Yolanda Williams:
Yeah, it is amazing that these discussions are happening so much within the community now, and actually your book and what we’ll discuss today, I’m really looking forward to because I think it will be so beneficial just across the board.
But I want to make sure that people know a bit about you before we begin.
So, I personally am so thankful to have you as a teacher, but Frans has been a major influence on global research into the system of Reiki since the early 2000s. His practical understanding of the Japanese influences on the system have allowed students around the world to connect deeply with this practice.
Frans is co-founder of the International House of Reiki and Shibumi International Reiki Association. He co-authored with Bronwen Logan the critically acclaimed books The Reiki Sourcebook, The Japanese Art of Reiki, A-Z of Reiki Pocketbook, and Your Reiki Treatment. His own books are The Inner Heart of Reiki – Rediscovering Your True Self, Reiki Insights, and the new book which we’ll discuss today, The Way of Reiki, which will be out November 1st if I’m correct. Is that right?

Frans Stiene:
Yes.
Yolanda Williams:

Okay, so I want to start with asking you… so many things… Your new book, The Way of Reiki, thankfully I’ve had an opportunity to read it and as I mentioned in the beginning, I think it’s one of these books I think all practitioners really will benefit from greatly, and I just want to share as well, you know, when a lot of us first come into the practice, I think there is a lot of focus on the external and a lot of focus on, you know, working on others, just hands-on and all of these things… And when I first started practicing, I started cracking open and having experiences that no one was talking about! And fortunately I came across your book, The Inner Heart of Reiki, which you were describing everything I was experiencing and so that’s why I wanted to come and learn from you. And now this book goes deeper into pointing out what Reiki is pointing to.
So, could you talk a little bit about what it is that inspired this book and even tell us a bit about why Mrs. Takata made some adaptations for Westerners?

Frans Stiene:    
First of all, I think a lot of the adaptations were already made in Japan, you know, by Hayashi for example, and this wonderful Reiki Teacher, Hiroshi Doi in Japan, I really like his way of teaching and explanation and research; he’s very, very honest. And what he’s also saying is that according to his research – he’s in its 80s now, I saw him a few years ago; it was wonderful! – but anyway, so yeah, what he was saying also was that Mikao Usui taught his students according to their spiritual development. So, my personal teacher, Takeda Ajari in Japan who is a priest, still does this exactly the same.

So, it’s a little bit like this: I started during corona doing a little bit of gym because I’m just eating too many cookies and doing nothing, and of course, I hired a personal trainer because I don’t know much about going to the gym and just in case I injure myself, and so he trains the person according to their circumstances: if they’re already fit, what kind of body posture they have, inner strength they have… So, Mikao Usui and all of these personal trainings, and the same if you learn how to play a violin, it really depends on circumstances!
We can see this also in Mikao Usui’s precepts, where what we see behind is the word gy?, traditionally. We translate it often as practice or work, but traditionally gy? means also your pure experience, and my pure experience is different from your pure experience. Therefore, we can already see that Mikao Usui highly likely, as Hiroshi Doi points out, taught his students differently according to their circumstances. So, some people did this, some people focus more on hands-on healing, some people learn the Reiki three symbols and mantra, some people not; and this makes perfect sense. And of course, as you were saying, you had these experiences where no one else was talking about, and yet you had them! And so, you were looking for someone who also had those experiences and that’s kind of how we connected.

So, for me, these changes, therefore, over time were a natural progression of who Mikao Usui was teaching and of course, who Hayashi was teaching, who Mrs. Takata was teaching, and suddenly we have all a different knowledge. However, if we really apply the practices in the right way, like you were doing, and really became a dedicated practitioner – not just doing hands-on healing, but also for example, practicing these meditations like Joshin Kokyu Ho – and we do this really in the correct way, in the right way, then we might find automatically something starts to bloom inside of us and we come to these realizations. My first book by myself, The Inner Heart of Reiki, was from these realizations and also from my research. So, my new book, The Way of Reiki… I have one of the rare copies yet; it’s a journey also that’s blossoming more and more from my own realization and also those trainings I received in Japan. And for me, what I’m really interested in, I’m not so much interested in Mrs. Takata’s teachings or Hayashi’s teachings – they’re wonderful, don’t get me wrong – I really wanted to know what did Mikao Usui based his own teachings upon, you know? Where can we find these symbols? Where can we find these mantras? Where can we find these rituals, like the attunement or initiation, Reiju, whatever we call them?!

And for that I really am grateful that I found this priest in Japan in 2012, started to train with him, and that brought me again a deeper realization, an internal realization, and that really is… yeah, for me it’s suddenly what I need to write this down; first for myself to get a really clear understanding because for me writing it down for myself first helped me to explain it better to my students and to other people… It gives me more clarity, so to say. And then, when I was writing it down I thought, “Wow, this could make a great book [laughs], so that other people who want to practice or really want to see where Mikao Usui’s finger was pointing at, then they can really benefit from that.

Yolanda Williams:                  
Yeah, and it’s interesting you say, because one of the things I’ve thought about a lot with some people that have spoken to, no matter what brings them into the practice, if they really do practice, they are going to have some type of experience.

And so, I think regardless of what you may have thought or expected Reiki to be, or what you may have had expectations around it being in terms of what you thought you’re going to learn, the application of the different elements within the system really do… they work for themselves! And so, you’re going to experience whatever you experience, but it’s so helpful that there are people like you, doing the research, also being very open with what your direct experience is so that the rest of us don’t feel like we’re doing something wrong or “What happened? This isn’t what they talked about in class” and these types of things.
So I think it’s amazing the way that our understanding of the practice is really evolving, and I thank you so much for this work.

I want to get right into it then, what does the system point to in terms of what you have learned and what you’ve experienced? What was Usui trying to get out? What was he trying to help us understand?

Frans Stiene:    
If you’ve really look at… for example, the precepts, or if you look at the first symbol.. The first symbol, traditionally – I was on this mountain’s top some years ago in Japan – it’s a practice ground, people been practicing their Shi Kendo for about 1300 years and so it’s very unspoiled, you can’t come there by car, you can’t stay the night unless you belong to this certain organization. My teacher belongs to it so I could stay there for 5 days, 5-6 days, and you can only go up walking; it’s 4-5 hours walk, very steep, you come to a few little monasteries and there are caves where you practice and they hang you over rocks, et cetera.
And while I was there, I noticed on this pillar a symbol that looked very, very similar to the first symbol and what we utilize in Okuden Reiki II. So I went to the head priest of this mountain temple there and said, “Okay, can you explain to me what this means?” And I started to draw the first symbol we know in the system of Reiki and I have not even finished it and he said, “That means in our tradition go to kami.” And go to kami, kami in Japanese often translated as God, but it’s really… you’re inner divine being, right? So, therefore, Mikao Usui pointed out this inner divinity.

Now, if you look at the second symbol for example, in Japanese if you translate the essence behind it means infinite light, it means we are infinite light. So, our divine being is infinite light; no beginning, no end, no here and no there, no this, no that. So, he was really pointing – and we can go on like this – he was really pointing to non-duality, emptiness, that kind of quality; and the quality of that emptiness, non-duality, is really pointed out very beautifully in the precepts, so the precepts are really a description of this divine being, this infinite light; that there is no anger, there is no worry, that there is just been grateful, that there is just being true to your way and your being, and that there is compassion to yourself and others.

And if we therefore really investigate all of that – through the precepts, hands-on healing, symbols and mantras, the meditation practices, Reiju or initiation/attunement – then hopefully one day we really have that direct experience. And then, we have to practice more and more the rest of our life [laughs] because we all know that is very difficult, and not just on a meditation pillow! This is also so beautiful within the precepts; we see today. And today, in those traditions means in every action today we have to infuse this compassion, this love, this being grateful to no matter who or what because it comes from this non-dual infinite luminosity or light.

Yolanda Williams:                  
Yeah. So, it really points to, again, one of the things with what you’re saying and you do mention in the book, I mean the precepts themselves; you said something about them being the foundation and the outcome—

Frans Stiene:    
Yeah.

Yolanda Williams:                  
—and I was like, wow, that’s really, really brilliant!
And so, I know for a lot of us in class, they are often presented as something just to memorize… not necessarily any discussion on the application and how they become part of the practice, and also how it really points to our expression just in everyday life, like not just when we’re practicing Reiki in a corner somewhere, but how we are being in the world and in our expression.
So, I wanted to know if you could talk a little bit more about that: it being the foundation, but it also being the outcome. But was this something even that you started to realize for yourself, or did it really highlight for you in the research?

Frans Stiene:    
It was really an expression of my own direct experience and then to research and to talking to a lot to my teacher, and you know, that’s so wonderful the way they pointed out; they’re not saying, you know, like this is how we do it in modern way or this is this, this, this… No! He kind of throws a little… and then he sees if you catch it or not. And then if you catch it, then you investigate, then you can come with the next question, and then he throws something up; if he doesn’t catch it, well, maybe he tries and throws it up the next day or maybe he realizes you’re not ready for it.

And through that we can really start to see, as you say, often within a lot of modern practices the precepts are like… you just repeat them three times a day and that’s about it. But we all know that that is not so easy; if it was that, you know, I would say, we would print them out, give it to everybody here where I live, and say just repeat it three times a day in the morning and evening and you have no more anger, no more worry, no more fear, you’ll be compassionate… We all know it’s not that easy! [laughter] So, you know, that therefore it’s a pointer; it’s really saying, this is the path, but it’s also the outcome of the path and it’s also the beginning of the path.

So, as soon as we start with the system of Reiki, this is it! It’s already here, and this is already why we can see what the outcome is, that if we practice in the correct way. It’s a little bit like this: now you all have all these wonderful cooking shows, these MasterChefs, and say, I’m one of these people, participating in it, and one of these 3-star Michelin chefs comes in and has a beautiful cake; it’s amazing! So, we can therefore see already, the contestants can see, this is the outcome of how it should be. Then, they all are going to cook it. But before they cook it, they are going to taste it, right? So, it’s already started, it’s the beginning. Now they have to cook it; now they have to walk the path.

So, it’s exactly the same! Or if we hear a master violin player and we hear his piece and go, wow, that’s the outcome if I really practice a lot the path; he, she or they might already show it at the beginning of our journey because if we show it at the beginning of our journey, we also know what to expect. We also know where to go to. This is why, for example, eating the cake is such a wonderful experience, because the contestants eat the cake to get a taste of what it should taste like.

So, for me, Reiju or sometimes receiving a hands-on healing session can be that initial experience: “Oh, this is for a split moment what it tastes like not to feel angry and worried and to be grateful, to be true to my way, my being and being compassionate!” Split second! However, then our normal habitual… comes again and we forget about it and we do get angry and worried and fearful.
And as by making a cake, we have to follow the recipe…

Yolanda Williams:                  
Right.

Frans Stiene:    
Right? So they get a recipe; they still have to practice, they still have to work with it, but if I don’t do it in the right way, if I just throw the ingredients in, in a pot and put it in the oven, then nothing really… I might get some mushy stuff that might not even be edible! But if I put it in the right way, follow the right recipe, then I get the right result.

So, Mikao Usui also had a very clear recipe for awakening this divine luminosity within yourself through practicing in this very certain, specific way.
Unfortunately, I think that recipe has often been overlooked. As you said, you know, even the precepts have been overlooked because within the precepts we see a very, very clear recipe, if we know how to look at it. Normally, because we do not look deep enough, we just see the words and we have not been taught to look beyond the words and really what it is pointing out.

For example, the word not; the word not in Japanese esoteric teachings points towards emptiness because when there is no I, then there is no I who is there to get angry, right? If I cannot find the I, then who is there to get angry? So, there’s a lot of these very subtle instructions within the precepts. What we can and ultimately I think if we want, and we all know the world is not such a good place, and if we want the world to be in a better place, then we all need to really awaken, reawaken to this divine luminosity, what is compassion and kindness and love, a non-dual compassion.

Yolanda Williams:                  
Yeah, and you know, the beauty of what you’re sharing, it really redirects it back to us, which again, I think in some ways has been lost, you know? I mean, in a beautiful way, like we do want to support each other; to your point, we see what’s going on in the world and we all just want to help, want to contribute, what can we do? And I think a lot of times, we forget the necessity and the importance of starting here, starting within, starting at home.
And so, another thing that really highlights in your book… and I just want people to know, not only do you break down the system of Reiki itself, helping us to understand that in a deeper way, but you do also put emphasis on appropriate practice or what would really help you in your practice! But something that you just shared and points to this personal investigation piece… So, I come to Reiki, I am handed the precepts, I go to Okuden and I learn the symbols, which I want to ask you about as well, but can you talk a little bit about that importance of the personal investigation? So, even beyond what we were given, then what? What do we do?

Frans Stiene:    
I mean, this is it, you know?  Again, it’s the same with… If I want to be a MasterChef or if I want to play a musical instrument, I have to practice at home and I have to practice daily as much as I can! And again, we can use the precepts as a platform; we all know how difficult it is in our daily life not to be angry, not to be worried, to be utterly grateful, to be true to our way and our being, and to be compassionate from a non-dual perspective; not the compassion on being kind to my family, but not my neighbor… I’m being kind to this group of people, but not that group of people. You know, that is not really compassion; it’s confused compassion. That’s not what Mikao Usui is talking about.

So therefore, we can really see that it’s pointing towards an inner journey. This is also why level II traditionally is called Okuden; Okuden means inner or hidden teachings or Shinpiden traditionally, Reiki III, means mystery teachings. So doesn’t mean teacher or master or how to teach; no! The mystery of who you are! And who is this mystery that we have to investigate? Is this really Frans? And if so, can I find Frans? Where’s the essence of Frans? Is it a square, or is it like a little block somewhere inside of me? Can a doctor cut me open and find something called Frans? Or if I lose my arm, is it less Frans or if I then also lose my leg, is it even less of Frans? If we really investigate that, and that for me is really woven within the system and yet not often explained or taught. And therefore, the more we follow the right recipe, the more we get that direct experience, the better the world would be.

Hands-on healing is beautiful, but it’s a little bit limiting. During COVID where I could travel less or people wanted to come less for a treatment or, you know, in some governments it was not allowed to have sessions… However, I can walk around as much as possible in that state of love and compassion! That I can do while I’m shopping, while I’m talking to my neighbor – even if they are a few feet away, that it’s still possible! – and through that, they might already feel, “Oh, someone is listening, someone is looking at me, someone is paying attention, someone is being kind and loving… Oh, I already start to feel good within myself!” There is a certain quality to this energy. We all know that, you know? If we really investigate, we can really feel that! For example, great examples, Thich Nhat Hanh or the Dalai Lama, when they walk in, people feel it. Again, we have to be open to feel it, we have to be a participant, but this is where again, I come back to always self-responsibility. We are responsible for creating peace in the world!

And if we look, for example, at the 3rd symbol in Reiki II, it’s a Kanji, it’s a Japanese word, and if we translate it, it stands for my original nature is right mind, and traditionally this right mind means non-dual mind, the mind of realizing emptiness or non-duality – it’s a big topic, but you know, we can condense it – and what also therefore means is that we’re all interconnected already, and therefore, when I feel peaceful, there is a possibility for others to feel peaceful, but if I’m constantly being angry, being worried, then that triggers also a worry and a fear. Imagine! We all know, right? We all know if a person walks into the room who feels angry, “Oh, I can really feel that!” Now imagine the whole town being angry. Imagine 10 million people being angry. What would that do to the world?!

This is why, for example, in Japan, they say if we realize this, then we realize that tsunamis, earthquakes, wars, are really coming from within! It’s our own anger and worry that’s been multiplied by millions of people who feel depressed, who feel sad; depression is one of the biggest diseases now! So, imagine what that energy does, globally… and because we’re all interconnected, what that does to the earth, to the clouds, to everything that has a ramification? So therefore, we have to take that self-responsibility. This was what Mikao Usui was pointing out very, very clearly within the precepts. Actually, compassion to others is the last one, right? [laughs] I always say, I cannot give you tea if I don’t have tea. I really need to remember this divine being within myself, you know, what has no anger and worry, what is just pure compassion.

Yolanda Williams:                  
You know, so many things come up while you say this; one it reminds me of you often talk about not turning it on and off – again, there’s this idea of us like turning Reiki on and turning Reiki off – and you really emphasize in what you shared again: it just… it is! It exists, it’s present, and we have this opportunity to allow more of that expression to move through us, to become unified with that, but it reminds me of the dualistic aspect, because a lot of people – especially with so much that’s going on, I was just talking to someone about this – a lot of people feel guilty to feel happy or to feel joy and these things, but not understanding, exactly to your point; we need more people to be in their joy, in their love, in their compassion! Because exactly like you said, what would happen if we all fell into this state of misery?!

Frans Stiene:    
Yeah.

Yolanda Williams:    
And so, it’s really interesting the struggle of, is it okay for me to feel the great bright light? That’s I think a very big thing.

So, with that, when we talked about the application and practice, I think I will say personally emphasized for me was my duality! I became very aware of my own dualistic nature and then that decision of, huh, well, how do I come into the right mind? How do I keep going back to that, keep pointing back to that?
So, could you talk a little bit about that for practitioners that may be having those experiences of this much more than what I anticipated and now I am starting to have realization? How do these elements of the practice even point to how we nurture ourselves through that or how we work through that?

Frans Stiene:
Yeah, I mean again, as like we’re making a cake, we have to start with the basics, we have to always start with the base. The base within the level I, traditionally, Joshin Kokyu Ho, a breathing practice going to the Hara, to your center, in your body, being really centered. So, first, we have to calm the mind, because what is the reason that I’m angry? Well, something happened 2 seconds ago or 10 years ago; it’s mainly in the past. What happens when I’m worried? This is in the future. Why am I not being grateful? Because I’m getting distracted by the present moment. So, again, here we can already see a different layer within the precepts, right? The first three are really saying don’t get distracted by past, present, future because that activates a lot of anger, worry and not being grateful.

So, Mikao Usui placed very specific methods, focused methods, right? So, focusing on the Hara, focusing on the breathing, focusing on a symbol, focusing on a mantra, and by becoming more and more focused, we train our monkey mind to be less distracted.

So, I see it a bit like this: imagine that we have a bottle. So, here is the bottle; it’s a plastic bottle and filled with water, and at the bottom is a lot of mud – and we all have mud, we all have stuff we collected during our lifetime – this bottle, in fact our mind, is constantly moving, it’s always busy. When the bottle moves a lot, the water is stirred up a lot, it’s not clear. I cannot see clearly. What can I not see clearly? That I am constantly following my mind. I’m constantly following these past, present, and future thoughts.

So, when we slowly stop this mind from going left, right and centre, through focused practices, like even traditionally hands-on healing was helping us to focus, but now we say, Oh, just watch television or just talk or think about whatever, but then we’re distracted, right? So then, again, we have to make sure… This is also written within the precepts; it’s Shinshin Kaizen, which means mind-body harmony. So, when we realize that, we focus on a hint, we stop the mind – this bottle from going left, right, everywhere – and then the sediment, the mud settles in the water and we start to see things clearer.

Now, we start to see things clearly, and here is kind of what you mentioned, suddenly we start to see very clearly a thought appearing, and then we start to very clearly see that we are following that thought pattern. Then, that probably is either an attachment or an aversion that we become worried or fearful, “Oh, I’m worried, I attached myself to this cup; it’s such a beautiful cup. Now I’m worried that it will fall… If I get a visit…Oh, watch out for my special cup!” Do you know what I mean?! But if we don’t focus, we have so many thoughts somewhere of that mud that we do not see this; we have no clarity! I think there’s that saying: we can’t see the forest for the trees. So, if we therefore still the mind, we become more aware of what our thought patterns are and then we actually train through focus, not following or not cleaning, not grasping these thoughts.

So, it’s not saying: suppress your anger, suppress your worry, right? Because then it bottles up, and boom! It’s actually saying: be aware of what is happening, and this is why constantly Mikao Usui also emphasized this light, right? Light! I have a few lights on; I can’t grasp it! Nothing sticks to it. So, even if I say something to this light, nothing happens! I cannot cut it either; I cannot damage it! Right?

So, therefore, when we realize more and more that we are this light, then of course, we become more and more free because we are less distracted. And in this light – means clarity – we start to see, “Oh, here I’m getting angry. Okay, don’t grasp it. Just refocus on a symbol or mantra or the breath, and there goes the thought, all by itself!” But if the thought comes up and I see it and I cling to it, now it becomes this [using the hands to reproduce a hamster wheel, vicious circle] We all know that and in the night we cannot sleep because we’re thinking, “Ah, this and that happens! I’m angry, I’m worried, I’m fearful!” And then what happens to your body? Tension, illness, sickness, energy doesn’t flow, et cetera, et cetera.

Yolanda Williams:                  
It’s fascinating! Every time I talk to you, and this is why, again, I’m so thankful that I found you as a teacher because you really do, you articulate so beautifully so much that has come up just naturally through the practice, and one of the things I was fascinated with, and still am quite frankly, was that emphasis on realizing mind-body connection, but so much direction on understanding the nature of my mind! Because again, I don’t think that was something necessarily emphasized in classes, but it comes to be what you become aware of, what’s going on in my mind and how is it impacting my body, and so on and so on?!
Gosh, I love speaking with you, Frans! Thank you again! I really do. [laughter]
So, I wanted to go back to the symbols for a moment because these are also something a lot of times were given like learn to draw them, memorize the name, draw them in a session, and so on, but they are very interesting to me because they seem to also lay out this very sequential path of becoming the great bright light. So, I wanted to ask you a bit about that and also the impact of chanting the mantras themselves.

So, could you speak a little bit about how the symbols can be applied for us personally, as students and practitioners of the system?

Frans Stiene:    
Yeah, traditionally they were really… again, Okuden, Reiki II, means inner teachings or hidden teachings, and that really points out to what is hidden within ourselves. So, if we use these symbols always externally, then we cannot find what is hidden inside of ourselves. This is a little bit like, I see it as a key; we are given this key for example, and I have to stick it in the lock and then open it, open the door to see what is hidden inside, right? This room. So, if I use the key constantly somewhere externally and never stick up in that lock and open the door, then I never rediscover what is hidden inside of me, right? Okuden; what is hidden inside of me? What is hidden inside of you?! Emptiness, non-duality, great bright light, divinity, et cetera. But I have to really… I mean, this key is not magical, you know? No matter how beautiful the key is, if I put it on the table, nothing happens to it, right? I have to implement it.

So, traditionally – and actually in Japan people still do this, this is an interesting aspect that a lot of people, again, do not know – traditionally in Japan had lots of Kanji, you can see these styles of pictograms for writing. Now, we have just the alphabet, but in Japan you have thousands of Kanji. So, for people to remember it, it was tricky… And how did they did it?! They call it air writing; they would write it just like this [demonstrating using the fingers]. Because if you do one stroke differently, it could mean something quite differently. So, they do it like this or they used to do it on their leg; you still see people in Japan doing it. But that’s a training wheel! Then, we have to remember the Kanji, right? We have to remember it, not just like this and somewhere here; we have to use it inside of us! And then, this is why there’re very specific ways of using these symbols internally to realize its non-dual nature, and it’s the same with the mantras.

We can therefore also say, where do we get distracted with? With what we see. So therefore, when I focus on a symbol again and again and again during a session for example, I draw it in my mind, really feel like this [hands clasped], not that it is externally, but like this [hands clasped], then again I draw it again and again and again and again and again for 20 minutes, half an hour, 45 minutes, and I do it again and again, then I stay only focused on the symbol! What happens to my mind? My mind is not distracted by the past, present, future. So, I’m training my mind to focus. So, the bottle starts to become more and more to a halt so that I start to see things clearly. That doesn’t happen in one sitting, right? Because the habitual pattern is the monkey mind going from left, right to everywhere; past, present, future. So, we have to do it again and again and again.

Then, the mantra is auditory practice. Sometimes, only doing a visual is not enough, right? Our mind is so strong; we all know that. Sometimes someone says something and it’s okay, we do not get upset, but sometimes someone says something and we get really upset and we can’t sleep… We’re angry for days and weeks and maybe years. So then, we know that some of these habitual patterns are really, really strong. And again, when we look at the precepts, it’s all about the mind. It’s not about hands-on healing, it’s not about energy; it’s about the mind because energy follows the mind.
So then, when we chant, we add another focus tool to it. So, chanting is also very important because, in Japanese, you have san mitsu, mind-body energy. We can also see this again within the precepts; I talk about it in the book as well. So, mind-body energy… Energy is also speech, right? Or breath. Now, the body is very tangible; I really feel it, I can see you, that’s the body. Breath is not as tangible; yet, I can feel it if I blow, I can maybe even hear it or if I speak I can hear it, yet I cannot grasp. It’s a little bit more subtle. Mind is super, super subtle, right? So, therefore, the link between mind and body is speech. This is why in all of the spiritual traditions, no matter if you look at old Christianity, Gregorian chanting, chanting in shamanic practices, chanting in Japanese practices, buddhism, hinduism, all of these old traditions use chanting because it’s helping you to realize, “Oh, here’s my body or here’s something more subtle: is my breath, is my speech, is my energy. But there’s something even more subtle: that’s my mind! I can’t grasp it, I can’t point it out!”

Yolanda Williams:                  
It’s interesting… Every layer you go, it goes deeper into so many beautiful teachings that you share, because now what’s that going for me is empty vessel, right? And how that comes into practice as well. I mean, there’s just so many things!

And I have to say again, I just want people to know, the book, The Way of Reiki, you really break down all of the components of the elements within the system, how they can be applied, and again, how we can even practice more efficiently.
And so, another thing that was very interesting to me is you do talk a lot about the self-responsibility and you gave this quote, I don’t remember who said the quote, but it was an analogy about what was in our cup—

Frans Stiene:
Yes.

Yolanda Williams:
—and no matter what’s in our cup, will spill out. And so, I wanted to ask you a bit about that again because there’s something so beautiful when we do come out of the non-judgment of ourselves and really do apply the practice; we become curious! I always think what has supported me in wanting to really go deeper into the practice, even stay committed to my practice, is simply curiosity! I’m just so curious about the nature of my mind and what’s going on. But then again, how do I redirect and how do I practice, you becoming an empty vessel?!
So, I wanted to ask you if you could share a little bit about that, what is that empty vessel? What does emptiness mean? What does it mean? And then, could you even share how the practice is ongoing, like even for you, and how that’s okay?

Frans Stiene:
Yeah. Because again, you know, the ongoing practice is really easy. Worrying for me is not such a big deal; again, we all act differently, but I do get angry. So then I think, I still get angry! I have to practice more, right? I am still maybe not that grateful for these or I still could be more compassionate, non-dual compassion. So therefore, the precepts are a really wonderful measuring tool to see how our practice is going.

My teacher in Japan, when I go there is not easy because they really push you, so you can say to him, “Oh, sensei/teacher, I feel so calm, I feel so relaxed!” Yeah, of course, when I’m sitting there in his monastery, in a little mountain, but then he’s going to test you if it’s just parroting something I’ve read or in my mind, or if it’s actually a real experience, and this is really quite beautiful how these people do this, you know? It’s quite daunting sometimes because they know, they have such a clarity to know exactly which buttons to push to show you that shit, you still have to practice! [laughter] So, again, that self-responsibility!
Emptiness is a really tricky one, you know? And this is why it’s kind of explaining the unexplainable, but we could see it. Often, in the imagery in Reiki III, we have the symbol and mantra of great bright light. Great bright light, again, means infinite, no beginning, no end, and in Japanese this is also a metaphor used as space, right? We cannot find the beginning or end of space, and yet there is space.

So, when I realized my spacious nature or open-mindedness, then I realized that my space, my open-mind is touching everything, that I cannot live as a singular object. I just don’t come into being out of nothing, right? So, that’s first my mom and my dad, lots of interconnectedness; I need air, I need food, that food comes from somewhere, it has to be grown… So, there is an interconnectedness with anything, right? It’s non-duality.

And then we realize, also in the body all sorts of organisms take place, all sorts of things take place and yet none of it we can define as Frans; we cannot pinpoint Frans. I can say, this is Frans, but if we really investigate… For example, I can pinpoint the hand, then I’ll say, this is the hand, and I go, no, this is the palm of your hand. Now, this is the hand; no, that’s the thumb. Well, the hand is a combination of everything indeed, but I cannot pinpoint the hand by itself, right? To really investigate this, think about it very, very clearly. Normally, we cannot do this because again, our mind is all over the place. So, therefore, we first need to train and focus on mindfulness.

So, empty also means that spacious nature. The more we realize that we’re that spacious nature, something comes in, just in the sky, like if I look outside, I live on the 11th floor, very wide view. So, I see the sky; today there’s lots of clouds. I might see a bird, I might see a plane, a rainbow, a unicorn [laughs], I don’t know. Whatever happens in the sky, the sky itself is not bothered by it. The sky itself stays wide open. So, this is really our nature, our true nature, right? Reiki really traditionally meant your buddha nature or kami or that divinity. Again and again, what Mikao Usui points out is like spaciousness. But normally, we have solidified the spaciousness, we have made it like an ice cube, and not anymore as flowing water.

So, again, if I write on water, it disappears. But if I write in ice, it doesn’t disappear, it stays there, right? I can clearly see my anger, my worry, my fear, and I keep the habitual patterns again and again and again. So, through this wide open spaciousness then, of course, we see a bird, we see anger, we see worry, we see fear, but we do not cling to it because we can maintain in this wide open spacious nature of mine. Then, no anger, no worry! Then, the quality of this wide open spaciousness is compassion and kindness, is gratefulness, and is being true to our way and our being. It’s the same… The quality of an ice cube is water, it’s wet. But it’s the same as flowing water, it’s wet, except it’s a very different quality, right?

We all know if we get angry and worried… We get tense, we get muscle pain, maybe the energy starts to [contract], organs contract; this is that frozen quality. If we feel that wide open, that energy flows, the water flows, we become more playful, more joyful, like flowing water! We can see it playing over the rocks… It doesn’t stop and go like this [fighting]. It just goes! That’s it!

Yolanda Williams:
Yeah. I love this because it also makes me think of a lot of times when we talked about non-attachment, and again, it’s something I think a lot of times we externalize it, Oh, I’m not supposed to be attached to things, and you know, on and on. But missing that: the attachment is in the mind.

Frans Stiene:
Absolutely.

Yolanda Williams:
What do we attach to our mind? What are we clinging to in our mind? And what excites me so much about this conversation again, is it really shows, I think, this depth of Reiki, that I’m so thankful is coming up in conversation because again, we can look at it as very simple, very still useful, you know, a system that helps us with relaxing the body or, you know, helping to alleviate pain – which are great benefits! – but to really crack it open and see how much it can help us to really heal.

On so many levels, I can’t even… I would have to talk to you all day! So, speaking of that, I do want to share again that The Way of Reiki, you go into great detail about the system, about our personal responsibility, ways to practice that will support us; you even talk to the point of how to teach most effectively for so many of us who really do want to share this work, and I do want to thank you for that. But those of us who want to work with you, I know that now you are traveling and scheduling classes. So, could you share how people can connect with you and work directly with you?

Frans Stiene:    
Yeah, mainly I like teaching in-person. I do have online support for students and do quite a lot, like a 21-day doing regularly for people, online… Tonight I have a session online, but yeah, personally it is much better! Again, you know, people are like online, it doesn’t matter. But of course, I can say, “Hey, here’s a hug, Yolanda!” That’s great; you’ve received it. But if I hug you in person, it’s very, very different, right?

Yolanda Williams:
Yes.

Frans Stiene:
So, yeah… Check out my website, www.ihreiki.com, Facebook, Instagram. I travel a lot, a little bit more again now then in COVID situation… So, yes, America, Australia, Europe. I do retreats also. I really like teaching Reiki I, II, and III and retreats because in retreats we can really go deeper and deeper into all of the nitty-gritty smaller fine tuning of our practice.
Again, you know, I can make a cake but if I know from the start the right recipe, then the cake that comes out is probably edible. I’m not a good chef, so I need the recipe; if I don’t use the recipe, it’s a mess. I’ll probably have to throw it in the bin.

These days we don’t know; we all noticed, COVID has really shown us that we cannot predict when we’re going to die…

Yolanda Williams:                  
Right.

Frans Stiene:    
So, therefore, do I want to die without anger, worry, fear, being grateful, being true to my way and my being, and being compassionate? If that is yes, then we have to practice now, in the right way, with the right formula, with the right recipe, because I don’t know… It might be tonight, it might be tomorrow, it might be in 10 years time or 30 years time or 50 years time; I don’t know! But the time comes that we all will die and therefore better practice now in the right way.
So, yes, through the books, through online teachings, I have also a lot of online teachings, downloadable stuff that I’m creating slowly more and more and more.

There is actually a 9-hour online teaching available linked to the book.

Yolanda Williams:
Wow!

Frans Stiene:
It’s already recorded, actually it’s already available, and so that people can read the book and then go, “Oh, I’m going to actually also follow the instructions online to get even a clearer idea.” It’s all video teachings, very clearly, point by point instructed. So, for me that way also if people cannot physically come and see me, they can still benefit from it.

Yolanda Williams:
Yeah. And I will say for anyone who hasn’t had the opportunity to learn from you, it’s fun! I think that’s one of the things I love so much about your style of teaching; it’s very serious and it’s rich the information you provide, but it’s very experiential and you yourself, I mean, you make it so much fun! [laughs] It’s a lot of fun working with you and, yes, you really will get a hug, so that wasn’t just something he would say. [laughs] It’s a beautiful experience, but it’s great that there’s a class that we can take to accompany the book because you always write things in a very clear way, very adjustable, clear to understand… So, I’m sure the book in and of itself would be fantastic. But then to have the guidance for the implementation, that’s beautiful! So, we can get that at www.ihreiki.com as well.

And the book… Can you show us the book again, Frans?

Frans Stiene:
Definitely, here it is!

Yolanda Williams:
The Way of Reiki: The Inner Teachings of Mikao Usui, yes! Okay! And where can we get the book?

Frans Stiene:
Everywhere really… Amazon, all good bookstores; if they don’t have it in your local bookstore – I prefer buying in stores instead of online – so, if the bookstore doesn’t have it, I always say, can you order it? And most of the time, bookstores can order books. So, go and also support your local community.
For me, this is, again, also compassion, right? It’s to help your local community, you know, what would happen if there’s no more local bookstores, local groceries, and we do everything online? Then we lose this wonderful interconnectedness and this human interaction with each other. So, for me, you know, there’s more to it all than just [hand gesture] like this. [laughter]

Yolanda Williams:    
I completely understand. I could spend hours in bookstores; I love it! It’s one of my favorite places to go.

Frans Stiene:    
Me too, yeah.

Yolanda Williams:
Yeah…
So, we will have the links for everything: how to connect with Frans through his website, how to get the book.

I can’t thank you enough again for all of the contributions that you make to help all of us really on our journey in finding our way… So, I thank you for joining us today, Frans, and I actually by the time this airs, I may have seen you in Los Angeles, but if not, I look forward to seeing you. [laughs]

Frans Stiene:
Yolanda, in Los Angeles will be from a Shingon Japanese Temple. So, we will be teaching in the temple itself. I’m so fortunate that they agreed that we could do this and maybe we might get some teachings or blessings from the priest… Let’s see!

Yolanda Williams:
Yeah, very, very, that’s beautiful!
And I’m looking forward to the chanting; that’s another thing people should know… If you’re like, how do I chant? I don’t know… Am I comfortable with this? Go see Frans! [laughter] You’ll have beautiful experiences with the chanting, even just listening to it really changes you.

Thank you so much, Frans, and I look forward to seeing you. Thank you so much.

Frans Stiene:
Okay, bye-bye.

Reiki Healing Summit 2022                                                                                 www.reikirays.com

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