By ‘doing’ Reiki we’re referring to the act of placing your hands on the body with the intention that energy be drawn into the body. Hands–on healing, or tenohira in Japanese, is one of the five elements of the system of Reiki.
This is something that Reiki practitioners the world over are doing for themselves in the morning, at work, on the bus, with friends and family, as a job, and most deliciously in the evening before they head off for a peaceful night’s sleep.
So what DO you think about as your hands relax onto (or just off) the body – minute after minute?
Perhaps you feel the energy being drawn through you and your mind begins to wonder what is happening – are you helping? What’s causing this sensation?
Perhaps you feel nothing and you wonder what on earth you are doing sitting here looking like one of the three wise monkeys.
Or perhaps you’re sitting here wondering what you are wondering about! That’s the mind for you – always looking for something to keep you occupied with – even if it is only with itself.
One point we’d like to like to make is that before you begin any practice it is highly useful to prepare yourself first. This is the way to connect strongly with your practice and be open to receiving the greatest benefit from it.
Before beginning tenohira we suggest this regular preparation below:
Set your intent – know your practice and its approximate length of time. Know that you are unconditionally open to whatever healing is about to occur. Know that although you will physically be moving through this hands-on routine step-by-step you will not be judging or diagnosing yourself or the energy. All you will be doing is letting go.
Sit or lie comfortably but make sure that your body is not restricted, cramped or hunched.
Either close your eyes or if sitting gaze at a point on the floor about 3 feet from the body.
Consciously release all tension from the body so that you are physically and mentally ready for your practice.
Bring the mental focus to the hara (3 inches below the navel). This is your grounding point and the foundation for the body’s energetic system according to traditional Japanese practices. By connecting with this point your energy expands and readies for work.
Just before beginning allow the hands to rise in gasshô and pause. In this moment you stop everything – mind and body. You are an integrated spiritual being.
Now you are ready. Place your hands on the body. But wait, before you begin – has the initial question been answered? ‘What DO you think about while doing Reiki?’
Remember back to the preparation and its first step – Intent: First to be aware of the practice and then to let go. That’s the answer. By not holding onto motivations, rationalisations and diagnoses you allow the energy to flow freely, you just let go.
It’s not about working out what’s wrong, making things happen, informing someone about how they should or shouldn’t live their lives – it is the act of not interfering and leaving the tick-tock of your busy thoughts alone. Of sensing the innate truth that you are connected to the universe and if you allow your connection its natural right then blissful living will be yours. It’s about letting the energy flow freely.
Free Flowing Energy – it sounds wonderful but hang on… is it possible to experience totally free flowing energy? For some, yes. But for most of us it remains our aim rather than our experience. It is something that we are working toward. Free flowing energy is a state of Oneness with the Divine, actually being the universal flow.
This means that although your intention is strong and your actions appropriate you may still end up thinking about the shopping list. Don’t worry. Know that what is important is not what has been or what is to come but… now, right now.
So rather than regret your stray thoughts about your dinner’s ingredients, accept those thoughts and, even if it was only for a second, you know that you have let go.
Bronwen and Frans Stiene are the co-founders of the International House of Reiki and co-authors of The Reiki Sourcebook, The Japanese Art of Reiki, Your Reiki Treatment, The A-Z of Reiki Pocketbook and the Reiki Techniques Card Deck. Bronwen and Frans teach in the USA, Europe and Australia. Visit the Courses page to find a course near you.