Many people ask us what they can expect from practising the system of Reiki. To be able to clearly see where the system of Reiki can take you we recommend looking first at the Reiki precepts:
For today only:
Do not anger
Do not worry
Be true in your way and your being
Be compassionate to yourself and others
They may sound overly simple, but are they?
The precepts are a state of mind and to realise this state of mind perseverance is required. You must persevere to keep practising the 5 elements of the system long after you have finished your Reiki course.
The first of these 5 elements, the Reiki precepts, builds a base for the other 4 elements to grow from. Within the more profound understandings of these 4 elements of meditation, hands on healing, symbols and mantras, and the attunement/reiju the Reiki precepts are not just understood, but experienced.
Your first introduction to the precepts is an intellectual pursuit and can be likened to the process of technically understanding music when learning an instrument. The technical aspects are integral to the process but knowing them doesn’t mean you can actually play your instrument. It is the same for the precepts – can you live them from merely reading them?
It is the next step that gives you the opportunity to live the precepts. This is the direct experience that is attained from actively working with the Reiki meditations. Comparatively, a musical career also requires many years of perseverance before the music soars with a life of its own.
The Reiki meditations support us in grinding away layers of attachments such as desire, jealousy and ignorance. The more we desire things, the more greedy we become. We may worry that we are not capable when we don’t have the same experiences as others yet desire them. Or we become jealous and angry when others appear to be doing better than us. Ignorance begins through the concept of “I” as the “Other” and disconnection is immediately created. By losing a sense of interconnectedness to life, compassion dissolves. And it is within the precept of compassion that we start to discover the interconnectedness or Oneness of everything.
Utilising the 5 elements of the system of Reiki on a daily basis is working towards discovering your true nature where the precepts exist in their perfection. In essence your true nature and the precepts are one and the same, they are just different expressions.
Some people are lead to understand that when they join a Reiki course they become more psychic or see spirits, auras and other psychic phenomenon. These experiences are the side effects of the practise and should not be seen as the goal or aim as this creates a certain attachment. The more we see these as the goal or aim the more we get side tracked from our spiritual healing journey and the further away we move from connecting to the precepts.
Not so long ago a couple who had studied with the International House of Reiki had two quite unique experiences form their Reiki practice.
They had both been practising the elements of the system almost daily for at least 2 years. The husband asked why it was that his wife could see colours and angels, and feel lots of tingling and heat in her hands and body while he still didn’t see or feel any of these experiences. What, he asked, was going on?
The teacher took his question in a different direction and asked him what he felt he had got out of his 2 years of practice so far. The student said that he felt more balanced, healthier, less angry, more love towards himself and others, and that he also felt less fear in his life.
The teacher asked the student whether he would rather see spirits, colours and the rest but still feel angry, worried, and have no compassion towards himself and others. Or would he prefer to feel more balanced, healthy and less angry … yet see no spirits, colours etc?
Naturally the husband replied that he would rather have the positive changes he had experienced. From that point on he understood more clearly where the importance of his practice lay and let go of any attachment towards phenomena.
If the founder of the system of Reiki, Usui Mikao, had thought that feeling heat, seeing spirits and colours was an important aspect of the teachings then, surely, he would have written them into the foundation of the system of Reiki: the Reiki precepts. Instead, he asks us to leave anger and worry behind us, to be humble and compassionate and to persevere.
So, if you persevere with practising the 5 elements of the system of Reiki you will become the precepts and they will manifest all by themselves, without any effort at all.
As Zen master Shunryu Suzuki states in his teachings:
When you observe the precepts without trying to observe the precepts, that is true observation of the precepts.
So enjoy your perseverance and reap the benefits.
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.