The Essential Focus of Reiki is Rediscovering Our Original Nature
by Frans Stiene
There are many practices within the system of Reiki, but Mikao Usui pointed out again and again that the essential focus is rediscovering our original nature. This is because it is only through this rediscovery that we can help others heal with compassion and wisdom.
In the Reiki Ryoho Hikkei, a manual handed out by the Usui Reiki Ryoho Hakkai in Japan, it states that Mikao Usui said, "If you can't heal yourself how can you heal others?"
A very clear and direct pointing out instruction towards this essential focus is one of the Okuden Reiki II symbols/mantras hon sha ze sho nen 本者是正念. This symbol/mantra is commonly used to do distance healing but in Mikao Usui's time this was not the case, it was a tool to rediscover our own original nature.
Recently I had a conversation with a Japanese Tendai priest in Japan and he said that for him 本者是正念 hon sha ze sho nen has a close relationship with the Tendai Hongaku teachings 天台本覚思想.
Hongaku is the original state of enlightenment. Hongaku means that everything is originally enlightened already, or in other words that everything is the great bright light already, we just have forgotten.
Hon sha ze sho nen 本者是正念 translates as; "My original nature is a correct thought."
What is this correct thought? Is it the thought that we can do distance healing? No, of course not. This thought points straight towards our original nature. It is the thought that we are originally the great bright light already.
This is also pointed out within the Shinpiden Reiki III symbol/mantra Dai Kômyô.
"Komyo (the light [of the Buddha], emphasizes the notion that there is no place between heaven and earth that Buddha-nature, and therefore original enlightenment, does not permeate." - The Bodymind Experience in Japanese Buddhism - A Phenomenological Study of Kukai and Dogen by David Edward Shaner
Thus both Hon sha ze sho nen and Dai Kômyô are doing the same thing: pointing towards our original nature.
- Note from a student of Mikao Usui, supplied by Hirsohi Doi
The precepts point to the rediscovery of our original nature out as well. Because it is only in the state of our original nature, our great bright light, that we have no more anger and worry, that we are honest, humble, and compassionate.
But why did he feel the need to remind us in so many ways about our original nature?
Because he realized that we must first heal ourselves before we can heal others.
This leads us to the question of what Mikao Usui thought healing was. We can find the answer in his teachings. Our original nature is also the deepest state of healing. This can also be seen within the precepts, because the precepts do not discuss physical issues at all, but rather state of mind. If we are rediscovering our own original nature, we can help others to rediscover theirs.
Therefore, the essential focus of the system of Reiki is foremost about rediscovering our original nature. But how do we do this?
Hongaku - original enlightenment is explained in the Jimon Tendai text of Hongaku-zan in a symbolic way as "beans." Everything has original enlightened beans within it, all we have to do is water them. give them light and keep the weeds out.
Within the system of Reiki the rain, the sun, and the weeding is done through meditating on the precepts, meditating on the symbols and mantras, practicing the meditations like joshin kokyu ho and being in a meditative state of mind during reiju/initiation/attunement.
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Bestselling author Frans Stiene 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 has allowed students around the world to connect deeply with this practise. Frans is a co-founder of the International House of Reiki and Shibumi International Reiki Association with his wife, Bronwen Stiene, with whom he has co-authored several of his books.
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