Mindfulness Meditation and The Art of Reiki
By Steve Robert Gooch /www.ayni-books.com
I occasionally get asked if it’s okay to attend one of my Reiki classes even if the person asking has no interest in energy healing.
“Absolutely it’s okay,” I respond, often followed by “I have no interest in energy healing either.” Well, that’s not strictly true, but on a scale of things when it comes to working with Reiki, it’s sort of low on my list of priorities.
I do sometimes enjoy giving a Reiki healing session, I have to say. If I could do it once or twice a month, just to keep my hand in, that would be great, but more than that and the boredom sets in rapidly. To be frank, I can’t think of anything more tedious than being a full time Reiki practitioner. I know. I’ve done it. It was horrible.
You might find that sort of curious, given that I have spent twenty-five years teaching Reiki, full time for the last six years and I’ve written two books about it. Many of my students utterly adore giving Reiki treatments, some of them, I’m sure would love to do it as their full-time job. That’s great and I love that they want to do this, but not me.
Let me tell you, the smallest and least important aspect of the system is this whole hands-on energy healing thing. There’s really nothing special about it. I could teach a five-year-old how to give a Reiki treatment and they’d be just as good as any adult. Actually, they’d probably be better, as they don’t come with all that ‘I’m a healer’ ego-baggage. I’m starting to develop an eye-rolling affliction these days. Whenever I see someone inflate like a hot air balloon as they respond, “I’m a healer,” to the question, “What do you do?” I can’t help but cringe.
Here's some news for you: no, you’re not a healer. That is such an arrogant claim. I am told by a famous Catholic priest who is one of my students, that not even Jesus claimed to be a healer. I don’t know, I wasn’t there, but it sort of makes sense that he wouldn’t make such an idiotic claim. I don’t think Jesus was that arrogant. If someone calls me a healer, I’m genuinely offended. I have no desire to ever be such a thing, but I love working with Reiki.
You see, even if we consider Reiki as just a simple hands-on energy-healing discipline (which it isn’t), Reiki just doesn’t work that way. The client is the one doing the healing in conjunction with the energy and the practitioner is simply facilitating the process. The healing is, frankly, none of the practitioner’s business and they play no active part in it, other than placing their hands on (or just off) the body of the recipient and establishing themselves as an empty vessel for the energy. Their role is to just ‘be’ and stop all that silly ‘doing’.
So, if we can happily shove all this hands-on healing malarky aside, what exactly is Reiki for? What’s the point of it? Let me tell you. It’s all about stillness. Emptiness. Reiki is a deep and powerful spiritual development method, at the heart of which is the need to find our way back to the knowledge and experience of primal emptiness and merge once more with the universal energy field (Reiki).
Reiki doesn’t need hands-on healing at all. It’s why I’m happy to teach it to people who could care less about hands-on healing and have no intention of using it in this way.
If you want to explore the real depths of the system, then you need to start meditating. The foundation of the Reiki system, the bedrock on which it sits, is mindfulness. Mindfulness underpins everything. Meditating on the Reiki symbols helps too, as that’s their primary function (we’re getting into the territory of yantra yoga here, but it’s still done with mindfulness).
When you can make meditation your primary practice and then bring the stillness that comes from that into your energy work, you discover that healing just sort of happens on its own, incidentally.
Your very existence in the world becomes a healing mechanism. People start to have a healing response just because they are near you, just because you exist. You don’t need all this hands-on healing stuff. Just be. Just focus on yourself, do your own inner work and back it up with deeply engaged mindfulness and healing just happens wherever you go.
I have had many students (Muslims and Christians) who have said to me that when they learned Reiki and then went back to their prayers, that it was the first time in their lives that they felt a genuine and deep connection to God. It doesn’t surprise me. If you want to talk about healing in the context of Reiki, then it’s about the healing that follows on as a natural by-product of experiencing in an intimate way and learning to flow with the fundamental nature of the whole of creation. You discover at your core a deep knowing that form is emptiness and emptiness is form and it all just feels so much like love.
So, for sure, you can even pick up the practice of Reiki as a hands-on therapy and with that sort of deep insight gained from a direct experience of the Absolute, find that your treatments are more profound in their healing than they would have been otherwise.
The fastest Reiki treatment I ever gave was a little under three minutes. One of my students in Egypt came to me stressed, anxious and in a panic about a meeting she had to attend in New York the next day. She was leaving behind a whole bunch of impossible deadlines at her office and other pressing work commitments. She was totally wired.
I got her to lay down and I started into the treatment. I got the energy flowing and dropped into a state of mindful awareness. In that first minute, I literally felt my mind and her mind merge. There was one mind. ‘Mind’ gave way to awareness, and it was awareness of emptiness and of love that went on for ever and endlessly expanding and flowing outwards in all directions. That experience was, I guess, a fraction of a second, but once I was back being a practitioner separate from my client the treatment was over.
As she got off the treatment bed, literally 3 or 4 minutes after we had started, I tried to ask her how she felt. She quickly put her finger to her lips and said “Ssshhh… my mind is a like a sheet of glass… there is not a single thought on it.” Stillness, merging into the Absolute. That is what a treatment is truly all about, if we want to limit the practice to just giving treatments.
The true potential of Reiki is not talked about much in the Reiki literature or the wider Reiki community. You don’t have to give treatments to anyone. You just have to be. Reiki is a tool to encourage you into being mode, then you just sit back and watch the world heal around you.
Mindfulness Meditation and The Art of Reiki. Exploring the health and spiritual benefits of incorporating mindfulness meditation into the practice of Reiki
Mindfulness Meditation and The Art of Reiki By Steve Robert Gooch is available from www.ayni-books.com or from wherever books are sold.
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