I have been fascinated lately with life force energy. Scientifically, it’s been known as the human energy field or the biofield. In China it is chi or qi; in Hinduism, the Sanskrit word is prana; and in Japan it is called ki. Metaphysically, it is known as spirit, subtle energy, or the aura. All languages have some term for this unseen energy force that animates life.
In the course of my studies, I found a renewed interest in Reiki. Reiki is a Japanese healing modality that can help the body, mind and spirit. It promotes harmony and balance, relaxation and stress relief, and aides the body in self-healing, among many other things. While Reiki techniques have been around for thousands of years, the Reiki commonly practiced today is of the Usui tradition, started in Japan in 1922 by Mikao Usui, and brought to the west by Hawayo Takata.
The word Reiki comes from two kanji (ideograms used in the Japanese written language), Rei and Ki. Rei means universal, but the deeper meaning is spiritual wisdom. And ki, as discussed above, stands for life force energy. So Reiki is spiritually guided life force energy, and is generally channeled through the hands of the practitioner by the laying-on-of-hands or by hovering above.
Our society in general tends to think of these alternative or metaphysical matters as “hokey” and we’re programmed to rely on our five senses; it’s only real if we can see, touch, taste, hear or smell it. We live in a culture where science and spirit were separated long ago, faith belongs to religion, science needs to be proven, and seeing is believing. But feeling can be believing, too…
I originally became certified in traditional Reiki Level 1 back in February, 2003. Besides learning about Reiki and the technique, there is an attunement process where the ability to channel Reiki is passed on from the Reiki Master to the student. Afterward, we were instructed to practice self-care Reiki and to record our daily observations. I found the old journal where I recorded my Reiki self-healing sessions and my Day 1 entry was as follows:
“Woke up a few times in the middle of the night and my spine and back were really hot. Then my hands were really hot.”
There are daily entries for over two weeks and the majority of them started with “woke up again with hot hands.” It was an interesting phenomenon and I know I’m not alone in this observation.
Unfortunately at the time, I didn’t know what to do with it, how to proceed…I wasn’t sure how to incorporate it on my spiritual path. But once you’re attuned, you’re attuned for life, and that proved true shortly after when Kabbalah was the next step on my journey.
Over the next seven years, I took a deep dive into studying Kabbalah, ancient Jewish mysticism. One of the spiritual tools that we learned was Tikkune Hanefesh, which means “correction of the soul” in Hebrew. In it, we would use our hand as a wand and imagine a healing white light beaming out as we scanned our bodies, starting at the skull, passing over the eyes, ears, nose, mouth, arms, etc all the way to the feet. We would also be visually scanning powerful formations of Hebrew letters. While using this tool, I often compared it to Reiki and I believe that I induced Reiki energy during it, as my hand usually became very hot and I could feel the beam of energy.
Perhaps I wasn’t ready in 2003, and since then, more and more information on energy has become available. While I’ve always been interested in the unseen energy of the world, I never really had a grasp on it, didn’t understand it on the deeper levels that are now awakening in my consciousness, and wasn’t sure how it translated on a practical level.
Fast forward to today…I recently became certified in Usui/Holy Fire Reiki Levels 1 and 2. There are various lineages in the teachings of Reiki, and Holy Fire is a healing energy that was discovered by William Lee Rand. As we evolve, the energy that we’re able to access evolves, and he found this energy to be more refined and contain a higher level of consciousness. And in Reiki Level 2, we are attuned to three Usui Reiki symbols: the power, mental/emotional, and distant symbols. I love working with them all.
I believe that all of our problems start off as energetic problems, and working with energy gets to the core. Trauma and unprocessed thoughts and emotions create energy blockages that we store in our bodies, disrupting the flow of energy. Like debris in a river that causes water to either stagnate or divert, the same is true with these energetic blocks.
As far as energy is concerned, there is no time or space, and everything is connected in the here and now. It follows intention and attention, and working with the distant symbol in particular allows me to give a Reiki session to someone remotely.
I’ve found that working with Reiki has opened up my coaching in a more powerful way. Besides working on issues and goals, I am able to provide clients with boosts of Reiki energy, shine a light on energy blocks, and help to remove obstacles. We are able to work on transformation at the seed level.
I’m excited to start on this new path of integrating an energy modality into my practice and looking forward to eventually becoming a Reiki master.
Challenge for the week: Feel the energy
We all instinctually place our hands on areas of pain or discomfort. If we have a headache, we will put our hand on our head, or if we eat too much, we may find ourselves rubbing our bellies. When a child bruises a knee, we may instinctually rub it for comfort. Some people are naturally attuned to the higher vibration of Reiki energy, but the difference with Reiki training is that we are attuned to this healing energy and are taught proper ways to use it. But we are all made of energy and we can all feel our own energy. Try this exercise to see for yourself:
Rub your hands together briskly until you feel some heat and friction. Stop and hold them in prayer position (open hand, palm to palm). Feel the heat that you’ve created between your palms.
Now slowly separate them. Start with just an inch or so apart. What do you feel? Can you feel a pulsation? Can you feel a magnetic force pushing and pulling them apart? Can you feel a tingling sensation? Play with that for a while, slowly opening and closing them further and further apart, feeling the energy between them. Maybe you can even feel an energy ball in your hands that you can roll around between your palms. Have fun with it. Welcome to the world of energy!
Have a great week! Please feel free to leave any questions or comments below.