ASKED QUESTIONS -
© 2004-5 James Deacon
should we have to learn to say the symbol names or mantras in
Japanese? Why not just use the English translation? Same question
about the actual distant and master symbols - aren't they just
the names drawn in Japanese writing? So why not just write the
English words instead. It would be much easier.
for a start, learning how to pronounce the Japanese phrases, and
draw the stylised kanji that make up these two symbols,
is a basic sign of commitment on the student's part - it
shows a willingness to make an effort to learn...
It is also a useful exercise in Mindfulness: focussing the attention
Then there is a matter of showing respect, and gratitude:
- taking the time to learn (and it really doesn't take that long)
the correct form of the symbols and the pronunciation of their
names/jumon is one of the many ways in which we honour
the Gift that is Reiki.
while we certainly know the English translaton of the kanji
used as symbols 3 and 4 - perhaps it says something about the
inherent spiritual importance of symbols per se, that,
on bringing Reiki to an English-speaking society, Takata-sensei
translated everything concerning Reiki into English - except
for the word 'Reiki' itself, and the Symbols: their forms
was told that when doing Reiki we should be careful not to pick
up on the other person's stuff: their physical aches and pains
I feel it can be useful to 'interact' with the client's physical/emotional
states - an important element of the therapeutic session (afterall,
the hibiki picked up as part of byosen are an example
of basic interaction with the client's 'stuff') - but it's all
a matter of how we interact with their 'stuff'.
simple hibiki, or more complex sensations of pain (somatic,
emotional or otherwise) or surfacing memory, etc - by acknowledging
it, and to whatever degree, experiencing it, I feel this helps
us connect at a deeper level with the client, enabling a clearer
'flow ' of Reiki.
there is a difference between allowing ourselves to interact with
and experience the client's 'stuff' in the moment [being
'present' with it during treatment], and taking it on and
holding onto it [taking it into our own lives beyond
the treatment session]
reading up on Reiki, I notice there doesn't seem to be anything
about removing stale, blocked or negative energy from the person
you are treating - like there is in some other types of healing.
feel this is where 'Reiki' (as a system) differs from, say, Qi
Gung or Shiatsu, or Therapeutic Touch - in each of which we do
have the conceptualisation of adding 'energy' into
the system or releasing/draining energy away from
while a lot of 'reframing' and 'revisionism' has gone on within
Reiki in the last few years - in particular, with some Teachers
seemingly bent on presenting Reiki as being essentially little
more than a purely manual form of 'ki-therapy' practice (much
akin to the most basic levels of Wai Qi [projected Qi Gung Healing])
- we have to remember that, at core, Reiki is not about adding
energy into the system in order to 'top up' deficiency
(kyo), nor for that matter, about removing energy from
the system to release excess (jitsu) [or, for that matter, 'negativity'].
Reiki is about Transformation.
IMO, when we give a treatment, rather than ki-energy to 'top up'
the clients energy reserves, we are chanelling a - for want of
a better word phenomenon - a spiritual 'something' which
elicits a positive, benign, transformative reaction/response
within in the client. [Remember, it is only in its most simplistic
usage that the word Reiki can be considered 'energy' .]
Reiki, 'Negative' energies/energy-patterns are transmuted into
positive ones and 'Positive' energies/energy-patterns are reinforced.
need be added - nothing need be taken away.
was taught [Ishikuro/Robertson
that if you use the master symbol on a client during treatment
this 'implies you accept full responsibility for their healing'?''
Why is this?
I recall correctly, the original thinking was that the Master
symbol was considered purely as an initiatorial symbol, so in
attempting to use it on a 'client' in a healing context, you would
in fact be 'passing attunement' to them. From the Tibetan teachings
brought in by Arthur Robertson who (- with input from Iris Ishikuro)
created Raku Kei Reiki, came the understanding of the Teacher's
karmic responsibility for their student (which, in using the DKM
on them, the 'client' had now - albeit unintentionally - become).
In just about every initiatorial tradition I am aware of, it is
a very serious matter for a teacher to take on a student. A student
is said to be (for want of a better term) 'tied' to the teacher/master
- through a karmic bond.
in Tibetan Vajra tradition, or in the Mikkyo traditions of Shingon
and Tendai, the teacher/master (mikkyo: Ajari) is karmically
responsible for the student until the student becomes a 'master'
in their own right and takes on the responsibility for the 'karma'
in relation to the teachings they are being empowered with/into.
karmically responsible for the student ('client') would also include
responsibility for their healing.
have heard that you can control Reiki. But surely it flows where
it will without any help from us other than being a channel for
not 'control', Reiki, but certainly 'guide' or 'direct.
Yes indeed we are 'channels' - and as channels, our part
of the 'agreement' (as it were) in our 'contract with Reiki' is
to be a clear channel - to 'get out of the way and let
the Reiki flow
at the same time, WE choose for whom or for what
(object, place, or event), and for when (past, present,
future) the Reiki will be channeled -
and, for that matter, we choose how long we are willing
to act as a channel (i.e. the length of the particular Reiki session/treatment).
for example, we choose to use the Seiheki Chiryo-ho technique
(to effect change to a clients habits, perceptions, addictions,
etc ) we are directing Reiki to effect a specific outcome
- not just change, but a specific change. When
we use CKR we are not simply being a channel - we are in effect
directing the Reiki to flow more potently, in keeping with our
personal perception of the need for it to do so, rather than just
letting the Reiki 'happen' as it will. And so on.
Reiki just another name for Chi or Ki, I mean, they are all spiritual
is not just Spiritual energy. Chi is a wideranging
and inclusive term for energy of varying degrees of 'coarseness'
and 'subtleness' - from the more 'tangible' energies including
'bio-energy' - right through to the 'cosmic' or most 'spiritual'
end of the spectrum. [The original ideogram or kanji for
chi implies steam rising from a covered pot of rice cooking
over a fire, with the lid of the pot being lifted by the steam
- hence its basic meaning: energy or motive force.]
The term Reiki, on the other hand, refers to a (or possibly
the most) highly refined form of chi which can be
accessed by a living being's energy-system.
And while the -ki part of Rei-ki is the Japanese equivalent
of chi, there are some subtle differences between the Chinese
understanding of chi and the Japanese understanding of
ki. In isolation, ki is indeed 'energy' (but not
just 'energy' - it also loosely translates as Intent, Attitude,
Mood, Emotion, Spirit (in the sense of 'Spiritedness'/Fiestiness),
Feelings, Heart, Mind, Disposition, Character/Nature, Temprament;
the very essence of a thing); but in combination with other kanji
- ki can refer not only to 'energy' itself but also to
the effect of energy being expended - the effect of
energy in action.
In the case of Rei-ki, rather than referring to 'Spiritual energy'
itself, this deeper meaning would imply: 'the effect of Spiritual
Energy in action'
[Hence, the reason many people are now beginning to translate
'Reiki' as something along the lines of 'Influence of the Spirit'.]
the beginning of the Reiki Principles, when it says 'The Secret
Method To Invite Happiness'; what does the 'Secret' part mean?
I feel that its all a matter of how literally we translate: Shoufuku
We can rephrase 'The Secret Method To Invite Happiness' as something
'The Secret to Being Happy'. I
feel the Principles themselves are the 'secret method'. Its
a bit like that book title: "The
Seven Secrets of Success" - the 'secrets' are 'keys' or strategies
to apply to life. so too, in just the same way the
Principles are 'secrets' - strategies to apply to life.
Essentially, for me, its saying: "Look - this is the Secret
to Being Happy - and the key to Spiritual Healing: Just for today,
do not get angry... etc, etc..."
have heard that if you are unwell or even not focussing on what
you are doing during the Reiki session you might end up giving
some of your own energy instead of Reiki energy to the patient.
its not so much a case of 'instead of' as one of 'as
well as'; and
I don't feel you have to be unwell for this to happen either.
desire to 'do' Reiki - to involve yourself in the therapeutic
process (beyond simply being a medium for Reiki) can certainly,
IMO, bring your own energies into the mix. I'm sure at some point
we've all been there.
concept of nen: mindfulness ( - as in HSZSN) is very important
in Reiki, I feel. Though, not so much, being mindful of what you
are doing, as being mindful that 'you' are not doing the 'doing'
- Reiki is.
Takata-sensei was fond of saying 'let go and let the energy flow'
It is a case of constantly being mindful of the need to 'step
out of the way' - of overriding the desire of the conscious mind
to interfere (albeit to benign intent) in the process, and instead,
simply let the Reiki phenomenon 'happen'.
it true that Dr Usui found Reiki while he was doing something
called Lotus Repentance meditation?
too much is made of the possible (and I repeat POSSIBLE) link
between the Lotus Repentence Ritual - a Tendai Buddhist practice
- and Usui Sensei's meditation.
best of my knowledge, the Lotus Repentance Ritual is a rite practiced
primarily at Hiei Yama, it was not commonly performed at Kurama
Yama. Even if it was performed at Kurama, it seems to be primarily
a Priestly practice - just because he was Tendai, doesn't mean
Usui was a priest. And just because he meditated on a mountain
that was, during his lifetime, under Tendai control, doesn't necessarily
mean he was even participating in a Tendai rite.
Although the main Temple complex was under Tendai rule, as a Sacred
Mountain, Kurama Yama was frequented by members of many different
sects. It was/is also of course sacred to followers of Shinto
(- let's not forget that 'Mao-son' -one part of the trinity collectively
referred to as Sonten by the independent Religion that took over
Kurama after WWII - is in fact a Kami, not a Buddha or
Kurama also holds significance for several of the 'new religions'
which were in existence in Usui-sensei's day (eg: the Oomoto-kyo
- with whom many claim Usui-sensei was possibly connected). And
like many other sacred places, Kurama was no doubt frequented
by numerous 'independent' shamanic and mystic devotees, practicing
many and varied meditative austerities. Usui Sensei's meditation
could have been something from any of a number of traditions.
Also, the practice of 21-day meditation is not solely a Buddhist
(let alone specificallyTendai) one. Even amongst the founders
of other modern-day healing traditions and 'new religions' in
Japan, similar themes can be found.
example, the experience of Hase Yoshio, founder of the healing
sect Reiha no Hikari Kyôkai:
Having been sickly since childhood, Hase Yoshio was suffering
from tuberculosis, pleurisy, and after surgery for an intestinal
condition, his doctor had told him he was unlikely to survive
more than a month.
In the time he had left, he decided go on a religious quest.
Hase climbed to the summit of Gokenzan Yama, where, he sequestered
himself in a small hut. Lining up twenty-one stones to count the
days, he sat in perpetual meditation, discarding one of the stones
The day came when there was only a single stone remaining, and
on this day, Hase experienced a spiritual phenomenon. He became
aware of the voice of god, and the voice said, "Be the messenger
of god and walk the path of god." As the voice spoke to him,
Hase was transfixed - unable to move - as if he were tied down;
and suddenly, all the terrible pain that had crippled him for
so long mysteriously dissipated. And in time his health recovered
the symbols have to be imprinted in the chakras for the practitioner
to be able to use them to intensify the healing produced by the
whole concept of chakras is really alien to Japanese healing practices
(one - or more - of Takata sensei's students, it seems, introduced
the chakra system into Reiki probably in the late 70's as a frame
of reference for New-Age oriented westerners).
"...use them to intensify the healing
produced by the Reiki energy?"
Perhaps we in the west think too much about Reiki in terms of
'energy' (something that we have re-imported back into Japan)
Reiki is - to my mind - more 'Spiritual Phenomenon' than 'Energy'.
Rather than seeing it that healing is 'intensified' by the symbols
- it might be better to say that the symbols bring focus ( -mindfulness)
to the whole 'Process of Sharing' that is the Reiki Experience.
To infer that symbols are 'used to intensify the healing produced',
seems to me to suggest that healing is something that the practitioner
'does' to the client.
When a Reiki Practioner and a Client enter into the Sharing Process
that is the Reiki Experience, the Practitioner is simply the Facilitator
for the Experience, Reiki is the Catalyst, the Client themself
is the Healer....
am looking to make Buddhist connection to Reiki. In your opinion
do the Reiki symbols link to these Buddhas: CKR for Dei Seichi
Bosatsu, SHK for Monju Bosatsu, HSZSN for Ashuku Nyorai, DKM for
Amida Nyorai ?
do you feel the need to link the Reiki symbols to individual Buddhist
CHR is NOT a Buddhist Symbol - it is possibly of Shinto origin.
On one level, it may be seen an invocation of the Blessings of
the Kami [- choku rei = 'Spirit Direct from God']
is the ONLY Reiki Symbol with any direct connection to an emblem
of a particular Buddha. SHK is based on the shuji symbol
is used in Japanese Buddhism to symbolise Amida Butsu - Buddha
of Compassion (and also to symbolise the bodhisattva, Senju Kanzeon).
the kiriku is - for followers of either of these two Deities
- to invoke their power/Blessing.
this does NOT mean that, in Reiki symbolism, SHK necessarily has
any direct connection with either Amida or Senju
is not a 'symbol' per se - it is actually a MANTRA reminding
us of the need for Mindfulness in ones undertakings - not a symbol
of a specific Buddhist Deity (though 'Mindfulness' is the
7th step in the Noble 8-Fold Path of Buddhism.)
as for DKM, in a Buddhist sense, it signifies the great Komyo
-'Enlightened Nature' or 'the Radiant Light of Wisdom' - the Radiance
of a Deity - not of one specific Deity, but any
expression of deity - be it in the form of a Buddha, Bodhisattva,
'Vidyaraja', etc. ( -even a Shinto kami for that matter)
Please see the section of this website on the Symbols
(IN)FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS - page 1
ASKED QUESTIONS - page 3