The Four Aspects of Reiki - Healing, Personal Development, Spiritual Discipline and Mystic Order.
I first heard this phrase when I attended a workshop in Germany with Phyllis Lei Furumoto. I was fascinated by the concept of looking at our Reiki practice from different angles. Cornerstones, if you will, recognisable stages in the journey and yet constantly interacting with each other all the time, like a beautiful weave of personal consciousness or heightened awareness.
Healing: The starting point in my Reiki journey came at a time in my life when I was physically weak and recovering from a time of personal trauma. Throughout the 80’s I received Reiki when recovering from a serious car crash. The different sensations I experienced in my body became familiar as did the beautiful colours and total lack of tension. Aches and pains diminished and my body gradually became more flexible and co-ordinated. The healing went deeper and touched my emotions, releasing tears, disillusionment and grief. In 1991 my master Krishni Borang told me about self-treatment and I signed up for Reiki First Degree. Self-treatment has certainly been the cornerstone of my personal practice: it helped me get stronger, gain more confidence and improve my general health. In fact I haven’t been to a doctor for years, although I do see homeopaths and other body workers from time to time, I rarely suffer from the numerous viruses so many people endure. If I start my day with a self- treatment session it usually goes well and also helps me to sleep at night. I have worked in public practice in different clinics for nearly twenty years, offering Reiki to a wide range of people suffering from many different conditions or facing intense personal challenges. Some clients went on to become students . The word healing comes from the Greek ‘helios’, to make whole; in my experience Reiki does just that, making us feel whole again.
Personal Development: Giving so many Reiki treatments was a real gift. In the words of Hawayo Takata , Reiki taught me: my intuition became stronger, my ability to connect with others more profound, insights which often proved to be very helpful to my client came quite naturally. I developed a greater sensitivity to the feelings in my hands. … I could listen to them and that listening would guide my words at the end of a session. On a personal level I found that I was able to face diverse situations more easily. Often I would feel hurt and take things personally but over the years I have become fairly chilled. I am also more able to express my truth in the moment and then let it go. Reiki has taught me not to hold onto stuff. If I want new energy and fresh experiences then I must let go of the past as it no longer serves me. The exciting thing about Reiki is that there is always more to learn and there is always more we can do; it is often said that you wind up teaching the very thing you need to learn about. How true! I find that my students are my greatest teachers. My Reiki friends frequently reflect my greatest anxieties and hidden patterns back to me and I can often see them quite clearly as I try to hold a place of equanimity. My challenge is to be willing to be flexible and see everybody’s truth, that for me is the value of community.
Spiritual Discipline: I feel that I was able to hold onto the Reiki path because our practice is both straight forward and also, in a Zen kind of way, paradoxical. The Principles are guidelines for life, drawn with great skill by Mikao Usui from the Mei Ji Emperor’s edict., designed as simple rules that everyone could understand. Yet, like a stone garden, in this simplicity lies a great stillness which opens a doorway to much deeper layers of understanding. A workshop with Paul Mitchell once invited us to work in groups and pairs discussing the Principles in depth, exploring our worry and anger, our relationships, integrity and gratitude. I was amazed at what was revealed to me and treasure that gift. As our lives change, we get challenged to look at the same issues from a different perspective. The Principles are teaching me to be totally responsible for my own state: no more excuses, blaming others or the past . I am the way I am because that is who I am. The Principles help support me on my road to inner freedom.
Mystic Order: Having been raised a catholic I thought I knew something about religious orders and esoteric groups. In fact, these communities I had encountered tended to pivot on belief systems rather than direct experience. With Reiki I know that I that share a common experience clearly defined by Phyllis Furumoto in her definition of Mystic Order. As a member of the Reiki Alliance I have met masters from different countries with whom I had no verbal common language, yet when we sat in circle together sometimes I could really hear what they were saying in spite of the so called language barrier. Visiting Russia in 2010, a master came over to me and just put a hand on my heart. In that moment vivid memories came into my mind. I caught her eye for a moment and with a big smile she said, in heavily accented English, “Everything is going to be just fine, be strong. “ This lovely woman really touched my heart at a time when my marriage had disintegrated and the future felt bleak. She had never met me before but when she touched me with Reiki, my heart opened. Perhaps we will never meet again but for a fleeting moment we shared a common experience.Conscious awareness of these Four Aspects has nourished and enriched my Reiki practice giving me a deeper sense of unity. In the present time, my focus is very much on spiritual discipline. I know that if I am not taking care of my own needs, if I don’t nourish my spirit then there will be no inspiration with which to weave the fabric of my life.