Desire for Happiness - Insights into Sei Heki


Within Okuden Reiki Level II, we learn about three symbols and mantras. One of these is called Sei Heki.

Okuden means ‘inner’ or ‘hidden’ teachings, which means that the tools taught within this level are for your own spiritual development. These tools - symbols and mantras - are to help rediscover what is hidden inside of your self. What is this hidden inner element that needs to be rediscovered? It is your innate great bright light - your inner happiness. This kind of happiness comes not from something external - say, feeling happy about a job well done, your child’s smile, your partner’s touch - but from an even deeper place inside. 

We can see this very clearly when we look at the kanji for the mantra Sei Heki.

Sei Heki 性癖

Sei 性 - essence, the inner essence of something as opposed to its outer form, innate, personal quality, one's nature, the quality or constituent by which one becomes a buddha, suchness (in Buddhism, ‘nameless and characterless reality in its ultimate nature.’) 

Heki 癖 - habit, idiosyncrasy (a mode of behaviour or way of thought peculiar to an individual), craving

We therefore can say that Sei Heki means; "Our habitual drive to rediscover our inner essence" or "craving for our inner essence."

The Dalai Lama describes this kind of craving or desire beautifully: 

"We could say that our desire for happiness is, in a way, an attempt to rediscover our original state of mind." - The Dalai Lama - Book of Joy

Thus the Dalai Lama points out that the desire for happiness (our craving), is in fact an attempt to rediscover our original state of mind - our inner essence. If we look honestly at ourselves we can see that we all have this kind of habit or craving for inner happiness. However, most of the time we look outside of ourselves to find this happiness. Mikao Usui, like many other spiritual teachers, says that we have to look within, to find what is hidden within our own self, our innate happiness, our inner great bright light.

By chanting the Sei Heki mantra, we start to remember to look within, to lay bare what is hidden inside of ourselves. Sei Heki is thus a tool to help us remember our original state of mind, our inner essence. In our daily lives, we may have many external things that bring us happiness, sadness, or other emotions. But when we remember our inner essence, we can rediscover that true happiness comes from inside and is always there for us to find.


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  1. by Julie Anderson on July 06, 2017 at 06:06 am

    Thanks Frans for another insightful article.  I was also reading the Hidden Meaning of the First Symbol.  It seems they both embody the same out come and at the same time will be whole within themselves.  So would symbol 1 assist in grounding our true self (and not so true self :-) ) and symbol 2 assist in expanding the intuition of the true self (or not so true self).  Is our ‘inner essence’ the same as our true self.  Such great thoughts to ponder on

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