Opening to Reiju
In an earlier article (The Confusion Around Reiju), we wrote that reiju is a spiritual blessing or initiation that facilitates direct experiencing of your true nature. We also described how the practices within the system of Reiki — precepts, symbols, mantras, meditation, and hands-on healing — play a role in deepening your reiju experience, whether you are a student or a teacher.
Implicit throughout that earlier article is the idea that, at its core, reiju is an invitation to remember and embody your true nature, the Dai Kômyô or Great Bright Light. (See our article, The Great Bright Light, for more information about Dai Kômyô.)
However, due to a variety of conditioned habits —attachments and aversions, positive and negative emotions, group and personal history — accepting this invitation may be difficult.
It doesn't need to be that way. In this current article, we focus on the practices that enable you to effectively accept the invitation and take the steps toward embodying your true nature.
Reiju requires an unshakeable attitude that you have the right to the invitation. That attitude is manifested through five interconnected practices:
1.Setting your intention to embody your true nature, which, in combination with the other four practices, helps ensure you receive what you need from the reiju.
2.Being open and relaxed, aware of what is happening without judgment or evaluation, connected with your teacher. The most effective interactions occur when student and teacher are mutually present to each other. But, let's be honest: Sooner or later, practicing mindful awareness will surface your conditioned habits. It is at precisely that moment when engaging in the second practice is of critical importance.
3.Letting go of conditioned habits, including any self-limiting thoughts, such as "Maybe I will rediscover my true nature after 10 years of practice," or "I can never do this," or "I am not good enough because of ______ (fill in the blank), or any other thoughts that only serve to make you feel small and inadequate. This 'letting go' practice usually occurs in small steps, with each step removing a barrier or constriction that prevents mindful awareness. One way to facilitate this is to engage in the fourth practice, before and after reiju.
4.Engaging in daily meditation on the precepts, mantras, symbols, and hands-on healing practices taught within the system of Reiki. As presented The System of Reiki is a Spiritual Practice, your engagement in these practices deepens your awareness of and ability to embody your true nature.
5.Sitting in a meditation posture, with your spine straight, your hands on your lap or knees, and your torso relaxed but not slouching. This ensures that your meridians are aligned and opened, enabling the unobstructed flow of energy through your body. You can sit on a chair or the floor, or kneel in seiza (with or without a bench). As you settle in to your meditation posture, take a few deep breaths into your hara and visualize your connection to Earth energy, which is the foundation and support for all your spiritual practices.
Each time you engage in reiju, you open yourself to new possibilities for diminishing your conditioned habits, deepening your awareness, and fully embodying your true nature. As a result, with each reiju, you are a 'different person' from the time of your previous reiju. This idea is aptly captured in the following quote by Heraclitus, an ancient Greek philosopher:
"No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man."
For that reason, we recommend that you engage in reiju as often as possible. You and it are different each time!
Underlying reiju is trust, which is the conscious choice to make something you value — in this case, remembering and embodying your true nature — vulnerable to the actions of another. Choosing whether to trust another involves four distinct assessments that you and your teacher are both:
Sincere in your intentions, actions, and practices — you say what you mean, mean what you say, and act accordingly.
Reliable in undertaking the practices associated with reiju and the system of Reiki — you can count on each other to engage in the practices so as to deepen awareness and embody true nature.
Competent to undertake those practices. Being competent doesn't mean being perfect; it does mean recognizing what you don't yet know, being willing to learn, and asking for help when you need it.
Committed to both your wellbeing and that of the other – you're in this together.
Trust doesn't automatically exist; it is not present from the first moment you and your teacher meet. Instead, it develops over time, by you being trustworthy (sincere, reliable, competent, and committed) in your practices, actions, and interactions.
Given the above, we recommend two practices to build trust. First, interact with your teacher as often as possible. Second, meditate on and embody the precepts — by being humble, honest, and compassionate you are also being trustworthy.
Reiju and Mind-to-Mind Transmission
In the article, The Confusion Around Reiju, we wrote the following:
Traditional teachings indicate that when Mikao Usui initially offered a reiju to his students, there was no physical ritual. Instead, he was 'just sitting' opposite the student. But, this wasn’t just any sitting — Mikao Usui was a living embodiment of the Great Bright Light, as symbolized in the Level III symbol and mantra of DKM.
DKM represents non-attachment, including non-attachment to our ego. It denotes a state of being without any sense of a 'you' or an 'I' or even of 'doing.' It epitomizes a space of open possibility.
Mikao Usui was 'just sitting' as the Great Bright Light, encompassing the entire cosmos and being that space of open possibility. In that space, Usui could offer the reiju as a healing, a blessing, an initiation, or all at the same time. In that space, the student could receive whatever he or she needed, at that moment in time. There was no need for ritual; only the ability of the person 'giving' the reiju to be the Great Bright Light.
In Japanese, the essence of this state of being is called nyu gag a nyu, or mind-to-mind transmission.
It is our greatest hope that one day you directly experience that your mind is the same as your teacher's mind and the universal mind. At that moment, you recognize that there is neither giving nor receiving reiju. There is only the Great Bright Light.
So, keep practicing the precepts, mantras, symbols, meditations, and hands-on healing. And keep practicing reiju.