Protection and Reiki

Within many Reiki classes and energy healing modalities there is a lot of talk about protecting yourself.

Practitioners and teachers often feel the need to protect themselves from "negative" energy from their client, but does this all make sense?

Lets take a closer look at the concept of protection.

Fear

The first question we need to ask ourselves is why do we feel we need protection during a hands-on healing session or while performing a reiju/initiation/attunement?

The real answer is that we have fear; fear that we pick up something unwanted from the client. We have this kind of fear within ourselves because we are not stable, we can't see the whole picture but only parts of it - we are not grounded, not centered, not realizing the truth. This fear makes us unstable, which also means that if we try to protect ourselves with, for example, the visualization of a bright light around us, then that visualization is based on fear, which in turn means the whole visualization is unstable. We could call this kind of visualization "outer protection" as we see it external from ourself.

Some Westerners when they go to India or Nepal come back loaded with cords around their neck and arm. If I ask them what they are they tell me they are protections and I ask, "But are you a practitioner?" "Oh yes." "Then why don't you use practice to protect yourself, you aren' t a goat a dog or a yak". Namkhai Norbu

The "I"

But what is fear, FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real.

We experience fear because we cling to the "I", "I am getting your negative energy", "I am not feeling good after performing a hands on healing session", "I am picking up your physical issues" etc. All these statements have their base in a strong grasping of the "I". But who is this "I"? Normally we only relate to the relative "I", but when we go deeper into our personal practice we start to find our ultimate relation to the "I".

But hang on, lets turn the roles around...

If we have to protect ourselves from taking on the client's "negative" energy, then what about our client!? Does the client also need to protect him/herself while laying on the table? Wouldn't the client also take on the practitioner's "negative" energy? Because if we have the fear that we pick something up from our client then it can also be the other way around! Strangely, this doesn't seem to enter the practitioner's or teacher's mind, why? Because we only feel the need to protect ourselves, it is an ego trip, it is all about the "I".

Some teachers say, "Wash your hands after a hands-on healing session because you touched the client or worked in the client's energy field and now you might have taken on some of the client's "negative" energy." This also implies that the client needs to wash him or herself after a treatment, as the client has also touched you!

In response to this you might think, "No, my client only lay there. It was I who put my hands on the client." This comes once again from the ego, the "I". Just try it, put your hands on someone, okay it looks like you are touching the person because we associate touch with our hands, but the other person is touching your hands through the body! Right or not right? Touch a tree, and now realize that the tree is also touching you, touch an animal and now you realize that the animal is also touching you - it is never a one way street. We can touch with our whole being, our eyes, our hands, our skin, our energy and not to forget the most important one, our mind.

The whole idea of protection comes from our projection of grasping to the "I" - when the practitioner considers him or herself as the doer and therefore can only pick stuff up, not the other way around. Your client is as much participating in the whole process as yourself.

Because we cling so much to the "I" we need to work with the other practices taught within the system of Reiki before we can do a proper hands-on healing session. These other practices help us to soften the grip on the "I" which in turn will lessen our fear. One of these practices is the precepts.

Precepts

The precepts are:

Do not anger
Do not worry
Be humble
Be honest in your work
Show compassion to yourself and others

We only have to look at the precept: do not worry, to get a clear picture of where this is going. We feel the need to protect ourselves because we worry that we pick something up, that we become contaminated with our client's stuff. But the precept says: do not worry!

So if we still feel the need to use an outer form of protection then this also means that we are not really grasping the precepts. This is why we first of all need to understand the precepts, without this our hands-on healing practice becomes unstable.

And what about compassion? What if you are doing a hands-on healing session on your client and afterwards your client says: "Please, can I give you all my issues, I've had enough of them". What would you say? If we were truly compassionate we would say: "Yes, of course. Let me take them from you, no problem." This is real compassion, taking on someone else's suffering. Taking on another person's pain and suffering is a wonderful way of helping to release our own fears and attachments and also to awaken pure compassion in ourselves. So be taking on another persons suffering we deal with some of the other precepts, like worry and anger. So this practice/intent is a great antidote for our own pain and suffering. By the need to protect ourselves we only strengthen our own fears and worries and we push ourselves away from real compassion as well. Often we are afraid to do this as it brings up our own fears, anger, worry you name it.

A mother would have this kind of intent for her child, she would gladly take on the child's pain, but when it comes to strangers we get scared.

Grounding

One other major issue is that we have fear because we are not properly grounded within our physical body. Remember the Weeble Wobbles, Weebles wobble but they do not fall!

Why do Weebles not fall? Because they have their weight at the bottom. Most of us, in our modern society, carry the weight in our head, too much TV, computers, intellectualising, judging where to place the hands and what else to do during a treatment, mobile phone, you name it, it is all in the head. This makes us very unstable.

We need to remember our centre again, our foundation, and this can be done with the traditional Japanese Reiki practice Joshin Kokyu Ho. This practice is about clearing our mind of all our fears and worries through focusing on the breath and the hara/tanden.

The more we practice this kind of meditation, the more grounded we become Like a Weeble Wobble, we might experience something during a hands-on healing session but we do not get scared or fearful, we do not fall over, we move straight back into our centre. As our focus is directed inwards, into our centre/tanden/hara, we can call this form of protection "inner protection".

Mantras

Within the system of Reiki we also have mantras. Mantra means protection of the mind.

When we recite a mantra, our mind is focused on just one thing, the mantra, therefore the mantra protects the mind from going into fear or worry mode.

This kind of protection is also called "inner protection" like working with Joshin Kokyu Ho. The mantra is internalized and is working with the mind and our subtle energies to create harmony and balance, which in turn releases our fears and worries. These mantras are taught in Okuden, Okuden means inner or hidden teachings, this means that we need to apply the tools, symbols and mantras, taught within this level internally and not externally. The more we use these tools internally, the more we let go of the "I" , which in turn softens our worries and fears.

We are firmly protected from the inside. That is our spirit. We are protected from the inside, always, incessantly, so we do not expect any help from outside. Shunryu Suzuki

Negative and Positive

So we feel the need to protect ourselves because we fear that we might pick up "negative" energy from our client. But what is "negative" energy anyway?

What one person might find negative the other might find positive. For example, you might do a hands on healing session on someone and see lots of black stuff, you might get scared and label it negative, while someone else sees the same black stuff and it reminds her of a beautiful black night sky. Same experience but a different kind of labelling. 

You might do a treatment on someone who has a cold and you get worried that you might pick it up, because you label the cold negative. Someone else does a hands-on healing on the same person but doesn't label the cold as negative, but just as a cold. The latter practitioner is in a much better state, worry triggers unbalance within our own mind. This is why we need to clear the mind first before we can become stable practitioners and teachers. If our mind is unstable, our body and energy will also be unstable, and this means we are more vulnerable leaving us with the possibility of picking up "negative" stuff.

Interconnectedness

When we go deeper into the system of Reiki we start to realize that we are all interconnected in the first place. At a relative level we are separate ,but at the ultimate level we are all interconnected. When we realize this interconnectedness we start to realize aspects of our true self. This means that on this deeper level there is no giving or taking, no coming or going, no devision between practitioner and client, there is just interconnectedness and that is all. This state of mind is the "ultimate protection."

This means that within our personal practice we need to grow from "outer protection" to "inner protection" to "ultimate protection". 

This state of mind is also symbolised by the third symbol and mantra HSZSN which means "I am right mind" and the symbol and mantra of Shinpiden Reiki Level III DKM which stands for non-duality.

When we look for the source of all the problems that confront human life we usually blame everything but the root cause: our lack of spiritual discipline and realization. Particularly in this degenerate age, the world atmosphere is so very negative and the conditions around us conducive to little but evil karma and meaningless distractions, that not to have the protection of spiritual knowledge is to leave ourselves totally defenceless against the negative mind.  Dalai Lama

The Box

Here is a story which I often demonstrate in class with a physical cardboard box, if available, which I put in front of me.

When we feel the need to protect ourselves we create a wall between ourselves and our client, thus separating ourselves from the interconnectedness of our client and the universe. Imagine erecting a cardboard box which is symbolising our wall of protection. But as soon as there is a wall I can kick it, I can damage it, it is vulnerable. At this stage in the class I kick the cardboard box, it flies here and there and everywhere, it gets hurt, it gets worried, afterwards we need to fix the box, repair it - symbolising repairing our own energy and mind, maybe by washing our hands, clearing our own energy from the "negativity" of our client after a hands on healing session.

But.... what if..... I take the cardboard box and rip it open, rip off the sides, make it completely open, can I still kick it? No, there is nothing to kick!

This openness, if it comes from the right place of course - our centre, is the best protection, there is nothing to kick, nothing to damage, nothing to hurt. This open state of mind is the state of mind of mushin "no-mind", the ultimate form of protection. This state of mind is like space, we cannot hurt space, we can blow up walls, but we cannot blow up space.

This kind of spaciousness is symbolised by the Shinpiden level III symbol and mantra DKM, but we need to embody it, not just know it intellectual to really benefit from it.

This state of mind was strived for by the Samurai of ancient Japan.

The spiritual aspect of valor is evidenced by composure--calm presence of mind. Tranquility is courage in repose...A truly brave man is ever serene; he is never taken by surprise; nothing ruffles the equanimity of his spirit. In the heat of battle he remains cool; in the midst of catastrophes he keeps level his mind. Nitobe Inazo - Bushido: The Soul of the Samurai.

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  1. by Frans Stiene on July 21, 2013 at 05:10 pm

    Just read this wonderful quote:
    “Oh that my monk’s robe
    Were wide enough
    To gather up all
    The suffering people
    In this floating world.”
    Ryokan

  2. by Elly on July 21, 2013 at 07:01 pm

    Oh, dear, this is terrible! “Protecting yourself” from those who have come to you to find their own healing? Oh no, no! With Reiki, there is never a need to protect yourself, rather to extend yourself to help those who need you to help them draw healing energy and settle into their true selves, into peace, into the All. Someone who’s afraid of their own clients needs to take a step back and practice daily self-healing, Reiki meditations, working with the symbols and mantras, reading Reiki and other spiritual literature, listening to Reiki music, and attending Reiki seminars and classes. Perhaps they’ll grow into healers of others. Perhaps they’ll simply grow into themselves. Whatever the case, no one who fears “contamination” from another should ever put their hands down to heal. Usui Founder must be rolling in his grave.

  3. by Frans Stiene on July 21, 2013 at 07:27 pm

    Hi Elly,
    I can’t agree more with your statement: “Someone who’s afraid of their own clients needs to take a step back and practice daily self-healing, Reiki meditations, working with the symbols and mantras, reading Reiki and other spiritual literature, listening to Reiki music, and attending Reiki seminars and classes.”

    All we need to be is open and this openness comes from our own personal spiritual practice. This is why it is so important to have a daily meditation practice.

  4. by Frans Stiene on July 21, 2013 at 07:47 pm

    Hi Elly,
    In all these 15 years of practicing hands on healing on others I have never found the need to protect myself. When I first started to practice we were in India and did hands on healing on people with all sorts of dis-eases. Nowadays I sometimes do 7 or 8 one hour treatments a day, and still do not feel the need to protect myself. Protection comes from our own insecurity, our own imbalance.

    One of the precepts is about being honest, we need to look regularly in the mirror and honestly ask ourselves if we are in the right state of mind to do hands on healing on others. If our honest answer is: no, then we need to make sure we re-balance our own energy, create a daily meditation practice etc., until we can honestly say to ourselves in the mirror: yes now I am stable enough to do hands on healing on others.

  5. by Mitzi on July 21, 2013 at 10:40 pm

    Both duing reiki 1 and 2 attunements I was taught to protect myself and I agree totally with this, as someone who had lived with spirt attatchments and had those successfully released,I know first hand that we are not protecting ourselves from the clients negative energy so much as keeping ourseleves free from spirt attatchment.During a rieki session it is not too uncommon to realise you are pulling something unwanted from the client.I remember a reiki practitioner explaining how she pushed whatever it was out of the window.If this happens to you ask for angelic assistance if another spirt has not shown up to deal with this.There is a whole world of unseen things out there that are attracted to you doing reiki. It puts a gap between you and the client so that it is the reiki and not your energy but the reiki doing the work, incidently this helps with grounding as you are not pulled off center by you clients energy.love and light and lots of reiki mitzi.

  6. by Frans Stiene on July 21, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    Hi Mitzi,

    I do not teach protection in level I, II or III, but I teach that real protection comes from our own mind, how stable our own mind is. And to facilitate this stability we need to practice the meditations taught within the system of Reiki.

    When I do a hands on healing on someone I do not pull anything out of a client, I do not give anything to a client either, I just be with the client.
    As soon as we just be with a client all is well. However many practitioners find it very hard to just be as we are so focused on doing something. The more we do stuff the harder a hands on healing becomes and the harder it is to be stable.

    You might find this article interesting it is a Japanese story about a cat.
    Here is a quote from the story:

    “Because of the self there is the foe; when there is no self there is no foe.”
    http://www.rubinghscience.org/zen/cat1.html

    The whole system of reiki is about letting go of the self. If there is no self there is no one to get angry or worried. This is why we first need to make sure we practice daily meditations for ourself so that we can be in a stable state to do hands on healing on others.

  7. by stephanie on July 21, 2013 at 11:52 pm

    Maybe this is true but being an empathy, I have to shield myself from emotional releases and strong energy from people around me otherwise no matter what I will pick up these emotions and literally feel them if I don’t protect my aura. It has nothing to do with fear at all for me at least. But I do like the theory behind the article. However I never have to ground and I rarely pick up emotions from a client once I start Reiki. Its mostly when I am out and about during the day such as going to crowded places or whatnot.

  8. by Elly on July 22, 2013 at 12:49 am

    Hi Stephanie! Like you, I’m an empath; I feel what others are feeling. I’ll often find tears pouring down my face as I listen to some of the horror stories that have brought people to Reiki and feel their pain and suffering. And like you, I also pick up on the feelings of others in all their nuances wherever I go, whatever I see. But I never feel like I need “protection” from this, instead, I see it as a gift. I’ve learned to always carry Kleenex and deal with it! The exception is when someone’s aura projects darkness, evil (i.e., a sociopath), when your body’s “fight or flight” mechanism goes on full alert even when outwardly nothing seems to be wrong. I always listen to my instincts and get away from those people! (Then send Reiki back to them, the poor, lost souls.) But fortunately, that type of encounter very rarely happens, and I’ve never encountered it in a Reiki setting. I agree with you that an empathic response is seldom if ever activated in a hands-on session, no doubt because the client goes into a deep state of relaxation so you can, too. Embrace your empathy! It’s what makes us human. Best, Elly

  9. by Frans Stiene on July 22, 2013 at 09:08 am

    Hi Elly and Stephanie,

    The whole issue is really about labeling, as soon as we label ourselves as empaths we have already set ourselves up to picking up things. We might say I am a empath or I am a Reiki teacher or I am a carpenter, but that is not really who we are, we need to carefully check this for ourself.

    Usui-san wrote the precepts and the precepts is all about letting go of labeling, letting go of the “I”.

    This also is about labeling things good or bad, positive or negative, this is also what we need to check very carefully within ourselves. This of course is again symbolised by the symbols and mantras within the system of Reiki, but being symbolised or embodiment is very different.

    Interesting that you say that it often doesn’t happen during a hands on healing session, which means that if we go deeper within ourselves we can maintain that kind of state during our day as well, as Reiki means our True Self and we also have our True Self with us.

    I really would suggest to anybody who feels the need to protect themselves to go deeper into their grounding and after having done that for a long time, at least 1 or 2 years daily meditation, start to open up like space.

  10. by Frans Stiene on July 22, 2013 at 09:41 am

    Quote about fear:

    “Without fear, we are able to see more
    clearly our connections to others.
    Without fear, we have more room for
    understanding and compassion.
    Without fear, we are truly free.”

    Thich Nhat Hanh

  11. by Frans Stiene on July 22, 2013 at 10:38 am

    Here is a link to an interesting article about taking and giving by Pema Chodron.

    Quote from the article:

    “People often say that this practice goes against the grain of how we usually hold ourselves together. Truthfully, this practice does go against the grain of wanting things on our own terms, of wanting it to work out for ourselves no matter what happens to the others. The practice dissolves the armor of self-protection we’ve tried so hard to create around ourselves. In Buddhist language one would say that it dissolves the fixation and clinging of ego.”

    http://www.shambhala.org/teachers/pema/tonglen1.php

  12. by Frans Stiene on July 22, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    When we wash our dirty clothes we are happy that the dirt comes off it and that the water gets dirty. We don’t feel the need to protect ourselves from this dirty water because we are happy about it. This is the same when we do a hands on healing session, the dirt of the person comes off, we need to be happy about it, not fearful.

  13. by Freya on July 22, 2013 at 05:17 pm

    Thank you Frans so much for your article and the comments that follow. I find your writing very clear. I have a question that is related to the topic that you write about. Do you recommend that we protect ourselves from electomagnetic fields in daily life and while sharing Reiki? I have recently watched a video on Conscious TV with a mediation teacher called Burgs that suggests that EMF from Wifi and mobile phones can block the flow of energy between people and between people and their environment. At the moment I have wifi on in my home and there are at least 3 people regularly using computers in different rooms of the house. Do you have any suggestions? I must admit that there is some fear arising in me over this - fear that this EMF is harming our energetic connection with ourselves and others. The link to the video is http://conscious.tv/consciousness.html?bcpid=2439355001&bclid=1488462251001&bctid=2525868744001

  14. by Elly on July 22, 2013 at 05:35 pm

    Hi Frans! Interesting perspective re: empathy. I’ve found it to be a beautiful, simple way to break down the walls of ego, since when you feel what others feel, the boundaries between you blur, and it becomes crystal clear that there cannot be a “you” separate from them, or how could this running together happen? It’s the most straightforward but irrefutable proof I know that we are one energy with myriad ephemeral manifestations: The blade of grass and the beetle that crawls on it and the dog who runs through it and the person who watches it, all one. As such, empathy is a gateway to the All, and one that is more accessible than most.

  15. by Elly on July 22, 2013 at 06:00 pm

    Oops, I forgot to say how much I appreciated the Thich Nhat Hanh quote. I think all five of Usui Founder’s Precepts were aimed at dissolving fear, fear of attachment, fear of isolation, fear of appearing weak through the expression of gratitude and compassion. But the first two Precepts address fear directly, since worry is fear directed inward and anger is fear directed outward. The Reiki Path is designed to free us from our fears!

  16. by Frans Stiene on July 22, 2013 at 07:48 pm

    Hi Elly,
    I agree we can use empathy to dissolve the ego.
    This is the same with other people “negative” energy, we can use this to dissolve the ego. However we need to be strong within ourself to be able to use empathy and other peoples issue to dissolve our own ego, this is why we need to ground ourselves so we have a strong foundation to do these kind of practices. Else the person who is trying to do this will start to feel even more fear and worry.

    Isn’t that a wonderful quote, so true. This is why Usui-san had the precept, do not worry.

  17. by Frans Stiene on July 22, 2013 at 08:01 pm

    Hi Freya,

    Good question. The most important element is to have a clear state of mind without any worry or fear. There are many things we could protect ourselves from, electromagnetic, etc.. but in reality it is all around us. We can not hide, we can not done ourselves with anti electromagnetic gadgets, it is like the protection cords, see quote in article. This is the same when Reiki teachers say we should take off jewellery.

    It is all in the mind, the mind needs to be clear, the mind needs to realize its unification with the universe.

    Here is an interesting scenario: You walk down town wearing jewellery, and because you are going out, you took of your anti electromagnetic pendant and left it at home. Suddenly your friend has an accident, and asks: please do some hands on healing for me.
    What do you do?
    Do you say to her: wait one second, you first take off your ear rings, then your wedding ring, then your bracelet, then your necklace, then your glasses, and one more ring? Of course not you would be wasting time, by the time you have taken them all off and put them in your purse she might be dead.
    Do you say to yourself and to her: Sorry but my reiki is not so strong today because I am not wearing my special anti electromagnetic pendant? That would all be a bit silly and also we would really see all our energy external and dependant on external causes. But in reality Reiki is our true self, it is only our mind which needs to be clear. This is why the precepts are so important.

    Hope this all makes sense.

  18. by seema on July 23, 2013 at 02:42 am

    It’s interesting about empathy, I also considered myself the same. This is something I felt much before I started working with system of Reiki. I would feel pain, etc. anytime I would place my hands on the patients (I am an occupational therapist). I remember when I first starting working in a nursing home setting and started with geriatric ( older) population with severe illness , wounds and contractures it made me very depressed. As I was much younger that time also. Seeing the life almost on door step of death, so to speak was harder on me. I would feel sick etc., then more I started to work better I got. My major experience is with older population still. Then when I started working with system of Reiki in 2005 onwards, I was introduced to need of protection, and started first on family then others and I remember feeling so exhausted and tired. I felt I was feeling their symptoms so much more even at my work. I thought it is because I am in more in “tune” with their energies and let it go. Then 2 years ago , I felt I need to stop the protection all together when I realized I was protecting myself from my daughter ( when I was doing hands on healing or hands off healing) . It sounded to me so stupid it’s like I am protecting myself from self (she is my flesh and blood). This gave me an understanding of not using the protection at all on anyone because I felt why this discrimination. I must say I was not sure initially but I didn’t liked the idea of spending so much time in preparation to protect ( being too lazy perhaps) as I really should be get on with the session. I felt a great difference in my sessions. They were much more profound the before. Things really started to change when I started to work on Precepts and symbol meditations as that gave me a base / foundation to work from ” no fear” zone and gave me the strength to just be there with the client. Now, I see them as me, so the way I see it if “they” and “me” are one and same then why to protect? Off course I need lot of work and connection cuts so many times but now after I am done with sessions I feel great, it’s like I just had a wonderful session myself, it’s actually more like I just got up from meditations. That’s how I feel. So, now even though I am more “Intune” with their feelings and my feelings, I don’t “cling” on their stuff. Absolutely amazing, Love it this feeling. I have never really had any experience when I felt sucked in or anything though or “psychic attacks” , although had experiences where one can say I saw things but that just comes and go , and that’s the way it is. I do not try to label that experience.

  19. by Kathleen Prasad on July 23, 2013 at 02:48 am

    Beautiful article! I know you speak a lot about this in classes Frans, it is so important. I really love the box metaphor:) I think we humans get very off track by externalizing everything, instead of seeing each challenge as an opportunity to self-heal. Also we find it difficult to be truly present in surrender, openness and humility: we are either angry about the past, worried about the future, or trying to change the present to fit our ego.

    Protection is a big topic for me too in my classes as students who work w/shelter and sanctuary animals face all kinds of difficult scenarios and health conditions in their practice. If we scattered and fearful, if we don’t deal with our own stuff, if we don’t develop and strengthen our own spiritual core, than in reality we can’t possibly help the animals at all….

    I think we are very lucky as Reiki students to have this system, so grounded in ancient tradition and wisdom, to help us to develop our inner stability—contemplating the precepts to heal our mind, deepening our grounding with the specific meditations, working with the mantras and symbols to help let go of our intellect and open to a more centered and open state of being…and also having the guidance and support of a teacher who is very centered himself is such a big help! Also, animals are very good at helping us let go of our ego aren’t they :)

    It is also important, and this is a special gift that Frans gives in all his classes, to have the direct experience of letting go into this beautiful open space of being and connecting. This is why its important to find a teacher who can provide this kind of experiential learning—-we can talk about “openness” “fearlessness” “egolessness” all day long, but until we have the actual experience of it, it can’t really touch our hearts in a meaningful way; we need the experience of it to produce the inner shift.

    All of you who have taken Frans’ classes, you know what I’m talking about. Thank you Frans!

  20. by stephanie on July 23, 2013 at 02:56 am

    While perception us the key to almost everything.I must say that it is perception and our own views that make each life unique, without great artist’s perception of life we wouldn’t have amazing works of art like starry night. We all have different beliefs and values that shape who we are. I think that it is great that you have such strong beliefs in what you are saying and that that is YOUR perception of things.we are all interconnected and are all of the same energy that connects everything at the same time haven’t you ever been around someone maybe at a business meeting that you couldn’t escape from and that person was just very negative? It is exhausting to be around that kind of energy it takes a toll on your own energy and that is my perception based on experiences not just from flippant ideals.I truly think that if you stepped outside yourself and put yourself in another’s shoes that maybe you might see where other people are coming from.I highly respect your views and perception of these things and I can completely see where you are coming from.however I respectfully agree to disagree based on my own life experiences and my own unique perception.

  21. by seema on July 23, 2013 at 05:20 am

    Agree with Kathleen , we can talk about openness, fearlessness, egolessness whole day long nothing will be achieved . This way the only thing you can possibily do is a debate like I remember doing it in school days :-) . Direct experience is the key when you are talking about something like Reiki which is a spiritual healing. Its experienced not defined, its felt and not told . And the best part is when you experience it not only you but others around you and the whole universe smell its fragrance. Its powerful yet gentle.

    BTW - Oneness is such a overrated and overused term that people at times use it without even knowing the meaning , like this is something you can achieve just like that.

    I think one needs to experience it at lease give a attempt before making opinion and yes , most important thing—you need to have the teacher who can has walked that path himself so he/ she can guide you. I don’t know what that means by ” coming out of yourself and stepping into others shoes”

    I think , its possible to bring the elements of Reiki and bring in your life on ongoing basis and still stay with this “physical world” , we are not talking about going to Himalayas. Yes, people some times will take a toll at you but that’s why one has to work on themselves every day on regular basis it gives one a great tool. this is how it was done in olden times - yes , I know I was not born that time :)  but I think the negative and positive are just two sides of the coin we just cannot titrate positive out , so we need to learn and work with both energies without carried away in it , and that I think can happen when we are more open , as that gives our mind a great power.
    Just my humble 2 cents :-)

  22. by Frans Stiene on July 23, 2013 at 10:02 am

    Hi Seema,
    Thanks for sharing your story about the hospital and your daughter. I know why should we want to protect ourselves from our loved ones, and in reality shouldn’t we love everybody?
    Again for me protection is all about fear, and the precepts say: do not worry, so when I practice the system of Reiki I need to learn how to embody the precepts.

  23. by Frans Stiene on July 23, 2013 at 10:15 am

    Hi Kathleen,

    I like your statement: seeing each challenge as an opportunity to self-heal. This is really important, we can get angry or worried but in reality we need to see each challenge as an opportunity to heal ourselves. As the Dalai Lama always say: our enemies are our best teachers, through them we can start to heal ourselves.

    Yes we have all the tools within the system of reiki, meditations, precepts, hands on healing, reiju/initiation/attunement, symbols and mantras to help us to go into a state of freedom, freedom of fear and worry. Like Thich Nhat Hanh says in his quote (see comment 10 on this blog) :  “Without fear, we are truly free.” and isn’t this what all beings really want, being completely free and happy?

  24. by Frans Stiene on July 23, 2013 at 10:32 am

    Hi Stephanie,
    Yes we all have our own perception and uniqueness. However many people think that when we let go of our ego / “I” that we loose our individuality, but I think that is a mistaken viewpoint. Look at teachers like the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh, Shunryu Suzuki etc.. they still have their own individual character, even more so because they are free, free from fear and worry.

    Fear and worry and other attachments cover ourselves so that we can not be true to ourself. We find it difficult to express ourselves and are afraid of what other people might think or say of us.

    If we are grounded and create a strong foundation within our own energy through daily meditations and we come across a situation in which a person is negative, we know how to deal with it and do not get exhausted.

    I have seen this shift taken place in many of our students who were empaths and struggled a lot with it, after practising Joshin Kokyu Ho daily for many months and meditating on the CKR for many months they found a big shift in their perception and started to learn how to deal with these kind of situations. They started to feel stronger within themselves and therefore the “negative” experience which normally exhausted them didn’t exhaust them anymore, in fact it empowered them.

    This is why, if we practice the system of Reiki we need to practice it as Usui-san intended, daily meditations, and it is only through these that we can become a clear vehicle for helping others.

    Every being wants to be happy, we do not want to feel drained, exhausted, sad, etc. but to be able to feel this inner happiness we need to take action, action to sit down and heal ourselves.

    I used to have serious back problems from when I was 16 years old to when I was 30. The doctors always said: Frans you better get used to it, take pain killers and physiotherapy as it will only get worse when you get older and you will have it for the rest of your live. They even put my whole torso in plaster for 9 weeks.
    But when I was 30 years old I had enough, I said to myself: I want to heal myself, I have enough of this pain. So I started to really practice the system of Reiki in ernest, and to tell you the truth, I haven’t had back trouble for 15 years.
    Why am I telling this story, because we can only heal ourselves, we have to make the effort, we need to sit down and do the practice.

  25. by seema on July 23, 2013 at 10:39 am

    Hi Frans,
    I am still in the journey so Yes I am not always without fear and worry etc. but I find that its usually because I need some healing of my layers and with working on my practice it gradúally disperse in no time. I think one needs patience and really I have and still learning to be patient every day. Its just wonderful to not to be all that.

  26. by Frans Stiene on July 23, 2013 at 10:49 am

    Hi Seema,
    Yes we need practice and patience and perseverance if we want to over come our own issues.

  27. by Sundar Kadayam on July 23, 2013 at 03:25 pm

    Frans, this is a wonderful article, offering a much-needed perspective on the concept of protection. Also, the discussion in the comments is quite enriching - thanks to all of you who have engaged on this topic.

    Western Reiki, removed from the essential spiritual roots of the original system of Reiki, has not been able to offer students a simple, coherent, consistent model of what Reiki, healing, and practice all really means.  In turn, a lot of patchwork has happened, even under the watch and teachings of very well-meaning teachers.  We have seen this in the externalization of symbols - like applying CKR here there and everywhere.  We have seen this in the externalization of the “energy” - like channel Reiki from the outside and sending it to others.  Same kind of thing has happened with the notion of protection - rather than seeing the rationale for protection as being something that emerged from fear, and that the point of the system of Reiki is to become free, Western’s Reiki has spun another externalized patchwork to handle that inner fear through tools and techniques to protect oneself.

    When one recognizes that the essential idea of the system of Reiki is to help the practitioner become free, through the realization of their real self, a whole lot of these things that are add-ons to the system of Reiki fall off. And this is how you’ve tried to teach this to your students, driving the notion of “practice”, as the key to systematically breaking free.

    That said, I’ve always had one question on the topic of protection that has lingered since 2007 when I first met you. 

    The system of Reiki has plenty of tools, in the form of meditations, symbols, mantras etc., laced together to enable a systematic practice to deepen one’s awakening.  You’ve been quite clear in your teaching that ultimately, these are training wheels, things to let go when the time is right, when one has experienced and become the essence of a given tool.  Say, CKR - the idea of CKR chanting as part of one’s practice is to help with one’s grounding, to facilitate one’s experience of the essence of CKR.  As such, as a tool in one’s practice, in theory, there comes a time, when a practitioner can let go of the CKR chanting, just as one would the training wheels of a bicycle.  During one’s practice of, say, CKR, it may be that the practitioner is not entirely grounded, has still fears or worries to work through and so forth, but the consistent deepening practice would definitely bring them along to increasing depths of freedom. 

    So, in general, as I’ve understood it, the system of Reiki has these various tools which applied in practice in the right manner at the right time, are the right training wheels, which ultimately can be let go.

    In like terms, could it be that, in the beginning stages of one’s practice, and in offering hands-on healing to others, that the practitioner could benefit from a “training wheel” of “protection” to help them bridge over to that space, through personal practice over time, where they can let such a training wheel for protection go?  i.e. Since we see the presence of so many tools, usable as training wheels, why not one for the temporary application of “protection”, until the practitioner matures through personal practice to let it go?

    Would love to hear your insights into this.  Thank you!

    Love
    Sundar

  28. by Frans Stiene on July 23, 2013 at 03:45 pm

    Hi Sundar,
    Good question. I see it like this. We can use the tools to stay grounded, say CKR. So if we feel fear coming up during a treatment we can silently chant CKR for ourselves. This helps to focus the mind again, getting away from the distracted thought pattern of fear and worry, as soon as we feel the fear and worry has subsided we can focus again on what we are doing.
    This is called “inner protection” we focus on in inward tool, chanting which comes from the hara to refocus again.

    But even if we move on from the training wheel after say, 1 year meditating daily on CKR mantra and the symbol, we still might encounter fear and worry, but we are not bowled over by it as when we first started.

    Each symbols/mantra helps us to go deeper and deeper until we come i a state of complete openness, space, symbolized by the DKM in level III.

    However in the mean time we might need to touch base now and again with the grounding, say when we go through a shift in our practice. This is why it is not really a linear journey but more a multi dimensional journey.

    So to come back to your question, we can say to our level I students for example, if you feel fear coming up in your hands on healing practice, breath into the hara/tanden. Then we can explain that fear comes from our own inner judgements and confused mind so by bringing the mind to the hara/tanden we soften the fear.
    I think it is very important to teach already in level I that fear is in our mind and how we perceive things. The more we external things during our teachings the harder it will be for the student to rediscover their own inner true self.
    So the best thing is to point in level I already to the students own inner true self/reiki.

    Hope this helps.
    Love
    Frans

  29. by seema on July 23, 2013 at 04:03 pm

    Thank you Sundar and Frans , I am learning so much from this article and all the discussions. I can see in my own life how the practice of CKU has made me so much more grounded and less fearful. The precepts have brought the inner compassion out that now I can see that compassion in others and can freely without fear ask any stranger to release their pain . It not only is bringing inner happiness in my , them but it also does not make me think of “I” . How I know that I don’t have “I’ well , again with working on symbol and precepts , you can tell how true you are to yourself and your practice. Its amazing how it can make one see themselves in complete light. I think working with precepts have been the most profound for me , as it has and is uncovering the different aspects of fear, worry and so on. the more you work the deeper you inside.
    Thank you so much

  30. by Sundar Kadayam on July 23, 2013 at 04:04 pm

    Yes, Frans.  Your answer is perfect for me.  It reminded me of something you have already shared in classes. 

    And that is the importance of establishing a clear idea of the purpose and foundation of the system of Reiki and the role of the practitioner, and personal practice in it.  The simple, yet profound idea of the precepts, and the simple, yet powerful practice of Joshin Kokyu Ho, and the timely application of the principles from it, the simple, yet deep practice of CKR, are indeed the “protection” the practitioner needs. 

    Protection not from external stuff, but from internal instability in oneself, arising in one’s response to the external stuff. 

    Which, in turn, makes a ton of sense.  Everything we’ve now heard and have practiced to some degree of depth or another, about the system of Reiki as Usui-san developed it, clearly shows that externalization of anything points away from the truth, the truth of our own real nature and awakening to it!  Thanks for that reminder!

    Geez!  Sometimes, it does feel like you’ve heard this a hundred times, and yet, the real insight on an aspect of it, takes one more repetition, one more reminder, one more nudge to fall in place :-)  Sigh!

    Thanks much!

  31. by Frans Stiene on July 23, 2013 at 04:17 pm

    Hi Sundar,

    It is like knocking on a wall, we knock and knock and knock and finally the wall comes down, but it takes a long time of knocking. :-)

    We can see that internal instability being address by the old samurai teachings as well. The samurai worked towards a state of Fudoshin, immovable mind, not being moves by outer circumstances, stable like a mountain.

  32. by Sundar Kadayam on July 23, 2013 at 04:28 pm

    Immovable mind—if the mind didn’t judge an external event that may be transpiring during the course of a healing session (or before or after), would there be fear of that external event?  If fear weren’t there, would there be a need to seek some method to protect oneself from that external event?  An immovable mind is steady, doesn’t waver with external stimuli or internal stimuli. Seems like the threshold of complete freedom to even consider this state of the immovable mind!  Thanks for the clarity with which you are sharing this.  Back to knocking :-)

  33. by seema on July 24, 2013 at 01:06 am

    Thanks Frans about reminder about practice and patience and perseverance , that is the first lesson you taught !

  34. by seema on July 24, 2013 at 01:26 am

    Hi Stephanie -
    I understand your belief about empath and shielding around people. I can only tell you about my own experince. Coming from where I have , I am always been a empath for as long as I can remember , not just internally but externally as well , meaning I am overly emotional person my whole life.I was always told that how I need to protect myself , that could mean wearing the chords around my neck, putting a special powerful “Bhabhut” ( ashes) on my forehead , taking blessings etc. , or Nazar Utarna The ridding of the effects of the evil eye, some of the few methods :). I myself is in traditional medical profession for last 21 years and used to “pick” stuff so to speak and get sick and a time came I would feel I would pick in my mind even before I am going there.Some how I would start to feel that in my mind and start to get sensory symptoms. How ever I considered myself a preety strong , grounded and fearless person or as I was told . When I came in touch with system of Reiki , I was further told how I need to protect myself from so called psychic attacks etc. and I thought wow I have this amazing “power” now I can “heal” myself and others !. How ever I never really practiced the 5 elemsnts of Reiki fully. I did my own chanting and meditations based on my cultural believes and hands on healing . I felt after “initiated” to Reiki , I became even more od a “empath” then usual and i thought i guess thats what it has to be. Time and time again i struggled with notion of protecting as I was using protection for my own daughter ( who is non verbal) and felt I was going no where with her. It frustarted me so much that one day I thought its enough I am not going to attach anything “fancy” in sessions. And started to change , i felt a inenr connection with her , this experincve motivated me and gave me strength to try the same thing with everyone around me . It helped a lot how ever I still felt ungrounded and worn out after a while. It was only after I started to sit down and started practicing the symbols and precepts I felt a inner strength in myself and funny thing is ‘I am now so much more compassionate , emotional then I ever was ” BUT I do not feel worn out, need of protection and I must say I feel like i got a session and have just gotten up from meditation after I perform hands on healing on anyone. This is what I say and do even with medical treatment, do your research , see what resonants with you and then give a try , do it just the way it is , by rules no change , do it for solid 3-6 months and see what difference it can make in your life.
    This is just my few lines of my own experince , which I have also seen with many others. I am fortunate that I came across these wonderful teachings and feel greatfull to Frans .
    warm regards
    Seema

  35. by Frans Stiene on July 24, 2013 at 09:13 am

    Hi Seema,
    Trying is with everything, isn’t it. For me the system of Reiki is like playing a violin.
    If I want to learn how to play the violin and I want to teach others how to do it then I need to make sure that I practice everyday. If I only practice once a week I will not get anywhere with my violin playing. This is the same within the system of Reiki, we need to practice everyday the meditations as taught within the traditional system of Reiki to be able to help others.

    However I think that in many modern systems of Reiki we have become very slack, we say: just receive the attunement/initiation/reiju and now you have it all, no need to do anything, but really that is a joke, a very big joke on ourselves if you ask me :-)

    Without really trying and practising for a long period of time we never know what we are missing out on.

  36. by seema on July 24, 2013 at 10:39 am

    Hi Frans,
    Yes , its a joke , how can we think we can practice all this by a weekend course ? If its was this magical then we will have healers every where sitting with divine enlightenment. Like you say practice is with everything , learning music , dance everything . its the same thing. Usui-San practiced meditations his whole life even before he went to mount kurama for 21 day fasting with no food and water then he received enlightenment. We are fortunate that he left us these tools so we as lay person can find our true self but we have to practice. Lets not be honest with ourselves now. I hope with more and more awareness with Reiki teachers around we can really see and teach the system of Reiki as it was supposed to be..

  37. by Frans Stiene on July 24, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    Hi Seema,
    Yes if that was the case the whole world would be a happier place already, but it seems we are only getting more and more depressed. Read in an Australian newspaper the other day that 40% of man aged between 16 and 27 or so (can’t remember) suffers from physiological disorders!

  38. by seema on July 24, 2013 at 01:33 pm

    Hi Frans ,
    US probably is similer. I see so many young patients with addiction to opiods , stress, other psych. Illnesses every day. They are supposed to be the future .

  39. by Elly on July 24, 2013 at 11:33 pm

    I’m saddened to think what students are missing when they attend (often en masse) these one-shot Reiki sessions. (“One class, pay up, goodbye!”) Perhaps the Reiki teachers who choose this form of teaching genuinely believe that their mission is to spread Reiki to as many people as possible; perhaps they’re simply trying to make a living. In either case, the students are the losers, often drifting away from Reiki in bewilderment. It is only through practice, compassionate followup, and continued connection that we can grow in Reiki and help our students grow. Sundar’s yearlong class is a beautiful example of this; Hyakuten Inamoto Sensei’s working with just one or two students at a time in Japan is a beautiful example of this; your continuous accessibility to your students, your giving them ongoing practices, and the support of the Ki Campus is a beautiful example of this. I’ve been most fortunate in my teachers, some of whom I still see weekly or monthly, others yearly, but all accessible and all invested in Reiki as an ongoing, life-changing practice. What a contrast to a one-off, poof!, now you’re an instant Reiki Master (if you have the money) approach.

    I was decluttering recently and came on a priceless series of cartoons I’d saved. They showed a minister who was frustrated because his flock was drifting away, bored by long services and lengthy sermons. He had a brainstorm: Since America was enamored of fast-food restaurants, why not set up a fast-food church? Next thing we see, he’s behind the drive-through window, taking orders for blessings, short-stack sermons, and the like. Business is booming!

    This of course reminded me of the fast-food Reiki phenomenon. But it might be more appropriate to compare it to the old cliche about Americanized Chinese food: An hour after you eat, you’re dissatisfied, empty, hungry again. (I don’t know what these people were eating, I love Chinese food and find it very satisfying.) No wonder so many people who’ve had the “wham, bam, thank you ma’am” Reiki experience feel lost afterwards. Responsibility lies with both of us, the teachers, to provide ongoing support and accessibility; the students, to do their research before signing up for a class and choose the teacher or teachers who best resonate with them.

  40. by Frans Stiene on July 25, 2013 at 09:26 am

    Hi Elly,
    I agree with you.
    Love the cartoon :-)
    And it is true too that in the end the student is drifting and not really know what to do with the system of Reiki. Often they stop practicing at all, or they get really confused, like the need for protection which confuses them etc.

    Yes there are some wonderful teachers out there like Hyakuten-san.

  41. by Wendy Williams on July 25, 2013 at 07:49 pm

    I am Reiki III and Seichim II practitioner and some months ago I had a shiatzu treatment from a very experienced therapist.  Unfortunately unbeknown to me at the time I “brought home” an extremely bad “attachment” which settled itself on my lounge ceiling.  That night my little maltese dog behaved very strangely and his behaviour became so bad over the next few days he was terrified to go into the lounge at all, but sat quivering at the other end of our house.  Something had to be done, so after pondering over the events, I grounded myself, went into the lounge and performed a Reiki clearance and discovered through the treatment a huge rodent like entity on my ceiling which I was thankfully able to send off to be transferred into the highest good.  Within 6 hours my little dog tentatively came back to the lounge but for 2 weeks each time he came into the lounge, he would look at the ceiling to make sure it had gone.  So as far as I am concerned, these negative energies do exist.  I am thankful I was taught how to do a clearing and to be aware of these possibilities, but I do not go looking for them!

  42. by Linda Patrick on July 26, 2013 at 01:29 am

    Thank you Frans for this article. I have often wondered about this and whether it is necessary or not. I think many reiki practitioners have wondered about protection or not as well. Your cardboard box demonstration was most effective.
    Again thank you for your perspective on this.

    Linda Patrick
    Animal Reiki Practitioner

  43. by seema on July 26, 2013 at 05:48 am

    It always amazes me when i hear about negative energies and protection. I have seen these things from my childhood, evil eye, channeling during religious ceremonies, psychic attacks etc and associated other things. I remember as a child so many times I would see people would start to “channel” and stuff and my mother would move me from there thinking i will “catch something”. I always used to wander what is that and would ask my mom , to me it never made any sense at that time.
    Why I am saying that , I had a very personal enlightentning experience. As I grew older I started to think that these things arise because people are “ignorant and illiterate” , but later i realized it is not the case . Time started to change and I had my Daugherty with autism who is non verbal , I would go back to India some times and as my Daughter would “lash out ” due to melt downs people around would think she is “possessed” :). I remember my mom would get really mad at them , I would say to he mom see what is happening. But I was never this open this way always. I can admit to this now that initially when i was struggling with all this I actually started to feel indeed she might be “Victim” of psychic attacks and so am I. I was very familiar with “pulling out” “taking Out” etc. much much before I started Reiki practice and in fact have “worked” exclusively on psychic attacks etc in my first few years of practice. Things started to change when my mind started to get all cloudy , as I would hear about negative energies around my Daughter , I started to believe them to be real and started to protect , not only that i started to actually “see” things around her myself !. Luckily it didn’t last very long and then it made me realize it has nothing to do with “illiterate and ignorance” , I am in medical field !. I should know better , right ?. I think due to our preconceived idea, experiences and perception we start to believe and see them as “real” but they might not be “true”. That was the day i ditched each and every protection slowly.
    Now , I do think if we have positive then we have negative too , but they are like waves they are there. if we are grounded safe inside us then we do not need any thing to protect ourselves. I think when we come with that space of fear ( although I felt I was not fearful , but in reality that is fear) ,I think we bring our own negativity with the negativity of the other person!. let us not forget we are not all positive we have a blend of both , so when we go there with sense and space of “guard” we bring that negative in us and that reflects in the client. It almost like you create a ripple of that gassy energy. But when you go there with space of liberation , fearlessness, compassion you crate pure positive energy around you and then nothing can touch you ! feel now that when I go there and come back from I feel even more stronger then ever before, it almost feel like I bring the positive energy from the client in my space , its like I am not giver but receiver.It feels great to be liberated and fearless. This is all written in our old scriptures on how to be fearless, compassionate and Strong with in ourselves so you are much stronger for anything.

  44. by seema on July 26, 2013 at 07:01 am

    Hi Windy,
    I do think we need to go any where to look for negative energies they are already there very close to us , they are “inside us” :)
    Who are we to say we are all positive and not negative. Negative is negative simple. we cannot say my negative is good then your negative or my negative will not touch you because I am a Reiki Practitioner !.
    If Reiki is universal energy then already there is negative/positive in it, we always have both energies , its the universal law.
    I think when we avoid something it just come to us more and more because due to our notions and fears and what not we give them “soul ” that they come back to us hundred folds back more. Why not do the other way around ?
    Only way is to take them head on because there is no use fighting , we live with them , in our mind . System of Reiki already has everything embedded there for us to work on. By working on symbol mantras and precepts we can make ourselves brighter so” darkness ” per say wont affect us or our clients equally.

    I am not knowledgable so may be I am not right , I can only say this from my direct experience of living the both world , not just Reiki.

  45. by John on July 26, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    I wash my hands before I start channelling Reiki for a client purely for hygiene. If I’ve been eating my lunch, my client doesn’t want to smell it on my hands.

    So many Reiki practitioners get drawn into the ‘belief’ they need to protect themselves from a client’s energy/issues. However, when you give yourself time every day to do Gassho meditation and self-treat - there are no issues. Be present and just be.

  46. by Frans Stiene on July 27, 2013 at 07:05 am

    Hi John,
    Yes that is the whole trick, just Be.
    Many practitioners want to Do stuff and this creates friction and ego stuff which in turn is not healthy. Better to just Be.

  47. by Andy Quan on September 25, 2013 at 03:55 pm

    I love this post. It’s not only in reiki that I’ve heard of people talk about ‘protection’, a lot of energy-workers and psychics and others talk about it. It really taps into our fear, which is not useful for healing!

  48. by Frans Stiene on September 25, 2013 at 04:07 pm

    Hi Andy,
    Yes it is all about fear, mostly fear of death and the self.

  49. by Phillipa on October 04, 2013 at 01:55 am

    Wonderful post. I think everyone who practices reiki should see it.

  50. by Frans Stiene on October 04, 2013 at 07:41 am

    Glad you like it Phillipa

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