Within the system of Reiki we have primary practices and secondary practices. It is important to know what these practices are as this will help us to get a clearer understanding of what we are practicing and how to progress.
If you can’t heal yourself, how can you heal others?
Each year, Frans leads a Reiki retreat at the beautiful Sequoia Retreat Center in northern California. Part of our days are spent in the conference room with floor to ceiling windows looking out over the beautiful redwood trees, but every day we also spend some time doing Reiki exercises outdoors in nature.
At last year’s retreat I began to realize that the trees were very conducive to the inner spiritual work we were doing, however it was at this year’s retreat that I realized the trees were not only supporting us with their presence, but also actually teaching us with their energy.
In the course of one of the lessons during my recent personal training trip to Japan, the Ajari, (eminent monk of Tendai or Shingon Buddhism) showed me a specific Buddhist verse called “shichibutsu tsukaige” (The verse of admonishment of the seven Buddhas, also referred to as the Precepts of the seven Buddhas).
The roast and pan story:
In a family where tradition has always been a very big part of their lives, the holidays arrived, making tradition even more important.
It was time for the traditional roast dinner. The mother prepared the roast carefully according to the family tradition, as her mother had, and her mother’s mother had. She carefully and lovingly cut off both ends of the roast before putting it in the roasting pan. The youngest daughter asked why she cut off the ends of the roast.
When I found out about the letters exchanged between Saicho and Kukai, I was just blown away. Imagine two young monks, carefully chosen, to travel to China to study Buddhist teachings and to bring back the select texts to Japan. The year was 804! This is the beginning of a journey of friendship, hope, anticipation, collaboration and rivalry. One of the monks was Saicho, later to be the founder of Tendai School of Buddhism, the other was Kukai, the founder of Shingon school of Buddhism. Even though the storm separated their ships and they each went their own separate ways in China, the passion and dedication of these two men, unknowingly, impacted the history of religion in Japan and in some subtle ways our practice as Reiki practitioners.
Lately, there has been some discussion in the Reiki community questioning whether the founder of the system, Mikao Usui, actually taught the DKM mantra/symbol in the system of Reiki. DKM is encountered in the system’s final teachings of Shinpiden Reiki Level III. Most Reiki practitioners know of DKM through the teachings of Mrs Takata who, in the late 1930s, brought the system from Japan to the West. Mrs Takata taught the DKM mantra/symbol as the last of the system’s four mantras and symbols. Those questioning the DKM’s origins stem from the lineage of Mrs Yamaguchi.
Reiki is a great teacher and its simplicity means to me that I can just get on with the practice and let it sink deeper and deeper within, rather than getting lost in lots of books trying to figure it out with my mind/ego. Then, I had the chance to re-sit my Shinpiden with Frans. As with most things it happened at just the right time. I was now a peach ripe enough to hear what Frans had to say (the analogy belongs to Frans).