Within the system of Reiki there is a practice which is commonly called “distance” healing. Many modern Reiki schools teach that you do this by “sending” something to someone - by using a pillow or stuffed animal, by placing your hand on your leg, by making a bridge, etc…
Recently, as part of my 3 week training in Japan, I spent 5 days on Mt Omine, which has been a training ground for Shugendo for 1300 years.
The main temple, Ominesanji, is at the top of the mountain, 1720 meters high. As I stood in front of the temple, I noticed a pillar with a kanji on it and thought, “It looks very similar to the first symbol taught within the system of Reiki.” I was intrigued.
When we want to know what Mikao Usui had in mind with his teachings, we need to look not only at traditional Japanese teachings as a whole, but also at what other serious Japanese teachers were teaching at the time.
In this blog, I compare one aspect of Mikao Usui’s teachings to the teachings of Masahisa Goi (1916-1980.)
Within Okuden Reiki level II, we learn the symbol/mantra Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen 本者是正念.
Literally this mantra translates as; “My original nature is a correct thought”. Or in a direct way we can say it means; “I am right mind” or “I am right mindfulness”.
The “I am” in this case is not the ego “I” but our True Self, our original nature.
Many symbols and mantras are used within traditional Japanese spiritual teachings. By looking at these traditional Japanese spiritual practices, we can start to see how Mikao Usui used the symbols and mantras in his teachings.
On my recent teaching tour in the USA, I was driving with a student along the coast of California and noticed this amazing lighthouse.
We stepped out to look around and take some pictures. I noticed that the lighthouse was falling apart and not working anymore, and realized that this was a wonderful metaphor for our spiritual practice
After working with mantras and symbols, how do I feel they have affected my life? I’d say that in the early part of my Reiki training, the symbols and mantras made me question, made me want to learn more and look more deeply into what they really were about and how they could be used. Back then I used them as I’d been taught, but as time and my Reiki journey progressed, several things changed, including me.
Since ancient time, mantras have been part of many spiritual teachings. But why is this the case?
Traditionally the word mantra means protecting the mind. But what is a mantra protecting? It is protecting the mind from straying into the past, present, and future. This is done by focusing on the mantra itself.