What is Reiki - the Technical Version
Reiki is a Japanese word whose literal translation is (rei) spiritual and (ki) energy, or spiritual energy. It is usually referred to here in the West as universal life force energy. It is the energy that is in every living—and non-living—thing. It is the energy that fuels our sun and turns our planet; it is the energy that grows our plants, divides cells, creates and sustains life. It’s what Einstein was referring to in his E=mc2; it is the vibrating force at the subatomic level. Reiki is universal and omnipresent—everyone has it.
This energy inside of us can become weak, stifled, or blocked at times. We get sick, feel unconnected, unmotivated, or stuck. Here’s where the Reiki practitioner comes in. The Reiki practitioner routinely practices the system of Reiki, to continually purify and heighten her (or his) own energy, so that she can be a catalyst that “jump starts” other people’s (and animals’) life force energy.
During a Reiki treatment, the practitioner goes into a meditative state whereby she can accentuate her own Reiki energy. Then, she places her hands on various places of the client’s body. She can often sense where the life force energy is blocked, weakened, or unbalanced. This is the area that the practitioner focuses on to clear, enhance, and balance the client’s energy. Sometimes these blocks can be cleared immediately, but oftentimes, the energy is jump-started during the sessions and over time, the blocks can be cleared.
The system of Reiki was developed in the early 20th Century by Usui Mikao of Japan. He incorporated five elements into the system: meditations and techniques, hands-on-healing, developing the spiritual and mental connection, attunements and reijus, and mantras and symbols. Usui drew from his own life experiences to develop the system, such as Tendai Buddhism (meditations), Shintoism (palm healing), martial arts (Usui was trained in aiki jutsu, the forerunner to aikido), and Shugendo (ascetic practices). Reiki—the system—was brought to the USA in the late 1930’s. Since that time, many nuances have been added to the system here in the United States. Depending on the Reiki practitioner’s teacher’s lineage, the elements of the system can vary greatly.
Santa Cruz Reiki Works uses a traditional Japanese form of Reiki called Usui Reiki Ryoho. This form has its roots in Japan and is not the same form as is often taught in the West. With Usui Reiki Ryoho, the focus is on personal and spiritual development in addition to hands-on-healing.
What is Reiki - the Experiential Version
When Joyce first got trained in Reiki, her teacher explained it this way, “I don’t know what Reiki is, how it works, or why. I only know that when I do Reiki, remarkable things happen.” Joyce, too, avoids constructs and dogma whenever possible. So, instead of trying to explain what Reiki is, she would rather tell you of her experiences with Reiki…
Reiki is when my underaged, orphaned foster kitten is sick, and I lay my hands on him and feel the healing energy jumpstart his system and the next day he is better.
Reiki is what diminishes my anger and worries and encourages me to take better care of my body and soul.
Reiki is when my telephone coaching client is anxious and feeling scattered and I send her distance Reiki and within a few minutes she is calmer and thinking more clearly.
Reiki is that potent, grounding, nurturing, loving force that embraces me during a meditation or during a treatment.
Reiki is when I am performing a reiju (blessing) on a dying woman, who does not know I am in the room, and she suddenly opens her eyes and says, “Oh I knew it was you, I could feel you!”
Reiki is the tingling heat I feel when offering a treatment to someone.
Reiki is the deep relaxation my husband feels when we meditate together.
Reiki is why I am grounded, joyous, and flexible with life’s changes, and greet what life brings me with more equanimity.
Reiki is what helps the scared feral kitten relax in my arms and look into my eyes for the first time.
Reiki is what makes my colds go away more quickly and not come on so strong.
Reiki is what allows the dying dog to breathe easier and be more relaxed during his transition.
Reiki is why my Reiki Journal of Incredible Happenings is so full!