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Flying by my own colours

Flying by my own colours

Simply Jikiden Reiki - BLOG

Flying By My Own Colours

Recently I stumbled into something precious. Synchronistically. Attracted by unqualified, instinctive resonance.

Do you sometimes feel drawn to something without consciously knowing why …but feeling the pull and trusting it?

Finding Reiki was like that for me. I had never even heard of it, and as a young adult, that is, before a traumatic and life-changing experience in my life, I would have been certain to run a mile. Ten miles in fact. But aged 33, it was Reiki that stood out in a pile of 10 books on complementary therapies, and synchronicity quickly lead me on my way. (I have never looked back).

Bon Buddhism. I know nothing about it. Each time it is mentioned I prick up my being. I have to pay attention.

So, the only time and place that I can catch the Tibetan Buddhist Lama on his tour of Scotland is in Edinburgh, for a talk on clearing negative karma. The history of Yungdrung Bon Buddhism is mentioned, and again I feel this inexplicable resonance, a sense of recognition.

The gifts I receive are immense, immeasurable. Practically speaking, this takes the shape of being initiated into a mantra to clear negative karma. Experientially , energetically, personally it means more clearing of traumatic impressions left behind on my soul.

I’m a kinaesthetic learner, and if you give me a mantra in Tibetan, even if perfectly phonetically transcribed, it’s going to take me time and effort (and a lot of repetition) to learn. One evening is clearly not going to be enough.

So I respond to the call to practice coming in via email from the organiser next day. Expecting to attend the first day of a three-day-training event in Glasgow in order to practise the mantra that I had been given.

Instead, I am given the foundation teachings of Yungdrung Bon Buddhism and I take refuge. This is big, and I know it. The Lama points out how lucky we are: 90 percent of Tibetans (or some high percentage like that) have never had access to these powerful esoteric practices.

During the empowerment (or before, I can’t now be sure), Rinpoche points out that if received with a pure, devotional mind, one particular part of the initiation has the power to clear at least 50% of one’s negative karma. The aim of the path and these practices is Enlightenment, and human life is precious, he explains. (So let’s not waste it)

Devotion comes naturally to me, it is part of who I am. Perhaps a residue from my native Catholicism, or more deeply woven into the fabric of who I am. Or both.

And I do feel lighter.

Embodying Mindfulness

I have always had reservations about spiritual names. When my friend, after years of committing to Buddhist practice, came back from retreat with shorn hair, requesting I no longer call her Bernadette, I felt compelled to adjust; out of respect. And I got it: that this practice of taking on a new name can be both powerful and meaningful. But to me, when encountered more casually, it can also sometimes have a whiff of vanity about it.

So, I have never sought the opportunity to have a book signed (no need to put each other on a pedestal), and I have never wanted a spiritual name.

I am given one. It is the antithesis of where I am and where I have been for the last two or three years. An invitation to embody mindfulness. A tall order.

When I have been chronically overwhelmed, both with practical commitments, and with the experience of diving deep into my shadow. On a journey to becoming lighter, letting go of what no longer serves, the hidden stuff. At times barely conscious of what day-to-day everyday life requires of me, running most of my duties on auto-pilot (or also not, as the case may be).

Samten Lhamo. A challenge. Another gift.

Commitment

So what do I do with these gifts? They ask for commitment and practice in return.

An invitation to practice the foundation teachings arrived in my inbox this morning. (And practice I need, if I am ever going to learn anything in Tibetan!). What I am going to do?

My gut already knows the answer. I have been asking myself this question ever since, by life’s divine intervention, I accidentally (re)discovered Bon, a few weeks ago.

I accept the gifts I have been given with a deep sense of gratitude and I appreciate the help I have received on my way.

I honour and respect the teachings I received by committing more deeply , and yet again, to the path I am already on: Jikiden Reiki.

I see the value and beauty and truth of what I have been given, and return to where I am best aligned now: the simplicity of authentic reiki practice.

Mainstreaming Reiki – Lessons from the Mindfulness Movement

Mainstreaming Reiki – Lessons from the Mindfulness Movement

 A guest blog by Elaine Rainey

The Healing Power of Reiki image

When Mikao Usui founded the method of Reiki Ryoho in the 1920s, he was determined not to keep it for his own benefit but to share it with society.  He believed that Reiki should be made accessible to everyone, to help people improve their physical wellbeing, peace of mind and happiness*.  This was an unusual position to hold in a culture where keeping such things within the family (in order to protect the wealth that could be generated from it) was common.

If we are to carry on the legacy of Mikao Usui, what are our options for bringing Reiki to society at large, so that all can benefit?  What steps can we take to avoid the pitfalls that might discourage the general population from giving Reiki a try?

If we consider the mindfulness movement, pioneers such as Jon Kabat-Zinn have integrated mindfulness into the mainstream with so much success that it is now widely used in a variety of settings, from hospitals to prisons to staff wellness programmes within large multi-national companies.  It has taken decades to achieve such success, but if we look back to the formative years, it becomes clear that the mindfulness pioneers had developed a winning formula from which to work.

The Editorial within the latest edition of Buddhist journal Shambhala Sun contains a useful insight into how the pioneers of the Western mindfulness movement presented their practice in the early days, in order to remove potential barriers that would prevent it from filtering into the mainstream. They focused on communicating the following three principles that they hoped would make the practice as accepted, universal and helpful as possible:

1. It is secular (available to all, regardless of belief).

2. It is evidence-based (validated by personal experience and sound science).

3. It is beneficial to our lives right now (to our health, happiness, families, society etc.).

If we consider these three principles in the context of Reiki, it becomes clear that our goal is arguably very much the same and that we have much to learn from how the mindfulness movement has approached the task that we as a community now have ahead of us.

1. Reiki is secular: Mikao Usui stated in the Kokai Denju that “all living things possess this incredible ability”.  Once trained, anyone can practice Reiki, regardless of their belief system.

 2. Reiki is evidence-based: Small but reputable studies on the benefits of Reiki are emerging (see http://reikiinmedicine.org/medical-papers/) but we have yet to see good quality, large scale studies demonstrating its efficacy. However, this should not leave us disheartened.  As a community, we have many success stories to tell.  Such testimonies may not be appropriate for convincing the medical community of the efficacy of Reiki but for the general population, a well-articulated testimony from someone they trust can have much more impact than a piece of published research ever could.  Numerous testimonials have been published showing the different ways in which Reiki has helped people. For example, you can read about Reiki for stress management at http://on.fb.me/VlvfB8, Reiki with Autism at http://bit.ly/11f5s4z or Reiki in acute trauma at http://on.fb.me/WMDc3z.

 3. Reiki is beneficial to our lives right now: Once we learn Reiki, we can use it right away to support ourselves, our friends, families and communities.  The energy is the same whether we have been practicing for years or for just a few days.  Being a beginner should not be seen as a barrier to efficacy.  Once we have Reiki in our lives, it will always be at hand when we need it, helping us to cope with whatever challenges life throws at us.

In continuing the legacy of Mikao Usui, we all have an important part to play.  Whether Reiki stays exclusively within our hearts, shining out towards others and speaking to them without words; whether the impact stays exclusively within our families or whether it extends to the setting up of research projects within our local communities or further afield; we are all contributing to positive change, to the changing of hearts and minds in such a way that Reiki will one day be considered as truly integrated into society at large.

* Taken from the Kokai Denju, a rare interview with Mikao Usui (the founder of Reiki practice) about the system of Reiki.

Elaine Rainey
Elaine has been a Jikiden Reiki practitioner for a number of years and has recently become a Jikiden Reiki teacher (Shihan Kaku).

You can connect with her on her facebook pages ‘Jikiden Reiki Treatments’ and ‘Song of Reiki’

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