What makes us happy? Perhaps the answer lies rooted within the practices of the system of Reiki, the practices taught to help us find inner peace, through acceptance and recognition of our true self. Perhaps when we are finally comfortable within our own skin will we find the inner happiness and contentment of heart and mind we seek.
But how do we come to this place? Do we have the courage? It takes commitment and it can be painful, we need to strip back the layers of protection we have covered ourselves in and this is not always easy.
Looking within and not looking away can bring things we have long since buried to the surface, are we ready for them? How will we deal with them? Will we still like ourselves? Perhaps it is easier to just leave well alone! We fear the things we cannot bring ourselves to look at, old insecurities lurk – Am I good enough? I am not clever enough, I can’t do this or that because I am too shy or tall or short… you name it!
We are like a small child again, the child who at night feared the dark and crowded space beneath their bed. What monsters are lurking under there? Will they escape and hurt us? Will they carry us away? Our confused minds see monsters in the curtains and around the corners, each waiting to get us. Why did we seek comfort hidden away under our covers? Feeling safe so long as we didn’t look? It makes no sense, if the monsters were really there, they would surely have got us even with our eyes closed!!…
But if we shine a light, if we are brave and really look, suddenly out of the gloom we begin to recognise things, old things long forgotten, piled up and buried away, but no longer so scary! We recognise them for what they are, lost or discarded things that in the light are no longer monsters – we can make friends with them again, or let them go. But we have to look for them, we have to be brave.
As we dig down, looking deeply within ourselves, it is not unexpected to find that long suppressed emotions, fears, memories, sensations will be hiding like monsters under the bed. We can fear them escaping to wreck havoc in our lives, but we can also seek them out and befriend them before letting them simply pass through. We can look at these things without judgment and be compassionate with ourselves, as instructed within the precepts.
So long as our minds are busy though, we will never have to look, we will never have to face our fears. Our minds keep up a constant inner dialogue, an inner chatter that provides a running commentary of everything – description, judgment, labeling objects and ourselves or others. This is why we can struggle to sit with quiet minds; our mind fears the stillness, the openness, and the intimacy of the quiet. It becomes uncomfortable in this space.
But if we cannot find stillness when alone, how will we find it with others? We need to be patient and compassionate with ourselves, to accept our imperfections without judgment and stop the inner critique we live with. With this compassion we will be able to enter a space of stillness, openness and vulnerability. The precepts show us the way to cultivate this space.
Do not be angry
Do not worry
Be true to your way and your being
Show compassion to yourself and others
When we release the anger directed towards our self, when we stop our inner worries, thoughts of not being enough, when we sit in gratitude for all that is and live as our authentic self – we will be showing compassion through true acceptance of all that we are. When we live in this moment alone and our thoughts no longer reach from the past to the future, but remain in the present, we find focus and calm.
This state of mind does not always come easily to us, we must train for it, we must practice and use the tools provided within the system of Reiki to focus our minds and reduce the inner dialogue of distraction. We must learn to find comfort looking within, to be comfortable and compassionate with ourselves.
The meditative practices taught within Shoden and Okuden Levels show us the way. As we focus our thoughts on our Hara when practicing the meditation Joshin Kokyu Ho for example, our energy follows thought and we become centered. Our thoughts cannot become distracted when directed in such a manner. Meditation upon symbol 1 taught to us in Okuden, also reveals a path within. When you meditate on the symbol and follow its journey, you will see it travels towards the center, again drawing you, your thoughts and energy towards your core.
As we integrate the precepts into our lives and practice through mediation we will find greater self acceptance and compassion, our minds will no longer fear the still and we will be able to focus during hands on healing sessions without distraction or judgment. We will no longer fear looking inside, as we will know that the light resides there. This is where we will find true peace of mind and happiness.