What do you think of when you hear the terms self-practice or self-care? It is likely that you include the aspect of self-healing, but what about the healing of others? Do you consider this to also be an act of self-care?
Surely in addition to the direct application of healing that is a self-treatment, a fully realised internalisation of Reiki is the greatest act of self-care and love? To live a life where Reiki has become part of every minute in every day is to follow the path to true inner happiness. So the question is, how do we bring this level of integration into our modern lives? The simple answer is to begin with the precepts, for they pave the way to understanding and living Reiki. When we meditate upon the precepts, we can consider one at a time, experiencing each fully and therefore gain great insight from each.
Do not anger
Do not worry
Be true to your way and your being
Show compassion to yourself and others
Why do we get angry? Why are we pulled into a spiral of worry? Do we lack gratitude or feel lost to our own true way of being? Are we able to remain compassionate towards others and ourselves? Through insights gained within meditation upon these self-realisation tools, answers will be revealed. We will understand what carries us to anger or worry and feel able to release those emotions, sinking into gratitude, allowing us to become one with our truest way of being. Upon this release we are able to find compassion for others and ourselves and invite true openness and happiness into our lives. We therefore begin our journey towards self-care with our diligent practice upon the precepts; through meditation and daily focus our journey begins.
One of the greatest acts of self-care is to learn the art of quiet contemplation, to watch our thoughts but not engage in them, to live fully in the present. Through meditation practices and techniques we learn to quietly and dispassionately observe the mind, which when successful, allows our mind to relax and our body to follow. Peace of mind is found in the present, when we are present.
It is not only our daily practice with the precepts that guides us towards peace of mind in the present moment, the system of Reiki provides us with many other techniques bringing focus and clarity as well. For instance, chanting a mantra or specific meditation practices such as Joshin Kokyu Ho and Hatsurei Ho help us calm our minds and therefore our body and energy flow. As we relax into deep focus upon our own breath or that of a mantra or symbol, our mind is freed from stress, no longer instigating a fight or flight response within our long suffering body.
The precepts tell us that Just for today… we should forgo anger and worry, to be grateful, telling us to focus on the now, not the past or future but the present. The mantras and symbols learnt through the system of Reiki become tools we use within meditation enabling our minds to focus on the now – the present, therefore realising the benefits of actually being present.
With practice we become the master of our thoughts, no longer dragged from future to past, we focus on the symbols and chant the mantra, leaving little space for distraction. In time our focus is extended to the spaces between mediations, with our minds and bodies calm, open and relaxed. When you realise that thoughts lead to energy and energy follows thoughts, it is easy to see how distracted thoughts flying backwards and forwards through time can lead to our energy flowing in all directions. With a calm and open mind, our energy flows purely and is able to expand to meet the universe, becoming oneness. Therefore through regular practice with the tools of meditation, mantras and symbols, we reach this place of focus, of oneness with the universe and of peace of mind – thus these tools are all examples of self-care through Reiki.
Perhaps now is the time to return to hands-on healing, the act of compassion towards the self that results in healing of body, mind and spirit. When we talk of self-practice we can now see that this term can mean many different aspects of self-care, one of which is hands on healing. Through the clarity of mind and focus achieved within our meditative practice we increase our ability to sit in the present, our energy following our thoughts, no longer spread across time. This focus allows us to become Reiki, to draw the power inwards, to Be rather than to Do Reiki, and so become better practitioners of Reiki for self and others.
Do we consider the treatment of others as self care? We should do! Reiki represents the interconnectedness of all and when healing we are connected not only to our own true self, our inner Reiki, but also to our experience of compassion for all. As we remember our inner wisdom and truth, as we practice the techniques of self-care, as we become aware of our own inner light, we help others remember and become aware of their own. Therefore we should hold awareness that the greater our focus, the more intense our practice becomes; the more we practice Reiki for the benefit of all, the brighter our inner light shines and the more compassionate we are towards ourselves and others. The art of Reiki is the art of moving ever closer towards interconnectedness and we can only accomplish this through self-practice and self-care.