Article by Phillip Hawkins
Healing like Reiki begins in the mind.
The mind is a beautiful thing if we use it wisely but can be a harsh task master if left to its own devices. The mind is the wellspring from which all things are cultivated; it is our inner sanctum and the birthplace of our reality. Our thoughts are the parents to our experiences and our hopes, dreams and fears are the fruits of their labours, the quality of which are defined by the quality of our thought processes for thought is the cause and life is the effect. If this is so then it must also be true that healing must begin in the mind so that the body may experience a state of health and wellbeing, what the mind defines the physical body will conform to so it’s vital that we use the mind to formulate a healthy life enhancing template for the body to follow.
It’s now widely accepted that nearly all physical illnesses have corresponding mental factors that determine their onset, presentation, maintenance, susceptibility to treatment, and resolution but even if we choose to disregard the importance of the psychosomatic connection we can’t fail to acknowledge the illness, diseases and deaths caused in their tens of thousands as a direct result of the negative life choices we make on a daily basis as we exercise our freewill. If only we would exercise our bodies as much as we do our negative minds set? Alcohol, smoking, obesity lack of exercise and stress related conditions are the accepted causes of a number of forms of cancer, heart disease, strokes and diabetes, these are the true horsemen of the apocalypse of the twenty first century.
We live in an age where time and distance are measured by internet access, a time of unprecedented access to information and technology yet when it comes to our own health and well being common sense along with knowledge and understanding appear to be in very short supply. We are constantly bombarded with information and guidance as to the dangers of the above lifestyles yet we continue to choose a course of action that has only one conclusion, and as the clock counts down it’s not if, but when that conclusion will become a reality. Ignorance appears to be no longer about the lack of knowledge and understanding but more our chosen ‘default mode’ as we choose to ignore the consequences of our actions in the pursuit of momentary relief from the less than satisfying life we have chosen to live.
As a Reiki teacher I have been asked many times where does Reiki come in, physically and metaphorically in order that we may channel this energy. To fully answer this question we must first understand what Reiki is, its purpose and the way it works when the external stimulus of Reiki energy creates an internal experience within oneself. Reiki is a conscious energy and we are drawn to it when our own energy begins to resonate with it through either a subconscious desire or direct intent. We have no real way of knowing what Reiki is other than the labels we place upon it in the hope that it will then conform to those labels and our limited perception of what it is. If as we say it goes where it’s needed and not where we or the recipient would like it to go, we have to accept that however Reiki manifests itself it has a power and an innate wisdom far beyond our present level of knowledge and understanding.
In its original form Reiki was a process of personal spiritual development through which students gained the knowledge and understanding necessary to heal ourselves in the way they lived their lives and the life affirming choices they made on a daily basis, and it’s this philosophy that forms the basis of the Reiki tenet that the only person we can heal is ourselves. From this we can see that Reiki whatever its form is education by another name and personal enlightenment and our freewill are a vital part in the healing process, for when we know better we can then choose to do better and make necessary life changes that encompass a healthy mindset and lifestyle.
As education is initially a process of the mind being receptive to and accepting change we can see that Reiki must first enter the mind before its effects can be experienced by the body. If as we have said knowledge and understanding or enlightenment is a prerequisite to the healing process this must lead us to the realisation that Reiki can’t and won’t simply intervene and remove the offending condition as if by magic or the miraculous depending on your religious persuasion. If life is about physical and spiritual development then we must at least consider the real possibility that Reiki has neither the desire nor the authority to override or remove our freewill for the ability to choose is pivotal in all physical and spiritual development. Negatives don’t exist by accident they serve a purpose and provide an alternative to their positive counterpart and it’s through choices we make, the reality we create and the consequences we must then deal with that lessons are presented to us. How we deal with those lessons is entirely up to us, we can learn and move forward, or simply experience the same lesson in different forms until we experience a set of circumstances that creates a ‘Ah ha’ moment and the penny finally drops. This is a basic principle of education in all schools of learning; if the student can’t grasp the new idea or concept in its initial form then the teacher has a responsibility and duty of care to deliver the lesson in whatever way necessary until the student is able to gain the required knowledge and understanding. We must all accept responsibility for our health and wellbeing and take an active part in the healing process, part of which is letting go of the victim mentality that keeps us locked into the belief that we are merely victims of circumstances and powerless to effect real change in our lives.
Good health is more than the absence of illness and disease and healing is much more than the removal of the symptom that manifests itself as pain and suffering. If Reiki were to miraculously remove the condition the person would still be left with the residue of ignorance and fear, fear of the unknown and ignorance of their part in the illness/healing process which would allow the condition to return and no lesson would have been learnt. If Reiki in its infinite wisdom could remove the illness as well as the corresponding lesson and at the same time ensure our physical and spiritual development, what it would also do is remove our personal responsibility to deal with the consequences of our actions thus giving us carte blanch to do whatever we want free from limitations or restrictions and secure in the knowledge that regardless of the outcome of our actions good or bad, Reiki is picking up the tab for us. This isn’t any kind of healing that I’m aware of and if we were to apply these same principles to raising and educating our own children what kind of adults could we expect them to be as a result of our intervention. Well balanced hardly, caring and considerate, highly unlikely, independent and self sufficient, sadly no, for no other reason than they had been denied the opportunity and the ability to stand on their own two feet, make their own decisions, learn by their mistakes and gain confidence by having to deal with life’s challenges and the consequences of their own actions.
The more we try to impose our limited personal values on to what is by our own definition an infinite universal energy the further we move away from the fundamental principles of freewill, personal development, and our responsibility to exercise it in such a way that our thoughts, beliefs and actions become life affirming. If we believe that there is nothing beyond this life and its purpose is for us to simply exist for its duration then an overtly mothering form of Reiki would be a viable option as it would allow us the luxury of a life free from personal responsibility. If however we believe that this life is only a small part of an ongoing process that requires us to live it to the full in order to develop and grow both physically and spiritually then our freewill must be seen as sacrosanct and Reiki honouring this fact must first enter our hearts and minds as a guest, before it can assume the role of a mentor and teacher and in doing so help us to heal our mind so that our thoughts become dutiful and loving parents to our beliefs, and our actions bear testimony to the healing that has taken place firstly in our mind, our body and ultimately our spirit.
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A Reiki practitioner since 1999, Phillip started teaching Reiki in 2000 and using those skills and abilities he has spent the majority of the last seventeen years working with a wide range of social and educational needs including Autism and ADHD. Working with addicts dependent on alcohol and drugs, people whose lives were extremely violent and abusive, and others who had to deal with severe mental health issues. This has enabled him to work extensively in the private sector, schools, colleges, education and care in the community, the prison service and psychiatric units.
In 2016, Phillip decided to semi-retire from full-time employment to concentrate on developing his career as a published author and the setting up of his Reiki personal development programme at the Chilton Community College.