Article by Phillip Hawkins
A major precept of Reiki that is sometimes overlooked is the only person we can heal is oneself. When we read this part of the Reiki story it’s a very clear and precise statement, there’s nothing vague about it, it says quite simply and clearly ‘the only person you can heal is you’. So where does that leave us as self proclaimed healers of others? The truth is those eight little words don’t leave us a great deal of room to manoeuvre and this is why they are ignored or misunderstood because they don’t sit comfortably with the belief that Reiki gifts us all manner of healing abilities and that when Reiki attuned/empowered we are able to heal others. Unfortunately this is not the case.
Before we precede any further let me state clearly and categorically that Reiki does work but not in the way that some believe it to.
Purpose and meaning of any kind brings with it a point of reference; your actions must be in line with that point of reference in order to achieve your purpose or goal. Put simply a point of reference gives meaning, direction and context to what you do and the precept ‘the only person we can heal is oneself’ is a fundamental point of reference in Reiki. Reiki is not and never has been about healing others, it’s about you taking responsibility to heal yourself through the acquisition and application of knowledge and understanding that Reiki can bring. I say can bring because the student must take responsibility for their learning and not look to be spoon fed the information they require or look to Reiki or anyone else to sort out all of your problems for you. Reiki is the teacher and healing is the educational subject matter, for we must first change perceptions before we can change the physical reality, in doing so the unknown becomes known and knowledge becomes understanding.
The statement we can only heal ourselves is very clear and precise in several ways. Firstly it accepts that the process of healing is readily available to us all. Secondly it places the responsibility for our health and wellbeing fairly and squarely into the hands of each and every one of us. It does not say that something or someone else has the power to heal us; it is saying that we have both the power and the responsibility to heal ourselves by raising our level of awareness to the point where we can bring about the necessary changes to create a state of health and wellbeing.
We are born into this world with only two things guaranteed; our first and last breath and an indeterminate time between them to live our lives. In signing up for this earth while experience we and we alone must accept responsibility for the life we create once we reach a point of social maturity when we decide to live by our own beliefs and values. In choosing to live by our own rules we must also accept the responsibility for our actions and the consequences they bring, and for many of us those actions result in a state of illness and disease created by living in ignorance and fear. Ignorance in the true sense of the word lacking in knowledge and understanding and ignorant to the personal cost of the choices we make.
While contemporary medical science may not validate Reiki per se, what it does do is validate the Reiki precept of healing one self. Reiki and medical science are talking about the same reality, personal power and responsibility, and while we talk in terms of consciousness and raised spiritual awareness doctors use a more down to earth language. Theirs is easier to understand when trying to educate their patients to the lethal consequences of their sedentary life style and the reality that obesity, diabetes and a large number of cancers and some mental health conditions are the result of our sustained use of alcohol, smoking and the negative life choices we make on a daily basis. These ailments, conditions and life choices are the modern day horsemen of the apocalypse.
This is the reality that Reiki practitioners have to work with on a regular basis. Although we may not be aware of the causes we have to deal with effects that are presented to us in many forms and guises. We may provide our attention and intention to help but its Reiki in the form of knowledge and understanding that brings a new perception to the recipient in order that they may begin the process of healing themselves. Because Reiki is consciousness in energy form, it’s a distillation of knowledge and understanding that can work when the spoken word or a physical life experience has failed to resonate with the person in a life affirming way.
The evidence available is overwhelming and with the internet and communication technology freely available to everyone we can no longer use ‘ignorance’ as an excuse for our actions. We ‘know’ that negative life choices are dangerous to our health and will result in premature death and unnecessary suffering for many, but deep down we don’t believe it will happen to us. If we did believe it we would live our lives differently, consciously affirming life each and every day through our thoughts and actions.
The emotions and actions our thoughts create have far reaching consequences; our gene pool, our DNA the very fabric of our being is influenced, enhanced or adversely affected when our psychology becomes our biology through the quality of our thoughts and the attitudes and beliefs they create. If we are the parent to the thought then the belief is the emerging adolescent and consequence is that thought fully grown. A change in perception creates a new link and a new direction in the chain of events that is necessary to bring about a new life affirming reality. If we want something different then we must do something different to create it for repetition does nothing more than reinforce what is already established.
Illness and disease as conditions require our participation; healing is about empowering people to take responsibility for their lives, to take ownership of the life they lead. Spiritual teachings speak of the healed having to take an active role in the healing process; a realisation that Dr Usui himself would eventually come to accept.
But it’s not about healing a condition in isolation without due consideration of the past, present and the future. Alleviating the condition is only one part of the healing process and has to be viewed in context of the cause (the past) the condition (the present) and the remedial action taken (the future) to ensure the cause and its ensuing symptoms are dealt with and a new perspective or positive mindset is in place so that the healing is comprehensive and complete. If the root cause goes untouched then the condition has grounds to return, if a change in perception doesn’t accompany a change in the physical condition then the healing may lack the mental discipline it requires to support good health and wellbeing.
To heal oneself is to accept that we have a duty of care and a responsibility to live our lives in such a way that creates and maintains good health and wellbeing in mind body and spirit through the recognition and acceptance that our thoughts, beliefs, and actions must be life affirming and compatible with the outcome we desire. With this comes the realisation that the attaining and maintaining of good health is an ongoing daily process, that good health is never guaranteed to anyone and shouldn’t be taken for granted or considered as someone else’s responsibility.
It’s our life and we must live it in a way that recognises all healing no matter what the source comes to us through the acquisition and application of knowledge and understanding. In teaching us that the only person we can heal is ourselves Reiki is asking us to recognise and accept the power we hold in our own hands.
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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.