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Reiki – the Same Principles, just a Different Perspective

Article by Phillip Hawkins

With our limited knowledge and understanding, we assume that what we do now has always been done and what we accept as truth has always been so. We take comfort from this fact yet this concept is unsound and untrue, the only certainty in life is uncertainty, and the only constant is change. Sometimes our development is gauged not by knowledge and understanding but by technological advances and it can be difficult for some young people today to understand that something as basic and fundamental as mobile phones, IPod’s, and MP3 players haven’t been around forever.

We set great store by the institutions that provide structure and comfort to our lives. Science and religion provide the perimeters of fact and faith and we assume these pillars of society are definitive and absolute. Scientific advances are never readily accepted; anything that challenges the status quo runs the gauntlet of rejection and ridicule until the evidence is so overwhelming the dissidents accept the new truths and then claim it as their own.

Science is not a science with its principles chiseled in stone; it is fluid and ever changing ah history records the price people paid with their lives for holding the beliefs we accept and take for granted today.

Religion fares no better, the Bible we read today bares little resemblance to the scriptures prior to and from the time of Christ. It is said that ‘God has no religion’ and it is evident that throughout history Kings, Popes and politicians and not God decided what we would read today and what our religious beliefs should be. The scriptures that form the basis of our faith have been doctored, edited and in some cases destroyed in order that those in a position to do so could determine what would be in our best interest to read and believe.

In reality there are no new truths, only old ones that have been rediscovered. All knowledge and understanding already exists and is a continuum, it is ever changing and developing, all wisdom and truth are already complete and absolute, and it’s our awareness of these principles that is slowly evolving. We once believed that the earth was flat, but just sailing into the sunset didn’t have the power to create the earth in its true form, that already existed, but those who had the courage to challenge the accepted belief broke new ground and old beliefs in equal measure, and in doing so raised mankind’s level of awareness. New knowledge is not at the expense of what has gone before; instead it builds on the foundations already laid be it fact or fiction.

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So it is with Reiki; its history and legend are well documented, its credentials established by its own success, all those who practice Reiki know its value and worth and are respectful of its heritage and traditions. As more and more students and masters are trained, increased knowledge and greater understanding become available, information and expertise that was once considered secret in the East is now readily available in the West and with this sharing comes a better understanding of our heritage and the true potential that Reiki has to heal.

In the process we are asked to change our perspective of Reiki and expand what we already know, for we stop learning the moment we believe we know all there is to know. We accept its history, its principles, aims and objectives and in doing so we develop as individuals and as Reiki practitioners. With time, practice and experience we may even become aware of levels of expertise that challenge our beliefs even further and lead us to a point in time where our understanding and practice change in order for us to move forward.

In music we are taught the scales before moving onto more complex structures that form the basis of music. In martial arts we learn the basic techniques in order for them to become instinctive, free flowing and formless. In Reiki we are taught the three levels of Reiki, the symbols, and the principle of detachment from the cause and its effect that’s presented to us in the form of illness and disease, working as a channel for the Universal energy from source to recipient for their highest good.

If Reiki is universal then it must conform to the universal laws that were instrumental in its creation and be applicable in all situations.

If Reiki has any limitations they are defined not by circumstances, but through our lack of inventiveness and imagination in how we use the skills at our disposal.

Hand positions and symbols have merit and value in their own right and are relevant to given situations, Reiki is both formless and free flowing so as practitioners we must be open to new ways of using this universal energy be that through the spoken or written word, using our eyes, our breath or an appropriate proxy. Our minds provide us with the greatest tool and it can be use in many ways, energy follows intent so we can pre-programme when a person will receive Reiki. Every time they go to sleep or wake up in the morning, when they look at themselves in the mirror, every time they leave or enter their home, the possibilities are endless and don’t require either symbols or hand positions to make it happen.

Using the power of our intent we put it in place and then detach knowing that it’s done and the outcome will be for that persons greater good. These ideas don’t in any way detract from the original principles, they are merely an extension to them, rather than contradict, they elaborate on what is already known and take the theory and practice to a different higher level.

Dr Usui would sometimes empower his students when they were nowhere near him using nothing more than his intent, he thought it and knew that it was so. We move from mechanics to mind, from actions to intent, by thinking it we know it is so, we no longer require symbols to send healing because we have reached the point where we accept that the mind is capable of sending healing at will and can never be limited by physical conditions. To be able to look at a person and know instinctively where treatment required, to be sensitive enough to read the bodies energy field and going directly to the places that need to be brought back to a point of balance and equilibrium. This is not a radical change in direction; it’s no more than another chapter in the Reiki book of life that is continually written by every new experience. We can never learn all there is to know, the best we can hope for is an open mind and the willingness to apply the knowledge we gain in the way we live our lives.

Knowing the principles is only the first step; we must then ensure that Reiki is formless and free flowing in order to demonstrate its infinite power. When we close a book we do so to reflect on what we have learnt, when we close our hearts and minds we close the door to all learning and become unaware of our ignorance, lacking knowledge and understanding.

Knowing the way is easy, walking the path is the hard part; it takes courage and commitment, and the realisation that having reached a given point, our journey as a person and as a Reiki practitioner is nothing more than a work in progress.

Phillip Hawkins
Phillip Hawkins

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.


{ 8 comments… add one }
  • raymond September 3, 2013, 3:57 pm

    one of the best articles i have read on reikirays.com to date. Not saying i haven’t read any other really good articles on here of course i have. just saying i really enjoyed reading this one, speaks very clearly to in so many ways. the brightest light i received from this was to keep the hunger alive to learn new methods of use with the reiki and not to get stuck into a routine or pattern and get comfortable with it.i have been practicing for over 10 years and i just recently received my teachers training certificate and i was debating on if i should i should try new forms energy work or just try and build my practice and teach the reiki as i was taught. my gut feeling was to stay focused and develop this form i was taught and become the best at i can be and not worry so much about ” other styles of reiki ” and healing forms.i am skeptical to say the least when i start hearing about people teaching forms like dragon reiki for example or many of the others who are adding their own expression of flavor to try and market the reiki.
    the way i was taught from two separate masters was that Usui reiki was an awakening to the “divine energy” within you and all things. i was taught that your working with the pure energy of the universe and that your merely a channel for the reiki consciousness to work through. so then how can there be more powerful reiki like some of these other lines are claiming? how can u take the divine energy and fractal it into sub groups and then claim yours is better or has a stronger vibration or claim that u can now work with the arch angels?i have had people say things like this to me after a sessions and it really took me out of my healing zone and brought me into an egoistic place of the mind.afterwards i became very close minded to the idea of pursuing more tools in other areas of energy work and started to build my teaching practice. After reading your article maybe there are some legitimate expansions to the reiki arts and i wouldn’t mind hearing more about them and how they help this is not to offend any one or any type of reiki classification out there i am merely speaking how i feel i am willing to listen to any one rap about there styles..i am also a nationally certified therapeutic body worker and i am trained in both eastern and western modalities of massage and i find that my knowledge of acupressure and reflexology are priceless tools to use when working with the reiki and i am know begging to expand my knowledge in traditional Chinese medicines and the 5 element theory. namaste Raymond Self

    • Phillip Hawkins May 21, 2014, 12:58 am

      Thank you for taking the time to reply and your kind insightful words. Like you I am trained in traditional Usui Reiki and can trace my lineage back to Dr Usui through two seperate Masters. When I teach Reiki I provide my students with both the eastern and western version of the Reiki history, I do this because I believe that as a teacher I have a duty to help my students learn how to think but not what to think. They must choose which version of events resonates best with them because regardless of how we dress it up, what historical story we create Reiki still works. It does so because it is an expression of the creative energy of the universe, we are because it is… not the other way around.

      I have studied many different forms of Reiki and what I found was that once you got passed the front page of the manual and the packaging the spirit of Reiki remains intact because its impervious to our desire to rebrand and repackage it, usually at a cost to new students. If we study what Dr Usui taught us then the Dragon Reiki, Angel Reik, Crystal Reiki, Rainbow Reiki etc etc etc have to be considered new interpretations of an old (ancient) theme. The synical person may even think that like any product that becomes tired you have to rebrand it to freshen it up to appeal to a new market group, you pays your money and you takes your choice.

      It is so easy to get lost in amongst al of the different beliefs, stories and Reiki organisations and groups and I try not to get pulled into the right and wrong reiki style, the who said and did what argument because that goes against the very principles of Reiki. I will let you into a little secret…. Reiki was never meant to be taught as a healing discipline… the only person we can heal is ourselves, Reiki was and still is about the spiritual development of the individual and the healing of the self that comes from and through knowledge and understanding. Knowledge and understanding is the basis of all healing no matter what the discipline including western medicine if you think about it.

      If you have a desire let it be to first get to know yourself, your true self and get comfortable with who you are, if you feel you need to search out knowledge and understand and the true nature of healing and as you draw closer to that you will find that ‘stuff’ the trappings of Reiki in all of its many names, styles and disciplines will fall away of its own accord. keep it simple at all times, keep it real, don’t take it or yourself too seriously and most importantly enjoy it and make it fun. A smile, kind and loving word and a happy disposition are some of the most powerful healing tools in your Reiki toolbox, but you won’t find that in any Reiki manual.

      I have written quite a few articles for Reiki Rays upto December 2013 if you have time check them out as they will help you trace my own journey. If they sit comfortable with you great, if not thats ok too, let them go and go with whats right for you at this moment in time. I’m in the Reiki Rays Directory please get in touch if you would like to discuss the above further. Good look with your own personal journey and please don’t hesitate to get in touch if I can be of service to you.

      Kindest Regards

  • Isabella September 6, 2013, 8:03 am

    Really great article…

    • Phillip Hawkins May 21, 2014, 9:18 pm

      Hi Isabella
      Thank you so much for your kind words, so pleased you enjoyed the article


  • Delicia Lloyd October 6, 2014, 5:16 am

    Thank you Raymond, your words have reassured me that how I practice my Reiki is the way it should be done.

    Learning more as I grow every day, hearing from someone like you is so gratifying.

    • Phillip Hawkins October 6, 2014, 1:39 pm

      Hi Delicia
      I’m pleased you enjoyed the article and thank you for your kind comments.


  • Debi October 6, 2014, 2:01 pm

    Great article – thank you. I always try to teach my students that Reiki is a journey of self-healing and spiritual discovery, not just a healing tool for others. The students who grasp this concept tend to have a more fulfilling Reiki experience than others.

  • Phillip Hawkins October 6, 2014, 2:14 pm

    Hi Debi
    Thanks for that, appreciate you taking the time to get in touch.


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