Article by Phillip Hawkins
We label and categorise without a second thought, not realising in doing so we impose measurement, limitations and restrictions. We define what is and inadvertently make a judgement on anything that falls outside of those parameters. This is, so that can’t be. Belief no matter how spiritual is restrictive and limited; a child in faith not yet fully grown into knowledge and understanding.
Beliefs real and imaginary provide the certainty we crave, security allowing us to rest safely in our comfort zone, free from the doubts and fears to challenge what we hold to be true. Labels offer a short cut and save time. We can bypass having to think and evaluate, and go straight to assumption and acceptance of the unknown.
Tradition is one such label that carries great reverence. If it’s traditional, it must be good because it’s stood the test of time and has age on its side. Unfortunately not all things ancient are spiritual or esoteric, and longevity offers no guarantee of sustainability. If tradition wishes to be held in such high esteem it must accept responsibility to prove its validity through truth demonstrated. Tradition has its place, but it must be earned and not granted out of misplaced devotion, and should never be at the expense of knowledge and understanding. Blindly doing what has always been done is misplaced loyalty and sacrifices the student’s development at the altar of conformity and obedience. If we are not prepared to question the validity of our own beliefs we have no right as teachers to shape and form the beliefs of students in our care. Tradition for traditions sake is like the blind leading the blind.
Reiki has become a product; a brand name for numerous styles and covering a multitude of myths, misconceptions, and exaggerated claims. Giving it almost mythical status and cleaning product quality, removing 99% of all imperfections so you don’t need to. False prophets and false promises lead to the same dead end, when the initial euphoria wears off and reality falls short of the promised miracles that fail to materialise.
Reiki works but not in the way many people believe it does, neither can it be defined by the various labels we place upon it. It’s impossible to attach a label to the infinite or compartmentalise it through the use of rituals, hand positions, and symbols. If we were to remove the label what remain are knowledge and understanding, spiritual awareness and a personal connection with the infinite energy we know as unconditional love. Something so immense it’s impossible to hide it under something so small as a label.
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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.