To Establish Peace in the External World – We First Must Establish It Internally
Reiki is often described as a healing art or practice. A practice where a practitioner places their hands on or above the body of a person that is in need of some sort of relief and, with time, this relief is then experienced. The practice is often talked about in terms of a transmission of energy from one individual (likely the practitioner) to another (likely the receiver) and thus with this relationship then healing takes place. This view, while not incorrect by any means, does negate an entire universe of understanding behind how Reiki helps to promote healing and the space that this practice actually helps us to realize.
As I’m writing this the world is still working its way out of the Covid pandemic and there is no doubt that all issues (mental health, family struggles, etc) that the pandemic has raised will likely be worked on for decades to come. Further to this there is, of course, the situation in Ukraine, global warming, and a literal myriad of other issues that we can all feel overwhelmed by. These are all very real issues, they are all very real struggles, and they are all producing very real traumas and friction that we will all have to heal from in due time. Consider, however, that none of these are actually new issues. There has always been war, disease outbreaks, environmental collapse and disasters, and so on. Some of these issues may now be more pronounced while others may be less so, but still they persist and we have to heal through them.
So this then brings us to the “how” of this article. How is it that one can use these moments of perceived and/or very real turmoil to help aid our own healing? Covid, I feel, has been a beautiful teacher within this question of how, because the pandemic has effectively brought to the surface so much of our dirty laundry. So much of what we would rather have just forgotten about, or stuffed away, was finally brought to the light of truth, and it hasn’t been easy. Healing never is easy. But as all of this has been brought to the surface, it allows us finally the opportunity to face it, wash it clean, and hopefully let go of it so we can arrive at a deeper sense of peace within.
And this, to me, is the beauty of the practice of Reiki. Within the generalized idea of Reiki as proposed at the start of this article, Reiki is viewed or discussed in almost a transactional sense. I need healing and you are the healer, so you can give me what I need and I can compensate you for that. There is an exchange here, however there is also a duality. There is one person who believes they are in need of healing, and one person who believes that they are able to provide that opportunity. Consider, however, what if both parties had no belief? What if the internal space was quiet and still? Well then, instead of this being a transactional experience, it can perhaps be viewed as a transcendental experience.
There is an alternative perspective to share with the practice of Reiki that is found in the Japanese wording of the practice
Usui Reiki Ryoho
Which roughly breaks down to
The Mind-Body Improvement from the Hands On Healing Art of Usui Reiki
Notice here that the initial focus is not on the body or the illness, or even the healing, but rather it is first on the mind.
Further notice that, when one does the traditional hand placements in Usui Reiki Ryoho, we start with position 1, the eyes, and then move to position 2, the temples, and then three, the crown, and continue over the head. Why is this?
Reiki is a Mind-Body practice, and we work to cultivate a quiet mind. If the mind is quiet, then what else is there? Is there any Covid? War? External Conflict? Of course those are happening, but what if they are not attached to by the mind? What if a story of illness is not propagated by the mind? Are we not then free to heal quicker? Do we not do this each and every night when we sleep?
In sleep, we drop the narrative of the self, and so the body is free from story, and it can heal. Likewise, if we can view our Reiki practice as one that is not simply about healing, but rather one about the cultivation of a still and quiet mind, then we can begin to recognize peace within our complete self, our whole self. And we are able to exist with this same level of peace.
If we are able to turn towards a practice that is internal and we are able to see Reiki as an opportunity to address the internal environment, then we can understand that this is a practice to help cultivate a deep sense of peace within. Much like the eye of a hurricane, the external world can be full of pain, turmoil, destruction and so on, but if we can sit in the middle of all of that and remain still, then perhaps we can see that the turmoil is simply a choice that we all must make. This is not to trivialize all the suffering that is taking place, not by any means, but rather what it is to suggest is that if we can recognize a path inward, and if we are able to sit and reside on that path with stillness then not only are we the stillness within the eye of the hurricane, but further we are actually working to remove the hurricane all together. Afternall, if enough people turned inward then how could there be war? How could there be suffering? If we all turned inward then what would that look like?
This might sound like an impossible feat indeed. How can all people turn inward and reside in stillness? Let us not forget the very meaning of Reiki, Universal Energy. It is the energy that we are all connected by and with. It is the thread that binds us all, links us all, and creates all things in the universe. So if this is the case, does it not mean that if one of us is able to sit in stillness then the entire world is also still? That might sound like a leap to some, but it is the case. For instance, and from a more literal side of things, consider when I sit in my practice. If I’m able to arrive at this stillness, then what, in that very moment, actually exists? Is there Covid? War? Trauma? In that very moment, the entire hurricane ceases to exist, because it simply isn’t there. So there is a sort of critical mass to this practice indeed. If we are able to reposition our thoughts and belief around Reiki that it is a healing practice, or that we are going to sit and send Reiki to Ukraine, or to the earth or to heal this and that, then we are actually staying within the world of duality. Of course these things require love and care, all things require love and care, because all things seek balance and neutrality. So what if global Reiki circles that are focusing on the external world, on sending this and that, were to actually turn inward until participants and practitioners feel a space where all simply just is.
To me, this is the precepts in action and this action of turning inward is how Reiki directly helps reduce the suffering of the external world. If we could all do this, as opposed to focusing our practice on the external world, then we would soon find that the external world has always been calm, it is just the turmoil of the internal world that has always needed our attention.
In Gassho to all and Be Well
Article by Bruce Taylor
Free eBook download: We’ve created an eBook with our best articles on this topic, and offer it for free to all our newsletter subscribers.
Bruce Taylor is a Reiki Master Practitioner and Teacher based in France. He has practiced Reiki since 2006 and his practice focuses on Usui Reiki Ryoho, having been trained in Kyoto, Japan.
He works and trains others globally both in person and via his online offerings found at www.rootsoflife.org
Further to that, he manages the Usui Reiki Ryoho Support and Community Group on Facebook which all are welcome to join (www.facebook.com/groups/129366524359731)
Bruce also manages his youtube channel where he focuses on Reiki and Holistic Wellness content (www.youtube.com/c/RootsofLife)
And as this is the 100th anniversary of Usui Reiki Ryoho, he is leading a pilgrimage to the birthplace of Reiki – Kyoto, Japan, as soon as Japanese borders are open again to tourism. For more information on this truly once in a lifetime celebration, please visit: https://rootsoflife.org/reiki-pilgrimage-2022