One of the first teachings my Reiki Master June Woods gave me in 1993 was “Just relax and let it flow dear.. Reiki knows where to go”. I still tell my own students this and when they are doubtful of their own capacity to give Reiki, I suggest, not making it about them but instead make it about the person receiving. I was also taught that there was no need to be concerned about the outcome of a healing or get myself involved in diagnosis because I was simply a channel through which the energy flows. The idea that Reiki flows to where it is needed most and is an intelligent life force energy that requires no direction is still taught today but there are questions that have arisen in me through my practice of Reiki and this week I wish to discuss the question; “Do we direct Reiki or just let it flow?”
Through my work as a therapist I have come to realise that I instinctively and intuitively known where energy is required in my patients and as I have allowed myself increasingly to be a part of the process I find that the energy not only flows through me into those areas I am concentrating on, but also often manifests in other areas of the patient away from where I am focusing my attention. This suggests to me that Reiki both flows through me and also has the ability to manifest around me of it’s own accord. The question arises then, if I wasn’t there with the intention of giving healing, would the energy manifest anyway? Unfortunately as I am not there to witness it I will never know. Maybe like electrons in Young’s quantum experiments, Reiki behaves differently if someone is there to witness it or not? Is this then the root of the idea that we are required for Reiki to flow, but at the same time have no influence because once it’s flowing it knows where to go?
As a hypnotherapist I find it difficult to accept this idea completely and it’s not solely because of an over inflated sense of my own importance. One of the phenomena I have observed with Reiki, is it’s ability to induce deep states of trance. In fact I would imagine most modern hypnotherapists would be more respectful of Reiki if they knew how effective it was at inducing somnambulistic states. People are highly susceptible to suggestion in these states and as transformation or healing often begins with a shift in attitude or perception, I would argue that a Reiki therapist could be more pro active in the therapeutic process than they think.
We are told that we are not qualified to diagnose a patient’s condition however who is more qualified than a Reiki therapist to diagnose where energy is out of balance? For sure I don’t go around diagnosing ailments of a physiological nature that I know nothing about, but I do choose to discuss with my patience where I perceive areas of imbalance exist in their energy centres. When I marry my perception of blocked energy to the knowledge of the psychological and emotional aspects of those areas of the body, I find increasingly my ‘energetic’ diagnosis’ are accurate and I can give my patients an insight into where personal development could occur for them. If we are not to be directive at all, why was Byosen Reikan Ho given such emphasis in the early years of Reiki? It is said that unless a student demonstrated competence at finding blocks in a patients energy field Sensei Chujiro Hayashi did not permit them to proceed to second level.
When we arrive at second level Reiki we are taught that through distant healing, we can send energy across time and space to a person or event that requires healing. Unless of course we are to believe it is the symbols alone that make this possible, sending distant healing requires involvement through clear intention to direct the energy to where it is required. Without doubt, symbols contain an inherent quality or energy, however like hand positions symbols are given to us until we no longer need them and when we have grasped their meaning they have arguably served their purpose. I know from personal experience how effective I can be at manifesting parking spaces without the use of anything but my intent.
So when we suggest that energy is simply channelled through us and we are not directly part of the process, I ask the question ‘which part of us are we talking about here?’ Our mind? Our emotions? Our ego? Our whole Being? I wonder if this is just more of the old polarisation theory…. that we are separate from the whole? If we dare to realise ourselves as part of nature just like a leaf is part of the tree it grows on, then how is it possible for us not to be involved in the process of giving Reiki? Isn’t it just as likely that Reiki’s source is within us rather than something that we channel through us? Equally, isn’t it as valid to reason that we know where energy should flow and where energy is needed when we are really in sync and at one with our essential nature?
I wonder if that is the real gift that Reiki offers us? Slowly through it’s gentle practice enabling us to surrender everything that isn’t real and realising with a growing awareness we have an intimate relationship with the Universe. Ultimately giving us the understanding that we ourselves are it, the source, the wisdom, the love?
If that were true, would it be ok to be directive I wonder?
Thanks for listening