Reiki and Everyday Living, Part 1

To understand what Reiki really is, you need to know a little about Reiki history. The Reiki Method is a Japanese form of re balancing the energy in the body, and the word Reiki is composed of two kanji, Rei and ki, to form the meaning “universal spirit energy”. Reiki Method’s founder, Sensei Mikao Usui, stumbled onto Reiki during his 21 days of meditation at Mt. Kurama. Sensei Usui was looking for a way to be happy and receive fulfillment in life, not necessarily healing ability. On the last day of his meditation, he found what he was looking for, and in the process, also gained a healing ability.

During his short-lived practice in healing others, he devised a set of five precepts which would invite happiness into our lives. These precepts are known within the Reiki community as the Gokai. There are many different interpretations of the Gokai, but the general meaning of the Gokai is this:
The Secret Method of Inviting Blessings, the spiritual medicine for many illnesses,
Just for Today
• Do not Anger
• Do not Worry
• Be Kind
• Work Hard
• Show Appreciation
Mornings and evenings sit in the gassho position and repeat these words out loud and in your heart. For the improvement of mind and body.

Usui Spiritual Healing Method (Usui Reiki Ryoho) The founder, Mikao Usui

Such simple words, but extremely powerful in helping us to achieve balance in life. Without balance, dis-ease can occur. Living and incorporating the Gokai into your everyday life can help us flow with changes in life, can help us become the reeds that bend with the wind and not break or crack when life throws us a storm. The purpose of this article and the few which will follow is to discuss ways in which we can integrate this sage advice into our everyday living.

We will begin with the first and second precepts, Do not Anger and Do Not Worry. There are many spiritual teachings which can be found in all of the major religions: Christianity, Judaism, Shintoism, Buddhism, Islam, just to name a few, which all address anger and how detrimental it is to our health. Scientific research has shown that anger increases certain chemicals (fight or flight) in our bodies. When we were hunter/gatherers, this fight or flight response was a good thing. However, most people in today’s society no longer hunt for their food, nor are they afraid of being attacked by wild animals. We are a very sedentary society and lead busy and stressful lives. Our basic needs for survival have changed. The issues we face today, like whether our bills get paid, will I have a job, will I be able to keep my house, are the issues which cause the fight or flight response. When the adrenal glands are constantly producing those chemicals and they are not appropriately discharged, a whole host of health problems, like high blood pressure, occurs.

We can’t always control what life throws at us, but we can control how we react to those events.  In Eckart Tolle’s book A New Earth, he talks about our “pain bodies” and how our egos react to situations that trigger this response. When we can become an observer, and notice that our egos are engaged and recognize the behavior as such, we become detached and able address the underlying causes of anger. The more we practice at detaching and observing that our “pain body” is in action, the shorter time the ego is engaged, and the shorter the emotional response. In time, we no longer respond to those triggers with anger. This is not an easy thing to do, and takes constant review and practice. And hopefully in time, by reciting the Gokai and practicing self-healing on a daily basis, we can get to the point where the car cutting you off doesn’t affect you, when those annoying habits of your coworkers or loved ones no longer cause you to fume and turn red .

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