Reiki when written in Japanese characters literally means “spiritual life energy”.
Reiki is a spiritual healing method that is practiced around the world. But when we say “spiritual”, it doesn’t refer to any religion or religious order. Some of the symbols used in reiki healing originate from Sanskrit letters or Japanese/Chinese characters, but they are not related to any specific Eastern religion.
One thing we do have to recognize is that we humans are all spiritual beings. The physical body in which we live in in this life time is a vessel for our spirit. If you have ever tried meditation, you may have experienced this flow of energy– as even beginners of meditation do feel the energy flowing through their body when they meditate.
A reiki healer is considered as a spiritual healer who allows himself or herself to be used as a channel for the flow of healing energy for the benefit of others. In the process of healing others, the one offering the healing also benefits from the energy.
During the reiki training, there are several sessions on “reiju”, which is often translated as “attunement” but it literally means “granting of the soul”. It is a ritual where the reiki teacher offers the spiritual energy. It can also be interpreted as activating the life energy that is inherent in you (that has been dormant), and you become one with the all encompassing universal energy.
If you have ever practiced meditation, you may have experienced the sensation like your physical body has melted into space and you have become one with the universe. You may also experience this when you are surrounded in breathtakingly beautiful nature and you are in total awe.
Everyone has a different experience, but when I first received reiju in a reiki seminar I attended in Rome, I saw different shapes in different colors (circles, triangles, squares, etc) falling from the sky slowly and gently into my mind and body. After the session was over (about 15-20 minutes), the palms of my hands had become completely warm, and they have remained warm ever since.
It was a strange sensation in a good way, and I felt a comforting warmth, as if I was wrapped by a big, soft blanket.
Restoration of balance
In Chinese and other Eastern medicine, there is a strong emphasis on maintaining the balance within your body. In Chinese, this is often referred to as the balance between “Ying and Yang”. Some simply say that the body is “hot” or “cold”, and you try to apply the opposite of the state of your body to restore the balance.
In Reiki also, the parts of the body which have fallen ill is interpreted as the parts with “lack of energy” or “lace of (blood) circulation”. When this happens, the healer can feel this lack of energy called “byosen” (“sickness accumulation”), and keep the hands on the spot for as long as the byosen is felt.
Eventually, the byosen weakens, and that would be the end of the session. (More on byosen, read my post, “Byosen – what is it and how does it work in reiki healing?“. At the end of each session, I give a short massage called “blood circulation” to physically try to help blood circulation.
Again, I want to emphasis that reiki is not related to any religion, and rather, it is a healing method which uses the universal energy that is available to all.
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below!