I have been a Reiki Master Teacher for 15 years. In that time, I have participated in over 700 healing sessions. I have taught around 100 students, and 5 Reiki Masters. After deep reflection, I will not teach Reiki again. I may not practice Reiki, in the traditional manner, either.
It’s not that I don’t think that energy work is valuable. I think that as it is often practiced today, it distracts us from the deeper truth. I think we have come to a point in our views on energy that we have attributed a lot to it, including too many stories that distract us from the very purpose and intent of Reiki. The purpose of Reiki is to heal our sense of separation from the Divine.
I practice Reiki intuitively as well as following the traditional guidelines and practices. I have always shared the messages about what is alive at the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels. I have felt changes in my body experience as a result of Reiki, and I have had feedback from others about similar experience. I have come to believe that while this is compassionate and useful, it can also create a story about the experience we are having. My teachers repeatedly remind me, “Who would you be without the story? What is your experience before you judge it?”
“When the Buddha talked about the realization of no-self, he was talking about the self that’s an image in the mind being completely seen through. And when there is no image of self, experience has nothing to bounce off of. Everything just is as it is, because there’s no secondary interpretation. The one that’s interpreting is the one that’s in pain. And that’s the one who suffers. That’s the one who causes others to suffer.” – Adyashanti
So often, what we remember in our experience of others is the story we have about them. We overlay our interpretation on what the others have said or done. And we do the same things about ourselves. “The false self, the self that’s an image in the mind, uses every experience to measure itself: “How am I in relationship to what’s happening? Am I wise? Am I stupid? Am I clumsy? Am I courageous? Am I enlightened about this?” That’s the movement of consciousness reflecting on an image of itself that doesn’t actually exist. It’s always measuring each and every experience, and then believing in the interpretation of the experience rather than seeing “Everything just is.”” – Adyashanti
Often, with the best of intentions, healers reinforce body identification and eventually, false self-identification. To heal separation from the Divine is to really love what is, and to experience it as it is, without judgement. That doesn’t mean you don’t seek relief. But there is a deeper possibility too, and Reiki does not necessarily acknowledge that. Even the Usui myth – that he sought Reiki to find a way to replicate the healing miracles of Jesus – misses the awakening to higher consciousness.
“”Yoga makes your shoulder feel better” – that’s one of your sacred beliefs. Can you really know that’s why your shoulder stopped hurting? When you are focused on your shoulder, focused on “yoga is going to make it better,” ” massage is going to make it better,” you’re body identified. At night we pass out from these concepts. We don’t sleep, we pass out. You’re scared of pain in your body. When the carrot juice stops working, you’re left with your own thought system. You try to hold it off with yoga. There’s only one true yoga, and its mental, and its a free flow. I’m a lover of what is. I have played out all these theories, and I know that even if the massage and the yoga and the carrot juice and the wheat grass work now, eventually I’ll have the grace of getting old and knowing that the wheat grass can’t help. Or hopefully I’ll get some kind of disease, where all this thought catches up with me and I can take a look at my stressful concepts. It’s all grace. And don’t you want it all? Freedom from the body, freedom from the concept that you are a body. Something’s always going to hurt. Ultimately you’re left with your thinking about your body. That’s all there is to work with.” – Byron Katie
True healing is not about alleviation of the symptoms. In some respects, reiki or massage can become a substitute for the medical model of treating the symptoms. Without awakening, we are perpetuating the ego’s desire for cause and effect, for a sense of control. We perpetuate the idea that we are not as we should be – our bodies should be healthy, flexible, able to do that incredible backbend, able to release all pain and holding. But what if we did not identify with this body, or with this ego? Isn’t that really what the intent of healing is?
“That’s basically what it means to really wake up: we’re waking up from the character. You don’t have to destroy the character called “me” to wake up from it. In fact, trying to destroy the character makes it very hard to wake up. Because what’s trying to destroy the character? The character. What’s judging the character? The character.”- Adyashanti
I will teach awareness, and awakening. I will teach what I have learned about letting go of body identification and ego identification. Even as I do so, I also know that Reiki serves a purpose and is perfect in its own way. Just not for me, not anymore.