Thursday, 1 August 2013

Silence and Stillness

One of the common questions in my Reiki classes is “Do you play music during Reiki treatments?”  While this may be common practice in some body therapies, generally I don’t: I offer Reiki in silence.  I also request that at the Reiki Shares we treat each other in silence, rather than chat (we do chat before and after the treatments!).

In today’s world many of us are bombarded with sounds of different kinds – music, spoken voice, machinery, electronics.  There are natural sounds as well such as birds, wind and rain,
but these are often drowned out by human-created noise.  There’s also the hubbub inside our heads of constant thoughts, irritations and worries.

When people receive Reiki healing it is an opportunity to spend a space of time in stillness and silence, away from the normal noise of life.  I feel this is a valuable and important aspect of Reiki, so do not want to interfere with it by adding music.

Music itself relies on silence – all music comes from silence: that moment of hushed expectation that precedes the first notes, the intake of breath before the song.  It’s the spaces between the notes that create the melody and rhythm.

Many people receiving Reiki have spoken to me about how their mind seems to slow down, how their thoughts become more peaceful and even that the mind becomes still.  For many, receiving Reiki is very similar to meditation – with less effort because all you have to do is lie down and the Reiki practitioner does the work!  Or in the case of learning Reiki the effort of making your connection with the healing energy is carried out for you by the Reiki master: all you have to do is sit in silent stillness.

In silence it becomes easier to notice what is really important in that moment, whether it’s a physical sensation in the body, a buried emotion or thought that needs to be acknowledged.  Often we are so busy we forget to notice what really matters: in the stillness and silence of a Reiki treatment we can re-connect with the simple joy of being alive.

In this restful silence of Reiki healing external noises are not disturbing.  This leads me to think that even if I did play music people wouldn’t really hear it, just as they don’t hear the talking next door or the sirens going by outside.

Silence and peace are valued in many spiritual traditions and the stillness of mind we experience in Reiki is the goal of many spiritual practices, such as yoga, meditation and prayer.  I feel especially at home teaching and practicing Reiki at the Quaker meeting house in Ludlow, because it’s a place where people sit in silence to connect with their spiritual selves.  As we sit in silence giving each other Reiki it feels very similar.

Offering Reiki treatment in silence is one way I enable people to achieve this peace of mind and feeling of connection, in a way that is simple and restful for them.  In such a busy, noisy world an hour of silence can be a true gift!