Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Reiki and Mindfulness

I met one of my students when she came into the clinic in a stressed state, asking for a mindfulness course: I suggested she learned Reiki!

I've noticed that mindfulness has become very fashionable recently.  For me Reiki is a mindfulness practice.  Mindfulness is defined as "the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one's thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis"

When I give Reiki, whether it is to myself or someone else, I automatically begin to pay more

What many Reiki practitioners have also noticed is that simply by doing a Reiki treatment we enter a state of mind that is like meditation.  It's one of the reasons so many people enjoy giving Reiki treatments I think - it's such an effortless way to reach a deliciously peaceful state of being. Worries and cares ebb away, it's a state of simply Be-ing in the Now.  The person receiving Reiki often experiences this letting go of past and future too, allowing relaxation of the mind and body.  Whether it's simply because we are being 'mindful' of our hands which brings us to this state, or whether something more is happening it's difficult to say, but the end result is clear.

A treatment can be given in a distracted and non-mindful state, but the best treatments are those when I, as practitioner, am fully present with the person I'm treating - mentally as well as physically.  This is also true of teaching and the opportunity to be present and aware as people learn Reiki for the first time is a real joy in my life!  It's so wonderful to see the changes that happen as people take this practice into their lives.

The Reiki principles also encourage mindfulness.  In order to not worry or be angry, as they suggest, I need to be aware if I am worried or angry - in other words: mindful of my emotional state.  In order to honour my parents I need to be aware of my thoughts and actions towards them.   To do my work honestly I feel that I need to be my authentic self, avoiding self deception and being conscious of how the ego may wish to trick me!

The last Reiki principle is "Show Gratitude to every living thing" - surely the clearest reminder to be consciously aware of all the beings who surround us, without judging them.  You can't judgmental about something and at the same time be grateful for it I find.

So whether it is through daily self treatment or receiving treatment from someone else, through treatment of other people or living with the Reiki Principles: Reiki practice brings your attention in a heightened and non-judgmental way to your body and mind.  This offer a way to have a heightened awareness and experience of life.  As many mindfulness practitioners of different paths have found, this way of being can increase happiness and physical well being.  And Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki does this with elegant simplicity!
attention to what my hands feel like - in other words I have a heightened awareness of my experience of touch and other physical sensations.  As the treatment continues there are often other sensations in my own body that call my attention.  As I spend several minutes in each position, I'm practicing giving non-judgmental attention to those sensations.