by Jan Kendall
At the beginning of my healing journey years ago, I began asking the question, "Who am I?" As I continued to ask the question, the answer varied, depending on the stage in my life. I'm a female, a wife, an American, a mother, a teacher, a hard worker, a nice person, a mean person, a divorced woman, a single parent, a menopausal mess—and the list went on. The most important thing I found out about myself was that I had a laundry list of things I did, but that I couldn't really put my finger on who I had been, was, would be. How does one do that I wondered? What "Self" was I looking for? How was I to "find" it?
I was embarking on a twisty path of spirituality, if you will, and it's amazing how just the right thing kept showing up for me at just the right moment, once I was open to it. I began to read texts of the Masters, and the thing that impressed me was that all of them recommended meditation as a way of life.
I attended workshops, and I talked with friends about my journey, and I went to college. Through a meditation group I belonged to I learned about an intuitive reader. During a session with her, I described some of the things I had learned about energy and auras. In particular I told her how I could see my son’s energy streaming away from his leg after a severe injury during a football game. I told her that I closed my eyes and found peace inside myself and then I would place my hands near the wound. I told her that my hands would get really warm, and my son said that what I was doing was making him feel better.
She told me that what I was doing was meditating and giving my son “Reiki,” and she said, “Go get training!” One of my friends is a Usui Reiki Master, and I went to her for training. Wow! What an experience! I knew then that this is what I was meant to be doing. I suddenly had a vocabulary for things I'd been doing for what seemed my whole life! And it made me feel wonderful to help other people. Eventually I learned all levels of Reiki with William Lee Rand at The International Center for Reiki Training in Michigan.
I had started out meditating and doing Reiki without knowing it, but now that I had the training, I decided to pursue this combination with greater purpose. As I did so, I found peace, strength, and love, which translated into a deeper level of understanding myself. The process was blissful and I found I could go much deeper into myself than ever before. As I continued with this process, I was amazed that the answer to a burning question or problem would come to me all by itself during or after a Reiki meditation session.
What is Meditation?
Meditation may be defined as reflection or contemplation for the purpose of attaining a heightened sense of spiritual awareness. Buddha said, "Meditation brings wisdom; lack of meditation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads you forward and what holds you back, choose the path that leads to wisdom."
The British philosopher Alan Watts writes:
We could say that meditation doesn't have a reason or doesn't have a purpose. In this respect it's unlike almost all other things we do except perhaps making music and dancing. When we make music we don't do it in order to reach a certain point, such as the end of the composition. If that were the purpose of music then obviously the fastest players would be the best. Also, when we are dancing we are not aiming to arrive at a particular place on the floor as in a journey. When we dance, the journey itself is the point, as when we play music the playing itself is the point. And exactly the same thing is true in meditation. Meditation is the discovery that the point of life is always arrived at in the immediate moment.
What Is Reiki
Reiki is a healing practice administered by laying on hands. After taking a class and receiving an attunement, one is able to channel spiritually guided life energy into oneself or others. The benefits include relaxation and stress reduction which also promotes healing. It too can lead to wonderful states of being including feelings of joy, peace and harmony.
Benefits of Reiki Meditation
The many benefits of Reiki and of meditation are well documented. Combining Reiki and meditation brings the value of these two wonderful practices together at the same time; each enhances the other and leads to a greater experience than if practiced separately. Reiki meditation takes me to a higher spiritual level, I feel more blissful and it helps me be more organized and focused. It has also helped me to learn about myself and how happy and fun life can be. Its positive effects touch all levels: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.
There are many ways to combine Reiki and meditation. Here is one that is simple, healthy and enjoyable.
- Prepare for Reiki meditation with attention to the room or area where you plan to meditate. Make sure it's clean, comfortable, and at an even temperature. Pay attention to the atmosphere of the place; you may want to light a candle or incense and add some soft music. If you want to cleanse the space, a Native American tradition is to use sage or sweetgrass and “smudge” by burning a bit of it and using it to clear negative energy in the room. Another idea is to make an altar with some personal items such as crystals, rocks, a photo of Usui Sensei, artwork, symbols, water fountain, potpourri, etc.
- Find a comfortable place to sit or lie down. A comfortable position for meditation is sitting in a comfy chair. Take three long, deep breaths and say a prayer giving thanks for the peace and harmony you are about to experience.
- Draw the Distant Healing symbol, Emotional/Mental symbol and Power symbol on your hands. Then place your hands on your legs or somewhere comfortable and allow Reiki to flow.
- As Reiki starts to flow begin to pay attention to your thoughts and allow them to slow down.
- Then begin to focus on your breathing and the way your body feels. Search out areas of tension. As you focus on them they will fill with Reiki energy and relax. Continue to do this until your whole being is relaxed and filled with Reiki.
- Focus on the calm clear space that continues to develop within you. If thoughts arise, gently brush them aside and bring your mind back to the peace within.
- End the meditation by taking three deep breaths and doing some light stretching.
- Meditate for 10-30 minutes once or twice each day. As you practice this Reiki meditation, it will become more enjoyable and you’ll find yourself going longer as time will begin to pass more easily.
- The peace and clarity you experience while meditating will continue throughout the day. This beneficial state will allow you to experience life in a healthier way and gain deeper insight about yourself and others.
I hope you take the time to practice Reiki meditation as I believe you'll be richly rewarded with greater peace, and a deeper sense of who you are.
This article appeared in the Summer 2010 issue of Reiki News Magazine.