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Reiki Symbols: Cho Ku Rei

Madame Takata’s Cho Ku Rei symbol.

A symbol is a simplified depiction of an abstract concept. Together with the mantra repeated three times, all of the associations (spiritual, emotional, physical) that are embodied in that symbol are brought together to subtly change the Reiki healing energy.

There are four symbols, each with a different energy. These symbols are handed down from Reiki Master to Student. The student learns to draw the symbols by hand while repeating the sacred sounds or mantras associated with them. Reiki symbols enhance the flow of Reiki and subtly change its quality.

Reiki symbols (or Sirushi in Japanese) were originally kept secret from the uninitiated. Nowadays, it is generally considered that although the symbols have a sacred significance, they need not be kept secret. Every person attuned to Second Degree Reiki will develop their own relationship with the symbols, which will deepen over time.

Cho Ku Rei (CKR) represents power, focus and Earth energy. It is heavy and grounding and also a spiraling energy, reflected in the shape of the symbol.
Experiencing the energy of CKR: If you have been initiated to Reiki Level 2, try drawing the power symbol in the air, saying the mantra three times and then step into the space where you have drawn the symbol. You will notice a change in the energy in that space. It can be quite profound or very subtle.

CKR is described as the ‘power’ symbol. When using the symbols, you are setting an intention. CKR is used to intensify the power of the other symbols and can be used on its own. It is also used at the end of a Reiki treatment with the intention to ‘seal’ or ‘fix’ the healing energy in place. It can be used for protection, for example ‘clearing’ the energy in a room before giving a Reiki treatment.

This is the first in a series about Reiki Symbols. The other symbols are Sei Hei Ki, Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen and the Master Symbol.

Special offer!

To celebrate my successful application to be registered as a Verified Reiki Practitioner by the Reiki Council I am offering 60 minutes of Reiki for the price of 30 minutes for the month of October.

That’s £25 instead of £45.

To book, please see my contact details here and mention October Special Offer for the discount.

     

My Reiki blog

Working with affirmations: Seiheki Chiryo Ho

Affirmations are powerful tools for self-transformation. Used correctly, affirmations can bring about the changes you want to see in your life.

We can use Reiki together with affirmations to let go of unwanted thought or behavior patterns.

As well has help with changing mental attitudes (overthinking, planning, controlling and negative self-talk) support can be given for stopping smoking, for example.

Change happens a step at a time, so the first stage is to decide upon one particular area in your life you want to work on. The next task is to find an appropriate affirmation. Affirmations need to be both achievable and positive.
“I accept my power” is preferable to “I won’t let people walk all over me”
“I will not over-eat” could be replaced by “I have choice over the foods I eat”

While affirmations are powerful in their own right, a Japanese Reiki technique called Seiheki Chiryo Ho can help boost your efforts. With the client seated, the Reiki practitioner places one hand on the client’s forehead and the other on the base of the skull. Reiki symbols are drawn on the back of the client’s head. The practitioner silently repeats the affirmation while Reiki flows. The client can also silently repeat their chosen affirmation.

The effects of Reiki are cumulative, so it is beneficial to repeat this treatment regularly. Seiheki Chiryo Ho could be included with a series of regular whole body treatments, for example.

The client can also work on this themselves at home, using the same hand positions. This will further ‘set the intention’.

A word about Reiki symbols: these are drawn by hand while repeating the sacred sounds (Kotodama) associated with them. They enhance the flow of Reiki and subtly change its quality, according to the symbol used. These are handed down from Reiki Master to Student at Reiki Level 2. If you have Reiki I there is a technique Nentatsu Ho, which does not require Reiki symbols. It follows exactly the same procedure, but without the symbols. I will be writing more about Reiki symbols in another post.

Inspiration for finding affirmations to suit you:

Shakti Gawain

Louise Hay

Helene Lerner

     

Just for today, be kind to all living beings.

The Times, Libby Purves, Monday 3 July 2017

Network Rail staff and Transport Police are taking a Samaritans’ suicide prevention course. One member of staff, who was initially sceptical, brought himself to approach a woman who as it turned out, was planning to jump.
Resistance, in the guise of scepticism, is often self doubt. When we follow the fourth Reiki principle, work hard on yourself, training courses can be a springboard for self-development as well as helping others. It needn’t be a situation as serious as a potential suicide. Just letting someone feel they are not alone can help ease a burden.

Kindness has been defined as the quality of being friendly, generous and considerate. It is also linked with the Buddhist principle of Compassion. When I say this principle, I think of the Metta Bhavana, Loving Kindness meditation. The meditation takes you through five stages.  With the first stage you start with yourself.

May I be well, May I be happy, may I be free from suffering, may I progress.

Then the meditation moves on to a good friend, then someone neutral then someone you dislike. For each stage we wish the person well using the phrase above. In the final stage we extend Metta, loving kindness, to all four people (including ourselves) equally and at the same time.
If you want to try this for yourself, there are guided meditations on Free Buddhist Audio.

Parmanada in his book Change Your Mind, offers the best written description I have seen. I take just the opening words for each stage. Please see the Kindle or print version for a more detailed explanation.

Stage One: As we have seen, the ability to feel Metta towards others is based on, or is dependent on, the ability to feel metta towards ourselves. This is therefore where the practice begins. In this stage we try to cultivate a sense of metta towards ourselves. Sometimes this can feel quite awkward – if we have been brought up to feel that caring for ourselves is selfish.
Stage Two: Now we bring to mind a good friend, someone whose company we enjoy. It is said that it is best to choose someone who is about your own age, who is still living, and of the same sex.
Stage Three: In this stage we bring to mind a different person, this time someone that we could call a ‘neutral’ person, someone we have no strong feelings towards, one way or the other. It might be someone we work with but have never really got to know, or it might be someone we often see in our locality; it doesn’t matter too much. What we are trying to encourage here is an expansion of our normal emotional range, a broadening of our emotional awareness to include those who do not have a direct impact on our lives.
Stage Four: We now make a move into enemy territory, that is to say, we bring to mind a person who would normally provoke in us rather unfriendly feelings. We bring to mind an enemy, or at least someone we find difficult or irritating. This is a very interesting stage of the meditation to teach, as it tends to provoke strong reactions from people.
Stage Five: In the final stage of the meditation we really let ourselves go. We try to apply whatever feelings of metta we have unearthed to all manner of other people, wherever they may be – or, indeed, to all manner of living beings, human and non-human. First of all we bring together the four people we have already included in the meditation, with the thought ‘May I feel equal metta for all these people.’

The purpose of Metta Bhavana is to cultivate compassion for ourselves. Once we experience self-compassion and learn to accept ourselves as we are, it is easier to extend loving kindness to others.
Many years ago I regularly attended a meditation group at the College of Psychic Studies led by Julian Willmore in partnership with his guide and teacher Linpur. One particular phrase in the meditation always resonated with me.

“Have compassion for who you are, have compassion for who you have been and have compassion for who you will be”

As we travel through life, we metamorphose through many stages of existence. As we grow or experience setbacks, we can sometimes feel like different people. It can also include forgiving our many selves as well as forgiving others. With the fifth Reiki principle, we can be reminded to show kindness to our many selves, as well as all living beings.

 

 

Just For Today, Work Hard on Yourself

Sometimes translated as “Be honest in your work”

For me, this means self-development. Investing in myself.

I approach this in a number of ways. I’m by no means perfect – I see myself more as ‘a work in progress’ than the finished article. The finished article may take some time!

Self-healing: A daily Reiki self-treatment, takes a bit if self-discipline to become a regular habit. However, even if only 15 minutes, it does play an important part in self-healing. It is said a little Reiki is better than no Reiki. I do, however, feel much more relaxed after an hour long session.

There are Reiki techniques that focus on changing bad habits, addictions and redundant thought patterns. Seiheiki Chiryo Ho and Nentatsu Ho are very similar. Both can also be used to set an intention, usually in the form of an affirmation. Affirmations are very personal – what gels with one person can sound a bit ‘airy fairy’ to another. Some people like Louise Hay, but there are plenty of alternatives out there. Or you could make up your own. An affirmation needs to be positive and achievable. These techniques can be performed on yourself if you have Reiki (Seiheiki Chiryo Ho uses the Reiki 2 symbols, Nentatsu Ho does not need them)

I enjoy Hatsurei Ho each morning. I tailor it to fit the time I have available. When I go to Reiki shares or Reiki Guild events, these normally form part of the proceedings.

Reiki Shares: Whether you are a practitioner or not, as long as you have been attuned to Reiki, do find a local share and join in the fun. You can learn new techniques and make new friends. And learn how to do Hatsurei Ho!

I am currently working with the Three Diamonds. From: Nathaniel. Reiki: The Path of Three Diamonds: The Path to Spiritual Harmony

The first Dantien, Hara, is placed in the abdomen. The second dantien is placed in the heart, and the third dantien is placed in the head. Between them, according to Taoism teachings, there are two primary energy channels connecting the dantiens together – the front and back channel. Together they create what is called the microcosmic orbit.

The first Diamond, the earth energy, is the material world and the layer of Yin. The second Diamond is the emotional realm – our feelings and emotions, our points of view and perception of life, the Shadows hidden in the unconscious mind. The Third Diamond is the energy of the heart, it’s the practice of the third degree – Shinpiden. Here we discover nothing more but the practice that leads to integration of the first two Diamonds. This is where we practice in order to integrate together what we have learned in the past. We discover new aspects of the First and Second Diamond, where everything becomes a whole, leading us to the final goal of Unity.

According to Taoist teachings it is said that we should never work directly with the second and third dantien. We can work safely only with the first dantien, the Hara. But these dantiens are connected with each other. When the first dantien is activated fully, the spiritual energy goes to the second dantien, and once this one is full and activated, the energy reaches the third dantien. Nevertheless, on the path of Reiki we work directly only with the first dantien, the region of Hara in the abdomen. In a passive way, the second dantien benefits from meditations, breathing techniques and working with the Gassho mudra, and the third dantien benefits from the general practice.

At the beginning of this piece I wrote “The finished article may take some time!” I’m not sure there will ever be a ‘finished article’. And I am pretty sure I wouldn’t want there to be. It’s quite nice being a work in progress and exploring what life has to offer.

Just for today, be full of gratitude

The concept of counting your blessings can sound trite, if not handled carefully. So I hope I can do the concept of gratitude justice.
I know that an authentic feeling of gratitude can’t be faked. The order of the principles (Anger, Worry, Gratitude) has relevance. If we are angry or worried, it’s hard to be satisfied with our lot. If we have genuine concerns about money or feel anger because we feel we have less than we are entitled to, a feeling of gratitude just isn’t going to happen.
Sometimes we need a change of attitude to feel gratitude. A lack of gratitude, of always wanting and never getting, brings us down emotionally as well as physically. Gratitude can be an uplifting experience; we can hold ourselves tall, knowing that we are satisfied with what we have, or have the skills to obtain what we need.

Recently, after waking up to several dull and grey mornings in a row, I was truly grateful for a burst of sunshine when it happened.
Spring is a time for gratitude; witness the new buds forming on trees, crocuses and daffodils popping up everywhere. Better times ahead, summer is coming.

I grow tomatoes and herbs in the garden and buy a pot of basil or parsley from the supermarket. I say thank you to the plant before I take what I need. From a spiritual/shamanic perspective, I am expressing gratitude for the Earth’s bounty. We can also say thank you after a self-treatment, to show gratitude.
Another Reiki principle that can help with gratitude is ‘Be kind to all living things’ An act of kindness can help restore another person’s faith in human nature.

From Penelope Quest: Reiki For Life: The Complete Guide to Reiki Practice for levels 1, 2 & 3

Be grateful/ show appreciation/ count your blessings We need to value and appreciate many things in our lives and to be grateful for our many blessings; however, sometimes we need to recognise those blessings first, because if life is a struggle and if we are going through a ‘bad patch’, this colours our view of life until we assume that everything in life is bad. Even when we are happy and healthy we are often not aware of it and take it very much for granted. Yet most of us are living very good lives, even if they aren’t perfect. Take time out of every day just to stand and stare at the beauty of a flower or the happiness of a child at play. Develop an awareness of life and what it means to live it. Of course there will be ups and downs, happiness and sadness, but every experience is valuable because it helps to make you who you are. So, just for today give thanks for your many blessings. The world is a wonderful place in which to live a physical life, so use Reiki and meditation to help you to develop an ‘attitude of gratitude’ to discover and trust in the abundance of the Universe and to develop your own belief in your deservingness of love, beauty, peace and anything else you need or desire.

Just For Today, Worry Not.

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I know I’m going to worry, but there is something I can do about it. And some worries are worth worrying about – a little. It’s a good idea to plan or prepare for some situations. But once the decision is made, leave it there. No point going round in circles.

On a physical level, worry brings us down. Shoulders rounded, head down, back stooped. Worry almost carries a physical weight. Excessive worry leads to anxiety, which can cause stress, high levels of cortisol, high blood pressure and digestive disturbances (there are ‘brain cells’ in the gut)

Emotionally, worry and anxiety can leave us drained. Thinking “I can’t do it” can make a person feel like they are drowning, overwhelmed. This makes clear thinking difficult. When feeling overwhelmed, breaking a tough schedule into small achievable chunks can help.

On a Spiritual level, worry is self-doubt. That interferes with any belief systems we may have on both mundane and higher levels. Self-doubt is losing faith.

Primary and secondary suffering – in Buddhist terms, primary suffering is the initial problem we experience. Suppose I twist my ankle. The very real pain in my foot would be primary suffering. Secondary suffering would be the worrying that follows – supposing the swelling doesn’t go down? I won’t be able to walk, then I won’t be able to go to class, then I won’t be able to finish my course, then I won’t be able to earn a living, then… Disaster! This can also be described as the first and second arrows of suffering. With the first arrow, we are shot with misfortune. With the second arrow we shoot ourselves. This is the aversion, worry and denial that follows the first arrow.

Dealing with worry: Saying the Reiki Principles first thing can help. Just as Anger is linked to fear, so too is Worry. Remember, it’s just for today… And by the time tomorrow comes, whatever our worry is, it will in all likelihood have resolved itself.