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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.

The Reiki Principles

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A translation of the above reads as follows:

The secret method of inviting happiness

The wonderful medicine for all diseases (of the body and the soul)

Just for today

  • Do not get angry
  • Do not worry
  • Show appreciation
  • Work hard (on yourself)
  • Be kind to others

Mornings and evenings, sit in the Gassho position and repeat these words out loud and in your heart. (For the) improvement of body and soul, Usui Reiki Ryoho Usui Spiritual Energy Healing Method Chosso Usui Mikao The founder, Mikao Usui

With Reiki comes spiritual awakening. Healing involves the mind as well as the body. Self-healing is very much a part of the practice and reflecting on the five Reiki Principles allows us to work with the conscious and sub-conscious mind.

There is no self-punishment attached to the principles. Just for today – don’t worry about yesterday or tomorrow. Concentrate on the present.

Repetition on a daily basis allows the principles to become ‘second nature’. Reflecting or meditating on the principles gives us a chance to think them through. We can invite happiness into our lives, for example, by having gratitude. Take a look in any bookshop at the self-help section. These principles are represented in many of the books on display in one way or another. Over the next few days, I’ll be looking at each principle in turn.

Mikao Usui

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A good introduction to Mikao Usui can be found on the pages of Reiki Guild
Here is an extract:

Mikao Usui rediscovered the system of Reiki in Japan at the end of the 19th Century following a lifetime of study, effort and dedication.

His life-changing experience came through a meditation retreat on Mount Kurama near Kyoto in 1922. From this he developed the simple system of Reiki that we know today.

Following the huge 1923 earthquake which ripped through Tokyo causing firestorms and destruction on an almost unknown scale, Usui and his students gave Reiki to countless suffering people. Their dedication and compassion meant that his Reiki system became known to many people who studied.

Through Mikao Usui’s teaching career, he taught many people Reiki. They in turn, passed this system to their own students.

For people particularly outside of Japan, Reiki was spread through a retired naval officier – Chujiro Hayashi who was a prolific teacher. One of his students, a Hawaiian Japanese lady called Hawayo Takata who was a widow and single mother, was singlehandedly responsible for the spread of Reiki from Hawaii to the US and from there around the world.

With the enormous popularity of Reiki today, this life-enhancing system has been taught to millions of people worldwide in various forms. This is partly due to the huge popularity and hunger for Reiki that spread across the Western world and led to many variations in the way Reiki was taught.
The Richard Ellis School of Reiki has a profile of Mikao Usui that includes the links with Buddhism that lay the foundations for the more secular spiritual practice of Reiki followed in the west today. Mikao Usui asked all Reiki practitioners to say The Reiki Principles in Gassho (hands pressed together in front of the chest) in the morning and in the evening of each day. There are many translations and I use the following:
Just for today:
Anger Not
Worry Not
Be full of gratitude
Work hard on yourself
Be kind to all people
I will be discussing these principles in more detail in future blogs.