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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.

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