REIKI is an ancient, gentle, non-invasive, hands-on form of healing used to balance energy and release blockages within both the physical body and the auric field.
Your Reiki Advisor is Paul Naras
History of Reiki
by Paul Naras
Before we delve into the Reiki laying on of hands system of healing it is worthwhile to quickly review its historiography - where it supposedly originated (and how it was rediscovered) and how it reached port in Western civilization.
What follows is a combination of fact, traditional theory, speculation and probably outright fantasy - and where the lines of demarcation cross each other depends on one's level of familiarity with the subject matter (which encompasses opinion, knowledge and intuitive wisdom).
There are many individuals on the metaphysical path who 'know' that civilization has existed on this earth plane for hundreds of thousands of years in one way, shape or form. The lost continents of Lemuria and Atlantis would have had their various mystery schools and healing modalities - and some of those practices were handed down orally and through the written word and survived to our present day.
Many historians concur that the incorporation of ancient Tibet, Buddha and Jesus into the Reiki stew has more to do with shrewd / strategic advertising than with authenticity. A number of reputable researchers and channellers beg to differ. All the major religions conveniently borrowed from their predecessors and when they were co-opted ( usually for political / control reasons) certain long-standing concepts went by the boards. About 1600 years ago the religious autocrats and potentates of the Christian Church were well on the way to expunging the pivotal concepts of reincarnation and karma and suppressing systems of spiritual healing.
Traditional Reiki history commences in the early to mid-1800's when a Christian minister, Dr. Mikao Usui, principal of Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan, was asked by a couple of seminary students to explicate the miracles of Jesus - and the method this Master used to heal others. This question initiated the Doctor's lifelong pursuit and exploration of ancient healing methodology.
Dr. Usui traveled to the U.S. and for seven years he studied Theology, learned Sanskrit, and pored through the scriptures in an attempt to unlock the mysteries of the healing Jesus. He supposedly received a Doctor of Theology degree from the University of Chicago Divinity School (although there don't seem to be records extant that bear this out). His stay in America did not provide Dr. Usui with the answers he was looking for.
He sailed back to Japan and took up his abode in a Zen Buddhist monastery - where he began his study of their scriptures / sutras. He did locate texts delineating the formula he had been seeking - but not the modus operandi for activating this healing energy.
Dr. Mikao Usui was inspired to travel to Mount Koriyama where he commenced a three week period of fasting and meditation. On the 21st day he saw a spark of light coming toward him from the distance, growing larger and larger - until it finally struck him in his third eye chakra. He initially thought he had died but he was actually apperceiving a noetic / mystical / euphoric experience. He saw countless "rainbow bubbles" and then golden Sanskrit characters - the Reiki symbols he had been searching for - and he 'remembered'. It was his awakening to a lost ancient method of healing.
Walking down from Mount Koriyama Dr. Usui experienced what historical lore has denominated as the four miracles. First, he stubbed his toe on a sharp rock and, when he put his hands on it, his palms became quite hot and the bleeding appendage was healed. He then stopped at a residence serving travelers and ordered a large meal (which was not the recommended thing to do after a three week fast) but he ate it without consequence. The serving woman was suffering with a severe toothache and Dr. Usui cured her discomfort. And when he arrived at the Kyoto monastery the abbot, afflicted with arthritis, was then also healed.
The doctor spent the ensuing years living in the Kyoto slums and utilizing his healing energy on the beggars who resided there. His ulterior purpose was for the healed to start new / productive lives but in most cases this did not happen. The begging lifestyle was very deeply ingrained and Dr. Usui realized that his ministering had only addressed the physical aspects of their issues - and not the emotional / spiritual matrix of their individual predicaments.
Mikao Usui became a pilgrim and lecturer. He met Chujiro Hayashi during his peregrinations and trained him as a Reiki Master in 1925. When Usui passed through transition five years later he had groomed approximately 18 such Masters.
Hayashi continued the training process and opened his own clinic. It was here that Hawayo Takata (another key name in Reiki history) came for assistance in 1935. She had been literally on the operating table, prepped for surgery, when her "inner voice" advised her that the operation was not needed. She was directed to Hayashi's clinic and, within four months, was completely healed.
Takata was eventually able to persuade Dr. Hayashi to train her and she started her work in Hawaii. In a 1941 vision she was summoned to Japan and when she arrived she found herself at the foot of Hayashi's bed with a number of Japanese Reiki Masters. Hayashi informed them that a war was on the horizon, that he would be called into service and that his present level of spiritual awakening would not permit him to do so. He designated Takata as his official successor and then psychically terminated the beating of his own heart.
World War II materialized, the clinic was taken over and Reiki literally disappeared fom the Japanese scene. Takata became the instrument by which Reiki endured and from Hawaii it reached the North American continent and Europe. She taught scores of aspirants until her passing at the age of 80 in 1980.
When Takata passed through transition the mantle of Grand Master was passed to her granddaughter, Phyllis Furumoto, and there have been numerous changes since then (including several branches growing out of the Reiki Alliance, the Radiance Techniques spearheaded by Barbara Ray, et cetera).
The origins of Reiki are enthralling and probably even more complex than iterated above. The sincere student will encounter even more extensive and contradistinctive facts and opinions - depending on which school of thought he/she wishes to embrace or give credence to. One can delve into the affiliation with Tendai Buddhism. One can research the influence of Chinese thinking on Japanese methodology. And then there is the role of Qi Gong. And who can judge whether Usui's satori experience on the mountain really happened or was added to the mix by Takata herself.
If there has been misrepresentation and misinformation then it would be imperative to assess the context in which these stories were passed down to us - the whys and wherefores. Then we might understand the 'actuality' of what took place. Nevertheless, the Reiki teachings are now available to all who possess the motive/desire to imbibe this wisdom.
If you are interested - welcome. Come with us - for there is much to learn.
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What is Reiki?
by Paul Naras
Reiki (pronounced Ray-kee) is an ancient healing art; a laying-on of hands technique that can be traced to the Tibetan Buddhists of a few thousand years ago - and it probably even predates them - its roots cultivated in civilizations of yore.
The practice of laying hands on an injured body part is also as old as the hills. It is instinctive. Who hasn't rubbed his/her elbow, for example, after accidentally banging it into a door or some other unyielding object? Figuratively and literally, animals lick their wounds and so do we.
The word REIKI comes from two Japanese words:
REI - means 'universal', and this can be interpreted in a broad spiritual sense and of the Higher Self, the I Am That I Am consciousness, All That Is. On a deeper level it refers to higher wisdom.
KI - is the life force itself - the prana, the chi, the mana and the countless other names that various cultures have termed it. This is the impalpable, non-material energy that pervades all animate life. The Life Force flows around us (aura) and within the physical constitution via the chakras/meridians. This energy echoes and reacts to our innermost reflections and emotions. Negativity can inhibit or out rightly thwart this flow causing, in turn, constricted functionality in parts of the body.
Perhaps we can provide a general overview at this point in time - what Reiki is and also what it is not.
- First and foremost, Reiki has no affiliation with any specific religion, organization, spiritual path or belief system.
- Reiki is probably the simplest, most practicable and uncomplicated system of energy activation/healing you'll ever encounter.
- At the same time it is safe, unforced, innate and formidable. Reiki energy is at your finger tips whenever and wherever you need it.
- The Reiki process is a powerful formula for physical and emotional healing and for the restoration of equilibrium / harmony in the body's vibratory / energy patterns. As well it can become an impetus toward personal / spiritual realization.
- Reiki can be utilized in conjunction with other medical treatments - whether allopathic or alternative. It does not obstruct or hinder any medication you may be on or any course of doctoring / therapy you may be undergoing.
- The healing experience is unique to the patient. There is no one end result and what a particular individual sees, feels and apperceives during a treatment will be especial and singular - suited to the bodily and emotional requirements of the person and the malady.
- Once you receive the Reiki attunement(s) the healing vitality will always be applicable and serviceable. You can forever tap into that intrinsic Force.
- Reiki has no 'off' switch and there will never be a need to replace any fuse. This energy can be directed and, although this writer is a firm advocate of positive thinking and visualization technique theory, Reiki is a supernal dynamic force that will forge ahead to where it is required regardless of whether the individual is skeptical about its efficacy or not.
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How Reiki Works
by Paul Naras
Reading these words and these descriptions about Reiki on this website will not allow you to successfully perform this practice on yourself or others. One must be initiated by a Reiki Master-Teacher in order to become a practitioner oneself.
The initiation (or the attunement) begets the healer. During the three levels of instruction the neophyte receives attunements from the Reiki Master with each successive ritual augmenting one's ability to channel the Ki energy. These attunements are bestowed one-on-one with the Master impressing certain symbols over the candidate's crown area.
It must be pointed out that the Initiation does not endow the student with any new-fledged, Promethean power. It taps into and unlocks that eternal energy that has always been an integral part of our Divine make-up. The Reiki Master does not pass on his/her energy but directs / channels this universal force through the hands and activates the student's own body's natural aptitude to heal itself.
- Reiki heals at the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels. Those figurative and literal shackles impeding or restricting our innate flow of Essence (whether simple stress or chronic affliction) are unfettered. We tune into our emotions.
- Reiki is not just for 'serious' maladies like acute pain, disease and depression. It can be utilized for physical/wellness maintenance, repose and peace of mind. And then it also works at the deepest levels of an individual's psyche by unblocking negative energy patterns, eliminating the toxic jetsam that has accumulated in one's corporeal being, and recreating that ingenerate harmonium that is our birthright.
- The patient lies fully clothed on a massage table and there is absolutely no inappropriate placement of hands. The procedure is non-intrusive and should be explained in detail by the practitioner before the session commences and, in fact, the therapist usually asks for permission to officially begin.
- A session can last an hour or so. Therapists, depending on the time factor, do not typically lay their hands on one specific area of the body. Most of the anatomy is covered so that the healing energy does not simply go to where there might be a physical symptom (i.e. a pain in the abdomen). The entire body is ministered to in order for the energy to reach the source of the disharmony (which, in the above mentioned case, may not be in the abdomen at all).
- Client reactions will differ. Some may feel nothing. Others may sense the warmth emanating from the therapist's hands, feel a tingling sensation, see various colours, be flooded with memories and/or emotions, or simply fall asleep.
- Reiki does no harm. It can assist in integrating any other type of treatment you may be receiving - whether allopathic or holistic.
- Reiki is not only beneficial for humankind but also for plants and pets.
- Practitioners and patients may have agendas but Reiki has its own subtlety, its own intelligence and its own design. It originates from a supernal consciousness. It is pure and knows how to wend its way to where it is needed - governed by the patient's own body wisdom.
- Reiki depletes neither your energy nor that of the practitioner (who is usually working in partnership with you). It physically, emotionally and spiritually empowers both the transmitter and the receiver. When you treat someone with Reiki you receive a healing yourself.
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The Reiki Affirmation
Just for today,
I will not worry
I will not be angry
I will do my work honestly
I will give thanks
for my many blessings
I will be kind to my neighbour
and all living things.
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Reiki - Degree Levels and Symbols
by Paul Naras
Over the years there has been some disputation about how Reiki should be taught, how many levels of Reiki there should be during the learning process and, in essence, what is the best system to pass on this ancient knowledge.
Traditionally, Reiki has been divided into three levels. During the FIRST DEGREE the Reiki energy is activated for life. Depending on the teacher, the student receives anywhere from two to four initiations and the workshop/seminar can itself last anywhere from four or five hours to a couple of days.
All the basics are covered: the various hand positions; how the energy flows (through the palms and fingertips); the sensations that you as healer (or recipient) might be feeling; how long the hand positions should be held (five minutes usually suffices); the fact that the Reiki energy really needs no conscious directing; self-treatments and healing others (including plants and animals). There is no formal examination at the end of the seminar. The session is meant to be experiential - practicing on oneself and others.
The SECOND DEGREE introduces the symbols (energy patterns). Here again we have a wide disparity of opinion. There are the traditional teachers who don't deviate from the Usui method and utilize the basic four symbols. There is a significant percentage of practitioners who have added to the original teachings and do not hesitate to supplement them with their own 'props' so to speak (from using crystals to spiritual guides) and they have 'intuited' their own personal symbols to boot. We should quickly confirm that some of these new symbols can be quite effective. There is no one way to summon Divine Energy since purity of motive is key. There is room on the planet for original methodologies but the single caveat that I would proffer is that one should be well versed in Usui Shiki Reiki RyoHo before one decides to transfigure or introduce new blood into the teaching body of knowledge because - can we really then call it Reiki?
The first symbol is the CHO-KU-REI (pronounced Choke-oo-ray). It is the initial "light switch" or current and it means - Put the power here. The visualization (or the drawing of it in the air with your hand) augments your capacity to channel Reiki energy many times over.
The spiral pattern was originally taught as moving in a counter clockwise direction. I personally didn't feel somehow comfortable with this and then discovered that many individuals / teachers believed that the clockwise motion is suited for those living in the Northern Hemisphere and that the counter clockwise vibrates with those habitating the Southern Hemisphere. Try both if you like and ascertain if one or the other 'feels' compatible / right for you - and then use it steadfastly. This symbol draws and focuses the energy from around you and is used primarily for healing the physical body.
The SEI-HE-KI (pronounced Say-hay-key) is traditionally utilized for healing the emotional body - dealing with spiritual / attitudinal disorders and unlocking the roots and the subconscious wellspring of one's unresolved issues. This symbol is designed for those who feel distraught, who have internalized a specific emotion or traumatic experience, who are inherently angry or afraid or dissatisfied. It is well known that if you restore your emotional self to health, if pain is allowed to surface to objective consciousness, then it can be released - and the physical will then follow.
The HON-SHA-ZE-SHO-NEN (pronounced Hawn-shah-zay-show-nen) is used for absent / distance healing and directing energy to the mental / conscious self. It is also said to be the pathway to the Akashic Records (vital in identifying past life patterns and freeing oneself from the karmic debts that have been incurred).
In distant healing one visualizes the person, draws and iterates the symbol (silently or aloud) and uses any process that one personally deems effective (i.e. visualizing the client within the palms of one's hands - free from the physical, mental, emotional issue which is affecting them).
It is preferable that this healing be done with the recipient's knowledge so that he/she can be aware of the process and relax quietly (or even sleep) during the healing session (which should only last about 15 minutes).
All symbols should be memorized and always drawn very precisely. Feel free to visualize them in violet or gold - or in any pure bright colour that you personally resonate with.
The THIRD DEGREE (Master) will not be explained here in any great detail. This is because various practitioners have different ideas on the subject matter - from the division of this degree into 3A and Reiki Master, to the length of time such a process takes, and whether one desires to teach or simply use it for personal growth.
It used to cost $10,000 to become a Reiki Master and one had to be "chosen" and serve an apprenticeship. However, things have changed dramatically - and one can now complete the Third Degree in a day session and for as little as $200 - $300. It must be stressed that it all depends on how deeply one desires to immerse oneself in the learning process. You can spend years becoming versed with the theoretical side of Reiki and years more synthesizing / activating the energy in yourself. You receive according to what you are prepared to invest.
During the Master Degree one learns how to pass on all the initiations (attunements) and one becomes familiar with the Master Symbol, the DAI-KO-MYO.
And so, a quick review before you start treating yourself or others:
- This is a sacred experience. The environment should reflect this and be as comfortable and peaceful as possible.
- Wear loose clothing (no belts, glasses, shoes, jewelry etc.).
- Cleanliness is important. Wash your hands.
- Reiki is a hands-on treatment but the hand positions can also be held an inch or two above the recipient. He/she should be lying down with a pillow under the head and also beneath the knees. Keep a blanket handy in case the client feels cold.
- Hand positions need only be held for five minutes.
- After the treatment draw counter clockwise spirals of energy from the recipient's body - from the head and shoulders down to the fingertips and then from the shoulder area to the toes. You can gently massage the feet if you like as you inform the client that the session is over. He/she can relax in this position for awhile if they need to do so. Some may request a glass of water.
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by Paul Naras
On the 24th of May, 1991, I received my Reiki First Degree certificate. My interest in this healing modality diminished as I undertook other metaphysical pursuits but a few years later I found my way back - curing myself of a lower abdominal pain that had plagued me for almost two months and which doctors could not pinpoint (but this of course did not prevent them from writing prescriptions which, in this case, made the situation even worse).
Another memory stands out from the specific weekend in 1991. There were about fifteen of us who took the certification and one individual had arrived with his Reiki Practitioner business card hot off the press. He had not taken the class yet but he was already set to start 'healing' others on Monday morning.
The issue of "money" has always been problematic for me personally. I understand why practitioners have to charge for this service. They need to pay the rent also. It is felt by many that the rank and file don't fully appreciate something that is given for free whereas if they pay for it then it somehow assumes more "value". Today Reiki healers hold divergent views - most have fixed fees or a sliding scale while others barter this knowledge for something of equal value which they require for themselves. There are also probably a few who accept a 'love donation' or even do it free of charge.
Even though I have a lot of faith in Reiki this healing modality doesn't cure what ails you in a single session (unless you have already brought certain gifts with you and laid the groundwork in some previous incarnation). Ridding myself of the above mentioned abdominal pain took about 8 self-treatments (about an hour each). And chronic physical problems will probably take quite a bit longer. So my sessions would have cost about $500 in total if I had gone to another healer. And this brings up the point at issue. Who can afford this - besides the Yuppie upper class?
Do we just write off the poor? And doesn't the family struggling at the poverty level and living hand-to-mouth "deserve" help even more so than the CEO with Rolex watch and the 3 SUV's? Dr. Usui never meant Reiki to be this exclusive bounty for the affluent - and that's why he spent so much time assisting the needy.
Everyone should be required to periodically examine his/her own motivations. I have and this is why I haven't and never will hang up my shingle. I have treated only a few friends and acquaintances - for free. My recommendation is that everyone learn Reiki for themselves. It will certainly be a lot cheaper in the long run. Today it's fairly easy to find a Reiki Master who will certify you in the first two degrees for $60 - $100 per degree. And then, to borrow the line from Jesus Christ Superstar - "HEAL YOURSELVES!"
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Paul Naras Biography
PAUL NARAS is a counsellor / life coach, a writer, a mystic, a jester, a pundit, a lone wolf, a fast friend and a walking question mark. In 1974 he arrived in Toronto with a university degree and one hundred Canadian dollars. In other words, the small town kid brought nothing of value with him when he made the move to the big city. He was also a stubborn, supercilious, cynical child. But he's feeling much better now.
Since 1979 he has worked with young offenders, federal / provincial parolees and the homeless and street youth in his capacity as a social worker.
He has been interested in metaphysics and New Consciousness movements and organizations for over 25 years. He has self-published four books and written articles for a number of publications.
He is the Coordinator of VITAL SPARK - Canada's New Consciousness Network.
And he is a Reiki Master-Teacher.
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