Reiki without symbols
By Rosanna Rogacion
For the past six years, I have been a Reiki Therapist here in my native Philippines, a country situated very close to Japan, the home of Mikao Usui.
The Philippines is in the Far East, an archipelago consisting of 7,100 islands (yes, that’s a lot of islands!). It is my homeland and it is also the home of thousands of hands- on- healers –- so many that at one point the country was well known for its so-called psychic healers. There are currently fewer than 20 Reiki practitioners in our country and among these, I am one of the very few involved in the lesser known form of Reiki – one of the many branches of Reiki that are called Traditional Reiki Ryoho.
This form of Reiki that I practice does not incorporate symbols. There are no specific hand positions, and emphasis is given to spiritual practice. There are also no attunements. When I teach Reiki , I give Reiju, which is a simple, no fuss affair that only takes a few minutes yet effectively reconnects the person to Reiki.
In my experience, I have seen that dedication to daily spiritual practice is at the core of every traditional Reiki therapist’s life. One of the best things about my work as a Reiki therapist is that there is no effort at all to channel energy during healing sessions and this is one of the benefits of having a daily spiritual routine. In some ways, daily spiritual practice takes the place of the Reiki symbols used in other forms of Reiki. Through the years I have seen that the degree and depth of spiritual practice has a direct influence on the depth of a therapist's professional practice.
I have had the pleasure of introducing Reiki to many people who have come for classes and it is interesting to note that no matter how strong and effective Reiki is after Reiju, it soon becomes history if the person does not indulge in daily spiritual practice.
During the first few years of teaching Reiki, I used to include Hatsurei–ho in my classes. This is a form of spiritual practice that has its roots in Japan. Hatsurei-ho incorporates body movements, deep breathing and visualization. Some people believe that Usui practiced this form of meditation.
However, now I advise students to focus on doing spiritual practices that are more in line with their religious traditions. And it works. I am a practicing Catholic and I know that the more I pray, meditate and focus on my spiritual growth, the stronger the Reiki flows to and through me. Reiki does not discriminate!
We often don’t hear what our bodies are telling us because our minds are filled with constant chatter. Daily spiritual practice stills the mind and provides the space where we can hear what is coming from within and then later on, we learn how to listen more effectively to what is outside of us.
There are only 5 basic hand positions that are used in this form of Reiki and these focus on the head. During most of my sessions I use some of them, sometimes I use all five but not in any specific order. At times I also do Byosen, which is a techinique for scanning the body for imbalances.
During a session, I always receive the guidance I need as to where to put my hands-- and it comes in various ways. Sometimes it is just a silent knowing that the energy needs to be concentrated on one part of the body. Or it could be a gentle pull that tugs at the hands and so I follow it and lay my hands on a part of the body. Most times, though, I feel guided just to lay my hands on the head and quite often my client will confirm that the energy is in various parts of the body. Spiritually guided healing energy knows where it is needed.
What Happens In a Session
There is always variety in a Reiki session. One session differs vastly from another- no two are ever the same. One person may need silence during the session; with another, cheerful banter can be more effective as the Reiki flows where it is needed without my human intentions getting in the way.
And where does the mind go? This again is where deep spiritual practice comes into play. There could be a feeling that one needs to pray, or simply “listen” to the impressions being given by the body.
At other times the heart senses that the person needs someone who will listen unconditionally.
How the human body responds to Reiki also varies greatly. Because I have no control over the energy, whatever is needed is what is given to the healee. Some fall asleep, others weep, sometimes legs jerk uncontrollably, or the body releases so much pent up emotions it begins to move in convulsion-like movements. Sometimes, as we discuss their personal issues, the clients’ bodies move in different ways- a clear indication that blockages are being resolved.
During a session there could be silence, laughter, tears, joy, sadness, relief and wonder. It is simply amazing and as each session progresses and ends, I always, always give thanks for this beautiful work that I had been gifted with. Being a reiki therapist is fulfilling, amazing, surprising…simply wonderful.
Beyond My Experience
Reiki has not only been a way through which I could help others. It has become a way of life for me and as s a Reiki therapist, I find it so heartwarming to be able to help others re-learn the language of silence and re-establish the lines of communication within the self.
I have no doubt that each Reiki therapist in every part of the world has his or her own fascinating story to tell no matter what their lineage. We are all fortunate because we all have access to the healing energy from Source and can witness the healing capacity of the body when the Divine is allowed to come through.It is sad that some Christian quarters have cast unfavorable opinions towards the Reiki community. I don’t think though that there is any cause for concern. Each one of us has the intent to heal ourselves and help others heal – our own small contribution towards helping the world through our own individual practice. And in the ultimate analysis, that is what matters most.
As we go about our work as Reiki practitioners, we offer a form of service to the world. In a handbook attributed to Mikao Usui, he laid out the path for us when he said "In times like these, the happiness of humanity is based on working together and the desire for social progress. This is why I would never allow anyone to possess it (Reiki) just for himself!. . . .Each of us has the potential of being given a gift by the divine, which results in the body and soul becoming unified. In this way (with Reiki), a great many people will experience the blessing of the divine. First of all, our Reiki Ryoho is an original therapy, which is built upon the spiritual power of the universe. Through it, the human being will first be made healthy, and then peace of mind and joy in life will be increased."
Rosanna Rogacion is a Reiki Master Teacher whose practice is located in Manila, Phillipines.