“It is better to light one small candle than curse the darkness” Confucius
Will I be protected when I give Reiki?
This is one of the most frequently asked questions in my Reiki classes and in this blog I will explain my own philosophy on the subject and the wider implications of holding onto the need for protection .
A quick search on google reveals opposing views on the subject. One camp firmly believing in the need for some additional measures to be taken in order to feel protected from outside energies and there are many inventive methods listed that claim to offer this. “Aura Shields, Reiki Bubbles, Earth Bound Spirit Flush”..Are just a small sample of what I have found.
The other camp believes Reiki requires no other protection than what it naturally affords. Hawayo Takata apparently held this belief and is quoted to have said, “Your Reiki power is like an aura, its a glow, and you are radiating out, and that energy is stronger than what can penetrate into you … no darkness can penetrate you”
A good place to begin is to look at what ‘the need for protection’ presupposes..
- I am light and what I need protecting from is dark
- I am positive and what I need protecting from is negative
- I am good and what I need protecting from is evil
- My personal boundaries need re enforcing
- There are outside forces that can influence me negatively
- Other peoples energy can get stuck in me
- There are energy vampires that drain me
- Reiki alone is not powerful enough to protect me
- The Universe is polarised between dark and light
- Dark forces are powerful
- I am not safe
Two things strike me about this list, firstly how clearly it reflects a fearful state of being and secondly a deep need to re enforce personal boundaries. In Chakra theory we would narrow these two issues down to the psychological aspects of the base and sacral chakras. The base chakra is where we develop a grounded and trusting relationship to the physical Universe. The sacral chakra is where we develop a sense of self worth and learn to enforce healthy boundaries.
I am a great believer in the idea that the world is simply a reflection of our present projections upon it. Could it then be that the need to protect oneself from perceived external threats, is simply a reflection of our own inner cognitions and beliefs? When we strip down and analyse the need for protection, we can begin to see it as something we feel the need to do inside our own minds in order to feel more comfortable with our external experience. Visualising a sphere of light around ourselves or a Reiki shield is done using the imagination within the mind after all.
Were we to realise the way we experience the outside world the whole time, is a direct result of our present state of mind, wouldn’t it just be simpler to change our way of thinking instead? Surely the more we focus on our discomfort with different spectrums of energy and emotion, the greater the need to protect ourselves from them. What if we challenged the belief that there was something ‘out there’ that we needed to protect ourselves from? Targeting the fundamental core belief that we are unsafe would mean that we could meet different energies that we encounter daily with curiosity and explore the way they make us feel without moving into fear of what they might do to us.
In my classes I say, ‘the only thing you need protecting from is yourself’. This is because it is your own thoughts about a situation that defines your experience of it. If you hold the belief that something is dark, negative or evil, you will I have no doubt, experience it as such. Before you know it, you’ll be seeking help from other people holding a similar view and attempting to rid yourself of the ‘entity’ you have created in your own mind.
The ability of the human imagination to expand upon an idea seeded with fear is without question. Right through human history you will find examples of the struggle between dark and light that have contributed to this idea we are not safe. It is rooted deep inside our psyche and constantly re enforced. Religions reflect these beliefs and without the allegiance and protection of said religion will result in your soul being lost for an eternity to the dark forces. These ideas have found their way into modern mainstream thinking almost as part of our collective inheritance. From fairytales to blockbuster movies like Star Wars, the theme is light overcoming dark. No wonder then that we as practitioners have adopted the idea of a polarised universe and come up with many creative ways to deal with the perceived threat.
In my classes, I teach students to view energies good and bad as simply energy. Some will feel nice and some not so nice. The ability as a healer to empathise and feel the ‘hibiki’ (sensations) which allow you to be guided to the area most in need, relies on you being able to merge energetically with your client. Feeling what your client feels happens automatically as soon as you focus with intent upon them. It is at this point that many teachers and students pull back because the feelings may not be so pleasant. It is therefore I believe of great importance to prepare yourself correctly for a treatment and to learn to release afterwards.
My preparation method is as follows;
Grounding – a state of mindfulness of your physical body and the present moment
Personal State – awareness of what is happening for you today (Mind/Body/Emotion) scan
Gassho Meiso – connection to and manifestation of Reiki
Invocation – Prayer stating intent and wellbeing of all concerned
My letting go method is as follows;
Dry Bathing - Kenyoku brushing energy off yourself in sweeping motions
Chakra charge – drawing energy up through chakras to strengthen energy flow
Washing – rinse arms from elbows to hands with cool water
The golden rules are
- Erecting a shield when you feel something unpleasant just serves to trap it within, stay open and let it go with some deep breaths.
- If you are mindful of your own energy prior to a treatment then any change during a treatment will be a result of the interaction with your client.
- Most of the times you feel depleted after giving Reiki is because you have invested yourself in the outcome. The trick is to allow Reiki to flow without getting in the way. You can’t push a river upstream.
- View strong feelings that arise during a treatment as an indication of how present you are with your client in their process
- Know that your safe and can release any unwanted feelings that have arisen during a treatment easily once your client has gone.
A really useful and easy to remember affirmation I use is the following;
“No person, place or thing can disturb my sense of peace and calmness within..”