by Esther Veltheim
A few weeks ago a friend was telling me about a therapist he had recently met. He told me that for years the man had been warning all his patients to ‘have nothing to do with Reiki because, “It is a very destructive energy.” My friend was somewhat taken aback when I agreed with this statement. Apparently the therapist in question is not initiated to Reiki energy himself, so I do not know how he came upon his assessment. Clearly his viewpoint is a rejection of Reiki as beneficial and on that point I do disagree.
As Reiki has been a part of my life for over fifteen years I can attest that it has proven highly destructive. Paradoxically, its destructive nature has been its benefit.
After fifteen years of using Reiki it has become clear that it works despite me. Reiki doesn’t necessarily go where I expect it to either. What it does appear to do is address the primary disharmony within the body. I quickly came to realize that this is rarely the obvious physical aches and pains. Invariably attitudes about life and self are what shift first.
The most detrimental attitude in the common man/or woman is the belief that we are essentially separate from one another. When we are first born there is only awareness. Then at some point a sense of a ‘me’ and ‘others’ arises within awareness.
As increasing focus is turned towards the body labeled ‘me,’ awareness seems to ‘flip-flop’ and become limited within the body. To this ‘me’ identity we attach "should"s and "should not"s and the parade of masks begins. “This is how I should be.” “This is how I should not be.”
There are various ways of dealing with the pain of identifying with a persona or bunch of masks. We can blame others for how we feel. We can blame ourselves. Or, as many people do, we can learn to live within the perceived limitations until we learn to think of them as natural. All of these ‘solutions’ (and, of course, there are many I have not listed) serve to keep us in ignorance of our true nature. By true nature I refer to the uninhibited, uncensored Self (Awareness) beneath all the censorship and control.
As long as you are identified with a body and mind that is constantly changing you will experience the need to control what you feel. You’ll want to feel only good and resist feeling bad. The need for control constitutes a constant rejection of life, as the nature of life is change.
Because we think we are an ever-changing object containing awareness we believe awareness can be controlled. We not only think this is “my” body, we simultaneously believed “I Am this body.” The ridiculousness of believing we are something we own is testament to our glaring misperception of self.
If you sit and just experience Being, “I Am’” and don’t add “I Am bored” or any other label you will realize that experiencing Being is not isolated within the body and it will not stop at any point beyond the body. You simply Are. Only when the mind thinks ‘I am some-thing’ is beingness a limited experience. This simple exercise tells you that You have never been anything but free. Unfortunately Awareness is not a sense that can be maintained voluntarily as long as the ‘me’ idea is strong.
This tells you that the descriptions and labels you attach to “I Am” are what cause the experience of limitation. This is because those labels are personal and the personal ‘me’ knows boundaries. It is the idea that you can and should control Awareness that is the ‘problem.’ The initial misperception didn’t happen because of you and, if it ceases, it will do so despite you.
If you have understood this article thus far you will probably realize the greatest disharmony is the belief that you are a limited object burdened by the need to control. This is what Reiki appears to dissolve or destroy – belief in the need to control (the body, the mind, actions, the ‘me’).
As the sense of a ‘me’ needing to control dissolves the mind may kick and scream at times. Fortunately, like the healing curve of any dis-ease you recognize the pain of personal dissolution is a ‘good’ pain (note: Reiki has nothing to do with ‘personal growth!’).
As a Reiki practitioner told me recently, ‘it’s weird, I feel more painfully aware of my masks and rigidities than ever, but it is such a relief to see them more and more clearly. And each time I see the same old patterns they are a little less strong. So many are just falling away. Even when I feel totally out of control there is a growing sense of peace. In fact it is such a relief not to be trying to control everything anymore and just seeing so much happen despite me.”