When people first encounter Reiki, maybe from a friend or a website or flyer, they often can’t wrap their minds around it. It seems a little cuckoo. A little “out there.”
It doesn’t help that different Reiki practitioners and schools have different approaches, some of which are somewhat removed from the Japanese origins of the practice.
When you take the system of Reiki back as much as possible to its Japanese roots, it’s really not that “out there.” The system of Reiki is a simple meditation and healing practice, no more cuckoo than sister practices from other traditions such as yoga or qigong.
The system of Reiki sometimes seems “out there” because it is hard to describe.
By its very nature, any spiritual practice is hard to encapsulate in words. These are mystery practices.
Engaging directly with the mystery – of life, existence, and what lies beyond existence as we know it – is so worthwhile. But we have to let our brains step out of the driver’s seat to truly explore.
So in Reiki, understanding is not necessarily the same as intellectually knowing.
Words are fantastic tools for exploration. Our brains are excellent protectors, creative drivers, and life navigators. I don’t advocate abandoning language or intellect. But words can be limiting.
It’s true that understanding without words can make us uneasy, since we are so used to being able to place our experiences in nice, neat idea boxes with labels carefully pasted on the outside.
But understanding without words is also powerful, without those boxes keeping things contained.
Understanding without words is limitless.
Do you want to be limited or limitless? There are many right answers, as in any spiritual inquiry. What are yours? Your answers are colored by your own experiences and might be nuanced and even contradictory. Please share your thoughts below if this post sparked something in you.
May each of you embrace words for all they offer you. And may you also settle under those words and engage directly with the mystery of being.
Ps. The irony is not lost on me that I have used so many words to explore this concept! You have to start somewhere.