When Reiki masters say there should be no ego in Reiki practice, or refer to someone’s else actions or perspective as ego, I cannot help but wonder what part of them is speaking.
Are they deliberately being ironic?
What is all the fuss about (other people’s) egos? Is it an attempt to camouflage the elephant in the room?
Just for today, just as we are
Isn’t the point to practice Reiki right now, just as we are? We don’t have to be perfect to practice; rather, we practice to discover life’s hidden perfection.
If the ego wants to improve itself, do we want to turn that into a problem?
The ego really isn’t so scary, not nearly as scary as those who make grand proclamations about it.
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20 thoughts on “Practice as You Are”
Are you equating Reiki and ki/qi and prana? In my experience, they aren’t the same.
Pamela, this definitely caught my attention. I have always related reiki with ki/qi/prana. I don’t know why, exactly. I’m not sure if it was something I was taught, or it seemed a logical assumption. What exactly is your take, then, on Reiki?
Rose, in the interests of meeting a deadline I’m on 🙂 may I direct you to some articles where this is discussed?
Please take a look at these, and try searching the blog for more:
What Is Reiki Energy?
What If Reiki Is Already There?
Toward a More Plausible Reiki Model
What Does the Reiki Kanji Mean?
What Is Usui Reiki?
Wonderful post Pamela, and great discussion! Rose, I love your take on the ego, and really love your last sentence. Elizabeth, my response usually is something like, “I feel it’s not me doing the healing; it’s the Reiki doing the healing.” Then I might talk about first practicing Reiki to help heal and balance myself, so that I may more effectively practice Reiki to help others.
Thank you, Carol. Yes, that is exactly what I do – explain that I am the channel for the Reiki. That is what I was taught, as well.
Many thanks to all who responded to my questions, you have all been very helpful.
Carol, when you say, “it’ the Reiki doing the healing,” what is “the Reiki?” Do you mean it is the practice that balances us and encourages our own self-healing?
Pamela, I do mean just what you said…it’s the practice, and balance and self-healing that result from it..but also I think that the Reiki/life force/ki/Qi/prana/spirit that flows through me/the client/all things is doing the healing, by going wherever it’s most needed and encouraging balance and healing in the recipient.
Carol, a couple questions, if I may:
Are you equating Reiki and ki/qi and prana? In my experience, they aren’t the same.
What’s the basis for saying something “flows through me/theclient/all things”
and goes where it’s needed?
I apologize if this seems confrontational, as I don’t mean it to be.
It’s just that these seem to be beliefs that are generally presented in the community as if they were fact. It helps the credibility of Reiki practice if those of us who are interested in bringing the practice to the mainstream examine what we are saying both in terms of what we are asking of the public, and if it reflects our contemplated experience.
Not at all confrontational, Pamela. I almost came back right after my last post to try to clarify a bit, so I welcome the question! I appreciate that you push us to really think and consider what we’re saying and, in fact, what we may even believe.
That said, I don’t equate Reiki with it, but feel that Reiki helps facilitate a more even and balanced flow of ki/qi/prana through practitioner and client.
And point well taken about basis – when I say something like “flows through me and goes where needed” (unless I know the person shares my opinion/belief) I say that it’s what I was taught and what I personally believe, and that there are different beliefs and stories about Reiki. I explain that much can’t be proven, quantified, or even clearly explained (like “how Reiki works”). But its effects can be felt and proven…through lots of anectodal evidence and increasing scientific evidence, as more and more studies are done. And, then, more than anything, I encourage them to try it for themselves and see how they feel!
Hope that explains a bit more and sounds a bit more credible.
Thinking through things like this, reading, writing, discussing Reiki, and especially daily practice, are exactly what I know will help me learn more, speak more effectively about Reiki, and move closer to a day when I feel ready to teach it…or not. Time and experience will tell whether that’s meant to be…in two plus years, I feel I’m only scratching the surface and gratefully loving the journey.
Carol, if we are going to have Reiki practice be more available to the mainstream public, it’s important to differentiate between the practice itself and people’s beliefs, a distinction that is seldom drawn. The unclarity has led to a lot of problems, including the denunciation of Reiki by the American Catholic bishops.
There is no dogma attached to Reiki practice; one does not have to believe anything or have any particular worldview to practice Reiki or to receive Reiki treatment.
Hi Pamela. First, let me say I got such a kick out of this blog. How very creative of you! In my tradition (Roman Catholic), we believe that the “ego” is a gift. The Catechism has some pretty fancy ways of saying why, but the way I understand it is this: God appear to Moses in the burning bush as the great I AM. Since ego translates “I am,” our egos as just another way we are made in the image of God. The ego is at its best when nurtured and developed to reflect the nature of Spirit. I think my ego could be “scary” when I don’t foster humility, which is my way of staying in beginner’s mind, and asking to be a vessel for reiki and its intelligence. As for students, I’ve never suggested someone have “no ego.” I do suggest having an open mind and a quiet heart, and allow reiki to flow, always remembering it can’t be controlled. :-)Rose
This is an interesting and important topic. I certainly hear practitioners discuss this a great deal. Here’s something that I encountered and I would love feedback. I had someone come to me who has many years of experience in alternative healing, new age, occult practices, wanting Reiki training. Her exact words to me were, “I feel I have a talent for healing, I have that power and think I would be a very powerful Reiki practitioner.” She went on to explain her feelings about being a “powerful” healer – she repeated it many times.
How would any of you respond to this as a Reiki teacher and/or practitioner considering this post? I am interested in anyone’s feedback who cares to comment or has encountered this. Thank you.
When prospective students approach me in that way, I communicate that I teach Reiki as a spiritual practice, not an energy intervention, and that the foundation of Reiki practice is self-care.
Then they can decide for themselves whether that is appealing to them or they want to keep looking for a Reiki master who is a more appropriate match with their understanding and expectations.
Thank you, Pamela, I appreciate your feedback.
There seems to a lot of ego in that person. Count the number of “I’s” and how she will fix the world, or at least the other person. One way of dealing with this is as Pamela suggested.
IMO, any Reiki master should have a reasonable intellectual grasp of the thought systems out of which Reiki arose. We then have to ask ourselves the question whether the western understanding of ego the same as that of eastern cultures? I would say No and I have to ask myself “do I understand these remarks in respect of ego in the way they were intended?”
Thank you, Peter, I also appreciate your thoughts. I did, in fact, suggest that perhaps another practitioner would be more appropriate for her. She did not follow through.
Elizabeth, I applaud you for referring this person elsewhere.
Reiki practitioners generally want to be helpful, but no one can help everyone. When we see that we are not a good fit for a potential student or client, the ethical and compassionate action is to kindly, without rejection, suggest that she find a practitioner who shares her perspective and goals.
We can consider the “ego” as the chatter that is lying to us. I say the loudest chatter is often the biggest liar. Understanding “truth” from “lie” that is the challenge for some people. The energy will do what is needs to, we are the channel for it and we need to be open for it to be delivered at the highest level possible.
When a Reiki practitioner makes judgement on another practitioner’s ego, it’s his own ego making that judgement.
In my experience, judgement comes from a place of insecurity within oneself. It’s easier to criticize others rather than look deeper into one’s own dark places. I see spiritual growth as a gentle gathering in of the ego. Love & acceptance of the self leads to love & acceptance of others. Reiki teaches us to be compassionate, whether the accusation is justified or not. Judgement is not the same as discernment.
Each practitioner has special abilities which should always be respected and praised. Reiki is such a beautiful practice. Let each and everyone of us support the practice and the practitioner.