July 2017 By Jamuna Rangachari Even though old, Reiki is still relevant and highly useful amidst a plethora of new holistic healing techniques, says Jamuna Rangachari Not so long ago, Reiki was highly popular and widely discussed in every strata of society. Introduced in the Indian subcontinent in the 1990s, it spread soon and almost everyone had done one or the other course in it. But after a few years, people became sceptical about it because many had started to use it to further their commercial interests. But despite this, it cannot be denied that Reiki showed us the power of energy healing and the strength we all have to heal ourselves and the world. In early 2000, my husband was scheduled to go for a long study course, leaving the family behind for a while. This made us quite anxious. We wondered how we would cope with issues like the children’s education, his mother’s health and so on, in his absence. At that time, his sister advised us to get familiar with Reiki and practise it everyday to remain stress-free. We found a Reiki teacher shortly afterwards and did the course. This was one of my first introductions to the spiritual tenets of Reiki. Though we are not religious practitioners of Reiki and do not do it everyday, certain principles, like being in gratitude, being kind to everyone and knowing the power of our touch in healing ourselves, have seeped into our lives and consciousness. What is Reiki? The word Reiki comes from the Japanese word Rei which means 'universal life' and Ki which means 'energy'. The late Dr Mikao Usui (1865- 1926) was responsible for its discovery and propagation all over the world. A voracious reader of various spiritual traditions, he was pained to see the suffering of common people and wanted to find the secret of Christ’s miraculous healing powers. He embarked upon a 21-day fast and meditative retreat on Mount Kuryama, which finally culminated into a him having a vision of Sanskrit words and symbols encased in a bubble. After seeing these symbols, Dr Usui ran down the mountain in excitement. On the way down he stubbed his toes and hurt himself. But since he was now an empowered man, he placed his hand on the toe and the bleeding stopped instantly. Highly aware of the powers bestowed upon him, Dr Usui created a system of healing which required placing a hand on 27 points in the body for three minutes each. This was termed Reiki and taught to many people all over the world with excellent results. Initially, Dr Usui used it to heal the beggars in the market place thinking that with their infirmities cured, they would become respectable and responsible citizens. But he was disappointed to see that they returned to their old ways after getting better. It was then that he decided to have an energy exchange to make people take Reiki more seriously. Though it was meant to be an affordable amount, unfortunately it did not remain so in the years to come. The principles of Reiki “Manifest plainness, embrace simplicity, reduce selfishness, have few desires,” said Lao Tzu ages ago. Reiki embodies the same principles. Unfortunately, it started deteriorating when materialistic desires began corrupting its chaste principles. Various names emerged like Usui Reiki, Kundalini Reiki, Karuna Reiki, Dynamic Reiki, each claiming superiority over the other. Many started charging exorbitant amounts for healing and teaching the course. The five principles of Reiki Following the principles of Reiki is beneficial to all of us. Doing this one day at a time makes it a habit and, soon, the habit becomes our character. Let us begin doing this now. Just for today, I will not be angry Anger at others, oneself or at the whole world, creates serious blockages in one's energy. It is the most complex inner enemy. Just for today, I will not worry While anger deals with past and present events, worry deals with future ones. Letting go of worry brings healing into the body. Just for today, I will be grateful Simple things such as thanking, working on forgiveness, exchanging a smile, and remaining grateful for all that we have can make our own life happy beyond measure. Just for today, I will do my work honestly Earning an honest living makes us free of stress and anxiety. Though it sounds difficult, it is the most rewarding thing in life if we cultivate integrity. Just for today, I will be kind to every living being Being kind makes us lead a complete, abundant life with kindness being returned to us, slowly but surely. This trend made common people sceptical and disillusioned with Reikii. But like it is in most areas of life, it was not the fault of Reiki but the way it was being practised. Ketan Shah, a master practitioner of acupressure who also practises Reiki says, “Reiki has become too commercial and has lost its principle of gratitude, which is very important for it to be effective.” Fortunately, some diligent practitioners stuck sincerely to the principles and never succumbed to the greed for money, name and fame. Fortunately, some diligent practitioners stuck sincerely to the principles and never succumbed to the greed for money, name and fame. Turning sceptics into believers Many healers entered the field of Reiki as skeptics, only to become avid practitioners since it helped them to heal and help others. “Even though unwilling initially, I did Reiki level 1 on the insistence of my husband, Pradeep. As we discovered its magic together, we started practicing it diligently,” says Shamal Durve from Mumbai. She began learning it in 1989 and became a master in 1991. Now, she has devoted her life to Reiki, teaching and healing everyone around her. “When I say healing or healed, I mean the process has begun to go beyond the mind and body and experience ourselves as a whole and, not ego. Reiki has taught me that energy is all about love, knowledge and bliss,” she adds. Shamal feels happy to see many touch this level after their attunement with Reiki. Like Shamal, there are many who entered Reiki all skeptical only to find themselves practising and promoting it passionately later on. “My own entry into Reiki was as a sceptic. However, having experienced the benefits of Reiki, I realised that a similar scepticism will unnecessarily keep the benefits of Reiki from reaching countless people who are open to accepting Reiki if only their doubts could be clarified. Having been like them once, my empathy compelled me to write a book on Reiki,” says Anil Bhatnagar, a Delhi based motivational speaker and author of Turn your life around with Reiki. According to him, one of the most difficult tasks he encountered while promoting it was making people believe that something as simple as Reiki could bring about profound changes in their life. “We tend to think of ourselves as intelligent and rational while considering those who report the miracles of Reiki as simplistic, gullible and lacking in scientific attitude. We forget that if we believe only in what is adduced by today’s science, there would never be any progress in human life," he observes. Asha Nayal, former assistant deputy editor of Life Positive Hindi, who translated Anil Bhatnagar’s book in Hindi says, "The process of translating transformed my life. I understood how to remain grateful for all that I have and minimise my expectations in order to remain happy." She also learnt how to make proper lifestyle choices in the process and now has a clear blue print for living. Another person who has dedicated his life to Reiki is Dr N K Sharma, the founder of Reiki Healing Foundation in Delhi. At the Life Positive Conference, the audience were astounded when he showed the video of a boy whose gangrene had disappeared on being given regular Reiki. “Even I was surprised at his amazingly fast recovery,” he says with utmost candour. According to him, Reiki is a supremely pure, divine healing energy which vitalises our body, mind and spirit, leading us to health, longevity, mental peace, love and harmony. He has combined his practice with Indian Vedic practices to make people more familiar with the terms. Dr Suman, an allopathic doctor from Delhi, learnt Reiki, yoga and naturopathy from Dr N K Sharma. He advised her to practise it on her patients which gave her amazing results. She says, “We need to understand Reiki which is essentially the power of our own mind, and use it to lead a more complete life.” Reiki can be benefitted from at any age. Ms Neel Madhu Srivastava, 72, suffered from bronchitis, blood pressure and painful eczema. She heard about Reiki's miraculous healing powers and learnt it from Dr N K Sharma in 2003. After practising it regularly, she is now completely all right. She now often heals people in her family and friend circle using Reiki, spreading hope and spirituality. Reiki and other techniques Very often, healers combine Reiki with other techniques for faster healing to happen. Partha Gupta, a master breath trainer from Hyderabad was introduced to Reiki by his wife who had learnt it and used it to heal herself. Later, Swami Brahmananda initiated Partha into symbols, dimensions, mandalas and breath. Today, Partha focuses on kriya yoga and breathing techniques but also uses Reiki as and when required. Ketan Shah, famous acupressure therapist, combines Reiki with acupressure while treating his clients. I have had a great experience with him since he could sense my issues from afar, without meeting me personally through distant Reiki while guiding me on what I needed to do while using acupressure. Says Baurkha Kaushik, an intuitive healer from Delhi, “Reiki was the talk of the town around 16 years ago, which made me curious enough to learn it.” After learning it, she tried it on her mother who suffered from cervical spondylitis and was delighted to see the positive results it brought about. Today Baurkha has the knowledge of many a
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