Breathing Meditation for Reiki Healers
A holistic way to round out your practice of breathing and physical exercises is what I call becoming the breath. Sitting in meditation, imagine the breath is filling your whole body from your feet up to your head. As you breathe in, imagine air and prana filling your bones and your muscles. Imagine the air is filling all your organs and tissues. As you exhale, imagine old air being released from every part of your body. Breathe in again as you perceive yourself becoming the breath. Then exhale completely, observing the breath dispersing.
In the pause between breaths, recognize the total absence of self. Again, inhale a full body breath as you become the breath. The whole body is breathing in. Become the breath. Exhale fully, recognizing the temporary nature of every breath. Become the breath. Recognize the temporary nature of the concept of self. Release the self in the same way that you release the breath. May I add one very simple, yet very powerful procedure to this technique? Smile. As clichéd as this may sound, smiling is probably the healthiest thing you can do. Smile. Advice to use an inner smile dates back thousands of years to the teachings of Taiji. Smile.
Tai Chi for Reiki Healers
Taiji (sometimes spelled Tai Chi) is concerned with the balance and flow of energy known as qi (pronounced as chee and sometimes spelled chi). Qi refers to both internal and environmental energy. The qi of the universe influences the qi in your body. Taiji is a relaxing and energizing system of moving meditation that is timed to the flow of qi in your body which moves about 20 centimeters per second. As you practice, you become more sensitive and aware of body qi. This awareness is helpful during Reiki sessions for reading the flow of energy in your patients.
You can observe Taiji practitioners in the early mornings at local parks in many cities around the world, particularly where many Chinese people are resident. Taiji brings grace to your movements, focus to your mind and keeps you well rooted in every step. Of course, it takes time to learn and requires a lot of practice. You can learn the concepts from a book, but studying the movements requires the patient guidance and wisdom of a Taiji Master.
Daoism and Energy
Daoism (sometimes spelled Taoism) is an ancient Chinese philosophy that describes the way to bring your mind, body and the universe into harmony. The Daoist view of life is that human activity should flow gently like a river. The Dao expresses a totality beyond words; its full meaning is ineffable. Like Buddhism, the focus in Daoism is on the here and now. Daoism perceives the movement of qi in terms of energy points, channels and meridians in the body such as those stimulated in acupuncture.
Qi is also observed according to your stage in life, the seasons, the movements of the sun, the moon and the time of day. Indian Yoga and Chinese Taiji overlap in many regards, but they employ different names, concepts and explanations of how energy works. The present section discusses energy in the Daoist sense to complement your Reiki practice. Taiji complements your Reiki practice by increasing awareness of energy and developing the power to direct energy at will.
Daoism stresses the circulation of energy through the energy channels of the body. It is concerned with the balance of yin and yang energy. Daoism healing energy involves completing two main channels in the body. Earthly yin energy rises through the feet and legs up to the hui yin centre located at the perineum between the genitals and anus (correlating to the root chakra). Energy then moves up the spine to the crown and then descends to the point between the eyes (correlating to the brow chakra). Meanwhile, heavenly yang energy flows from the universe into the crown chakra. These energies flow down the front of the body from the brow to the root chakra. When these circuits are connected, energy is circulated using the microcosmic orbit.
The microcosmic orbit involves consciously directing energy around the body. Completing the microcosmic orbit involves closing two points on the body. Closing the hui yin increases your ability to draw energy up from the earth and holding it. To do this, pull up on your rectal muscles. This position correlates to aswini mudra that is used when exercising the root chakra. At first, hold this position for 30 seconds. Practice until you can hold it for 5 to 10 minutes at a time.
The second part of the microcosmic orbit involves using your tongue to link the yin and yang energy. Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth, just behind your front teeth to draw yang energy through your crown into your body. Placing your tongue on your palate completes the energy circuit of yin and yang. Close your eyes and visualize qi energy flowing from root to crown, from crown to root. Qi flows up the back of your spine and then down the front of your body. Focusing your mind on the flow of energy synchronizes mind, body and qi.
For purposes of Reiki, this procedure can effectively be used to intensify Reiki (qi) in your body. When you are ready, incorporate this technique into your Reiki healing practice. With hui yin pulled up and your tongue pressed to your palate, direct Reiki to flow out through your palm chakras. Place your hands on your patient and allow the intensified Reiki to flow into them. To study more specific details of how to circulate energy through your body, I recommend “Awaken Healing Energy through the Tao” by Mantak Chia for a complete explanation of energy. His book explains the collection and grounding of energy for your optimum vitality.
With so many overlapping concepts and techniques presented in this article, it may be helpful to include this brief summary of each of the sciences presented here. The history of Reiki reaches back about 100 years to Dr. Usui who discovered the symbols, techniques and philosophy of healing during a 21 day fasting meditation.
Reiki is the name that he gave to universal energy. This is not to say that the energy itself is only 100 years old. In fact, all energy is as old as the universe. Indeed, the universe is the energy and the energy is the universe.
The art and science of Taiji dates back thousands of years to ancient China and involves physical and conscious movement of internal and environmental qi.
Yoga developed in ancient India thousands of years ago and includes a wide variety of arts and sciences including physical postures known as asana, breathing practices known as Pranayama and the raising of powerful energy that is coiled at the root chakra known as Kundalini. Additionally, yogic practice involves a wide array of moral, ethical and spiritual guidelines that are effectively explained in “The 8 Limbs of Yoga” by Bhava Ram which is based on Patanjali’s “Yoga Sutras”. For purpose of the present explanation, we can say that prana is essentially the same energy as qi or Reiki. Please note that these names essentially refer to the same energy, but they are not synonymous.
I’ve tried to show the relationship between these disciplines and how they can be effectively combined for your optimum development. Decide for yourself if you will strictly adhere to one set of practices or pursue an inter-disciplinary approach.