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  • Writer's pictureSarah Wheeler

Why Is Meditation So Important to Reiki? (and meditation myth busting!)

Aaaaaaargh, I just CANNOT get my mind to shut up for 2 minutes!

Before I began my meditation practice, I was convinced that I was incapable of meditating.

I don’t think there is one spiritual path which does not include meditation. Turning our attention inwards or towards a focal point has for time immemorial offered the practitioner anything from a moment of quiet, to an experience of feeling calm, to feeling connected to the whole matrix of life itself. Those are just some of the aftereffects of meditation, but guess what, those are not even the goal of meditation!

My own meditation practice has shown me that the mind wants to label our experiences as good or bad, for example: I had a good meditation time this morning I felt so serene or I didn’t meditate well today, my mind was all over the place! It is totally OK if we do not touch into that quiet place inside us or don’t feel remotely connected to the whole universe after we have sat to meditate because every time we come to the practice of meditation it could be very different from the last. The point is to commit and show up. The more we show up to a designated time for meditation the more we will reap the benefits when we are simply pootling along in life and not on the mediation seat.

Meditation brings steadiness to the unsteadiness of life.

I heard meditation teacher Jeff Warren say once that the point of the practice is not anything grandiose, but the point of meditation is to experience more moments of quiet and equanimity (balance) in daily life. Who doesn’t need a dose of that?

When challenging events come our way, we stand more chance of healing because we have already committed over time to turning inward to notice the fluctuations of the mind. It is as if we accrue a bank account of mediation experience which can help us navigate even the most debilitating life experience when we really won’t feel like meditating. That is why it is so important to try to commit to daily practice even when we feel good, and when the ego says: I’m good so I don’t need to meditate today. My advice is not to wait until you need meditation. Start now and continue.

Meditation Myth Busting:

You do not have to stop your thoughts. In fact, you witness the thoughts with an attitude compassionate detachment.

You do not have to get your mind to be still. Again, you notice the chatter of the mind without pursuing each and every thought.

If you do not find it easy to be calm then you can’t meditate. No, you only need to be willing to be quiet for a bit and notice when the mind is distracted.

If the mind is very active it means you are bad at meditating. Nope, you just notice that the mind is busy and that alone creates a level of detachment or observership, instead of getting tangled in the busy mind.

You must ONLY focus on your breath in meditation. Ok, so you do focus on breath in Mindfulness of Breathing meditation which is specific to some lineages of Buddhism BUT you can focus attention on a chosen word like peace for example. You can also focus on sound, colour or an image like a mandala or yantra (sacred geometric shapes which evoke a quality of energy or represent a deity). Chanting, mindful yoga asana and making sound also count as meditational experience.

You have to sit down for bloody ages. Actually you can stand, lie down or move in practices like Yoga or Qi Gong.

Why is meditation so key to the Reiki path?

The benefits of meditation add up so that we can feel more together on the daily, however in my opinion something magical opens up when we commit to and dare I say it, surrender to meditation very regularly and over longer periods of time. We only need to remember Reiki founder Mikao Usui’s time in meditation at Mount Kurama where he received A Great Reiki, as an example of what can occur when we drop inwards away from the constant chatter of the mind.

To paraphrase my level one teacher, meditation helps us connect to the universe. This does not need to be a goal though because the point of the practice is the practice itself. Yet I absolutely attest to the idea that consistent meditation practice helps to peel back some of the illusions that we are all totally separate beings with nothing in common. The quiet and still place in us that we can tap into in meditation does exist in all people so that is a commonality between ourselves and others. That universal ability, if we hone it, to finding inner stillness reminds me that there is indeed oneness amongst people, even with people we don’t like and we do not have to like them.

Meditation helps us link up with our intuition. Intuition is the voice or feeling within us which we are often taught to override when we are growing up. For example, feeling like we do not want to go somewhere or play with somebody, and we get told:

Don’t be silly.

Intuition helps us to hear guidance which is good for us, guidance which the universe lets drop into our hearts when we get quiet to receive it. I heard someone say once that praying is talking and meditation is listening.

Meditation brings us home to ourselves and to feel at home in the swirling universe.

In the Reiki system we can meditate in various ways:

Gassho meditation- sitting with hands in the prayer position, uniting both sides of the body.

Mindfulness of Breathing- watching our breath, noticing thoughts and when we get distracted, we come back to the breath as a home base. The breath helps to relax the body.

Focusing on the Tanden Points (energy centres)- Tanden are energy vessels which Reiki helps us to keep topped up and in flow.

Reciting The Reiki Principles- I have a blog on these!

Hatsurei Ho- breathwork to connect with the universe.

Being in nature, seeing and hearing our surroundings- OK, that one is self explanatory!

And of course, we can choose any meditation techniques that resonate for us.

Here is a link to a short meditation I recorded to connect you to your body’s energy centres.

How about exploring meditation as part of a Reiki Training? Reiki Level 1 Training will be early 2024 and Reiki Level 2 is in September 2023. See you there?

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