I’ve been studying this wonderful, short volume about reiki The Original Reiki Handbook of Dr. Mikao Usui, published by Lotus Press (6th English printing in 2009). The author, Frank Arjava Petter, identifies the three pillars of reiki as gassho, reiji-ho, and chiryo. I’ve practiced the three exercises as Petter writes them; already, I’m feeling more secure in opening up to (as in feeling) the reiki energy for self-treatment.
The author writes that gassho is, “. . . ‘two hands coming together’. . .” (Petter 15). He claims that Dr. Usui recommended this meditation and practiced it himself. Simply, one relaxes and brings both hands together in front of the chest. He is not specific as to how one should do this, but it feels natural to hold both hands in a posture of prayer in front of the heart chakra. Focus is on the pads of the middle fingers as they meet.
Reijiho is simple; Petter writes “. . . Reiji means “indication of the Reiki power’ and ho means ‘methods’” (Petter 17). It begins with gassho; and then one prays for the reiki power to flow. While reiki is a spiritual but not religious practice, this intention makes one aware of the connection, and the reiki energy is felt consciously. Once the flow is realized, the practitioner holds his hands up to his third eye (still in prayer posture) and states an intention that the power flow for the health and recovery of the patient on all levels: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.
Chiryo follows this. It is treatment. And once treatment is in progress, says Petter, one “. . . no longer needs to be concerned about healing or any other treatment goal” (Petter 18-19).
As I practice these three pillars as identified by Petter, I can't help but compare reiki to ashé. As a santero I was given ashé when I was initiated, and every chill, tingle, and energy flow I feel reminds me of what I felt the day that I did ocha. It feels like the reiki practices are teaching me to be mindful of that ashé, and to move that ashé consciously. Also, I’m reading another book by Diane Stein titled Essential Reiki: A Complete Guide to an Ancient Healing Art. In her book she discusses two interesting concepts I’ve never heard before. One is that “new” chakras are opening up in the human body as we evolve; and the “new” chakras she describes are, according to Lucumí belief, essential centers of ashé in the human body. The other concept of which she writes is that at the back of each body joint is a “minor” chakra; and those who are familiar with a rogación will know that these “minor” chakras are essential to us as well.
It’s all stuff to tumble around in this overactive mind of mine.