Category Archives: kotodama

Energopsychograms for the Reiki kotodama

energopsychogram focus kotodama

So this is my fourth post on the subject of  energopsychograms, which started with What are energopsychograms.

I have talked about these special images and how they can be meditated upon to elicit a particular energy, just like meditating on a symbol or a sound can frame the energy in a particular way, or produce a particular Reiki frequency that you can experience in a distinctive way.

I have shared the images that represent the energies of CKR and SHK, and the state elicited when you use HSZSN.

In this post I wanted to share images that represent the sounds of the Reiki kotodama, Shinto mantras that pre-date the use of symbols within Reiki and which elicit earth ki, heavenly ki and a state of oneness. The names of the kotodama are: focus, harmony and connection.

Above, you can see an energopsychogram that represents the energy of the focus kotodama, which elicits the energy of earth ki,

To meditate on the energopsychogram, just sit calmly with the image in front of you. Stare at the image. let it wash over you, defocus your eyes.

Notice the quality of the energy that is being elicited within you. What is the nature of the energy? Where do you feel it? How does it feel. Bathe in the energy of the image.

Harmony energopsychogram

Here is the energopsychogram for the harmony kotodama, which elicits the energy of heavenly ki.

energopsychogram harmony kotodama

Connection energopsychogram

And here is the energypsychogram that represents the state of oneness that is elicited by using the ‘connection’ kotodama.

energopsychogram connection kotodama

Over to you

Time to experiment, then!

Meditate on the energies of the three energopsychograms and conpare what you experience with the energies/state that you experience when using the corresponding Reiki kotodama.

If you don’t know the kotodama then compare the energies of these energopsychograms with the energies elicited when you meditate on the symbols: CKR, SHK and HSZSN.

What do you notice?

How does what you experience differ from the kotodama or the symbols, if at all?

Post your experiences below so we can all see how things went.





Report on the 2012 National Gathering

Well, that was quite an event. October 6th saw 140+ Reiki people from all over the country descending on Baden Powell House (right next to the Natural History Museum in South Kensington) for a day of fun, learning new things and making new friends. We had workshops and distant healing and Reiki shares, Reiju empowerments for all, and kotodama chanting. The venue was nice, light and airy, with a lovely atmosphere, and as the day progressed the place just buzzed with energy.

A few highlights of the day for me were seeing every one of the ‘Reiju’ seats occupied, with a queue of people waiting for their turn for a dose of blissfulness, or seeing everyone basically ‘take over’ the on-site café and turning it into a Reiki café, chatting on comfy sofas over tea or coffee, or maybe that experience of oneness at the close of the day, after that fantastic chanting!

It was great for me to get to meet and spend time with so many lovely Reiki people, and to publicly show my appreciation to my team of fantastic teachers.

What we did

Workshops featured Tina Shaw (“Discover your intuitive self”), Martine Moorby (“EFT for personal transformation”), Irene Forsyth (“Seeing auras”) and Marilyn Harvey (“Reiki meditations”). We were also lucky enough to have two separate QiGong sessions, the first hosted by Rhonda Bailey and the second hosted by Thalbert Allen and Maggie Tarling from the College of Elemental Chi Kung.

Attendees joined in Reiki sharing sessions and there were Reiju empowerments for anyone who wanted one (lots of people wanted one!), given by our team of lovely teachers. We held a couple of ‘chat to a Reiki teacher’ sessions and we had ‘en masse’ sessions in the Main Hall where we sent distant healing and chanted a sacred sound which elicits a state of oneness.

Useful links

Tina is now running special courses in Developing intuition and using a pendulum, which you can read about here: Special courses.

Martine teaches Emotional Freedom Technique in North Yorkshire and can be contacted here: Martine Moorby.

Rhonda teaches Tai Chi, QiGong and meditation in Kent, and you can find her here: Rhonda Bailey.

I particularly wanted to thank Thalbert for coming to our gathering to run a session for us. Thalbert Allen is co-founder and Director of the College of Elemental Chi Kung in Finsbury Park, and you can read more about the College here: Elemental Chi Kung.

Next year’s gathering

Very shortly I am going to be announcing the venue and the date for the 2013 National Gathering, and I look forward to seeing many familiar faces there next year; it can’t come quickly enough as far as I’m concerned!

Here’s a photo of me with 15 of my team of teachers:

The breath of earth and heaven

In this article I would like to talk about the energy that we work with when we practise Reiki: when we work on ourselves and when we share Reiki with others. The energy that we channel is described in various ways: we are said to be working with universal energy, we are passing on unconditional love, or chi, or prana. But there are aspects of the energy that are not being explained through this use of words, and in this article I want to talk about the essence of Reiki energy. In doing this we will touch on Taoism, QiGong, Shintoism, meditation, breathing, chanting and the use of the Reiki symbols.

Now many people reading this article will be practising something called “Joshin Kokkyu Ho”, an energy breathing method taught in the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai, the Usui Memorial Society in Japan – part of a longer sequence of exercises referred to as “Hatsurei ho”. It was also used in Mikao Usui’s original system, according to a group of Usui Sensei’s surviving students who are in contact with one or two people in the West. Joshin Kokkyu Ho translates as something like ‘technique for purification of the spirit’ or ‘soul cleansing breathing method’, and on its own ‘Kokkyu Ho’ means ‘the way of breathing’. When we use this method we are moving energy in time with our breath, into and out of our Tanden (Dantien in Chinese), it is a way of achieving balance, but there is more significance to this technique than simply moving energy through our bodies.

With each in-breath we are filling the body with ki. This ki is yin in nature, it is the breath of earth, of physicality and the power of separation. By contrast the out-breath distributes ki throughout our bodies. This is yang in nature, it is the breath of heaven, of spirituality and the power of unification. So from the moment that we practise Joshin Kokkyu Ho we are experiencing earth ki and heavenly ki.

In fact, earth ki and heavenly ki are what we are: we are physical reality and we are spiritual essence. In Taoist philosophy, Earth and Heaven – along with Humanity – are known as the “Three Powers”. Humanity is in a pivotal position between the cosmic powers of heaven and the natural forces of earth, covered by heaven above and supported by earth below. Qi Gong, the energy cultivation technique which is practised in Japan as ‘kiko’, allows us to work with these two energies and bring them into balance. Shinto practices also refer to these two basic energies, these two essential aspects of what we really are.

It is not surprising, then, that these two energies are the basis of Usui Sensei’s spiritual system, and latterly his healing system. When we practise Reiki we are working with earth ki and heavenly ki, in a conscious or unconscious fashion; when we channel Reiki, we are channelling either the ki of earth or heaven, because that is what we are.

But Usui Sensei’s system goes further than just acknowledging our true nature, our physical and spiritual nature, because Reiki allows us to fully experience our physical reality, and fully experience our spiritual essence. This is a powerful method for achieving balance. We can return to that state of perfection we enjoyed at birth, before life corrupted us; we can be reborn. How this was achieved is as follows: At second degree in the original system the student would be shown how to experience earth ki and heavenly ki, they would learn to ‘become’ the energies of earth and heaven. How this was achieved very much depended on the student’s background, since Usui Sensei varied his teachings and methods according to the needs of his students. If the student had a Buddhist background then they would have used meditations, and if they had a Shinto background then they would have chanted sacred sounds called ‘kotodama’. Later on in Usui’s system, symbols were introduced for the Imperial Officers, but all these approaches had the same end in mind: to fully assimilate, to fully experience or become the energies of earth and heaven, the essence of what we are. The meditations, the kotodama, and the symbols are all tools used to trigger, to invoke within us, to allow us to experience an energy or a state. Second degree is all about getting to grips with earth ki and heavenly ki, to fully assimilate those energies, to reconnect to what is within and realise our true nature.

CKR and SHK represent earth ki and heavenly ki respectively, but they do not represent something new: these two energies are already within us. They do not represent something additional that we are connected to: they emphasise or flag up something that is already there.

Now, Usui Sensei’s students worked long and hard to assimilate or integrate these energies. The might have spent 6-9 months just meditating on one energy, before moving on, so there were no short-cuts and it was a long process. They started with the energy of earth and moved on to work with the energy of heaven. We can echo that original practice by working with the energies of CKR and SHK. It is not enough to be ‘attuned’ to a symbol – whatever that means – and it is not enough to use a symbol in practice when treating someone. To fully get to grips with an energy we need to meditate on the symbol, using its energy individually, not combined with others, and we need to commit ourselves to doing this regularly if we are going to fully experience the benefits that are available through Usui Sensei’s simple spiritual system.

Reiki Evolution teacher get-together

reiki master teachers from reiki evolution

On June 1st we held our first get-together of Reiki Evolution Reiki Master Teachers, in central London. About half of the team were able to meet and it was a real pleasure to spend time with a group of such lovely, talented, positive, creative RMTs. I feel really honoured to have these people as part of my team. The room fairly crackled with energy as we did a Reiki circle, chanted the kotodama and gave each other empowerments, and it was great to chat, share ideas and experiences, to get to know each other and to plan how we are going to move Reiki Evolution forward together.

We talked about blogging and creating podcasts, shared ideas for courses and explained the ways that we made our own courses distinctive. We laughed, we chatted, and we really came together as a group, which was excellent. We all learned from each other and it was great to be amongst people who were so open and accepting.

The most amazing experienced was when we chanted the kotodama together (Reiki mantras that pre-date the use of symbols within Reiki and which were taught by Usui Sensei to most of his students). I didn’t realise how many strong voices there would be, and there were such harmonies! It was gorgeous to take part in and listen to, and we would have carried on forever I think, though eventually people would have fallen off their chairs from the hyperventilation! Sitting, basking in the energies we had elicited, I certainly just wanted to stay there undisturbed with a silly grin on my face. What an experience! So powerful.

We finished the day giving empowerments to each other and it was a very special time, supporting and empowering each other as a team. The room was sizzling with energy! Everyone decided that they wanted to meet again, and not in a year’s time, so looks like we shall be getting together later in the year.