Don’t try too hard
While we do need to commit ourselves and work with the energy regularly if we are to gain the greatest benefit through our connection to Reiki, working with mindfulness, focusing on the precepts and doing self treatments and other energy exercises as we can during our week, we also need to make sure that we aren’t trying too hard at all this: it’s supposed to be an enjoyable journey, not a big hard slog!
So we shouldn’t take ourselves or our practice too seriously: Reiki is best enjoyed in a light-hearted fashion, in a gentle and laid-back way… not in a fists-clenched, furrowed-brow, tense ‘read for a lot of hard work’ sort of way.
We don’t fore Reiki when we treat other people or when we work on ourselves and we shouldn’t force a severe Reiki practice on ourselves either. That just wouldn’t work: we should be doing our Reiki out of love, compassion, because we enjoy it.
Reiki is rather like a flowing stream and we’re rather like a rough rock sitting in that stream.
The rock will become smooth over time but we can’t force the river: the river flows at its own pace, it achieves its goals at its own speed and in its own way, and we accept the journey, allowing the water to flow consistently, doing what it needs to do to mould us into what we’re becoming a tiny bit more each day.
There are several ways in which we can try too hard
Firstly, we might read about the experiences of other people when they do Reiki, when they self-treat, when they treat other people, when they receive attunements or empowerments. These people might experience particular things, see colours, have a particular sensation or a strong reaction and we might not be experiencing these things at the moment.
We think to ourselves, “I’m not doing it properly, I need to focus more, I need to do this better, I need to try harder to get it just right”.
Well, no you don’t.
We all have our own individual experiences when using Reiki. There are some people who see colours who wish they could feel tingling in their hands more. There are people whose hands fizz like crazy who wish they could see colours, and there are people who have very few sensations or experiences who wish they could experience something more than they currently are.
And things aren’t set in stone, so what we experience now when using Reiki isn’t representative of what we will notice as the energy flows. Things change, and we can develop our sensitivity to the energy through practice and through using special meditations that I have on my web site.
But what is not going to help is trying really hard, because Reiki works best, Reiki flows best when the person channelling the energy is chilled out and laid-back, just gently there with the energy, letting it happen, whatever is happening.
Just let it happen
Trying hard is a good way to put up barriers and slow your progress: they best way to progress with your Reiki is basically to give up and stop trying to do anything… just be there with the energy, no expectations, neutral, empty.
Just be, be mindful, notice what there is to notice, and if nothing’s there to notice then notice that!
You will progress fastest when you stand aside metaphorically, do the exercises, just follow the instructions, be unconcerned by what you feel or don’t feel, treat people, go through the motions, be unconcerned with what colours you might or might not see – it doesn’t matter: be empty and compassionate and that’s it.
Another area where Reiki people might try too hard is when learning to work intuitively, and at Reiki Evolution we teach our students a method where they learn to allow their hands to drift with the energy to the right places to treat.
This approach works well for most people, though there are some whose intuition comes to them more in terms of images or words or an inner knowing, and that’s fine too. But our basic approach is through hands drifting with the energy, rather like the hands being drawn like magnets to the right areas to treat, different from one person to another and from one session to another with the same person.
The key to success with our intuitive method is to not try: trying is actually the best way to stop it working, and the challenge that our students face is to learn to not do anything and not force anything, just to let it happen.
I remember a course that I ran in Cumbria several years ago where I was teaching this intuitive approach to Reiki practitioners and Masters. There were about 15-20 people on the course, we had treatment tables set up and there were perhaps 3-4 people to each table. One person was on the treatment couch and the others stood around the table practising allowing the energy to guide their hands. They all took turns on the table so everyone had the chance to practise on a few different people.
The method seemed to be working well for everyone except one poor girl whose hands were motionless, and remained motionless no matter how hard she tried to make the technique work. Of course it was her attempts to force it which were preventing her from achieving success with this method.
So what I did was to come and stand behind her and rest my hands on her shoulders.
Within a minute her hands started to drift. Now, this is not because I was giving her some sort of an ‘energy boost’ but because she was starting to have a bit of a Reiki treatment, and you know the feeling of melting and drifting and relaxing that this can bring, just within seconds. After a few moments she didn’t care what was happening with her hands, she gave up trying, she drifted with the treatment – the merged with the energy – and her hands began to move to the right places to treat.
Having proved to herself that she could actually do this, she then went on to make the method work for her several times; she made it work by not trying to make it work, by giving up and not trying, by just being, in neutral, merged and empty.
And that’s a good approach for Reiki work in general, I think.
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