True confession – I really sucked at meditation. Which was especially disappointing as I left my legal career and moved to live full time in a meditation ashram.
Even an Indian therapist told me I had a “weak mind.” This shocked me, as I thought my intellect was one of my strengths.
With hindsight, he was spot on. I had the worst “monkey mind”. I had a terrible time sitting for meditation and quieting my mind — and my body — for that matter. Something always distracted me, and I was totally run by my emotions.
That’s where Reiki, a natural energy healing modality, really helped me. After receiving first degree (level I) Reiki, I noticed that when I added Reiki, my meditation instantly deepened. My mind and my body began naturally to quiet down. It was a godsend!
If you are like my students who claim “I just can’t meditate,” “My mind is always wandering,” “I don’t have time to meditate,” or “I’ve meditated for years, why do I need to use Reiki?” this is for you.
The purpose of meditation
The goal of meditation is to go beyond the mind and experience our essential nature—which is ultimately peace, happiness, and bliss. There is now much science to back up the myriad benefits that mystics have taught for thousands of years.
Cardiologist Herbert Benson, MD, founder of the Mind/Body Institute at Harvard Medical School, is well known for three decades of research into the health effects of meditation. Any condition that’s caused or worsened by stress can be alleviated through meditation. The relaxation response [from meditation] helps decrease metabolism, lowers blood pressure, and improves heart rate, breathing, and brain waves,” Benson says.
Studies suggest that mindfulness meditation actually rewires the physical brain. Those parts of the brain that are responsible for anxiety, depression and poor concentration shrink whereas those regions associated with cognition, happiness and calmness increase in size.
Benefits of Reiki
Reiki, which means Universal Life Force is a natural energy healing modality that can aid relaxation, assist in the body’s natural healing processes, and develop emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being. After a Reiki session, either with a practitioner or a self-treatment, people often report less pain, better mental clarity, feelings of calm, and a generalized sense of well-being. What’s not to love?
In my three decades of experience, Reiki can significantly decrease pain and anxiety. Reiki is known to increase relaxation, improve mood, and increase general well-being. Given what we know about the impact that stress can have on people’s outcomes in all areas of life, this makes Reiki an incredibly valuable practice to cultivate.
Traditional Reiki Meditation Creates Mental Focus
Dr. Maikao Usui, the founder of the Usui System of Natural Healing, taught his students the first pillar of Reiki, the Gassho meditation. Gassho means “two hands coming together.” Dr. Usui recommended that his students practice Gassho meditation daily, as it teaches the art of quieting the mind and creating single pointed focus in meditation.
Simply place your hands in prayer position, close your eyes, and bring all your awareness to the tip of the longest middle finger. When the mind wanders, gently refocus on the middle finger. The intention of Gassho is to connect with Reiki or Universal Life Force. You can ask to connect to Reiki energy through the crown chakra, at the top of the head and visualize healing energy or light filling up your entire body.
How to Meditate with Reiki
If you have been attuned to Reiki, you can simply place your hands on your body anywhere and “Reiki On” while meditating. For me, I instantly feel more relaxed and inward focused.
If you’re completely new to Reiki, it’s best to start with an initiation with a Reiki Master, who can connect you to the Reiki energy. Yet if you haven’t yet had your Level I training, you can practice this meditation technique which will help you to get used to sensing into your own energy channels. When you do become attuned, there is a significant up-leveling of both the experience of Reiki healing energy and the deepening effects on your meditation practice.
1. Sit or lie comfortably in an appropriate meditation position. If you’re not used to meditating, sitting up generally allows you to be more alert, while lying down often supports relaxation.
2. Sense into your crown chakra, or energy center at the top of the head. You might not notice anything at first. Nevertheless, cultivate the practice of placing your awareness there and you’ll eventually get to sensing into what’s happening.
3. As you breathe in, imagine a beautiful healing light coming in with your breath and down through your entire body. If you don’t visualise, you might just set a strong intention to invite in Universal Life Force with your breath, or you might just know that it’s there.
4. Imagine that gentle loving healing energy filling up all your organs, flowing through your nervous system, and circulatory system. See it reaching the all the way through to the tips of your fingers and toes.
5. Once your whole being is flooded with loving healing energy, or light, you can use your breath to send out this Reiki energy to your entire personal energy field, aura or biofield surrounding your body so you are completely engulfed in this healing energy.
6. Repeat this process for as long as you wish. If you’re new to meditation, you might want to start with just a couple of minutes and work your way up. Close your meditation with gratitude to the Reiki energy and acknowledge yourself for your time and commitment to your meditation and self healing practice.
Happily, I can report that I am no longer dragged around by my “weak monkey mind” and while at first I really didn’t excel at meditation, I now teach it 🙂 Reiki meditation is still the best and quickest way for me, and my students would agree, to get in the meditative zone.