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Handling Distractions

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Last Updated: November 19, 2008
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This page is one of a series where I give my ideas on aspects of Reiki and/or energy work.  The pages are intended to give some "food for thought" and some are only my viewpoint.  While a number of facts may be included, you should decide for yourself how much (if any) of the content feels right to you.

Some of the ideas for my classes come from my own need to get through to the end of each day in a reasonable state of mind. At times like this month, when there is illness on both sides of the family and challenges in other areas, it can be difficult to follow an ongoing philosophy like "Law of Attraction."  I find the mind keeps wanting to wonder in the direction of what I don't enjoy, rather than what brings me joy. So I try to practice what I teach in my own classes, looking for ways to circumvent these distractions and get back into an improved state of mind.

When I first began teaching Reiki I would prepare students for the attunement ceremony by just telling them to relax. But I found that there were always a few students who, although they did make a good connection to the energies involved, were unable to stay focused and enjoy the process during the ceremony. They would say they were distracted by thoughts around what was occurring in their life at that time and couldn't quite get their mind to just let these go for the moment. Usui's concepts of "Just for today ..." may sound simple but can be challenging to put into constant practice.

So prior to the attunement, I began to lead students on a simple meditation where they would relax, clear their mind (I found a good analogy for doing that - see below), and then go on a mental journey to a special place where they could receive the ceremony in private. Part of getting them focused was to have them imagine exploring the place they went to, and then after a few minutes of guiding them in this I would have them invite me into this space to perform the ceremony. It's a bit more detailed than that but that's the gist of it. Most students would be much more focused and able to enjoy the ceremony.

However, while this seemed to work well in class, or when the student was at home and could take the time to get quiet and meditate, it didn't seem to help for the times in the day when those non enjoyable thoughts would keep pestering them. Since I could relate to this I thought back to some visualization work I had done and in some classes I began to add an additional journey into the class meditation just before the attunement journey. It's actually a form of daydreaming that a person can use outside of class, and with experience he or she can do it quickly, almost anywhere. And since most of us do tend to daydream from time to time, it's a familiar process, only a bit more involved.

In class, this exercise begins just after the students have relaxed and attempted to clear their minds of all thoughts. I then have them reflect a moment on the fact that they often display various sub-personalities to the world: their adult self, the student, the child within them, the parent self, the employee, etc. And then I suggest they allow the "Magical Child" or "Spontaneous Self' to rise to the surface and take charge, just for the time of the attunement meditation. Next I ask them to remember a happy or enjoyable time in their life when they know for certain they were in the control of their Magical Child or Spontaneous Self. Basically, this is controlled daydreaming.

I slowly lead them up to the key moment in the past event, suggesting they actually be there once again in that moment. I have them recall where they are, what they look like (as if looking in a mirror), who is with them, what surrounds them, what smells, sounds, and tastes they may be experiencing, and on and on, slowly getting them more and more immersed in the moment. Then I have them re-experience the positive emotions of that peak moment - letting it build and build for about 20 to 30 seconds. Finally, I tell them to let it all go, to just let the scene dissolve.

After the attunement I explain to them that the past event exercise was intended to completely distract them from whatever was on their mind before the meditation, just in case they had difficulty making their mind blank. Plus it also brought them in touch with their Magical Child/Spontaneous Self so they could more freely explore the attunement process.
I also explain that the exercise was also a very powerful way to experience what is called "Feeling", what Tibetan Lamas say is the original form of prayer. It's one of the more powerful ways to help manifest something in your life and is very useful when working with the "Law of Attraction." process. The exercise shows them how they can go about doing this not only for a past event, but also when trying to bring something or a change into their lives. They need only imagine a future event in the same amount of detail. (See my article on Using Affirmations With Reiki - near the bottom.) 

I suggest that they re-visit the same journey into the past a few times, especially when they are caught up in feelings and thoughts that are distracting them from their "Law of Attraction: frame of mind. Since past events are known and easy to review, this tends to temporarily release them from the unpleasant distraction, putting them in a better frame of mind with which they can later return to the area of concern and deal with it in a more positive, affirmative manner.

It can be very useful to spend a little controlled day-dreaming time every so often, capturing other enjoyable moments in your life, so that you have several of these to choose from whenever you need to get back onto your creative path. And if you pick a variety of past experiences like when you manifested something, or experienced a good emotion or ability, then you can use these as templates for your future manifestation work. So this can be an exercise used in times of distraction, or when you simply wish to work on manifesting your future desires and needs.

Emptying the Mind or How to Make Your Mind Blank

I remember when I was studying forms of yoga meditation and the teacher would talk of emptying the mind, making it become empty or blank. This always seemed a great challenge to me. No matter how hard I tried, something from my day or week (home or work based) would try to grab my attention.

Then one day I remembered how at the end of a long, busy day at work I would always make a list of what was on my mind so I could finally let it go, knowing the list would be there in the morning to pick up where I left off. This let me go home and not be distracted from enjoying my family. And if new thoughts popped into my head at home, then I would just write them down and let them go, knowing I would get back to them later.

So one day in class I decided to add to the calming exercise prior to the attunement, the idea of imagining that any distracting thought was being placed in a soap bubble; like one of those huge ones that my kids (and me) liked to blow up and play with. I suggested the students visualize the distracting thought being carried away on the breeze, and as it floated away I told them to mentally shout after it "I'll get back to you later." This seemed to help most get much better results at clearing their mind.

Another version of this is to place the thought in it's own special room, or in a special treasure chest, and before closing the door or lid, tell the thought that you will deal with it later. I'm sure you get the idea and can even come up with more suitable ways that work for you. Try this the next time you have some difficulty getting quiet or meditating.

If you have comments or suggestions, Contact Me.     I will try to answer them all.

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