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Reiki Analogies
Simple Ways to Explain the Workings of Reiki and Other Healing Energies

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Last Updated: October 24, 2008
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This page is one of a series where I give my ideas on aspects of Reiki.  The pages are intended to give some "food for thought" and some are only my viewpoint.  While a number of Reiki facts are included, you should decide for yourself how much (if any) of the content feels right to you.

Sometimes the ease and simplicity of Reiki can be deceiving and even seem confusing for new students.  Either that, or some people may simply wish a better understanding of how Reiki works when applying it to themselves or others. These concerns often lead me to try to come up with some examples of everyday experiences that Reiki can be compared with.  Here are some of the ideas I share in my classes.

Reiki as Watering Your Garden

Most people are familiar with watering a garden, watering their yard or just their houseplants.  They have an idea of how water works with and flows through the soil and plants. So one analogy I suggest they can think of is the act of applying Reiki as being similar to watering a garden.  No matter how it's watered, the water still gets to all parts of the garden and concentrates more in the areas of greatest need.  You might begin at one end of the garden and work methodically towards the other end, noticing as you progress how each plant responds to the water.  Or you can search out the plants that seem in need or that you know will need the most and water them first. You might spray the entire garden at one time from one location.  And some might even just leave the garden hose slowly flowing water at the upper end of the garden and let nature and gravity do their own balancing act without having to move the hose around. In all cases, the water gradually fills the garden, and more important, it tends to be drawn most to satisfy the plants and areas with the greatest need.

Reiki and other healing energies work much the same way, filling the body and beyond, and concentrating or being drawn mostly to the areas of greatest need; whether this be a poorly functioning or healing body part, an energy block or area of stagnant energy, or simply improving the overall flow of energy through the body. The Reiki practitioner can choose his or her own method of application knowing that ultimately the recipient will receive what is required at the time, and in the appropriate quantity.

Reiki as Electricity

Imagine that the awakening of Reiki (with the help of your teacher) within you is like installing an electrical box in your house or apartment.  Then, think of your hands (or your feet, your eyes, breath or whatever you use to share the energy with) as your electrical wall outlets that are hooked into your house's electrical (Reiki) box.  You simply move your outlets (hands, etc.) to an area of the body intending to apply Reiki and that part of the body (much like an appliance) "plugs in" and decides how much Reiki energy to draw.  You just offer it and the "appliance" does the rest.  So a body part might feel like it's drawing like a table lamp, a toaster (at various settings), an oven, a clothes dryer or even a fridge or freezer (with cooler energy being called for).  There's no real work on your part – no concentration to keep Reiki flowing, no intention to force or push the healing, no sense of being drained as this is not your normal life energy you are using but that of the source of the electricity, i.e. the source of the Reiki. 

Note that the wall outlet does not take on the properties of the appliance in this scenario, and similarly your hands do not take on the properties of the unhealthy or out of balance body part – SO LONG as you DO NOT try to make the body take more than it draws. There is a synergy between the energy and the body, just like with the electricity and the appliance.  There is a right amount of energy needed and then it must be assimilated and worked with.  Also take note that just as an oven or clothes dryer has a much larger wall plug and can suddenly draw to the limits of the electrical box, so too can the condition in one area of a person's body suddenly draw to your maximum ability to flow Reiki.  This can be quite a surprise when it occurs an d you may even need to back your hands away for a bit or move to another body part if it feels too strong for you (it may simply take some getting used to this level of Reiki.) 

Reiki as Music

My favourite analogy is to think of Reiki as music.  You are simply playing this special healing music, which is different from your normal music, and allowing the recipient (or yourself) to respond to it.  You don't have to force the music;  you just allow it to flow naturally and that is all the effort required.  It's like putting on your favourite CD and letting the volume change automatically (as if you had an intelligent stereo system that could sense the need for more or less volume.) 

Note that when you are in "playing music" mode, you don't lose any of your music or take on anyone else's; you just resonate your high level (Reiki) music and your target area responds as needed.  As you do this, you can simultaneously do any other task: pilot a boat, watch TV, do your normal work, read, talk, cook, etc.  The energy works on auto-pilot. You can also flow the music into your food, cooking, beverages, the boat, the ocean, your work, your projects, etc. 

Some people, after “hearing” the Reiki music can actually begin to play it for themselves, much like a person who is able to repeat a song having heard it only once. However, it is easier for most of us to attend a class where the Reiki teacher will teach us the music during the attunement or reiju ceremony.

Reiki Symbols as Musical Instruments

Continuing with the analogy of Reiki as music, in my Reiki level 2 classes I explain how the Reiki symbols (and even other modern day healing oriented symbols) can be thought of as some of the instruments within the music.  And just as each musical instrument evokes a certain feeling within a person upon hearing it, the energies invoked by the symbols awaken an energetic quality within an individual who experiences it.

Reiki Attunement/Reiju as Learning Music

When the original Reiki attunements are given, the teacher is helping the students to learn the overall music.  However when Reiki 2 attunements were given, the teacher would seem to focus on one instrument here and there within the music, again with the intention that the student learn these.  It's much like a jazz music piece where each instrument plays a solo within the composition.   And just as with any music piece or instrument being learned, after the initial lesson with the teacher the student will go home and practice what they have experienced.  Then they can return to hear the same music and instruments again (via a re-attunement) when they next meet with their teacher.  In the original Reiki society, the URR Gakkai, reiju (i.e. re-attunement) was given to all members at each weekly or monthly meeting. 

Reiki as a Thermostat

An interesting observation many Reiki practitioners notice is that sometimes the Reiki energy will begin to flow even without their intention for it to do so.   This might occur when they place a friendly hand on a friend or their arms around someone as they hug them.  Or it might occur as their hands rest on themselves in a moment of high emotions, especially anger, sadness or depression.  It is as though the energy were operating like a heating thermostat, knowing when the room suddenly needs more heat or coolness, and activating the furnace or air conditioner. 

Reiki as Flavours of Energy

In my web site article titled “Exploring Variations of Reiki” I explain how originally I thought all Reiki was identical.  Then as my ability to sense energies began to awaken I discovered that there were many variations of Reiki energy, both inside and outside Japanese teachings.  Since all true Reiki energies have the same common baseline or carrier frequencies, I like to equate the family of Reiki to something like chocolate. It's as though Usui Sensei or one of his senior students had discovered chocolate and everyone began to try to copy this. 

Over time various versions of Reiki evolved, much like we have variations of chocolate, like German, Belgian and Dutch chocolates, and the candy bar flavours of Hershey, Cadbury and Nestle.   So too the Hayashi Reiki of Mrs. Takata feels a bit different than that of Mrs. Yamaguchi; the URR Gakkai Reiki of Mr. Doi's Gendai Reiki feels different than the Gakkai energy he received from Mr. Ohta; The Tera-Mai Reiki of K. Milner feels different than the Karuna Reiki of W. Rand.  And on and on. 

They all have a common base feeling to them yet each has something added into them to make them slightly different from the next.  And just as we each might have our own preference for certain types of chocolate, so too might we prefer one type of Reiki over another.

Taking this analogy a bit further, we notice many other healing energies being present to the public, each making similar claims to Reiki or even beyond.  For example, we have Seichim, Magnified Healing, Quantum Touch, Urevia, Sekhem and many others.  While they all have healing properties, each of them feels different.  If Reiki is chocolate ice cream, then these others might be thought of as strawberry, butterscotch, orange, spumoni, etc.  They all have the commonality of being healing energies, yet they are different families of energies. Which works best for an individual will depend on many situations, yet each can claim to have effected every type of healing in some situation or other. 

Healing as Blowing Up a Balloon

I often say in class that healing is like having a balloon you wish to be blown up and busted or at least start a leak so that it will no longer affect you.  You pass the balloon to everyone you interact with asking them to blow into it as you try to heal; your friends and family (e.g. talking to them about your problem), your doctor, your Reiki healer or teacher, your body work healer, your pharmacist, etc.  However, the one who is with you when you finally get a result (the balloon breaks or finally begins to leak) gets ALL the credit. 

Sometimes the condition is resolved completely, as if the balloon has popped.  And sometimes it begins a slow leak as you gradually release the problem condition.  However, even if you are receiving some kind of treatment or therapy, if afterwards you continue to carry out the actions and thoughts that contributed towards the condition, it is as if you are plugging in the holes of the leaks your “healer” just helped you create.   So even though you may receiving treatment, it is a good idea to try to determine if you are still contributing daily towards the cause of the condition. 

My many thanks to www.inmagine.com for the royalty free images.

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

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