Reiki, Recovery, and Yoga
Reiki, recovery and yoga all are pointing to the same place, finding our true self and essence of being. Reiki has the 5 tenants Reju & Attunements, Developing spiritual and mental focus, Techniques and meditations, Hands on healing, and Mantras and symbols. Recovery has the 12 steps and 12 Traditions, and Yoga has the eight limbs of yoga. All different ways of moving what is false to reveal what is true.
Developing spiritual and mental focus is working the precepts in our lives, For today only: Do not anger, Do not worry, Be Humble, Be honest in your work, Be compassionate with yourself and others.
First, we can see that Living Just for today is the very tenant of recovery, we often hear that chanted at every meeting. The yoga sutras start with atha yoga anushasanam Now the practice of yoga begins. All three are showing us that we can only practice in the now, what happened yesterday or may happen in the future is of little concern for our practice.
Do Not Anger is also said as do not anger for anger is an illusion. Sutra 1.8 says misconception occurs when knowledge of something is not based upon its true form. When we are angry, we are not seeing clearly, we are clouded by our emotion and so the world looks like a fun house mirror, which is an illusion. In recovery we break these illusions by working steps 6 and seven. We see what is false in step 6 and see their beginnings in step 7.
Do not worry is also said to be fear is a distraction. When we worry, we are trying to be future tellers we are not in the present as we try to manipulate the future for our safety. If we are co-dependent, we fear for others safety in the future. Either way it is taking us away from the present moment where we can actually make changes. The first three steps are about having faith and courage to change what is not working in our lives. Recovery takes great courage as we are totally changing our lives to something of the unknown. We are reminded that true courage is not the absence of fear but having it and going forward anyway, which is saying do not be distracted by fear, by what is not real. Sutra 1.20 says for others, the asampraijnata Samadhi could come through faith, vigor, memory, contemplation, and/or by discernment. “This despair and weakness in this time of crisis are mean and unworthy of you, Arjuna. How have you fallen into a state so far from the path of liberation? It does not become you to yield to this weakness. Arise with a brave heart and destroy the enemy.” Bhagavad Gita (C2, v2-3)
Be Humble, Humility is important aspect to the system of reiki, recovery and yoga. As soon as we think we are the one making things happen we fall back into illusion, we fall out of today by manipulation and control. Humility plays a central role in recovery as evidenced in the seventh step. We Humbly asked God to remove our short comings. Humility is not humiliation but knowing our strengths and weaknesses and knowing our place with both. It is the spirit of anonymity of being equal not better or worst then anyone. Humility is the way out of ego entanglement. In the Bhagavad Gita Humility is listed first of the virtues of true knowledge. Brahman is not grasped by the eye, nor by speech, not by the other senses. A man becomes pure though serenity of intellect….Mundaka Upanishad 3.18 When we teach a class or do reiki, or do step work we say a prayer and try to get out of the way as best we can, and at the end if someone compliments you, remember you said a prayer so it is God working through you and don’t let the complement feed your ego.
Be honest in your work, by being honest in your work you have integrity to your own way, or in yoga it would be living your dharma. In recovery we can see this in the 12th step having had a spiritual awakening our honest work would be to carry the message. When we are honest in our work we move easily through life as we allow life to come to us.
Be compassionate to yourself and others. We show compassion to ourselves by working the steps and doing the yoga practice to move from the darkness to the light. In recovery that darkness is called disease and in yoga it is called tamas. In recovery the light is recovery in yoga it would be sattva guna and beyond. I reiki we are compassionate to ourselves when we practice the precepts as they all point to the light of reiki and freedom. Compassion for others as to start with ourselves, if we can not love and want the best for ourselves it would be hard to offer it to others. Compassion is the core of all three programs, as we find a way out of our own suffering and try to eliminate suffering of others.
Reju/initiations is done in the system of reiki to give confidence to the student and a way of connecting with each other in a deeper way. In recovery we have sponsors who work with us and initiate us into each step. In yoga often the guru initiates students into different levels of yoga and mantras, so again the student can find the light within themselves, just like reiki, we want the student to find the light within, and recovery we want the sponsee to find their own light of recovery.
In the system of reiki there is mantras and symbols. We use them to deeper inside our self’s and direct attention to different aspects of the light, more grounded, or expansive, or interconnection aspect of the light. Other times we use all three at the same time. Yoga has many mantras, symbols and yantras that are used for the same reason. They are not used to bring the person toward the external but are used as tools to bring the yogi inward and direct attention to different aspects of the subtle energy being grounded, interconnected, or expansive. In Samadhi we experience all three at the same time. In recovery we use mantras as slogans and often we chant the readings together. We also use the mantra serenity prayer. Every meeting at least the 12 steps and 12 Traditions are read pointing us inward to reflect upon the deeper meanings of the steps and traditions. Most of us are smart enough to remember what the 12 steps and traditions are but they are read before meetings as a mantra to begin the process of introspective thinking, to bring us inward to ourselves.
Hands on healing. When we think of reiki this is what we think of first, and often people think this is all the system of reiki is. However, as we have seen reiki is much deeper than hands on healing. Hands on healing is just the expression of be compassionate to yourself and others in that the most compassionate act we can do for ourselves and others is to connect with them so they can find a way to heal themselves. So, they can remember that they are wellness and wholeness by connecting with our wholeness. In yoga we first how to find our own Samadhi or at least know of Samadhi and other ways to heal ourselves through asana, pranayama, meditation, then we teach others to do the same. To find the path so that we can lead others to that place of healing. The same can be said of the recovery programs, we first find a state of freedom, we have a spiritual awakening and then we help others find the path that will heal them. We do that through working the steps and finding a new way to live. All three systems we must do the work ourselves before we can give anything away. I can not give you honey if I first didn’t find a way of getting honey myself.