A few days ago, I sent a friend of mine a link to Pamela Miles' website: "Reiki, Medicine, and Self Care with Pamela Miles." I am truly inspired by her pioneering work with integrating Reiki and other alternative and complementary medicines with conventional health care. I also appreciate her ability to discuss Reiki in a way that is simple, grounded and practical.
But my friend wanted to know what Reiki is? After browsing Pamela's website, he wrote to me, "She says allot about what Reiki does, but she doesn't say what Reiki is..."
He's absolutely right! On her website, Pamela doesn't really go into what Reiki-the energy itself-is.
I think that she doesn't go into that (although I'm sure that she talks about what Reiki is in her Reiki classes) because...well...she doesn't really know!
And neither do I!
And neither does any other Reiki practitioner or Reiki teacher.
The word "reiki" is a Japanese word that we translate to mean "spiritual energy" or "universal life-force energy."
But what is spiritual or universal life-force energy, exactly?
Scientists haven't come to any conclusions about the validity of spiritual or life-force energy. All the information that we have about spiritual energy comes from those who claim to be studying it and working with it...people like myself!
So, what in the world am I going to tell my friend?
I can only tell him what I have experienced for myself and what is true for me.
Reiki seems to be more than "energy." In Pamela Miles' book, Reiki: A Comprehensive Guide, she says that Reiki is "primordial consciousness." I like this definition because it points to something more than energy...something intelligent...something that is connected to the vast intelligence that creates, sustains, and transforms our universe.
I also love what our first Western Reiki Master, Hawayo Takata, said about Reiki: "Reiki is wisdom and truth."
For now, I'll tell my friend that Reiki is a subtle, life-supporting energy that promotes balance and well-being.
Perhaps this definition will somewhat-satisfy his logical mind until he can experience what Reiki is for himself.
But even then, there will always be this wonderful mystery that is Reiki, that is life, that is our existence...that is.
The Fifth Tarot