Waka Poetry and Reiki

I was drawn today to use waka poetry in my Reiki meditation practice. The practice is called Joshin Ho or “Mind Purification Method”. It is a technique taught by the International House of Reiki that can be combined with Hatsurei Ho.

Waka poetry (“gyosei” in Japanese) is a specific type of poetry in Japanese literature. The word waka is made of two parts: Wa (“Japanese”) and Ka (“poetry” or “song”). Waka is believed to be a type of magically infused language linked to kami and the power of nature. It has a long history. Many emperors were renowned for their waka poetry. It also became an essential skill for noblemen, warriors and samurais. The Meiji Emperor of Japan who ruled Japan at the time of Mikao Usui is said to have written over 100,00 waka. Waka poetry was first recorded in the early 8th century in the Kojiki and Man’yōshū.

According to the International House of Reiki, Mikao Usui included 125 waka poetry in the system of Reiki as an aid to contemplation. His recommendation was that all students recite waka poetry as a form of self-development and to enhance one’s own energy. Meditations on the Meiji Emperor’s waka poetry were considered at that time to also help generate greater amount of energy.

This is a waka poem I like. It is from Dogen Zenji a Japanese Buddhist priest, writer, poet, philosopher, and founder of the Soto school of Zen in Japan in the 13th century.

True person manifest throughout the ten quarters of the world

The true person is
Not anyone in particular;
But, like the deep blue color
Of the limitless sky,
It is everyone, everywhere in the world.

waka

I understand the “ten quarters of the world” as being the whole universe, not only in a literal worldly sense, but also in a spiritual one. I also understand the true person as being the one who has merged with his/her true-self, the one who has realized enlightenment. From that perspective, it then becomes clear that the universe lies in our body and our body lies in the universe, or in other words, that our body and the universe are one. Thus, this poem seems to refer to the interconnectedness of everything within the universe. And of course, I am sure there are many more layers to it that my mind does not perceive. This is just a beginning, and I also like to approach it simply as what it simply is.

I sat down, breathed and relaxed. I then brought my hands in gassho. After a while, I consciously recited the poem a few times until I could feel it infusing my whole being. Then I stopped and stayed there in silence for some time. I was not quite sure what to expect but my experience was through sound and feelings. As soon as I stopped, I could feel the vibrations of the words resonating through my body. I became aware of feelings of earth and heaven, space and air, stillness and movement, feelings of the vastness of the universe, of life and of our own existence, of interconnectedness, feelings, of being human, of humility and reverence for the whole and of gratitude for being part of it. I stayed there for a while grateful for the experience.

Later that day, I decided to research a little further about waka poetry in the context of Buddhism. I found this wonderful podcast online called “Dogens Waka Poems”. The recording helped me understand how waka follows the Dharma through the paradoxes of life. This is the link Dogens Waka Podcast

Waka poetry is not about the expression of the external world of relative forms. It is not an expression of flowery words that we can often find in poetry which tend to create emotional attachment to form (and words). Waka poetry rather expresses the truth of Buddhist Dharma, the truth of the way things are. Waka poetry aims at cultivating detachment from reality and form beyond the paradoxes of life, life and death, permanence and impermanence, humanity and the universe, objective and subjective, personal and impersonal, speech and silence, love and hate, etc.

I guess waka poetry could also be considered as a “Do” the same way as other arts are such as Calligraphy, Aikido or Flower Arrangement through which the words have the potential to show the way to one’s own self-realization. This is shown in this poem with the themes of relative and absolute, objective and subjective, attachment and realization. When we realize that we and the universe are one, we also realize that we already are the Great Bright Light.

Veronique Frede, Reiki Teacher/Practitioner at www.moonstonesanctuary.com

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Reiki Symbols, Sacred Journey Through Calligraphy

noriko-matsuzawaThe serenity I feel when drawing the Reiki symbols, following the sequence of each stroke one at a time to complete the form, led me to reflect on the act itself. I came to realize that what I love most in the act, has a lot to do with the flow, the rhythm, and the emptiness of the mind that come with it. There is so much involved in the act of drawing symbols ….it is a conscious process.

Calligraphy is an artistic form of handwriting. In East Asia it has always been seen as the queen of all arts, surpassing the term of “handwriting” used in the West since calligraphy also includes writing consciously with the flowing power of the life force energy (ki) which produces long-lasting effects.  (Mark Hosak and Walter Lubeck, The Big Book of Reiki Symbols)

While exploring and researching about this, I found two wonderful articles that helped me understand how sacred the act of drawing kanjis is, and also how healing this can be when our body-mind-heart-soul-spirit are all engaged and aligned at the same time in doing it …

According to Lemy in the article “The Healing Power of the Scarred Art of Calligraphy”, “For many practitioners, calligraphy is an advanced spiritual practice requiring deep concentration, balanced emotions, and a deep connection with Heaven to ensure that the most beautiful message and energy will flow through the characters”.

“Thus, in its highest expression, calligraphy produces so much more than pretty pictures for the wall. It is an ancient practice than can be applied in other areas of modern life, such as healing. The more aligned is the writer in soul, heart, mind, and body, and the higher the frequency of the writer, the higher the frequency of the technique and the more powerful the healing reflected in the stroke… ” (Lemy)

 The website “Beyond Calligraphy” is dedicated to reveal and share secrets of the vast world of calligraphy. I love it. These are some highlights from their website that touched me:

“The Art of Far Eastern (mainly Chinese and Japanese) calligraphy is a universe on its own, sewed with passion, soaked in love, painted in stunning beauty, sparked by raw emotions, and secluded under a translucent veil of ancient mystery. We find it as fascinating as the miracle of life itself.”

“The art of writing Chinese characters is often misunderstood for many reasons. One is that not many people realize that in calligraphy, kanji (漢字, i.e. Chinese characters) are to be felt long before they are being read. Another is that the word “calligraphy” in western understanding means nothing more than a craft of writing in a beautiful manner, whereas here in the East its meaning goes far beyond …. ”

“Calligraphy in Japanese is read: shodo (書道i.e. a way of writing), when in Chinese it is shufa (書法, i.e. method of writing). The word shodo, or “sho” consists of two characters; 書 (to write) and 道 (a path), thus it would suggest that calligraphy is a way of being through writing, a path that one chooses not as an art or endeavor, but a sense of being. Sho matures with us, becoming fuller and

“The deeply spiritual and philosophical nature of Far Eastern calligraphy may appear troublesome to interpret, and therefore to relate to. In The Far East we feel and inhale calligraphy with our senses rather than strive to comprehend it. ”

“For us, in The Far East, calligraphy is an eternal journey inside the human soul, a warp gate into a realm of fantasies, and colorful dreams to which we fly on wings of heart imagery as if it was a mighty mythical dragon. It is a phenomenal explosion of emotion unleashing immense waves of energy by means of subconscious brush strokes, arranging simple ink lines on infinite seas of white paper, changing nothingness into raw magic.”

“It is an abstract “painting”, a spiritual message, a symbolic poetry and emotional “design” or vision of an artist that cannot be ever reproduced, retouched or copied. It is alive yet immortal, real yet untouchable, profound yet complex, laconic yet abyssal.”

“Calligraphy is also a medicine for our soul. Both admiring and writing shodou are activities proven to be not only forms of meditation, but also most effective ways of prolonging life. History proves that many ancient master calligraphers lived into their 80’s, or longer.”

“Surrounding yourself with calligraphy, you create peaceful and harmonious atmosphere, an enclave free of worries, sheltered from modern rush, where through aesthetically appreciation you are given a chance to enter an imaginative dimension of peace and tranquility soaked in dreams and passion of the universe itself.”

“May the mysterious world of calligraphy inspires you and enrich every day of your life, making it more colorful and meaningful by bringing harmony or awakening aesthetically stimulation, whichever whispers to your soul …. ”

For the Reiki symbols, writing them with a quality of ki is clearly significant. The more we succeed in writing the symbols with ki, the greater their effect will be in the application on one hand; on the other, this also promotes our personal, subtle and spiritual development. (Mark Hosak and Walter Lubeck, The Big Book of Reiki Symbols)

May your journey and experiences with the Reiki symbols lead you to find the keys that will help you unlock the doors of a free flow flow, one stroke at a time, to reach new levels of awareness with the healing, wisdom, peace, harmony and the many more wonders that come with it … enjoy the process of drawing the symbols and your journey.

You may click on the photo to watch the video of Sho-Do (Calligraphy)  Master Noriko Matsuzawa writing the Reiki Gokai (the 5 Reiki precepts). Enjoy!

Veronique Frede, Reiki Master & Crystal Healer, Moonstone Sanctuary,  www.moonstonesanctuary.com

Articles/reference:

http://www.beyondcalligraphy.com/what_is_calligraphy.html

http://tone.ca/healing-power-of-the-sacred-art-of-ancient-calligraphy/

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Beyond Knowledge, Wisdom from the Bamboo Forest

File_000 (21)I recently came back from the 7 Days Inward Bound Holy Fire Reiki retreat organized by the International Center for Reiki Training (ICRT) in Hana (Maui – Hawaii) and wish to share some of my experiences with those who might be considering taking this incredible journey.

This was my 3rd class with William Rand since Holy Fire Reiki emerged in 2014 and 1st time with Colleen Benelli, Licensed Reiki Master Teacher.  I guess I do not seem to have enough of it! This time however, I was not looking for more knowledge about the program, or more experience for teaching it, but rather its wisdom. And what I received from this trip was beyond expectations.

First the Holy Fire Experiences allowed me to go deeper and deeper into my own journey of healing and understanding, into places I had forgotten, and places I never went before. With classes in the morning, and sport adventures in nature in the afternoon, those experiences, and release that came with them, felt deep, smooth and grounding. They were also quite enlightening!

My connections with nature grew in ways I had never thought would happen, with wonderful feelings of love and renewal. Wherever I went, whether in the inner or outer world, there was always a clear sense of sacredness with the Earth, the world around us, and between us. The energy of the group was amazing.

The Experiences in class carried the colors of the many Rainbows we saw, the various shades of green that surrounded us during our hikes, the deep light blue of the ocean we jumped into, the brightness of the flowers we encountered on the paths, the freshness of the breeze caressing our faces, the liveliness of the waters flowing down from the mountains through many streams and  waterfalls we swam into, the warmth of the sun infusing our body, the magic of the moonlight shining on us, the sunbeams reflecting on the ocean as signs from the heavens.

The Experience we did in the bamboo forest was particularly powerful, bringing a feeling of union with the divine in nature, a profound awareness of Spirit on Earth, with the understanding that we all play our part in manifesting our light, we ALL matter, all kingdoms of life matter and are to be honored as together we create a pathway for Light on Earth. How meaningful and powerful the experience of being a single bamboo n a large forest can be …

Now I am back home, filled with a wonderful renewed energy, greater wellness, awareness and appreciation for who we are as a whole, and for where we are as divine human beings on Earth with the potential to grow further as we engage with life.

Regardless of where we are in our life, regardless of our experiences and expectations, regardless of our path, such retreat in Hana offers everyone a sacred space where one can heal, regenerate, incubate and renew. There is always another level, Reiki is life in its pure and sacred essence, and life is everywhere within and around us, without borders, just keep engaging with it  …

Article published in the Reiki News Magazine, Fall 20116:  Wisdom From The Bamboo Forest

For any question you might have, please feel free to contact me, Veronique at moonstonesanctuary@gmail.com

A special thanks to my friend, classmate & photographer Olga Zverava for the beautiful photos –  Olgaz.com

Veronique Frede, Reiki Master & Crystal Healer, Moonstone Sanctuary,  www.moonstonesanctuary.com

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Reiju, a Spiritual Blessing

A beautiful article by Frans Stiene, Reiki Teacher and Founder of the international House of Reiki. I received an initiation and learnt about the Reiju in 2014 while in France. I felt deeply touched by it. It is only afterwards, a few months later, that I understood its deeper meaning …. and this article explains it well as “Giving and Receiving Together as One”.  Thank you Frans. Veronique Frede, RMT, CCH, www.moonstonesanctuary.con

mariReiju (Japanese kanji 霊授) is one of the essential elements within the system of Reiki. Literally it means spiritual blessing or offering.

Often this is seen as a one way experience from teacher to student, with the student being the one who is benefitting from this Reiju. However, I never have taught it this way because for me it is a union, a union of the teacher, student, and the universe in which all will benefit.

The kanji of ju (授) points this out as well. Ju is mostly translated as ‘to give’.

But Zen Master Jakusho Kwong, in his book No Beginning, No End – The Intimate Heart of Zen, states that: “This word ju [授], is very good. ‘To cut’” ‘to open,’ ‘to empty,’ and ‘to receive’ are all expressed by ju.”

For me these words describe exactly what I experience when I perform a Reiju. The empty state of mind, that I also receive at the same time, and that the whole process is about openness because the ego temporarily is cut away. I wanted to investigate this a bit more.

I consulted a Japanese friend who is an international calligraphist and who looks deeply into kanji and its meanings. She came back with a wonderful explanation that put the phrase “receiving Reiju” in a whole new light.

“The kanji 授 means “Receive” which is used when you receive something very special and very valuable (but you can’t buy) from god or respectable people (even nature). Just regular kanji for “receive” is 受. ”

Her explanation made so much sense because during Reiju both teacher and student receive ‘grace of the universe,’ ‘grace of our True Self’, ‘grace of nature’, which is very special and very valuable indeed. This grace of course is unification, which Oxford Dictionary defines as the “process of being united or made into a whole.” So the word ‘receive’ is not to be taken literally. It is an expedient means to a simple explanation of Reiju.

The deepest state of Reiju is that there is nothing to receive, nothing to give, and no gift. This is symbolized by the kanji of Rei 霊 spiritual.

To sum this all up: when the teacher performs a spiritual (Rei 霊) blessing (Ju 授,) he/she is giving and receiving at the same time. Therefore this also means that for a teacher, performing Reiju is a spiritual meditative practice for remembering his/her own True Self.

Now we can start to see why Shinpiden Reiki Level III is not just about becoming a teacher. It is about learning to empower yourself through performing Reiju. Shinpiden (meaning “mystery teachings”) is all about rediscovering the mystery of our non-dual state of mind where receiving and giving happens simultaneously, where “teacher” and “student” are receiving and giving, together as one.

Source: http://www.ihreiki.com/blog/article/reiju_-_giving_and_receiving_together_as_one

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Reiki, Kotodama and the Sacred Song of Life

imagesI was introduced to the Kotodama when teaching Reiki in France in 2014. I was so intrigued by the sounds, and so drawn to the experience, that I decided to integrate them right away into my own practice of Reiki, to further explore and experiment the energy.

A new world had suddenly opened in front of me with Reiki and sound healing ….

The Kotodama, also written as Kototama, refers to sacred spiritual sounds, the sounds of the universe, of creation, also called “pure sounds”, that can create high vibration frequencies capable of shifting our levels of consciousness and influence our reality, including our health, by bringing new levels of awareness and spiritual transformation.

Kotodama is the “power of the spirit inherent in words” that can “be invoked by the correct use of words, syllables or other vocalized sounds”. Furthermore, “Kotodama manifests when syllables, words and phrases are intoned with spirit – with ki, i.e: with sincerity, with determination, and/or with passion and feeling – when they are intoned charismatically: with ’emotional content’ (James Decon on James Deacon’s Reiki Page).

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In other words,the concept of Kotodama implies that sounds can magically affect objects, and that the use of ritual word can influence our environment, body, mind and spirit.

The use of sound as a tool for healing and transformation is not new. Most ancient cultures used the magical powers of sound, from mantras in ancient India, to Greek healing temples in which music played a prominent part, to indigenous shamanic work set to the best of a drum, to the Aboriginal people’s use of the yidaki. In fact, the ancients considered the knowledge of sound as a highly refined science. Many spiritual teachers speak of sound as the primal organizer of the universe…

Sound and life seem intricately linked …

Of all the instruments available on the planet, the most powerful one is the human voice …. This is especially true when the voice is used for healing, as it is the easiest vessel through which intention can be focused and channeled … intention powered by the energy of sound is the key to accelerate the healing process and bring improvements into our life.

There are a lot of questions about whether Mikao Usui used the principle of Kotodama or not in his system of Reiki, or whether the Reiki symbols came first or after their sound. To me they  feel so natural, so vibrant, so real and they fit so well with life and the practice of Reiki, that I do not need to question or know, I just enjoy resonating with them the way they come to me.

As Laurelle Shanti Gaia said: “The wave of Reiki energy can blend with sound waves enabling Reiki to travel to the recipient at the speed of sound bringing faster and deeper healing experiences” (Reiki News Magazine 2014)

Chanting the Reiki symbols (mantras) allows the practitioner to invoke the spirit within the names of each of the sacred symbols. It also activates and sustains the particular vibration/frequency of the symbol.

I highly encourage to experience chanting with Reiki. Chanting can enhance the Reiki experience, whether in a session or in our own personal practice. Chanting is a wonderful and powerful mode of self expression. It is clearing, freeing, uplifting, balancing, grounding and empowering, different from singing.

When combined with Reiki, chanting produces unique harmonics instrumental in the creation of the Song of  Life …

When we start tapping  deeply into the sound, into the spirit of the sound, we then realize that it is not just us who are chanting, but also the entire Universe …

For more information about the Kotodama please check James Decon’s Reiki Page here.

For any questions, please feel free to contact me at moonstonesanctuary@gmail.com

With love and gratitude,

Veronique Frede, Reiki Master & Crystal Healer at www.moonstonesanctuary.com

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Le Futur du Reiki: une Evolution Constante

118FutureOfReiki (1)Saviez-vous qu’il existait déjà 4 styles de Reiki au Japon au moment où Mikao Usui eut son expérience mystique sur le Mont Kurama en 1922 ?

Le terme Reiki existe depuis très longtemps au Japon, bien avant 1922, et sa pratique d’origine était bien différente de ce qui est aujourd’hui pratiqué en occident. Reiki a évolué, et continue à évoluer avec notre niveau de conscience. Son potentiel et son développement sont sans limite. A nous de les apprécier et de les découvrir ….  Ceci était clairement entendu par Usui Sensei, Hayashi Sensi et Takata Sensei. Reiki est l’énergie de vie,  et en tant que telle, est en mouvement constant, et en évolution permanente: elle ne peut être limitée à un système, ni même à un seul.

William Lee Rand, Maître Reiki et Président de l'”International Center for Reiki Training/ICRT” (USA) nous invite dans son article “The Future of Reiki” à découvrir son analyse perspicace sur les origines et l’évolution du Reiki, fondée sur des faits et des années de recherches. Son article est publié dans le Reiki News Magazine Hiver 2015. Il a été traduit en français par Dominic Audet (Québec) et moi-même Véronique Frede.

Pour accéder à l’article en français cliquez sur le lien suivant: Le Futur du Reiki

Vous pouvez accéder à l’article en anglais en contactant  ICRT

Un grand merci à William Lee Rand …

Véronique Frede, Maître Reiki, Moonstone Sanctuary, USA

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Enseigner le Reiki aux Personnes Atteintes de Cancer

Lettre ReikiLa publication de mon article dans la revue francaise La Nouvelle Lettre Reiki au printemps 2015 me remplit de gratitude. Voici le lien:

Article – Enseigner le Reiki aux Personnes Atteintes de Cancer

Ma rencontre avec Carie en 2013 fut une source de developpement a bien des niveaux. Elle m’a non seulement amnee a approfondir ma comprehension et mon travail avec l’energie Reiki, mais aussi a trouver une vocation: celle de me consacrer aux personnes atteintes de cancer en leur offrant des seances de soin Reiki et un enseignement a cette technique de facon adaptee.

Depuis 2013, mon travail s’est developpe en hopital et en centre cancerologique grace a l’organisation The Reiki Share Project. La mission de cette belle organisation est de promouvoir l’utilisation du Reiki en milieu medical et hospitalier et d’enseigner le premier degre Reiki aux patients atteints de graves maladies telles que le cancer.

Pour plus d’information sur les bienfaits du Reiki en cancerologie cliquez ici.

Un de mes souhaits les plus chers est de voir cette technique de soin energetique qu’est le Reiki etre mieux reconnue dans le milieu medical francais, comme il l’est aux USA, ou le Reiki est officiellement reference comme une approche de soin de sante cmplementaire par le National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH).

Pour toute question, n’hesitez pas a me contacter par email moonstonesanctuary@gmail.com

Bien sincerement,
Veronique Frede, Maitre Enseignant de Reiki, Wilmette, USA http://www.moonstonesanctuary.com

 

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