Reiki & The Great Bright Light of Wisdom

The Great Bright Light of Wisdom
Candle Prayer

“There are, O monks, these four lights. What four? The light of the moon, the light of the sun, the light of fire, and the light of wisdom. Of these four lights, the light of wisdom is supreme.”
– The Buddha
Anguttara Nikaya 4:143

Mikao Usui ‘s Reiki Ryoho (spiritual method) called it “大光明” (Great Bright Light).

Even Hawayo Takata’s Reiki parable mentioned Usui carrying a “Torch in Daylight”.

The heart of Reiki practice is to embody this light of wisdom. From this, we invite health and happiness to mind and body and share the benefit with all.

How does one embody the light of wisdom?

According to Usui, daily cultivation of the heart/mind with ideal mental trainings allows one to develop wisdom, let go of stress (anger, worry, etc.), develop a clear and sharp mind, and invite “many blessings” (the power of the universe), of which is also the spiritual medicine of many illnesses.

What are these mental trainings?

  • Do not anger
  • Do not worry
  • Be humble/grateful
  • Be honest in your work / Work thoroughly
  • Be compassionate to all (yourself included)

While simple to cognize, there is an immense depth to these teachings. Many of us (including myself) find it difficult to embody this mindset at all times. Due to these realities, Usui Reiki Ryoho includes different tools or methods to help us let go of stress and ignorance and to embody the light of wisdom.

Of all the tools, the hands-on healing is the most popular approach. With this method, we let go of our inner-bodily ignorance, become more aware of the body and learn how to take care of it by promoting balance.

Everyone has hands-on healing ability. That said, in the Reiki Ryoho tradition, one finds tools (initiation, meditation) to further develop said healing ability. Furthermore, regardless of tradition, in order to support your hands-on healing, you need to practice cultivation of the mind (wisdom). According to Hawayo Takata:

“Meaning of “Leiki” Energy within oneself, when concentrated and applied to patient, will cure all ailments. It is nature’s greatest cure, which requires no drugs. It helps in all respects, human and animal life. In order to concentrate one must purify one’s thoughts in words and in thoughts and to meditate to let the “Energy” come out from within.” – Hawayo Takata’s Reiki Diary

This is why the above 5 precepts are so vital and included in most flavors of Reiki.

Also, different students of Usui’s teachings had different mental trainings and tendencies. In order to help each person to successfully embody the light of wisdom, Usui provided different methods or tools suitable for their inclinations. In addition to daily practice with the precepts, an example of meditation comes again from Takata’s Diary:

“It (Reiki) lies in the bottom of your stomach about 2 in. below the navel. Sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes, concentrate on your thought and relax, close your hands together and wait for the sign.”

According to some, there are also other symbol meditations, sound meditations, as well as regular Reiju.

What is Reiju? One rough translation means “Spiritual Offering”. Another way to understand Reiju is as a direct experience of the Light of Wisdom, without the shade of the mind; a simultaneous giving and receiving (sharing) of spiritual gifts. It is akin to the resultant great light / double flame of an unlighted candle wick coming together with flame of another candle.

“The Buddha said, “Those who rejoice in seeing others observe the Way will obtain great blessing.” A Sramana asked the Buddha, “Would this blessing be destroyed?” The Buddha replied, “It is like a lighted torch whose flame can be distributed to ever so many other torches which people may bring along; and therewith they will cook food and dispel darkness, while the original torch itself remains burning ever the same. It is even so with the bliss of the Way.””

– The Buddha
Sutra of 42 Sections

The light is wisdom is a light to be shared by all. The light of wisdom is never diminished by sharing. This is important to remember when we practice. If we feel diminished after hands-on healing, or teaching, or meditation, our mind isn’t in the correct space; we need to practice with wisdom.

After diligent and consistent effort, one is able to see glimpses of this Great Bright Light of Wisdom. Over time and with continued practice, these glimpses are longer and more pronounced, with one eventually embodying this Great Bright Light of Wisdom. From this, one finds a constant peace of mind (Anshin Ritsumei – spiritual peace/equanimity/enlightenment 安心立命), a new sense of clarity in mind and body, and a great inner power.

This inner power is Reiki itself – spiritual essence (靈氣).

In this way, you can think of Reiki as another aspect of this Great Bright Light of Wisdom. Ultimately, there is no separation.