道場 – Dojo: Place of the way; a special place for spiritual discipline and personal perfection that is respected and well cared for by its users
In colloquial parlance, the word dojo is usually associated with martial arts. To most, dojo means the place where people dress up in pajamas, move in awkward ways, and kick things while screaming in foreign languages.
While this is mostly true in this modern era, traditionally the term dojo was associated with a much broader array of endeavors, particularly spiritual practice, healing practice, as well as military-arts practice.
When I initially learned Reiki nearly 11 years ago, I remember feeling distinct a sense of motivation, followed closely by a feeling of disappointment. I was so ready and willing to practice yet in reality there was no designated venue for practice. Nowhere to develop one’s skills in company with loving and like minded individuals. Nothing for further growth, guidance, and development.
After years of intense practice, learning, traveling, teaching, and sharing Reiki, I come to realize one simple, yet very vital lesson at a much deeper level.
To fully understand, practice, and embody the great Reiki (universal essence), one needs diligent practice.
My initial feelings at the start of my journey were more correct than I ever really considered.
Diligent practice such as daily meditation and hands-on healing is great. Doing so in harmony with others in a regular basis is even greater. Hopefully by doing both, we learn to embody this as all times and become our absolute best for ourselves and others.
Too often in modern Reiki books and classes, students are given the weekend seminar treatment. After maybe two days of back to back training, students are given a certificate along with the mistaken impression that some seemingly magical “attunement” will allow them to heal themselves or even more, somehow heal others.
While the ritual Reiju (the original term for attunement) is an integral part of Reiki, it takes much more than just simple ritual to fully grasp the depth of Reiki; attending a seminar, learning a technique, and paying for a title on paper does not a student make.
Even when learning about Mikao Usui’s (the founder of the Usui Reiki Ryoho) spiritual experience on Mount Kurama, such events are usually reduced to brief acknowledgement of his intense 21 days of fasting. To disregard the years and years of earnest practice Usui undertook in preparation for his spiritual experience is to disregard the depth of his anshin ritsumei (安心立命; enlightenment) and the real meaning of a life practice.
In the Reiki precepts we have the idea “gyo o hage me” which can be translated to:
- Practice diligently
- Live honestly
- Live from your honest heart
- Work hard
Despite daily meditation and hands-on practice, I’ve come to learn how supporting each other on the Way is just as important and integral to a full and meaningful Reiki practice. I’ve come to learn and realize part of my “living honestly” is to live, grow with, support, and embody Reiki as much as possible. In other words, opening this Reiki dojo is but an extension of my sincere observance of gyo hage me.
One of the goals of Michigan Reiki is to provide a venue for sharing, healing, growth, and personal development through the practice of traditional Japanese Reiki. Organizing and building a strong, active, sincere, and professional Reiki community of practitioners is no longer a dream, but a motivation I’m acting on right now.
In the spirit of this, I’m reorganizing a few of the core ways Michigan Reiki operates. One of the first and most significant changes is opening The Reiki Dojo and offering a weekly practice space for Reiki students, practitioners, and teachers alike.
This is going to be a full-on space for learning and growing together. Some intended events and functions include:
- Weekly group practice sessions
- Community Reiki clinics for the public
- Long term Reiki training, certification and apprenticeship opportunities
- Special lectures from renowned Reiki teachers and specialists
- Quarterly Reiki events (retreats for example)
Reiki is a way of life to me. It’s such an inspiring Way; living and sharing compassion, wisdom, and happiness with myself and others. My goal is to help others find benefit and hopefully find the same. Only by committed practice do I believe this to be possible.
The Reiki Dojo – Practicing the Way of Perfection and Unity of Self through Harmony and Balance
Let’s grow together!