Reiki and Meditation

Reiki and Meditation

by Laurelle Shanti Gaia

Creating Time and Developing Focus

When teaching Reiki classes I often speak of “my Reiki meditations”.  This stirs questions and comments from many of the students.  Frequently students exclaim “I just can’t meditate”, “My mind is always wandering”, “I don’t have time to meditate”, “How do I use Reiki to help me learn to meditate”, “I’ve meditated for years, why do I need to use Reiki?”

It wasn’t until I began incorporating Reiki into my meditations that I began to feel like I was really accomplishing something.  I happen to be a Gemini with an Aquarius moon, talk about mental chatter! So if I can learn to meditate with the help of Reiki, I believe anyone can!

The purpose of meditation

First let’s consider the purpose of meditation and the forms it can take.  Meditation is the art of creating a quiet mind and listening to the sound of silence.  Where prayer is the act of talking with the Divine, meditation is the act of listening and truly hearing what God has to share with us. This can take place during special sacred moments that you set aside specifically for the purpose of meditation, or spontaneously. Activities when spontaneous meditations often occur are while brushing your teeth, in the shower, hiking, running, washing the dishes, mowing the lawn and yes, we have all had those auto-pilot moments while driving the car.

Creating time

Now, what about that challenge of making time to meditate?  This is a challenge for nearly every person on the planet.  Multi-tasking is a way of life for so many people, and time seems to be moving faster every day.  So how does one make time? Simple… just DO it!  Our communion with the Divine through prayer and meditation is THE single most important thing we can do each day. NOTHING holds more urgency for the development of our day, the events in our life and the growth of our soul.  The most important relationship we have is our relationship with God. The quality of all our other relationships is influenced by our ability to commune with God as we would with a friend.

The best way I have found to create time to meditate is by starting my day earlier, and the first thing I do is my prayer, meditation and distant Reiki practice.  Whatever the schedule of my household is at the time, I arise at least an hour before everyone else.  This is MY precious time.  These are sacred moments and they are just for me.  You deserve precious, sacred moments to commune with and develop a relationship, a friendship with God and with the healing love of the Reiki energy.

Creating Focus

Usui Sensei taught his students the first pillar of Reiki, the Gassho meditation.  Gassho means “two hands coming together”.  Dr. Usui taught his students to place their hands in the Gassho position every morning and evening.  Gassho teaches the art of quieting the mind and creating single pointed focus in meditation. One basically places their hands in prayer position, closes their eyes, and brings all their awareness to the tip of the fire (middle) finger.  When the mind wanders, gently press the fire fingers together and refocus. This technique is detailed in “Reiki the Healing Touch”.

I begin my daily sessions with Gassho, and then I offer prayers for myself, for others and the planet.  Next I send distant Reiki to all who have requested it.

A 21-Day Reiki Meditation Program

I have used the following 21-day program to learn more about Reiki, develop the ability to focus, to empower my prayers, goals and visions; and to receive answers.

Days 1-7 – Begin by creating an intention or a question. Draw the Usui power symbol in front of your body and with your hands, move the energy into your solar plexus.  Breathe deeply, imagining that you are breathing in the essence of the symbol.  As you exhale allow the energy to permeate every cell of your body, and expand out into your emotional body, your mental body, all the way into your spiritual body.  State your intention or ask your question. Sit quietly with this energy for 5-15 minutes.  If your mind wanders, simply invoke the name of the power symbol three times and visualize it.  When you finish, acknowledge that you are holding the full light of the Reiki energy and it will be with you through your day. Write notes about your experience in a journal. Include any thoughts, words, images or feelings that came to you. Do this even if there seems to be no logic to it.  Often Reiki and the Divine speak to us in symbols, or with pieces of a puzzle that will come together later by reflecting back on your journal.

Days 8-14 – Begin by creating an intention or a question. Draw the Usui mental and emotional symbol in front of your body and with your hands, move the energy into your heart.  Breathe deeply, imagining that you are breathing in the essence of the symbol.  As you exhale allow the energy to permeate every cell of your body, and expand out into your emotional body, your mental body, all the way into your spiritual body.  Imagine any unhealthy mental or emotional patterns being rewoven into healthy thought, feeling and response patterns. State your intention or ask your question. Sit quietly with this energy for 5-15 minutes.  If your mind wanders, simply invoke the name of the mental emotional symbol three times and visualize it.  When you finish, acknowledge that you are holding the full love of the Reiki energy and it will be with you through your day. Write notes about your experience in a journal.

Days 15-21 – Begin by creating an intention or a question.Draw the Usui distant healing symbol in front of your body and with your hands, move the energy into your entire body beginning by moving the energy from the crown and down through your feet.  Breathe deeply, imagining that you are breathing in the essence of the symbol.  As you exhale allow the energy to permeate every cell of your body, and expand out into your energy field.State your intention or ask your question.

Take a moment to imagine or visualize the symbol taking the form of a bridge of light.  This bridge reaches through time and through space.  Allow the bridge of light to carry Reiki energy back in time as it permeates all levels of your consciousness and the multiple dimensions of your being.

Next allow the energy to flow forward in time creating harmonious energy in your future.  Now bring the energy into the present moment.  Sit quietly with this energy for 5-15 minutes.  If your mind wanders, simply invoke the name of the distant symbol three times and visualize it.  When you finish, acknowledge that you are holding the timeless healing power of the Reiki energy and it will be with you through your day. Write notes about your experience in a journal.

This 21 day program is designed for those who are attuned to level two Reiki.  Level I practitioners could modify it using level I energy instead of the symbols. It is possible to also extend the program for another 21 days by replacing the symbols with the three Reiki Master symbols, or with the Karuna symbols of your choice.

I hope you find these suggestions helpful, and that you are willing to explore the importance of creating special time to deepen your relationship with the Divine and the love of the Reiki energy.

In the Light of the Creator . . .
We See Only Love

Laurelle is Editor of “Reiki News”, and Director of the Teacher Licensing Program for the ICRT and author of “The Book On Karuna Reiki”. Contact Laurelle by email or visit her website at


Reiki and the Shadow Self

Reiki and the Shadow Self

by William Lee Rand

We create our own reality. This phrase is frequently repeated in the healing community, and many accept it as true.  And it is easy for us to accept that when we make plans and carry them out, that we are creating our own reality.  Or when positive things happen, it can be a boost to our self-esteem to accept credit for causing them, even when they seem like nothing more than good fortune.

But when calamity strikes, how many of us take credit for our misfortune. Frequently, when something negative happens to us, resentment, anger and fear begin to take over making it difficult to avoid blaming others or to blame circumstances that are seemingly beyond our control. By following this path, we sometimes gain sympathy from others, and validate our feelings of self-pity, which is a reward of sorts. And when confronted with the possibility that we have created our problems, our response is to state that we would never choose to create something so negative for ourselves.  In this way, people often try to rationalize the idea that there must be some exceptions to the concept that we create our own reality, but as many have found, this is simply a way of giving up our power and remaining stuck in the illusion of helplessness.

It is possible to take personal responsibility for our unwanted experiences in such a way that we take back the power to create our lives in a healthier and more fulfilling way. The mystery of personal responsibility for all our experience begins to clear up when we begin to understand that who we are is much more than what happens in our conscious mind.  We have a deeper side to our identity that most know very little about and for the most part are completely unaware.  This deeper side is often called the unconscious mind. Many psychological processes take place within the unconscious that have a powerful effect on our lives. By gaining a better understanding of it, we will be better able to deal with our experiences of powerlessness and transform them into a life of greater freedom and accomplishment and in so doing, become the person we are meant to be.

As stated above, it is not just the conscious mind that is creating our reality, but our unconscious mind as well. The unconscious mind has a powerful influence on our decisions, our communication with others and especially on our body language. It also expresses directly through our energy field and by working in combination with the previously mentioned influences has a major effect on our total life experience. The unconscious mind can have both healthy and unhealthy aspects and it is the unhealthy aspects that are often called the Shadow Self. By working through the power of the unconscious mind, the Shadow Self is responsible for creating our unwanted experiences. Therefore, the only meaningful way to prevent unwanted experiences from taking place is by getting to know the Shadow Self and then to help it heal.

One important insight is that the Shadow Self is actually created by the way we deal with our unwanted feelings and thoughts.

In our society and especially when we are growing up, if we express feelings such as anger or jealousy, or other socially unacceptable behavior, we are often told by our parents to “stop it” or “don’t do that” which is a message to take our feelings and shove them inside.  At first we may not do this well, but with repeated commands from our parents each time we experience these feelings, soon we develop skill at shoving our unwanted feelings inside.  Eventually, we learn to do this automatically and the process becomes unconscious. We don’t even know we are doing it.

These unwanted feelings don’t simply go away, but accumulate in the unconscious mind, still very much alive and often even more angry and resentful for having been rejected in such an uncaring way.  These Shadow Self feelings take on an identity of their own, retain a great deal of energy and are intent on expressing themselves.  Because the Shadow Self is in the unconscious mind, we are unaware of it and the influence it is having on our lives. It is through this process that the Shadow Self is empowered and motivated to create difficulties in our lives.

So, if we want to get to know our Shadow Self, all we need to do is look at the condition of our life.  Unwanted experiences are actually a reflection of our own Shadow Self.  This means that if there is someone in your personal life that you have strong negative feelings about and wish would go away, it is your Shadow Self that has attracted them to you and caused you to feel the way you do toward them.  And in fact, it is likely that the characteristics of this unwanted person that you dislike the most are characteristics of your Shadow Self. In other words, you have these same or similar traits within you. This is sometimes a difficult thing to accept at first, but if you can, it becomes possible to stop yourself from directing your negative feelings toward the outer person, and turn your attention inwardly to consider your inner state and search for any aspects within that may have the same feelings or characteristics you dislike so much in the other person.  This about face in your behavior requires humility, but the effort is worth it.  It is a step in the direction of healing and of changing not just your inner world, but your outer world as well.

Once you begin to do this, a process of inner discovery and healing becomes possible.  The Shadow Self exists because, rather than heal the feelings that have created it, for one reason or another, you chose to ignore and deny them. If you are to heal, it is necessary to reverse the process by paying attention to the Shadow Self and accept it as part of yourself. When you begin to do this, only then is it possible to heal.  Once the Shadow Self begins to be accepted and the healing process begins, you will find it much easier to accept the outer person as well, making it easier to find solutions and resolve issues. Or it may result in the person going away with little direct contact needed, or in you simply not being affected by them as you have in the past.

Reiki can be used to help this process.  As an example, if there is someone in your life that is causing you grief, and you would like to use this experience to get to know your Shadow Self better and to heal, meditate on the feelings you have toward the person. Then ask yourself, “Is there a part within myself that is similar to this person?”  As you do this, locate where in your body or energy field these feelings and/or the part resides. Direct Reiki energy there with your hands. Use the mental/emotional symbol along with the power symbol or the master or other Reiki symbols you feel would be helpful if you have them. As you do this, speak to the Reiki energy with your mind and ask it to show you the part of yourself that has attracted this experience into your life. This can bring up hidden aspects of yourself that you have been unaware of, but need attention. When you begin to feel the part, let it know that you are sorry for ignoring it for such a long time. Tell it you would like to get to know it better and to help it heal. This process may feel uncomfortable at first, but continue sending Reiki and it will help you work with your emerging Shadow Self. Allow yourself to have compassion toward the part(s) that come into your awareness.  Continue to send Reiki and also, if you are open to it, say a prayer and ask for help from the Higher Power using whatever name feels comfortable to you. Continue sending Reiki, feeling compassion and looking into this part of yourself with the intent of understanding it and helping it to let go and heal. As you do this continue to thank the Reiki energy and/or the Higher Power for its help.  You may also include an affirmation such as, “I release all negative feelings into the Reiki energy to heal now” or similar words or other affirmations you feel are right. Continue to do this until the session feels complete for now and end the session with the intension that the healing will continue as long as is needed. Repeated sessions may be necessary until you have let go of all the negative feelings and you feel at peace.

As you use this technique or variations of it, hidden parts of your personality that had been intent on creating problems for you will become allies that you can consciously direct to achieve goals and create a healthier more satisfying life. This is because the Shadow Self has what can be called a Radiant Self counterpart that becomes available when the Shadow Self begins to heal. The Radiant Self has the same abilities as the Shadow Self, but uses them to create benefits for you and to attract positive situations and experiences.

I invite you to think about these ideas and to apply them using your Reiki energy.  I am sure you will find it to be an exciting, empowering experience that will bring benefit to your life as well as the lives of those around you. 

William Lee Rand is the founder and president of The International Center for Reiki Training, author of Reiki, The Healing TouchReiki for a New Millennium, and with Arjava Petter and Walter Lübeck, The Spirit of Reiki, editor in chief of The Reiki News Magazine, and developer ofKaruna Reiki®. He has taught Reiki classes internationally for the past 12 years.


Personal Healing Program

by William Lee Rand

Each of us comes into this existence with a unique set of personal qualities that include aptitudes that can develop into skills and abilities. Also there are often challenging situations that affect us. Like the rudder on a boat, our choices determine what direction we take in life and what possibilities we explore and develop. When we are confronted with difficulties, as well as opportunities, it is how we deal with them that determines how they affect us. So it is important that we use our ability to choose wisely. A life well lived is a life of growth, a life of healing and development.

As we look back on our lives, it is easy to see turning points where we made a choice that had a powerful effect on where our life went and who we became. By thinking about our past choices and where they have taken us, it is possible to learn from our experiences and improve our ability to choose. Life is filled with many possibilities, and it is important to realize that sometimes it is the more difficult decision that brings us the greatest benefit.

If you are ill in any way or if you are experiencing any part of your life that is less than what you would like, know that it is possible to change, to heal, and to create the kind of life you want. If you want something you don’t have, then the most important thing you need to do is to choose this for yourself. Then take action.

The universe is always in a state of balance. A problem, difficulty or challenging situation cannot exist unless its solution exists at the same time. If you want to solve a problem, the first thing you must do is to decide that you are going to find the solution.

Here is a law of the mind, a law of life that is very important to understand. Definiteness of purpose, sustained over time always produces results. Think about that! It always produces results! This is the most important concept you can focus on in terms of personal healing and accomplishment. If you want to heal, you need to form this into a definite purpose and pursue it with a passion and stay with it until you are healed.

The mind is like a magnet. It attracts what it thinks about most, the stronger the thoughts the stronger the attraction. If you want to heal yourself, or develop any positive quality, it is very important for you to make a clear decision that this is what you are going to do. As you hold this thought in your mind with the definite belief, and knowingness that you will achieve your result, you will attract to yourself all the resources and people you need to create the results you want.

We each have special talents, qualities and gems of value that we may not be fully expressing or perhaps not expressing at all. We were born on this planet to fulfill a purpose and that purpose is to discover our truth, who we are, what makes us unique, take possession of this precious part of ourselves and express it to the world.

Regardless of the life situation you find yourself in, it is possible for you to heal or to improve yourself and your life in a most definite way.

Reiki is a powerful tool for healing and personal growth. Its energy comes from the highest spiritual source and because of this, it will always create the best results for all concerned. It can be used to heal the body, the mind or the spirit; and can also guide us through life. It can help us develop latent talents and improve the quality of everything we do. So, if healing and personal development is what you want to accomplish, if you have not already done so, take a Reiki class.

Self-Healing Program
In developing your personal Reiki self healing program it is important to take the time to try different techniques. As you do so, be aware of the results and if the technique seems to be moving you toward your goal. If it is, continue with it, if it is not, try something else. In this way, you will develop a personal system of healing that is exactly right for you. This will greatly improve your results. There are many ways to use Reiki and I would like to present a few ideas and techniques that are powerful and effective.

Use of self-treatments is an important part of any Reiki healing/self improvement program. Set aside 15 to 30 minutes each day to give yourself a Reiki treatment. This can be a complete treatment using all the hand positions or you could use Byosen scanning and treat only those areas you are guided to. While giving yourself Reiki, your vibration will go up and as this happens I suggest you allow yourself to contemplate the various activities taking place in your life. As you do this, it is likely that you will find healthy new attitudes developing about issues in your life, as well as receive creative ideas on how to deal with them. In order to keep track of this, I suggest you get a notebook to write these ideas in and then use them in your action plans.

Personal Healing Alliance
Receiving treatments from others is also important and in fact, this is probably the most important thing you can do to keep your Reiki energy strong. I suggest you go one step further and develop a personal healing alliance. To do this, find someone you can trust who also has a health or life issue they want to heal. Meet at least once a week to exchange Reiki sessions and share what has happened since your last meeting. Form an agreement between yourselves that you will support each other completely in finding solutions to your issues and becoming completely healed. Be willing to share everything and keep what you share in your meetings strictly confidential. Use all the creativity and inspiration that comes up to solve your issues or achieve your goals. During the week set aside time to send distant Reiki to each other. You can also call each other on the phone if something comes up. These meetings must be taken seriously and it is important to focus on the steps listed above and not allow them to slip into just a social event. This is a very powerful process and will bring deep and very meaningful levels of healing.

Reiki Affirmations and Prayers
Reiki can be used in a powerful way to enhance affirmations and prayers. Place your healing goal or desired accomplishment on a 3×5 card. Using energy, draw Reiki symbols over the card. I recommend using all three Reiki II symbols and any others you may have. Then hold the card between your hands and give the card Reiki. As you do so, repeat your affirmation and/or say a prayer giving thanks that your goal has been achieved or that your healing has taken place. Say your affirmation and/or prayer over and over. Do this with conviction at least once a day. You can also carry the card with you and repeat this process whenever you have a spare moment during the day.

Going Aganist the Issue
A process that will accelerate healing is to go against the issue and use Reiki to heal the feelings and energies that come up. If you have a fear of doing something, go ahead and do it anyway – go against the fear. This process restimulates dormant psychological feelings causing them to come to the surface where you can more easily use your Reiki to heal or release them. It takes courage, but it is very powerful. Have a Reiki friend work with you to help if possible. As an example, if you have a fear of public speaking, go ahead and arrange to give a speech. Before the speech give yourself Reiki, and focus on any feelings that are coming up. After and even during the speech, give yourself Reiki focusing on the feelings. Or, if you have a fear of meeting people, decide to attend a party and deliberately introduce yourself to people at the party. Give yourself Reiki before, after and during the party if possible. If it is too scary to physically do it, then just imagine doing it in your mind and direct Reiki to the feelings as they come up. After treating the issue in this way, at some point you will be able to do it for real. When using this process, it is important to use common sense and not engage in any activities that could be dangerous.

Raising Your Vibration
Anything that will raise your vibration will help you heal more quickly. Doing things such as improving your nutrition, developing an exercise program, meditation, getting adequate rest and sleep, massage, yoga exercises or stretching, Tai Chi, social activities and other forms of entertainment will act to raise your vibration. As your vibration goes up, it will be easier for you to gain insight into your situation and create more effective solutions. It will also cause all other forms of healing to work better.

Use of Other Modalities
Remember that Reiki works in a very positive way with all other forms of healing. So, with your clear intention, and the use of Reiki energy you may be guided to other healing resources. Be on the lookout for these additional healing methods. Methods such as other techniques, changes in diet, the use of herbs, and homeopathic remedies, etc. These could greatly improve your healing process.

Medical and Psychological Care
There are many excellent medical doctors and psychologists who are open to alternative healing. If you have a medical or psychological condition, it is important that you get their advice and follow it if you feel guided to do so. If you have a serious condition and surgery or drugs are recommended, it is important to get a second opinion before deciding what to do. Remember, Reiki works in harmony with medicine and psychology and there may be some important and even necessary therapies they can offer. It is important to consider them when developing your healing program.

These are a few ways to use Reiki to create your personal healing program. Your inner guidance and your clear intention will cause you to discover others not mentioned here. Being fully engaged in this process is necessary if you are to derive the greatest benefit. To quote Helen Keller, “Life is an exciting adventure, or nothing at all.” You are the one who decides which way it will be for you. The challenges we face in life contain the lessons we are here to learn. Do not withdraw from them, nor attempt to solve them half heartedly, but instead, fully embrace them. Accomplishment of a worthy personal goal brings with it more than just the results you were looking for. It also brings the certain knowledge that we can change and create the kind of life we want. In the end, when we examine our lives, it is not so much what we know in our heads that is important, nor even what we do, but what we become.

William Lee Rand is the founder and president of The International Center for Reiki Training, author of Reiki, The Healing TouchReiki for a New Millennium, and with Arjava Petter and Walter Lübeck, The Spirit of Reiki, editor in chief of The Reiki News Magazinefounder of Center for Reiki Research and developer of Karuna Reiki®. He has taught Reiki classes internationally for the past 21 years.