Reiki

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Reiki

Postby kalden yungdrung » Sat Dec 31, 2011 4:13 pm

Tashi delek,

Is Reiki based on (Zen) Buddhism or would it be a new age invention?


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Re: Reiki

Postby Vasana » Wed Jan 07, 2015 1:53 pm

I've been researching this recently and it seems it does indeed have both Buddhist and probably pre-buddhist origins.
With special links to Medicine Buddha and a different symbolic script of the seed syllable Hrih linked with Amitahba and so also Chenrezig and the lotus family.

Will make a new topic on it soon with some original ideas including some dream-yoga-reiki combined ideas and experiments.
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Re: Reiki

Postby Meido » Wed Jan 07, 2015 3:41 pm

kalden yungdrung wrote:Is Reiki based on (Zen) Buddhism or would it be a new age invention?


Not based on Zen or any other Buddhism.

The founder's story strikes me as similar to that of many of the founders of the "new religions" in Japan during the late 19th/early 20th century.

This may be useful:

http://www.reiki.org/faq/historyofreiki.html

~ Meido
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Re: Reiki

Postby Vasana » Wed Jan 07, 2015 5:45 pm

Meido wrote:
kalden yungdrung wrote:Is Reiki based on (Zen) Buddhism or would it be a new age invention?


Not based on Zen or any other Buddhism.

The founder's story strikes me as similar to that of many of the founders of the "new religions" in Japan during the late 19th/early 20th century.

This may be useful:

http://www.reiki.org/faq/historyofreiki.html

~ Meido



Reiki is essentially a condensed form of Seed-syllable/Bīja , mantrayana/Vajrayana + Shingon practice.

Defintion of Seed syllable / Bija from visible mantra
"quintessence of mantra, and the ultimate condensation of the Dharma, containing infinite meaning in a single syllable"


Reiki may not be based on Zen-Buddhism but there is certainly an Indian-Japanese Buddhist link , and a symbolic link to the sanskrit scripts in particular.

The second 'symbol' used in reiki 'level 2' is an adaptation of the sanskrit siddham syllable Hrih

Image

Image
Sei Hei Ki symbol used within Reiki.

Image

Image Hrih in uchen script.

From my understanding, the SHK syllable in Reiki is a simplified form of the seed syllable /Bija Hrih and invokes the subtle /inner energetic qualities of the Buddha family associated with Hrih and channels it for the purpose of working with the inner channels and winds of the subtle body.

The later symbols used in reiki lvl 3 & 4 are more analogous to mantra-yana practices....uitilizing certain mantric syllables in the context of transmitting that subtle energy (ki , chi , prana , rLung ) to others for healing purposes, whether they are present or not.

Lots more found here. Realizing that reiki has Buddhist origins has deepened my appreciation for it, having been attuned (empowered via a direct lineage of practitioners) in the past before becoming as involved with the Dharma as i am now.

I hope that the 'new age types' involved with Reiki can realize it's 'Buddhist' roots and deepen their connection to the Dharma through it.

more in depth info found here >

the Big Book of Reiki Symbols:
Last edited by Vasana on Wed Jan 07, 2015 6:37 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Reiki

Postby Vasana » Wed Jan 07, 2015 6:18 pm

The reiki master 'syllable' is known as "dai kou myo", which is actually just a Japanese kanji script rendition condensed from part of another mantra , known as Shiken-haramitsu-daikoumyo

Shiken Haramitsu Daikoumyo is a sacred 'nine-syllable' Buddhist mantra in Japanese.

The kanji which represents this is: 四拳 波羅蜜 大光明

shi-ken: 四拳 = (shi|four)-(ken|heart/fist)
ha-ra-mitsu: 波羅蜜 = (nami/ha|wave)-(ra|gauze)-(mitsu|nectar)
dai-kou-myo: 大光明 = (dai|big/great)-(hikari/kou|light)-(akarui/mei/myo|bright)

shiken represents four perspectives:

The Merciful Heart: expresses love for everything.
The Sincere Heart: follows what is right.
The Attuned Heart: follows the natural order of things.
The Dedicated Heart: holds to the chosen pursuit.


The word haramitsu is in reference to the Six paramitas found within the perfection of wisdom / Prajanaparamita sutras of which can be condensed into the seed syllable A /Ah which is also a central Bija in Dzogchen.

大光明 daikoumyo means great koumyo.and 光明 koumyo means the 'bright light' of illumination - the light of your heart - the Radiance of a Deity. The manifest expression of the Light of Wisdom: the means by which illumination "dawns on us.". A brilliant, enlightened aura.


So we could potentially say there is an Indirect link with Zen/Ch'an and the Mahayana schools and sub-divisions that study and practice any of sutras from the Prajnaparamita/Perfection-of-wisdom cannon, because all Buddhas/sentient beings rely upon and are born through the perfection of wisdom, Prajnaparamita.


The Perfection of Wisdom in One Letter' sutra says ;

'

Homage to the Perfection of Wisdom!

Thus have I heard. At one time the Lord dwelt at Rājagriha, on Vulture Peak, together with a large congregation of monks, and with many hundreds of thousands of niyutas of kotis of Bodhisattvas. At that time the Lord addressed the Venerable Ananda, and said: “Ananda, do receive, for the sake of the wellbeing and happiness of all beings, this perfection of wisdom in the letter A.”

Thus spoke the Lord. The Venerable Ananda, the large congregation of monks, the assembly of the Bodhisattvas, and the whole world with its gods, men, asuras and gandharvas rejoiced at the teaching of the Lord.


Image
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Re: Reiki

Postby Meido » Wed Jan 07, 2015 8:34 pm

I did not say there was no Buddhist influence in Reiki. Just that it is not based on Buddhism. Note that I am not expressing judgement on Reiki's value here.

The founder Usui reportedly studied a number of things, according to the inscription on the monument erected by his successor, including "the wide range from history, biography, medical science, canons of Christianity and Buddhism and psychology up to magic of fairyland, art of curse, science of divination and physiognomy." He belonged to a group devoted to studying psychic powers. His visionary experience is said to have occurred while performing ascetic practices on Mt. Kurama, thus adding a hint of Shugendo influence. I have read in various places that he was a Christian, a Zen master (he was not), a Tendai monk, a Shingon practitioner, a Shugenja, a psychic in tune with the spirit world, etc.

So I think it best to consider Reiki a modern, eclectic tradition - again, similar to many of the new religions in Japan which often draw from various layers of Japanese spirituality and folk belief, such as Mahikari (which shares some similar practices with Reiki) and Omoto. Reiki does not consider itself a religion like these, of course.

One interesting bit in the bio link: it is said that after unsuccessfully practicing under a Zen teacher for several years, Usui was told that he must "die completely". This is a common term ("die the great death", "die once and return to life", etc.) used in Zen meaning to experience a deep awakening. Reportedly, Usui took it literally and thought he had to really die, which led to his fasting and vision on Mt. Kurama from which the inspiration for his Reiki came.

So an unfortunate misunderstanding from his Zen teacher's perspective, I would guess...but very good for Reiki folks that what started as an attempted suicide turned out so well!

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Re: Reiki

Postby Vasana » Wed Jan 07, 2015 9:01 pm

Meido wrote:I did not say there was no Buddhist influence in Reiki. Just that it is not based on Buddhism. Note that I am not expressing judgement on Reiki's value here.



It may not be based on Buddhist sutra but it's certainly compatible with the Buddhist inner-yoga-tantras.

If a person's practice includes excercises and visualizations related to the subtle body, channels and winds, samadhis and even Zazen , then i think Reiki is a very useful and applicable tool when familiarized with what it actually is and how it can effectively be used to help stabilize the mind and body before and during meditation sessions . (In the context of the SHK / Hrih symbol.)

A system that partially evolved from seed-syllables used primarily within a Buddhist context would have to be considered a practice that evolved from the seeds of a Buddhist mode of thought which ever way you look at it. Although it branched off into a non-sectarian approach that attracted other faiths, i see this more as a case of skillfull means or just good fortune, that so many non-Buddhists have become familiarized with a system that links them intrinsicly to the the dynamic aspect of enlightened energy and activity....whether people know it or not.

If anything, the roots of the Reiki systems are universal and different modes of healing and purification using this universal-energy have cropped up elsewhere across the Asian continent and probably in other places in the world too. The concept of Prana and rlung found within the yoga-tantras of both India and Tibet , the Qi in Qi-gong , the chi in Tai-Chi etc...
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Re: Reiki

Postby Meido » Wed Jan 07, 2015 10:26 pm

Vasana wrote:It may not be based on Buddhist sutra but it's certainly compatible with the Buddhist inner-yoga-tantras.


I can't comment on such a compatibility, since it's outside my area of study. My understanding is that inner/highest yoga tantra does not feature in Japanese esoteric transmissions, so I think it unlikely that anything Usui taught is based on these (unless a claim is made that he had exposure to Tibetan Buddhist teaching).

Vasana wrote:If a person's practice includes excercises and visualizations related to the subtle body, channels and winds, samadhis and even Zazen , then i think Reiki is a very useful and applicable tool when familiarized with what it actually is and how it can effectively be used to help stabilize the mind and body before and during meditation sessions . (In the context of the SHK / Hrih symbol.)


Certainly, I'd say any tool that usefully complements Buddhist practice is indeed wonderful.

Vasana wrote:If anything, the roots of the Reiki systems are universal and different modes of healing and purification using this universal-energy have cropped up elsewhere across the Asian continent and probably in other places in the world too. The concept of Prana and rlung found within the yoga-tantras of both India and Tibet , the Qi in Qi-gong , the chi in Tai-Chi etc...


That's fine, but again: the OP asked if Reiki is based on Buddhism. Universal commonalities or influences aside, my assertion is that it is not.

Which is fine: I do not say this is either a bad or good thing. Reiki presents itself as a healing modality, not a path of liberation in accord with Buddhadharma. I agree that if folks find it helpful, that's wonderful.

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Re: Reiki

Postby seeker242 » Thu Jan 08, 2015 12:17 am

I would say it's perhaps neither. Being a reiki practitioner and a zen practitioner, they're not really the same. Reiki is based on ki and the healing powers associated with this natural life force energy. Traditional chinese medicine has utilized ki healing for thousands of years, so I would not exactly call that a "new age invention". Although, the "system of Mikao Usui Reiki" is fairly new, the founder was only born in the late 1800s. Reiki is based on ki, not zen Buddhism, hence the name Rei-ki. They're certainly compatible and complementary. Mikao Usui is said to have practiced zen and zen meditation. Many of the principals of reiki are similar to Buddhist principals like kindness, compassion, etc. I think one could say that Reiki could be based on or classified as a type of Bompu zen or maybe Gedo zen, but not the zen of the patriarchs.

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Re: Reiki

Postby Vasana » Sat Feb 21, 2015 5:19 pm

Just found out that the tibetan translation for Dharmakaya is : chos-sKu , pronounced , ChoKu.

Coincidently, the first reiki symbol/mantra is known as Cho Ku Rei.
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Re: Reiki

Postby Meido » Sat Feb 21, 2015 7:06 pm

Certainly coincidence, since Dharmakaya in Japanese is Hosshin [法身].

Regarding Reiki's Cho Ku Rei:

http://www.aetw.org/reiki_symbolsP_links.htm

http://www.aetw.org/reiki_symbolsP.html

http://www.aetw.org/reiki_symbolsP_naohi.htm

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Re: Reiki

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Feb 21, 2015 8:55 pm

Seems people are desperately grasping at irrelevant details in order to satisfy their wish that Reiki is a Buddhist practice. Why? If it works just do it. Toothpaste is not a Buddhist invention, but it stops your teeth from rotting, so you use it anyway...
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Re: Reiki

Postby Redfaery » Sat Feb 21, 2015 10:23 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:...If it works just do it. Toothpaste is not a Buddhist invention, but it stops your teeth from rotting, so you use it anyway...


I'm going to put that on a sticker and hang it above my desk. :bow:
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Re: Reiki

Postby Vasana » Sun Feb 22, 2015 3:01 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:Seems people are desperately grasping at irrelevant details in order to satisfy their wish that Reiki is a Buddhist practice. Why? If it works just do it. Toothpaste is not a Buddhist invention, but it stops your teeth from rotting, so you use it anyway...


working with the subtle body doesn't belong to any one tradition or not. To dismiss it as irrelevant or not an offshoot of practices that work with tsalung is to misunderstand it. It's compatible.
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Re: Reiki

Postby Kaccāni » Sun Feb 22, 2015 3:17 pm

A dog turns around himself before lying down. A dancer turns around before jumping off in another direction. See how the two are practicing the same turnarounding? So Dogsleep and Humandance are completely compatible.

Do you practice dogsleep or humandance when somebody approaches you from behind and you turn around?
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Re: Reiki

Postby Vasana » Sun Feb 22, 2015 3:33 pm

"The long night
made longer
by a dog's barking"
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Re: Reiki

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Feb 22, 2015 5:19 pm

Vasana wrote:working with the subtle body doesn't belong to any one tradition or not. To dismiss it as irrelevant or not an offshoot of practices that work with tsalung is to misunderstand it. It's compatible.
And you obviously have enough experience, knowledge and insight into both Tibetan tsa lung practices and reiki systems in order to be able to judge them as compatible, and even identical, right? Or are you just another internet yogi that thinks they've got it all figured out?
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Re: Reiki

Postby Vasana » Sun Feb 22, 2015 5:52 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:
Vasana wrote:working with the subtle body doesn't belong to any one tradition or not. To dismiss it as irrelevant or not an offshoot of practices that work with tsalung is to misunderstand it. It's compatible.
And you obviously have enough experience, knowledge and insight into both Tibetan tsa lung practices and reiki systems in order to be able to judge them as compatible, and even identical, right? Or are you just another internet yogi that thinks they've got it all figured out?


Enough experience with prana,reiki, and rlung to know that they're all compatible practices and gradual experience using seed syllables in dream practice with positive results. I don't understand why the tone in your posts often sounds slightly cynical and pessimistic to a lot of people on this forum. It doesn't create a welcoming environment for what could be an interesting discussion. Maybe you've seen a lot of stuff and may carry a lot on those shoulders but you could try and be a bit more pleasant about it.

Cheer up :smile:
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Re: Reiki

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Feb 22, 2015 5:59 pm

Vasana wrote:Enough experience with prana,reiki, and rlung to know that they're all compatible practices and gradual experience using seed syllables in dream practice with positive results.
"Enough experience" in three systems that each require a lifetime of practice to realise/understand? Why do I find that highly unlikely (four systems actually, since you are now dragging dream yoga into the fray too)?
I don't understand why the tone in your posts often sounds slightly cynical and pessimistic to a lot of people on this forum.

In Greece we say: "Wherever you hear about lots of grapes, bring a small basket!" So you will excuse my cynicism, though I see my tone as one based on being realistic rather than cynical.

I am also not pessimistic. I stated clearly that there is no "harm" in practicing reiki, in it's own right. There is really no need to try legitimise it by tenuously wedding it to Buddhism. Completely unnecessary. Surgery works just fine without it being Buddhist. Toothpaste... Reiki... Blah-blah-blah...

If people spent more time "reading" what I am writing rather than "reading into", well...
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Re: Reiki

Postby Vasana » Sun Feb 22, 2015 6:15 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:
Vasana wrote:Enough experience with prana,reiki, and rlung to know that they're all compatible practices and gradual experience using seed syllables in dream practice with positive results.
"Enough experience" in three systems that each require a lifetime of practice to realise/understand? Why do I find that highly unlikely (four systems actually, since you are now dragging dream yoga into the fray too)?

In Greece we say: "Wherever you hear about lots of grapes, bring a small basket!"


my experience has been progressing gradually so i'm confident in saying i have 'enough experience' without being so deluded that i mistake my level of practice for being something higher than it actually is.

Dream yoga is completely compatible which is why i mentioned it considering karmic dreams are the result of karmic winds/rlung...I mentioned dream yoga and seed syllables because they enhance sensitivity of subtle body, mental+emotional clarity and can increase luminosity while invoking the essence of that syllable /Bija , while in the dream state.

I'm not here to engage in some kind of personal debate with you anyway because internet debates are a waste of energy most of the time.
I have nothing to prove to you anyway and simply just wanted to share some experiences and ideas with the hope of some varied discussion. :smile:
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