Draw every Reiki symbol mindfully, accurately, and with clear intent. You can draw them mentally or physically. Always draw them without hurrying, bringing the full power of your focused attention.
Part of drawing the symbol accurately is making the strokes in the correct order. The stroke order is shown in the reference cards that you received as part of this course. The arrows show you where to start and in which direction to draw.
Every time you draw a symbol, say the accompanying mantra three times. You can do this aloud or silently, in your head.
Use the correct symbol
Instead of choosing the correct symbol for the task at hand, many practitioners use every symbol that they know. This may be out of fear that they will miss something, and so they use every symbol to ensure that every base is covered. It may also be out of a desire to manifest more healing power. The assumption is that the effect of each symbol adds up cumulatively: three symbols meaning three times the power. If you think about that for a moment, though, it can’t be right. If it were true, you could draw a hundred symbols and cure anything in just a second.
The problem with using every symbol, every time, is that you will not get to know the unique vibrations of each symbol. If you need to secure a screw, you don’t use a screwdriver and a hammer, hoping that the double combo will get that screw really secure. Trust in the power of each symbol as you would a good tool.
How to practice
To root and establish yourself in a symbol, to really harmonise with it, spend time in focused practice. You can try dedicating a few minutes every day to do this, especially when you are first getting to know a symbol. You may be surprised at how powerful this is, at the potential of the symbol to ignite transformation within you.
As you use these practices, be selective. If you focus on one symbol for a minute, then change to another symbol the next minute, you might not fully connect with either. To get the maximum benefit, I recommend choosing just one symbol for this deeper practice. Work with this symbol until you have become one with it. Know its resonance, and know how you feel when you harmonise with that resonance. The feeling of practicing with the universal symbol, for example, will be different from the feeling of practicing with the mental-emotional symbol.
Drawing a symbol with a pen or pencil
- Drawing a symbol on a piece of paper encourages you to draw it mindfully and carefully. It also allows you to compare it to the original. Do this periodically, more often as you are learning a symbol.
- The symbols are sacred, and should be treated with respect. When you have finished with a piece of paper on which you have drawn symbols, take time to dispose of it in a sacred way, by burning it safely.
Drawing a Symbol with your Palms1This practice is drawn from The Big Book of Reiki Symbols, Mark Hosak and Walter Lübeck (2006), Lotus Press, Shangri-La, pp. 62-70.
- Breath slowly and consciously into your hara. Do this a few times, collecting a pool of ki.
- Visualise the ki flowing from your hara, through your chest, shoulder and arm, and through the palm of your dominant hand. Picture the ki as golden light.
- With clear intention, using your palm, draw the symbol in the air. As you exhale, ki continually flows from your hara and out through your palm. The ki, visualised as golden light, leaves a thick golden trail. (You can pause at any moment to inhale. When you start to exhale again, continue drawing the symbol.)
Withdrawing the Symbol
You have invested energy and intention into the symbol. It can be pleasant to bring this energy back into the hara. (This is completely optional; there are no negative effects if you leave a symbol resonating in the room.)
- Using your non-dominant hand, draw the symbol. As you do this, inhale, and visualise its energy transferring into your hara. (You can pause at any moment to exhale. When you start to inhale again, continue drawing the symbol.)
- Place both hands in the shape of an X, with light pressure, on your hara.
- Focus on your hara.
Draw It Big2This practice is drawn from The Big Book of Reiki Symbols, op. cit.
Following the above procedure, draw the symbol very large in the air in front of you, perhaps about one metre tall. When you have done this, experience its energy. What do you feel when you:
- hold your hands in front of the symbol?
- hold your hands inside it?
- speak the mantra out loud three times?
- stand directly inside the symbol?
When you have finished, you can withdraw the energy back into your hara, as described above.
The power of chanting is incredible. It can bring your whole being into resonance with a symbol. If you’ve never tried it before, now is the time. When I first started chanting I was surprised by how powerful it was. Chanting the choku rei, for example, really helped ground me and connect me to the earth throughout the day.
There are many postures that you can take for chanting:
- kneeling in seiza, sitting cross-legged, or sitting on a chair
- while taking a shower
- while walking or driving.
There are also many ways you can use your voice:
- with your full voice, like Japanese Buddhists do in a temple
- quietly, like Benedictine monks, who chant “quietly enough [to] hear the voice of their brothers beside them”3How to Pray with Monks. Saint Leo Abbey (2013) www.saintleoabbeyoblates.info/howtopaywithbenedictinemonks.html
- as a whisper
- even silently, repeating the sounds in your head.