To change or not to change, that is the
by Chris Deefholts
referring to the material we have been taught and how we have been
taught, and this question comes up more often than realised, partly because
Reiki itself has undergone so much revision, often with quite unrelated
thinking and energy signatures grafted on without apparent logic and at
times, with commercial concerns uppermost.
So… should we
just go ahead and change things then? The first question we can ask
ourselves is: What is the motive, the intention behind that?
There is no
point in changing something that works just for the sake of it. It is
important not to change a structure without deep contemplation as there
are reasons for why things are taught in a particular way. Too may have
thrown out the baby with the bath water!
On the other hand, the fundamental experience does not change, and
realisation comes about in as many different ways as there are people.
So then, accessibility is also important. As students, we need to
understand what we are being taught, not just in our being, but in our
minds too. It needs to be fully integrated into our daily experience,
and not isolated in some oriental compartment of our mind.
For example, one of the traditions that Usui was essentially rooted in
was Buddhist. The Buddha did not teach in Japanese but Pali; his
teachings eventually migrated to China,
were retranslated, and then brought over to Japan, receiving more
refinement and interpretation. We are going to find this pattern in any
kind of living sacred teaching.
expression is the nature of the beast.
The teacher holds the energy, but out of compassion will usually reach
out to the student to some degree. Some people can learn completely in
the Silence, others struggle. I believe that is why the Reiki symbols
were given out in the later years to Hayashi Sensei and others - to help
bridge a gap.
So the question
that arises for me is: How may I best serve my students? What is their
context? Is my material relevant to them, will they find this a useful
form of scaffolding whilst the house is being built? The inner work does not change but the
outer form may - as evidenced in Usui-Sensei's adaptation of what he was
Usui's students were familiar with the meridian system as a point of
reference for energy work. So he used that. Most of my students are much
more familiar with the Indian nadi (chakra) system as a point of
reference and so I use that (whilst educating them about the meridian
system). Does that invalidate Reiki? I believe not. Indeed, Reiki has
energetic roots in Buddhism, and we must remember that even if Buddhists
have forgotten it, the Buddha was Indian and steeped in Indian
structures. As time has moved on some of the outer teaching has been
dropped or changed, become more obscured at times.
Reiki has evolved, and will doubtless continue to do so. It is our
collective responsibility to be faithful to the wisdom inherent in Reiki
and to honour that by practising and living it day by day – in that way
it will still be Reiki, whatever outer changes manifest.
These are, I feel, important considerations for anyone approaching a
teacher for training as well as those contemplating a teaching role.
With love and
respect, Chris Deefholts Back