|Holistic Healing and Alternative Medicine for Your Total Health
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IN THIS ISSUE:
1) REIKI AND KARMA
2) THE EFFECTS OF NEGATIVE THOUGHTS AND EMOTIONS ON YOUR BODY
3) 5 SIMPLE WAYS TO DETOX YOUR BODY
4) GIFT IDEAS IN THE REIKI STORE: CRYSTALS, BOOKS, JEWELRY...
“Natural Forces Within Us Are The True Healers” ~ Hippocrates
1) REIKI AND KARMA
by Frans Stiene
In many Asian teachings, including Buddhism, karma is an important concept. Since Usui Mikao, the founder of the system of Reiki, was a Japanese Buddhist practitioner, we wondered: Is the concept of karma contained within the teachings of the system of Reiki?
What is Karma?
The Sanskrit word karma (or go, in Japanese) literally means action
or conditioned activity. However, Buddhism takes this literal interpretation and extends it so that karma is the action, the intention or motivation behind each action, and the ‘fruit’ or outcome of the action. In other words, every action — whether physical, verbal, or mental — results in a specific result or outcome. And the intention behind the action shapes the outcome.
Within Buddhism, this means that each action— which includes the intention behind the action and the actual outcome — leaves behind a karmic trace. It is believed that by performing a virtuous action you create a virtuous karmic trace, and by performing a non-virtuous action you create a non-virtuous karmic trace.
From this understanding we can see that inner happiness arises from virtuous actions, and inner unhappiness and general suffering arise from non-virtuous actions. In Japanese this is called go o mukuu; 'to reap the reward or retribution of one's acts.'
The action arising from hatred, greed or ignorance is non virtuous
The action arising from non-hatred, non-greed or non-ignorance is virtuous
The concept of karma is a powerful perspective, one that enjoins us to observe every action that we engage in, and to act virtuously in order to experience a happy life. To ensure our success in this endeavour, we must first clearly define the characteristics of virtuous and non-virtuous actions. We do this by calling on our inner wisdom. Wisdom brings us a deep understanding of the workings of the mind, and it is through our mind and its intentions that actions take shape.
For example, we might perform the virtuous act of donating money to a worthy cause, while our underlying intention or motivation might be solely to receive praise. The virtuous act flips over into a non-virtuous one, as the underlying intention stems from egotism
The First Step
By working with practices such as Yoga, Buddhism, or the system of Reiki, we purify our karmic traces. In Japanese this is called go o tenzu; 'to change the course of one's karma or improve it'.
The first step to self-healing within the system of Reiki always begins with the foundation practice, the Reiki precepts:
For Today Only:
Do not Anger
Do not worry
Be Honest in your Work
Be Compassionate to Yourself and Others
These precepts describe actions to be undertaken, guiding you in ways to create a peaceful mind without anger and worry. By observing each action that we undertake we become more compassionate to ourselves and also to others. The precepts are instructing us to transform our intentions and purify our karmic traces, thus creating a better life for ourselves and others.
Changing Our Behaviour
As we've seen so often within the system of Reiki, the precepts lay the foundation and the other elements (mantras/symbols, hands-on healing, meditations, and attunements) integrate with the principles of these precepts. These other elements are the tools that help us put into action what the precepts ask us to do. Addressing karma alone, we can move from the precepts straight to the second Reiki mantra SHK*, which is taught in Okuden Reiki Level II.
Traditionally in Japan this mantra was practiced for spiritual development, with the literal translation of SHK; being disposition, inclination, and idiosyncrasy. What do these understandings of SHK have to do with spirituality? Perhaps our discussion on karma can help clarify the answer to this question.
Idiosyncrasies are those habits or characteristics that are peculiar to an individual, while one's disposition is the natural or prevailing
aspect of one's mind as shown in behavioural patterns.
As far as karma is concerned, each action leaves in its wake a karmic trace that is conditioning us in a unique way, a way that we must then live with. These traces are our weird idiosyncrasies and unusual dispositions. We need to find ways to break free from this conditioning, since breaking free opens us to the potential of realizing our inner happiness.
The system of Reiki hands us the key to purifying our habits, changing our prevailing behaviour, and breaking free from our conditioned actions by releasing our anger, worry, fear, attachments etc. The key to achieving this through the system of Reiki is the repeated chanting of the mantra SHK.
When we perform an action, even a virtuous one, and we attach ourselves to a certain outcome, whether it is "positive" or "negative", we create another karmic trace.
For example, when we perform
a Reiki treatment on a client and attach ourselves to the outcome that the client should feel better afterwards, we have created a karmic trace. Who is to say that the client will improve? It is the client's healing journey, not our own.
The purpose of our practice is to cut off the karmic spinning mind. If you are trying to attain enlightenment, that is a part of karma, you are creating and being driven by karma, and you are wasting your time on the black cushion. According to Bodhidarma’s understanding, practice based on any gaining idea is just a repetition of your karma.
At the International House of Reiki, as a student moves through the levels of the system of Reiki, there is a natural progression of spiritual understanding. This deepening of spiritual understanding lies within the teachings. It is through the teachings that we help bring this spiritual understanding to the fore. For example,
by the time a student engages in Shinpiden Reiki Level III practice, he or she has worked with the precepts, first three symbols/mantras, and other elements of the system of Reiki. Through this work, the student has been able to deal with a range of behavioural, emotional, and other issues. The student is now ready to begin work with the Level III symbol/mantra DKM*which means the Great Bright Light — the light of enlightenment.
Within the Great Bright Light there is pure wisdom, compassion, and no attachments whatsoever. This step into the Great Bright Light diminishes the need for talk about karma, whether virtuous or non-virtuous, as the discovery of wisdom, compassion, and non-attachment within us no longer creates new karmic traces from our actions.
This Great Bright Light is also called non-duality, in which there is no longer the label of ‘me’ and ‘you'. Without a ‘me’ and ‘you’ there is no one to have any attachments and nothing to
attach to. You become like a bird in the sky, flying wherever you may please, yet leaving no trace at all.
According to the traditional Buddhist understanding, our human nature is without ego. When we have no idea of ego, we have Buddha’s view of life. Our egoistic ideas are delusion, covering our Buddha Nature. We are always creating and following them, and in repeating this process over and over again, our life becomes completely occupied by ego-centered ideas. This is called karmic life, or karma.
So, no matter if your are practicing the system of Reiki for yourself, or to perform treatments, or to teach, observe your current actions. Are you leaving virtuous or non virtuous tracks along this spiritual path called life? Although this awareness may just be a first step, it IS a step toward spiritual growth. Take it.
"Wherever you are is always the right place. There is never a need to fix anything, to hitch up the bootstraps of the soul and start at some higher place. Start right where you are."
-- Julia Cameron
2) THE EFFECTS OF NEGATIVE THOUGHTS AND EMOTIONS ON YOUR BODY
Humans experience an array of emotions, anything from happiness, to sadness to extreme joy and depression. Each one of these emotions creates a different feeling within the body. After all, our body releases different chemicals when we experience various things that make us happy and each chemical works to create a different environment within the body. For example if your brain releases serotonin, dopamine or oxytocin, you will feel good and happy. Conversely, if your body releases cortisol while you are
stressed, you will have an entirely different feeling associated more with the body kicking into survival mode.
What about when we are thinking negative thoughts all the time? Or how about when we are thinking positive thoughts? What about when we are not emotionally charged to neither positive nor negative? Let’s explore how these affect our body and life.
Positive vs. Negative
Is there duality in our world? Sure, you could say there is to a degree, but mostly we spend a lot of time defining and judging what is to be considered as positive and what we consider to be as negative. The brain is a very powerful tool and as we define what something is or should be, we begin to have that result play out in our world. Have you ever noticed, for example that someone driving can get cut off and lose their lid, get angry and suddenly they are feeling negative, down and in bad mood? Whereas someone else can get cut off while
driving and simply apply the brake slightly and move on with their day as if nothing happened. In this case, the same experience yet one sees it as negative while the other doesn’t. So are things innately positive and negative? Or do we define things as positive and negative?
Cut The Perceptions As Much As Possible
After thinking about it for a moment you might realize that there are in fact no positive or negative experiences other than what we define as such. Therefore our very perception of an experience or situation has the ultimate power as to how we will feel when it’s happening and how our bodies will be affected. While we can always work to move beyond our definitions of each experience and move into a state of mind/awareness/consciousness where we simply accept each experience for what it is and use it as a learning grounds for us, we may not be there yet and so it’s important to understand how certain emotions can affect our
“If someone wishes for good health, one must first ask oneself if he is ready to do away with the reasons for his illness. Only then is it possible to help him.” ~ Hippocrates
Mind Body Connection
The connection between your mind and body is very powerful and although it cannot be visually seen, the effects your mind can have on your physical body are profound. We can have an overall positive mental attitude and deal directly with our internal challenges and in turn create a healthy lifestyle or we can be in negative, have self destructive thoughts and not deal with our internal issues, possibly even cloak those issues with affirmations and positivity without finding the route and in turn we can create an unhealthy lifestyle. Why is this?
Our emotions and experiences are essentially energy and they can be stored in the cellular memory of our bodies. Have you ever experienced something
in your life that left an emotional mark or pain in a certain area of your body? Almost as if you can still feel something that may have happened to you? It is likely because in that area of your body you still hold energy released from that experience that is remaining in that area. I came across an interesting chart that explores some possible areas that various emotions might affect the body.
When you have a pain, tightness or injuries in certain areas, it’s often related to something emotionally you are feeling within yourself. At first glance it may not seem this way because we are usually very out of touch with ourselves and our emotions in this fast paced world, but it’s often the truth. When I’ve had chronic pains in my back, knees, neck or shoulders, it wasn’t exercise, physio or anything in a physical sense that healed it, it was when I dealt with the emotions behind it. I know this because I spent the time and money going to physio and even though
I wanted and believed I would get better, something wasn’t being addressed still. The more I addressed the unconscious thought pattern and emotions throughout my body, the more things loosened up and pain went away.
When you get sick or are feeling a lot of tightness and pain, often times our body is asking us to observe yourself and find peace once again within yourself and your environment. It’s all a learning and growing process we don’t have to judge nor fear.
You Have The Power
Davis Suzuki wrote in ‘The Sacred Balance’, ‘condensed molecules from breath exhaled from verbal expressions of anger, hatred, and jealousy, contain toxins. Accumulated over 1 hr, these toxins are enough to kill 80 guinea pigs!’ Can you now imagine the harm you are doing to your body when you stay within negative emotions or unprocessed emotional experience throughout the body?
Remember, you have all the power in you to get
through anything life throws at you. Instead of labeling with perception the concepts of negative and positive as it relates to each experience you have in your life, try to see things from a big picture standpoint. Ask yourself, how can this help me to see or learn something? Can I use this to shift my perception? Clear some emotion within myself? Realize something within another and accept it? Whatever it may be, instead of simply reacting, slow things down and observe. You will find you have the tools to process emotions and illness quickly when you see them for what they are and explore why they came up. If you believe you will get sick all the time, and believe you have pain because it’s all out of your control, you will continue to have it all in an uncontrollable manner until you realize the control you have over much of what we attract within the body.
3) 5 SIMPLE WAYS TO DETOX YOUR
by Cathy Wong, ND
If you like the idea of cleansing your digestive system, but don’t want to do it with extreme diets, laxatives, herbal teas, or colonics, there are many foods and lifestyle practices that can help improve digestion and relieve bloating, gas, and constipation. Here are five easy ways to “cleanse” your system:
1) Increase your daily fruit and vegetable intake
Strive to eat three or more servings of vegetables and two or more servings of fresh fruit every day at a minimum but ideally a total of eight to ten servings a day.
If fresh produce isn’t available, frozen produce is the next best option.
Some examples include lettuce, broccoli, bell peppers, carrots, green beans, squash, lettuce, artichokes, kale, spinach, swiss chard, blueberries, grapes, oranges, and strawberries. People with certain digestive conditions may benefit from vegetables that are higher in
soluble (vs.insoluble) fiber such as carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, potatoes, beets, parsnips, rutabagas, and turnips.
2) Try probiotic-rich foods
Foods that are rich in beneficial live microorganisms, called probiotic bacteria, may help to enhance digestion, support the immune system, decrease inflammation, and improve the ratio of beneficial to potentially harmful bacteria in the gut. Two of the most common strains of probiotics are Lactobacillus acidophilus in the small intestine and Bifidobacterium bifidum in the large intestine. Although probiotics are available in supplement form, they can also be found in kefir and yogurt (including those made from coconut, rice, soy, and other non-dairy “milks”), kombucha, kvas, and fermented vegetables as sauerkraut and kim chi.
3) Try these fiber-rich whole grains
Instead of white rice, bagels, plain bread, and pasta, try eating gluten-free grains such
as brown rice, quinoa (not a true grain but an herb), steel-cut oats, millet, amaranth, buckwheat, and wild rice.
4) Drink more fluids
Water (along with soup, smoothies, and other fluids) is essential for optimal digestive function yet most of us don’t drink enough. It is especially important to drink enough fluids when increasing your fiber intake (from fruit, vegetables, grains and seeds). The color of your urine can be used as a guide. In general, pale yellow or straw-colored urine is an indication that you are getting enough fluids, but a lot depends on your diet, other health conditions, etc. Also, keep in mind that certain vitamins and foods can alter the color of urine (such as B vitamins and beets). Try herbal tea, green tea, lemon water, broth, and plain water.
5) Try flaxseeds
Flaxseeds are small seeds that can provide a wonderful combination of soluble and insoluble fiber and may help some
people with either constipation or loose stools. The seeds are hard when whole, so they should be ground in a coffee or spice grinder or blender before being added to food. The mild, nutty flavor works well sprinkled on oatmeal or salads, and they can also be added to muesli, granola, baked goods, or even smoothies.
Other foods to include
Beans and legumes: Split yellow and green peas and lentils are easy to digest and require less soaking time. Other beans include kidney beans, pinto beans, mung beans, garbanzo beans (chickpeas) and adzuki beans.
Nuts and seeds: Unsalted nuts, seeds, and nut butters such as pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, cashews and walnuts.
Omega-3 fatty acid-rich foods: Poached, broiled or steamed fish in moderation such as anchovies, herring, mackerel, sardines, and wild salmon
Oil: Extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil.
4)GIFT IDEAS IN THE REIKI STORE: CRYSTALS, BOOKS, JEWELRY...
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