Reiki, universal energy. It, has and always will be there for us and through our different levels of attunement, we become stronger and better conduits for Reiki Energy to flow through us.
Reiki symbols are there for us at different stages of attunement to help us be that conduit and pass Reiki energy to people we are providing sessions for. If as we progress and practice more, we find the symbols are not required, do not worry. Reiki energy is intelligent and will work with us with or without symbols, it will focus on the recipient through our intention to help.
Being out in nature allows us to connect with the essential energy of growing plants, animals and all living things provide by Mother Earth, Gaia.
The core of what is provided are the five spiritual elements, Earth, Air, Water, Fire and Spirit or Space. These are elements are also those that Tibetan and Mongolian Shaman honor and respect.
Connecting with these elements requires a moment of preparation. Find a spot, among nature, which could be your back yard, a park, a hiking trail, a nature walk by a lake. It may even be a small patch of green in the city that you can retreat to at lunch time.
Clear your mind, your thoughts with a deep cleansing breath. Inhale slowly and fully without straining. Repeat as often as needed to help you relax and feel any thoughts, concerns, distractions fading away. As you relax, you will feel Reiki energy start to flow.
Now walk around in nature, being present to the experience of the elements
In the past I have gone to a bench close by a large lake, there are plentiful benches to sit and quietly retrospect. In the summer I will take of my sandals and sit with my bare feet on the ground. As I concentrate on the grounding effect of connecting to the earth element under my feet and the earth element within myself, it feels as if the soles of my feet are growing roots into the ground. I am deeply connecting to the earth. I feel the grounding effect move up my legs and give me stability. There have been times when perhaps I should not have taken of my shoes, it being too cold for sandals. Still, I put my bare feet on the ground but somehow, the it is not cold, or wet.
The bench is beside a very large lake. As I sit and watch, I see the turbulent water when the wind is strong, I hear the lake lapping at the shoreline and the rocks. I have been a scuba diver in that lake so I know that even when the surface is turbulent, deeper down the water is still and calm. Water is comforting, even when it is turbulent because it is fascinating to watch. It wraps itself around you and gives a feeling of being solid even when it is flowing all around you. On a calm day the surface is relaxing and comforting. As we lean back off the dive boat and fall in it moves around us and accepts us. Bring these qualities into ourselves. Being late for a meeting, being in an argument are not things to upset the element of water within us.
That same bench by the lake has allowed me to drink in the warm sunlight. The sunlight, especially early in the morning gifts a feeling of warmth and energy that soaks in through the skin. If my blood is not warm, it is after it has passed over my hands, arms, legs and face which are all turned towards the rising run. There is a sensation within my body that it is being supercharged. Nerves are firing and my heat starts to engage my sense of growth and maturity. I let my mind think about creative things, things I can use my talents and feelings to perfect and grow. There are things that need to be burned away. Relationships that are over but have not “ended” are ended in eth fire of the sun and what it brings within me as I use that huge fire internally to energize myself. At the end of sitting there and absorbing and internalizing all this energy, I feel as though I have had a spiritual shower.
The same lake and benches allow me to experience the element Air. The lake is 53 miles wide [85 KM] where I am sitting so there is plenty of space, another element, for the winds to gather and blow. I have sat there and seen the wind push the surface of the water element into waves and then blow the tips of the waves in white caps. I watch the birds flying on the air currents and marvel at their mastery of the insubstantial but powerful winds. When the breezes are gentle and mild, they push the water element slightly against the shore line. I bring the lightness and unbounded nature of wind into myself as flexibility that encourages me to move beyond negative thoughts and obstacles, just as the birds fly casually through the winds.
Because the lake is so large at that point, I cannot see the other side. So, like an ocean the sky seems bigger than I see out of my windows. It is open, big, clear, blue, and seems to be all around me and dissolve me into it. I am so surprised at how much I can see and feel. Anger, fear, desire, worry, all disappear into the immensity of the sky, the space element. I absorb these feeling into myself, they help me grow and at the same time be collected and cool.
I am lucky to have this wonderful resource so close by that I can visit it often. Always thank the elements for being where you have been exploring and absorbing their unique values. In a Buddhist view, giving tanks like this earns merit, not just for giving thanks, but for recognizing, enjoying, and being open and aware to the qualities of the external elements and bringing them within me, to join with the elements in me, and heal and make myself better and help me on my spiritual path.
Focusing on myself though is one part of gathering merit. Also, make a wish, a deeply felt one, that all beings, human or animal, are freed from suffering and can share the bounty I have just received and taken into myself.
Sentient Being in Each Element
To the shaman, each of the five elements contains independent, living, sentient spirits. They are non-physical beings with whom he can make contact. The spirits may support us, deny us, or be neutral. Purchasing land, buying plants, caring for a pet all bring us into contact with the spirits of that element or that animal or plant.
When a bird makes a nest in a tree, they are building their, that is where they will bring up their family just as we look to the land with the intent of building our home to raise our family. The bird will fight other birds for the nesting space and their nest. There are insects, fish and burrowing animals that also look to the land for their home. They will also fight for the right to retain their space, their art of that land.
Cutting down the tree, smashes the birds’ home, destroys its eggs and kill its young. Bulldozing the ground destroys the burrows of animals that nest underground. Yet these are physical beings we can see and hear, the non-physical beings we do not. Yet they have the ability to hinder the building process or make it go smoothly. A hinderance from the Earth Element might be unexpected problems with the ground, rocks or underground streams which indicates the water element is unhappy as well. Disagreements, accidents or illness in the construction team. If great progress in construction is made and the team is energized and working well together, we can say everything is going smoothly.
To assist with construction of the house for example, connecting with, explaining and asking for permission before changing the ground, the trees, and the water and animals in, under and on the land, we have just purchased. And don’t forget, a new house consumes space, and changes the way wind blows across the land where we have built. The deities and spirits for these elements will also need to be considered, and engaged with.
After we have made the changes we planned, a ritual of thanks, it can be held quietly by ourselves is very appropriate. Never forget to say thank you to the spirits and deities we have had dealings with.
Developing this sensitivity and appreciation of the elements, deities and spirits is part of each our journeys to recognizing the planet is both alive and it is sacred.
Mark is a Registered Reiki Teacher and Practitioner
Mark is a Usui Tibetan Reiki Master Teacher