Broadening Our Concept of Healing


An extract from my book Mindfulness Meditation and the Art of Reiki

The following is an extract from Chapter 5 of my upcoming book, Mindfulness Meditation and The Art of Reiki which will be published on 29th July 2022. Available for pre-order soon.


When I teach a Reiki class, I always make it clear to my students that I will not be teaching them how to be healers. I am not a healer and have no intention of ever becoming one, though I have been involved in and facilitated many healing processes. We cannot give someone Reiki. One of the core teachings of the system is that Reiki energy is drawn in by the recipient for their own healing needs and not pushed in by the practitioner. To call ourselves healers somehow implies that we are in charge of the healing process; that we are “doing” something. We need to get out of this “Doing Mode” and into a “Being Mode” when it comes to our practice of Reiki. When we can just “be” with the process we start to embody the true nature of the universe, we start to connect to the true nature of reality, and this can have a profound healing effect on those around us. To call oneself a healer or a Reiki healer, is profoundly egotistical. Not even Jesus, as far as we know, referred to himself as a healer. A Reiki practitioner is not healing anyone and to claim to be doing so is very arrogant. This was summed up beautifully by Bodo Baginski and Shalila Sharamon in their book Reiki Universal Life Energy:


Do not be disappointed if your expectations are not fulfilled immediately. With Reiki, nothing is to be achieved by pure willpower. Our egos have to take second place instead, which is not bad for our development. As Reiki channels, we do not do the healing ourselves but are simply neutral observers and witnesses of events. For this reason, we should never disapprove of a patient’s symptoms. It is not our task to fight against an illness but to pass on Reiki energy and await the results, which will always be the best ones possible. (Baginski and Sharamon, 1988)


As a Reiki practitioner, you have no way of knowing what the deeper problem may be or where it is located in the energetic matrix or physical body of the human being. Here is an example that I regularly give in my classes: Let’s imagine someone comes to you with a lower back pain. You can see he is suffering, and out of compassion, you might feel your heart open and want to help by fixing his back problem for him. What you don’t know is that your client has a very bad relationship with his boss at work. He is regularly chastised, overworked, suffers the brunt of his boss’s anger and is generally given a hard time. This produces a lot of daily stress. Over time this stress has lodged in his shoulder muscles so that they are extremely tight and painful. Slowly that tension and stress has moved down his back and he now has a lower back pain. His problem is not with his lower back per se, but in his relationship with his boss. You don’t know this (and maybe your client doesn’t make the link between his work-related stress and back pain either), but the Reiki energy does. So, all your attempts to solve his problem for him by focusing on his lower back are at best misplaced. You may alleviate the pain a little, but you won’t fix the problem at its cause unless you allow the energy to do what it needs to do: target his relationship with his boss.


You are not a healer


Fortunately for your client, the energy does not in fact need your assistance and it will go to where it is needed regardless of your attempts to focus it where you think the problem is. Your “Doing Mode” attempt to make the energy bring about your desired outcome will simply “slow down” or hamper the energy’s ability to do what it needs to do. Like a reed in a stream, we can either go with the flow where it might lead, or we can resist and find that the stream will simply flow around us.


There are some who believe that they can access the information regarding the original cause of things intuitively, and so target the precise cause or location. Mostly this is an expression of ego, because mostly, they can’t. The information pin-pointing the original cause is certainly “out there” in the universal energy field (UEF) and within the energetic matrix of the individual. This information, however, when accessed by the Reiki practitioner is filtered through the human mind and is subject to various influences: the perceptions of the ego, obscuration caused by our own imperfections, sensory data filtering as well as cultural, religious, and time-specific influences. This all renders the originally “pure” information as potentially inaccurate or entirely wrong. The majority of people, including energy healers and Reiki practitioners, do not have the spiritual connectivity or spiritual awareness to “read” this information accurately and to know that it is being corrupted by themselves. They act based on what they believe to be true but are in fact working on the basis of an obscured, filtered or corrupted version of the truth. Consequently, energy is manipulated, eradicated, replaced and basically messed about with, by people who simply do not know what they are doing. Even if some people are gifted with the ability to perceive on very subtle levels the exact location and original cause of a physical or mental/emotional problem, why take the chance? The energy, this powerful manifestation of the oneness of all existence, still knows best! Leave it up to the higher intelligence of the universe. Your participation on this level of the healing process is not needed. It would be true to say that in some senses, once your hands are on the client, the treatment process is really no longer any of your business.


Broadening our understanding of healing


Reiki practitioners are not healers, we just facilitate healing.

In working with Reiki, we need to broaden our understanding of what we mean by “healing” and stop picking up bad habits and philosophies from other energy healing modalities. According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the verb “heal” is derived from the old English word haelan which means, amongst other things