Reiki Symbols – Western and Japanese Approaches

Reiki Symbols
How Reiki Symbols Work

In recently taking another Shinpiden Reiki Training and this time with Frans Steine of the International House of Reiki, I have a deeper awareness of what was already innately true for me in the practice of Reiki.  Reiki is a mindfulness practice, intended to support and enhance meditation and open us to greater inner freedom.  Reiki is also already present in all of life — the attunement process simply clears what blocks us from this truth.  As we practice Reiki and embody its essence we then awaken others around us to this connection.  Reiki does nothing else than bringing to the surface our radiance and vitality.

This post is intended for Reiki practitioners who have been trained in the Okuden, Level II Reiki system.  Okuden meaning hidden inner teachings.  In this level we delve into the Reiki symbols that support us in uncovering our true nature and the radiance within us, enriching our lives and our use of Reiki for our personal care as well as the care of others.

Mikao Usui created three Reiki symbols as part of his Usui Reiki Ryoho system.  His intention was to support students in deepening their connection to Reiki with the embodiment of the symbols.  Reiki symbols were seen as a journey, a pathway towards ultimate liberation from suffering, leading to a life of peace and joy.  This is also seen in the 5 Reiki principles.  Both intended to be practiced so as to remove what blocks us from the natural flow of Reiki and its unlimited benefits for heath and vitality.

Some of the symbols are Shinto or Sanskrit in origin, others are original Japanese kanji.  Reiki symbols focus Reiki towards a specific outcome depending on the symbol.  Similar to the Reiki energy itself, Reiki symbols do not require our effort or will, they are building blocks towards deeper awareness of wholeness and non duality.

Reiki symbols have a sacred power which is why they are traditionally kept secret until one is trained in the system of Reiki.  The ability to use them correctly is acquired in a Reiki training. The power of the Reiki symbols comes from what they activate, connecting us to a higher awareness with a specific focus depending on the symbol.

Activating Reiki Symbols from both a Western Reiki and Japanese Reiki Perspective:

Reiki symbols are activated predominately through intention and drawing them.
They can be drawn using your entire hand on your palms, over the heart or crown chakra, over the area being worked on, or in front of you in the air.

Originally some Japanese Reiki lineages used symbols with mantra phrases. Other students of Mikao Usui, along with Takata students utilized symbols by drawing them and reciting their name three times as a mantra. The name is recited three times, three being a symbol of the creation process.  For example the symbolism of three in heaven, earth, human or seed, soil, plant. Some Japanese Reiki lineages frown upon chanting the symbol name three times while others utilize the name as a mantra and as separate from the symbol itself, utilizing an auditory method to align and embody the principles and essence of Reiki.

To activate a Reiki symbol draw the symbol as you state the name out loud or silently three times.  If in a setting where chanting or drawing is inappropriate simply chant silently and visualize yourself drawing the symbol.  You can meditate on the shape or recite the mantra of the symbol continuously as a point of focus during a session.  Ultimately the symbols are embodied by the practitioner.  Merging with the qualities of the symbols leads to a space of interconnectedness and non judgement with all that is. A committed practice develops the ability to be present, observing and allowing with compassion the natural process of rebalancing and renewal.

Like Reiki, the symbols don’t need your effort, will or direction to work.  However they are intended to be practiced in order to best experience their quality and subtle power.   Reiki symbols are keys to unlock what is within you, increasing the flow of Reiki.  They are training wheels, in a sense, to help us in developing one pointed awareness, grounding, centeredness, harmony, connecting us to our inner essence and true nature of wholeness.  They were originally intended to be embodied by the practitioner, opening us to a greater sense of union, peace and joy.    Through the practitioners use and practice of the symbols a sense of oneness, compassion and non duality develops strengthening the flow of Reiki for personal health and wellness, leading to sharing the overflow personally and professionally.

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