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How deep are you willing to go?

Tenacity and dedicated sincerity are critical to uncover your inner truth. Most of us give up without even scratching the surface, or we go looking for another modality, another ‘guru’, another distraction, and then wonder why we are ultimately getting nowhere.

Reiki Master training is an intense opportunity to drill deep into your inner truth. The philosophy is based on depth, not breadth. So when I get a homework submission like the one below, I have to highlight it. This student shows what it takes to uncover your own freedom…. most of us would stop at Stage 1. Those who continue would kid themselves Stage 2 or 3 was ‘it’. But notice the real insights only come in from Stage 4 onwards…and where it ends, nobody knows!  Don’t cheat yourself of your own inner freedom – you may resist or avoid, but the energy required to do that is a lot more exhausting than the energy required to step deeply into it and see.

[Stage 1] When I first learnt about the 5 Usui Principles, I thought it was like ‘Reiki commandments’ so when I saw this homework I thought it would be easy. I thought I had been practising these principles all this while.

During the sending, I felt so ‘blissful’ because I felt I was living in the state as indicated by each of the principles. But it turned out that I would go through the ‘hell’ states soon after. For example, when I did the sending for “I will not be angry”, I felt so happy and pleased with myself that I had not been angry for so long. The following day a loved one would anger me and I would fall into great disappointment and shame that I was flaring up uncontrollably.

I didn’t fit into my ideal image of how a Reiki practitioner or teacher should be. It brought up the ugly sides of me that I couldn’t bear and had been working so hard to overcome. It was too overwhelming for me to function normally at work. Hence I took a break from this homework.

[Stage 2] I realized I should be embracing the good, the bad, and the ugly. All are me, and it’s alright. I carried on with the homework, this time with a different mindset, i.e. everything about me was alright. But my mind went blank because I thought if everything about me is alright, then the 5 Usui principles are all encompassing. I couldn’t anchor the focus on the principles. And with that mindset, boredom set in and I dozed off each time.

[Stage 3] I tried to approach this homework again in another way – gentle inquiry. For example, I used gentle inquiry to look at “I will be grateful”, and its meaning. I observed blissful feelings arising, then boredom, then images of things I dislike. Again, I used gentle inquiry to observe what did that have to do with “I will be grateful”. Then I realized things I like I am grateful for, and things I dislike I am not grateful for. My gratitude was actually based on my personal values of likes and dislikes.

[Stage 4] I went into thinking I had found “the way” to do this homework and become attached to it. I still got the same effects from the gentle inquiry method, but the dozing off and boredom became more intense.

What’s behind the boredom? Where was I trying to hide away from something deeper? Then I saw my deepest fear – pain of death. I sat with the fear using gentle inquiry, and saw images of myself getting busy with my work, immersing in my life purpose and passion. The realization hit me hard – If I am really living my life purpose, why do I still wake up in the middle of the night from that fear, with a very intense message in my head, “Yes, I will go through the pain of death, like EVERYONE else.” I would shake that message and fear away and go back to sleep. Have I been trying to sweep the dust under the carpet while trying to clean the carpet to make it look more pleasing? Why is it that I have tools on hand, but I have yet to use the tools to work on this deepest fear?

I realized my belief is no one can escape it, not even those who are masters of the tools. Hence I had adopted the approach of service to others, believing I would be rewarded with an easier death. The boredom was actually a mask for all my deeper fears. I had not dared to face the fears head-on, because there would be nowhere left to hide.

[Stage 5] Another shift. I was sending to “I will not be angry” and I felt something inside me trembling. I realized I am actually easily angered and resentful of many things and people. The trembling was a fear that if I acknowledged it, it would bring out an uncontainable anger which I had tried so much to “calm”. I tried to look deeper but I dozed off repeatedly despite trying hard to stay awake. Deep within, there was an anger with myself for not being able to stay awake.

I remembered I was sending to “I will not be angry with myself for not being a perfect me” to embrace everything about myself. Be gentle, it’s alright even if I doze off, I am trying my best, and that’s all that matters. There will come a time when I will understand why I doze off. There will come a time when I will no longer doze off in such practice. After the sending, an intense sadness arose. I have yet to understand why.

[The non-concluded ‘conclusion’] I thought I would reach a stage of something “better” to conclude at the submission deadline. But with each look, more underlying things are revealed. I don’t think there is a conclusion or deadline to this homework. It is actually ongoing.

We are all operating from our relative truth. The tools we seek and use are to help us take steps forward. But come the moment when we reach the edge of the cliff, it is a decision to let go of all the tools and leap forward into the unknown, and that requires tremendous faith that The Truth lies beyond.

Some may retreat, some might chose to be distracted (by ‘fun’, ‘drama’, ‘failures’ or successes’), some may collapse on the spot utterly overwhelmed, some may take a chair and sit at the edge of the cliff contemplating about The Truth till eternity, and some may sit on a boulder by the cliff pondering the next step. I’m all of these now.

photo credit: thisyearsboy Turkey10155 via photopin (license)


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