Debunking Reiki Myths is one of my favourite topics, so this week we look at a common preference of some Vipassana Meditation teachers to stop their students doing Reiki. To quote a Vipassana teacher:
“In Vipassana we observe what is without attempting to change it, and with energy healing you change things.”
To start with, I would offer a clearer distinction that may help:
“In Vipassana we observe what is without attempting to change it, in the pure observation of what is, we come into balance/peace/acceptance”
Secondly, in Reiki we are NOT trying to change things, neither are we using an external tool to do it – we are using external energy (though some would debate this), but this energy, this Universal source is not the change agent – WE are. By filling up with energy, we have more vitality and so can see ourselves more clearly, and thus change occurs – nothing is forced or changed artificially.
Whatever Vipassana teachers may say – there is a destination or a goal with Vipassana and it is the identical goal to practicing Reiki. In Vipassana you observe, observe, observe until you come to a place of peace and acceptance – your true self, your ability to see reality, go with the flow. In Reiki you balance, balance, balance using universal source as a means (instead of your observing mind – trust me, you are still ‘doing’ something when you are observing!), until you come to a place of peace and acceptance blah blah – same same, different tool.
Vipassana teachers are concerned with mixing internal observation with external ‘help’. They have observed that some Reiki practitioners make use of healing guides, mantra, crystals etc and they possibly fear that going into 10 days of silence with nothing but your guides to talk to may turn you into a Wilson loving Tom Hanks – they need to protect their students, so some guidelines are helpful.
HOWEVER! Reiki does not use external ‘help’, guides, angels or any form of intention, imagination, or delusion. Vipassana teachers unfortunately don’t know this, as they do not mix Reiki with their practice, so they do not have the in-depth experience to see there are far more similarities than differences. There are plenty of Reiki practitioners who successfully mix both practices, as essentially Reiki and meditation are extremely similar in results.
The important consideration as a Reiki practitioner is to be clear on what you expect Reiki to achieve for you. If you think Reiki is going to miraculously ‘fix’ you then indeed the Vipassana teachers are right to be concerned. But if you realise Reiki is simply Universal energy, and in using the energy you balance yourself, and in balancing yourself you have a greater ability to see what is real and what is your delusion/ your erroneous beliefs/ your crazy stress, then actually you are doing exactly the same thing as a Vipassana practitioner, but you are using a different tool. Using both tools together will not necessarily get you anywhere quicker, but neither will it damage or harm you in any way. The idea that Reiki can ever do harm immediately identifies to me a misunderstanding of how Reiki works. Reiki is universal energy, by definition it CANNOT cause harm. Remember, you can use Reiki with anything, nothing is contraindicated, as long as you understand what Reiki is, and what it isn’t.