Reiki and Vipassana both are quite popular practices worldwide. Vipassana has the core purpose of observing subtle sensations in one’s body while remaining at equanimity, hence clearing both good and bad sanskaras (conditioning of mind) we have, making our chitta (mind) cleaner and cleaner to achieve the ultimate state of no backlog of sanskaras. This state leads finally to Nirvana. Another extension of Vipassana is ‘Metta’, which is to develop a feeling of sharing and love for the world and to share this pure energy with the world or anyone in particular. In double quotes, it is clarified that one has to practice metta when one is in tranquil state of mind and the practice is only about sharing and giving and not expecting anything in return from anyone.
Vipassana is the one of the purest form of meditation technique available today. H.H. S.N. Goenka has obliged Vipassana practitioners with his contribution in saving this almost extinct practice from the world. In his lifetime, he has facilitated to open hundreds of centers in India and outside, which teaches the practice in same format directly from Guruji in audio and video format. Hence, he has not left room for any addition, removal, mixture or deformation of this pure knowledge.
Now coming to Reiki, purpose of Reiki is to clean and balance the chakras by receiving the reiki energy from the universe and transmitting the energy through hand palms. In this method, the healer acts as a channel for the flow of the energy and allows the energy to flow through him. Once the reiki practitioner has developed the practice of regularly cleaning the chakras, one can heal self and other people that too even distantly. Here are some aspects of Reiki:
- In 1st level Reiki, one is allowed to heal other people after few days of practicing. In earlier days, healing through hands was a common practice and was used to be done by saints and spiritual gurus, out of compassion and love. The gurus (the enlightened one) knew the series of karmas of the seeker from present and all past lives and the purpose was to help the person to remove his backlog of sanskaras. Usually, the guru used to guide and teach the art of living so that one can remove past burdens that are blocking the seeker from spiritual growth or a suffering which needs to be healed. And also gurus used to give their own energy to heal someone in dire need or uplift him in the spiritual path by removing his blockages. But that entirely depended upon the soul journey of the disciple as this required from the guru to take a backfire by altering with the law of karma of the disciple. But the compassionate gurus were the purest souls who have already reached the state where they could live in the group consciousness and have access to the knowledge of past, present and future of the seeker. They choose whom to heal, as they knew the intention of the seeker and the direction through their developed intuition power.
- Reiki is known to be founded by Master Mikao Usui and then the technique was transferred through the teacher-disciple lineage, across centuries. With the time, the technique has been interpreted and taught differently by thousands of Reiki masters.
- In higher levels of Reiki, one learns how to use different sacred symbols to heal self and others. Using symbols one can heal a person at distant place (long or short distance does not matter), using his photograph or by just imagination.
- Using these sacred symbols, one can also do cosmic surgery (which is a virtual surgery of a real disease) using crystal wands.
- Reiki can be given to any object living (humans, animals, plants etc.) or non-living (however there is no such thing as non-living) like cars, computers or phone etc., any situation you are in like examination, traffic jam, stress or depression etc., or any place like house, office, parking lot etc.
Regular practitioners of reiki start their each day with reiki and follow it everyday.
However, currently there are few things about reiki healing practice that is worrisome for the growth of this noble technique. For example:
- At most places, there is a commercial aspect involved with reiki. Nowhere Reiki is taught for free except only few. The higher courses of Reiki are quite costly. Reiki healing is also not given for free neither promoted that way. Distant Reiki treatments are generally for longer duration in case of chronic problems and involve quite a big cost in long run.
- Often in Reiki practice, it is preached that one should not heal others for free. Now that is a questionable statement. WHY? Is compassion, love, sharing virtues not enough to get inspiration for healing others? Or is it a distortion to the technique added by people to convert the pure technique into a business. The excuse one gives that there should be an exchange of energy, which is not convincing. Whereas, ‘Metta’ in Vipassana is more pure technique to heal as one does not expect anything in return.
- Incomplete knowledge of the person teaching reiki creates problems. The depth and reason of healing is not discussed in detail. Which sometimes creates problem for the healer himself. In many cases the healers get affected by the disease they are curing if they are not well prepared to protect themselves.
On contrary Vipassana is taught free of cost and there are no commercial aspects to any teaching or Metta practice. That is also one reason why Vipassana teachers suggest not to mix Vipassana with Reiki or other practices.
I’m a Reiki channel and a Vipassana practitioner too. I have practiced Reiki for 10 years before doing the first Vipassana course. Many times I have healed myself, family members and acquaintance but have never involved commercial aspect to this pure science. And I strongly believe that Reiki is a great science for self-healing and get rid of one’s blockages and grow spiritually. But when it comes to heal others one should know this science more deeply and understand its repercussions. Because I have seen many reiki healers getting affected by the diseases while they were trying to cure their patients. Though it is taught in Reiki as how to remain un-affected by the person you are healing but still, there are cases where healers got affected. Best way is to teach the patient the Reiki technique so that he can heal himself. But if that is not possible due to some reason then take enough precautions just like a doctor who protects and prepares himself before doing any treatment so that the infection of the patient does not affect him. And later allows the patients body to heal itself.
I have noticed personal and spiritual growth within my 10 years practice of Reiki. Then, I did Vipassana and repeated it within six months for more clarity and profound experience. I found Reiki a very good starting point in my life and have found both the teachings very useful for me. As a natural step after Vipassana, I realized that reiki was the initial step and as I climb ahead with Vipassana I do not feel the need of practicing Reiki now, as the daily healing is done by my regular practice of Vipassana. The energy is much intense with Vipassana. For healing my family, I seldom use Reiki or Metta depending on the condition.
I think that this change is natural, and that is why Vipassana meditators are asked to practice vipassana for a while and pause other meditation practices aside, as now they have in hand the ultimate meditation method in the purest form, which not only heals the physical body but also eliminates the deeply hidden sanskaras and leads towards more healthier, happier and spiritual path.
Below are few books which I’ve personally read and recommend for the beginners of Reiki and Vipassana.