Archive | October, 2012


30 Oct

One of my favourite things and currently my primary activity is Reiki. I have always believed in a higher power, a Universal Energy that we all come from, that resides within us, that we give various forms and anoint with different names, the most common one being God. At the age of 19 I first came to know about Reiki through two friends. I did my First Degree shortly after but lost touch until last year. Today, I hold the Third Degree, and my next step would be the Master’s Degree, though that’s a long way off.

Considering that I am the first amongst my current group of friends to be a Reiki practitioner, I get a lot of questions. It seems that nobody I know understands Reiki. Some understand it so little they cannot even formulate their questions … and I have to grapple with a series of ‘what’s. Often, I find it difficult to answer questions that come my way, firstly because it’s been only a year since I started practising Reiki regularly, and also because so much of Reiki is about experiencing it, not asking about it.

But there are two kinds of people whom I find are most resistant to the very idea of Reiki. Type One is the sort whose skepticism – and I find this amusing – stems from a ‘that’s it?’ attitude, a belief that something so simple can never really help. Type Two is the person whose belief system is completely different – either she’s an atheist (there’s nothing beyond the linear physical plane) or an agnostic (completely neutral to the question of an existence beyond the linear physical plane).

I am gnostic, humanist, feminist. Here’s my understanding of Reiki.

Rei – Universal.

Ki – Energy.


You can draw it in with symbols and direct it wherever you want it to go. ‘Wherever’ includes a physical body part, an emotion, a present situation, a future situation, a past condition, another person, global situations, a city far, far away, an apartment, an office, and even your mind is no limit, as I have discovered having done Reiki almost every day for over a year. You can ask for a result, but I have learned it is best not to; there might be a better result than what I ask for. This is the Universal Energy, the source, the cosmic womb, and it has its own intelligence. It knows the grand design that we as mortals are not privy to. The best thing you can do is understand that it knows better than you, and accept whatever it chooses for you. I have gained unimaginable peace in situations by not asking, simply accepting.

As humans, we each have a physical body, which is clear enough, but we also have an energy body. Just like our physical bodies have nodes along our various systems (skeletal, nervous, etc.), our energy bodies have Chakras. We have a chakra to match every physical ‘joint’ that we have, and I’m not just talking knees and elbows. At every point that two nerves or veins meet, there is a chakra. But just to make life easier, we have eight main Chakras, located along the length of our spines, going up to our heads and the last is in our auric space. For those who do not believe that we have auras, spare me your skepticism and google bioplasma science.

While yoga speaks of eight Chakras, Reiki speaks of seven. From lowest to highest, indigenous name to global —

Mooladhara/Basic Chakra

Swadishthana/Hara Chakra

Manipura/Solar Plexus Chakra

Anahata/Heart Chakra

Vishuddhi/Throat Chakra

Agya/Ajna/Third Eye Chakra

Sahasrarara/Crown Chakra

These seven Chakras together nurture every vital organ and emotion of our bodies. The idea is that curing a skin problem is a surface-only way of looking at the problem. The skin problem has come from somewhere. Healing the concerned Chakra is the deeper solution.

Most people turn to Reiki to heal physical problems, but I have found Reiki to be the easiest method for self-growth, self-development, for the technique of Reiki is as easy as growing up is painful, leaving you to deal with the pain while you keep your hands busy. Oh, hands. They’re the Reiki practitioner’s best friends. Keep ‘em happy, ‘cause they’ll be doing all the work especially when you’re doing your back.

Even though we have seven Chakras, Reiki differentiates between the front and the back. Any diagram of our Chakras will show that they’re open at both ends. Reiki teaches that the front and back deal with different aspects of the same issue.

There is very little theory in Reiki. Other than the absolute basics – which Chakra is for which problem, symbols – everything is about experience. Because everything is about experience, learning will vary from teacher to teacher. Which teacher you end up going to and how you learn is all based on you attracting what you need most at that given point in life.

For instance, the teacher I went to at age 19 taught me the First Degree. In that, you have no symbols to fall back on and need to concentrate. I didn’t last the mandatory 21 days. My second teacher at age 28 understands that nobody likes to concentrate, so she teaches the First and Second Degrees together and voila, you have the symbols to fall back on while you watch TV. Even if I had met her at age 19, I don’t suppose I would have done the 21 days because at the time, my life had no space for conscientious self-growth or self-healing. I was too busy partying and bitching and mooning over the wrong guys. So all in good time.

Most teachers love to use the word ‘easy’, and it does make Reiki incredibly accessible to people, especially since we’re all so very busy these days. I prefer ‘generous’. You ask, Reiki gives. You can heal a stomachache, and you can heal your anger. You can remove the distance between your sister and her estranged parent, you can ensure your travel to a destination is comfy and safe. You can protect your apartment from thieves just as you can protect your mind from negative energy.

Before you start thinking this is a miracle cure, and while I agree it is miraculous, there’s nothing hunky-dory about self-healing. Discovering traits in you that you dislike is repellent. Realising you’re nothing what you told yourself for 20 years that you were, can make you wish you were dead. Sitting in front of the TV and making a couple of symbols beneath your hands sounds pretty darn easy, but that’s where easy ends. But you still let it in, for Reiki thrums on a positive frequency, and even the difficult is good.

Japleen Pasricha

Founder of Feminism In India. Feminist. Activist. Educator. Traveller

Author, ranter, dad

All Quiet On The Wench Front

Herstory at its fucking finest.

Ashish Shakya

Writer. Stand-up comic. General idiot for hire.