Reiki and Yoga are both first and foremost paths to Enlightenment. Although many people who are currently practicing them seem unaware of this and are thus deriving only a fraction of the benefit that they might were they to follow the paths these modalities were originally designed for. In this article I would like to discuss exactly what enlightenment is, and how Reiki and Yoga can assist practitioners in experiencing it.
What is Reiki?
Reiki is a spiritual discipline that was developed in Japan by Mikao Usui at the end of the 19th Century. While on a quest for spiritual enlightenment, Usui discovered he had the ability to channel energies that were able to dissolve physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual blocks in the energy systems of others. This energy channel could be opened in other people, just by attuning their energy systems to it through a series of energetic manipulations. Physical healing is derived by dissolving energy blocks which are preventing the body from healing itself and since they are the easiest to perform, many Reiki practitioners ignore the mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects... which is unfortunate as they are where most people are currently in need of assistance.
What is Yoga?
Yoga is a spiritual system that was developed in India approximately 5,000 years ago. It consists of eight branches, namely yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhayana and samadhi the following of which begins with simple rules to living ones life, physical poses, breathing exercises, and the development of the ability for the level of deep concentration/meditation necessary for spiritual enlightenment. The physical poses (asanas) are the easiest to understand and master, however, they are just one part of this system, and while development of this aspect alone can yield tremendous physical results, the development of the other branches are basically being ignored, which again, is a shame, since this is where most people are in need of assistance.
What is Enlightenment?
Spiritual Enlightenment is the realization that you are part of a bigger whole... that you are connected to the universe, and to everything in it, just as a leaf is part of a tree. It is so simple, yet so difficult, because just as we begin to realize this or catch a glimpse of it (sattori in Japanese), something blocks it from remaining obvious and we are again shrouded in darkness and apprehension. The Buddha referred to enlightenment as the end of suffering because it is this sense of dis-connectedness that is the root of all suffering. Volumes have been written on this mysterious realization which do it much more justice than I can in such a short space... I would highly recommend the works of Ramana Maharshi, Nisargadatta Maharaj, J. Krishnamurti and more recently Eckhart Tolle for a more complete understanding.
What is the Connection?
More detail on the history of Reiki can be found here and more detail on Yoga can be found here, but in a nutshell, Reiki and Yoga are both spiritual disciplines either of which will yield the sought after results, yet as such they require dedication and perseverance to master and reap the rewards. Disciplines such as these may seem daunting, but only if results are demanded immediately. If approached with patience and determination the end of the road is reached soon enough, at which point one finds they have a decision to make... and a new journey to embark upon. The good news is that every day more and more people are reaching this realization (as opposed to 100 years ago when very few found success and even fewer were able to guide others in its mastery) and assistance can be found everywhere. When you do find the key (which may very well be unique for you) you will wonder how it was ever possible that you never noticed it before... it was there all along, you just never seemed to connect the dots. Reiki and Yoga are both specifically designed to help you find that key... are you looking for it?