Moments of inattention often lead to life’s mishaps. For instance, recently, I was at an airport and I wanted to clean my glasses while waiting at the gate for my plane. I reached into my Ziploc bag full of small liquid bottles and pulled out what I thought was my lens cleaner. I sprayed my lenses and got busy wiping them clean. However, they didn’t come clean. They had a terrible whitish film over them. Then I realized I had not used the lens cleaner — I had instead used my hairspray. Ugh! How did this happen?! Clearly it was because I wasn’t paying attention. (Fortunately, when I got home I found that an alcohol wipe gently removed the hairspray.) I believe these moments of inattention happen to all of us and are part of our human condition with our monkey minds and our plugged in world.
There are ways, however, to help us pay attention. During Reiki classes, I encourage my students to practice self-Reiki everyday for the next 21 days following their class. As with any new habit, this 21-day time period provides a manageable interval in which to repeat a task in order to make it a habit. During this time, I also encourage my students to journal about their experience. They can write brief passages in their journal, even just one word or a sketch is sometimes enough to capture the experience of their daily Reiki practice. As Reiki Practitioners, this is something we do everyday: we practice self-Reiki. It is easily integrated into one’s life as a morning and evening routine and throughout the day when hands are placed on oneself and the connection is made with universal life-force energy. This connection provides a moment of deep attention. For me, it often brings me out of head and into my body. I notice how I’m sitting, breathing, and feeling in my body in this moment of time.
How does one remember to make the connection? It is through practice. Reiki, like many of life’s endeavors, is a practice. It is a requirement that it must be done over and over again. After a Reiki class, though one is fully attuned and able to practice Reiki, the depth of the practice and the skillfulness of a seasoned practitioner is not yours yet. You must practice. You must practice on yourself daily and on others as often as is possible. Through the practice, you will get to know Reiki. You will notice the flow of energy more. You will experience deeper states of relaxation. You will connect more often with your higher self. Your experience of Reiki will intensify with practice. However, this is often the exact area that is most difficult for students, i.e., the practicing. Reiki, though, is so simple: anytime, anywhere: Hands on, Reiki’s on.
Don’t be fooled by its simplicity! You must practice and when you do, you experience its depth. I recently read the following regarding meditation in the March 2015 issue of Shambhala Sun: Judy Lief writes: “Meditation practice is called ‘practice’ for a reason: just like a singer practicing scales or a yogi practicing downward dogs, the point is repetition, doing the same thing over and over.” For some people, they might think this is very boring, but with Reiki it is not boring because you are not the same from moment to moment and so what you experience and notice will not be the same. Repetition is in the act of placing hands on and noticing. What you notice will be unique to the present moment — to who you happen to be right now.
What have you experienced in your practice of Reiki? How has it helped you to pay attention? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.