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What does the Japanese Reiki Kanji really mean?

The Reiki kanji is the Japanese cosmological story of how the world works.

Over the 15 years that I have been a Reiki Master I have worked at simplifying my practice, it felt a natural thing to do.  I tried out my ideas and found that not only did they work, but my practice strengthened. I like to keep things as simple as possible as I believe that this is how Reiki was originally intended to be.

Around 5 years ago I began to study the original Japanese system of Reiki that was brought to the western world by great teachers such as Frans and Bronwen Stiene, to my amazement what they were teaching was what I had been doing.  Wonderful synchronicity in action!

Sadly the opportunity has not yet presented itself to travel to Japan, but when I listened and read their teachings and looked at others it was, at times, like reading my own work.  I am fully aware that I have a Japanese guide that works with me when I am practicing and so I feel that his guidance was even greater that I had thought.

I had never really given much thought as to what the Japanese Reiki kanji actually represented, but when I found out it was so beautiful that I had to share it!

In western Reiki traditions the top part of the kanji ‘Rei’ translates as universal, in the Japanese tradition, however, it translates as spiritual, this resonates with me as Reiki is about so much more than hands on healing.  It is a spiritual path, a way of life and when it is lived and embraced life gets a whole lot better!  It is thought that the change was made to make Reiki more acceptable to the west at the time when it arrived here.

The bottom part of the kanji ‘ki’ translates in both traditions as energy.

When it is broken down into it’s separate elements the top part forms a beautiful story.  The very top part represents the heavens and the dots beneath represent rain or blessings falling from heaven to fill 3 cups beneath.  The 3 cups represent the 3 diamonds that we work with in Japanese Reiki.  The 3 diamonds are energy centres one is the hara (earth ki), one is the heart (oneness) and one is the brow (heavenly ki).  They are the 3 ‘cups’ that make up human kind.  The line beneath the 3 cups represents shamans (or wise ones) working and the two figures beneath are the shamans dancing, the line beneath this is the earth.

So the heavens rain down blessings on mankind with abundance and the shamans dance on the earth in gratitude and celebration and so the cycle of life goes around.  As we know from our own lives the more we find the good, the beauty and the more we practice gratitude then the more of those things come to us.

“Everyday must be seen as practice.
Practice is not about maintaining one’s current life-style but
about advancing one step at a time.”
Mitsunaga Kakudo

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