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Zazen and the System of Reiki

July 30, 2009 | by Bronwen and Frans Stiene

Zazen, which literally means sitting meditation, is a popular aspect of many Japanese spiritual practices. During the practices you “just sit” (shikantaza) and calm your mind so that you gain a deep understanding about the nature of your own mind. But how do you sit in zazen and what do you actually do once you’re there?

These are questions many people ask, so below is a link to a comprehensive explanation on how to practice zazen, including photo’s on how to sit either in seiza or on a chair.

One of the most important elements in zazen is your posture and your breathing.

In many zazen practices you breathe from your hara (belly) - the center of your being - thus creating a feeling of being centered, open and yet grounded. Hara breathing is a major part of many traditional Japanese Reiki practices, like Joshin Kokyu ho and Seshin Toitsu for example.

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Was Mikao Usui a Shugenja?

July 27, 2009 | by Bronwen and Frans Stiene

Was Mikao Usui, the founder of the system of Reiki, a Shugenja?

Some sources say that Mikao Usui was not only a Tendai practitioner but was also practicing Shugendo. A person who practices Shugendo is called a Shugenja or Yamabushi.

Shugendo is an ancient Japanese practice which focuses on reaching enlightenment in this lifetime through ascetic mountain practices.  Shugendo is a mix of esoteric Buddhism, Japanese shamanic practices, Shinto, Chinese Yin/Yang philosophy and Japanese folk beliefs. After 1868 however, the Mejii government ordered a seperation of Buddhist and Shinto elements and outlawed Shugendo because of its mix of Buddhism and Shinto. Some Shugendo temples found protection within both individual Tendai and Shingon Buddhist schools.

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Researching the system of Reiki and the Lotus Sutra

July 23, 2009 | by Bronwen and Frans Stiene

It is said that Mikao Usui (the founder of the system of Reiki) was a Tendai Buddhist practitioner.

Let’s see what influences this may have had upon his teachings…

Tendai practitioners work with the Lotus Sutra, it is one of the teachings most important sutras. A sutra is a canonical scripture generally based upon ancient oral teachings. Tendai originated from the Chinese Tiantai or the Lotus Sutra School, which is Mahayana Buddhism - one of two main existing forms of Buddhism.

Two main teachings of the Lotus Sutra are that, first, we can all realize Buddhahood in this lifetime (as it is innate within us) and, secondly, to have a direct experience that the self and others are all of one substance. In brief the Lotus Sutra discusses and explains the concept of non-duality.

Within the system of Reiki non-duality is symbolized by the Shinpiden Reiki Level III mantra DKM!

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Japanese Mandalas a part of Reiki?

July 21, 2009 | by Scott the Newshound

The exhibition “Japanese Mandalas: Emanations and Avatars” remains through Nov. 29 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; (212) 535-7710,

If you’re in New York before November 29th enjoy Japanese Mandalas at the MET. 

We know that Mikao Usui (the founder of the system of Reiki) was heavily influenced by various traditional Japanese forms including that of Buddhism. Different strains of Buddhism were originally brought across to Japan from China by Dengyo Daishi (767–822) also known as Saicho and Kobo Daishi (774–835AD) also known as Kukai. Saichi began the Tendai school and Kukai that of Shingon. Both Tendai and Shingon forms of Buddhism utilized Mikkyo “secret teachings”. The core of the exhibition is based upon the Mandalas of Both Worlds - paired cosmic diagrams of the Diamond World and the Womb World. These mandalas were both taught in Tendai and Shingon Mikkyo practices.

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Tendai Nuns and Reiki

July 16, 2009 | by Bronwen and Frans Stiene

It is said that Mikao Usui, the founder of the system of Reiki was a Tendai buddhist practitioner. We can see tendai as an influence upon the system of Reiki, or, if you prefer, we can see where elements of the system have originated from. Don’t be confused, this is not to say that we practice buddhism as Reiki practitioners, but it helps us to know where the teachings originated from out of the Japanese culture and philosophy.

Shibumi is interested in tracing back from the system to its origins to help practitioners get a solid grounding in their practice and to help them be aware of what it is they are doing and the motivations and intents behind the practices which have often been forgotten or variegated.

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Curing with Kaji the Reiki Way

July 16, 2009 | by Bronwen and Frans Stiene

Healing and Esoteric Empowerment in Japan is an interesting article for Reiki practitioners! It focuses on a very traditional healing practices in Japan.

This particular article discusses healing from a Shingon viewpoint and although Mikao Usui was said to be a Tendai practitioner you will find some hidden gems in this article about how to become a vehicle for universal energy.

It describes a healing session where the practitioner, Ven. Ikeguchi Ekan, lays his hand on the head, neck, shoulders, arms, spine and kidneys with the whole session taking only 10 to 15 minutes.

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Shibumi Reiki Newshound

July 16, 2009 | by Bronwen Stiene

Shibumi is fortunate to have a new newshound working the web to bring you interesting tidbits.

His name is Scott (the newshound).

Scott is a member of Shibumi and International House of Reiki Shinpiden graduate who is spending a bit of his spare time sorting through the web quagmire to find you some gems of information that relate to the Japanese practice of the system of Reiki. .

Much appreciated Scott!

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Special SARA Fundraiser: Bid Now on an Oil Painting of Your Animal

July 14, 2009 | by Bronwen Stiene

Special SHELTER ANIMALS REIKI ASSOCIATION Fundraiser Art Auction - Bid Now
Bidding ends Aug. 31, 2009

SARA is auctioning off a Personal Commission by Talented Animal Artist Carla Reed: 100% of Proceeds go to SARA!
Support SARA and honor a special animal in your life at the same time.

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30 days of Being with my Natural Energy

July 14, 2009 | by Bronwen Stiene

A Shibumi Registered Practitioner (Shibumi RP) from California, Joyce Leonard, has taken it on herself to start a blog about her 30 day journey of being with her natural energy.
But what does she mean by that?
Well, have a read of the blog she has created to follow her journey. Many of us can likely relate to exactly what she is talking about. We’ve included an excerpt here:

I have been abusing chocolate again to the point that I had a headache yesterday…also the 2nd latte of the day didn’t help. I went to bed with my head pounding and woke up this morning with the same. This is not the first time.

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No Reiki for Catholic Nuns

July 07, 2009 | by Bronwen and Frans Stiene

Something is afoot in the Catholic Church.

As many of you know the USA Catholic Bishops wrote a paper in 2009 about the system of Reiki. They wrote that to practice the system of Reiki as a Catholic “would be operating in the realm of superstition” and went on to say that “Since Reiki therapy is not compatible with either Christian teaching or scientific evidence, it would be inappropriate for Catholic institutions, such as Catholic health care facilities and retreat centers, or persons representing the Church, such as Catholic chaplains, to promote or to provide support for Reiki therapy.”

In fact, we wrote a response to it here on Shibumi called Reiki and the Catholic Bishops.

I guess we didn’t expect it to end there.

To support their paper, according to the online New York Times, the Vatican is now “quietly conducting two sweeping investigations of American nuns, a development that has startled and dismayed nuns who fear they are the targets of a doctrinal inquisition”.

And, yes, the system of Reiki is mentioned in the article.

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