Reiki and energy healing

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Reiki and energy healing

Postby Bohemian Seeker » Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:33 am

Dear Kind Folks,

What is the Theravada attitude towards energy healing and relaxation methods such as Reiki, Qi Gong, Prana etc ?

Is it considered a healthy persuit ? Or does Theravada consider it to be against the Buddha's teachings ?

Can one practice Theravada and Reiki without a conflict ?

Thanks and best wishes

Mike

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Re: Reiki and energy healing

Postby Modus.Ponens » Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:49 pm

Hello

The Buddha never spoke of subtle energy, as far as I know. He didn't say it didn't exist either. But if in thousands of recorded discourses he didn't mention it, it's safe to conclude that it's not a bit important to the buddhist path.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
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Re: Reiki and energy healing

Postby Goob » Sun Feb 17, 2013 4:27 pm

Many teachers use the word energy as a way of relating to the body during meditation and although the Buddha never spoke of it (which he didn't of numerous things that are helpful tools in the Theravada tradition). Ajahns Lee, Fuang and Thanissaro of the Forest Tradition for instance utilizes concepts of energy in the body to assist you in your meditation, something that I personally have found to be very useful. It isn't hocus pocus though and the goal in itself is not to manipulate these bodily energies.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai/lee/inmind.html

http://www.dhammatalks.org/Archive/Writ ... 130123.pdf
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Re: Reiki and energy healing

Postby greggorious » Sun Feb 17, 2013 5:49 pm

I listened to a podcast recently at Amaravati where one of the Nun's performed Reiki on a dying Bird to help it relax as it passed away.
"The original heart/mind shines like pure, clear water with the sweetest taste. But if the heart is pure, is our practice over? No, we must not cling even to this purity. We must go beyond all duality, all concepts, all bad, all good, all pure, all impure. We must go beyond self and nonself, beyond birth and death. When we see with the eye of wisdom, we know that the true Buddha is timeless, unborn, unrelated to any body, any history, any image. Buddha is the ground of all being, the realization of the truth of the unmoving mind.” Ajahn Chah
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Re: Reiki and energy healing

Postby befriend » Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:01 pm

buddha radiated metta to a wild elephant to pacifiy it saving himself. sounds like reiki to me.
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Re: Reiki and energy healing

Postby Bohemian Seeker » Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:07 pm

Thanks everyone, much appreciated :anjali:
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Re: Reiki and energy healing

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:41 pm

some people find it useful, others dont.
I know a couple of monastics who practice something allong the lines of Reiki if not Reiki itself, but it is not essential to practice, and what people project or manifest could be due to a number of reasons.
All that is certaion is that we are going to die, so make good use of your time.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Reiki and energy healing

Postby Mr Man » Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:50 pm

I've heard that those who follow Goenkaji are told to make a choice. I believe that Reiki is seen as being incompatible with their practice.
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Re: Reiki and energy healing

Postby SamKR » Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:15 am

Mr Man wrote:I've heard that those who follow Goenkaji are told to make a choice. I believe that Reiki is seen as being incompatible with their practice.

That's right.
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Re: Reiki and energy healing

Postby Modus.Ponens » Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:10 pm

I'm sure Ben will know better than me, and correct me if I'm wrong; but what goes on is that during the retreat it's not alowed to do reiki. Outside the retreat it's permited if you haven't made the commitment to practice solely the Goenka method.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
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Re: Reiki and energy healing

Postby Coyote » Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:25 pm

Mr Man wrote:I've heard that those who follow Goenkaji are told to make a choice. I believe that Reiki is seen as being incompatible with their practice.


Can anyone explain what reason is given for this?

Thanks :anjali:
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Re: Reiki and energy healing

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:42 pm

There are a lot of things that are detrimental to most types of retreat practice, not only Goenka retreats. In my experience talking, vigorous exercise, listening to music, reading, writing, eating too much, to name a few, make the development of mindfulness and concentration much more difficult. It's not that those things (and Reiki) are inherently wrong, just that they are unhelpful in the context of a retreat.

:anjali:
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Re: Reiki and energy healing

Postby Mr Man » Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:57 pm

mikenz66 wrote:There are a lot of things that are detrimental to most types of retreat practice, not only Goenka retreats. In my experience talking, vigorous exercise, listening to music, reading, writing, eating too much, to name a few, make the development of mindfulness and concentration much more difficult. It's not that those things (and Reiki) are inherently wrong, just that they are unhelpful in the context of a retreat.

It is not just during retreat periods.
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Re: Reiki and energy healing

Postby beeblebrox » Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:14 pm

I've had the opportunity recently (a couple in fact!) to experience reiki, from two different people.

The first one was provided for free at a place where I volunteered, along with a regular physical massage by someone else. Everyone went for the latter, and I was the only one to do the former... but only because the manager pulled me by the arm to try it.

I'm actually glad that he did... it was an experience for me at the very least. I was surprised at how similar it felt to what I would experience in my own sitting practice, without me actually putting in any effort. It felt very calm. It seemed like her "energy" was transferring through me. Though, towards the end the person started to feel unsteady to me, I think because she got distracted by someone talking to her.

The second time was someone who was visiting my friend from Japan. When I was getting ready to leave, she kept me down and then started to give me some kind of reiki massage. She seemed more sure compared to the other person, not shaky at all. The energy seemed more subdued, but it straightened my body right out... just with several different placements of her hands. This stayed with me for at least several days.

In the end, I think it's all just fabrications... but still a very nice one, nonetheless. Supposedly it was developed by a monk. I don't find that hard to believe since it seems similar to what I experience in samatha meditation, or even in the environment at a monastery that I go to.

It's very interesting, but still better to do your own practice, I think... and it's also probably not effective for a vipassana practice in itself.

:anjali:
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Re: Reiki and energy healing

Postby alan... » Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:16 pm

the buddha didn't mention it so it's not necessary, nor is it prohibited. that doesn't mean it's not useful though, it's not like he listed off every medical tactic, herbal remedy, and other health things in the suttas, so not mentioning them does not mean they are not useful, just that they are not directly related to and necessary specifically to the dhamma.
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