The Japanese term for birth is U-MU, consisting of the kototama U, “Being” and MU, “Nothingness.” That is, life springs forth when Form and Emptiness are in perfect balance.
— Morihei Ueshiba, Aikido Founder
In the previous article, I wrote about healing from a place of oneness. I described it as happening in three steps, called the three diamonds: connecting to the earth, connecting to heaven, and opening your compassion. I thought I would go into more detail on these steps for those of you who are ready to begin or deepen this work.
Connecting to the Earth
The first meditation we learn in Reiki is Joshin Kokyu Hô, or the breathing technique for focusing the mind. We do this by breathing energy into the hara, the primary energy center of the body, located three finger widths below the navel. This energy center is associated with earth energy, and it is through this practice that we ground ourselves. This is also where our true nature resides, so by stilling the mind and connecting to the earth, we are able to see ourselves more clearly and understand our true nature as being one with Spirit. This energy is also expressed through working with the first symbol and its mantra. In the quote above, this energy is Being or Form.
If you’re not a Reiki practitioner, you can use any grounding exercise you know, such as visualizing roots growing from your feet, legs and tailbone into the earth.
It’s best to work with the lower hara or the grounding exercise daily for a period of one to three months before moving on to the next exercise. Some will need longer, perhaps much longer, before moving to the next step. You should begin to see changes in yourself, such as not being affected as strongly by things that used to pull you off balance, before moving on. Other expressions of successful work with this energy might include more confidence, being more firm in your beliefs or your path, less swayed by the opinions of others. Then again, don’t think you need to be perfect at this stage before advancing: you’ll never move forward in that case! Revisiting the steps is highly encouraged.
Connecting to Heaven
We connect to Heaven energy by working with the upper hara, the energy center located in the head, and associated with both the third eye and crown of the head. This energy helps us to still our busy minds and open our intuition. A traditional technique for working with this energy is Nentatsu Hô, or the technique for changing our thoughts. We can use this technique to align our thoughts with affirmations or the unity of Truth. This energy is also expressed through working with the second symbol and its mantra. In the quote, this energy is Nothingness or Emptiness.
If you’re not a Reiki practitioner, a good substitute could be using any technique you know for working with affirmations. Visualizations also work with this energetic area. A Japanese poem (waka) that I like to work with is: “As a great sky in clear light green/ I wish my mind would be as vast.” Focusing on the words of the poem helps to quiet other thoughts. Visualizing the great sky brings focus and exercises the third eye.
Work with this energy for a period of time that feels right to you before moving on to the next step. Again, watch for changes in yourself to guide you towards moving on. Increased intuition, less worry, experiencing more optimism, residing more in stillness might all be examples of what you experience working with this energy.
Opening Your Compassion
The energy center at the heart, or the middle hara, allows us to connect deeply with others from a place of compassion. This energy helps us understand others, release judgment, align with Truth, and find beauty in all things. The traditional practice for working with this energy is Enkaku Chiryo Hô, or distance healing, which can be more appropriately called oneness healing. We use this technique to release all beliefs of what we want or think the outcome should be, and simply rest in the beauty of oneness and connection. This brings healing to yourself, others, and the world. This is the energy expressed through working with the third symbol and mantra. This is the balance spoken of in the quote.
The non-Reiki ways that I can think of to work with this energy almost all include working within a particular spiritual path. (Those spiritual paths will have specific techniques for working with the earth and heaven energies as well, although they might call the energies by different names and/or have a different number of energy centers that are emphasized.) One way to develop compassion energy is to work with the heart chakra through yoga. Another way to connect with this energy is through devotional worship, creating a loving connection with any aspect of Divinity that is appropriate to your path. I worked with this energy before learning traditional Japanese Reiki through the qabalistically based Middle Pillar Exercise, activating the energy centers with visualization and vibration, then circulating the light through the Tiphareth center to open it slightly more than the others (keep in mind some people learn to circulate the light through Kether).
The Bright Light
Notice that as you work these paths, even though oneness is emphasized from the beginning—and the lower hara in Japanese philosophy is our connection to our true selves and through that to the Source of All—in many ways, the most clear expression of oneness—compassion—arises once you have worked through all the steps. Ultimately, the result of these three steps is that a new perception of energy springs forth, the flow of bright light in and around you, arising from within you, flowing through you. This energy is symbolized by the fourth symbol and mantra, and is the life that springs forth in the quote.
Joy Vernon specializes in Traditional Japanese Reiki and is a certified Komyo Reiki Shihan (Teacher). She studied with Komyo Reiki Kai Founder Hyakuten Inamoto in 2011 and 2013. She is also a Reiki Practitioner and Teacher in the Usui Reiki Ryôhô lineage through IHR. Joy was first trained in Usui Shiki Ryôhô/Usui Tibetan Reiki in 2003. She is the Organizer of the Denver Traditional Reiki Meetup and is a member of Shibumi International Reiki Association and the Healing Touch Professional Association. Joy is also a Certified Professional Tarot Reader. Learn more at JoyVernon.com.
© 2015 by Joy Vernon. All rights reserved.
Joy Vernon is widely recognized by tarot professionals as an expert tarot teacher and respected community leader. With over twenty years’ experience teaching energetic and esoteric modalities, Joy brings expertise and practiced familiarity to her specialty of esoteric tarot, which layers astrological and qabalistic symbolism onto the traditional tarot structure. Under her leadership, the Denver Tarot Meetup has grown into one of the largest and most active tarot-specific meetups in the world. Joy works as a tarot reader, astrologer, and teacher at Isis Books. To learn more, please visit JoyVernon.com.