Playfulness

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When people think of spiritual practice, “playfulness” is not usually the first word that comes to mind. We might think that dancing on a beach or rolling around in the grass is playful, but that a spiritual practice must be the opposite: serious. I often see many people who follow a spiritual practice become very serious. If you think or practice something slightly different than what they practice, they even can become offended or angry. In a way, instead of finding spaciousness and freedom in their practice, they have put themselves in yet another box, the spiritual box.

We might begin a spiritual practice to step out of the boxes we put ourselves in during our daily life. But often we just replace that tight box of our normal daily life with a new tight box of a spiritual practice. We trade one rigid, constricting way of being for another rigid, constricting way of being. And because we call the new way spiritual practice, we may tell ourselves (and others) that this is great, this is better, this is how and who we want to be in our practice and in our life.

But in reality we practice a spiritual practice to lay bare our innate light. Many different traditions use the metaphor of light: clear light, great bright light, inner light, and light of life, just to name a few. This light can not be boxed in; it is the light of spiritual freedom and playfulness.

Look outside and see how the natural light plays through the leaves of the tree, how it glitters on the waves in the lake and how it dances around the streets. This natural light touches everything with a playfulness and with equality. No distinctions are being made, no labels are being placed, no judgments are being made by this light. Even if a big storm is brewing, the light plays and dances around and within the storm, the light dances freely in a playful manner.

Thus, we can start to see if we are practicing our spiritual practice in the truest way by looking at ourselves and seeing if we are still in our tight box, or if have we stepped out of the box and are becoming more playful. Look at the Dalai Lama, Shunryu Suzuki, Thich Nhat Hanh, Daehaeng Kun Sunim, and Mingyur Rinpoche, who have laid bare their inner light. Deep spiritual practice has not made them sober or serious; their eyes have a perpetual twinkle. They are so playful and their playful light has touched thousands of people. Their teachings are full of laughter, playfulness, and direct non-complicated wisdom. Due to having laid bare their innate playful light, they teach in a playful, joyful, and light manner. Whether we imagine them (or ourselves) rolling around in the grass or sharing wisdom in a class, the light and playfulness can shine through.

 

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Frans Stiene has been a major influence on global research into the system of Reiki since the early 2000s. His practical understanding of the Japanese influences on the system have allowed students around the world to connect deeply with this practice. Frans is a co-founder of the International House of Reiki with Bronwen Logan (Stiene). He has also co-authored with her the critically acclaimed books The Reiki Sourcebook, The Japanese Art of Reiki, and A-Z of Reiki Pocketbook.

 

“Playfulness” was originally published on International House of Reiki blog.

Touch

touch

Touch is such an important element in healing and also in our daily life. But how do we touch?

One of the most important elements to touch in the right way is our mind, because if our mind is not in the right space, touch can become very different, even hurtful.

Let’s look first at touching ourselves because if we do not know how to touch ourselves, then how can we touch others in the right way?

In the context of healing, we need to touch ourselves with the intent that we receive whatever we need. There is no need to have a very specific, boxed in intent, like “this or that needs to be healed”; in truth we do not really know what we need. We might think we do, but if we look honestly at ourselves we do not really know. So by setting a very open intent, our mind and energy also become more open and thus allow a more free flowing energy. For example, say you have a pain in your knee. If you just touch your knee with the intent that your knee gets healed, you are setting a limited intent. And thus your touch is limiting, because maybe the pain in your knee comes from your sciatic nerve. And that issue might come from a tightness in your kidneys due to pent up anger. If we set a more open intent when we touch our knee, the healing can take place on a much deeper level and our touch becomes something very different.

In our daily life we often are told from our parents or from society not to touch ourselves; thus we have created an obstacle through which our mind and energy don’t flow. Touching our own body can be very healing and freeing. But again, we need to touch it with the right state of mind. What is this state of mind? This is the state of mind of no anger and worry or fear, a state of mind in which we are grateful for how our body looks and feels no matter what. And we have to couple our touch with our innate love and compassion. Therefore, if our touch is without anger, worry and fear, and is infused with gratefulness and compassion, then we have the right touch. By being mindful when we are touching ourselves, which means our mind is not being distracted by past, present and future issues, we are therefore completely focused and open at the same time when we touch. This kind of touch, due to being completely free, brings a deep kind of healing, peace and even inner joy and bliss.

Thus, through knowing and learning how to touch ourselves with the right state of mind, we learn how to touch others when we perform a hands-on/off healing session, or just in our daily life.

When we touch someone during a hands-on/off session, we need to touch without anger, worry and fear and in a state of mind of gratitude and compassion. Often people touch with the intent of a specific outcome, that the person might be healed, feels something, has no more pain, or is happy. But in reality, this mindset comes from worry and fear; we may worry and fear that the client is not healed, does not feel anything, or still has pain and is not happy. If our mind is completely free of any specific intent, it therefore is completely open. In this place of openness, we can touch the person in a spacious state of mind. This means that the space is so open that the energy can flow freely through both practitioner and client without any obstacles. This in turn creates a deep state of mind for healing to take place and even for inner joy and bliss to occur.

When we first start to experience this kind of deeper touch it might start to feel very intimate. So to be able to do this kind of touching we need to stay centred and grounded. This kind of intimacy has nothing to do with sex; rather it is a remembering that the person who is touching is also being touched at the same time! Thus during this kind of touching a mutual state of healing will take place.

This kind of touching is also very important if we want to keep our relationship healthy with our partner. Often we may touch our partner, when we make love for example, in a distracted state of mind. Our mind is not focused and open. It is thinking about the past, present and future. But when our mind lets go of the past, present, and future, our touch becomes something very different. Now it is devoid of anger, worry, and fear; it is infused with gratitude and compassion. This kind of love making can trigger deep forms of inner joy and bliss which will heal many wounds that are often created in relationships. When we touch each other like this during our love making, then love making becomes magical and healing. Something very deep and intimate takes place between two people, an opening, a spiritual experience, a sense of peace and inner happiness.

Thus to really touch we need to stay very mindful and focused, not distracted by past, present and future. To help us to embody this state of mind so that we can touch in the right way, we can practice things such as yoga, meditation practices, the system of Reiki, Tai Chi, Buddhism…all of these help us to focus and open our mind. And by having an open spacious mindset our energy starts to flow freely through our whole being, which will result in a touch full of love, compassion and inner bliss and joy.

 

“Touch” was originally published on International House of Reiki blog.

 

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Frans Stiene has been a major influence on global research into the system of Reiki since the early 2000s. His practical understanding of the Japanese influences on the system have allowed students around the world to connect deeply with this practice. Frans is a co-founder of the International House of Reiki with Bronwen Logan (Stiene). He has also co-authored with her the critically acclaimed books The Reiki SourcebookThe Japanese Art of Reiki, and A-Z of Reiki Pocketbook.