by Rev. Jason Storm
The following article comes from Rev. Storm's original and now defunct Reiki Revolution website, which he released into the public domain after 9/11.
Meditation is a very important practice for energy healers of every discipline (and some might argue that it is important for EVERYONE, regardless of career!:-). When you take the time to meditate you expand your auric space and the amount of energy you can transmit and receive. Meditation has been proven to lower blood pressure, pulse, and respiration rates, and improve oxygenation in the blood stream. Your body functions more efficiently and doesn't work as hard to maintain itslef with only a few minutes of meditation each day. When you meditate with Reiki you have all the benefits of meditation combined with the added benefits of Reiki healing energy. Later, if you want to learn Taokan Advanced Reiki™ you will learn to do Chi Gong and other Taoist internal alchemy exercises that can dramatically improve your health and could possibly lead to immortality. For now we will begin with the most basic meditation technique, called Samatha-Vispasana (sha-MAH-ta-viss-PASS-ya-NAH) in sanskrit, and samadtih (sah-mah-TIT) by the monks here in Thailand. You don't have to remember the traditional names for it, just call it "counting the breath" if you like.
Samatha-Vispasana Meditation (Counting the Breath)
Begin by sitting comfortably with your feet flat on the floor and your lower back supported. If you wish to do this meditation in a cross-legged or "lotus" position, make sure you have a firm cushion or pillow as your seat. Many a monk has ruined his back by spending years in sitting meditation without paying attention to proper posture and support. Sit upright with spine comfortably straight, head level and upright, chin tucked slightly inward to straighten the cervical vertebrae. Allow your hands to rest comfortably on your thighs, with palms either up or down, up to you. Now, allow your attention to come to your breathing. Don't be artificial with your rate, allow it to be slow and natural, and above all comfortable. Breathe with your stomach, allowing it to expand and contract. If your shoulders move more than your stomach then you have not yet relaxed into your rhythm. Don't just move the stomach in and out, allow the diaphragm to push downward and expand the abdomen outward. Fill your lungs with fresh air and know that this is what your body needs more than anything else. Just sit and breathe comfortably in this way for a minute or two. When you are ready, move on to the next phase of this basic meditation.
When you have established your rhythm, you can begin to count. You will count ONLY THE EXHALATIONS, and count backwards from ten, with each exhalation as one number. The object is simply to count your exhalations backward from ten to one. When you complete the countdown from ten to one, start over with ten. If you lose your place, simply start back again with ten. When you can count backwards from ten to one without distraction, three complete times (30 exhalations) then you have mastered this exercise. Sound easy? Give it a try for a few minutes then come back to this text.
How did you do? Was it easy? :-) Probably not if you are like most people who have never meditated (consciously) before. Your mind would wander and you would forget what number you were on, isn't that right? Don't think so much about that, just know that it takes practice. The key to the exercise is to "catch yourself" when your mind begins to wander and just gently bring your attention back to your breath.
The more focused version of Samatha-Vispasana involves breathing and waiting for extraneous thoughts to come just so you can return the focus to the breath. When your unconscious mind finally realizes that you are serious about focusing only on one thing (your breathing), it will stop sending you the extra thoughts and your meditation practice will really improve very quickly. Spend 20 minutes per day with this exercise until you master it.
Even this basic method of counting the breath if done for 20 minutes without distraction can dramatically improve your ability to concentrate, your physical health will be improved, your body and brain will begin to function much more efficiently. Just so you can gauge your progress, as you change states from normal consciousness to meditative consciousness you will begin to breathe more slowly with more time between exhalations and inhalations. Your eyes may water a little bit (this is a symptom of detoxification) and your inner ears may itch just a little. This is normal and should pass after you are completely detox'ed. When you finish your meditation you will feel deeply, deeply centered and relaxed, your senses will feel clearer, your body will be calm and pleasant, and you will feel as though you've just had the most restful sleep of your life. People define their experiences with meditation in very unique terms and it can be difficult to accurately describe in a manner that you can readily understand. So it's best for you to experience it for yourself. :-)
This technique of counting the breath is a simple and effective way to begin every meditation session, and after sufficiently practiced, can induce a medium meditative state with only one counting of ten exhalations. Master this technique and every other meditation technique you ever learn will be easier. :-)
The Reiki Healing Meditation
Begin with "counting the breath" and establish a comfortable meditative state. When you are ready, open to Reiki and allow it to fill your body with radiant healing energy. First, allow your attention to rest on the base of your spine and the sacrum (the place where your spine connects into your pelvis). This is a natural reservoir of energy and Reiki should easily flow here. See and feel the energy collecting and radiating at this point all throughout your being. As you breathe in, feel Reiki enter the crown of your head, flow down your spine, and reach the sacrum. As you exhale feel your body absorbing this wonderful healing radiance and circulate it throughout. Breathe Reiki like this for a few minutes, until you feel ready to move to the next phase of this meditation.
(It is important you do the next part in exactly the same order each time. Lungs, kidneys, liver, heart, spleen, pancreas, and stomach). If you are attuned and trained to Second Degree Reiki, you can also visualize the ckr at each organ as you do the exercise (and for really increased detoxification, send the other two symbols as well).
When you are ready, shift your attention to your lungs. As you inhale allow your lungs to be fully filled with Reiki. As you hold it for just a moment seeing Reiki grow and permeate every cell, see and feel your lungs being healed from the inside out. And as you exhale, allow all the toxins you have accumulated in your lungs to be expelled with the breath. If you like, you can see these toxins as dark, grey or brown or even black, gas being expelled through your exhalation. Breathe in Reiki deeply into your lungs again, and feel your lungs relax. If you are color oriented, you can see Reiki in your lungs as white light. Do this three times for normal, six or nine times for detoxification.
When you are ready, shift your attention again this time to your kidneys, in the back center of your torso on either side of your spine. On inhalation, see both kidneys filled with Reiki and being healed from the inside out. You can see Reiki in your kidneys as vibrant blue energy. On exhalation see toxins being released with the breath and out of your root chakra and the soles of your feet. See the kidneys becoming soft and pink and normalized again. Feel Reiki work as it heals and renews your kidneys. Do this three times for normal meditation, six or nine times for detox.
And again, when you are ready, shift your attention this time to your liver, at the level of your abdomen from about the midline of the body to the right and slightly downward. Feel Reiki flood into your liver on inhalation in bright, vibrant green energy, healing from the inside out, and expelling toxins with the exhalation in the same way you did with your lungs and kidneys.
When you are ready, you can shift your attention and repeat the process for your heart at the center-left of your upper thorax, in bright red, your spleen at the center-left of your abdomen, pancreas just below and toward the centerline, and stomach, all in bright yellow. Remember to feel Reiki flow into the organs and fill with healing, hold the breath for just a moment seeing Reiki grow and permeate every cell, then exhale allowing the breath to release the toxins. When practiced every day, spend three breaths for each organ, or if you really want to clean out your system and be healed from the inside out in a very rapid, completely safe, manner, do each organ for six or nine breaths. It is very important that you do it each time in the same order (to maintain the correct temperature of the organs) and that you do each one the same number of times (e.g. don't do the lungs three times, but the kidneys six, and liver nine times). Strive for balance and repeat each inhalation the same number of times for each organ. This Reiki meditation is a special, abbreviated version of the Taoist practice of the "Six Healing Sounds" which is taught in its entirety during Taokan Advanced Reiki® training.
When you have completed the meditation, sit and relax and soak up the wonderful feelings of Reiki. Avoid doing anything too strenuous after meditation, taking time to allow your body and mind to return to "normal consciousness" at its own comfortable pace. Practice this meditation every day for two weeks and you won't believe the difference it will make in your state of mind and the quality of every minute of every day. :-)