“Mahayana Buddhist tradition emphasises that each person who practices Buddhism should see themselves as holding a candle in their hand. The candle will help them to see the way, and others may also benefit from the light. For that reason Mahayana Buddhists do not wait until perfect enlightenment before they act; they begin to act when they begin to practice.”

I loved reading these words in a book on Zen Philosophy recently as this sums up beautifully my Reiki practice also. As a Reiki student I do not have to wait to reach a perfect state before being able to practice Reiki. This feels true for all levels of Reiki, indeed for all new Reiki students, irrespective of the level of Reiki initiation they have received.

This concept was particularly useful while teaching a recent Reiki level 1 class, when a student mentioned their disappointment with a teacher who seemed to be struggling in their personal life. I feel that all of us have some challenge or another in our lives. If we wait to be in a perfect state of being, with all our challenges resolved, we may never be able to practice or to teach. I feel that nothing can take away the challenges that come up in my life. What my Reiki practice helps me with is to cope better with the challenges that life sends my way. My Reiki practice definitely seems like a candle that lights my path.

Reading about Zen Practice I was marvelling at the similarities between the practices of Reiki and Zen till I realised that Dr. Usui was living at a Zen temple in Kyoto, practising with the Zen monks in the temple, when he discovered the Reiki practice.