From Chapter 4
Reiki for Nature: A Healing Exchange
Plants and all the many micro-organisms in the soil create the environment in which we live, breathe, and hope to thrive. They are our source of life--not only the air that we breathe but the clothes that we wear and the food that we eat. We know that climate change is a real risk to our planet as a whole, and the continuous use of natural resources and pollution of our environment is not an idle threat to our existence. The earth, our home, urgently needs our care if we are to continue enjoying clean air, fresh water, and nourishing food. As well as being the habitat for many indigenous flora and fauna, green spaces are our life force and the energy that they radiate helps to increase the vibration of the surrounding area. This is why it’s imperative that we focus our individual efforts on lowering our impact on the environment as a whole and do what we can to care for local green spaces as stewards of the land. If we send Reiki and healing to our gardens and local green spaces, we can raise the vibration of our local area to benefit all the inhabitants--trees, birds, bees, wildlife, and humans alike.
Reiki and the Spirits of Nature Where You Live
There are many nature beings on earth, each one with a specific role, overseeing and care-taking a place or element of nature. Just as we have spirit guides and guardian angels, Mother Earth has elementals and nature spirits helping her. Nature spirits include: fairies, elves, gnomes, pixies, sprites, and mermaids. Each one is associated with a specific element: earth, fire, water, or air, or place in the landscape. There will be a nature spirit of your garden, local park, river, or woodland for example. They work with the spiritual and energetic side of nature. You will find nature spirits present in every place in nature, but we are often unaware that they are there. The nature spirits keep well-hidden and for good reason, they may even have been traumatized by the damage that humans have inflicted on certain areas of land. One of the first steps that we can take when we begin the plant path is to make our intentions clear to the nature spirits. We want to tell them that we would like to connect with them and show them our good intentions.
Being Yamabushi - Connecting to the Magic of Nature
While I was writing this book I came across the term Yamabushi and the Japanese spiritual practice of Shugendo, which echoes my feelings about the power of connecting with the vital force of the natural world. Yamabushi is translated from Japanese as “one who lays down in the mountains.” The Yamabushi are ascetics who roam the mountains seeking spiritual fulfilment. They follow a spiritual practice called Shugendo, which is a blend of Buddhism, Taoism, shamanism, and Shinto and is one of the major influences on Japanese new religions. The system of Reiki shares its evolution with these Japanese new religions and is likely to have been influenced by Shugendo practices too.
It’s possible that Mikao Usui, the founder of Reiki, was a Yamabushi because he did indeed go into the mountains to seek spiritual fulfilment, as mentioned on his memorial stone. Being in nature, being at one with nature, and connecting to the magic of the mountain at Mount Kurama was how he came to experience the gift of Reiki.
Not surprisingly Mount Kurama, the birthplace of the system of Reiki, also has links to the Yamabushi. Sojogatani is a valley by Mount Kurama where many Yamabushi have practiced. Mount Kurama is believed to be home to many mythical tengu (supernatural beings or gods who are guardians of the mountain). If you visit Mount Kurama you will see many depictions of tengu as statues and souvenirs, characterized by a large nose and red face. They represent the ancient power of the mountains.
The open honoring of the tengu highlights for me the importance of us each finding our own way to be Yamabushi, to connect with the magic of nature and the spirits of the places that carry ancient power and wisdom. By honoring the beauty and magnificence of nature we are able to see that power within ourselves. This is the essence of Reiki.
Reiki Exercise: Connecting to the Spirits of Nature
Next time you are heading out for a walk, try the following exercise to introduce yourself to the spirits of nature where you live and make known your intention to get to know them.
Out in nature, ground yourself fully by imagining roots holding you deep down anchoring you to the earth. You may also like to use the Reiki Power symbol to help you ground. Open up to the support and nurture that is available to you from the Earth.
Tune into Reiki by connecting to the energy in the way you have been taught, asking that it flow through you to guide you for your highest good to connect with the spirits of the land. If you are level 2 trained or above then activate the symbols. In particular I would suggest using the distance symbol to help bridge the human world with the world of the unseen nature beings. Take a walk out in nature and speak out to the spirits of the land, speak from the heart with words like "Hello, I'm here, I’d like to connect with you, show me how dear nature spirits".
Allow your intuition and Reiki to guide you to where the nature spirits are and allow a childlike joy to enter you--this is the resonance of the nature spirits. Allow this joy to permeate your being and take your walk filled with childlike wonder at the beauty and magic of the world.