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Monday, September 16, 2013

A Version of Hatsurei Ho by James Deacon

Copy righted
An interesting explanation of the practice of benefit to many Reiki practitioners.
For more info visit http://www.aetw.org/d_hatsurei_ho.html

HATSUREI HO
Copyright © 2003 James Deacon
[Modified, Mar. 23, 2007]

Hatsu = Invoke/Generate, Rei = Spirit, Ho = Method
Many practitioners believe that the Hatsurei Ho meditation is possibly the most effective way to increase the depth, quality and intensity of ones connection to the Reiki phenomenon.
Thus, it is commonly taught that Hatsurei Ho should become part of ones daily practice - that it will enhance your ability to channel the phenomenon that is Reiki, and, it is said, that the accumulative effects of the meditation will positively affect your spiritual development.
However there is a good possibility that Hatsurei Ho was originally intended to be used solely as a ritual during which the student received reiju.

[It should be pointed out that there are currently several slightly different versions of Hatsurei Ho being taught by various Reiki Masters]

Hatsurei Ho can be practiced either seated on a chair, stool or bench, or in a cross-legged posture, or in the seiza posture.
As with all the developmental practices, choose a time and place where you are unlikely to be disturbed.

And wherever you are doing this exercise - indoors or out, make sure (if seated on the floor) the floor/ground is both comfortable and warm. Do not practice this on cold floors/ground, do not practice in the cold, generally.

The Hatsurei Ho meditation is divided into several sections: 'Focussing', 'Dry Bathing', 'Connection', 'Spirit/Soul Cleansing Breath', 'Praying Hands', etc'. However, this is essentially to make the meditation easier to learn (i.e. taking it in 'small bites'). In practice, Hatsurei Ho is worked through as one seemless whole.

Hatsurei Ho
(When practiced in a group Hatsurei Ho is called: 'Shuyo ho'.)
Sit up straight (comfortably so - no need for rigid military-style posture - this will only impede the technique).

Rest your hands, palms down, on your legs / in your lap.
Close your eyes and 'hara-centre' yourself: focus your awareness on your seika tanden - an area deep inside your body mid way between your navel and the top of your pubic bone.
For a few moments, simply 'be' - silently and restfully 'watching the breath': loosely focussing on the natural rhythms of your breathing. There is no interference with the natural process - no seeking to consciously breathe - merely to be aware that you are breathing effortlessly.

Focussing (Mokunen)
Next, make a silent statement of your intent: “I'll begin Hatsurei-ho meditation now”

'Dry Bathing' (Kenyoku)
[The first part of Hatsurei Ho is an 'energy cleansing' or 'aura smoothing' practice, and can also be used in a stand-alone sense to disconnect from people, things, thoughts, emotions, feelings, situations, energies, etc.
The kenyoku element of the meditation is where the main differences occur in the various versions of Hatsurei-Ho.]
This can be done either with actual physical contact, or can be done 'non-contact' just off the surface of the body, in the aura.

While allowing the breath to remain as effortless as possible, inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth.
First, bring your right hand up to your left shoulder, the tips of your fingers at a point near where your collar-bone ends, palm flat and facing the body.
Move your hand diagonally down across your body from the left shoulder towards your right hip, in a smooth, measured, sweeping or brushing action.
Next, bring your left hand up to your right shoulder, the tips of your fingers at a point near where your collar-bone ends, palm flat and facing the body.
Move your hand diagonally down across your body from the right shoulder towards your left hip, in a smooth, measured, sweeping or brushing action.
Repeat this sequence twice more - making a total of three sweeping/brushing gestures from each shoulder to the opposite hip.

Then, placing your right hand on the edge of your left shoulder - with left arm held straight out in front of you - move your right hand, in a smooth, measured, sweeping or brushing action, along the outside of your left arm, and down over the end of the fingers. Do the same thing with the left hand on right arm. Repeat the process, brushing both left and right arms once more.
[Note: In the first version of Kenyoku I was introduced to, (Gendai Ho version) the sequence was:
right hand brushes from left shoulder to right hip; left hand brushes from right shoulder to left hip; right hand brushes from left shoulder to right hip (Exhaling with a 'haa' sound as you do so);
then:
placing your right hand on the edge of your left shoulder - with left arm held straight out in front of you - move your hand along the outside of your left arm, and down over the end of the fingers; repeat this with the left hand on right arm; repeat with right hand on left arm. [1]

The Gendai Ho version of kenyoku is presented as being the original 'Usui' version - however, some other sources claim the Usui version (in place of brushing along the outside of the arm) involved brushing along the inside. Yet another version still involves brushing from wrist to fingertips across the open palm - instead of the arms.
I would suggest you allow intuition to guide your choice as to which version to work with...]

'Connection'
[This step is part of Hiroshi Doi's version of Hatsurei Ho, yet apparently was not part of the original form].
Raise your hands up above your head, keeping them in line with your shoulders. Your palms face upwards, fingers pointing out to the sides.
In your mind's-eye see and feel the Reiki energy flowing down from above, pouring into your uplifted open hands as a stream of crystal clear light.
It flows down your arms and through your body, down into your seika tanden.
When you can feel the flow of Reiki, gently lower your hands to your lap once more, this time with palms up.

(Although the Hatsurei Ho meditation is described here in 'stages' or steps, this is simply for instructional purposes. In practice, the Hatsurei Ho is seen as one single flowing unbroken meditation)

The 'Spirit/Soul Cleansing Breath' (Joshin Kokyu ho):
With hands resting palms-up on you lap, again, for a moment or so, simply 'be' - silently and restfully 'watching the breath': loosely focussing on the natural rhythms of your breathing. There is no interference with the natural process - no seeking to consciously breathe - merely to be aware that you are breathing effortlessly...

Bring the focus of your awareness gently to your seika tanden once more, and as you breathe in - naturally, effortlessly - in your mind's-eye see and feel the Reiki energy flowing down from above, as a stream of crystal clear light.
The light floods into your crown, and flows down throughout your body into your seika tanden.
In the moment before your body - naturally, effortlessly - begins to exhale, be aware of the light: feel it growing stronger and brighter, radiating throughout your entire body, dissolving and dissipating all trace of stress and negative tension, and supporting the positive energetic integrity of your entire being.
As your body exhales, be aware that you are emanating the light from every single pore - from the entire surface of your being - and the light radiates out in all directions to infinity.

Continue in this 'awareness of the light' for as long as you feel comfortable.

Allow your body to maintain its own natural breathing rhythm. There is no interference with the natural process - no seeking to consciously breathe - merely to be aware that you are breathing effortlessly.

Some people may experience energetic flows, heat or other sensations while doing Hatsurei Ho, this is quite normal.

'Praying Hands' (Gassho)
When you are ready, slowly bring your hands up together in the gassho (prayer) position, and gently move the focus of your awareness to where the pads of the middle fingers touch.

Forget everything else.

Maintain this awareness for as long as you feel drawn to so do.
[We are told that this is the final stage of Hatsurei Ho as originally used by Usui-Sensei, however Hiroshi Doi and others add the following elements:]

'Concentration Meditation' (Seishin Toitsu)
[It is at this point in the Hatsurei Ho ritual that Reiju is given]
When you feel ready - your body still breathing effortlessly - be aware that as you inhale, the crystal clear Reiki light is being likewise being 'breathed' in through your hands and pours straight into your seika tanden.
In the moment before your body begins to exhale, be aware of the light: feel it growing stronger and brighter in your seika tanden.
As your body exhales, be aware that the crystal clear Reiki light is being likewise being 'breathed' out from your seika tanden - and on out through your hands.

Stay with this process for as long as you feel drawn to so do.


Repeating the Precepts Three Times (Gokai Sansho)
When you feel ready, repeat the Gokai: the Five Reiki Precepts three times "...out loud and in your Heart..."
Kyo dake wa - Just for today
Okoru-na - Don't get angry
Shinpai suna - Don't worry
Kansha shite - Be grateful
Gyo o hage me - Work hard
Hito ni shinsetsu ni - Be kind to others

Focusing (Mokunen)
Returning your hands to your lap, silently state:
"I am finishing Hatsurei Ho now."
Then, when you are ready, allow your attention to turn outwards once more.

__________
[1] Many people have commented on the fact that the kenyoku version presented by Doi is unbalanced.
However, this 'lobsidedness' is something which gives us clues as to the possible origin of this particular version of the practice - i.e. from modern day Chinese qi gong.
In qi gong, there are many exercises which have one version for men to practice and a mirror-version for women. Such exercises are often 'lobsided'
The kenyoku version presented by Doi would be categorised as a male practice; for women, the sequence would be mirrored:
i.e. left hand brushes from right shoulder to left hip; right hand brushes from left shoulder to right hip, left hand brushes from right shoulder to left hip; then, left hand brushes right arm, right hand brushes left arm, left hand brushes right arm.

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