The Origins of Karuna Reiki


Karuna is a Sanskrit word meaning compassion, that which takes away the pain and eases discomfort. An offshoot of traditional Usui/Tibetan Reiki developed by William Lee Rand, a Reiki Master, Karuna Reiki is considered to be an advanced form of traditional Reiki that is known to have a more intense effect on the person receiving it and at the same it to strengthen the power of the healer administering the treatment. Essentially an energy that originates in and out of love, karuna requires wisdom, a necessary prerequisite, to have the right effect.

How Is Karuna Reiki Different?

Before I delve into the differentiation, I would first like to talk about the principles of traditional Reiki and how this modality focuses on (re)connecting with the self. I often think about the quality of the life we lead. To say it is not satisfactory would be like scraping the tip of the ice berg. From meeting day-to-day expenses to securing a seat in a bus, there are innumerable things that cause us stress. Often due to a lack of a proper outlet or channel, this very stress manifests in our body as energy blockages that eventually result in sickness. How then can we remove the blocks that hinder our spiritual growth? Essentially, Reiki is a non-invasive, light-touch healing modality that beams positive energy in to the body and Karuna Reiki specifically is an enhanced method through which this positivity can be experienced more intensely. For traditional Reiki to be effective there are three main symbols, namely, the power, mental, and distance symbols, and Karuna Reiki uses an additional set of symbols acquired though a different attunement process deployed to achieve a different set of results. In other words, the technique and energy associated with Karuna Reiki are exclusive and unique to the system.

The Attunement Process

To many, Reiki is a spiritual experience through which Reiki energy is channelled from the Master to the disciple. Similar to other initiations, this, too, is a passage of rites signalling a transition in the disciple’s spiritual life whereby a new role as a healer is bestowed upon the individual receiving it. Unlike other practices, Reiki is not taught to the disciples in the traditional sense, it is a gift (and power) that is passed on from one Reiki Master to a disciple. More than anything else, for me, Reiki is a way of life that allows a person to get a higher understanding of his/her role in life. It is way of connecting with the universal restorative energy that is channelled, and while many do come seeking solutions to a wide range of problems, Reiki need not be sought if and when such problems arise. It should be experienced by those who wish to understand their spiritual self and feel unified with the essential life-giving force—The Universal Healing Energy.

Contrary to what some may fear channelling Reiki energy never leads to the energy of the Master getting depleted. On the contrary, I among many others feel strengthened each time we channel the Reiki consciousness.

The Karuna Symbols

Reiki uses symbols to channel and beam energy as per the need of the individual. In either treatment, hands-on or absentia, with the help of the symbols the healer is able to channel the Universal Healing Energy. By themselves the symbols mean nothing unless energized by the intention of the healer. Inclined to fear the unknown, most of us tend to get apprehensive upon learning that Reiki uses symbols of which little is known to the non-practicing community. However, such negative thoughts and attitudes are dispelled almost immediately after the first session.

While there are many symbols, each with its unique set of complexity and benefits, the karuna symbols are mainly characterized for being one of the most powerful, and if properly beamed can yield instant results. Of the many karuna symbols, the following are a few of the main: Karuna Reiki, Karuna Ki, Tera Mai Reiki, Taokan Karuna Reiki, etc. Additionally, a set of other symbols may also belong to the karuna system, a few of these are: Om, Shanti, Dumo, Ganesh, Swastica, Johre, Hosanna, Ved Ganga, Fire Dragon, Fire Snake, etc. During the initiation process, all symbols are explained in great detail.

The Essence of Karuna Reiki and Its Benefits

Compassion often presupposes something dark and brooding; be it suffering or trauma, one in need of compassion typically seeks to be freed of grief and anguish. Karuna Reiki has been channelled keeping in mind this particular requirement and is known to focus on ‘Mara’ better known as the dark side. Needless to say we all have a dark side and if left to its own devices, it has the ability to cause harm to an individual, especially emotionally. The idea is to confront the dark side and see it for what it truly is—illusory. Karuna Reiki as developed by the Masters focuses on this aspect and releases the darkness replacing it with love and compassion. Given the nature of this specific treatment, especially when beamed in addition to regular Reiki brings about a more intense if not dramatic change in the individual receiving it.

Experiencing Karuna Reiki

Universally experienced as a warm gush of healing energy, most people go in to a deep state of relaxation post a Reiki treatment and once in this state, the body must be allowed to claim all the rest it needs. In Karuna Reiki, the dominant feeling is that of love and the compassion with which a healer conducts a session is crucial to the overall process. During a session, as the life preserving energy is beamed in to body, due to the energy shifts, one might experience light vibrations. In cases where deep emotional healing is required, the vibrations will be stronger.

What we mustn’t forget is how the body is endowed with the capacity to heal itself. The problem arises when this capacity is weakened and self-healing gets reduced to a minimum. Among other healing modalities, Reiki lends itself easily to individuals who wish to heal themselves. To reiterate the words of the Buddha, the idea at all times is to ‘Radiate boundless love towards the entire world’ including oneself as after all charity begins at home.

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