Reiki: 'Mantra', 'Jumon' & 'Kotodama

- an attempt at a little clarification...perhaps?

James Deacon

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e. spiritual or magical incantation . when vocalised. Buddhism and Shinto have influenced each others' development so profoundly.and in rare cases. a single syllable is not classed as a jumon.aetw. the same is not true of a 'jumon'. Both mantras and jumon can be considered to be 'spiritual formula' fact. 'JUMON'.. 108.perhaps? [Copyright © 2010 James Deacon] Mantra and Jumon: We often use the term 'mantra' as a simple way to attempt to explain the Japanese word 'jumon' [ 呪文 ].an attempt at a little clarification. http://www. Or even a few sentences.'MANTRA'. in the given language. 11664 (108 x 108) – even 1. Technically speaking. And while a jumon can be as short as a three syllable phrase ( the jumon associated with three of the Reiki symbols. & 'kazudama') .000 times.a 'spell' . have a clear intellectually-understandable meaning. each adopting so much in the way of beliefs. Just like a mantra. Yet while a mantra can also be simply a single syllable (eg: a Bija or 'seed' mantra. Nor is a single word. the phrase or sentence may appear to be a meaningless series of unintelligible sounds. while jumon have many parallels with mantras.and both. 9.080. and esoteric practices from the other . for example: "a ba ra ha kya".. & 'KOTODAMA' (also: 'kototama-gaku'. Though as over the last 1200 years or so. 1. However.2 Properly. Alternatively.Sutra-length (the Heart Sutra for example. eg: 3. rituals. a jumon can be comprised of a series of single syllable-sounds. for example) it can also be can be much longer . a jumon is a phrase or sentence. The term jumon is closely associated with mikkyo (i. Though. are intended to bring about a specific effect. 27. a mantra can be a phrase or sentence comprised of words which. 'kotoage'. such as the ubiquitous: om). esoteric Japanese Buddhist) traditions.a sacred phrase or Invocation.1 The same can be true of a 'jumon'. more in keeping with Dharani than with Mantra . even longer still . For example. a jumon can be chanted once or many times. the two are not identical on all levels. can be considered a jumon when it is used in mystical invocation) The term 'jumon' can perhaps be most simply and clearly be explained as: A mystic.

That there is a mystical connection between the sound and the meaning(s) of words. or term originated.alludes to good fortune in the form of the timely appearance of a desired or needed thing. concept. So. Chinese-language. a thought. it is best to simply consider it as a Japanese one. and further. Kotodama: [ 言 霊 or 言魂 ]"the spiritual power of words" At the heart of kotodama theory is the understanding that words and their component sounds. Certain traditional kotowaza [ 諺 ] (sayings or proverbs) may also be used as jumon. That ultimately. For example the kotowaza: "watari ni fune" .and as such are commonly Japaneselanguage approximations of original. which was in turn derived from "a vam ram ham kham". in order to ensure their effectiveness. or strongly influenced by. Others are derived from.aetw. or may contain be recognisable phrases and statements drawn from ancient cultural texts written in classical Japanese. For example. idea or desire may be actualised by verbalizing it in a particular way with the proper focus. http://www. We often hear people talking about “the Reiki kotodama” it is claimed by some that Usui-sensei taught something commonly referred to as “the Reiki kotodama” to his early students. rather than getting caught up in whether jumon is a Buddhist practice or a Shinto (or even an onmyodo) one. between words and the situation. have a power to influence reality. Taoist incantations Yet others may take the form of extracts from norito (Shinto prayers)."a boat for someone wishing to cross a river" . was known as onmyodo3 . a jumon invoking the power of the five elements: "a ba ra ha kya" is derived from: "a va ra ha kha". it may be used as a jumon in the hope of actively invoking such good fortune.Shinto and Buddhism have also been strongly influenced by a form of Taoism which. they are commonly constructed in keeping with certain formulaic rules of composition. invocatory elements of the previously mentioned onmyodo . thing or event they describe. and that “the Reiki kotodama” were forerunners to the Reiki symbols and accompanying jumon which are familiar to most Reiki practitioners. Thus. . as practiced in Japan. Some 'traditional' jumon are derived from Buddhist (or even Hindu) mantras their original wording modified to fit with the sounds of the Japanese language. New jumon may be created for just about any specific purpose and is often difficult to say precisely where a specific practice. concept. person. when used in certain very specific ways.

“ho-ha-ze-ho-ne” 4. but even allowing for a couple of slight differences in the way the Japanese sounds have been 'romanised'.to the words and phrases and sentences of everyday conversations Kotodama is the breath and heart within words. Here are the four poetry .can not properly be described as being 'kotodama'. syllables.) jumon. Words (kotoba) and syllables have kotodama . etc) . It is this power which is kotodama: the "spirit of the word" – "the-spirit-inherent-inwords" and ultimately. For example: [ch]o[k]u [r]ei [s]ei [h]e(i)ki [h]o[n] [sh]a ze [sh]o ne[n] [d]ai ko [m]yo Now. though jumon comprised of a series of single syllables rather than words. the term: kotodama does not refer to specific words.from primal. and even every single phoneme (sound syllable) . it is not difficult to see how they have been formed by extracting particular syllables from a set of more complex.i.Although it is usually maintained that “the Reiki kotodama” are something quite different from the jumon associated with the Reiki symbols. every single word. for those people who hold to the basic principles of kotodama (. The way in which the word: kotodama is commonly applied in relation to Reiki . syllables. http://www. or other vocalised sounds: Words (and/or syllables. the 'spirit' is inherent in all 4 words . (and more the kiai of the martial artist .to norito prayers . more complete. is simply a little confused. Yet.power.even aside from any connection with Reiki). to the spirit invoked by the correct use of words.all vocalised sounds . or even one single phoneme used by the Japanese language is considered to be “a kotodama”. In fact.whether individually or as phrases .e. used by the Japanese language is said to possess kotodama. each of which is described as being “a kotodama”: [depending on who you ask you get slightly different 'romanised' forms .and slightly different pronunciation guidlines. “o-u-e-i” 2. guttural utterances . not one single word. at the same time. “ai-ku-yo" (or: (or: (or: (or: “ho-ku-ei”) "ei-ei-ki") “o-a-ze-o-ne”) “ai-ko-yo”) (or: "ho-ku-e-i") (or: "ei-ey-ki") (or: "ho-a-ze-ho-ne" ) (or: “a-i-ku-yo”) In fact. (or other vocalised sounds). not only do these syllable-sequences constitute simple jumon. “e-i-e-i-ki” 3. but rather. the former term is nonetheless commonly used to refer to what are still essentially a set of jumon. as indicating the actual syllable-sequences themselves.] 1. Technically-speaking. it is indeed true that the particular syllables presented above are genuinely believed to possess kotodama.

or in their written aspect.of words to make things happen.Kotodama is the spirit . things can. and also to effect spiritual change. Certain jumon may be considered to possess stronger kotodama than others. The science of kotodama: kototama gaku [言 霊学] Kototama gaku is a multi-faceted. etc. onmyodo. And of course. or as vocalised sounds. For example. yet have different meanings. become quite complex. It is a discipline concerned with understanding the power of the-spirit-inherent-inwords.and also. or.intellectual.the ability/power of words to inspire. a jumon may appear to be a series of unintelligible sounds. as already mentioned. though much has to do with the person using them. with the virtuous and skilful use of words to influence 'mundane' reality. It is concerned with the effect of words . hidden within a jumon there can frequently be several levels of further meaning And when it comes to uncovering/discovering the different levels of meaning of specific jumon. numerology. mysticism. and the way (and skill with which) they use them. Japanese is a language with a vast number of homophones (words that sound the same. kuji no in.whether as unexpressed thoughts. magic. it is believed that a jumon performed only once. Now.aetw. Jumon also possess 'kotodama'.as physical . uplift.5 times by someone without that focus and spirit. heal. (In fact there are actually a few slightly different 'evolutions' of kototama gaku slightly different 'systems' of application of kotodama theory in order to effect desired influence) Kototama gaku deals with the power of words on all levels . On one hand. emotional. and ultimately. and as 'vibration' on more subtle levels . may appear to be a phrase with clear meaning. complex discipline which has grown out of the central concept of the power of the 'spirit of the word'. hurt. etc. the multi-faceted communicative power of words . However. Jumon are prime examples of the application of kotodama. http://www. theoretically.the power . The discipline is intricately interwoven with other elements of Japanese spirituality. sentimental . with perfect pronunciation/intonation by a person possessing the correct focus and spirit or ki can have a far greater kotodama-effect than the same jumon muttered a 'million'. and also have different written forms).

. vivid. The sound 'chi' can also be written as 地 which can be pronounced as 'ji'. 山 could be replaced with 千 [which also has the reading: 'sen']. a skewer.And on the other. thus changing the meaning form 'mountain' to ' a thousand'.g. a bird of prey. to confuse. And in turn.aetw. yet 'san' as written using this character: 三. initially this would at least seem to simplify things a little.i. this can involve the replacing of one kanji character with another which. these kanji characters can also have other pronunciations: eg: 'sen' can be written 千 [meaning: 'a thousand'] and this kanji character 千 can also be pronounced: 'chi'. means 'mountain'.'sen'. for example. etc) from kanji characters into one of the Japanese syllabic scripts: katakana or hiragana6. the word 'san' . pronunciation) has a different meaning .e. or as any one of a large number of other kanji characters. A primary element of kototama gaku is devoted to the concealing and revealing of deeper levels of meaning of jumon.. replacing 山 ['san'] .e. Or meaning can be concealed/revealed by taking an alternative reading of a particular kanji. (and other words and phrases) via a sometimes complex system of kanji-substitution. or as 先 [before.. while sharing the same 'reading' (i. A further method of concealing/revealing meanings involves converting the written form of the jumon (or other phrase. to hide. could be used as a stepping-stone in the process of transforming the http://www. would in hiragana be written: さ ん [ さ = 'sa'. originally written using the kanji character: 山. a plug. The sound 'sen' can also be written as 川 [stream or river].etc.e.yet having a different meaning. a single kanji character can be pronounced in several different ways depending on context) For example. ringworm. the previously mentioned word 'san' [mountain]. a trapeze. For example. a kanji written with the same number of brush-strokes . a fan . change. the character 山 'san' [mountain] can also be pronounced as 'sen'.a jetty. the alternative 'reading' of that kanji .e. Yet another approach involves the replacing of one kanji with another having the same 'stroke-count' . However. and so on. preceding. with diverse meanings such as: to . So. meditation. etc]. ん = 'n']... a lottery. ad infinitum.. shudder. most written Japanese characters (kanji) have different 'readings' (i. the character 山 'san' has the alternative reading: 'sen'.g.e. discussion. to trample. When the word 'san' was written using the kanji character: 山. and replacing the kanji with one which shares the alternative 'reading' . For example. so for written using this character: 山. with 三 [also pronounced: 'san'] and so changing the meaning from 'mountain' to 'three'. means 'three'.

healing. kototama gaku . [This is perhaps the one element that most people who are aware of the term 'kotodama' are at least partly familiar with. man'yōgana was an early system of writing using kanji .is intricately interwoven with other elements of Japanese esoteric belief. However. etc) from kanji into syllabic script. As mentioned earlier. and to effect spiritual change.meaning. However .aetw.. again involves converting the written form of the jumon etc. applies numerological meaning to the 'stroke-count' of any given kanji or group of kanji. Yet there is far more to this 'vocal' element of the discipline than simple focus on the intoning of individual syllables. each syllabic character is allotted a specific numeric value and alternative meaning is established via a system of numerological association. technically allow for mind-boggling levels of complexity. as briefly outlined above..the science of kotodama . not for their meaning. Another combined koto/kazudama method (the final one we will look at here). while all these methods of concealing/revealing further levels of meaning. http://www. this is no longer possible.. to work with for example: 46-50 sylables. 107 or 108 syllables).in order to influence reality. but simply to represent sounds. bring harmony. Now. * * * * * The other primary element of kototama gaku is initially concerned with mastering the art of intoning specific core syllables8 . Some practitioners concentrate solely on toning a limited number of core syllables.9] The different 'traditions' of kototama gaku tend to differ in their approach this 'toning' aspect of the discipline. from kanji into hiragana or katakana. there is also kazudama: 数霊 ] "the spirit inherent in numbers". the katakana and hiragana syllabaries were originally derived from something called man'yōgana. in this method. One method of concealing/revealing meanings via a combination of kotodama and kazudama principle. while others expand on this initial area of focus. leading to yet another new meaning. happily. actual use of the various forms of substitution is generally of a very simple nature. or 71-75 syllables (and in some instances. having converted the jumon (or other phrase. in practice. By writing the word using characters representing its sound. the resulting characters can then be replaced with the 'man'yōgana' kanji from which they were originally derived. In the same way that kotodama refers to "the spirit inherent in words".7 So. Each character [kanamoji] in the katakana and hiragana syllabaries is actually based on a kanji character originally used as part of man'yōgana. including numerology.

or mystical pronouncements. etc. for example: authoritative magico-spiritual declarations often phrased in the style of ancient Imperial edicts. kotoage is undertaken always with the awareness that what is spoken 'with spirit' will have effect . though it is not always so. and a few other related terms. 'a' and “i' combine to form the simple yet profound: 'ai' ('love'). and as far as possible.will be actualized (whatever the moral intention) To engage in kotoage is to become involved in the manipulation of cosmic forces. primarily refer to the actual words (the phrases. or with norito. happiness). However. in some instances.11 This active aspect of the 'science of kotodama' is known as “raise up or invoke (the power of) words”. work on intoning combinations of syllables to produce certain 'virtuous' and 'fortuitous' words and phrases may begin. on using appropriate expressions. kotoage is the active manifestation of kotodama-power to influence and effect other living beings. and the world within us. the world around us. kotoage is not just about focus on the affirmative use of words/speech. kotoage primarily refers to the actual voicing / intoning itself. or other .aetw. avoiding speaking negatively about things. however while the terms jumon. to “speak up”) . 'spells'. It is the actual 'performance' itself. incantatory formulae including. vows. [ 言挙 or 言擧 ] kotoage is: “to lift the voice” (i. norito. taking the form of hokku [ 発句 ] or tanka [ 短 歌 ]. kotoage is the saying of the prayer. There is great importance placed on choosing one's words with care.the chanting of the jumon. but also on avoidance of unsuitable use. For example: the first two vowel sounds in Japanese (in the traditional order of sound s). kotoage can be very formal and ritualised. be mindful of one's pronouncements – to be aware that what is said carelessly could also be actualized. the vow. Thus. prayers. On some levels. and even 'a-ri-ga-tō-go-zai-ma-su' 10 And in time. etc) to be voiced or intoned. there is a need to be conscious of one's use of the power of language . the meaning of the term kotoage can overlap with that of jumon. the spell. the reciting of the poem. . longevity.e. or 'fu-ku-ju' ('fukuju' = blessings. and norito. unleashing the power of kotodama. Other basic syllable-combinations the practitioner may choose to work with include: 'ma-ko-to' ('makoto' = 'sincerity'). the practitioner may begin to work with jumon.When the 'correct' toning of he individual syllables has been mastered.

at momentous events.12 http://www. 'hardship'. 'worry'. 'shi' is also the pronunciation of the word written as: 死 which means 'death'. there are also many taboo's relating to its use. apartment blocks and hospitals may not have a fourth floor. One of the most prominent taboos is that concerning the number four. it should be done in a sensitive. one should refrain from giving voice to “dark” or discouraging words. So. not only is it considered important in the formal ritualised practice of kotoage to avoid the use of 'shi' in. This awareness of the positive effects of words also finds expression in the context of the choosing of babies names .and a sense of the positive kotodama generated by warm. some people will simply refrain from using 'shi' for the number four in any situation they feel might be important. should not be used in formal toasts or blessings at weddings. this latter. Generally there is the feeling that. must be avoided in any celebratory speeches or toasts relating to pregnancy. People will not give gifts consisting of four pieces. jumon. roundabout. and euphemistic. the choosing of the specific kanji which will be used to write the baby's name. friendly. even in everyday life. It is understood that there is a need to be especially vigilant concerning the words that are used on formal occasions. However. only adding to negativity concerning the word 'shi'. or in certain pivotal situations so as not to be inauspicious or bring bad luck as a result of "accidental kotoage" (i. There are certain phrases to be avoided in certain instances . the unintentional invoking of the kotodama residing within the words) Such awareness and concern as to unintentional / accidental kotoage has also filtered down into the realm of everyday social . but also certain words containing the sound 'shi'. And it is not just the word 'shi' itself. For example. a prayer. That one should be mindful in one's choice of words so as not to hurt another's feelings or cause them embarrassment. 'distress'. in everyday life. Even in everyday situations there is emphasis on the intentional use of fortuitous phrases and expressions . Hotels.aetw. and phrases which might possibly (even in the most indirect way) allude to miscarriage or other difficulties. and so on.and in particular. or a room number four. say. A person would not send shikuramen (cyclamen) flowers to someone who is ill. people are also very aware of the beneficial effects of 'good words' and 'good 'speech'.e.for example. The Japanese word for 'four' is commonly pronounced 'shi' (though it can also be pronounced 'yon' ) however. and that if it is absolutely necessary to convey a negative message. etc). but. words alluding to separation or the name shikuramen contains the sound 'shi'. way. etc for an sick person. or in hospital . 'pain'. enthusiastic greetings. etc. immediately followed by the sound: 'ku' (which can mean: 'suffering'.This has given rise to the concept of: imikotoba [忌み言葉  ] or taboo words words one should refrain from using so as to avoid undesirable consequences.

auspicious meanings. development.for example. the level of skill they possess. Kotodama manifests when syllables. every vow. all have a strong bearing on their effectiveness. Jumon. the person intoning them.e: with sincerity. etc). and so a person's name can theoretically be written in many. prayers.As mentioned previously. many different ways. Japanese is a language with a very great number of homophones. through the power of the kotodama inherent in those words. at the birth of a child. As a . And again. as has already been mentioned when speaking specifically about jumon when it comes to working with the individual syllables. at the start of a new venture or undertaking. words and phrases are intoned with spirit . elegantly phrased in a particular archaic style of Japanese (once used for the composing of Imperial proclamations or edicts ) are believed to have particularly strong 'spirit'. with complete prayers. * * * * * It has already been mentioned how some jumon are understood to possess stronger kotodama than others. a great deal of consideration may be given to the choosing of a combination of kanji which have positive.ever single word in the Japanese language.or the degree of kotodama-power which can be made manifest by their proper use). every poem . (or for that matter. ritual statements etc.13 “Reiki Kotodama” It has now been almost a decade since the Reiki community first began hearing how Usui-sensei supposedly taught students the practice of intoning what are commonly (and somewhat erroneously) referred to as “the Reiki Kotodama” likewise considered to manifest a more powerful kotodama effect than it might if performed at less significant times. etc. not all are considered equal in the degree of power they possess (. While all the syllables (and therefore all words formed with these syllables) are understood to possess kotodama power. in part at least. and which. performed at a pivotal point in a person's live . vows. i. may have a beneficial influence on the individual's character. This holds true not just for complete jumon. as a means of helping some http://www. It was claimed that the intoning of these syllables was a method “used by Usui before he introduced symbols”. vow. with determination.with ki. 'spells'. and/or with passion and feeling – when they are intoned charismatically: with 'emotional content'. but also for all of the individual core syllables. And a specific jumon. and overall flow of their life. the way in which the sounds are used (and even the situation in which they are used). or on another special occasion such as a marriage . every prayer. and on the unfolding. and all of the other individual syllables which are the basic 'building blocks' of every jumon.

but. over the years. hon sha ze sho nen. http://www. and followers of Shinto were given the socalled 'kotodama' to work with.14 those students who were Buddhist were given Buddhist meditation exercises to practice. etc.who. why is it that Usui-sensei's teachings. . Usui-sensei supposedly taught meditative exercises to his Buddhist students and the 'kotodama' practice to his Shinto students.aetw. not only are there problems with the use of the word 'kotodama' here. so the story goes.little things . there are certain details which can be seen to contradict this claim. it is claimed. however another version is that it was as a result of the Naval officers (who had joined Usui-sensei's dojo) refusing to chant the sound-syllables? Though.when. Apparently. there is much to suggest that the story of the supposed creation of the jumon and shirushi at a later date. the jumon and shirushi already existed at an early stage in Usui-sensei's teachings.with the actual 'kotodama'. in the same way that all the other techniques had? Then there are further issues . One version of the tale is that the creation of the jumon and shirushi was in order to help students who were having difficulty connecting to the 'energies' (via meditative or 'kotodama' practice?).which don't seen to 'sit' quite right: For example: If. is not correct. That in all likelihood.students 'connect with the energies'. It has also been presented as 'fact' (albeit unsubstantiated) that it was not until some later date Usui-sensei created the familiar jumon-mantras: chokurei. However. For example it is claimed that Usui-sensei taught 'classical' kotodama theory.even exist? And there have been many aspects of the story .related information itself. why then did the technique not have a proper Japanese descriptive name. in particular. as stated. did the Buddhist nun . Now it must be said that.) 'modern-era' evolutions of kotodama theory. A major concern is. as shared from the perspective of a clearly Buddhist student (the nun) focus strongly on instruction in the 'kotodama' – a practice supposedly taught not to Buddhist students.simply by choosing words which contained the 'kotodama' syllable-sounds . Usui-sensei's early students (and this would include the supposed source of the 'kotodama' information) were apparently not even aware of the term 'Reiki' in connection with Usui-sensei's teachings? If this was genuinely something taught by Usuisensei. as will be discussed later in this article.and also added a shirushi (symbol) to each jumon (as a visual aid?). is the primary source of the information . amongst the supplemental 'background' kotodama information originally provided by those who suggest this. so we are also asked to believe. but to Shinto ones? And some people have questioned why the syllable-sounds are referred to as "the Reiki Kotodama" . and point to the material they teach being heavily influenced by (if not actually based . several concerns have been raised regarding the 'provenance' of the information concerning the 'Reiki kotodama'.

and the personalised form as practiced and taught by Deguchi. or at least. over the years. Ueshiba began to study kotodama gaku (the science/study of kotodama) with Onisaburo Deguchi (spiritual leader of the Omoto kyo religious movement) about 1919. make up their own mind as to the validity of the technique. following kotodama principles. several of the Reiki practitioners now teaching the 'Reiki kotodama' have. if Usui-sensei really did teach what is now referred to as the 'Reiki Kotodama'. This is compounded by the fact that. in order to 'flesh-out' what little information concerning kotodama they received as part of their own . the combination of syllables in each of the two socalled 'kotodama' mentioned. feet flat on the ground) . When questions are voiced concerning the authenticity of the 'Reiki-kotodama' material.or on an upright chair. Here is a description of one very basic approach to working with the 'kotodama'. resting on your thighs. or in the formal gassho position. by the time he began teaching Aikido (1940's) was in several ways significantly different from both the 'classical' expression of kotodama theory. teach the first syllable-sequence as a method of connecting with 'earth' energy' and the second sequence as a method of connecting with 'heaven' energy. influencing properties than those currently assigned to them. in various areas of the Reiki approach which.aetw. 15 there already exist practices for connecting with earth (nature) and heaven ”energies “ (or. Though we should perhaps not rule out the possibility of people having intentionally altered certain things out of a need to overlay personalised significance and meaning onto elements of the practice something which has happened many. Yet within the 'classical' approach to the discipline of kotodama gaku. and over the years evolved his own approach .several people are now. 16 Sit in the traditional Japanese zazen posture (. the original nature and significance of at least some elements of the practice may have been forgotten.experience for themselves if this has an enhancing effect on their Reiki practice – and so. The simple fact is that . a common response is that the best thing would be for the person to work with these sound-syllables for a while . become confused over time. with back straight. as they were understood during that era: “kami”)  and. teaching concepts and applications which did not even exist as such during Usui-sensei's lifetime. many times.with hands either palms down. what is perhaps a slightly misguided attempt to 'recreate' what Usui-sensei might have taught in relation to kotodama theory . Also. drawn heavily on the work of modern writers who's understanding of kotodama is also based on Ueshiba's personal approach to the discipline. those who teach the 'kotodama'. perhaps unwittingly. can be seen to possess other.the expression of the discipline as expounded by the founder of Aikido: Morihei Ueshiba . So it would seem that. http://www.

strongly . steadily and easily in through the nose.with total concentration and unity of body.. mind and spirit. Now it must be said. this somehow constitutes proof that it was actually taught by Usuisensei.vibrating throughout every molecule . The deeper we travel on our journey into Reiki.yet it would be naïve to assume that simply because a given technique is effective. the same holds true (to varying degrees) for just about every other technique which also involves mindful . The more we interact with the phenomenon that is Reiki. Yes. Yet this does not in any way prove the authenticity of the technique (i. In a low and deeply resonant not run or slur them together. and likewise. most people do indeed notice varying degrees of beneficial.every atom. Focus on the moment . separately . as something actually taught by Usui-sensei). http://www. specific breathing.  and on the other hand. at the area known as seiki tanden (a couple of inches below the navel). Each practitioner has the potential to evolve in their own unique way. Let each 'word-sound' fill your whole body . enhancing effect on their 'Reiki flow'. However.. the more we realise that each person's experience is a unique one.there is ONLY the moment.. and presentcentredness.aetw.e. Such techniques have generally been shown to have beneficially enhancing/augmenting effects in relation to the 'Reiki flow' . unique process of 'unfolding'. it would also be naïve to assume that simply because a given technique was not taught by Usui-sensei. Clear and still the mind. different individuals may find different approaches and techniques to be more effective in supporting their own personal. Be aware of the resonance extending out throughout your aura into the very air about you. Draw the breath smoothly.Focus your attention in your hara. the technique can have enhancing effects. intone each 'kotodama' slowly. that it can not be effective. It simply goes to effectiveness. in following the "try it and see for yourself" advice. 17 Pronounce each syllable: each 'word-sound' distinctly. to give their own unique expression to the Reiki phenomenon. there is little doubt of this. the further we get from the 'one size fits all' approach that applied at the outset of the journey. then vocalise the kotodama as you breathe out through the mouth.

while some have clearly explained to their students precisely which practices. many people have done this .. http://www. many have not.their reasoning is simply one of: "afterall. In other instances. which they genuinely believe help them make a deeper level of connection with the phenomenon that is Reiki.a confidence which. as masters. That it will give the students confidence in the technique. if a technique works. and so it has all too commonly been the case that such students have been left with the understanding that all of what they have been taught was originally also taught by Mikao Usui. this particular practice can be a beneficial one. if lacking. many have then chosen to pass on these newly adopted techniques etc. for primarily financial techniques. 18 And. we will probably never know for certain.. or 'adopting-in' to their personal Reiki practice various pre-existing elements from other non-Reiki sources . to their students . perhaps) might believe that in allowing their students to infer that a particular technique is a 'traditional' one.. the world of Reiki is not immune to such things. could result in the students perhaps setting up subconscious resistance to the effects of a practice which the teacher genuinely believes cound be highly beneficial for the students' Reiki-related growth and development.experimenting with independently-evolved techniques and practices. etc.. share it to others.If a Reiki practitioner finds a technique (or develops a technique of their own) which they genuinely feel has a beneficially enhancing/augmenting effect on their Reiki. are their own 'add-ons'. failure on the part of the teacher to clearly identify their own 'add-ons' has simply been a case of them not considering it important .that such inference will actually lend weight / validity to the practice in the students' minds. they are not really doing any harm . Though we can say that.. it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that a less-than-scrupulous teacher might intentionally seek to present a technique as an 'original' one in order to 'hype' the .) However.. certain teachers (somewhat misguidedly. Reiki initiation and training in no way guarantees the unfolding of integrity. (Contrary to what some might think. etc.aetw.". approaches. for some individuals at least.. Over the years. Unfortunately. if they think it appropriate. 'tools' which may possibly also prove of value in the students' own journey. then certainly they should work with it. Now sadly. in some instances. Now whether or not any of the above scenarios apply to the "Reiki kotodama'. and.

or with the breath.altered the form. with ki.. which was first introduced to Japan in the 6th used. as it is to Reiki ones: 17 Some teachers now instruct the student to silently 'intone' the syllable-sequences for a few moments before they begin vocalising them. (Think Reiki Symbols) . or the words are considered part of some magical or Divine language only known to an initiated few. and which are commonly referred to as: "the Reiki kotodama" 10 The Japanese expression arigatō gozaimasu ('a-ri-ga-tō-go-zai-ma-su') is a polite/formal way to say 'thank you'. and significance of pre-existing symbols. 2 Except in one or two rare cases 3 onmyodo is an almost-forgotten form of the 'magico-religious' aspect of Taoism. more obscure variation of hiragana . This particular element of the process of evoking of the power of kotodama is pertinent when it comes to why so many people do not seem to 'get' the power and importance of the Reiki Symbols. It can be used to show appreciation for something that has already occurred.And this is the direct source of the highly simplistic application of kotodama-principles which have been adopted by several Reiki practitioners.with several Japanese practitioners having 'adopted-in' additional practices from other sources. etc. it is from within this orb that the sound vibration should occur. 14 Although the story has gone through several revisions over the years 15 And also. commonly known by the modern name: haiku 12 And not just babies names. another. and students may (or may not) be taught to visualise/imagine a small orb of light floating just above the centre of their . within the Deguchi / Omoto Kyo approach 16 . they simply have not learnt how to write them .) with the hand. Characters can be traced in the air (for example. I approach which is probably as familiar to Aikido practitioners. but also names for new business ventures. spiritual organisations. the Japanese language also makes use of two other writing systems: hiragana. closely associated with the 'intoning' element of the discipline is a calligraphic (書道. The characters of hentaigana are also derived from man'yōgana. 11 tanka is what is commonly called waka poetry (originally tanka was only one of several different forms of waka).called hentaigana . or something yet to occur. but an 'Eastern' one also . with spirit/ki . etc. While they may have learnt the symbol shapes. hokku is an even shorter form of poetry. Hiragana and Katakana are phonetic writing systems their characters representing sounds rather than ideas 7 Sometimes.000 times 6 As well as using kanji. 8 Different 'traditions' of kotodama gaku focus on different numbers of syllables 9. and even the correct order and direction of the strokes with which each symbol is written. 18 And contrary to what some would have us believe. and even pop or rock groups. The aim is to have the vocalised sound vibrate in the centre of the mouth.etc.080. and katakana. However. or with the eyes. shodō) practice of drawing/writing individual characters and complete phrases.___________ NOTES: 1This is commonly because some of the words are approximations/corruptions of words borrowed from other human languages from other places or other ages.. 4 Some believe it is only the Japanese language that holds the power of kotodama 5 Actually 1. this does not have to be done with 'brush and ink'. names. this is not just a 'Western' phenomenon.aetw. Whereas kanji represent ideas. http://www. created new symbols. and so. the intoning of 'a-ri-ga-tō-go-zai-ma-su' repeatedly is used to help evoke deep heart-felt gratitude (kansha) for all that is good in one's life. 13 Kotodama also manifests when words/syllables are written with spirit/ki.with spirit. In a separate practice.

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