Life Energy (Chi, or Prana) Reiki and Five Element
The concept of chi, or prana, is elusive to some. To the hardened rational mind, it may seem to be an imaginary “placebo” concept for something that does not exist; or something that science has “just not explained” yet. According to Eastern spiritual systems, chi is life force. It is the motivating energy, or force that is between pure, non-material thought, and manifest matter. Chi is the carrier wave of our spiritual intention. Everything that happens in our universe involves the catalyst of movement facilitated by chi in some way. Ideally: as we become more attuned to the spirit that nourishes all life, our intention becomes more and more focused, and we are less concerned with our ego “self”, and naturally act more in accordance to our truest nature. We feel and experience a greater connection to the events in our lives because our awareness is also increasing. When all this happens, our chi becomes more powerful, and we have less ego attachment to it at the same time. For many, this experience is the beginning of true healing.
In a practical sense, chi assumes whatever qualities that are needed in order to carry out a particular task, purpose, or embodiment. Put another way, chi, in a real sense, becomes self-identical to that which it manifests as, and carries the potential to actualize manifestation. One of the primary formations of chi that we know of is the Five Elements.
The Five Elements
The five elements are: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. The element names are not meant to be taken literally, but their qualities are indeed reflected in the literal elements they are named after. At the level of physical embodiment, each element is simply a particular way in which our life energy, or chi, manifests itself in order to accomplish a particular task that is necessary to our existence. It is only when we can no longer take in, or “ingest” these energies of life that we begin to have problems. Wherever an inability to take in our life force occurs in any one element, our emotional maturity, mental discernment, physical health, happiness and spiritual life will eventually suffer if we do not correct it. This is because each element supports all the others and the whole by doing what it is supposed to do. But what exactly are they, and why are they so important?
It helps to think of the five elements as interdependent energies, all moving in a cycle that keeps transforming our overall life force in a fusion of creative expansion, and formative contraction. As an example, say you decide to build a simple table. Your mind expands and considers all the details of making this table, it’s purpose and design, and how to to do it. Once it is conceptually complete though, your focus changes to contract, or zoom in on the small details that you physically do one at a time, such as measuring the wood, cutting the wood, putting the pieces together, and so forth. This transformation is all about bringing potential into manifestation in stages according to intent.
The expansion of our creative life force takes our overall life theme through a process of creative expression in the expansion phase, then culls the aspects that we let go of, and keeps the essence that is left from a given cycle in the contraction phase. The it all starts over again, but from the new time perspective of our life’s unfoldment, and what we have “learned” from experience. This unfolding is continuous in small and large increments of “time”, and we experience it as our life spontaneously happening, day to day, week to week, month to month, and year to year. This rhythm through time is why we see repeating patterns of events and behavior in our lives, and is key to resolving unwanted patterns in all areas of our existence at the human level. In other words, our unconscious life patterns are rooted in our “undigested” elemental energies. This is also known as “Karma.”
These may sound like metaphors, but when examined closely, it will be seen that the metaphor is very accurate. It describes phenomena, which exists, and can be predicted in every strata of nature. Five Element theory energetically describes the function of our organs, and even the seasons of the Earth. Five Element theory can be, and is, used in medical diagnosis. Although, it can be applied to psychology, spirituality, and even science; as well as healing work of all kinds. It is not the province of any single discipline.
The Individual Elements
The Yang elements Wood and Fire are about creative expansion and the Yin elements Metal and Water are about creative contraction. The Earth element is the bridge between all of them since it is all about the merging of intent with the “doing” of manifestation – or ripening.
The Water element is reflected in the energy of winter. It is the essence of your will power, and the potential of manifestation in your life. Your ability to draw vitality from your life essence is a primary focus of the water element. The Water element meridians are the Bladder and Kidney meridians. Water is gentle when in balance, and fearful when not in balance.
The Wood element is reflected in the energy of spring, and empowers your vision and perspective to project the planning necessary for your life goals. Your wood element gives you growth, stability, creativity, and flexibility to move ahead with your life. The wood element is also a catalyst for your healing. The Liver & Gall Bladder meridians are of the Wood element. Wood is kind when in balance, and angry when not in balance.
The Fire element is reflected in the energy of summer, and it helps you to mature by energetically embracing your life in a joyful and passionate way. It facilitates your connectedness from the heart in all kinds of relationships. The Heart, Small Intestine, Pericardium and Sanjiao (AKA triple burner)meridians are of the Fire element. Fire is joyful when in balance, and raging when out of balance.
The Earth element is reflected in the energy of late summer. It is the seat of your intention. This energy enables you to nurture, accept, and support others for the sake of service. It helps you to feel the pain and suffering of others with compassion and thoughtfulness. It assists you in your stability and grounding, so that you can support yourself and others through right action. The Spleen & Stomach meridians are of the Earth element. Earth is satisfied when in balance, and worried when out of balance.
The Metal element is reflected in the energy of autumn. It helps you to let go of attachments on all levels of your being. The metal element helps you to separate the pure from the impure in your world, and to determine your standards. The metal element also connects you to spirit, enables you to “believe”, and find meaning and purpose in your life. The emotion of Metal is Grief. The Lung & Large Intestine meridians are of the Metal element. Metal is courageous when in balance, and depressed when out of balance.
What do the Five Elements have to do with Reiki? Everything! Through training, the Five Element Reiki practitioner can use the knowledge above to help guide his or her’s approach to the Reiki session based on an assessment of the state of elemental balance of their clients. Instead of doing a strictly routine session on each client, the Five Element Reiki practitioner can adjust the approach of each session to each client’s need.