You won"t have heard of NIPPS before. It is an acronym I recently invented!

Everything I really needed to know about the practice of Reiki, its very essence, was all present in my first degree class. The years of practice that followed simply served to expand my understandings of exactly what was held in that experience.

Hawayo Takata translated a Japanese healing art called “Reiki” into a form that could be received by the western world. After years of practice, I came to appreciate this translation as masterfully encapsulating the essence of the practice, not more, not less than was necessary, very Zen in fact.

My musings on this process led me to create the acronym “NIPPS” (Narrative, Introduction, Precepts, Practice, and Secrets) to describe the environment that was present in the first degree class which is the entry into this practice.

The Narrative is the so called “Reiki story”. Not a history, more a multi levelled story of origin, a connection to the beginnings and the teachings of the practice, the pivotal lineage bearers, and the continuing narrative of the here now, in which the student becomes a participant.

The specific method of Introduction used for entry into the practice has long been called initiation. Purely as a word it works, as it initiates a process. But as a process of “connection to Reiki energy”, this it is not my belief or experience. Mikao Usui (the founder of the practice) is quoted as saying that this practice was a way to “lead a happy life using the spiritual capabilities humans are endowed with since birth”. Every human being already has it. The ‘Introduction’ is a specific method of creating a conscious shift to awareness of something that has always been so.

Precepts and doing of a Practise (the two P’s) are obvious elements, without which the “practice” has no structure, no bones. Unfortunately the precepts are often not given the emphasis they deserve, and the importance of a disciplined personal practice is often skewed in favour of the therapeutic uses of the practice on others.

The one element that may be a surprise is “Secrets”. These are intrinsic in the practice, a given, a reflection of everday life. They refer to that which is held as being 'true’, but which are beliefs about the truth. These key words “the secret method of inviting happiness” are inscribed on Mikao Usui’s memorial stone referencing the 'Reiki precepts’. Not that secrets are being held back, but the nature of the secrets is that they are “knowable” only through the engaging in the practice.

The practice is the key to layers of “secrets” in this practice and follow simple 'rules’:

  • The best kept secrets are invisible even when in plain sight.
  • Secrets are not “known” by the telling. The intellectual knowledge of the secret is not the realisation of the truth that the secret holds.
  • The secrets are known (“realised” as in made real) only when the secrets, the tools, the teachings of the system, reveal themselves through the practice.

If this is not in your experience yet, continue a mindful practise. Do not assume that you truly know anything with certainty or have the “right” teachings. Open to what the system has to reveal to you rather than imposing your meanings on the practice and the system. This is the key, and the meaning of Hawayo Takata’s often quoted  “Practice! Practice! Practice!” and “Let Reiki teach you!”