Reiki and Vipassana Incompatible?

John Ferguson, modified 12 Years ago at 7/10/10 1:04 PM
Created 12 Years ago at 7/10/10 1:04 PM

Reiki and Vipassana Incompatible?

Posts: 6 Join Date: 7/9/10 Recent Posts
I have been a Reiki Master for a while. When I did my first 10-day Goenka Vipassana meditation retreat, the staff told me that I couldn't do Reiki while on retreat. This was fine with me and so I did the course without practicing any Reiki. I was also told that after the course I would have to choose between Reiki or Vipassana as the two techniques were incompatible. There was very little elaboration on this point and I got the sense that they believed practicing Reiki and Vipassana would lead to all sorts of severe mental problems.

Eventually I gave up Reiki and just focused on Vipassana and have done several 10-day courses since then. Recently, a friend told me about this site and MCTB. I'm really grateful for this and have been absorbed trying to learn all that I can. One thing it has done is increased my skepticism of what I had been told during my meditation retreats, and I know wonder if an individual can practice both Reiki and Vipassana without having any sort of adverse side effects. I am curious if anyone has any opinions on this, particularly speaking from personal experience. I do see benefit in a person doing Reiki and Vipassana, but I am cautious to do so because what I have been told.

Thanks for any help.
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Nikolai , modified 12 Years ago at 7/10/10 1:34 PM
Created 12 Years ago at 7/10/10 1:30 PM

RE: Reiki and Vipassana Incompatible?

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Hi John,

The reasons for this rule in the Goenka tradition are mainly because of past experiences of people going mad or having bad reactions during courses and the authorities there attributing those cases to the fact they had been "mixing" techniques. There is a great emphasis in the Goenka tradition on "keeping the technique pure". As well as not wanting people to freak out on courses, as they are not trained to handle psychotic episodes. So they seem to want to avoid that. This is the line they run with all their straight up rejections of all other techniques even the Mahasi noting technique.

This is as far as I know, only a stance of those who adhere to Goenka's philosophy. You will not be able to reconcile your Reiki practice with sitting in that tradition. Although you can continue to sit outside their centres. But dont expect them to let you continue sitting if you "mix" techniques. They are hardcore liek that.

Have you tried the Mahasi noting technique? In my experience it is what got me to stream entry and beyond after spending many years [practicing the sweeping technique. I mixed techniques and got results. But the techniques I "mixed" were conducive to each other. I have never done reiki so i cant pass judgement on the efficacy of their combination. Vipassana is all about dis-identifying the self from all phenomena of the mind/body process. Reiki, and here I am assuming, is about "manipulation" of the energy within the body for healing purposes., right?

To tell you the truth I don't see how one will screw up the other. Maybe someone else will chime in. My advice, is if you want to practice Vipassana without being given ultimatums, try a Mahasi Vipassana centre.

Nick
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Bruno Loff, modified 12 Years ago at 7/11/10 6:33 AM
Created 12 Years ago at 7/11/10 6:33 AM

RE: Reiki and Vipassana Incompatible?

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John, this is bullshit. From what I could tell about mixing practices, it isn't so much that the two practices are incompatible, but that they may, when mixed, have much more power than the sum of their individual effects.

And this can be dangerous. For instance, mixing a practice that raises energy (such as kundalini yoga, breath of fire, etc) with vipassana is likely to make things much, much more intense than if you do vipassana alone. And if you are doing vipassana 10h a day on top of that, things are likely to turn sour.

I personally think that doing reiki with vipassana on a daily routine should prove fine. But make sure to keep track of things, i.e., if you find that you are having too many uncomfortable energy phenomena, if things get too intense, then take a break from practice for a while. While "making a break to the other side" is often recommended if you're doing vipassana alone, if, on the other hand, you are doing practices that specifically work to raise your energy levels, then there is really no limit to how far the "other side" can be (see, e.g., gopi kirshna), and thus this is not recommended.
Crazy Wisdom, modified 12 Years ago at 7/11/10 8:31 AM
Created 12 Years ago at 7/11/10 8:29 AM

RE: Reiki and Vipassana Incompatible?

Posts: 45 Join Date: 7/5/10 Recent Posts
It is true that mixing practices can lead to energetic overload for example doing all the stuff Yogani recommends and then doing an hour or reiki and then an hour of tai chi. It is also true that SOME practices from certain systems should not be mixed. However, certain other practices mix really well and seem complimentary. Experiments with fitting stuff you learn from other traditions into what you are doing is an important part of what has lead to development of these traditions over the centuries but of course always with a certain risks for those who choose to be guinea pigs.

THere seems to be one thing that does mix with more or less everything and that is the type of passive observation kinds of meditations like Vipassana or Zen. THe advice I have seen experienced people give and what my teacher also says that for the most part you can mix anything that in itself is wholesome with such meditations without getting into trouble. After years of forum lurking and seeing people get in trouble in various ways I have also never seen anyone get any trouble from mixing such a meditaiton practice with anything. THat is unless that person is already in a very sensitive faze of energetic overload where even doing ones regular meditation might upset the energy too much or the other practice itself is so powerful that doing Vipassana on top of it leads to overload. To be so powerful as in the latter case it would have to be as powerful as the whole of AYP or Kunlun. It is also very common with systems that combine a set of yoga or qigong with breathing exercises and energetic meditations and then doing Vipassana or Zen type meditations within a sessions. IT is how many yogic and taoist systems are built. Vipassana and similar passive meditations tend to let the energy work itself out as is natural so it does not crash with a process set of by something like Reiki. So doing some Reiki, some chakra work, some microcosmic orbit or inner smile or some mantra etc. in combination with Vipassana should be fine. Doing the Reiki in combination with other chakra work on the other hand might lead to trouble as the might be trying to achieve to different things that crash.

One of the explanations I have heard of why the Goenka tradition does not allow this is that by manipulating the energy we try to change reality whereas in Vipassana we try to observe reality as it is so the energy work crashes with that. THat would mean the Whole Varjana tradition is false so the argument is obviously not correct.
John Ferguson, modified 12 Years ago at 7/13/10 11:05 PM
Created 12 Years ago at 7/13/10 11:05 PM

RE: Reiki and Vipassana Incompatible?

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Thanks for everyone's input on this. I agree that there shouldn't be any adverse side effects of doing Reiki and Vipassana together. I have started to do a small daily Reiki routine in addition to my normal Vipassana meditation. I haven't noticed any problems, nor do I expect to, but I will be cautious and aware of any potential issues that might arise.
J Adam G, modified 12 Years ago at 7/14/10 9:57 PM
Created 12 Years ago at 7/14/10 9:57 PM

RE: Reiki and Vipassana Incompatible?

Posts: 286 Join Date: 9/15/09 Recent Posts
As a fellow level III Reiki practitioner, I can say that I've never experienced any adverse effects from combining the two.

For all the danger demonstrated by my experiences, you may as well note the sensations during self treatments, to get extra meditation time in =)

Of course, all the above advice applies -- cut back on the energy practices and vipassana if things get too intense for you to handle skillfully. Having said that, Reiki is known to be pretty benign in the vast majority of circumstances, having either positive effects or none at all. Though there has been some talk among some pretty trustworthy (in my opinion) people familiar with energetic stuff that Reiki has, on occasion, been detrimental in the wrong situation. Trust your judgment with it, and you'll probably know when not to use it.

Here's something that would be fascinating to explore, and which I would love to explore after stream entry, during the Review phase. Does strong concentration increase the effects of Reiki in any way? I'd love to try Reiki in the 4th jhana. It seems like the perfect place for it.

One last note -- remember that Dr. Usui was Buddhist. Tendai, if I recall correctly.
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Daniel M Ingram, modified 12 Years ago at 7/22/10 4:26 PM
Created 12 Years ago at 7/22/10 4:26 PM

RE: Reiki and Vipassana Incompatible?

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I don't foresee any problems either.

D
Yair Hilu, modified 12 Years ago at 7/22/10 7:17 PM
Created 12 Years ago at 7/22/10 7:17 PM

RE: Reiki and Vipassana Incompatible?

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Crazy Wisdom:
mixing practices can lead to energetic overload for example doing all the stuff Yogani recommends and then doing an hour or reiki and then an hour of tai chi.


Actually Yagani strongly recommends combining his prescribed techniques with Thi Chi or whatevere. But he also says: don't experiment with few techniques at once. Have your daily routine and favorite techniques you know well. When you want to try somthing new, do it, then wait a few weeks till you see how it affects you. If you try few new things together and fill different you can't tell which one is the cause. That's what he says.
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Andy Coke, modified 11 Years ago at 9/18/10 10:54 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 9/18/10 10:54 AM

RE: Reiki and Vipassana Incompatible?

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Sorry my next question is going to be a bit off topic:


Crazy Wisdom:
It is also very common with systems that combine a set of yoga or qigong with breathing exercises and energetic meditations and then doing Vipassana or Zen type meditations within a sessions. IT is how many yogic and taoist systems are built.


Cray Wisdom, what do you think is the "vipassana" part of taoist practices?

Thanks a lot,
Andy
Crazy Wisdom, modified 11 Years ago at 9/19/10 1:37 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 9/19/10 1:37 PM

RE: Reiki and Vipassana Incompatible?

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I don`t know. I have wondered a lot about that myself. From what I have seen it apears Taoist systems don`t normally have a clear concept of insight meditation. Their language is mostly about alchemy, about working with channels and dan tiens and transforming energy to higher forms. So, from what I have seen so far they to quite an extent see it as engenering work. However, in many systems they emphasize combining the more active alchmeical work with sitting in stilness just being/observing. Depending on how it is done that I guess that could become insight meditation but often will still just be shamatha. THe combination of just sitting and being with whatever is without doing any noting and just focusing on letting go might add up to insight practice. Taoism has a strong historical conection to zen so My guess would be that a lot of the taoist stillness meditation might be like zen. There is a thread on thetaobums.com righ now about taoism and insgiht practice.
Crazy Wisdom, modified 11 Years ago at 9/19/10 1:51 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 9/19/10 1:51 PM

RE: Reiki and Vipassana Incompatible?

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I might add that I once talked to a man that had reached strem entry in a budhist monastary, lost it again after a short time and then got stream entry again doing Mantak Chias alchemical meditations. I asked him if in buddhism you try to get insgiht and this moves energy and in taoism you move energy and this generates insight and he said yes but did not elaborate. THat being said my personal belief is that the reason he had success with CHias system was that he had a background in insgiht medtiation. I think the alchemy led him to points were insight easily happens but when in that landscape you still have to look/open up/surrender etc. in order for insights to actually occur. Having background in VIpassana is what allowed him to do that I think. Not a single person I have come across has claimed stream entry from Chias system and a lot of people have practiced it for a looong time. In general I think Vipassana is much more effective then most taoist alchemical systems for bringing enlightenment precisely because Vipassana has a clear understanding of how to generate insgiht quickly. THat being said I do think that some of the alchemical systems can spead up progress in VIpassana a lot if you find the righ one.

Jenny Lambs Yi Gong is an unusually powerfull taoist system. It is very simple and compatible with VIpassana as Jenny Lamb herself practices Vipassana alongside it.

Michael Winn teaches a form called primordial qigong that is suposed to set of the core alchemcial process and as such in and of itself be able to get you enlightened. I did it for a while and loved it and my Vipassana teacher also does it. It is known to be very powerfull and very balancing and grounding. It works a lot on the central channel, the orbit, and the dan tiens and blends heaven and earth energy.

Primordial qigong is very simple and takes 10-20 minutes depending on how fast you do it. It can be learned from DVD without problems. Yi Gong has to be learned in person so you`ll have to travel for that one.
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Andy Coke, modified 11 Years ago at 9/19/10 2:15 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 9/19/10 2:15 PM

RE: Reiki and Vipassana Incompatible?

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thanks a lot for your answers CW.

Well the fact that even a Qi Gung teachers practice vipassana might say something. Thanks for all the recommendations, at the moment I'm reading Opening the Energy Gates of Your Body by B.K. Frantzis. Any thought on his stuff?

May I ask you, what are the actual benefits you get from practicing Qi Gung? Maybe we should create a different thread :-)

Thank you,
Andy
Bilbo Baggins, modified 11 Years ago at 9/20/10 6:35 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 9/20/10 6:35 PM

RE: Reiki and Vipassana Incompatible?

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My advice would be to just forget about reiki altogether. I'm a reiki master too, and I found it mostly delusional and fraudulent.
It can sensitize you to bodily feelings and help body scanning, but it comes with a big pile of mental baggage and unproven claims. Meditation is for the most part tried and tested over thousands of years for specific effects on the mind, reiki is a mishmash of new age invention, and I found nothing that couldn't be done without all the symbols and other stuff. Plus in two years of regular practice I didn't see anyone healed of anything that a bit of relaxation, placebo and concentrated empathy couldn't fix. Save your money or spend it on a massage.
Crazy Wisdom, modified 11 Years ago at 9/27/10 12:58 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 9/27/10 12:58 PM

RE: Reiki and Vipassana Incompatible?

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Andres Coca Lopez:
thanks a lot for your answers CW.

Well the fact that even a Qi Gung teachers practice vipassana might say something. Thanks for all the recommendations, at the moment I'm reading Opening the Energy Gates of Your Body by B.K. Frantzis. Any thought on his stuff?

May I ask you, what are the actual benefits you get from practicing Qi Gung? Maybe we should create a different thread :-)

Thank you,
Andy


I am not really the one to ask because once I started getting a regular meditation practice my crown chakra exploded and since then I have been struggling with getting grounded enough to practice. Qigong is good for grounding but my case was so difficult that even the advice that works for most people like standing meditation proved ultimately to also case problems so Know I just do six healing sounds (qigong), intfulow, pilates, wegiht training and some physical grounding excercises. THat works but takes forever.

What I think is that most types of qigong will provide balance and an initial help gaining jhana and maybe slightly with vipassana as well but that only certain types of qigong realy spead up the insight process. I think most qigong will help open channels, balance chakras and organs and make you emotionally and physically very healthy and balanced but only certain types of spiritual qigong will help Vipassana. Primordial Qigong and Jenny Lambs Yi Gong are two such systems I think speeds up Vipassana Because they are seen in Taoism as in themselves sufficient for enlightenment if practiced enough and they work really deep on the alchemical process as laid out by Taoism and found in highly similar versions in other traditions. Wether it is actually quicker to add such a system to Vipassana or it is better to spend all the time just doing Vipassana I really don`t know but I am pretty convinced they at least work well on the same thing. For me That ultimately does not matter as I want balance and I want to smooth out the insight cycles etc. and I am willing to slow down to achieve that. But I don`t think adding a well chosen spiritual qigong will slow things down.

As to BK Frantzis, everyone says his stuff is good, very safe, what is in his books can generally be learnt from the books, it is a genuine Taoist lineage (hard to come by) but it is slow and it is not a system that generates high energy levels quickly like say Kunlun will do. From what people say it seems to me that you won`t go wrong doing only that but I have yet to see anyone claim stream entry from it although I am sure it happens. For enlightenment I am convinced Vipassana with noting is much faster although they are very similar and can be perhaps combined and some say his method eventually evolves or should evolve into Vipassana. But I also think his method is much more balanced, safe, healthy and in general a comfortable ride tahn doing only Vipassana. What I think is an effective and balanced approach is to do Vipassana combined with a more high energy qigong that is also known to be balancing. Jenny Lambs Yi Gong has the reputation of both being very powerful and balancing so thats a good combo. Not everyone likes KAP but many do and get a lot of success and have a very balanced safe ride and avoid most common problems such as disconect from daily life, loss of sex drive, becoming too soft etc. in addition it really helps depth of meditation and I belive integrates kundlaini really well and helps do the alchemical process. Sprngforestqigong has gotten very, very good feedback but there is a lot of uncertainty wether it helps the alchemy much as it is built mainly for health and healing. There are a bunch of other choices as well. Stillnes movement for example seems very good but maybe a bit hopeless to COmbine with Vipassana and might need to be practiced on its own or might not be so usefull to combine with vipassana as I think it sort of has an insight component built in. Quality of teacher is also a factor. Kunlun is a modified version of Yi gong but the teacher Max is known to be a liar and seems like a narcissist to me whereas Jenny Lamb seems balanced and nice and everyone that has taken KAP has good things to say a bout the teachers as people although they might not have thought the course was good.
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Andy Coke, modified 11 Years ago at 9/30/10 9:10 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 9/30/10 9:10 AM

RE: Reiki and Vipassana Incompatible?

Posts: 93 Join Date: 10/5/09 Recent Posts
wow, thanks a lot for your post CW. I've been looking for some of the info you just gave for a while! very helpful.

For the minute I will stick to BK Frantzis stuff, and then will do some more research.

There is a seminar of primordial qigong (Andrew Fretwell people) coming up here in Edinburgh in a month, I might join them.

I'm also having a look soon at the shaolin warrior qigong dvds, since they are more a part of buddhism than the other. Any thought on his stuff is appreciated!

Thanks again!
Andy
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edgar kim meme, modified 11 Years ago at 10/2/10 4:07 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 10/2/10 4:07 AM

RE: Reiki and Vipassana Incompatible?

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I am just about to get my attunement into Reiki 2 later this month. I practice vipassana too, both Goenka and Mahasi. So do you think I had better let it go and purely stick to Vipassana. My motivation was that with Reiki, I would be able to ease other people's suffering, paliative as it may be, because I think it would be a good thing.
Bilbo Baggins, modified 11 Years ago at 10/2/10 5:42 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 10/2/10 5:42 PM

RE: Reiki and Vipassana Incompatible?

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Well, I don't know what meditation method you should stick with, I am not qualified to say, all I can say is that what I have seen and experienced of reiki and all it's paraphenalia does not impress me.
I would not pay money for somebody to give me imaginary symbols that somebody just made up. Whatever effects reiki has can be got from just trying to 'tune in' to someone during a 'healing' and I found no difference in the process, for what it is worth, before or after being given symbols and all the rest of that stuff that people seem to take seriously. That's all I can say, really. You have a good motivation but I think it would be more fruitful, if you have the opportunity, to research the effects of relaxation, meditation, mental attitude and placebo on health before reaching for the mystical and psychic. You will find a lot of good scientific research on those, but none on reiki symbols.
cristiana jampa tsomo costa, modified 10 Years ago at 2/1/12 2:32 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 2/1/12 2:32 AM

RE: Reiki and Vipassana Incompatible?

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I think that even reiki alone or vipassana alone can be "dangerous" if one grasps on them. If one's mental attitude is one of grasping, striving for results, forcing the intensity of one's energy, in one word pumping one's ego, the result will be an unbalance of energy and that will be obviously only renforced if one mixes two methods or more.
The reiki tradition I got teaches of staying totally natural, not "inducing" energies, not "manipulating" what already has its' own way for healing. If you apply this way there will never be problems since there will be nothing to be mixed.It's not that such kind of reiki is passive; rather is a matter of let healing energies free, which requires oh yes a lot of "action" but only in he sense of recognizing and cleaning up with one's attitudes of forcing and possessing energies.
Love to all!

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