Faith Healing or Reiki: Similar Yet Different?

Reflections on Chapter 24 of the Tao Te Ching:

One cannot stand firm on tiptoes.
One cannot walk far with long strides.
One who flaunts herself
cannot be enlightened.

The self-righteous cannot be distinguished.
The boaster gets no praise.
Self-praise cannot last long.

If one is with Tao, these actions
are excessive and burdensome.

All things detest them.

To have Tao, one does not dwell upon these things.

The Tao Te Ching consistently refers back to excess. I have practiced Tai Chi for years. In Tai Chi, if you are pushing someone, you never want to push them too hard. If you push too hard, you go beyond your reach and you can be easily pulled off your center. That’s a great principle. It is prevalent throughout the Tao Te Ching and in life. Essentially, that is what he is saying here.

The people that boast tremendously end up at the bottom.

You just know it’s going to happen. If you think in terms of political candidates and you have someone who is very boastful, people see through that. I think  that people naturally see through fallacy. A lot of people who are not in their integrity think that people can’t see it, but they can. We are very intuitive beings and even if we don’t consider ourselves to be psychic or intuitive, we do have those abilities. We just have to be aware of them.

I was watching this show once and it was Pat Robertson. He was doing some healing on his show. I was really surprised because I did not realize that he did that sort of thing. I am not really into Pat Robertson. I had heard of faith healing, but had never really seen it. Really, it looks just like Reiki or something that would be considered “evil” by some certain parts of the Christian religion.  So, I wondered, what is the difference between faith healing and Reiki? Aren’t they very similar things? They even had a commercial on where a guy was willing to teach others how to do this. Hmmm… so anyone can do it? I was excited. I believe in Reiki and other forms of hands on healing and it was kinda cool to be in agreement with Pat Robertson for once. He thinks that “if you believe it, you will be healed” just like I do.

I think that the traditional Christian way is that they say that it is God doing the healing and they don’t take ownership of it. They are just a vessel. I think that they are right, in a sense. A lot of this is just semantics. You don’t take it as your “self” as doing the healing. Some might call it your “small self”. We are all vessels for this energy when we do our work – whatever that work is. If you try and claim it as “you” in a boastful way, we know that it is wrong and we reject it. We may doubt you or we may not vote for you if you are a politician.  These sorts of actions are burdensome on our hearts. If we are feeling compassionate, we may hope for you one day to figure out your mistakes because we also do not want you to be considered a fool.  Ultimately, we really want the best for people. That is our highest good.

So what do you think of all this?   Please share your comments in the space below!

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  1. Some of the most impressive and effective leaders I’ve met are humble. Odd it still amazes me to find one who views everyone as peer and equally deserving of respect and undivided attention. As is so often the case, the stereotypes seem to come from the minority. I like your analogy to Tai Chi and being pulled off your center if you push too hard. It seems those who have found success (even when you define it as heading a successful, celebrated business) are just and grateful.
    Nanette Levin recently posted…Using smart marketing concepts for national meetingsMy Profile

  2. The ones who treat me as an equal ( when in my mind they are ahead of me) stretch me and I love it. Especially when they assume that I am their level. It sometimes brings up my own insecurities, but I try not to let it.

  3. It’s all in the believing. If you believe you can/will be healed, you stand a better chance of being healed. I have had some experience with this and suffice it to say that I was determined that it didn’t matter whether the diagnosis was right or not, I was not going to accept this and in the end I would be healthy. And that’s what happened. The surgeon told me it was miracle. I thought it was just me refusing to accept illness into my body.

    I learned that in Tao, you go with the flow and as the universal energy flows though you, it is directly by your thoughts to be either negative or positive. I was positive the diagnosis was not what they said.
    Julia Neiman recently posted…Storytelling and the Art of Selling: Lesson 22 in the Empowering Young Entrepreneurs SeriesMy Profile

    • Congratulations, Julia! That story is such an affirmation of the power of healing. Do you have that story written down somewhere so we can link to it?

  4. Pingback: 24 – Excess

  5. Reiki is near and dear to me. I’m a Master-practitioner in the traditional Usui style, it was my topic of study for my Ph.D. dissertation and it was a key help in recovering from a stroke a few years ago.

    On the other hand, my family is very much a part of the evangelical fundamentalist subculture, with an aunt and uncle being ministers in a denomination that practices “faith healing”. In that subculture, there is a pervasive and deep belief in healing through prayer whether there is a formalized “healing” session or not.

    To my understanding and experience, there is very little in common between Reiki and “Faith Healing”.

    The way I was taught and practice Reiki, the practitioner really is just a conduit, never a source. (Some) Christians attribute the healing selflessly to their God, acting only as a conduit as well. To my thinking, that is where any similarity dramatically ends. It makes me uncomfortable that many states lump the two together legally and (as I understand it) some places require Reiki practitioners to either be ministers (I’m an ordained preceptor with the U.L.C.) or certified counselors.

    In Reiki, belief and faith has no impact on how well the session works, or the quality of the healing session. It works just as well on babies, small children, die-hard skeptics and animals as it does on ‘true believers’. It is an act of connection to universal life energy, the totality of all-that-is , the Grand Ultimate, the Taiji if you will. Call it whatever you want, Reiki will do what it will do. It is less “faith” and more a matter of trusting the body-mind-spirit’s innate intelligence to do the right thing, given the energy to do it. Reiki engages and empowers and lifts up the person who seeks help as much as the helper. Sure, there are egos involved, but at least here it is more of a partnering than a healer-healee, superior – inferior sort of setup.

    In my experience, “Faith Healing” is rife with categories and requirement. It requires specific beliefs from the person who needs healing. It discounts their innate healing ability rather than acting to energize it. It puts the person in a position of passivity and a sort of inferiority, rather than an active, empowered part of the healing process. “Faith Healing” only connects to proscribed believe systems. Even if it doesn’t exalt the “faith healer” directly, it flaunts their particular world view, and thus by extension it puts the healer and their particular world view up on a pedestal. It stands them on tip toes.

    No one thing is the answer to everything. There are some people who, because of the way they engage with their religion, will always do better with “faith healing” and the drama that always seems to go along with it, while others need the low key, more Zen-like Reiki approach. There are others that will refuse either. A good healer will use whichever healing tool best serves their patient’s needs. From my individual point of view, Reiki is much more aligned with the observations of Taoism, and the way life actually seems to work than the ‘faith healing’ side of I’ve seen from my family and the subculture where they still live.

    • Thanks so much for this, Ronda. Excellent. I have not been exposed, as you have, to the political and social ramifications of faith healing, but it sure looked similar when you look at what they were doing. It is sad to me that it is not viewed as a similar thing and that people feel the need to capture or “own” the healing and exclude people. That has always been sad. The good news is, things can and are changing. Many Christian churches are opening their minds to new ideas and hopefully one day they will realize that they are really wanting the same thing.

  6. Pingback: Reiki vs “Faith Healing”

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  9. This was a very critical and analytical post. It would have been better if you could divide this post into 2 parts. This is what I think. 🙂

  10. Was very good post, I believe that the way of thinking is the key to all healing, that’s where enters Reiki brilliantly.

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