This week, I’ve been thinking about the ideas of faith, belief and spirituality. These thoughts usually come up for me when I’m at services. Rarely do formal worship services resonate with me, although I sometimes have to go and participate with the family. Friday night was one of those times. As I do when I’m at a service in the congregation, I found myself pondering religious ritual, formal worship, and means of making the connection to a Higher Source.
I’m Jewish. I should probably mention that I’m comfortable being Jewish. More than a religious practice, Judaism is a culture. This means it involves family, history, food, music, art, books, holidays, language, Bible, religious writings, education, and ties to a land (Israel). It’s essentially a way of life. I also have a Master’s Degree in Jewish Studies, and have worked as a Jewish educator either part time or full time for the last 13 years. Despite my education and teaching experience, the formal worship aspect has never made me feel spiritually connected.
Judaism is founded on monotheism, and many of our prayers are of the “God is One” variety, which works for me. But as I sat in services on Friday night, I realized an aspect of what’s wrong with it for me. What’s not working for me is that in the prayers, God is addressed as You. You this, You that, thank You, You are this, You are that… separate from “us.”
This feels wrong to me because the way I’ve come to feel about spirituality is that WE are God – we all are, via our souls, essences, life force – and we are connected to each other through this same energy. Our energy – our soul essence -connects all life, and that is Spirit energy. We are all capable of learning to give more of this essence energy (Life Force Energy, Ki, Chi, whatever you might call it) to each other as needed, for healing, balance, etc. in whatever way we learn how (Reiki, Quantum Touch, and many other energy healing modalities), and there are many ways.
But it doesn’t matter how we do this – just that we do. I think it could be one of the main reasons for existence, to feel this connectedness, elevate our vibrations, learn to help each other and the world (for all nature is connected by this energy – plants, animals, the Earth). Once you know how to do this, you see the world and life itself so differently. I don’t need formal worship to feel connected because I feel connected through energy work.
The people who devalue life, who hate others and think they are better than others, who let the
ego interfere with the basic principle of connectedness are missing this essential point. That’s why it usually seems that organized religion separates people into little groups of people who miss the point. Once a religion asserts that it is the “True” path to spirituality, it is missing the point of the connectedness, the Oneness of everyone and everything.
So why am I writing this? I often think about the ideas of faith, belief and spirituality. I don’t reject religion in general or my religion. In fact, I feel connected to the belonging-ness and the aspects of Judaism that stress the importance of helping, caring for the planet, respecting others, and being a good person. Holiday themes of family and togetherness, the importance of everyone, and seeking a connection with God are parts that I especially like.
Reiki is not a religion. It is a spiritual practice however. That is its essence because it involves connecting with this spiritual energy. It is not a religion because it requires no beliefs, does not single out one group over another, and it does not require a formalized ritual of worship. There are no Reiki holidays. There is not Reiki food. No language needs to be learned. Symbols are optional but have no religious significance. There are precepts, ideas of how Reiki can benefit your life, but it’s not considered Law or required faith, or something to accept or suffer any consequences if you don’t.
So this week’s blog entry is intended to share my thoughts on religion, spirituality, faith and Reiki with you. Please comment if you feel moved to do so.
Thank you. Peace.