Q&A: Can I do Vipassana as well as Reiki?

I recently went to a Vipassana meditation camp, where they told me out there that it is very dangerous to practise Reiki with Vipassana as both are very strong energies and there may be chances that it may collide with each other outcome of which u may lose you mental stability. My question if it is true, is how can meditation combined with Reiki have a negative impact when they both serve for the purpose of benefiting mind, body and soul?

Vipassana was my first intense meditation experience. I was a Reiki teacher for 2 years already by then, and practicing Reiki for more than a decade. So when most of the ‘speaking time’ I had during this retreat was spent listening to a senior member try to convince me to give up Reiki, it left me confused as ever. ‘You have to choose’ she kept telling me.

On enquiring why they felt this way, I was told (in fact if I remember right, they had even played an audio where Goenkaji spoke about this) that they had had an incident where a couple of (Reiki healer) women had gone into psychosis during a Vipassana course, and they had discouraged people ever since. It then started to make sense to me.

Throughout the retreat, I had almost felt like the process was just like being Reiki. And when you have a truly deep understanding of both systems, you see that they are really so similar – both teach being independent (i.e. not depending on anything external objects or ideas, like crystals, incense, angels, etc), both teach surrender to life, both teach compassion towards others and both encourage a daily sadhana.

Unfortunately, most of Reiki’s true spirit is lost as it heads towards greater commercialisation. Today much of spirituality has become a way to escape our shadow rather than confront it. People do this by depending on external objects, by opening themselves up to various dangerous energies in the name of connecting with angels, and become ‘positive’ people, refusing to acknowledge and integrate their darkness.

And vipassana is a process which slams you in the face with your own shadow – you are forced to face it and you have nowhere to hide. An excellent recipe for psychosis. I must also mention that many of the people who believe in and try to live only ‘in the light’ also have extremely weak auras and sponge up negativity very rapidly. So when present in a large group of meditating people, they might even have simply picked up an entity released by someone else before the teacher could do anything about it.

So I believe if you are practicing Reiki in the right spirit, working with your shadow and learning to be self-reliant, then Vipassana will deepen and strengthen your practice. I know people who have sustained both practices for a while and been very happy about it.

PS: I do not imply that nobody on a spiritual pathway ever uses crystals or communicates with angels, but merely that most of the people who do, do it out of a desire to get what they want and not from the desire to push forward spiritually through detachment and a letting go of desires. Such people often communicate with lower energies masquerading as angels and guides. 

Author of ‘Healing Through Reiki’, Ashwita learned Reiki in 1997, and started teaching it in 2006. She now incorporates other forms of energy healing, as well as hypnotherapy and past life therapy in her work. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, crafts, reading and painting.

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