Updated: Jan 24
In Reiki Level 2, we are introduced to three Reiki symbols. Only these three symbols were introduced or revealed by Usui Sensei. There is no surprise that Buddhist scholar Usui Sensei taught us these three symbols. Reiki symbols hold a significant part in Usui's teachings. These symbols are coordinated with power or energy – first symbol; with mental/emotional health – second symbol; and connection to the spiritual realm – third symbol. With these three symbols, I see a strong relationship between tanden centers. It is common knowledge that Mikao Usui was studying esoteric Buddhist healing. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and most Eastern healing traditions focus on three tanden (Dantain in Chinese), and he was familiar with them. These three Symbols, three tanden reflecting Reiki's healing effect on the Body, Mind, and Spirit. The first symbol represents the body, the second – mind, and the third - spirit.
I want to share a traditional description of these centers (tanden) that correspond with each symbol.
First or Lower Tanden (also called Hara in Japan), located two inches below the navel, is Ki or Qi energy's storage and generator. This tanden is playing an essential role in many breathing techniques. It is a center of gravity in the body and the Source of human energy or power. Mastering this, we connect with Universal Energy, with the Source. Japanese masters, from tea-ceremony to martial arts, are teaching about "acting from the hara." Without mastering this, we cannot access the next two centers. This center is the base or foundation for all other centers. In martial arts, it is described as "the root of the tree of life" and the "power-center that is base of everything." This tanden covers the first and second chakras. The First Reiki symbol represents Power or Lower Tanden.
Second or Middle Tanden, located at the heart level, is the center of our emotions and thoughts that affect our physical body. It is associated with the health of our respiratory system, blood circulation, and internal organs. Inner peace, love, and gratitude are related to this tanden. In the indigenous healing traditions, love describes as the most vital healing force in the universe. The second tanden includes third, fourth, and fifth chakras. The Second Reiki symbol represents the mental and emotional stage, or Middle Tanden.
The Third or Upper Tanden is located in the center of the forehead. This tanden relates to consciousness or spirit. It corresponds to the brain's physical functioning, thinking processes, observation, analytical functions, intuition, and spirituality. The third tanden includes sixth and seventh chakras. The third Reiki symbol represents a spiritual connection to Universal Wisdom, most commonly known as the distance symbol.
According to Buddhist tradition, only when we learn and master the first tanden a passage to the second will be open. Then we need to master the second tanden to gain access to the third. We master our skills and energy from the lower tanden to the higher one. When we master the third tanden, we obtain bliss and a feeling of oneness with everything in the universe. This connection to the Universe (Source) brings Light and energy from top to bottom through every tanden, chakra, or meridian. This flow reminds me of the kundalini path.
In traditional Chinese medicine, these three centers are often called Three Diamonds as they regulate our physical, mental, and spiritual health. It fascinates me that modern medical publications refer to the Three Brains: Gut, Heart, and Brain. Working together, they create a healthy mind-body connection responsible for our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Each brain is a complicated system with billions of neurons. They can learn, remember, communicate and change. In the last ten-fifteen years, quite a few researches were published on this topic. Their descriptions are very close to the traditional definition of three energy centers.
We live in a unique time when modern science confirms ancient teachings—letting us better understand our body, what makes us healthy and happy, and better understand the importance of coherence and harmony between our Three Diamonds.
With love and Light,