To the mind everything is a symbol, an icon, a set of meanings and experiences, to the point that we often no longer truly see an object, and respond instantly to the minds identifications. Symbols are the power tools of the mind.
I am always curious about how my mind works. My mind thinks it is me, that my body is who I am (for example). The mind’s language is symbolic and it processes and makes “knowns” from all the inputs received from the external world.
If I pick a familiar item like a car, with a known function, a “set of wheels”, a form of transport, is that what I see? Or do I see a status symbol, a symbol of freedom, an expression of identity, or memory flashes of experiences with a particular vehicle. A car is perceived in all these ways and more. So too is life itself.
The mind’s identifications, and the response are part of our survival mechanisms, the fight or flight system when reaction is a life and death matter, no time to think on it. However this mechanism can work against us in other circumstances. Being mindful of the mind’s illusions is a path to healing our places of creating separation.
Our “thought illusions” become a place of disconnect from real life and real people. Do I truly see and respond to the person in front of me, or do I create a separation, see “the enemy”, the stereotype, perhaps even a symbol of what I reject in myself. These are every moment opportunities for healing, for awakening to what is real.
Practices of mindfulness serve to put the brakes on unconscious living, allows different choices, allows us to become real. Being real is healing the illusory thoughts about who we are.
The Reiki practice is my way of doing this, a way to self healing, to living and growing in mindfulness, to being in the now moment.