As I prepare for my next Iaido test—a Japanese martial art based on the art of drawing the sword—part of the process is to par down my appearance. Colorful nail polish will give way to nude. Jewelry will be gone—all of it. My favorite berry lip color will give way to plain lip balm.
That’s because when you do an embu—performing a series of Iaido katas in front of others—the only thing that’s supposed to shine is your sword.
In Japanese martial arts, the sword represents wisdom.
As a practitioner of Iaido, you must let go of distractions and adornments, and just allow whatever wisdom you’ve acquired to shine through. Humbly yet without shame.
This week, it hit me: the same can apply to Reiki.
We may love crystals, rituals, and intentions. They may help us find ourselves in the “right space.” But in time, we need to let go not only of anger and worry, but also of spiritual crutches, adornments, and distractions.
In our Reiki practice—as in Iaido—the only thing that should shine is the bright light of our presence. Humbly yet without shame.