Mikao Usui

As those in the Reiki tradition know, in the early 1920s, after years of dedicated practice, spiritual seeker Mikao Usui committed to a ritual of fasting and meditation on Mount Kurama in Japan. His goal was to reach an enlightened state of deep, abiding, inner peace called An-Shin Ritus-mei (pronounced “on sheen dit sue may”) in which he would understand and be guided to achieve his life purpose.

At midnight, on the 21st day of his retreat, “a powerful light suddenly entered his mind through the top of his head and he felt as if he had been struck by lightning; this caused him to fall unconscious.” When he regained consciousness, he was filled with a profound state of high-frequency, spiritual energy. He knew this as the enlightened state of deep peace and inner guidance that he had been seeking. Usui Sensei quickly discovered that not only was his consciousness elevated but that this energy also brought deep healing.

In order to strengthen and develop the power of Reiki energy in their lives and their healing work, Usui Sensei instructed his pupils to practice a special meditation morning and night, as well as before healing sessions.

The hand position for this meditation he called Gassho.

In the West it is known as the “prayer position”.

Dr. Usui taught his Reiki system, which is based on three pillars: Gassho, Reiji-Ho, and Chiryo.

Gassho Meditation

Gassho meditation is a crucial part of any Reiki practice. The word Gassho literally means “two hands coming together”. It clears the mind, opens the heart and strengthens one’s connection to Reiki energy.

Mikao Usui practiced Gassho each time at the beginning of his Reiki workshops/meetings. It is meant to be practiced for 20-30 minutes after getting up and/or in the evening before going to sleep.

Gassho can be done alone or in a group. Group meditations are a wonderful experience since the energy increases far beyond the sum of the individual participant’s energies

gassho meditation
Gassho meditation
How To Practice Gassho Meditation

– Sit down (or it can also be done standing), with your spine straight, but still comfortable, and your head in a neutral, upright position.

– Close your eyes and place hands together with palms touching in front of the middle of your chest, with your thumbs touching your heart chakra.

– Focus your attention at the point where your 2 middle fingers meet or in the space between your palms.

– If your mind wanders, acknowledge the thought, then let it go and just refocus by returning your attention to the point where your middle fingers meet or the space between your palms

if you have received a placement/ignition to work with Holy Fire energy:

– Sit or stand comfortably upright. Draw the Reiki Power Symbol on both palms. If you have the use of Holy Fire Reiki, use that symbol. Bring your hands together in Gassho, or the prayer position, in front of your heart. Do this with the intention that this is a sacred action that will develop the power of Reiki energy flowing through you.

– Lightly close your eyes and feel the sensations of Reiki energy between your palms and fingers. You could imagine the sensation as heat or flames flowing upward between your hands. Focus your attention like this until you really feel the sensation.

– Once you have a strong sensory awareness of your whole hands meeting, focus more narrowly into the sensations of Reiki energy running between your middle fingers up to your middle fingertips. Again, you could imagine this as heat or flames, this time flowing upward between your middle fingers.

– Once you have a strong sensory awareness between your middle fingers, relate this to the Central Channel running right up through the core of your body. Imagine and feel heat or flames flowing upward through the centre of your body, from your perineum to the crown point of your head. See if it’s possible to feel both the Reiki energy running up between your middle fingers and up through the Central Channel at once (or you can switch back and forth between them) to strengthen the sensation.

– You can then imagine and feel that the Reiki energy expands to surround and infuse your whole body. See if it’s possible to stay focused on the sensation and really soak it in, until you are really absorbed in it.

– Then, notice how you feel.


– Try your best to dis-identify yourself from your thoughts and feelings during meditation, as well as from your senses, but don’t close yourself off to them.

– Focus your entire attention at the point where the two middle fingers meet. Try to forget everything else. If you begin to think about something else during this meditation, observe the thought and then let it go.

– If you find it painful to hold your hands folded together in front of your chest for twenty minutes, let your hands (keeping them together) slowly sink down to your lap into a comfortable position and continue to meditate.

– Make sure to keep your hands relaxed, meaning that you’re not holding any tension in them or straining to press them together. 2. It’s ok to notice sensations, however don’t get caught up in them.

Benefits Of Gassho Meditation

There are many transforming secrets hidden within the Gassho posture that can have a powerfully positive effect on your spiritual practice of Reiki:

– Gassho is a simple way to calm and soothe your nervous system, quiet and focus your mind and centre yourself in the flow of Reiki energy through the core of your being.

– It is a meditative technique that provides a simple focal point by focusing on one thing, recognising when your mind drifts away and gently returning to that focal point.

– Gassho develops sensitivity in your hands and your body as a whole.

– It helps to grow your sense of inner peace, spiritual connection and life purpose.

– It is a simple way to relax, reset and regain a spiritual perspective.

Giancarlo is a fully qualified Hypnotherapist and Past Life Regression Therapist. He is a registered with the Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council, the Federation of Holistic Therapists, the Spiritual Regression Therapy Association and the General Hypnotherapy Register. Read more.