Japanese Reiki Techniques – Gassho and Joshin Kokyu Ho


Because we can all control how much Reiki energy runs through our hands, it is important to learn how to open ourselves to channel to this Reiki energy. There are many techniques that practitioners use to connect with Reiki energy. In this post, we will only  discuss the japanese techniques learned in Usui Reiki.

Let us know which ones are the ones that you use either as your daily meditation practice or before your Reiki session!

Gassho Meditation – Find Your Peace of Mind

The “Gassho” itself is a mudra from Buddhist tradition. A mudra is a way to form your hands in a specific way to achieve a specific spiritual effect. This practice of mudras originates from Hindu and Buddhist practices. The Gassho mudra is used to work with a person’s heart chakra, and it is associated with Buddha Amida (Buddha Amitaba), the Buddha of Forgiveness and Compassion. We talk about Gassho meditation because, in this practice, we meditate with our hands formed in the Gassho mudra. Regular practice of the Gassho meditation awakens the inner spiritual virtue of compassion towards all living beings. In a way, through the practice of the Gassho, you awakens your inner compassion, and you recognize the true heart of the entire Reiki path.

The Gassho meditation is used to bring peace of mind and learn how to breathe and how to focus. All these things are important in the practice of Reiki and generally on the path of spiritual growth. There are three aspects to Gassho meditation – the right body, the right breath and the right mind. Mastering them all results in a successful and effective meditation.

The Right Body

The very first thing that we need is the right body. In this meditation, we can sit either in Seiza or in Lotus position. The first one is a classical Japanese sitting position, and the Lotus is the classic Buddhist meditation pose. An image of these two poses has been posted in a previous article about Reiki meditation.

The spine should be straight – but don’t be too harsh on yourself. The European culture these days make our spines unsuitable for Seiza or Lotus for longer periods of time. Thus, don’t be afraid to support your back with a wall, for example. You should find balance between straight back and comfort because, in the end, you should remain relaxed.

The Right Breath

The breathing requires some explanation, as well. You should be breathing in through your nose, and while you do so, you should touch your palate with your tongue, just behind your teeth. According to Chinese traditions, this connects the back and front energy channels (meridians) of the body, an important aspect of meditation. You can breath out through your mouth while allowing your tongue to relax.

Your breath should be natural and comfortable, but slow and steady. Don’t force yourself to breathe as slow as possible. Simple allow yourself to breathe naturally. While doing so, try to breathe silently, but again, don’t force yourself. Practice a bit, and find your natural rhythm.

The Right Mind

Your mind is the last element of the practice. While breathing and meditating, thoughts of a different sort will come to your conscious mind. The trick is to allow them to pass through. Think of your mind like of a big TV screen – thoughts come in, and they remain there for few seconds or minutes, and finally, they go away. Then, another thought come in, and the situation repeats itself. But what’s wonderful is that if you do not rush things, and if you do not try to get rid of the thoughts, but you simple acknowledge them and let them be, they disappear on their own.

This is the secret of the Gassho meditation – acknowledgment of thoughts while letting them simply be. The spiritual truth says:

When you fight with something, you make it stronger. If you let it go, it is gone.

Don’t fight with your thoughts, and they will find their way out of your mind on their own. Just like that. This may takes weeks, months or even years, but eventually, it will happen, and the nature of your mind will be revealed to you.

Thoughts are like a cat – if you chase him, he will do everything in its power to come back because it is curious. But simple observe the cat, and it will hang around for a while, get bored and leave on its own. The very same thing applies to thoughts – observe them, and after hanging around for a while, they will go away.

The Practice of the Gassho meditation

Now, to the meditation itself.

  1. Sit down comfortable – you can sit either in Seiza, or in Lotus position. Your spine should be straight, but don’t be afraid to sit under a wall to help you keep your posture.
  2. Close your eyes. If you’re a Reiki practitioner already, open yourself to Reiki flow. Otherwise, just close your eyes and relax.
  3. Place your hands in the Gassho mudra – right in front of your heart.
  4. Begun to breathe – breath in through your nose with your tongue touching your palate just behind your upper teeth. Breath out through your mouth slightly opened with your tongue relaxed. Make sure that your breath is slow, peaceful, and yet very natural and comfortable. If your breath is fast by nature, then so be it. It will slow down with time.
  5. Observe your thoughts and breathe for the next fifteen minutes.
  6. When you’re done, relax your hands. If you have opened yourself to Reiki flow at the beginning of this meditation, it is time to close the flow. Now open your eyes and stand up.

This completes the Gassho meditation. I suggest that it should take you 15 minutes to complete if you’re a beginner. With time and experience, or just with an intention to do so, you can expand the meditation to longer periods of time.

Congratulations! You’ve learned the art of Gassho meditation. You can practice this meditation every day, or at least three times a day. After few months, you will notice that your mind is much calmer, and unwanted thoughts aren’t attacking you as they used to.

You should continue this practice on regular basics in the future as a mean of mind hygiene – we are being attacked by thoughts all over the time, they form in our head constantly. Through regular practice, we allow the current events to pass through our mind and never to bother us again. After a stressful day, it’s a good idea to meditate for at least 15 minutes – this way, you will put the negative emotions and memories aside. By letting them seek your attention, you allow them to disappear. This is the true power of meditation.

Joshin Kokyu Ho – Grow Strong Roots

This is another form of meditation that you should learn. Joshin Kokyu Ho has at least two important effects. First, it can be used to improve the way you channel Reiki energy by opening and cleansing your energy channels. With time and practice, your skills of channeling Reiki become stronger.Second, this meditation is an important grounding practice that will build a foundation for your further spiritual development. You cannot build a house by starting with the roof – you have to build the foundation first. The very same thing applies to any spiritual practice – you have to build a strong connection with the Earth and physical world so that the winds of spiritual forces won’t blow you away.

The Practice of Joshin Kokyu Ho is a way to strengthen your connection with Reiki. Through this practice, you cleanse and strengthen the primary energy channel, through which Reiki flows to you and through you. Thus, regular practice makes you an even better Reiki practitioner.

The Hands And Hara

At least two elements are important in this meditation and they need to be explained – first, the mudra of balance, and second, the region of your body known as Hara or the first Tan T’ien. The Tan T’ien is a term used in Chinese magical systems and Taoist philosophy. There are three of such Tan T’iens, one in your navel, another one near your heart, and the third one within your head. They are connected by two energy channels, creating something that is called a “ microcosmic orbit”.

bigstockphoto_energy_meditation_mudra_441197The Mudra of balance is quite popular in Buddhist practices. While it is not the mudra of grounding, it symbolizes the balance, harmony between the physical and spiritual realm. Something that Joshin Kokyu Ho promotes.

Another important element is the Hara region – also known as the first Tan T”ien. It is a region few centimeters below your belly button, and another few centimeters inside your body. According to the Chinese school of thought, this is a place that governs all life energies, or Chi. It promotes a healthy physical body, and deep connection with the ground.

With this knowledge, you’re ready to begin the practice.

The Practice of the Joshin Kokyu Ho

This meditation is based on direct work with Reiki energy and intentions.

  1. Sit down in a comfortable position – just like you did in Gassho meditation. It can be either Seiza or Lotus position.
  2. Form your hands into the mudra of balance in front of your Hara region.
  3. Close your eyes and ask for Reiki – open yourself to the flow of Reiki.
  4. 2015-08-27-1440636567-9546199-WomanMeditatingontheGrassXSmallStart to breathe – breathe through your nose. Breath in and while you do, intend the Reiki energy to flow into your body through the tip of your head, and flow down into your Hara. As you breath in, your tongue touching your palate just behind your upper teeth. Hold your breath for a second. Breath out and intend the Reiki energy to expand from your Hara into your entire body. Breath out with your tongue relaxed. Hold this intention in your mind for a second. Make sure that your breath remains calm, natural and comfortable. Do not force things.
  5. Continue to breathe Reiki in for another fifteen minutes.
  6. After fifteen minutes, place both of your hands on the Hara – physically touch the are below your belly button. Focus on your Hara, and remain in this state for another five minutes. Do not breath Reiki in any more, just focus on your Hara.
  7. When you’re done, close the flow of Reiki, open your eyes and stand up.

This completes the Joshin Kokyu Ho meditation. An important aspect of this exercise is the final focus on the Hara region. While you can expand the primary meditation for longer periods of time, the final focus should always be present, but it doesn’t have to take longer and five minutes if you do not wish to.

You have learned the Joshin Kokyu Ho meditation. You should practice it at least twice a week for the next few months after your initiation to the first degree of Reiki, but if you wish, then no matter what degree you’re on, you can come back and practice this meditation. You can practice it especially when you feel you’re losing ground under your feet and if you feel you’re falling into the spiritual world too much.


  1. The detailed explanation of Gassho meditation is quite helpful. I appreciate the emphasis on balancing comfort with proper posture, as this can often be overlooked in meditation practices.

  2. This article offers a comprehensive guide to Gassho meditation. The emphasis on the right body, breath, and mind makes it accessible for both beginners and experienced practitioners.

  3. The explanation on allowing thoughts to pass through without fighting them is profound. It’s a concept that can be applied not only in meditation but also in daily life to reduce stress and anxiety.

    • I agree. The approach to thoughts as transient visitors rather than obstacles to overcome is quite liberating. It’s a valuable mindset shift.

    • Indeed, this practice can be a game-changer for mental clarity and emotional balance. I plan to incorporate it into my routine.

  4. The analogy between managing thoughts and observing a curious cat is insightful. It highlights the importance of non-resistance in meditation, which can indeed be a transformative approach.

  5. The detailed step-by-step guide on how to perform the Gassho meditation is very useful. It provides a clear framework for anyone looking to enhance their meditation practice.

  6. I find the connection between the Gassho mudra and the heart chakra intriguing. It adds a layer of spiritual depth to the practice that might enhance the overall experience.


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