Day 7 of The 7 MothersJanuary 15, 2024
Day 2 Waka WisdomFebruary 12, 2024
Historical roots: Waka (literally “Japanese poem”) has its origins in the early periods of Japanese literature, dating back over a thousand years.
Waka was highly popular during the Heian period (794–1185) especially when written by the Imperial Family.
For “Waka Wisdom,” the poems I’ve selected are from Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken, contemporaries of Mikao Usui, the founder of the system of Reiki. These works beautifully reflect the era and spiritual landscape during Usui’s lifetime.
125 of these poems were also included for meditation and contemplation in an early Reiki Ryoho Hikkei (Reiki manual) with an example of this practice being published by a student of Usui, Kaiji Tomita.
Today’s waka was written by Emperor Meiji and is one of his most well known poems.
Take note that in the last sentence of the Japanese version, the word kokoro is used.
Kokoro is a uniquely Japanese concept and means the blending of our hearts with our minds (see my article Exploring the Depths of our Hearts and Minds through Joshin Kokyu Ho). It can also be used to mean mind, emotions, feelings, spirit or soul.
This particular translation uses the English word “soul” to replace kokoro.
Below is the kanji for kokoro – look out for it in many of the waka in the Omikuji (oracles) on the right (more about Omikuji in later days).
The spacious sky
Spans serene and clear
So blue above,
Oh, that our soul would
Grow to become so open.
Follow the recording below and repeat today’s poem to yourself for up to 30 minutes while contemplating one or more of the following questions. You do not need to memorise the poem – just read it 🙂 :
1 Self-Reflection on Inner Space: “How can I expand my inner space to be as open and serene as the spacious sky described in the poem?”
2 Personal Growth: “In what ways can I nurture my soul (spirit) to grow more open, mirroring the vastness and clarity of the sky?”
3 Nature’s Influence: “How does the imagery of a clear, serene sky inspire me to cultivate peace and clarity in my own life?”
4 Emotional Serenity: “What steps can I take to achieve a state of serenity and openness in my emotions, similar to the untroubled expanse of the blue sky?”
5 Self-Awareness: “How can the concept of a vast and clear sky guide me in practicing awareness in my daily life?”
6 Spiritual Aspiration: “What does it mean for my soul (spirit) to ‘grow to become so open’, and how can I apply this aspiration in my spiritual journey?”
7 Connection with Nature: “In what ways do I feel connected to the natural world, like the sky, and how does this connection influence my personal growth and well-being?”
If you wish to repeat the poem in Japanese rather than English, you can find the words in the image to the right.