Several years ago, well, about 42 years ago, I was a hard-driving (and driven) young man working hard to support myself, my wife, and 2 sons. I worked for an international oilfield services company (beginning my employment as a truck driver) that would periodically send some of the more promising employees to its engineering training facility in Oklahoma. It was there that I had what seemed at the time a rather innocuous encounter with another company employee. I was seated at one of the dining tables in the large dining room when an older fellow approached me and asked if he could have a seat at the table. I responded, “Sure, glad to have the company. “
As we chatted over breakfast, I learned that he was one of the truck drivers for the manufacturing centre next door to the training facility and that he had been so for the previous 26 years. I was stunned. I could not fathom anyone driving trucks for that period of time without trying to “move up the ladder”. When I asked him if he was ever interested in moving into a supervisory capacity, he said “No, all I’ve ever wanted was to be a truck driver. I get up each morning, go to work and I more often than not get to have dinner with my wife and family. I get most weekends off now, as the younger drivers want the overtime, so life is pretty good for me.”
My youthful judgment kicked in and I labeled him as having a mediocre life, one which I could not condone in myself and was loathe to accept in others. I didn’t mention my inner thoughts to him, just continued to make the easy chat of two people who have a working knowledge of each others place in “the company”. I never did see him again, and in the course of time and living, forgot about our interaction. Until I was in the midst of Reiki Ryoho master/teacher training, when during a self-exploration exercise facilitated by my teacher I brought up the memory of that conversation and my hardline judgment of the truck driver. New thoughts came in about him from my new perspective of having experienced another 20 years of living. I came to see him not as mediocre, but as one who is content with who he is, where he is, and with what he has. I now saw him not as a second-or-third best, but as wise beyond my understanding at the time. He embodied a peace and contentment of life that I didn’t recognize, and I’ve often wondered if I had acknowledged it then, if I had changed my perspective then, how different my life would have been.
I have told this story to a few people during the intervening years, but I have never written about it. It is worthy of serious contemplation, as I have experienced the competitive stresses I’ve placed on myself in trying to “get ahead”, all the while struggling to find peace and contentment with myself and whatever situation I had created for myself. And now, I find myself more and more modeling that place of peace with the world and contentment with who, what, and where I am.
I was asked some time back how I would define a master, and my considered reply was that whoever embodies the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gokai (5 Principles or Precepts), I would consider being a master. Not a master of Reiki, but of themselves, at peace with who they are, where they are, and with what they are.
I encourage you (if you have received training in any style of Reiki Ryoho you will have been taught the 5 Principles) to re-visit those principles, and let the practice of integrating them into your life show you a path to knowing contentment and being at peace, with yourself, and with the world.