Consultation & Coaching
The spiritual path can be long, winding, and difficult, so at times it can be helpful to ask for help. No one has all the answers, but we would be happy to share any insights that may be relevant, based on the multiple perspectives of Ryan J. Bush, Ph.D. as a Reiki master/teacher, an artist who uses photography to explore the mysteries of consciousness, and a Ph.D. in Linguistics who is fascinated by the space beyond words, and D. Steven Nouriani, Ph.D. MFT's background as a Jungian Analyst and Reiki practitioner.
If you'd like to learn more about our spiritual perspectives, see the information below, and feel free to read our various papers, articles and books, or attend our Reiki classes, as well as sign up for one-on-one counseling. After all, classes and books can only begin to scratch the surface of the complexity of energy, the subtle body, and the spiritual path.
The system of Reiki gives us many different tools that can be extremely helpful in our journey, including the many different meditations, breathing techniques, precepts, symbols and mantras, including the teachings from Reiki IIIa (Shinpiden, or the 'Mystery Teahings'), which are fully focused on awakening, aka satori, illumination, moksha, fanaa, etc.
All the tools of Reiki are ways for us to open fully, and connect with the entirety of our being, but many different obstacles can arise that may make it difficult for us to fully open and awaken, due to all the challenges we can face at various different levels of our body, mind, and energy. After all, it is a very difficult time to be on this planet, and to try to be conscious despite the many different challenges in the world today.
In addition to the tools commonly used in the system of Reiki, there are more tools that may be helpful in talking about the entirety of the personal/spiritual journey.
Tools for the Journey
The Ten Ox-Herding Pictures
This set of ten images from Zen Buddhism (also known as the 'Ten Bulls') is an extremely concise but eloquent description of the entire personal/spiritual path, using the image of an ox (or bull) as a metaphor for the true nature of the self, which some would call the higher self, Buddha Self, Christ consciousness, wisdom mind, spacious mind, the Self, or the soul.
Many other cycles of consciousness from other traditions can be just as powerful ways of exploring the full spectrum of what is possible. For example, works as disparate as the Sufi master Attar's epic poem The Conference of the Birds, the ancient Egyptian Amduat, James Joyce's Ulysses and Finnegan's Wake, Teresa of Avila's Seven Mansions, the alchemical text Splendor Solis, and the psychologist Carl Jung's Red Book all talk about a surprisingly similar journey through many different states of being, including through extremely difficult trials and challenges, before arriving at a stable, integrated state of wholeness.
The Space Beyond Words
Another cycle that aims to depict the full spectrum of consciousness is The Space Beyond Words by Ryan J. Bush, a series of twenty-four diptych photographs with corresponding text and videos.
All these works are meant to help the viewer enter a space beyond the rational mind, the space beyond word. And, each diptych represents a different state of consciousness. For example the journey to wholeness often only starts when our world is upturned, as in the diptych at the left here, or in the back pain that Ryan suffered for more than four years. The journey may lead down through Hell, before perhaps going up through Illumination, and eventually returning to the world.
Meanwhile, the text associated with each diptych include reminders of what may help at each stage of his journey, whether it feels like Hell or Heaven, the dark night of the soul, the garden of Eden, or the Space Beyond Words --- the state of effortless, liberated, open awareness that some would call abiding peace or shamatha.
This book served as Ryan's personal Book of Hours through his journey of agonizing back pain, awakening, and efforts to fully embody the full spectrum of experience. After all, the only way through is to accept whatever is arising, learning whatever lessons are needed, and sharing it with others if it might help them as well. The photographs on this page are all from the Space Beyond Words.
Another tool that we can use to talk about our ordinary state of consciousness and the process of awakening, and to help induce a state of concentrated focus like a meditative state or the Reiki space, is From Wandering to Illumination: The New Eleusinian Mysteries by Ryan J. Bush.
This forthcoming book, and corresponding exhibitions, usesr Ryan's 3-Dimensional photographs of bare trees in winter (his Visions series), and of lush trees in summer (his Satori series), as meditative objects, like traditional mandalas, to help achieve single-pointed focus without necessarily having to only focus on our breath, or stare at a blank wall. Why not look at a beautiful mandala, co-created by nature and the process of taking the camera and coming back to the same point again and again?
This book and exhibitions weave together weave together these 3-D photographs, with the story of the ancient Greek Eleusinian Mysteries (which were effective for thousands of years at introducing people to the mysteries of existence and our true nature), and our current effort to reclaim our souls and awaken the world.
Just as Demeter wandered the Earth looking for her daughter, and so many people today are wandering without anything giving their life meaning, the black-and-white photographs of the Visions series are metaphors for our ordinary 'wandering' state of mind, which Buddhists call the 'monkey mind' or 'grasping mind', because we are so prone to getting distracted, always wanting more, more, more (whether it's things, prestige, power, sensations, thoughts, or understanding), or getting stuck in one way of being or another.
From Wandering to Illumination:
The New Eleusinian Mysteries
From Wandering to Illumination
On the other hand, the color images of the Satori series are metaphors for the awakened state that some would call the Reiki Space, Satori, Illumination, Moksha, Fanaa, or perhaps enlightenment though that would seem to imply that any state of being is better than any other, or that once we have experienced something we are instantly perfect. Far from it!
We have to go back and forth between the ordinary and awakened states over and over, just as Persephone had to spend six months of the year in Hell and six months on earth, before we have a chance of being able to integrate the ordinary and awakened states of being (and our ordinary and higher selves, as well as our lower self aka the shadow, id, animal self or pain body) into one integrated whole. However, it can be done.
If there are any ways that we can help you get there, or make progress from where you currently are, we would be genuinely honored to help.