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Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen Distance Reiki Symbol, Explained

Curious about distance healing, and want to see some hand-drawn art of a symbol to help? What follows are reflections about the Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen symbol used in Usui Reiki, the relaxing Japanese gentle healing touch practice. This distance Reiki symbol is the third symbol learned in Reiki II training, and roughly translates to: “Across past, present, and future.”

In addition to its distance healing properties, Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen is also seen as the connection, unity, or mindfulness symbol, with the meaning: “Humans and spirit are one.” Put together, another wholistic meaning could be: “Mindful connectedness.”

Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen Reiki symbol
The Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen Reiki symbol.

Distance Reiki with Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen

The Reiki symbol, Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen, is known as the distance (or distant) Reiki symbol, because it energizes healing and balance across space, time, and the liminal space between locations. In can be used with other people — even if they’re not in the same place as you — or during “self Reiki,” as with healing of the past, or manifesting the future.

Now, this article is not meant to be a substitute for formal Reiki instruction or sessions; rather, these are thoughts from a trained Reiki professional and artist about drawing, using, and analyzing Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen (sometimes abbreviated as HSZSN), the distance Reiki symbol.

Distance Reiki symbol
The distance Reiki symbol.

My Distance Reiki Background

My name is Lillie and I’ve been a Reiki practitioner for several years, having completed numerous trainings. I currently run my own Boston Reiki practice, which important to your trust in reading this article, because I’m an actual Reiki professional — not a robotic article machine who doesn’t work in the field. Now, an honest reflection: throughout all of my Reiki practice so far, the Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen Reiki symbol has been the most difficult for me, for two reasons.

First, I am a very hands-on practitioner, (meaning the touch aspect is the key for my specific energy balancing skills), so doing Reiki over distance through the HSZSN symbol has not historically resonated with me, even if the person is in the room, and the intention is to use the symbol for healing across the distance of time. I do believe distance healing works for trained distance Reiki professionals — it’s just not my specialty at this time.

Second, the Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen symbol is about three times as hard to draw and remember as the other Reiki symbols, due to the large number of brush strokes in its Japanese Kanji characters, and because there are many variations on its lines and angles. That said, during the weeks I spent researching and doing the art for this article, I found myself gaining a growing adoration of HSZSN… and finally memorized how to draw it! Subsequently, I began using it more often during sessions with my Reiki clients, to wonderful effect. Now, let’s explore more about how to write this complex and powerful symbol.

Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen symbol
The Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen symbol.

Drawing Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen

The Japanese Kanji (adapted from Chinese characters) to write Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen has five separate parts with distinct meanings that make up the complex whole of this Reiki symbol. When drawing or tracing this distance healing symbol on your palm, in the air, in your mind, or with a Reiki client, all brush strokes move from top to bottom, and left to right. Usually, writing HSZSN is proceeded by the first two Reiki symbols, Cho Ku Rei and Sei Hei Ki.

In my drawing of Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen above, instead of writing the numbers and arrows as other tutorials do, I’ve used the colors of the rainbow in order as an indication of which lines come when. Remember that all strokes move from top to bottom, and left to right.

Distance healing
The distance healing symbol is beautiful!

Variations on the Distance Reiki Symbol

All Reiki symbols have several variations in how they’re written or drawn, but Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen has a particularly large number of versions — partly because it is comprised of over 20 different lines. Like most people, I embrace the variation that I was taught during my specific training, and that is what I’ve used in my Reiki symbol art for this article.

Distance Healing and Chakras

A fascinating piece I learned recently is that the HSZSN symbol can be seen as a drawing of the human body, and thus correlates to each of the chakras or energy centers. Below, I’ve drawn the Reiki Kanji so you can see how it connects with each chakra aura color: seeing purple, a blue aura, a green aura, yellow, an orange aura, and seeing red.

I’ve added a black aura around the art piece as well to connect to the Earth Star Chakra. Click any of those links for my long explanation of what each of those hues means — seeing chakra colors during Reiki sessions is my specialty. I love that the HSZSN distance healing symbol brings all the chakras together. Very fitting for the symbol of unity, oneness, and connectedness!

Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen
Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen and chakras.

Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen in Sum

There is so much more to say about the Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen distance Reiki symbol, but let’s leave it at this for now, because now I’d like to open it up to you. What have been your thoughts about HSZSN? Have you had any distance Reiki healing experiences, yourself? Do share!

Into Reiki? Also check out my other articles, “What to Wear for Reiki,” “Reiki Pronunciation,” and “Crying During Meditation or Reiki,” which have insights for both clients and practitioners.

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