Unlocking the Secrets of the Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen Symbol
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Unlocking the Secrets of the Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen Symbol

Sep 8, 2023
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SectionKey Takeaways
IntroductionHon Sha Ze Sho Nen symbolizes timelessness, used for distance healing and spiritual awareness.
History and OriginsCreated by Mikao Usui in the 1920s, it has roots in Sanskrit mantras and Buddhist philosophy.
MeaningRepresents universal oneness, used to promote enlightenment and peace.
Symbolic InterpretationEncourages unity and connection through a universal life force.
Usage in ReikiFacilitates healing across time and space, transcending physical boundaries.
Description of the SymbolComplex symbol with components representing time, energy path, and key concepts.
Connection to ReikiVisually signifies intention to send healing across boundaries.
Drawing the SymbolDrawn with specific strokes, visualizing bright colors, and chanting the symbol name.
Comparative AnalysisCompared with other Reiki symbols, it is revered for distance healing.
Uses and ApplicationsUsed in distant healing, clearing karmic patterns, and enhancing meditation among others.
Visualization TechniquesVarious techniques including basic visualization and time bridge visualization to harness energy.
Maintenance and EthicsUphold ethical considerations including informed consent and confidentiality.
Activating and ChargingCan be activated through drawing in aura, chanting, and meditation.
Advanced TechniquesIncludes energy grid creation and astral travel healing, among others.
Scientific PerspectiveMixed views in the scientific community, with some studies showing positive outcomes.
ConclusionHighlights the personal journey with the symbol, encouraging deeper exploration in Reiki.

Among the array of sacred symbols used in the Reiki healing system, few hold as much power as Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen. Translated from Japanese as “no past, no present, no future”, this symbol represents the timelessness and boundless nature of energy. Often called the “distance symbol”, Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen creates a connection across space and time to channel Reiki’s healing potential anywhere it is needed. 

Introduced by Reiki founder Mikao Usui, Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen serves practitioners in sending energy for distant healing, releasing past trauma, and manifesting over time. Its Crane-like shape reflects infinity and the continuum of existence. Learning to properly draw, activate, and harness this symbol provides Reiki healers with deeper perception and spiritual awareness. Even for non-practitioners, understanding Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen can awaken consciousness to the oneness underlying all.

History and Origins

  • Created in the early 1920s by Mikao Usui as one of 5 main Reiki symbols
  • Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen is traditionally the final symbol taught to Reiki students  
  • Translates from Japanese as “no past, no present, no future” 

               Hon – origin, source, beginning

               Sha – talent, skill, technique  

               Ze – the right, just

               Sho – evidence, symbol 

              Nen – idea, thought

  •  Has roots in Sanskrit mantras and concepts:

              Oneness and infinity

              The timeless nature of energy

              Interconnection through cosmic consciousness

Japanese KanjiMeaning
本者是證念Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen
  • Reflects themes in Buddhist philosophy adopted by Usui

The name signifies working beyond physical time and separation to heal at the absolute level of energy.

Meaning of Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen 

Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen (also known as the “Distance Symbol”) is a core element of the system of Reiki. The literal translation of the term can provide some insight into its deeper meaning, as well as how it is employed within the context of Reiki healing. 

Literal Translation

The term “Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen” is composed of five separate words, each carrying its own significance:

1. Hon – Origin or source

2. Sha – Brightness or shine

3. Ze – Being

4. Sho – Life

5. Nen – Consciousness or memory

When put together, a basic translation might be “The divine in me recognizes the divine in you to promote enlightenment and peace.”

Symbolic Interpretation

As a whole, Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen carries a significant spiritual interpretation. It suggests that there is no such thing as time or space and that we are all one in the same energy field. Our physical bodies are simply manifestations of this energy. It promotes unity, suggesting that we are not separate beings but rather part of the universal life force.

Usage in Reiki

In the practice of Reiki, Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen has a specific use and importance. It is the symbol that is employed to connect with and send healing energy across time and space. With Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen, practitioners can transcend the physical and temporal boundaries that typically confine us, to provide healing and relief to those who may not be physically present. 

Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen Symbol

The Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen symbol, in the context of Reiki, is much more than a simple visual representation. Each part of the symbol carries a specific significance, contributing to its overall meaning and purpose within the practice. Let’s dive into a detailed analysis of the symbol.

 Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen Symbol
Reiki symbol Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen

Description of the Symbol

The Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen symbol is relatively complex compared to other Reiki symbols. It consists of several components, including a large sweeping curve, a diagonal line that crosses through this curve, and a series of small strokes that resemble Kanji characters.

Components and their Representation

The following points detail the key components of the Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen symbol and what they represent:

1. The sweeping curve: This part of the symbol is said to represent the transience of life and the flow of time. It symbolizes the practitioner’s ability to connect with universal energy and send it across the boundaries of time and space for healing.

2. The diagonal line: The line that intersects the curve is thought to represent the path of energy, cutting through the barriers of space and time.

3. The Kanji-like strokes: These small strokes resemble certain Kanji characters, which correspond to the words that make up “Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen.” These are symbolic of the key concepts associated with this symbol: the recognition of the divine within all beings and the potential for enlightenment.

For a better understanding, refer to the table below:

Component of SymbolRepresentation
The sweeping curveThe flow of time and the transience of life
The diagonal lineThe path of energy, cutting through space and time
The Kanji-like strokesKey concepts of Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen

Connection of the Symbol to its Meaning and Use in Reiki

The Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen symbol, with its various components, beautifully embodies its intended meaning. The symbol visually signifies the practitioner’s intention to send healing across time and space, embracing the concept of universal energy. The individual components of the symbol serve to reinforce this idea, providing a focal point for the practitioner as they channel their healing energy.

Drawing the Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen Symbol

Reiki symbol Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen

– Uses a complex, methodical stroke sequence 

– Should be drawn slowly with concentration and precision

Key steps:

    – Draw the large right curve 

    – Add the top waved line

    – Draw the left facing wave

    – Add the descending line

    – Finish small right curve

– Use your dominant hand with first two fingers together

– Visualize bright purple or gold light as you draw 

– Chant the symbol name three times while drawing

– Practice until the shape flows naturally

Tips for Accuracy:

– Keep proportions even and curves soft

– Make waved lines with consistent spacing

– End curled lines pointing slightly inward 

– Focus on the process, not outcome 

– Double check work for errors  

Common ErrorsCorrections
Ragged linesDraw slowly, smoothly
Jagged curvesMake flowing, graceful curves
Disproportionate sizingKeep sections balanced
Lines not joinedConnect lines, don’t overlap
Forgetting stroke orderFollow sequence precisely

Comparative Analysis

AspectHon Sha Ze Sho Nen (Distance Healing)Cho Ku Rei (Power Symbol)Sei He Ki (Emotional/Mental Symbol)Hatsurei Ho (Meditation Technique)
OriginJapanese (Developed by Mikao Usui)Japanese (Developed by Mikao Usui)Japanese (Developed by Mikao Usui)Japanese (Developed by Mikao Usui)
MeaningRepresents continuum, infinity, oneness, and connects time, space, and distanceAmplifies Reiki energy, protection, and groundingBalances emotional and mental energies, healing emotional woundsTechnique to enhance spiritual energy and purify the mind/body
PurposePrimarily for distance healing, healing past events, and clearing karmic patternsIncreases power of other symbols, protection, and manifestationEmotional and mental healing, purification, and protectionEnhancing Reiki flow, grounding, and spiritual development
Physical FormComprises waves, crescents, and linesSpiral-like symbol, often likened to a coil or a switchWave-like patterns, representing flow and balanceNot a symbol, but a meditation technique involving breathing, visualization, and chanting
UsageDrawn in aura or environment, chanted, meditated upon, and infused in objectsDrawn before other symbols to amplify their power, used in object cleansing and protection ritualsUsed in healing sessions to address emotional and mental issues, also for purificationPracticed as a meditation to enhance Reiki energy, often before a Reiki session
Cultural SignificanceHighly revered in Reiki practice for distance healingConsidered a foundational symbol in Reiki, often one of the first symbols introduced to studentsRecognized for its deep emotional healing propertiesA cornerstone of traditional Reiki practice, emphasizing spiritual growth and energy enhancement

This comparison allows us to appreciate the depth and breadth of Reiki symbols and techniques. Each has its unique place in the practice, catering to different needs and situations, yet all are intertwined in the overarching goal of healing and spiritual development.

Uses and Applications

  • Distant Healing Sessions:
    • Enables practitioners to send Reiki energy across physical distances, making it possible to heal someone in a different location.
  • Healing Past Events:
    • Can be used to address past traumas, unresolved issues, or past life experiences.
    • Helps in releasing emotional blockages tied to past events.
  • Clearing Karma or Ancestral Patterns:
    • Assists in identifying and healing karmic patterns or ancestral traumas that might be affecting one’s present life.
    • Useful in family lineage healing, addressing patterns passed down through generations.
  • Manifesting Across Time:
    • Can be employed to send positive energy and intentions to future events, ensuring they unfold harmoniously.
    • Useful for situations like upcoming surgeries, interviews, or any significant life event.
  • Bridging Time and Space:
    • Connects the practitioner with different timelines, allowing healing to be sent to the past, present, or future.
  • Enhancing Meditation:
    • Drawing or visualizing the symbol during meditation can deepen the connection to universal energy and enhance spiritual insights.
  • Strengthening Intuition:
    • Regular use can help in developing and refining one’s intuitive abilities, making it easier to perceive energy blockages or imbalances.
  • Space Clearing:
    • Can be used to cleanse and purify a space, removing negative energies and ensuring a harmonious environment.
  • Spiritual Growth and Ascension:
    • Assists in aligning with higher frequencies, aiding spiritual growth and ascension processes.
  • Connection with Higher Self:
    • Facilitates a deeper connection with one’s higher self, enabling clearer guidance and insights.
  • Enhancing Other Healing Modalities:
    • Can be combined with other healing techniques or modalities to amplify their effects.

Visualization Techniques

Visualization is a powerful tool in the realm of Reiki and energy healing. When working with the Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen symbol, visualization can enhance the connection to its energy and deepen the healing process. Here are some techniques to help practitioners and students harness the full potential of this symbol:

  1. Basic Visualization:
    • Begin by sitting or lying down in a comfortable position.
    • Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths, grounding yourself.
    • Visualize the Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen symbol in your mind’s eye, seeing it as a radiant, glowing entity.
    • Allow its energy to envelop you, feeling its vibrations and the essence of distance healing it embodies.
  2. Time Bridge Visualization:
    • After grounding yourself, visualize a timeline stretching from the past to the future.
    • See the Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen symbol hovering above this timeline, connecting different points in time.
    • Send healing energy to specific moments in the past or future, using the symbol as a bridge.
  3. Spatial Connection Visualization:
    • Imagine the person or place you wish to send healing to.
    • Visualize the Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen symbol forming a glowing link between you and the intended recipient.
    • Allow Reiki energy to flow through this link, reaching the person or place effortlessly.
  4. Infinity Loop Visualization:
    • Picture the symbol as an infinite loop, representing the continuum of time and space.
    • As you breathe in, imagine drawing energy from the universe, and as you breathe out, visualize sending healing energy through the loop to wherever it’s needed.
  5. Chakra Integration:
    • Visualize the Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen symbol at each chakra point, starting from the root and moving up to the crown.
    • Feel the symbol activating and balancing each chakra, enhancing the flow of energy throughout your body.
  6. Astral Projection Visualization:
    • After grounding, visualize your astral body rising and carrying the Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen symbol with it.
    • Travel to the person or place you wish to heal, using the symbol as a protective and guiding light.
  7. Symbol Infusion:
    • Hold an object, like a crystal or piece of jewelry, in your hand.
    • Visualize the Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen symbol entering and infusing the object with its energy, turning it into a talisman for distance healing.

Maintenance and Ethics

The practice of Reiki, like any other healing modality, comes with its own set of ethical considerations. Ensuring that these principles are upheld is crucial for the integrity of the practice and the well-being of both the practitioner and the recipient.

  1. Informed Consent:
    • Always seek permission before sending distance healing to someone. It’s essential to respect their free will and boundaries.
  2. Confidentiality:
    • Maintain the privacy of your clients. Details of their personal lives, healing sessions, or any information shared should be kept confidential.
  3. Self-Care:
    • Regularly cleanse and recharge yourself to avoid energy depletion. This ensures you’re in the best state to help others.
  4. Avoid Medical Diagnoses:
    • Reiki practitioners are not medical doctors (unless trained and licensed separately). Avoid giving medical advice or diagnoses.
  5. Continuous Learning:
    • Always strive to deepen your understanding of Reiki and its symbols. Regular training and workshops can enhance your skills.
  6. Integrity:
    • Approach each session with honesty and sincerity. Avoid making exaggerated claims about the outcomes of Reiki healing.
  7. Respect Cultural Origins:
    • Honor the Japanese origins of Reiki and its symbols. Ensure that cultural appropriation is avoided.

Activating and Charging Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen Reiki Symbol

Activating and charging the Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen symbol amplifies its energy, making it more potent in healing sessions. Here are some techniques to harness its full potential:

  1. Drawing in the Aura:
    • Using your dominant hand, draw the symbol in the air around you or the person you’re healing. This can help in enveloping the space with its energy.
  2. Chanting:
    • Verbally or mentally chant “Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen” multiple times. The vibration of the words can activate and charge the symbol.
  3. Meditation:
    • Sit in a quiet space and meditate on the symbol. Visualize it glowing brighter with each breath, charging it with universal energy.
  4. Infusing Crystals:
    • Place a crystal near a drawn symbol or visualize the symbol entering the crystal. The crystal can then act as a reservoir for the symbol’s energy.
  5. Using with Other Reiki Symbols:
    • Combine Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen with symbols like Cho Ku Rei to amplify its power. Drawing them sequentially can create a synergistic effect.
  6. Visualization:
    • As previously mentioned, visualizing the symbol in various scenarios can activate and charge it. The more vivid the visualization, the stronger the activation.
  7. Breathing Techniques:
    • Incorporate pranayama or deep breathing while focusing on the symbol. The breath can act as a vehicle, charging the symbol with life force energy.

Regularly activating and charging the Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen symbol ensures that it remains potent and effective in all healing sessions, whether in person or at a distance.

Advanced Techniques Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen symbol

There are advanced techniques that can be employed to harness the full potential of the Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen symbol, enhancing its efficacy and broadening its applications.

  1. Energy Grid Creation:
    • Use multiple symbols, including Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen, to create an energy grid. This grid can be used to protect a space, amplify healing energy, or anchor intentions.
  2. Symbol Layering:
    • Combine Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen with other Reiki symbols in layers during a session. This can create a multi-dimensional healing effect, addressing various issues simultaneously.
  3. Astral Travel Healing:
    • Use the symbol as a guide during astral projection to send healing to distant places or times. This technique requires mastery in astral travel and should be approached with caution.
  4. Accessing Akashic Records:
    • With the symbol as a guide, access the Akashic Records to understand karmic patterns and past life issues. This can provide insights into current life challenges.
  5. Time Capsule Technique:
    • Charge the symbol with a specific intention and “store” it to be released at a future time. This can be useful for sending healing to future events.
  6. Symbol Infusion in Water:
    • Draw the symbol over water, charging it with its energy. Drinking or using this water can then provide healing benefits.

Scientific Perspective

The realm of energy healing, including Reiki, has always been a subject of intrigue and skepticism in the scientific community. Here’s a look at the Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen symbol from a scientific viewpoint:

  1. Research on Distance Healing:
    • Some studies have explored the effects of distance healing on patients, with mixed results. While some indicate positive outcomes, others suggest effects similar to placebo.
  2. Quantum Physics:
    • Some proponents argue that the principles of quantum entanglement might explain how distance healing works. The idea is that once two particles have interacted, a change in one will affect the other, regardless of distance.
  3. Brain Wave Studies:
    • EEG studies on Reiki practitioners have shown altered brainwave patterns during healing sessions, indicating a possible shift in consciousness or heightened intuitive abilities.
  4. Biofield Measurements:
    • Devices that measure the human biofield or aura have been used to study the effects of Reiki symbols on the energy field. Some studies suggest an amplification or balancing of the biofield after Reiki sessions.
  5. Skeptical Views:
    • Many in the scientific community remain skeptical due to the lack of consistent empirical evidence. They argue that more rigorous, double-blind studies are needed.
  6. Placebo Effect:
    • Some researchers believe that the benefits reported from distance healing might be attributed to the placebo effect, where belief in the treatment’s efficacy leads to positive outcomes.
  7. Cultural and Psychological Factors:
    • The cultural significance and psychological impact of symbols might play a role in the healing process. The belief in the symbol’s power, combined with the ritual of its use, can have therapeutic effects.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is attunement required to use Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen?

    Yes, traditionally, a Reiki practitioner requires attunement from a Reiki Master to effectively use and harness the energy of the Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen symbol.

  2. How does Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen differ from Cho Ku Rei?

    While both are Reiki symbols, they serve different purposes. Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen is primarily used for distance healing and bridging time and space, while Cho Ku Rei is known as the power symbol, amplifying Reiki energy and providing protection.

  3. What are other names for Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen?

    It’s commonly referred to as the “Distance Symbol” or “Time and Space Symbol” in Reiki practice.

  4. Can I use the symbol without formal Reiki training?

    While anyone can draw or use the symbol, its efficacy in energy healing is believed to be maximized when used by an attuned Reiki practitioner.

  5. Is there scientific evidence supporting the use of Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen?

    The scientific community is divided on the efficacy of Reiki symbols. Some studies suggest positive outcomes, while others attribute results to the placebo effect. More research is needed for conclusive evidence.

  6. How often can I use the symbol for distance healing?

    There’s no strict limit, but it’s essential to ensure you’re not depleting your energy. Regular self-care and grounding practices are recommended for frequent practitioners.


The Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen symbol, with its profound roots in Reiki practice, serves as a testament to the timeless nature of energy healing. Bridging the gaps of time, space, and distance, it offers practitioners a tool to transcend physical boundaries and touch lives in ways previously thought impossible. While the scientific community continues its exploration into the tangible effects of such practices, countless testimonials speak to the transformative power of this symbol.

As with all spiritual practices, the journey with Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen is deeply personal. It beckons practitioners to delve deeper, not just into the symbol’s intricacies but into the vast expanse of their inner universe. The symbol serves as both a guide and a reflection, reminding us of the interconnectedness of all things and the boundless potential that lies within.

For those eager to continue this journey, further exploration, practice, and perhaps even formal training await. The world of Reiki is vast, and the Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen symbol is but one beacon in this luminous landscape.

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