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Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen – Meaning and Uses of This Reiki Symbol

The Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen (hon-shaw-ze-show-nen) is the distance healing symbol in Reiki practices. This symbol has several meanings but the most appropriate one is ‘having no present, past or future’. This definition is most fitting because it underlies the very purpose of the distance symbol, which is to transfer Reiki energy across time, space, and distance. 

The symbol is used to heal traumatic experiences of the past, challenges of the present, and obstacles of the future. The Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen is also used to send positive energy to friends and family who live far away.

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In this article, we will be exploring the origins of the distance symbol, its characteristics, and uses in the process of Reiki healing.

Origins of Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen

The distance healing symbol was created by Mikao Usui, the Japanese alternative medicine healer. The letters of the distance symbol were originally part of a Chinese phrase that Mikao Usui adapted into his Reiki healing practices.

Like all other Reiki symbols, the Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen was mastered by Mrs. Takata, a prominent Reiki master. Mrs. Takata introduced several versions of the distance symbol to her students, for them to learn and understand it better.

Mrs. Takata’s symbols have become popular, and there is no longer a fixed method to draw the distance symbol.  The variations have not altered the purpose of the symbol, which has always been used to transfer energy across time and space.

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Characteristics of the Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen

Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen
  • The distance healing symbol is one of the most difficult to draw, with a series of Japanese Kanji characters.
  • The symbol is drawn from top to bottom and left to right.
  • Seen from a particular angle, the characters of the symbol appear to reflect the human body, the five Chakras, and the elements within.

Uses of the Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen

Reiki Symbols engraved
Reiki Symbols engraved onto Selenite palm stones. See them here.

The Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen in the Usui Reiki healing process has many uses and is a highly important symbol.

  • Healing events of the past: The distance symbol is sent to the past to heal wounds from traumatic experiences and events. Reiki healers insist on healing painful scars, because if left alone, they tend to mold and shape the present and future. The distance symbol aids in forming a fresh perspective of the past and enables healing through forgiveness of the self and others. 
  • Betterment of the future: The distance symbol is often sent into the future to assist in an upcoming task, exam, interview, or a meeting. Reiki energy is sent into the future as a source of extra support when energy levels are thought to diminish and dwindle.  
  • Healing across time and space: The distance symbol is sent to family members or friends who are in need of positive thoughts and energy.  The energy transformation is more effective when the sender visualizes the receiver, rather than focusing on their specific problems.
  • Release of emotions: The distance symbol is sent into the past to release pent up emotions, buried deep within the soul. Many people are unwilling to confront the demons of their past, and the distance symbol aids them by providing the energy and support required.
  • Healing chakras and the aura: The distance symbol seeks to heal the main chakras and aura surrounding the receiver. Once the healing energies reach the aura, they automatically permeate to a deeper level and remedy the physical ailments.
Reiki distance symbol
  • Automatic energy transfer: Distance healing is a useful tool to transfer energy automatically at a set time. For instance, the sender could attune the symbol in such a way that energy automatically goes to the receiver every Tuesday.
  • Link to Akashic records: The distance symbol is used to connect to Akashic records, which is a library of information on an individual’s past, present, and future.  The Akashic records can shed more light on a person’s character, personality and behaviour, that helps Reiki healers understand the source of the problem. 
  • Understanding books/artworks: The Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen is evoked to determine the intention behind an author’s words, or the meaning of a painting.  The distance healing symbol helps reveal the creators’ aim and objective.  
  • Energy transfer to ancestors: The Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen is useful for sending positive energy to deceased ancestors. Energy is sent to forefathers in the hope that they will have a happy and peaceful afterlife. 
  • Removing residual energy: The distance healing symbol is used to remove excess negative energy. Sometimes harmful experiences are healed but their energy is still carried forth. The distance symbol counters these residuals and restores the chakras.
  • Inner clarity: The distance healing symbol sheds light on the very root of a problem. This makes it easier for the individual to understand the pain and enables a more efficient healing process.
  • To access chi: The distance symbol along with Cho Ku Rei and Sei He Ki is used for accessing Chi or the universal source of energy.
uses of reiki distance symbol Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen

In Brief

The distance healing symbol creates a deeper connection between the healer and recipient. It is the only healing symbol that can be conjured in the absence of the receiver. It is a particularly useful symbol for those who do not want to be directly involved in Reiki healing practices.

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Dani Rhys
Dani Rhys

Dani Rhys has worked as a writer and editor for over 15 years. She holds a Masters degree in Linguistics and Education, and has also studied Political Science, Ancient History and Literature. She has a wide range of interests ranging from ancient cultures and mythology to Harry Potter and gardening. She works as the chief editor of Symbol Sage but also takes the time to write on topics that interest her.