Four Stages of Mastery

“A man who has gained mastery in any art reveals it in his every action” Samurai Maxim

In my last blog post we talked about the beginning of the enlightenment process. Did you do something “foolish” like following your deep inner calling? I hope so! If you did, now you are free to start moving toward enlightenment!

Enjoyment - free happy woman enjoying sunset. Beautiful woman inThe path to enlightenment though unique to every person, has very well defined stages. Over the 10,000 years of training Samurai martial arts masters, the Japanese have found four distinct stages of development that every master must move through.  Kensho Furuya in his book, “Kodo—Lessons In the Spiritual Life of the Warrior/Martial Artist,” discusses these four levels of ascension.  I have been a student of the martial arts and worked with some of the greatest masters in the world through each of these stages.

Study these four stages.  See if you can see how they apply to the next leg of your Journey. You cannot skip one of these if you hope to gain the inner mastery that leads to enlightenment.  You must go from student, to expert, to master, to enlightenment, Though there are no short cuts, I can tell you that not working with a master teacher on these will make it a lot longer!


Shu is known as the protecting stage. Here you are called to become a student of an “art” that you hope will make you better, richer, more powerful, more loving, etc.  You learn the “form” or techniques and recognize the art as a protective shell that you hold between yourself and the world. This stage is symbolized by the baby bird in its shell. As a student iyou will likely be very stiff, inflexible, limited in thought and body, have raw untrained movements and be unaware of anything beyond the shell. This also represents the shell or mask we all develop that I call your “virtual reality.” The shell is a 360-degree movie screen where you do not see the world as it is, but as you think it is.  As you do the work and discipline your mind, you begin to see that the protective shell has limitations and actually restricts your true self and your ability to feel who you really are. As you reach the end of this stage of training your true inner self begins to emerge. This is the mid-life crisis where you realize that for all the good you have done, there are diminishing returns each year. So you stay inside your the self-made jail of your ego shell.  This is where you leave the school of techniques and enter the school of mastery.


Ha is the next level. Here you break free from the form, or shell, and see everything you have learned from a new vantage point.  The disciplined training has led you to enough chi energy to crack the virtual reality shell and open up to a new level of consciousness.  You see beyond the shell and the ego self and realize your training had within it seeds of greatness that the form alone could not show you.  You begin to develop mental clarity about who you truly are in the world and how your skills are to be applied directly to your life purpose.  This is where you learn your Rhys Method Life Purpose Profiles so you can see that everything you have learned has always served only one master, you. The image is that of the baby bird cracking the shell and having it fall around him.  This is the technical mastery stage in the martial arts in which the student can freely come up with a technique to fit every battle situation;  when he begins to see other options beyond his basic training that are unique to him alone.  At this stage, there is enough personal power to make choices outside of virtual reality so you can come more into the present moment.   From this you realize that the goal you set out towards initially is fading fast in the rear view mirror.


Ri is known as the stage where you fully release from conscious thought the form you have become.  Your physical presence alone is the knowing of the art.  You come more into the present moment and act from a source deep within your soul. The image of the fledging bird flying away symbolizes Ri and is mirrored by you beginning to move fluidly through life, using your ability to create your own reality consciously, not in a virtual way, but as a creative force in the world.  At this stage all actions are driven by a deep calling, not rational thought.  When others look at you and interact with you they are in direct connection with your soul.


Ku, the final stage, is known as the secret transmission between master and pupil.  This stage is orally transmitted from generation to generation. It is the stage of emptiness in which everything is gone and your actions in the present moment are fresh and free of the past.  You live life as a true mystery, not as something to conquer. At this point, you call back the energy that you have left in all the events and attachments in your life so that your focus is in the present and cannot be hooked by any external event or person.

In traditional martial arts schools, which are set up to delve deeper into the art of living and not just fighting, you are taught life is balanced between the inner and outer worlds. You learn to recognize each of the three elements comprising your being: body, mind and spirit.  You learn that no one is more important than anyone else. And that total freedom is your reality.

These four principles are the foundation I have built the Rhys Thomas Institute of Energy Medicine and the Rhys Method Coaching Programs on.

Click here to view both videos in my three-part video series on The Master’s Path to Enlightenment.

Coming soon is “The Three Step Process to Enlightenment,” the next in this three-part video series.

Rhys Thomas

Rhys Thomas, the founder of the Rhys Thomas Institute, has turned the art of energy healing into a science of personal empowerment.

My name is Rhys Thomas and when I turned 40, I wanted to know “why” even though I appeared to be successful in almost every part of my life and career, I still felt empty.
I became a personal growth junkie for year with no real shift. Then I got serious and attended a 4 year training in energy medicine that introduced me to chakras and so much more. Energy healing, combined with my love of marital arts helped me realize that I was not empty I had just blocked my ability to feel and see through all of my energy centers. I had blinders and didn’t know it. I was putting more attention on living societies dream of success, not my soul’s. But even this did not fully heal me, there was something missing. That is why I create my 4 Dimensional Healing system that that has awakened and deep send of empowerment, love and fulfillment in thousands of people who have worked with me. 30 day to Self-healing Through the chakras is the first leg in this system.

Now I am thrilled to be giving to you what took me 20 years to create in this 30 day training. I wish someone had give it to me 30 year ago.

This information is life like dynamite for anywhere you are stuck in your life or feeling disconnected, it has changed the lives of thousands in my programs and the institute. Now its your turn to use this wisdom to take your life, like I did from empty to fulfilled, energized and joyous.

When you say “YES” to this awakening and evolutionary journey up through the chakras you will unlock the mysteries of the world around and within you.