Reiki and distant healing
In the second level of Reiki (Okuden), mantras and symbols are introduced. They have no power of their own - they are simply a reminder of our true nature. Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen is used in the western teachings as 'the symbol for distant healing', but is in fact a kanji, not a symbol.
Traditionally Mikao Usui teachings did not include 'distant healing' at Okuden level. Okuden means 'Inner Teachings', meaning when we think of 'distant healing' we must bring it inwards into our heart and mind; otherwise we are making it external and it becomes distorted sending our focus outwards.
The translation of Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen means our original nature - we need to realise this as a non-dual thought focusing instead on meditation and chanting the mantra. So letting go of the idea that we need to connect to someone instead of realising that we are already inter-connected teaches us the opposite. Focusing on the external instead of the internal thought changes the perspective into one of our making instead of letting go and being our true nature.
Simply put we are letting go of the 'I' and the 'you', setting our intent and becoming 'one' with all things.