When a Reiki Master has cancer

Swimming Turtles


A year ago I was diagnosed with renal cancer. The mass of cells, abnormal in shape and behavior, consumed one-third of my right kidney. To make it more interesting, the MRI showed it arcing back into the middle of the small-bean-shaped-organ.

First you know nothing about a situation, and then you know a lot. I discovered renal cells do not respond to chemo or radiation therapy. If caught early you live. Kidney cancer’s warning signs usually come too late for that. I was lucky. It was discovered by accident, on an ultrasound for something benign.

Shock. Denial. Confusion. I put my Reiki hands on others? How do I admit that I need Reiki now. And lots of it. Not a good marketing strategy if you ask me! I gave Reiki for years to oncology patients. I accompanied clients to chemo infusions, sitting with hands on, for hours. If I could do this for others, couldn’t I take care of myself? What kind of a Reiki Master was I? Self-doubt invaded my thoughts. Needed time. Had to work this through. I didn’t tell anyone that first month. I waited. Alone. Continuing to book treatment sessions and teach Reiki seminars and workshops until I knew what to say. What to feel.

And then one day humility flooded in. It came in as the intellectual excuses started forming a web of reasons why. Bottom line – it didn’t matter. I am human. Crap happens. Wake-up calls are given. And bodies accumulate toxins to keep us alive. I had to accept the responsibility of holding on to the toxin like a friend. It was of my body, but I could let it go. The cancer was a gift and I knew it. It could be cut out. Extracted like an abscessed tooth. For this, I am grateful every day.

The gift: Life. Presence. Understanding. Soul-level compassion. Second chances. Letting go. Release. Awareness. Healing. Taking care of me. Loving me. Loving you. Celebrating. Full participation. Holding the loved ones, of those who were not so lucky, inside my heart. I survived. Friends. Family. Reiki Friends. Reiki Family.

I reached out. I told a few of my students. They came. They gave me Reiki. Then word went out and I received Reiki not only in person, but also in spirit from people around the world. I could feel it. My heart was full.

Two months later, the surgery a success. The cancer, along with my one kidney, gone.

When a Reiki Master has cancer, she learns to lean back into the supportive and loving hands of those around her. She learns to remain humble and grateful and real.

With love to you all~


‘This Is Reiki’ by Frank Arjava Petter – a review

Lotus Press 2012

‘This is Reiki, Transformation of Body, Mind and Soul, From The Origins To The Practice’ by Frank Arjava Petter (Lotus Press)

Review by Lorraine George

Books don’t usually come with a caution label, but this one should. Be prepared to: be mesmerized by the flow of words on a page; be warmed by Arjava’s passion for the subject; inhale the story of Reiki’s journey at the level of your soul; and most of all, lose track of time.

If you’ve met Arjava, you’ll recognize his voice. It’s as if he is sitting across the table, sipping a hot coffee, relating his delightful adventure into the Japanese world of Reiki. He introduces us to Usui Sensei’s ancestors, and gives us a peek into the original Reiki Ryoho Gakki. We travel in time from Usui Sensei’s birthplace to his memorial. We meet Hayashi Sensei and the Yamaguchi family. This is an up-dated history of Reiki, based on written journals, documents, family photos, and interviews. Arjava tells us the background story – the history and spiritual culture of Japan – so we get a better understanding of the events that influenced the development (and later decline) of Reiki in its place of origin.

And then we are off to Sacred Reiki sites. More than a travel guide, Arjava uses personal stories, and at times, humor, as we meander from one site to the next. This chapter is plush with photographs.

He goes on to tell us about the deities and spiritual practices that are rooted into some of the beliefs and techniques of the Reiki we do today. This tapestry of spiritual identity helps to explain the dynamic realm of guidance and power, available to us in Reiki practice.

The final chapter covers healing with Reiki, including perception exercises, Gassho Meditation, and Japanese techniques. There are also interviews with Fumio Ogawa Sensei, and Chiyoko Yamaguchi Sensei.

Although designed for those who teach, this book is a valuable resource for everyone who practices Reiki. I would also recommend it for those who have an interest in learning more about this simple, yet powerfully effective, Japanese healing art.

Lorraine George is a Jikiden Reiki® Shihan Kaku, and Usui/Tibetan and Karuna Reiki® Master. She can be reached at LGeorge@Reiki4Wellness.com

Frank Arjava Petter returns to San Diego in 2013, on May 24-28 for Shoden/Okuden, and May 29-30 for Shihan Kaku seminars. Contact Lorraine George for course and registration information.

Reiki – on a paper coffee cup

Written in black marker, on the side of a white Starbucks coffee cup, I have been referred to as Lorene, Loran, Lorain,  Lauren, Laurene, Lori Anne, and my favorite, Maureen. To the barista making my grande-soy-latte, it’s all me: the lady waiting patiently at the pick-up counter for her morning coffee.

The same with Reiki. Frank Arjava Petter teaches that it doesn’t matter what you call it. That what comes out of our hands is Reiki. The energy is all the same no matter what we call it. Reiki is Reiki. And it doesn’t matter to the person in front of us about to receive it. (The part that is important, is we represent ourselves and the modality with honesty. If we add anything to it, then we have a responsibility to tell our clients what it is and it’s origin.)

When I heard about Jikiden Reiki® I was intrigued. It was Reiki from Japan without western influence.

This western influence was indeed confusing to me as a new Reiki Practitioner. I was taught to keep my ego out of it, as Reiki would flow better that way. A hard pill to swallow, since I couldn’t help but wonder what chakras had to do with anything Japanese? And why did we play New Age piano music instead of traditional Japanese music during a session? We had westernized it. Put our stamp of approval, our collective handprint, and borrowed East Indian and Native American concepts to help explain it. Big time ego.

Maybe I was jealous. While a teenager during the 60’s, I never got to be a hippie; and at the height of the New Age, I was a single parent who couldn’t take time to lose myself into the ethers, even for one minute. When I came to Reiki in 2004 I had no previous experience with chakras, meridians, crystals and drumming over people on a massage table, or using anything with aroma that wasn’t purchased from a major department store. My learning curve was long. At first, I waited to see if I could catch-up, and then finally decided to forgo the extras and concentrate on doing just Reiki.

I continued to do my best, and forget the rest. My hands were on, no matter what words were used to describe it. But somewhere in the back of my mind I really wanted to learn about Reiki and it’s history and the history and culture of Japan in Usui Sensei’s time. That’s what was missing for me. The questions kept coming. How did Reiki come about? What really led Usui Sensei to Mt. Kurama? Why wasn’t Reiki being taught in Japan? Did it die along with Dr. Hayashi? Learning Jikiden Reiki® was my answer.

So is my Reiki better than yours? That’s not the point. Jikiden Reiki® fits better with who I am and what I can comfortably represent as an Energy Medicine (NIH-CAM), or as a relaxation technique to my clients. It’s Reiki, pure and simple, as taught by Dr. Hayashi to Mrs. Yamaguchi as it remained in Japan for all these years.

In case you are wondering, I am trained in Usui/Tibetan Reiki, Karuna Reiki®, Jikiden Reiki®, and Reiki taught by Beth Gray’s lineage which I teach as an Advanced Level II. And yes, when I represent each of these, I do it with an open heart and with much respect for each of my teachers.

So the next time you are at your favorite coffee shop, notice the menu on the wall. Espresso, Latte, Americano, Cappucinno. It’s all coffee with a slight influence to make each one different. If you are new to Reiki, or a new Reiki Practitioner, try not to let the words get in the way. Just do Reiki. And make mine a double shot with extra foam!

Frank Arjava Petter will be in San Diego May 2013 to teach Jikiden Reiki@ Levels I and II and Shihan kaku (Jr. Teacher). I serve as his host in San Diego, and also teach Jikiden Reiki® Level I. Please contact me for more information.