the whisper of Kyoto

There are those who decide on a pilgrimage heeding its call at some point in their lives. For me it whispered unexpectantly as an invitation to a Reiki Congress. A business trip.

Then it blew in as Santa Ana winds swirling a constant 99 degree temperature restricting my flight from its scheduled take off. Arrival into Tokyo became cloaked in night darkness. No luggage. It was removed the day before to lighten the load for takeoff.

Readjusting travel arrangements in a foreign land, in a foreign language, became part of the experience. A bump in the road-but the road was in Japan. And I was excited to be there.

The whisper grew louder as a typhoon traveled across Japan raising humidity levels into the 90’s over the next two days. It was Wednesday, and I began this journey on Monday morning, in the same clothes-sitting for hours on a plane at the gate, then on the tarmac, on a shuttle bus to a hotel in Tokyo, back to the airport hours later, onto another shuttle to a different airport, to catch a plane to Osaka. Now, I badly needed a change of clothes. Off to buy something to wear, but no. Kyoto shops only carry Japanese sizes. Keeping my spirits up, I made light of the situation.

Until the following morning. The heat, now pouring rain, and still in my travel clothes-I fell apart. I missed an important group tour. And I was hungry waiting for the dining room to clear so I wouldn’t put anyone into an unpleasant situation hugging me hello. Still not knowing if my packed clothes would arrive today or tomorrow or the day after, well into the Congress weekend.

For hours I walked and cried in the rain. And I walked some more. And I cried some more. Breaking down, falling into pieces with each step. Breaking away from my important public-self. I didn’t know it at the time, outwardly, trying to hold myself together. To be okay. To find peace with what was happening to me. Being separated from the group. Examining me as alone. How my physical self could indeed exist separate from my spirit self.

Sitting on a park bench, I watched a man hit a baseball. With each swing, observing the smooth arc of time and space he, and now I, was traveling. Watching him, I could breath again.

On Friday afternoon, my luggage arrived. Happy to have different clothes, I realized I was different and the window dressing didn’t really matter. At the Congress I felt invisible in a room of 200 colleagues. I had become more an observer than a participant. Empty but whole.

Staying on, I visited shrines, and temples, and parks and took long walks along the river and down side streets. Talked with shopkeepers and artisans. Walked behind a geisha, a few feet away, sensing the gentle yet intense presence she represented. Feeling gratitude for the brief shared space into tradition. I rode the train and subway with business people and families with young children. Visited a Kanji museum and played like a schoolgirl at the exhibit tables.

Mostly now, I stayed in awe at the quiet moments offered at empty temples housing large golden Buddha statues, spying a lone crane on a rock in a still lake, meeting Senju Kannon where time stopped and a sweet unspoken communication occurred. I inhaled the incense burning from street shrines, and bathed in the abundant lush of the green trees that filled my soul.

It has taken me 5 months to put words to my experience. Although it falls somewhat short. If I could only share the whisper I first heard . . .then Kyoto could also change you. Listen for it.


an ending

iStock_000044305246MediumWhile my work is amazingly rewarding, sometimes it involves loss. This past year two souls touched my heart, and then left without saying good-bye.

Etsuko, my Shihan sister. We shared a respect of each other’s contribution to the spread of Jikiden Reiki, support of its practice, the love of the children we bore and raised into adulthood, and the lives we lived over the years with no judgment. We anchored each side of the Pacific. An ocean apart. A culture away. A fast-found-friendship that surprised us both. And now I, left to bare the loss, of what might have been between two women speaking truths over private messages on Facebook. Sharing stories and feelings and giving and getting unedited words on a page, raw and real. Always based in unspoken love and kindness. I feel your loss in my life, and in my heart. I will miss you always.

Julia, the little spirit girl. You came gently into my life, a joy in your parent’s eyes. Excited for your arrival. Loving you dearly along the way. My Reiki hands held above you making the connection. Sharing hello. One month, two months, three months. The wait seems long. Then no more. The circle of life. It contains many lessons. Some we recognize, some to be realized later, in the quiet pauses of our soul. Changing lives.  Your sweetness, always remembered.

My teacher says there is no loss, only love.

I must agree, on both accounts.

dare I say? there is no unity with Jikiden Reiki

iStock_000001402830Large - Version 2Or combining of Reiki schools. Or sharing techniques outside of a seminar.

Surfacing recently, a Western Reiki article calling for unity in Reiki; a Western Reiki Master video with an ending prayer suggesting the same; and posts of Western Reiki specific articles and events on Jikiden Reiki sites.

Jikiden Reiki is separate by definition. It is Reiki teaching direct from Chijuro Hayashi sensei as he learned from Mikao Usui sensei. Usui sensei called his form of Reiki Usui Reiki Ryoho (Usui healing method) for a reason. He wanted to differentiate it from all other Reiki healing methods that were being done at that time. He did not learn this from someone else. Nor study for years. He achieved a state of enlightenment and the healing was his gift.

Who are we to diminish his intention?

Jikiden Reiki is non-inclusive. It is original, authentic, and kept separate on purpose – to safeguard the purity of the teaching and practice.

The original concepts and techniques still hold their Japanese roots. It is a powerful practice, both physically and spiritually (not religious, but personal spiritual growth for the dedicated practitioner). It’s allure and attraction is this: Real information and hard facts, backed by original writings, photos, historical events, documents, and the gifts from Japanese culture.

Jikiden Reiki web sites on Facebook, Twitter, and personal .coms, need to support the continuation of this difference.

Jikiden Reiki is never homogenized. Reiki Share meetings are for Jikiden Reiki Practitioners and teachers only (except for public information meetings) as defined by the Jikiden Reiki Kenkyukai.

As a Western Reiki Master, and Jikiden Reiki Shihan, we have an obligation to take care of our students properly. Holding exclusive Reiki Shares for each group insures lines are clear and techniques and information sharing can be done openly. And posting Western Reiki activities and events separate from Jikiden Reiki will lessen the confusion created by erroneously melding of the two.

Be deliberate in your practice. Whichever one you do.

choice review

Soon I will be traveling to study again with one of my teachers. He has travelled across an ocean and the width of a continent, I will travel across two states.

outfit for travelThis is what I know:

When your mentor, teacher, or your teacher’s teacher comes to town – you show up.

You show up for the blessing, support, connection, and guidance.

You show up even when the teaching is the same.

Because you are different – from one visit to the next.

A course review is an opportunity to make minor adjustments to the understanding of a technique, cultural concept, or historical fact. A place to continue to explore and expand your potential as a practitioner, a teacher, a function-in-a-modern-world spiritual being. An invitation to develop a better connection to the roots of the practice.

In the western world we accumulate degrees, credentials, credits, and paper statements of attendance and course completion. Then are left on our own to “practice”. Course adjustments come from the mistakes we make in the field. With no real guidance, we can only decide to do somethings different next time.

Spending a few days with my teachers each year seems the better choice of the two.

My teachers, Tadao Yamaguchi and Frank Arjava Petter travel to the U.S. to lecture on Jikiden Reiki. Reiki For Wellness presents the Annual Jikiden Reiki Seminar in San Diego, with visiting guest, Frank Arjava Petter each Spring.  

Ten Years in the Making . . .


Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:

When I was first introduced to Reiki I noticed some practitioners also did massage therapy, cranial sacral, yoga, etc., or had psychic abilities that left me in awe. Having worked in the corporate and non-profit world all my life, I knew I had a lot of catching up to do if I was going to compete and run a successful alternative healing business.

My journey began right away at my Level I training, where I learned that through the continued practice of Reiki I would discover Reiki’s true power. Instinctively I knew there was sacredness about what I was doing. I was touching people at such a depth that I could sense their vulnerability, and in the state of oneness that occurs when you are of pure service, I began to sense my own. I was taking the journey with them. Not in a co-dependent way, but as a supportive partner. They put their trust in me and I in turn, felt the responsibility to continue my own healing. I accomplished this by doing Reiki on myself everyday, and by recognizing the types of clients I was attracting. Often these clients would have similar issues or life stories as mine. After the treatment session, the client long gone, I would examine the part of me that was touched by the session and be open to the personal healing process that was about to occur just by recognition and willingness to change. Reiki was no longer just a technique; it was becoming a lifestyle.

Here I also made a conscious decision to adopt the Reiki precepts into my life — first everyday, then, eventually, every minute of every day. I struggled with letting old behaviors go, and continued to listen to my thoughts and words. I would notice the worried thoughts, the angry words and begin to make the necessary adjustments toward letting go of ego and becoming clearer as a practitioner and teacher.

The true power of Reiki was showing itself to me again and again through experiences with my clients and with myself. Whenever I doubted if Reiki was enough, or doubted my own ability to serve others with it, the energy would present itself asking me to trust it once again. While visiting my in-laws in Florida, my mother-in-law had what the EMT’s and ER doctors said was a stroke. But both a CAT scan and an MRI showed no pools of blood in her brain. She also suffered no damage to her mobility, speech, or other senses. (I had placed my Reiki hands on her head at the beginning of her head pain and kept them there until the ambulance arrived. –I know now what I was feeling was very strong Byosen as taught in Jikiden Reiki.)

Many opportunities to learn other modalities continued to show up in trade magazines, websites, and direct invitations from friends and colleagues. I thought I would first learn all I could about Reiki and then add additional modalities later. What I had come to realize was Reiki has a depth that continues to show itself, the more it is practiced. This depth is on a spiritual level. So every time I would look into adding something else, it just didn’t fit for me. I wanted to continue to delve deeper for myself, and in turn, others.

There is nothing wrong with doing other modalities at a healing session. Or having access to additional healing tools. But I have chosen to continue my personal focus on just Reiki. I decided to trust the energy and see where it took me.

While working with clients, I realized that most people tend to their health care with the same attention as “flipping channels” on a TV remote — often jumping from one drug, doctor, or treatment to the next expecting immediate gratification and results. Through my choice of a single focused modality, I am able to introduce the value of stillness into their healing process. I trust the energy and the process of healing — and now they do too. My clients are surprised at first at the lack of a menu of services, but after their first session, they continue to come and enjoy the subtle healing power of a continuous hour of Reiki.

Over the past ten years I have worked with many clients with different illnesses, physical conditions, and emotional issues. The profound experiences and the people I have helped feel relief on some level, lets me know it is okay for me to do just Reiki.

And I look forward to practicing Reiki over the next 10 years! Stay tuned . . .

Reiki Principles to the Rescue!


Kyo Dake Wa








The latest news in the Reiki community has been the introduction of Holy Fire Reiki by William Rand of the ICRT. While I have been known to both resist or embrace change, this redefining the Reiki I learned, and taught, had presented an opportunity to put the Reiki Principles into practice.

Since hearing about this, I’ve experienced, and also witnessed from several Usui/Tibetan trained Reiki Masters, confusion, anger and frustration. A surprise to us all, it felt like abandonment, or betrayal to the school of Reiki that had held our loyalty. It questions our integrity as Reiki Masters. What was true, is no longer. Symbols retired, techniques streamlined. Where do we go from here? And what of the students we had already attuned and taught ART, Master and Karuna?

What do I say to them? What do I say to the students and Masters I fostered into Reiki or befriended along the way? I found the answer in the Reiki Principles.

Kyo dake wa  just for today . . .

Ikaruna do not be angry. Decide to step aside from your ego. Words like “how dare they” or “what about me” serve no one. A global decision was made that affects you and your business. Now a personal decision must follow. Step away from anger. Continue forward. Continue to extend yourself to others with the love that exists in your heart and in your hands. Continue to support your students with the same level of respect and compassion you always have. This part has not changed.

Shi pai suna do not be worried. You are Reiki to your students. The integrity of your business is based on your actions. Come from strength not worry. You have been given a choice. Teach what you know with the available materials, design your own class, follow this new way, or follow traditional Japanese Jikiden Reiki. Be open and communicative and let everyone know what is next for you and for them.

Kan sha shite be grateful. Change is difficult for all of us at one time or another. If we let go and openly accept what comes next, your life will continue to unfold, as is necessary for growth. Welcome the change and be grateful. You may decide to pursue Holy Fire Reiki, or finally create that manual that really works for you in your classes, or find another school of Reiki that resonates with you on a deep, spiritual level.

Gyo-o hageme do your duties fully. As a Reiki Master, you are responsible for your students. For their encouragement, support, and guidance in all things Reiki. While you may feel these changes have been done to you, don’t make it an event for your students. Gently guide them into their next step. Set an example of grace and acceptance.

Hito ni shinsetsu ni be kind to others. When you talk about these changes to your students, be kind. Be on your path. Stay centered and well. Help others by using kind words and actions. And if some of your students decide to follow Holy Fire Reiki without you, don’t take it personal. They are following their path. Give them a hug, and then quietly step aside. Reiki is a big world, and we touch each other and people we know, and people who know us. Continue to touch with kindness in your heart, because it comes back to you in the most beautiful ways.

Know what sparks the light in you. Then use that light to illuminate the world. ~ Oprah Winfrey

Your Reiki light shines bright. Let’s continue to stand together in the light that we are, holding each other’s Reiki hand.