10 Easy Steps to Turn Competition into Cooperation for a Successful Reiki Practice

Review Student copy

All of us have heard “If you change your thoughts and you can change you life”. It’s big picture stuff. Or is it? Can just one thought be the magic bullet and change everything? Maybe, but usually we have multiple spiraling thoughts that contribute to our actions. So I decided I would start with what I know best, a Reiki practice. Over the past 11 years I have either witnessed or had first hand experience with stuck competitive thinking.

This is no namby-pamby, touchy-feely article encouraging peace, love, and hugs. It is 10 suggestions on how you can open your business to growth through cooperative action. For each one of the competitive thoughts, I present corresponding-cooperating ideas that can help change your life. Or in this case, your practice.

1- These are my clients

Get to know and trust another Practitioner. One you could recommend to your clients when you are out of town. Emergencies come up. Your clients will have more respect for you-putting their needs before your own ego.

2 -My Reiki is better than yours

Perhaps it is. And if it is then no need for comparison.

If you feel someone else is better than you, then like Avis . . . “Try Harder”. Practice. (Okay to compete here-but only with yourself.)

3- It’s them against me

Support other Reiki Practitioners –be an ambassador for the modality, it’s still developing in the mainstream as an alternative option.

4- Clawing my way to the top

Adopt the Reiki Principles into your life. Enough said.

5- It has to be me, just me

Plan an event with other Practitioners that touches more people than if you did it by yourself. Sometimes bigger is better.

6- That’s not legal

If someone gets caught with hands in the cookie jar- the public may think you are also guilty. Share business building information. A strong Reiki presence, built on integrity, in a community, will always help your business flourish

7- Envy is ugly

Celebrate other Practitioner’s success, and mentor your own students to achievement. They will be grateful and speak highly of you to others.

8- Coming from lack – clients

Know there is a limitless amount of clients

9- Coming from lack -students

Know there is a limitless amount of students

10- They’re not playing nice

Choose your playmates and know that others may not be ready to play. Seek out those who are. Remain in your integrity. It’s a magnet for good.


Ten Years in the Making . . .


Photo Credit: Koi-skidone.com

Photo Credit: Koi-skidone.com

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.


There is no “a” in Reiki


“a” Reiki Practitioner, “a” Reiki Master, “a” Shihan kaku

We are a society so invested in labels, achievements, and status. Even the use of the letter “a” serves as a subtle indicator of the separateness we seek about each other.  We use it to announce that difference. I am “a” doctor, “a” teacher, “a” CEO for a Fortune 500 Company, “a” college graduate, “a” stay at home mom, etc. We even use “a” to define the boundaries of religion, she is “a” Catholic, “a” Muslim, or “a” Jew. And our love partner choice, “a” heterosexual, “a” homosexual, “a lesbian”, (further separated from gay, as we never say “a” gay).

Dropping the letter “a” before a title or label softens the space between you and me. It shows that I trust you to know who I am and what I love, and believe in, with no sharp edges for you to feel the need to seek protection. It invites you to see my being-ness. How I am in the world. How I am in your world. We are connected by similarities – not differences.

Without that separateness, we have a responsibility to live the defining word, or words, as an outward indication of our life experience. As what we profess our lives to be about. Making a choice, followed by the commitment to ourselves to live that life true and open and whole.

When someone comes to me for a session, or to learn Reiki, I remember that I am Reiki first and the label “a” Reiki (something) is only an outward indicator for ease of conversation, for marketing. Dropping the “a” is an acceptance of who I am, and to me, becomes a celebration of who you are. In this state of being-ness I can recognize the soft spots in you, and also the areas that hold sadness, hurt, fear, love, happiness, and joy. I am both familiar, and gentle with them all.

Reiki. Is a state of being-ness, and not a label that separates me from you. I practice and teach Reiki and invite you to come close and share the space Reiki has created in my life.

Expansion on a theme . . .

Cranes on a Pine Tree   Hokusai, 1832-33

Cranes on a Pine Tree
Hokusai, 1832-33

I used to think once I attained Master level, practiced and taught for nine years, I would have arrived at some Reiki knowledge pinnacle. Once there, I could indulge in what I called, side-to-side learning, or expanding on a theme. So I continued in a straight line to “Master”, and  took “advanced” classes to round out my training. With certificates in hand, a strong client and student base, I felt I reached my goal.

After all, once you have experienced the five taste bud sensations, sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umani (savory), everything else is just a variation of their intensity or a combination of these flavors. This is what I expected to find in giving Reiki to others year after year. Everybody’s organs and internal mechanics are basically the same. Illness, like taste bud sensations, manifests on varied levels of intensity and in combination with other factors. I just had to pay attention and continue to compile this information to develop my expertise.

I became an expert and knew pretty much from experience what to expect under my hands during my sessions. Every now and then I would feel an intensity, or knowingness, during Reiki that, as I look back over the last nine years, had been shown to me on the level I was presently aware of in both training and spiritual acceptance.

Let me say that again, . . on the level I was presently aware of in both training and spiritual acceptance. The first part is easy. Things that were out of my realm as a Level I Practitioner were not recognizable to me. Then Level II, (distance), Advanced (crystal grids), Master (attunements), Karuna Reiki® (other energies), and Jikiden Reiki®* (byosen, and a most effective spiritual technique). Each level and school of Reiki brought with it new discoveries of ways to access the Reiki energy, or intention for a specific condition, and a better overall understanding of healing in general.

The second part, spiritual acceptance is a more personal affair. Planning to do “mainstream Reiki”, I pushed the word spiritual deep down to almost a whisper. I had to present Reiki in a more scientific/concrete way. My audience demanded it. A spiritual person myself, I believe in God, the Virgin Mary, the Archangels, my Guardian Angel, the fairies, dragon flies and elves others say live in the tree outside my Reiki room, Spirit Guides and helpers, but that’s me.  I have seen some of these in my mind’s eye and smelled their sweet fragrance now and then during a session. I even had a psychic tell me how “they” sometimes put their hands in mine when I work. But I couldn’t tell. My hands seemed to always be hot, then very hot, and sometimes cool. That’s Reiki.

Until last week after a client returned from a spiritual retreat. She shared her exceptional experience and I delighted in the stories she brought back, declaring to her, that I believed everything she said. I felt it in my soul. Then I realized that at this session, I was present on a new level of spiritual acceptance.

I always knew it wasn’t me doing the healing. The energy was coming through me, and like others, I learned it was just out there and somehow funneled into my crown and through my hands. It was an accepted mystery. Maybe that is how it happens, but I think now, the energy has a guide and when both the practitioner and the client invite (intend) their presence, you can feel the power at the core of compassion coming through you for them, and maybe a little for yourself too.

After having sampled this new taste sensation, I humbly asked for forgiveness in my “Master” plan. Laughing together, we will work as one to help others to wellness: with them providing the spiritual light, and me the vehicle. And that whisper in my throat has found a voice. Reiki is a Spiritual modality and that’s what people are looking for most these days. To touch spirituality even if, for now, it has to be through another person.

*Jikiden Reiki®, taught me a new level of spiritual practice in Reiki, and identifying byosen levels and patterns, which looking back, prepared me for this next level of “training”.

Frank Arjava Petter returns to San Diego in May to teach Jikiden Reiki® seminars. Contact me for more info.

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~