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.  

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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 . . .

There is no “a” in Reiki

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“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.

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~

A Path Called Reiki

HiroshigeWalking in my neighborhood, I recently noticed a man creating a stone slabbed walkway in front of his house. Each day he would place the smooth stones in different puzzle like patterns, moving them around to become a functional rock mosaic. He would leave them in one design for days. Then move them  around again, a few days later.

I hadn’t been out for a week, and today I saw him lovingly work cement between each curve, smoothing the paste that joined the stones, creating a flow from one to the other. He worked with purpose as he washed around each one  with a wet sponge working this material to its proper depth. He went over the same place continuously wetting and then squeezing his rather large sea sponge with a meditative like movement about him.  He was gently massaging his own energy into the stones under his hands. Creating something purposefully. And I thought this was like a beginning Reiki practice.

Like a new practitioner, beginning as the stones. Finding their newly defined place in the universe. Fitting into the flow. Sometimes having to change position. Redefining themselves after receiving Reiki. After having the loving responsibility to touch other beings placed in their hands.

And then becoming the craftsman, the artisan, nurturing every stone to its full potential. Recognizing their own ability as they begin a path towards the wonder of the Reiki light.

And everyday they work on themselves until gratitude emanates from their soul. And the path becomes their life.

Welcome to your new Reiki Practice . . .

Be, not Do, Reiki

“Being” something is different than “doing” something. Being involves having a constant, and present, consciousness to make it happen.

This occurred for me about a month after I was first attuned. I made a commitment to make Reiki a business choice, and then, a personal one. If I was going to offer my services to others at their most vulnerable physical and emotional state, I was going to have to be gyo-o hage me, doing my duties fully.

I was guided by two very powerful forces at that time in my life. The first was a Japanese Buddhist (SGI) practice. Here I was chanting everyday in an effort to raise my own life condition for myself and also for others. I began to understand the transmission of compassion between people through the energy produced by the chanting vibrations of the mantra I learned to recite sitting in front of a beautiful scroll. My Reiki hands would turn on quickly as the words of the Lotus Sutra were spoken. I allowed the energy to flow. I studied it within me. I loved the feeling it created. I still do.

The second force was a man. A Tibetan Buddhist I worked with who demonstrated in his daily comings and goings, ego detachment. Each day before we opened the healing center doors, he would light a stick of incense and chant a prayer to Medicine Buddha for assistance, guidance and healing for those who we would see that day. I understood what being a true channel was by his example. Whenever a client would sing his praises, he would always raise a hand to the sky and give Medicine Buddha the credit. He would turn to the person and say how strong they were to heal themselves. These were valuable lessons for someone who had just entered the world of complimentary healing.

From then on I became aware of the consciousness that is still ever present. Each decision I make always involves me and Reiki. And these are the internal questions I ask myself:

How will this decision affect my clients?

Will it help my business grow so I can reach more people?

Does it help me grow to be a better Reiki channel?

Does it educate others about Reiki?

Is it a good use of my time?

What does it have to do with doing Reiki?

I also have two statements I have added as a final check. One of my early Reiki teachers said, “When you add a title after your name, YOU PUT YOUR NAME IN LIGHTS”. This was valuable information for me. Yes, of course this is a personal truth. I had to act as a Reiki Practitioner, and Master, and Shihankaku, whenever I interacted with another. I had to ‘be” Reiki. I was to demonstrate how clear and kind and loving and simple Reiki is. And not just in a session or a class. I had to “be” Reiki at the grocery store, the gas station, driving my car, etc.

The other statement is from my husband. Whenever I would come home with a marketing or business addition that involved adding something else to Reiki he would always say to me, “So are you a Reiki Master, or a book, candle, doo-dad seller.” Or my favorite, “Are you a Reiki Practitioner, or a jack-of- all-trades and . . . “, well you know the rest.

I had worked most of my life behind a desk. Helping people none the less, but never in the capacity I would experience in my Reiki practice. And in this practice, I am “Being” Reiki.

Amida Buddha in the garden.