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: 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

Image

“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~

‘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.