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.


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.