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 . . .

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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.

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.

‘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.

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.