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.

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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~