When I enrolled in my first Reiki therapy class, I was primarily interested in learning something I was curious about. A massage therapist, I regularly participated in continuing education programs. I liked to learn new things to use in my healing practice. Reiki therapy interested me because it was so hidden in my area.
I learned Reiki therapy was easy to use, and extremely adaptable. In short, I loved Reiki.
For the next few years, I was in a Reiki therapy class somewhere learning something at every opportunity. I liked to tell my classmates that I loved Reiki therapy classes and somehow the universe saw to it that I had enough $$$ to pay for every class I signed up for and that my car had enough gas to get me there.
But, not everyone who studies Reiki therapy is a massage therapist seeking continuing education credits for annual certification.
Whether healing professionals or not, a question in every student’s mind was “What am I going to do with my new skills?”
Reiki therapy is a keeper skill. Once you receive an attunement, it stays with you – whether or not you consciously use it. Reiki accompanies you on your life path.
Reiki helps you create your life story. Because each of us experiences a unique life journey, Reiki therapy is different and inique for each of our needs. No two people experience Reiki in the same way.
If you received a Reiki attunement 20 or 30 years ago, you still use it.
Books were few and far between when I learned Reiki. Today, Reiki books are everywhere it seems. You have the luxury of picking up any Reiki book that attracts you.
We can all thank Diane Stein for that. Diane Stein changed the game in the healing world when she wrote a memoir/expose about her career as a Reiki Master. “Essential Reiki” is probably still found in book stores and libraries today.
I have a suggestion for you if you are attuned to Reiki and are not sure what to do next:
Get yourself a spiral notebook, or bound journal, or whatever.
Get yourself an appointment book or calendar.
Call around and tell people you have learned Reiki therapy and are doing your clinicals. Schedule 100 sessions.
Include your hairdresser, neighbors, friends and anyone else who might take you up on your offer. Find five people with health issues. This can include things like MS, headaches, allergies, low thyroid, cancer.
These five people will receive five Reiki sessions as close together as you can schedule them.
Everyone else receives one or two sessions.
Record each session in your Reiki journal. Include the person’s name, address, contact information, and a short description about the session.
At the end of these 100 sessions, you will have learned much about Reiki, yourself, healing, and life.
Join or start a Reiki circle. In a Reiki circle, you’ll meet new people and share Reiki on a regular basis.
But, what if you don’t want to do any of these things?
Your new-found Reiki therapy skills are with you – assisting you throughout each day. You carry the Reiki energy with you every where you go on your life journey.
How cool is that?
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When I studied Reiki, Mary Ruth Van Landingham’s classes and handouts were my user’s manual. They didn’t even begin to approach all the things Reiki can do for us all. I think Mary Ruth Van Landingham did that intentionally because we each write our own user’s manual.
Reiki is a unique and individual experience for each of us. Our attunements are the user’s manual for each of us.
I learned to practice Reiki on my massage therapy clients. Each one got a 10-minute Reiki boost at the end of the massage therapy session. Because Reiki was still unknown in my area, none of them had ever heard of Reiki. Their introduction to Reiki came during the last ten minutes of a massage therapy session so it came at a moment when they were blissed out, pain free, and totally relaxed. Needless to say, they all loved their Reiki.
This was good for me also because I was new to Reiki and was fearful about the results. It took a while for me to become accustomed to how Reiki worked.
I worried that they might not receive a proper introduction. So, what happened was that both my clients and I learned together. For starters, we learned to recognize my warm hands when I introduced Reiki into a session.
Over time, I learned that my hands warmed up whether they were on another person’s body, or my body, or a plant, or a car. Or whatever.
I learned to trust Reiki. This was a huge life lesson for me. I suspect it is also an important lesson for others as well. Many people go through life never learning to trust people, places, or things.
When I teach Reiki, I don’t think I even mention the word trust. The word floats above the classroom like a gorgeous cumulative cloud. It’s there for all to see.
A wonderful thing to do is practice self-Reiki to experience a regenerative sleep, easy your headache pain, feel comfortable in your body, or simply feel grounded.
Actually, it’s not necessary to do anything with Reiki. Just enjoy having received your Reiki attunement(s). Rest. Heal. Let Reiki be with you.
You do not give up anything to learn Reiki. Reiki does not test you in any way. Reiki is not a cult. It does not come between you and your religious beliefs. You do not need to change any of your core beliefs.
Instead, Reiki opens doors and windows of learning, opportunity, and enlightenment for you…if that is what you want. For some, changes are apparent, immediate, and outward. For others, changes are slow, careful, discreet. It all depends on you, your situation, your life path.
Some students, after receiving their attunements, internalize their new skills. Reiki is private, intimate, internal.
Other students use their newfound skills, practice Reiki and give sessions at every opportunity.
Neither way is better than the other. In all cases, Reiki assists you on your path. For me, there is nothing more beautiful than to travel one’s life path.
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In these stressful times, we all need a toolbox because we’re all healers. And, we never know when we might need to use our healing tools.
Reiki is a basic healing tool that works almost anywhere, anytime.
Many of you reading this blog use Reiki. But, many don’t. Reiki was the basic skill which put me on my healing path. That’s not to say that I wasn’t healing. I’d been a massage therapist since the 1980’s. But, there’s a difference.
Before Reiki and after Reiki.
I’ll never forget the first time I heard the word: Reiki.
I was at a weekend continuing education class in Clinton, New York, at a place called Spring Farm CARES. There were about two dozen students in the class. As we each introduced ourselves to the group, every student, except me, mentioned Reiki. They were all either Reiki practitioners, Reiki Masters, or Reiki Master Teachers.
I had no idea what that was. But, as I returned to my home in the Washington, D.C. metro area on Sunday, I decided to learn about Reiki. Reiki, at that time, was not mentioned much in my area. To be perfectly honest, it wasn’t mentioned at all. I called around.
I eventually found two friends who practiced Reiki. One of them, a massage therapist, was a Reiki Master Teacher for years and never shared her secret. The other friend studied Reiki but wasn’t using it because she believed that it healed people whether or not they wanted to be healed.
I found Mary Ruth Van Landingham in Vienna, Va. She had a shop, Terra Christa, with a classroom in a building behind the store. I learned nine different kinds of Reiki in that little building behind Terra Christa. She taught most of them.
At that time, there were few to no books about Reiki. Mary Ruth’s classes were filled with handouts. Now, when I teach Reiki, I offer handouts and encourage students to read any Reiki book that attracts them. Book stores everywhere carry several titles. Overall, there are hundreds to choose from.
I spent a good bit of the next two years studying in the little classroom nestled behind the store. Mary Ruth invited other trainers to give classes. I studied under Tom Rigler, Rev. Dan Chesbro, and many others before I finally moved to New York State.
“Reiki is a light touch offered to a clothed body.” is the definition Pamela Miles offered at a class at the New York Open Center.
Over the years, I learned that everyone who practices Reiki describes it differently. I invite my students to define the Reiki experience. Everyone has a different description and definition.
The word Reiki means Universal Life Force Energy. Practitioners refer to Dr. Mikao Usui, the man who brought Reiki into the 20th century. He practiced in Japan prior to World War II.
Other prominent Reiki teachers during this time include Mrs. Hawaya Takata, and Dr. Hayashi.
I like to include Frank Arjava Petter who, at the end of the 20th century, wrote a Reiki handbook “The Original Reiki Handbook of Dr. Mikao Usui.”
Reiki works on the physical level when the practitioner uses her warm hands.
The Reiki symbols work on the mental level.
Emotionally, Reiki sessions bring peace and calm.
The Reiki practitioner as well as the session itself, offer healing which impacts the energetic body.
But, beyond working on the different levels of a person, Reiki heals without judging. The healing energy of Reiki doesn’t care whether a person is religious or spiritual or not. The healing path of a person receiving or giving Reiki is nondenominational, positive, accepting.
Reiki never makes exceptions because of one’s beliefs, health condition, situation in time, lifestyle.
Reiki doesn’t ask about one’s religious or spiritual beliefs. Reiki never cares whether a person is Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu…or anything else.
I have an invocation which I use often when offering Reiki to someone. It’s not original with me. And, I’ve used this prayer often for many years. I offer an apology here. I don’t know where it came from.
Whatever or wherever its origin, I send gratitude to the writer of this prayer. (Maybe, after reading this blog post, someone will know where it originated and share the information with me.):
I call upon the essence of the Healing Buddha and the Master Spirits of Reiki.
(At this point, I include any and all names that seem appropriate. I may include Jesus, St. Michael, St. Anthony).
I ask that my hands and heart be illuminated by the light of your unconditional love. I ask that this session proceed for ………………’s highest good. Amen
When I’m offering Lightarian Reiki, I go a step further. I include a request to seal the room in the prayer.
Reiki does not ask that you give up anything in order to use its energy. Mary Ruth Van Landingham was a practicing Catholic. My friend Kathy is a devout Episcopalian. I teach Reiki to people of all faiths.
Reiki sets no one’s beliefs aside.
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Please join me for part two of this series of posts about Reiki.