Finding the stillness within has long been my source of strength. The practices of yoga and meditation supported me in accessing my inner quiet place. But during a very disruptive transition time in my life, I felt the need to expand beyond these practices.
With perfect timing, I was introduced to Reiki as a healing method to compliment my meditation.
My first experience with Reiki occurred in 1985 at the Siddha Yoga Ashram, in South Fallsburg, New York where a fellow meditation student was offering it.
During my first session, I instantly felt relaxed, and my first thought was, “Something’s going on here.” It felt like I was coming home to myself. I signed up for the next available class and have practiced daily Reiki self-treatment ever since.
Opening to the experience of Reiki was like discovering a treasure. I studied Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki I and II with The Reiki Alliance, the only Reiki teachings available at the time. The day quickly arrived when I realized Reiki wasn’t simply an additional practice, it was my spiritual path and vocation.
The first couple years (yes, years) I used the practice of Reiki for myself with daily self-treatment and the Reiki Precepts. With the stressors of divorce and single parenting coupled with working two jobs—one as a full-time corporate executive, the other a start-up Wellness Center—Reiki provided much needed peace within while chaos surrounded me.
Reiki provided a great centering practice for me to begin each day and end each night. The Reiki Precepts were visibly posted in my office, reminding me to recite them throughout the day.
Reiki helped my kids get to sleep at night and was a handy first aid support when my son injured his ankle during baseball and my daughter tore her MCL sliding into home plate.
Very quickly I learned the importance of integrating Reiki into my lifestyle.
The more I practiced Reiki, the stronger my connection became and I knew it was something I needed to share with others. I offered Reiki to family, friends, and colleagues at work. I shared it with individuals in need, with senior citizen groups, with cancer support groups, and eventually with clients through my own busy professional business practice.
With a seemingly insatiable need to learn and grow with Reiki, I continued my studies with Gail Sterling Usui Shiki Ryoho, David Jarrell Reiki Plus®, William Lee Rand Karuna Reiki®, Frank Arjava Petter Japanese Reiki Techniques and Jikiden Reiki, Ethel Lombardi (student of Takata Sensei), Frans Stiene International House of Reiki, Tadao Yamaguchi Jikiden Reiki, Hyakuten Inamoto Komyo ReikiDo, Hiroshi Doi Gendai Reiki Ho,and others.
Having studied Reiki in the 1980’s, very little of the Japanese culture was taught in the West yet for me that foundation was ever present. I have long felt a connection to historic Japan. I had many opportunities to travel to Japan, but due to personal commitments it did not occur until 2009.
Let me tell you—it was well worth the 25-year wait to make my Reiki pilgrimage to Japan!
Although I was the only American in the group of traveling Reiki practitioners, the pilgrimage was led by an experienced English speaking Reiki Teacher named Frank Arjava Petter, who previously lived in Japan.
Not only did Arjava know Reiki, he knew the Japanese language and had spent years researching and writing many books on the sacred sites of Reiki.
Japan is a fascinating country and the sacred sites we visited helped to deepen our understanding of the practice of Reiki and its origins. We began our journey in Tokyo where we had the privilege of visiting Usui Sensei’s gravesite and memorial at Saihoji Temple.
Mikao Usui is the creator of the system of Reiki. As you can imagine, visiting his memorial was a very moving experience. It was so powerful it brought me to tears! Having spent so many years energetically connecting with Usui Sensei on the non-physical, seeing a representation of his physical reality stirred me from within.
We toured shrines and sights of special interest to both Usui Sensei and Hayashi Sensei. Weaving between ancient and modern Japan was particularly interesting. Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples alongside modern-day stores or even bus stops. We took the Shinkansen (bullet train) to Kyoto, one of my favorite cities I’ve ever visited. There are more than 1,600 Buddhist temples and 400 Shinto Shrines in Kyoto alone. So much to see!
Spending several days at Mount Kurama was a highlight of the trip. We walked the steps believed to be the area where Usui Sensei meditated for 21 days, achieving satori with the inspiration for the Reiki system.
While in Kyoto, we immersed ourselves in studying Jikiden Reiki with Tadao Yamaguchi.
Being immersed in the culture of the Jikiden Reiki Institute and learning from Tadao Sensei (who only spoke Japanese and required a translator) gave me a much deeper sense of Usui Sensei, Hayashi Sensei, and the origins of the system of Reiki. It was truly an experience of a lifetime!
As I continued my Reiki education by studying other Japanese Reiki styles like Komyo ReikiDo with Hyakuten Inamoto, I noticed the similarities with western Takata-style Reiki. Several techniques I was taught during my original Reiki training in the early 1980’s resembled the Japanese techniques taught later but without the Japanese names.
I now appreciate the Japanese names and feel the benefit of using the native language for Reiki terms.
The Japanese term Gassho, for instance, refers to when Takata Sensei would say, “Close your hands together.”
Reiji-ho refers to when Takata reportedly would say, “Use your intuition to locate the area.”
Byosen is the scanning technique taught by Takata without the Japanese name.
Sharing Reiki in a circle is Reiki Mawashi.
Speaking these native terms, along with reciting the Reiki Precepts in Japanese, is a gift to experience, and I encourage you to practice using them.
Having studied so many styles of Reiki, as an independent Reiki Master Teacher my Reiki classes have a strong Japanese influence, combined with the structure of Western Reiki through Takata’s teaching. My Reiki Level 1 and 2 foundational classes combine what I believe are the best components of the styles I have learned.
I also offer Jikiden Reiki, Komyo ReikiDo, Gendai Reiki, and Karuna Reiki certification as continuing education for those interested in exploring beyond the foundational classes.
I love teaching Reiki because it is so easy to learn. It is a practice that can be integrated into anyone’s life in formal and informal ways. Seeing students “light up” after receiving empowerments (attunements), warms my heart. Teaching Reiki continues to be a passion and great joy.
Over the years of teaching, I began to see a pattern. Although nearly everyone taking the class enjoyed it, less than half seemed to practice Reiki in their day to day life. From my experience, the full benefits of Reiki occur when one has a daily practice. Because of this, I decided to create a support for students of Reiki.
The Reiki Journey: Meditations for Mindful Living CD (available on Amazon and iTunes) has something for everyone. It provides an intro to meditation and the practice of Reiki to those new to the system. It is especially helpful as a support to those having taken a Reiki workshop.
The CD offers four separate 10-minute guided meditations, including three Japanese Reiki practices, perfect for starting or ending the day or even a great mid-day centering option. The meditations can be done as a 10-minute stand alone or as an intro prior to self-treatment. Many use these meditations to assist in giving some structure to their personal practice.
The Reiki Journey CD also offers the Reiki Precepts in both English and Japanese, providing easy instruction for those who might like to learn how to say them in their original language.
The Reiki Journey CD is for Reiki Teachers as well. It includes a 25-minute guided meditation up Mt. Kurama which is ideal for use before or during passing attunements. Find it on my website, Amazon, or iTunes. Substantial discounts available for quantities of five or more. Interested? Click here to Contact Me.
“Reiki not only heals diseases, but also amplifies innate abilities, balances the spirit, makes the body healthy, and thus helps achieve happiness.”
–from Usui Sensei’s Memorial Inscription
On a personal level, I have used the support of Reiki for serious health issues. On one occasion an ultrasound showed I had a large kidney stone. Because of its size my doctor recommended I go immediately to the hospital for a procedure to have it removed. I received the news on a Friday but decided to wait until Monday.
I treated with self-Reiki over the weekend. Returning to the doctor on Monday, the ultrasound showed no stone. In disbelief, the doctor said I must have passed it although a stone of that size would have been incredibly painful to pass. I believe Reiki ‘dissolved’ the stone, since I am certain the stone did not pass.
That got the doctor’s attention. The next time I had a kidney stone, he said “go home and try it again.” This time the stone passed without requiring a procedure.
Reiki has also proven useful in stressful social situations. Just prior to divorcing, I consciously used Reiki at a family gathering where there was heightened tension with both families present. The shift to a more peaceful atmosphere was visibly noticeable, and several comments were made throughout the day regarding how smooth the event was going.
What really put Reiki to the test in my personal life though, was when I was diagnosed with cancer.
Cancer is an illness that can really mess with your head. For some of us, the first thing we thought after receiving the diagnosis was, “I might die from this.” It often takes weeks before we find out if that thought is accurate. Combine that with society’s charge on the word ‘cancer’ along with the concerns from family and friends. Those are long days of holding fear in the body.
Reiki helped me immensely. It reduced my anxiety while I walked through the process of deciding treatment, allowing me to be more objective in those decisions. Receiving Reiki helped me feel supported, and I believe it helped friends and colleagues feel like they could do something to help, rather than feeling helpless.
After surgery and during radiation treatments, I received Reiki once a week at Northern Westchester Hospital Center in New York from my friend Karen who worked there as a nurse and Clinical Coordinator of the Integrative Medicine Program. Additionally, I received Reiki from students and friends both in-person and remotely.
This helped me take time to relax, open to allow healing to occur as well as reduce the physical symptoms from the treatments. Although I experienced fatigue, I did not experience swelling, bruising, skin peeling, red discoloration or nausea during or after the 33 radiation treatments.
As difficult as the cancer journey was, I felt supported by Reiki and the power of love. Sometimes it felt like a protective bubble or a safe cloud carrying me through this experience.
I am grateful to say that I am healthy today, with many thanks to the system of Reiki and those who offered it during that challenging time.
I know the benefits and power of Reiki first hand and I believe in its restorative capacity. If you are facing a cancer diagnosis, are struggling with health issues, are in emotional pain, or simply need relief from anxiety or stress, Reiki can offer support to help you get through your challenges with more peace and ease.
I invite you to schedule a Reiki session today.