while I'm beginning with Reiki part one, I'm not sure if part two - and/or what I suspect will be a part three - will follow immediately; we'll see. I did want to begin with this right away though, because I've been meaning to write about Reiki for a while now and something I've experienced today tells me it's time. more on that experience probably in part two.
part one, then, will be about Reiki & me, my 'history' with Reiki, so to speak. I first learned of and experienced Reiki as a recipient in 1993, when I was about 8-1/2 months pregnant with my second child, Brennan. at the time I was working full time for the Heart & Stroke Foundation as Programs Assistant (a title created specifically for my job, hehe), but in a 3-month, temporary position that I landed shortly after completing my executive secretarial education. this position seemed made for me, since the job was scheduled to end shortly before Brennan was born and in fact it did - even though it was extended by a two-week(ish) period. and it was
perfect for me... I loved that job and I fit right in, and even I have to say that I did a great job for them. I was SO proud and pleased (and tempted!) when my past boss couriered a new offer right to my door - before opening it to the public - of a full-time, permanent position with the Foundation. at the time, however, Brennan was only a month or two old and we were still in the thick of nursing; I couldn't see how I could work full-time and be a proper mother to both toddler and nursing newborn, so I - regretfully but for my happiness at being home with the kids - turned down the offer.
back to the day I discovered Reiki, I had worked a full day and before returning home decided to attend a psychic fair at Canada Place. at the time we were living in Coquitlam, but my workplace was in Vancouver; for various reasons, I took the bus to work and home every day. the trip would take 2-1/2 hours each way, so my working day started at about 6:30 am on the bus to Vancouver and ended (well, other than for the mother/wife parts) when I got home around 7:30 pm. it was a tough schedule, 5 days a week, and I was quite heavy with my pregnancy at the time. I love psychic fairs though, so I didn't want to miss the chance to attend this one.
anyway, I went to the psychic fair and after a couple of hours of wandering around making minor purchases, I had my last $25 burning a hole in my pocket. I kept obsessively trudging past this one booth (picture a giant, royal-purple-dress-clad blimp with sore feet) where a lady was standing just holding her hands over a man laying on a massage table. I must've passed by there three or four times, collecting each time new bits of info, testimonials, and visual clues to what was going on. very curious-looking, to my unknowing eye; it was a Reiki booth, and I'd never even heard of Reiki prior to this visual introduction. on my last trip past, the lady - who turned out to be a Reiki master, fairly well-known in the area - asked if I'd like a treatment. the money I had wasn't actually able to cover the posted cost of a 15 minute treatment, but the lady said she'd be happy to do the 15 minutes for my $25.
as it turned out, she ended up doing 45 minutes of Reiki for me for that price. she was quite thrilled to do it she said because she'd never had the opportunity to do Reiki for a pregnant woman before and she was fascinated by and enjoying the sensation of the baby pulling all this energy into itself, as she stated she could feel. up until the time I was getting the treatment, the baby had been quiet; they often snooze while mama's moving about, as they're rocked to sleep in the womb. then they come awake & start shifting about when the mum's resting quietly. during the Reiki treatment it was the same effect, only magnified; Bren was so big he generally didn't have much room to move about in the womb, but during this Reiki time I swear he was almost doing somersaults! it was obvious to both me & the Reiki lady that the baby was really getting a 'charge' out of the Reiki! I was also feeling good, though I didn't yet realize how
after the treatment, I got off the table and felt completely recharged; even while I was experiencing this surprising peace, a complete harmony and balance with the universe, I also felt a vitally renewed energy - a zest for going on with the day that I hadn't felt in quite a while. my pregnancy aches were quieted, my feet felt great, my mind was refreshed and active, and I got off that table feeling as if I'd had a full night's sleep! this wonderful feeling (like carrying a warm, sunny day around inside me) stayed with me for about 2-1/2 days, so - when you consider my typical 13-hour day that included 5 hours on the buses - this was completely amazing to me. I took a pamphlet home with me that day because - even though I hadn't acknowledged it consciously to myself yet - I knew that one way or another I had to become further involved with Reiki. the pamphlet told how the Reiki could be used to help ourselves and others, and details of classes & costs, as well as treatment details and costs.
fast forward a year and a half later - November 1995. Ray and I had moved to my present location with the kids, and I was working as a telemarketer for a local weekly newspaper. at some point I'd re-found the Reiki pamphlet I'd saved, and came to a sudden decision right then that I wanted to learn how to do Reiki myself. my thoughts were that I could do it for family & friends, and also for myself for the arthritis I already had in my knees. one night at my job I called a lady who'd advertised various alternative healing services (not including Reiki) with a competitor's paper. I spoke with her about the reason I was calling, but before I ended the call I asked her if she knew of any Reiki teachers in the area. at the time, it was almost impossible to find anyone in my area in this field.
you know that saying, 'when the student is ready, the teacher appears'? well that's what happened in my case. turns out, the lady I called about advertising these other healing services had *just* completed her master's degree in Reiki and was planning to teach her very first Reiki I class in two weeks from the date I first spoke with her. she even had a 1/2 price special on, since it was her first class! that's how Lea Henry became my Reiki Master :).
so, early December, 1995 was when I took my first degree Reiki (in the Usui system of healing) training and attunement. the training took place over the course of a weekend, with the attunement at the end. I'll never forget that weekend... it opened up a whole new world for me. I'd always been interested in energy and the way it worked in the universe, but until I took the Reiki training I had no idea about this kind of energy work, other than the Reiki I'd experienced as a recipient for 45 minutes in 1993.
cutting a long story a bit shorter, I took my First Degree as above, my Second Degree in May of 1996 (I had to learn to do distance so that I could do Reiki on myself after my accident - my arm was too damaged still to get my hand to my lower back!), and I took the practitioner's part of my Master's degree training in 1997. I had been undecided about taking the Master's level at all, but when Lea called to tell me she was teaching (the practitioner's part of) her first Master class at half-price, I couldn't refuse! it just seemed right. I still don't think I'm ready (or likely) to take the teaching part of the Master's training, because I don't feel I have the time - or even the real desire - to commit the level of energy that students require and deserve; I'd be short-changing both of us, I'm sure. I'm happy with this level, though... I feel that what I can accomplish as a Master practitioner fulfills what I believe is my role as a healer. I still feel a bit uncomfortable calling myself a healer, though; really all I am is an assistant, a conduit for the Reiki energy. each Reiki recipient is the real healer, the one who receives and makes use of the energy that I direct into the recipient's body. and I think that's where I excel, really, in pretty much all areas of life... as an assistant, an aid who helps others to accomplish - or at least begin to accomplish - what they want to achieve in their lives.
so that's the history of the beginnings of my involvement with Reiki. it's one of my favourite things to do, always, and I'm still completely fascinated with what Reiki can accomplish in a person's life. I love to be part of this energy exchange, and I'm grateful to have found this opportunity. I feel I am actually fulfilling part of my own mission in life, by bringing the Reiki energy into the lives of others.
maybe sometime - as perhaps another 'installment' to this Reiki series - I'll talk more about the types of experiences I've had as a Reiki practitioner. for now, if you want, you can get some basic information about Reiki and a few testimonials from people I've worked with if you go to http://www.lozdesignz.com/reiki.html
- a general page with some answers to common Reiki questions.
for now I'll leave you with the Reiki principles, which I *attempt* (and often stumble during the attempt) to live up to in as much of my life as is possible. it's a challenge, but a worthy one I feel sure!
The Reiki PrinciplesJust for today do not worry
Just for today do not anger
Earn your living honestly
Honour your parents,
teachers and elders
Show gratitude for every
- Dr. Mikao Usui