Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Reiki Styles

There was a discussion on Linkdin recently following the inquiry "are there different styles of Reiki?"  Yes & no! 
There have been many different branches, since Mikao Usui brought it forward more than 100 years ago.  This article provides an interesting overview of the history in Japan, plus some of the Western modifications & modifiers!

Usui's focus (Usui-Do) was on a spiritual system rather than hands-on healing, and many of his students were Buddhist monks and nuns, including his neice Suzuki-san, Yuri-in (who lived past 100), & Tenon-in (aka Mariko-Obaasan) who in died in 2005 at 107. Research, practice and a traditional fast granted Usui a high level of Ki.

Around 1925, Usui-Sensei began 'renting out his dojo to others,' who would present their own lessons. Senior students Toshihiro Eguchi & Dr. Chuujiro Hayashi both explored healing, & included hand healing concepts and an energy transfer ceremony in their own teachings. Spiritual concepts were retained at the higher levels, while novices focused on healing. 

Several Naval officers joined the dojo, & founded a new society, Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai. Meetings began to include readings of the Meiji Emperor's poetry (gyosei) - possibly to make the meetings seem more loyalist and not religious (which was outlawed at the time of the Taisho emperor.) 

Eguchi-sensei left the URR Gakkai in 1927, & continued to teach both his own & the more traditional system, while Hayashi left the group in 1931, & made revisions into the late 1930s. The articles on the site offer an interesting glimpse into early Japanese shifts.

Light in the darkness
At the Breitenbush Reiki Gatherings in the mid 1990s, Takata's granddaughter Phyllis & the other Masters and practitioners in the Usui/ Hayashi/ Takata lineage brought focus back to the rich spiritual heritage of Reiki. In a post on the Usui Shiki Ryo several aspects and elements common to Reiki are identified - the four Aspects of Reiki are defined as:
  • A Healing practice - both for self treatment, & for the environment & those around
  • Personal Development - self-awareness and becoming more authentic
  • Spiritual Discipline - spiritual growth, development, identification of gifts
  • Mystic Order - "A group of people who share a common practice that brings them in relation to reality beyond the realm of the five senses is considered a mystic order.
A comment I appreciated is toward the end of the first article - that Reiki seems to offer grounding sometimes lacking in other healing forms, & students from other disciplines often feel a positive shift after taking Reiki initiation. I've found this as well. 

The Reiki streams flow, merge & diverge; the energy - ah, the energy!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Red Thread Reiki

When studying Intentional Creativity last year, preparing to become a Color of Woman teacher and IC coach, I needed to offer several Red Thread Circles and events. My teacher Shiloh Sophia invited me to consider the connections between Reiki and the IC teachings, "I know there are connections, explore what they are."

A Chinese legend tells that we are connected before birth with those whom we're destined to meet by an invisible Red Thread. Through out lives, the thread may twist, stretch and tangle, but will never break. We each hold, and are responsible for our own piece of this thread.

I immediately saw a connection with my own Reiki Thread, and considered how to weave the IC teachings to support my Reiki students. In April on 2014, I included a simple red thread circle during our Reiki I class, inviting each initiate to share her piece of the thread. During 2nd Degree class in July, we incorporated the symbol practice sheets into a Medicine Basket journal cover. 

In both cases, Intentional Creativity supported the Reiki teachings in a beautiful way. I've formulated a Red Thread Reiki curriculum, with teachings to integrate at each level. The Red Thread teachings are available separately for those who have studied with another Master, and most can be taken on their own.

In the 90s, my first Reiki Mastery student reminded me to clearly state what was "pure Reiki" (as much as we know that!) and which were teachings from another source. I've noted the Red Thread teachings available at each level. 

Reiki I:

  • Red Thread ceremony, claiming your piece of thread
  • Reiki I teachings and initiation
  • Red Thread: Soulful Story Cards, exploring what old stories and negative self-talk tapes are running, and writing antidotes.
  • & Reiki principal cards
  • Completion Homework
Reiki II
  • Red a Thread ceremony, intention for deepening
  • Reiki II teachings, symbols, initiation
  • Reiki symbols, Sumi-i on rice paper
  • Red Thread: Medicine Basket Reiki journal/Smashbook
  • Use & Energy of symbols cards
  • Completion homework
Reiki III/ Mastery
  • Burning desire for Mastery
  • Red Thread ceremony, share burning desire
  • Self care
  • Reiki III teachings, symbol, initiation
  • Red Thread: Heal the Healer
  • & Smashbook/ master journal, prayer flags, Reiki Box (any or all as desired) 
  • & Master symbol use and energy card
Teaching Master
  • Passing on teachings and initiation overview
  • Red Thread: teaching deck
  • & Medicine Basket revisited
  • & illuminated heart
  • Learn to teach Red Thread sessions applicable for Reiki if desired
I invite you to consider how you wish to deepen with Reiki! Blessings on your journey!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Protection and Reiki

A question students often ask is, "do we need to protect ourselves when offering a Reiki session?" Well, no, ... yes, ... maybe! 

No: In general, Reiki is"self adjusting," flowing where it needs to, in exactly the right amount, for both the practitioner and the receiver. Anything released returns to the earth and elements as energy. Reiki also recharges the giver during the session!

Yes: Some individuals tend to take on others' energy more readily than others. Do you get easily fatigued in a large group? Are you sensitive to outside energies in everyday life? Try some of these suggestions, and observe what works best for YOU! 

Intention: Taking a few minutes before and after a session to focus in and set your intention are a lovely addition, whether you think of them as "protection," or simply something you do! You may also notice that your daily self-Reiki practice brings balance, and will help you develop clear boundaries.

Healer and empath Daphné Kaufmann has written a beautiful blog post on some of her favorite practices, and suggests choosing one or more from each category which appeal. I've added several of hers to ones I've use, and you may have some of your own. You can use these practices in conjunction with sessions, and the "basics" of grounding and angels/colors at any time! 
Reiki vortex

Before Session
  • Eat lightly/ avoid alcohol etc when you plan to give a treatment
  • Invite the Reiki guides to assist (Usui, Hayashi, Takata) 
  • Invite Grace Elohim (iridescent white) & AA Michael (blue, sword of truth)
  • Ground yourself 
  • Walk clockwise around the room, dedicating it to the Reiki session
  • Reiki 2: imagine power symbol above your head, and as a portal in front of you, which you step into. (Reiki 1: imagine stepping into this Reiki vortex)
  • State client's name and intention that this session be for their highest good
  • Ground client's feet, and re-ground yourself
  • Scan your client, and imagine the power symbol /Reiki balancing any issues you have which "match" theirs, any time during the session
  • Invite Grace Elohim and AA Raphael to assist (iridescent white and healing green)
  • If you feel pain during a session, it's often a "clue" to your client's pain, and when you move to the area, it will clear. You can invite St Germaine's violet flame to clear it from your field. 
  • Sweep at the end, and "hand" anything to be transmitted to the angels assisting.
  • Return the client's healing to them (Gassho bow _/|\_ )
  • Thank the Reiki guides and angels
  • Check in with client, share insights/experiences
  • Closure with client
  • "Sweep" room energetically with hands, shake the "dust" out the window or door, you can also sweep physically 
  • Spritz with lemon essential oil, smudge, burn incense, "Reiki smudge" with power symbol
  • Reground, several deep breaths
  • Journal about the session, tips for the future, insights for the client
  • Light a candle and take a Bath in salt water & Epsom salts
  • Do a full or chakra balance self-Reiki session
An attitude of love, kindness and gratitude, combined with a regular Self-Reiki practice, are our best protection. 

Blessings on your practice, I'd love to hear any of your tips and insights!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Clearing Old Stories

What stories run your life?
Can you imagine learning ways to identify and clear the ones which no longer serve?
Can you feel into living unrestrained by the old patterns?

Reiki and the soulful story process offer you that opportunity! Many of us live with past beliefs and old responses, which keep us from living the lives we long for. When we bring those old stories to light, we have a Golden opportunity to change the script. Reiki and Intentional Creativity alchemise the transformation, making a path for true change.

The Reiki principles offer a set of guidelines which can help us define core values and 
Soulful Story Cards
change the stories. Adapting them from 
principles set forth by the Meiji emperor, Reiki founder Mikeo Usui offered these ideals to his students:
For today only

  • Anger not 
  • Worry not
  • With appreciation do work
  • To others be kind
  • Show gratitude

Reiki and Intentional Creativity offer many tools for personal growth and positive shifts. By combining the Reiki principles and the soulful story process, initiates are guided to identify old stories and beliefs, then find personal antidotes to each. Using your own medicine, color and watercolor paper,  you craft a set of affirmation and principle cards unique to you and your stories. 

The soulful story process is included in Red Thread Reiki 1, and is offered as a separate teaching. 
Just for today, ...

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Reiki for the Self First

In her Reiki Webinar earlier this Week, East Coast Master Pamela Miles stressed the importance of developing a daily Self-Reiki practice. Initiated in the mid-eighties, Pamela began doing self-Reiki daily after that first class, & has continued. Her primary question to any Reiki student or practitioner experiencing problems 'Do you practice Daily Self Reiki?

I remember my Master Analyse suggesting we fall asleep with one hand on our belly & one on our heart. Other masters suggest alternating between a full Self-treatment and one on the chakras.
When was asked about Certification and Completion Requirements. Pamela chuckled & said she doesn't offer certification, but she does have some requirements. For First Degree: she invites her students to practice Self Reiki Daily, and she asks them one question .... 

On her blog, Pamela shared her simple morning practice: 

"To offer myself a full Reiki self-treatment, I place my hands on these areas of my body, in this order:
  • Crown of head
  • Face
  • Throat
  • Back of head
  • Upper chest
  • Lower ribs
  • Navel
  • Lower abdomen.
"I lie on my side with the pillow doubled over for the first three placements, finding it more comfortable when my head is slightly elevated, and roll onto my back for the rest.
My practice time is when I awaken in the morning, before opening my eyes. My hands linger at each placement as feels right. My awareness is present with my practice, observing my breath and whatever sensations occur as I savor the experience of Reiki essence. Often, I am drawn deeply inside, surfacing only to replace my hands. I linger at the end to contemplate the experience."

She goes on to suggest having a regular time for this treatment, & having a routine you follow, says you "may want to follow Mikao Usui’s example and recite the Reiki Precepts as part of your daily practice."

Another time to practice 'simple Reiki' is just before you fall asleep - my teacher's prompt of one hand on the belly & one on the heart, or your arms crossed over the chest, with your hands on your shoulders. I was doing this naturally for quite awhile, and then someone mentioned that is a nice way to address all the meridians!  

Second degree practitioners will want to include periodic Mental/Emotional sessions with the M/E symbol. Takata reminded her students to do 'Reiki for the Self first!' Practicing Self Reiki daily is an excellent way to do just that!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Okuden, Going Deeper

In a recent e-mail, my friend Reiki-Master sister Sheila King wrote:

'Going deeply into your heart
          Going deeply into your healing
                    Opening yourself to the light ...

'The Japanese word Okuden means 'the Deeper knowledge'. To take Second degree Reiki means to open to deeper levels of Reiki and to yourself. Reiki on all levels is like   light in our lives, shining in all the dark corners, bringing us into alignment with our Higher Selves. First degree is like a flashlight shining within us. As we complete the shifting this illumination brings, we are ready to welcome the brighter stronger light that is Okuden. Initiation into Second degree gives us much more Light & energy to direct.'

With first Degree Reiki, we place our hands and the energy flows, beautifully, magically, what a blessing! It is unconsciously available at any time ... with Okuden, with deepening, we tap a more conscious way co-creating with Reiki! 'In Second Degree we use our minds to focus and our emotions to power our intentions through the Reiki Symbols and through the Quantum Field, always for the highest good with harm to none.' (Sheila King) 
Collaging Medicine Basket covers

On Sunday four of my Reiki level 1 Students went deeper with Reiki, awakening to the brighter light of Okuden. When I took Second Degree Reiki in 1990, we first learned the three symbols, and then (gulp!) burned the papers!! Scary, but empowering! We were at the coast, & that night, I danced the symbols under the stars - WOW!

I am in an Intentional Creativity  Teacher Training with Shiloh Sophia McCloud, & a recent project was creating a Medicine Basket, which holds the medicine 'tools' we carry. 
Some of the inquiries are:
  • What will you be known for? 
  • What Healing tools & remedies do you offer? 
  • What is in your medicine basket?
When I painted & collaged my Medicine basket several weeks ago, I immediately saw this as a lovely process to include in a Reiki 2 class. I invited the students to bring any scrapbook materials or Quotes they might want to include, and dream-stormed on how to integrate the teachings of Reiki, & the Medicine basket process. Over the past 20+ years teaching Reiki, I have often suggested my students begin a Reiki Journal after their Second Degree initiation. As we deepen with Reiki and begin to co-create with the energy, it can be helpful to record thoughts & feelings, insights & new ideas.

We had an opening circle & Red Thread Ceremony which reminds us we are all connected, AND that we are only responsible for our section of the thread. The Chinese myth of the Red Thread says that people who are destined to meet are tied together with an invisible red thread. The thread may stretch or tangle, but doesn't break. Reiki also comes to us from the Orient, so the thread weaves the stories together.

We moved to the table and began learning about the symbols & their uses. I brought Rice paper & Sumi stones & ink, to grind ink in the traditional Japanese manner. After working with each symbol for a time, we tore the paper into strips & pieces, & began gluing them on 12 x 18" drawing paper that would easily fit around a standard composition book. Next we began painting the covers (using fluid acrylics), first a medicine basket, (most students placed theirs on the front, one student chose to have a big basket that would stretch across both covers!) and then the surrounding area.
Medicine Basket Reiki Journal Cover
We had been thinking about & discussing our Medicine gifts - a listening ear, maturity to take things less personally, introspection, joy, compassion, knowledge ... and wrote some of these words on slips of the rice paper. One student had a stack with images she'd found online, and the Reiki Principles, which she collaged onto the cover. 

We used mod podge at this point to affix the new slips, (some spilled out of baskets, others covered or surrounded them) and a dilute layer of paint. After the covers were done, I brought out the Sparkle Mod Podge - an easy way to add glitter without the 'mess!' 

The three sacred symbols of Reiki two are 'keys' to the energy, not the energy! Okuden brings the gifts, and the responsibility, of using Reiki more consciously. The Power Symbol is used to amplify the energy passing through us, allowing us to focus more energy than previously. This symbol can be used to clear & bless a room, to empower the nutrition in food, & infuse more energy into the water we drink. 

The Mental/Emotional (M/E) symbol is a wonderful tool for balancing Right & Left hemispheres of the brain, & for calming the mind and harmonizing emotions. I have used it to tap the body's innate wisdom, when something mysterious is going on (an area that's sore for 'no reason,' etc). It is also helpful when addressing past traumas, or a distant situation. It can be used to help 'seat' affirmations with which you're working, & to shift your mood. I've also used the M/E with cranky copy machines, and a friend kept his alternator going long enough to get back to town!

The  distance symbol can be used to enhance 'prayer healing' and create a bridge. With its use, we transcend time, space & distance to bring comfort & balance to situations and beings around the globe. In a group setting, imagining this 'Reiki tower' in the center of the circle, we can 'beam' Reiki to other places & time. Quantum healing is possible! We can use the 'tower' when we hear a siren, when someone asks for prayers, healing or support. It can also help us send messages!

About 20 years ago, Anita my Reiki Mastery student and friend & I were invited on the spur of the moment to meet a couple from out of town for lunch. She called me, & we agreed to meet them at a local restaurant, so I began my 20 minute drive to join the party. On the way, I realized that place wasn't open on Monday - yikes! Now what? (no cell phones then!)... when I arrived, it was indeed closed, & they were nowhere in sight! ... I grumbled for a moment, then thought 'Oh! they went down the street' to another restaurant we sometimes visited. 

When I walked in, Anita was beaming, & our friends (another Reiki Master and his wife) were bemused. They wanted to leave a physical note (which I somewhat expected!) but she smiled & said 'oh, we don't need to do that!' & proceeded to leave the 'note' on the Reiki tower!! She wasn't a bit surprised that I'd 'received' the message so easily, but they commented on it several times throughout lunch.

Like Takata, Anita & I used Reiki to find our way to new locations & enjoyed thinking up ways we could use the symbols. A few weeks before, she and students from her Reiki 1 class had been at the same restaurant, & they'd asked for more of the History of Reiki. She said 'Oh! I wish Nadya were here to tell this story' ... & I walked in! Synchronicity!

With Second degree comes more power, & more responsibility. We are invited to use this power with the intention that it go to the highest good for all concerned. May it be so, and may Reiki bless your journey! 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Reiki II

The Second degree or "Oku Den" training expands your Reiki practice in many ways, including tools to:
  • offer Reiki over distance of space & time
  • enhance and deepen your hands-on Reiki practice
  • harmonize mind & emotions
  • bring more ease to learning new skills
  • bring the power of Reiki to lifes challenges
  • bless your food, drink, home 
  • begin or continue your Reiki Journal
  • work more consciously with the Reiki guides
During the Second degree class, students learn three Reiki symbols (Yantras) & the accompanying words (Mantras) and receive another initiation. It's helpful to revisit these tips several weeks before the initiation.

Like my Reiki master, Analyse, Dr Hayashi used the image of a muddy stream when explaining the natural clearing process - water may look clear, but there's mud under the surface. Flushing this, or removing the mud on the top, the stream will appear to clear, but there will still be mud ... repeat the process, eventually the stream will clear. So it is with the body, with toxins. Reiki I has begun this clearing process. 

Second degree training expands but does not replace your hands-on practice. Daily hands-on self-treatment continues to be the foundation practice. Second degree training gives you options to add to your daily hands-on practice as you choose. (& remember, this hands on can be as simple as putting one hand on your belly & the other on your heart!)

I recommend students practice Reiki for at least three months before taking Level I.There is a common feeling that each initiation takes 21 days to move through the body. A consistent practice of Self Reiki helps the body attune to the new energy, & brings more ease to the process. Reiki Master Pamela Miles posted about the value of waiting between the levels here

Medicine Basket
Veronique responded to Pamela's post, "You know that 21 day cleanse? Well my cleanse lasted 6 weeks intensively! And I was experiencing such amazing revelations through dreams and meditation that it was a little overwhelming. I am so grateful that the master I chose is so available to her students as she has helped me with all my questions and uncertainty of that new revealing time."

Karla wrote: "My teacher believed and taught that each degree not only has a period of clearing but that you have to live with and adopt each level or degree into ones lifestyle before taking the subsequent degrees." 

Like Pamela, I observed friends who elected to take levels I & II on the same weekend often didn't feel comfortable with Reiki, or repeated the combo weekend several times! One went on to do Reiki Mastery (with me!) several years later, and has blessed many students with initiation. Each of us, ultimately, has our own path & practice!

I took Reiki I in November of 1989, &  the following April met another Reiki practitioner Janelle, with whom I exchanged sessions. My Master Analyse had moved out of state, & when I realized Janelle was also a Master, we began to discuss Reiki II. Before we set a date for my class, I received a flyer from Analyse, with dates for her upcoming Reiki II (& III) classes October 1990! She rented a beach house, & for an additional 25$, students could stay overnight! 

I was tickled, & Janelle was pleased for me. One other student came for 2nd Degree, & we spent a lovely day learning and integrating the symbols, went out to dinner, & the other student left for home! Sheesh! Of course I stayed, & in the middle of the night, I woke up, went outside & danced the symbols under the stary night sky! 

After first Degree, I remember crying as I released some of the old stories. The integration after level II was more subtle. That fall, I began my process of preparing to move to Breitenbush Hot Springs, where I was to deepen with my Reiki practice.

I invite you to consider how you wish to deepen with Reiki! Not all feel called to take level II, or may take it years afer they are are first initiated! Trust your guides & timing!