Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Gong Xi Fa Cai

Welcome, Year of the Wood Horse!
Gong Xi Fa Cai - (Gong Hoy Fat choi)
 May the Horse of Good Fortune run quickly, bringing many blessings of abundance, fortune, wealth & health!

For several years, I've enjoyed following  my friend & Reiki student Gwynne Warner's suggestions for preparing for & celebrating the Chinese New Year, & other Feng Shui (rhymes with 'fun play') cures & celebrations. 

Tomorrow, Thursday January 30 is New Year's eve, in the Chinese Lunar calendar, with January 31 New Year's day! Festivities continue for the next 15 days (New moon - full moon),

Gwynne has a lovely website & store and you can sign up for her newsletter which give suggestions in greater detail! Here's an article she wrote about welcoming the NY from 2013. 
You can also find fun ideas, crafts & pictures for Chinese New Year  on Pinterest. Incahoots has many of the items suggested for celebrating the NY.

Some of my favorites: clean & spruce up as much as possible prior to NY eve, including wash (or paint!) your front door, take out the trash, put out fresh linens, & make your bed; prepare food so you don't have to cook on NY day (especially no use of knives - don't want to 'cut' your luck!)

Have a NY eve feast with friends & family, everyone having a second helping, if they wish, to welcome abundance in the NY year. Have oranges, nuts, sweets on the coffee table, & offer them to any guests who visit.

Give red envelopes with fresh bills or the gold coins (I generally get a roll of $25- from my bank a few weeks ahead) on NY Day to teachers, children, special clients, friends ... My grandkids ADORE this one! Even numbers of $ - 2, 4, 6, or 8 are preferable.

Light candles & incense in a safe place (both NY eve & on NY Day) turn on all the lights & opening your front door & windows, to allow old chi to exit, & new fresh chi to enter! Open the door at midnight, if you're up!

Red's a great 'good luck' colour - get a new red purse or wallet, a new red shirt or dress, if you can, to wear on NY day (Friday the 31st). & get a haircut or pedicure BEFORE the 31st (again, don't want to 'cut your luck'

Kind words & deeds are especialy important on NY Day, and help set the luck for the coming year.

Besides receiving enevlopes, my grandkids LOVE rolling oranges!! 
Gwynne writes: "Perform 'Rolling in the Wealth' ceremony: Roll 8 cases, or 88 or 8 single oranges (or kumquats) one by one through your front door across your threshold, into your home & through every exterior door, along with real coins (especially the $1 gold coins), Feng Shui coins, chocolate coins & brass or resin ingots. This symbolizes filling your home with abundance of good luck and prosperity. 
You may then share your oranges with guests and as gifts to neighbors."

Lisa Pool, the LAc in our office, & I love doing this at the office as well, & roll them into the treatment rooms, after rolling them through the front door.
 
Gong Xi Fa Cai 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

My Journey with Flower Essences

When I was a little girl, we moved back from our 'Ranch' between Redmond & Bend (Deschutes Junction) to an acre 1 mile South of Redmond. My dad had added a cinder block garage to the house which had been built a few years before, & we had some half blocks lying about ... I'd go out to the pasture, & pick some soft leaves, yarrow, filaree .... & taking a stone, grind them on the broken block ...
Knowing, not knowing that there was 'something more to do,' I'd roll little 'pills,' & dry them in the sun. I didn't really 'know' there were things like mortar & pestles, I just 'knew' one ground herbs ...

Honey Bee on Artichoke
We had chives by the garage, & mint grew in the ditches. Later, I found that my grandmother Mary had grown & used herbs, including Valerian (not exactly a cooking herb!) so realized that this ingrained sense of 'something more to do' had come down through our family ...

Camas
Married for a number of years to a botanist, I learned more about herbs & plants in general. We grew cooking herbs, gathered wild nettles, dandelions, mullein flowers (ear oil)... but he was always disturbed when I we were on a walk & I decided to taste a wildflower we didn't KNOW was edible!

In the late 80s, I found an herb class in SE Portland, & drove up for classes & field trips. We learned to make tinctures, to make salves, & '100 things about 10 herbs' as a beginning. And around that time, I discovered Flower Essences. My first Essence book was Machaelle Small Wright's 'Flower Essences.' I'd read 'Behaving as if the God in All Life Mattered,' & was also gardening with Nature spirits, a la Findhorn Garden. But ... Flower Essences!

 Flower Essences are pure alchemy! 

When I began making the essences in '91, I wasn't sure, at first, whether it was OK to use flowers that weren't edible. I remember standing by a lovely bleeding heart in full bloom, thinking 'you're about heart healing, aren't you?' (Yep ... "Open hearted ability to love others unconditionally. Emotional freedom.")

I'd been living at Breitenbush a couple of months, & shortly after my Reiki Mastery training, was blessed to have a workshop manifest during the Summer Solstice/Healing Gathering. Ouapiti came up from Eugene, & put a FE sampler class on the schedule!! She had a dozen boxes of essences, & a box of dosage bottles ready for us each to choose essences to make our own personal 'bouquet.' 
She began by giving us each drops of an essence bouquet containing Shasta Daisy (& others) for assimilating the info!! She packed lots of information and stories into the 2 hour session, & had a variety of essences from different makers .... WOW!! 
I'd already made a few essences, & she was tickled to receive a stock bottle of Thimbleberry - she asked if I knew it's 'definition' - no, I hadn't tried to find it yet, .... 'it's for connecting with the angels, nature spirits & Devas!'

Over the next few years, I attended several Eugene Flower Essence Society & CASE events, & heard lots more stories. By this time, I had a bigger pharmacy of my own essences, & some stories from using them. 

Calypso Orchid
In the spring of 1992, Australian ND & 5th generation healer Ian White  presented a workshop on his Essences. I took a notebook & coloured pencils, he had a great slide show, & later put out a beautiful book! As an ND, he prefers to work with one or a few essences, and has a whole system of muscle testing (Bio-kinesiology) to determine which essence is \appropriate. 
Ian: "If you can extract the essence of the flower, you get the highest principle of the plant. Essences address both negative & positive aspects, you can use them as a remedy to correct a negative aspect, and or to reinforce a positive attribute. they can help you focus in on your life path or plan."  

I especially appreciated Ian's stories of travelling with his herbalist grandmother (!) and of receiving 'dream teachings' about flowers from which he needed to make an essence. I had also experienced several 'teaching dreams,' both for individual essences, & for a couple of my 'bouquets;' so it was a nice affirmation of my own process.  Later, a staff healer brought a set of Ian's essences to use during sessions, so I have a dozen 'second generation' stock bottles from his set. I was particularly interested in the essences he linked to different glands (pineal, pituitary, etc).

The NEXT month, I was in Portland, taking a class from Lila Devi who formulated the "Master's Essences" based on the energetic patterns of balance that Paramahansa Yogananda had assigned different foods - ie: Grape: love ... she also prefers 'simples' (one essence at a time) Lila bespoke individuals having a Type Remedy, one you take periodically to support your own being. The first essence I had purchased was one of hers, Raspberry ('the Healer's Healer, Kindness') several years before! When she suggested looking down the list for an essence that 'stands out,' or a favorite colour, I chuckled, feeling I'd already found mine!

A dozen essences came from my friend Kimbo, who also passed on several Flower Essences & Gem Elixor books. Five or six dozen came from a Reiki Mastery student, Ruth Joy, as part of her payment. Others I've ordered from Perelandra & Green Hope Farm, the Flower Essence Society & Pegasus (including a dozen starlight elixors, 'gathered' using a telescope!) 


I've made over a hundred of the essences in my pharmacy.

Crab Apple
A lighter touch than homeopathy, Flower Essences offer our systems information of an electrical nature.  

"As energetic as well as physical beings, we interact with the world energetically....when we experience the energetics of a Flower, we read and benefit from it's problem solving vibration, even as we enjoy it's beauty." Molly Sheehan, Green Hope Farm Essences. Molly feels that while many of us have never met a 'Teacher's Teacher' or ascended Master, we ALL have access to flowers ... & flowers have never forgotten their place in the big picture!! Each flower has a slightly different 'personality' that can help remind us of our own wholeness in a slightly different manner.
  • Basic process; place the chosen flowers (OG, freshly picked without touching, I generally snip with clean scissors) in a bowl of spring water in the sunlight and fresh air for 4 hours... (Earth - the flower, water, fire/sunlight, and air)... 
  • remove the flowers (I use a silver spoon gifted by a Reiki student) stabilize the charged liquid - I generally use brandy, 1 part to 3 parts of the flower water ... viola! That's your "Mother" essence. A Stock bottle  has several drops from a Mother bottle, in 1/3 alcohol to 2/3 water. 
Simple? VERY! Powerful, yes!! A lifelong journey of discovery! 

Here are definitions for the flowers pictured:

Artichoke: Flexibility and grace. Powerful chakra amplifier; esp crown chakra.
Camas: using your thoughts and voice to create what you want and need to manifest a meaningful and potent life
Calypso Bulbosa Orchid: joy, wonder, honesty, friendship, openness; opens the heart to kindness, gratitude, love, remembrance. Inspires childlike, playful qualities; alleviates stress as it lightens the attitude.
Crab Apple: Inner purity, acceptance of physical body & physical world

Today, I am Grateful for the blessings of the flowers! May they continue to support & uplift us!
 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Byosen - utilizing in sessions

In the last post, I gave several exercise to increase the ability to sense Byosen. The word comes from "byo" - ill, stiffness, tumor; "sen" gland. In Usui's original training, the ability to sense byosen was necessary for the student to advance to Oku Den, the next level.

Byosen can be felt as warmth, strong heat, tingling, pulsing sensations, or tension. In 'The Hayashi Reiki Manual,' Petters describes a session where he was holding the client's feet &  "perceived my client's whole body at once, the way you would feel the whole form of an apple if you wrap your hands around it. I felt not only the outside of his body but the inside as well. I could feel his feet, his legs, his inner organs, his back, his head, his hair .. I could feel where energy was moving freely and where it was obstructed. The problem areas felt like dark spots in a light body, like dark holes in the Milky Way." (p. 45)

This brings to mind a time when I was studying anatomy for my Massage Licensing, & suddenly felt my skeleton within my body, the articulations, the places the muscles attached! Fascinating!

Petters goes on to write that this ability to sense comes from being totally present for the client as you work with them. Scanning can happen while touching any part of the client's body, but is felt more strongly in certain places.

The assessment begins when you first meet with your client. Look into their eyes, perceive skin tone, breathing (shallow? Deep?) Is he moving confidently, slowly, in pain? Does she seem focused or absent minded? Continue with a visual assessment as they lie on the table, note areas that seem stiff, how they hold their neck, arms, legs; etc.

Then move on to internal scanning, choosing one of these areas for your scan. Generally we use both hands, but experiment! Some knowledge of anatomy will come in handy. Take time to practice this at the beginning of your sessions (just feels like sweet Reiki to the recipient!)
  1. Scanning below the ankles. With the client's heels in your palms, allow the fingers of both hands to gently curl into the indentations between the ankle and the heel (Inside of feet). Apply a little pressure, & keep your hands in place.
  2. Scanning in the Medulla Oblongata (base of skull).  Slip one hand under the head, gently turn to the side to slip the other hand under. Curl fingers lightly, & allow them to rest there without moving.
  3. Scanning the Temples. Place both hands on the client temples, with the curled fingertips resting by the eyes
  4. Scanning by touching hands. Fingertips in the client's palm, curl a little, and allow them to rest there without moving. You can also take one of their hands in both of yours.
As you proceed to the treatment, take note of any areas that you felt extra sensation, & observe how that part feels as you offer Reiki!

In offering Reiki, we don't interpret or diagnose, prescribe or suggest someone has an illness. That seems to be one of the reasons Takata didn't emphasise using Byosen when she was teaching in the West. It is helpful to hone this skill of sensing different qualities of energy, & to use our observations as we offer treatments. Many times the energy will balance out, & the feeling will subside, signaling time to move to a different area.

I encourage you to experiment with different the places to sense, and to continue practice Byosen as you do self-Reiki sessions.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Byosen - sensing energy

In The Hayashi Reiki Manual, Petters writes, "The Japanese and Western Reiki schools differ in one central way. In Western Reiki we are taught that Reiki is "intelligent' & that it will find its way to the areas in the body that need it the most. Of course this seems true but it is only half the truth. The other half is that the body wants Reiki and will let the practitioner know where and how it wants to be touched. This happens through what Japanese Reiki practitioners call 'Byosen.' " (P. 37)


 The five levels are described as:
  • Warmth - heat slightly higher than body temperature.
  • Strong heat
  • Tingling - generally felt in the hands & fingers, it may ebb and flow several times over the course of the session.
  • Pulse-like sensation - Hibiki or a pulse-like feeling 'indicates that you can actually feel the Reiki stimulating blood vessels. .. The blood circulation is activated and blood flows more smoothly.'
  • Pain - felt when the problem is more serious. The pain may move from your palm, to wrist & up the arm. As pain eases, tingling generally eases as well. 'Taking your hands off the client can easily relieve this pain. If the pain is too intense, take your hands off the body and shake them out several times before replacing them to recommence the treatment.' 
With serious illness, it is ideal to treat the person daily for at least an hour, rotating with other practitioners when possible. Mrs Takata often trained family members so that they could continue the treatments at home. A 'Reiki Blitz' of an hour or two of daily treatments for at least a month has turned many serious ailments around!

Of course when someone is seriously ill, we ideally work within a 'team' of health care providers, who are monitoring the client/ patient's health! Reiki is complementary to all other modalities, & can support whatever treatment the client chooses.

Exercises for feeling Byosin
Gently rub your hands together, then hold them about an inch apart, then stop & sense the feeling between them. Separate them a bit, and again, halt at about 2"  - can you still feel something? Continue moving your hands away, & and halting, till the sensation becomes too week to feel. Play with the 'sponge' of energy between your hands, move them together again, in slow motion, stopping along the way, until your palms are together. Stay for a couple of minutes with your hands in Gassho or prayer position.

Play with an 'energy ball,' holding your hands about a foot apart, move the ball in gentle circles. Play with moving your hands farther apart, closer together. Move in figure 8s. When you're finished, you can place this 'ball' of energy into your belly (Tan Dien) or on an area of your body that needs energized. End by bringing your hands into Gassho.

Practice feeling Byosen daily, perhaps just before or after your self-Reiki treatment. You can also begin your personal session by taking a moment to feel your body, do you notice anything that needs extra attention today?

Partner exercises: Share your experiences after exercises.

Sit facing your partner, with your palms touching. After a minute, begin to slowly move your hands apart, stopping at an inch, two inches, moving your hands farther & farther back. Hold for a bit at each stopping point. Then gradually move your hands closer & closer, until they are again touching. Remain with palms touching for a couple of minutes, then bring your hands back into Gassho.

Standing: Stand facing each other, palms touching. Move slowly away from each other, until you're about 3' apart. Extend both palms, facing those of your partner, & sense their energy. Feel the space between & around your partner, & where your energy touches. Gradually move farther away, until the feeling is very faint or disappears. Then move slowly back toward your partner, & end with palms touching.
Next time you practice, see if you can move a bit farther back. Years ago in a massage workshop, one partner was blindfolded during a similar exercise, & asked to indicate when they felt someone who had been moving toward them!

You can also play with feeling the energy in pets, with food, whole fruits and vegetables ... begin to see what you can feel about how something was grown. Will it nourish you? What about other foods? Take a moment at the market to sense which items hold the most energy for you today.



Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Reiki Class

What a wonderful time we had in class!

There were six students, & five who came to 'Refresh' with Reiki; it was a wonderful experience! As we began, I asked each student to introduce themselves, speak a little to what brought them to the class, & share a concern or 'Worry.'

Those Refreshing or 'Auditing' the class generally had felt a pull to reconnect with the Reiki energy, or felt a special need for it at this time of their lives. They all were delighted to have the opportunity both for themselves, & to encourage those just beginning.

The new students were eager to learn, AND several expressed a concern that THEY couldn't learn it! One mentioned SEVERAL family members 'do' Reiki, but she tends to be more Left Brain/analytical. She wanted to learn, but just didn't know if she'd feel anything. That was a common concern "Everyone else is going to feel it, but I'm not." Another, an electrician, commented that when people talk about feeling energy, he thinks of 'energy,' he expects to feel something dramatic, rather than something subtle. A third expressed concern prior to the class that she's more introverted, she watched the treatment exchanges. I released my own desire to facilitate the perfect experience for everyone!

I talked story, passed out the Flower Essence Bouquet bottles, and we looked at some of the Reiki books. We talked about uses, including Reiki for food & drink, & doing lots of self Reiki over the first month. As we moved into the initiations & onto the tables for exchanging Reiki, there was soft conversation, and lots of smiles.

When we regrouped, everyone was pleased to report they DID feel something, both when giving and receiving. Descriptions of what was felt varied - sometimes a tingle, other times, like a soft breeze was blowing over the recipient's body, areas of concern were identified, & often confirmed by the recipient ... by the end of the day, everyone was eager to go home & practice, and ready to learn more.

Several times I shared my belief that the Reiki energy will teach each person more than any class, book or teacher ever will! The initiations open participants to the energy, the teachings give suggestions for use ... ultimately, it's up to the person who becomes a Reiki conduit to pay attention, & learn from the energy! 

The Time Angels really helped out, & we were finished by 4:30, rather than 5! In two weeks, we'll meet again for part two of the class. A couple of students who were ill will be joining us, and perhaps others wishing to refresh their Reiki connection.

Just for today, I am grateful for Reiki, and for being part of the ever expanding circle of Reiki practitioners!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

January Reiki I Class

Tomorrow's the day - the beginning of the Reiki journey for 7-8 new students!
What will they be learning?

  • Basic 'hands-on' treatment
  • Self-treatment options
  • Attunement to Reiki - which is a lifelong tool! 
  • History & traditions
  • Reiki principles & Zen Funeral
  • Simple practices which may be integrated into daily life
  • Q & A time at both class sessions, with time between to practice
  • How to treat yourself and loved ones (including pets)
  • Treating injuries and accidents with Reiki
  • Use of Reiki pre & post surgery to reduce tension and pain, and support the healing process
  • Scan the person receiving treatment, 'Boysen,' and begin perceive areas of reduced vitality flow.
  • Appreciate how attitudes can create dis-ease in the mind and emotions, and how the physical body might be affected.
  • Energize food & liquids with Reiki
  • Use Reiki as part of a spiritual practice
Each student will receive Handouts & Heart & Hands of Healing Flower Essence bouquet for reference & to support each student's learning and healing journey.

Tomorrow's class is the first of two sessions, the second will be Sunday January 19. The next Reiki I class will be in March or April - won't you join us?

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Countdown

Only 3 days 'till we meet for our Reiki I class - are you ready?

I've been working on the class materials, & printed the hand-outs, which I'll copy tomorrow. It's been fun putting some of the information I've been blogging about into document format, and deciding what to include in your packets.


We are now up to 8 students, and at least 5 who intend to audit! I'll send a Group Message on Facebook, with the address.

A couple of students have asked 'how to decide' where they fit on the sliding scale. Since I began teaching Reiki in the fall of 1991, I've wanted to make Reiki initiation available to anyone who felt called to do the work. I've also realized, like Hawayo Takata, that there needed to be an 'energy exchange' for students to value the teachings.

In her stories about Reiki, Takata shared that as she began teaching Reiki (in the late 30s), she wanted to initiate friends & family at no charge, but was discouraged from doing so by her teacher, Hayashi. She decided to go ahead with several initiations, but quickly found that her students (neighbors and friends) didn't trust their own abilities, and wanted HER to do the healings!

For reference, my own first Degree class, in 1989, was $125-, which was in line with other 2 day workshops I took at that time. The sliding scale helps bring balance, with students who can afford higher tuition support the training of those who don't have the means. Gift Certificates may also be applied to Reiki Classes. 

Just for today, be kind to others