Why should you attend Reiki Clinic?

Reiki Master Phyllis FurumotoIf you’re a Reiki practitioner or master you may wonder: Why should I attend a Reiki Clinic? This was the topic of a recent conversation with a friend of mine. He pointed out to me the other day that many Reiki practitioners probably don’t want to participate in a Reiki Clinic because they are giving away their services for free with little benefit to themselves. This may be a very practical explanation, however, I hope that you are receiving many other benefits from attending Clinic.  I hope that you know (on all levels) that the practice of Reiki occurs through self-practice, practice on others, and living the precepts.  Clinic provides an opportunity to practice on others and often to receive a short treatment yourself. Do you need an additional benefit?

By practicing, you have the opportunity to learn from Reiki. To receive the insight and healing that you seek and that your body, mind, and spirit are innately capable of. As Takata said, “Let Reiki teach you.”

For instance, if you take a tennis class, study meditation, or take a piano lesson, and if you expect to advance, improve, and learn more about the game, about your mind, or about music, you will practice. For example, you will find a tennis partner and go to the court and hit the ball back and forth. You will probably do this at least once a week in addition to your lessons — if you expect to integrate what you have learned. Learning Reiki is like learning to play tennis. Take the class and then practice.

If you need more motivation to attend Clinic, or need to be re-inspired to practice, I highly recommend listening to this talk by Phyllis Furumoto. There are many heart-warming stories that she recounts about the teachings from her grandmother, Hawayo Takata. I especially loved this quote from Takata that I had not heard before: “If you can count to four you can practice Reiki.”

Perhaps that’s one of the issues with Reiki for those of us in the United States. As a group of people, we may want something more complicated.  (“What? I only need to count to four?! How effective can that possibly be? If I count to 4,000, then maybe it’s worth practicing.”) However, Phyllis repeatedly reminds us of the simplicity of Reiki and the way that Reiki works by tapping into our innate healing abilities. It will teach you when you practice it.

Hope to see you at an upcoming Reiki Clinic. And remember, as Takata said, “Reiki, Reiki, Reiki. . . . Do Reiki and Notice.”


Self-Reiki: What is it and Why practice it?

Self-Reiki Hand PositionsIf you’ve taken a Reiki level 1 class hopefully you’ve been taught how to have a self-Reiki practice. This practice usually entails a regular practice at the beginning and end of each day plus regular applications of self-Reiki throughout one’s day. There are particular hands-on positions that one follows (some of them are illustrated in the image on the right) or the practitioner uses a free-form approach.

It’s interesting to hear the experiences of Reiki students, however. Often one hears how daily self-Reiki practice has fallen away because of a busy schedule or the lack of recognizable results. The result of a regular self-Reiki practice can be very subtle. However, those of us who practice every day notice how grounded we feel and how those few minutes of calm attention at the beginning of each day set the tone and approach to the day. Like so may practices, self-Reiki requires regularity. Even without regularity, once was has learned Reiki, it is always available to you for self-care and relaxation. (The impact is more noticeable, however, with regular application/practice.)

If you haven’t been practicing regularly, it’s no big deal. Just begin. Practice again, just for today. When tomorrow comes you can do it again, “Just for today.” And on and on. It’s so simple and so accessible.

I know, life is complicated and not simple. Sometimes our morning plans are disrupted or completely out of our control. So you’re 100% into your day and you realize, “I didn’t do my morning self-Reiki practice. Ugh!” Ok, so what? Are you driving, talking on the phone, in a meeting, working at the computer, playing with your kids? Can you get one hand free to place on your leg, on the side of your head, in your pocket, or on your heart? Can the hand linger there for at least a few minutes? If you’ve answered, yes and yes, then you’re on your way to your first self-Reiki treatment of the day. Go for it! What about right now?! You’re reading a blog, can you free up one hand and place it on yourself for a few minutes? How does it feel? What do you notice? Ah, ha! You’ve found it! Time to practice your self-Reiki!

To an outsider, this sounds so simple — it can’t possibly work! However, through our experience, we know it does. We feel the flow of energy in our bodies, we calm our minds, and we experience the present moment. Sometimes, we also experience “Aha” moments or notice the profound healing of a bodily injury.

Does this kind of self-care and connection sound yummy to you? If you’ve taken a Reiki class, remember: Hands on, Reiki’s on. Do it right now! You can!

If you haven’t take a Reiki class, won’t you join us this fall? Sign up today!


Just Relax

Have you ever been told to, “just relax”? This well-meaning piece of advice is one of the more useless directives that can come our way. Sure it’s probably true that in that moment, and many others, that we do need to relax. However, when we’re in the grip of fear, anxiety, or anger, relaxing is often the hardest thing to do and it’s definitely not something we can pull off “just” like that – like choosing the 2% milk over the skim milk.

You see, relaxing is not always easy. It is not something that most of us can just switch on and off. Especially in our high-speed, over-scheduled, multi-tasking world, relaxing needs to be practiced. Mercifully, there are many ways to practice relaxation. Some of the healthier approaches include, yoga, meditation, prayer, Reiki, massage, acupuncture, and many others.

The more we practice relaxation the easier it is to call up this relaxed response. It becomes like muscle memory for an athlete or musician, through practice the muscles remember how to throw the ball and reach for the chord. The same is true for relaxation. The more we practice it the easier it is for our bodies to relax, for our muscles to sink down and release, for our heart rate to slow, for our breath to deepen, for our minds to see the positive opportunity, and for our spirits to connect to the calm deep within us.

Once, while in the dentist chair for a particularly long stretch of dental work, I had my hands on my upper legs and continued to offer myself Reiki and to send Reiki energy into the room. As I sat in the chair, I felt the peace of a deep savasana (the relaxation pose at the end of a yoga class). Every muscle in my body became heavy and I felt deeply attached to the chair. My breath was slow and deep even as the noise, pressure, and drilling continued around me I was able to relax.

Can I do this all the time? Hey, I’m not perfect, but I do know that this is the dividend from consistent practice of relaxation techniques in whatever form you practice them (Reiki, meditation, yoga, etc., etc.). The payoff is that in the chaos of the external world, in the pressures put on ourselves from our demanding lives and our perfectionist minds, there is a place of peace.

The queue for me is not the phrase, “just relax,” – in my mind, it’s usually, “Breathe” or “Notice” or “Reiki, Reiki, Reiki” but these queues help me quickly access the relaxation that I have been practicing on a daily basis.

So, what works for you? How do you, “just relax”?

Wishing you the peace of the universe!

Pay Attention! The importance of practicing Reiki

I Practice Self-Reiki Every Day

Moments of inattention often lead to life’s mishaps. For instance, recently, I was at an airport and I wanted to clean my glasses while waiting at the gate for my plane. I reached into my Ziploc bag full of small liquid bottles and pulled out what I thought was my lens cleaner. I sprayed my lenses and got busy wiping them clean. However, they didn’t come clean.  They had a terrible whitish film over them. Then I realized I had not used the lens cleaner — I had instead used my hairspray. Ugh! How did this happen?! Clearly it was because I wasn’t paying attention. (Fortunately, when I got home I found that an alcohol wipe gently removed the hairspray.) I believe these moments of inattention happen to all of us and are part of our human condition with our monkey minds and our plugged in world.

There are ways, however, to help us pay attention. During Reiki classes, I encourage my students to practice self-Reiki everyday for the next 21 days following their class. As with any new habit, this 21-day time period provides a manageable interval in which to repeat a task in order to make it a habit. During this time, I also encourage my students to journal about their experience. They can write brief passages in their journal, even just one word or a sketch is sometimes enough to capture the experience of their daily Reiki practice. As Reiki Practitioners, this is something we do everyday: we practice self-Reiki. It is easily integrated into one’s life as a morning and evening routine and throughout the day when hands are placed on oneself and the connection is made with universal life-force energy. This connection provides a moment of deep attention. For me, it often brings me out of head and into my body. I notice how I’m sitting, breathing, and feeling in my body in this moment of time.

How does one remember to make the connection? It is through practice. Reiki, like many of life’s endeavors, is a practice. It is a requirement that it must be done over and over again. After a Reiki class, though one is fully attuned and able to practice Reiki, the depth of the practice and the skillfulness of a seasoned practitioner is not yours yet. You must practice. You must practice on yourself daily and on others as often as is possible. Through the practice, you will get to know Reiki. You will notice the flow of energy more. You will experience deeper states of relaxation. You will connect more often with your higher self. Your experience of Reiki will intensify with practice. However, this is often the exact area that is most difficult for students, i.e., the practicing. Reiki, though, is so simple: anytime, anywhere: Hands on, Reiki’s on.

Don’t be fooled by its simplicity! You must practice and when you do, you experience its depth. I recently read the following regarding meditation in the March 2015 issue of Shambhala Sun: Judy Lief writes: “Meditation practice is called ‘practice’ for a reason: just like a singer practicing scales or a yogi practicing downward dogs, the point is repetition, doing the same thing over and over.” For some people, they might think this is very boring, but with Reiki it is not boring because you are not the same from moment to moment and so what you experience and notice will not be the same. Repetition is in the act of placing hands on and noticing.  What you notice will be unique to the present moment — to who you happen to be right now.

What have you experienced in your practice of Reiki? How has it helped you to pay attention? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

The importance of practice

“I believe that we learn by practice. Whether it means to learn to dance by practicing dancing or to learn to live by practicing living, the principles are the same. In each, it is the performance of a dedicated precise set of acts, physical or intellectual, from which comes shape of achievement, a sense of one’s being, a satisfaction of spirit. One becomes, in some area, an athlete of God. Practice means to perform, over and over again in the face of all obstacles, some act of vision, of faith, of desire. Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired.” ~Martha Graham

We are accustomed to hearing about the importance of practice in areas of music, dance, and sport.  Practice, though, is vital in all areas of our life.  In many ways the act of daily living involves practice.  We practice how to relate to others — photo(1)family, friends, coworkers.  As parents, we practice how to parent with mindful words and actions.  At our workplace, we practice our craft over and over again through the repetition of the tasks that we complete on a daily or weekly basis.  Even driving or walking is a practice — we do it repeatedly and gain greater skill in it by doing it over and over again. Keep thinking about this — anything we do is a practice and we gain skill through the act.

Reiki is no different than any of these other aspects of your life.  The practice of it intensifies and hones our experience of it.  With practice we gain skill and mastery.  This however is not a physical skill, it’s a spiritual skill. Your skill with Reiki is a skill in a spiritual healing practice.  It is not something that can be measured with a stop watch or a more complicated musical piece being played. Reiki practice leads to mastery. It starts with daily self-Reiki and moves to Reiki for others.  These must be done consistently and frequently.

As Martha Graham stated, “Practice means to perform, over and over again in the face of all obstacles, some act of vision, of faith, of desire.” A musician, dancer, or athlete must practice his or her craft, so too must a Reiki Practitioner practice Reiki because of his or her desire for the highest healing good.


Pamela Miles Mainstreams Reiki

Last week, Jonathan Fields posted a video interview with Pamela Miles as another inspirational installment in his Good Life Project.
Watch the Video Here

Pamela is a dedicated and gifted Reiki Master who believes in the importance of teaching Reiki not just offering Reiki sessions. She carefully describes Reiki as a spiritual healing practice and compares it to meditation. I often describe the body as a healing machine. Pamela says, “Our bodies are remarkable self-cleaning ovens.” So true!

As a Reiki Master of Masters, I was really impressed by her use of mainstream terminology to describe the practice. As you watch the video notice how she never uses the term “attunement” or the term “universal life force energy” and she never describes herself as a “channel”. Also, she positions Reiki as primarily as self-care practice.

I really enjoyed this interview and learned so much that I will integrate into my future class proposals. What stands out for you in this interview? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Wishing you light and peace!