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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Reiki Digest for March 21, 2007: Reiki gets a reprieve

Last week, as you may recall, the natural healing practice of Reiki was under threat in the Indian state of Maharashtra and the U.S. state of New Hampshire, in both cases from bills before the legislatures that would have, if enacted, banned or severely restricted the practice of Reiki.

This week, things are looking up on one of those fronts: the New Hampshire bill, apparently intended to regulate the practice of massage therapy, was amended to specifically exclude Reiki -- appropriate, since Reiki is not massage. Meanwhile, opposition to the bill has grown to include an editorial in the Portsmouth Herald headlined, "Heal this bill, or let it die a natural death."

Meanwhile, the so-called "Black Magic" bill has passed the lower house of the Maharashtra legislature and is now before the legislative council. One news article quotes a section of the proposed bill and interprets that as meaning it would not apply to Reiki: "For the removal of doubt, it is hereby declared that nothing in this Act shall apply to the acts involving religious rites and rituals which does not adversely affect any person mentally, physically or financially."

Reiki is not a religion, or a religious rite or ritual, but it also has never been found to harm anyone, so that exemption is ambiguous, to say the least.

A Hindu group still had some doubt as to whether the bill would outlaw their religion: they held a three-day hunger strike this week to draw attention to their objections.

Speaking of India, the nation's Reiki-assisted cricket team lost to Bangladesh in their first test in the 2007 World Cup, then rebounded to whip Bermuda by a record margin. If you happen to be interested in distance Reiki, whether or not you care about cricket, you might want to send some Reiki to the World Cup coaches, two of whom (one active, one retired) have died of heart attacks during the series so far. At least one of those deaths is being investigated as "suspicious" by the local authorities.

In other Reiki Roundup news items this week, The Guardian reports on an experimental project to fight crime by offering Reiki, head massage, golf and cooking lessons to help at-risk boys stay out of trouble.

One young man who didn't stay out of trouble -- he killed his own mother during a psychotic episode -- tells his sad story in The Independent under the headline "The day I lost it: Confessions of a killer." He says Reiki has helped him heal.

In Glasgow, Scotland, Reiki is among the therapies offered at the Phoenix Center, now celebrating its 20th anniversary.

In Bakersfield, California, we find a minister and Reiki practitioner who's retiring after 30 years in the pulpit, and planning to devote more time to her healing practice.

In Australia, the Herald-Sun features an article on Reiki for pets.

Reiki gets a mention this week in the venerable gray lady herself, The New York Times, but the story itself isn't about Reiki -- the subject is pet channeling.

The Journal-News in New York's Lower Hudson valley mentions Reiki in a series on the alternative health economy, but the best seems yet to come: this Friday, the series will conclude when the reporter goes into the "Reiki room."

In Maryland, another reporter offers a first-person account of his visit to a Reiki Circle, although he didn't stay long enough to observe or receive any Reiki. Apparently the discussion of things unrelated to Reiki made him uncomfortable, a cautionary tale for all.

Perhaps a reporter will soon check out the Reiki house parties offered in the Chicago area by Paula Battaglio, this week's guest on The Reiki Show podcast from the International House of Reiki.

Speaking of the International House of Reiki, there is still one space remaining in the Shinpiden workshop with Frans Stiene in New York City April 14-16, 2007, sponsored by The Reiki Digest.

Frans and Bronwen Stiene will also be giving an evening talk at East West Books in New York on April 12, followed by a book signing.

This week's Celeb-Reiki report features some well-known names in the world of Reiki itself. First, New Age musician Deuter, whose music is often used to enhance Reiki sessions, recently did a signing in Santa Fe, New Mexico, to publicize the release of his 11th album, Koyasan. If you click on the word Koyasan, you can hear some free previews.

In Bahrain, Frank Arjava Petter, author of numerous books on Reiki, will speak on "The Legacy of Dr. Usui" on April 20. As Petter was one of the people who debunked the false claim that Reiki founder Mikao Usui was a doctor, perhaps he will explain why the word "Dr." is included in the title of his talk.

Next, meet entrepreneur and Reiki practitioner Mandy Allen, whose line of skin-care and fragrance products is a success in the UK.

Two young British boys have achieved Celeb-Reiki status: Ben and Charlie Bright of Warminster, England, have made their Reiki practitioner mother proud by being invited to audition for celebrity judge Simon Cowell. Ben, 12, and Charlie, 10, are being considered for a new television show, Britain's Got Talent.

Rest in Peace

Reiki Master Teacher Kristine Rasmussen, 53, North Baltimore, Maryland.

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