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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Reiki Digest for March 28, 2007: Back to Japan

We begin with our first dispatch from Special Correspondent Michelle Shinagawa. Born in Japan, now a New Yorker and a Reiki Master Teacher, Michelle left Japan as a teenager and is now visiting her homeland, reconnecting not only with her personal heritage, but the roots of Reiki as well. English is not Michelle's first language, so we commend her and thank her for courageously writing in a foreign tongue. Her first post from Japan is titled, "Take Off":

(Editor's note: Rather than copying Michelle's posts in their entirety, we're just giving you the first few sentences here, and you can follow the link to read the entire post.)

Take Off

Finally, I am leaving to Japan. I still cannot believe that I am going there. I have been so busy past couple month, time really flied. I am at the Detroit airport waiting for my flight to Osaka. It was very funny that I heard “Usui” on the announcement as one of the person who needed to report to the counter at the terminal... (
Click here to read the rest of this dispatch)

Whenever Michelle posts a new dispatch, we'll post an update here at The Reiki Digest, even in between our regular Wednesday editions. Michelle will be visiting historic Reiki sites and connecting with contemporary Japanese Reiki practitioners.

Next in the news, our regular Reiki Roundup. We've found no further news since last week from the Indian state of Maharashtra, where legislation known as the "Black Magic Bill" could outlaw the practice of Reiki. Meanwhile, in the state of Punjab, the Times of India reports on another bill also threatens Reiki as well as such other globally recognized practices as acupuncture, reflexology, hypnotherapy, and aromatherapy.

Reiki is also under attack from a minister and newspaper columnist in the U.S. state of Maryland who obviously has some major misconceptions about this natural healing art. In a column headlined "We Must Remove Our Idols," The Rev. Mike Taylor begins by mentioning the U.S. television show American Idol and then seems to think Reiki has something to do with idols:

"For instance, we lift holy hands on Sunday and sing "Jesus is all I need," and then on Monday we practice Reiki healing techniques on someone, or we quote New Age sources as if they were gospel. We may not erect statues to all our gods, but we are allowing these things in our spirit and in our worship."

We've said it before, and we'll say it again (and again and again): Reiki is not a religion. It is practiced by people of all faiths, and no faith, all over the world. Reiki is not magic. It is not massage. And it has nothing to do with idols.

By contrast, here's a much more typical scenario when it comes to Reiki and religion: Unity Church in Bonita Springs, Florida, is offering Reiki classes, and here's an article about the teacher.

In Port Elizabeth, South Africa, we find another Reiki teacher, a 77-year-old British woman who set out to teach 10 Reiki masters before returning home and has nearly reached her goal.

Reiki makes the Evening Post in the United Arab Emiriates in an article about a Reiki (and other modalities) practitioner who helps expatriate Indians and others there deal with stress.

The Journal News of New York's Hudson Valley finished its series on alternative health practices last Friday with an article headlined, "Reiki Practitioner Looks for Balance." The reporter found a new twist on the story: instead of receiving a Reiki session, he observed one.

This week's Celeb-Reiki is jazz musician Jeannie Gagne, also a Reiki practitioner.

In sports, specifically the Cricket World Cup, we hope Team India is still being assisted by a Reiki practitioner as they recover from the losses that eliminated them from the tournament.

The Sounds of Reiki: This week The Reiki Show podcast goes to high school. After this week, the show goes on hiatus for a month because hosts Bronwen and Frans Stiene will be traveling to San Francisco and then New York City to teach workshops. Speaking of which, the New York City workshop is now full, but we do still have a waiting list in case anyone cancels, as well as a list of people waiting for the next workshop (not yet scheduled). And there's still room at the Stienes' talk and book signing at East West Books in New York on April 12.

Finally, if you've got a Reiki event scheduled, you might want to let Phylameana Iila Desy know about it. She's the guide to holistic healing at, and she'll include your listing for free. Same goes for listings in's Reiki practitioner directory.

Did today's edition seem much shorter than usual? Remember, in order to read our lead story by Special Correspondent Michelle Shinagawa in Japan, you'll have to follow the link to her blog and read it there. We'll be posting updates here whenever Michelle checks in with us on her journey.


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