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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Reiki Digest for April 11, 2007: Commuting with Reiki

One of the many things I love about my work is that I don't have a regular daily commute. I see clients in a couple of different offices, have meetings and classes all over town (and sometimes out of town), and of course I put together each week's edition of this publication here at The Reiki Digest world headquarters, i.e. my home office. But no matter where I'm going, or when, I always bring Reiki along on my journeys.

Last night, for example, I traveled from Hoboken, New Jersey, to New York's JFK Airport to meet Celeb-Reiki authors and teachers Bronwen and Frans Stiene and their charming daughter Bella. They just finished a Shinpiden (master level) workshop in San Francisco and will be doing the same class here in New York this weekend, sponsored by The Reiki Digest. (the class is sold out, but we do have a waiting list). The Stienes are used to traveling and wouldn't have minded if I'd just asked them to take a taxi from the airport, but I thought it would be nicer to greet them personally.

I don't have a car, which is actually an advantage in the city, so I used public transit. First, I walked a block from my home to the bus stop. By the time I stepped out the door, my Reiki meditations had already begun. Those of you who've learned the symbols and mantras in Reiki 2 can probably guess which symbols I concentrated on as I hoped the bus would arrive soon, as I got on the bus, as the bus traveled through the Lincoln Tunnel and into the terminal in Manhattan. I can't prove that meditating with those symbols, or any symbols, actually makes the bus arrive any sooner, but that's not really the point. It gives me a chance to practice, and the wait doesn't seem so long because I'm concentrating on Reiki, not checking my watch or feeling frustrated over delays. None of the other passengers ever seem to notice or care that I'm practicing Reiki.

Sometimes I bring a book to read, but even then I continue practicing Reiki.

From the bus, I moved to the subway, and once again I used the appropriate symbols and mantras as I waited for and then got on the train. It probably wouldn't have bothered anyone if I'd discreetly used a few self-care hand positions -- people do all kinds of things on the subway -- but for me the meditation, visualization, and breathing exercises are enough. When I'm practicing it effectively, I feel blissfully disconnected from space and time, and at the same time acutely aware of my surroundings. I never expected that the "A" Train could take me to "the Void," but that's mostly because I tended to think meditation needed to be done in quiet isolation in order to be effective. It's one thing to reach that peaceful state lying on a yoga mat, quite another to find it in a crowded train while trying to get somewhere on time.

The subway took me to the Airtrain, which delivered me to the arrivals terminal with plenty of time to spare. I can't speak for Bronwen and Frans, but even as we chatted by the baggage claim, I continued practicing Reiki, this time focusing on the hope that all their bags would come through quickly. Again, I can't say that it helped, but it didn't hurt, either.

I spent much of my life commuting not by public transit but by car. Reiki would have helped me years ago in dealing with the stresses of life on the California freeways, but I knew nothing of it at the time. If you're an automobile commuter as well as a Reiki practitioner, maybe you could try Reiki while commuting and see what it does for you. Carefully, of course: keep your eyes open and your mind alert, even as you relax with Reiki.

For me, the transportation system itself is a wonderful reminder of the fact that everything is inextricably connected. Without the networks that link us all, I would have had to walk to the airport, but then there would have been no airport, and no reason to go there because I would never have heard of Reiki or the Stienes and their excellent books about it. There'd be no Reiki Digest, no readers, no Reiki, either.

If you're in the New York City area and you'd like to see the Stienes, you don't have to go all the way to the airport. Just drop by East/West Books at 78 5th Avenue on Thursday, April 12, at 6:30 p.m., for their talk and book signing. The Stienes are the authors of The Reiki Sourcebook, The Japanese Art of Reiki, The A-Z of Reiki, The Reiki Techniques Card Deck and -- just published -- Your Reiki Treatment, the first book ever to look at Reiki from the client's perspective.

Now let's commute our way around the world with our weekly Reiki Roundup. First stop: Lucknow, India, where we meet Celeb-Reiki Rati Agnihotri, Bollywood star and Reiki practitioner.

Next stop: Seattle, Washington, USA, where we find another Celeb-Reiki, Michelle Shay, who plays a 285-year-old character in the August Wilson drama "Gem of the Ocean" at Seattle Repertory Theater. Shay is also a Reiki practitioner as well as an actor.

On to Peterborough in the United Kingdom, where Reiki has found its way into prison.

Our last stop this week is Kyoto, Japan, where Reiki Digest Special Correspondent Michelle Shinagawa is wrapping up her trip. Once she gets home and online again, we trust she'll tell us all about her adventures.

Until next week, wherever you are, wherever you're going, travel safely and don't forget to take your Reiki practice with you.

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