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Thursday, November 08, 2007

Intuition

The other day a friend asked me to contribute a few words to a collection of comments she's putting together on the subject of intuition. Even though it's not written specifically for Reiki practitioners, I thought you might be interested, since intuition and Reiki practice go hand in hand. This was my contribution:

What if you got a message from someone you hadn't heard from in awhile, urging you to do something that might seem contrary to logic or the opposite of what other people were telling you? Whose advice would you trust? And what if that someone you hadn't heard from in awhile turned out to be yourself -- your own intuition?

We all have the gift of intuition -- and like any other talent, some of us moreso than others. But when that soft inner voice speaks, how do we know that it's our intuition, rather than just our imagination or simply wishful thinking? Merely having intuition isn't enough: we have to learn how to use it and trust it, to turn that natural talent into a developed skill.

Before I devoted myself to the natural healing arts, I was a journalist: skeptical and cynical. I taught myself to dismiss my natural intuition, and only trust information I could confirm with multiple reliable sources. At least, that's what I thought. The truth was that, cynical or not, I used my intuition every time I asked a question or followed a lead on a story.

When I began studying health-care modalities, I got the same advice from each of my teachers, whether I was working on a very physical skill such as Thai Yoga bodywork, or a subtle energetic practice such as Reiki: "Your skills are pretty good, and getting better as you practice," my teachers told me, "But you have to learn to trust your intuition." And when I asked them how, they all had the same answer: "Just keep practicing. You'll figure it out."

And so it is for anyone: we can only learn to trust our inner voice when we are in the habit of listening to it. To do that, we have to learn to turn our attention away from outside distractions: turn off the television, get away from the computer, stop listening to friends and family and co-workers and simply look inward.

Meditation can help develop that skill, but when we meditate we need to go beyond listening to our own busy thoughts to find that still, quiet place beyond thought. As we practice and learn, it gets easier to simply acknowledge the thoughts that come up during meditation, without reacting to them. That way, thoughts that have nothing to do with intuition can just flow on by. Thoughts such as, "My foot itches" or "Did I remember to pay the electric bill?" or "There's a car alarm going off outside" may fill our heads, but they aren't intuition. Only when we learn to tune out both outer and inner distractions can we hear the voice of intuition ring clear and strong. And if we get into the habit of checking in with our intuition regularly, then it won't be the voice of someone we haven't heard from in awhile. It will be the voice of a dear friend and trusted advisor.


Perhaps you'd be interested in contributing a few words of your own on the subject of intuition -- just post them as a comment to this post on our web site, reply to this message if you receive The Reiki Digest in your inbox, or email editor@thereikidigest.com.

This week's first Celeb-Reiki was just sentenced to three years behind bars. Craig Shell, a 22-year-old in the United Kingdom who claimed to be a Reiki practitioner as well as a "psychic to the stars," turns out to be neither, and he pleaded guilty to various charges of fraud, deception, and theft.

On a more upbeat Celeb-Reiki note, one of the models for Bravo Television's reality series Project Runway is also a Reiki practitioner. Lea from New Jersey practices "Reiki medicine" according to the show's web site. Hope that doesn't get her in trouble with the authorities, because Reiki isn't medicine and shouldn't be called that.

We also have a whole group of Celeb-Reikies
this week: Deuter, Jim Wilson, Terry Oldfield, Lisa Lynne, and the other Reiki music celebrities at New Earth Records in Santa Fe, New Mexico, mentioned this week in an Albuquerque Journal article about the company. New Earth Records also has an Internet radio station featuring its artists' work.

On with the Reiki Roundup. This week we begin in South Africa, where we find yet another version of the classic reporter-gets-a-Reiki-session story. This time the reporter is unnamed, but he or she does seem to like Reiki.

In southwestern Florida, stress coach Jacquelyn Ferguson mentions Reiki in an article that's mostly about acupuncture. "It was the most relaxed I've ever felt," she says of her Reiki experience.

In Payson, Arizona, Reiki practitioner Michele Montbleau offers another description of what Reiki feels like: "When people ask what Reiki feels like, Montbleau likens the healing art to the feeling a baby gets when a mother rubs his tummy," according to an article in the Payson Roundup.

Next stop, Atlanta, Georgia, where a Reiki practitioner uses not just Reiki but common sense in helping his mother recover from a heart attack.

Our last stop this week: Mt. Kurama, Japan, the legendary birthplace of Reiki, where Special Correspondent Michelle Shinagawa finds some poems of peace at the temple.

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