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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Gifts, gifts, gifts, and more gifts

Gifts: Part 1

This week's edition is our gift to you. In fact, every edition of The Reiki Digest is our gift to you because it's free, whether you subscribe to the email edition, read it on our web site, or get the RSS feed. We hope you enjoy it and hope you'll keep reading this publication for years to come. And we thank our advertisers for helping keep this a free publication.

While this publication, like most, does include ads, it is not in itself advertising. Nor is it unsolicited -- subscriptions to The Reiki Digest are opt-in only. So it saddened us last week when one of those opt-in readers reported this publication as spam -- unsolicited commercial email. Because of that false charge, the email edition is encountering blocks with some Internet Service Providers. If you're a subscriber and you haven't received the email edition on schedule, please contact editor@thereikidigest.com and we'll send it to you again with apologies for the inconvenience.

On the other hand, if you no longer want to receive this publication, there is a link to unsubscribe at the bottom of every email.

While we offer The Reiki Digest to you at no charge, we do place some conditions on what you can do with it. We publish under a Creative Commons "Some Rights Reserved" license that allows you to use the material with attribution for noncommercial purposes only. The pages we link to here are most likely published under copyright by their owners, but there is no restriction on linking to them. For that matter, anyone who wants can link to The Reiki Digest. But last week, one web site went a step beyond linking, publishing last week's post as if it were part of their own publication. To make matters worse, the site also posted a photo of an unknown woman -- not me -- with the article. Worse still, the site uses the name of a publication that's been around for years: The Reiki Times, published by the International Association of Reiki Professionals. And it gets even worse: the person taking advantage of our generous license has put his own copyright on our material! The publisher contacted us to say his use of our material meant we had won a "featured in Reiki Times" award. Thanks for the compliment, but....


Gifts: Part 2

This week's edition is also our gift to you in another way, because we hereby offer -- under the same "Some Rights Reserved" license -- a few gifts that come in 31 syllables: waka, written by a new Reiki practitioner, my husband Michael Dagley.

Waka are poems, and Reiki founder Mikao Usui recommended a specific group of 125 waka, written by the Meiji Emperor of Japan, for use in meditations, including them in the Reiki Ryoho Hikkei, or manual. Translations of the Hikkei are available online here in 5 languages (a gift from Canadian Reiki Master Teacher Richard Rivard).

Michael's waka are not translations of the Meiji Emperor's, but they are inspired by them. I'll let him tell you more:

Janet asked if I would write a few words about how I came to write waka. In fact, I became totally fascinated by the waka poetic form. It started simply enough: she asked if I would try to write one for the Reiki Dojo based on one of those composed by the Emperor Meiji. (Janet, as you might have noticed, honors copyright and refuses to make use of copyrighted material without having prior permission.)

So I took a look at the renderings of several of the poems in English -- more translations of the intent, not actual translations -- and I put myself to the task of fitting such ideas into the tight constraints of this amazing form: one is allowed only five lines, the first and third consisting of five syllables, the others of seven (5-7-5-7-7).

She asked for one on a Monday morning so she could use it that evening. I looked over the options and chose one, Isasaka no, the point of which is that even dust can obscure the beauty of a perfect jewel:

A diamond’s hard face
Can by mere dust be obscured,
Its true reflections
Dimmed, as a heart burdened
By powdery motes of doubt.

I thought little more of it until the following Monday, when she asked if I would compose another. I did so, the next one based on Mizo:

Though water adapts
To fit each unique vessel
It should ever grace,
Its droplet tapping rhythm
Grinds great granite peaks to sand.


By then I was hooked on the form and found that waka were coming to me unbidden, even waking me at night. I find I suddenly have a great interest in Japanese history, the Emperor Meiji, and Reiki ... and I am in the habit of composing a new waka every day.


Here are a few more of Michael's waka:

Fledgling

To fly each fledgling
Must risk plunging from its perch,
Landing hard upon
Its breast, only to struggle
Up the tree to try again.


Wheel

The herd rides the rim
Of the ever-turning wheel,
Chasing sensation,
Dizzily spurning the calm
Of the motionless axle.

Boulder

The boulder beneath
The tender sprouting pine cone
Forces roots to stretch
For earth, trapping the hard stone,
The pine tree safe in high winds.



Gifts: Part 3

If you're looking for more tangible Reiki items to give your loved ones this season, perhaps one (or more) of these items in our online store might work. There's our Reiki teddy bear, Reiki greeting cards and of course magnets featuring the winning "What Does Reiki Look Like?" image from Reiki Master Scott Kravis.

For the Reiki practitioner in your life (or even yourself), we recommend a gift that's delivered right to the recipient's inbox -- the online support programs for Reiki practitioners from the International House of Reiki. Both the 21-day Reiki Program and the 5-day Remembering Program will breathe new life into daily Reiki practice.

For yoga enthusiasts, aromatherapists, Reiki practitioners, and anyone who enjoys beautiful aromatherapy candles, the new Chakra Candles from Dancing Light Candles are an ideal gift. Give one, or give the whole set.

Gifts: Part 4

While we're not requesting gifts here at The Reiki Digest, we do want to make it possible for you to toss a few coins in our tip jar if you'd like to show your appreciation. Just click here to make your optional contribution securely via PayPal.

Next week: We close out the year by hosting the Carnival of Healing. Because the Carnival is a Saturday event, we'll be adjusting our schedule accordingly, so our next issue will be published December 22.

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