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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Reiki as Celeb-Reiki

Our quest to get Oprah to feature Reiki on her show remains a quest, but meanwhile we're happy to report that Reiki has at least made its way onto daytime television -- not to mention nighttime television and at least one movie.

That's the good news. The bad news is that it wasn't presented quite accurately. But as they say, as long as they spell the name right, publicity is good.

This week our Celeb-Reiki is Reiki itself -- that's R-e-i-k-i, with a capital R. And our Reiki Roundup features not newspaper or magazine articles that mention Reiki, but recent Reiki appearances on TV and in the movies.

First stop: The soap opera All My Children. An alert reader happened to transcribe the scene for us:

Candle lit room. Couple (male and female).
The man has a single long stemmed yellow rose that he gives to the female as the male says, "Tonight is all about relaxing. .... Tonight is about being gentle and soft."
She says, 'OK'
He says.... "so just lie down on your front and let me do what I do best."
Camera change... 2-shot of couple. She is lying on her stomach and he is to her side with his hands about one - 2 inches above her shoulder blades.
She says, "What are you doing?"
He says, "It's called Reiki."
She smiles and asks, "Does it come with sushi?"
Camera change. medium CU of man smiling.
He smiles gently and says, "No. it's a Japanese term for Universal Energy that promotes healing on every level."
Music continues.... cut to her smiling and relaxing. (Use your imiganation. It's a soap opera after all. Love in the afternoon.)

several scenes later..... she is talking to her business partner (a female) and she tells her about the evening before...
She says, "We had the most amazing night. He taught me this new massage technique called Reiki. We were on the floor..... "


It's understandable that a soap opera would weave Reiki into a steamy scene, but unfortunate that they made the mistake of calling it a "new massage technique" -- Reiki is not massage.

From the daytime drama land of "Pine Valley", we move on to a dystopian future: Earth, a generation from now, except there is no new generation. We mentioned the film Children of Men here when it first came out in 2006, because one of the characters was said to be a Reiki practitioner -- a midwife who helps a young woman who miraculously is pregnant with the planet's first child in nearly 20 years. I hadn't seen it, though, until the other day when it showed up on cable. Sure enough, the character Miriam, played by Pam Ferris, does put her hands in positions that seem a lot like Reiki, but the recipient is deceased at that point. And she does teach her client a few relaxation techniques, but chanting "om mani padme om" is not Reiki.

The best representation of Reiki we've seen in the mainstream on-screen media lately, however, is not in a drama but a reality series: Project Runway, where designer and Reiki practitioner Elisa Jimenez represented one of the most important aspects of Reiki, the precepts, in her everyday behavior. While the show exaggerates the drama by including snippet after snippet of the contestants talking about each other, Elisa did not indulge in snarky comments about her competitors -- she just did her best and was grateful for the experience, even when she got kicked off the show. Now THAT'S Reiki.

I'm not that interested in fashion, but I do find Project Runway fun because of the creative challenges the designers face. Speaking of creativity, that's the theme of this year's Reiki Symposium at the New York Open Center on February 18: Reiki and the Creative Spirit. The symposium is open to Reiki students and practitioners of all lineages, and there are participants coming in from all over -- even as far away as Australia. Hope to see some of you there!

And speaking of big events, The Carnival of Reiki debuts next week. We've already got some great entries, but there's still room for more. We have such a good head start that we can extend the deadline for submissions until Monday, January 28. So if you've got a blog or web site with a Reiki-related post you'd like us to include, click here to submit it.

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