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Thursday, February 07, 2008

Competition, cooperation, and consensus

It's been a big week for competition here in the United States -- even moreso than usual.

First, on Sunday my neighbor and his teammates won the Super Bowl in front of an estimated 97.5 million television viewers. (In case there is anyone out there in the more than 90 countries reached by The Reiki Digest who isn't familiar with it, the Super Bowl is a football game, as well as our biggest annual sports and advertising event.)

Then two days later, we had "Super Tuesday" -- primary elections in many states for the Democratic and Republican party presidential nominations. American football and politics are similar in that they both involve two teams facing off and trying to knock each other down.

In the global Reiki community, we have more than two teams, not to mention some players who don't seem to be part of any team. And while we have plenty of competition, we have so many definitions of Reiki and interpretations of the practice that it would be impossible to get any kind of game going -- if you'll indulge my sports speak for just a bit here. As Reiki competitors, we would have trouble even agreeing on the size and location of the playing field, not to mention the rules of the game. And who would officiate?

There are many who believe this is an insoluble problem. Perhaps so. But that doesn't mean the situation couldn't improve. Reiki masters who've been practicing far longer than I have tell me that the bickering among Reiki's various factions isn't quite as bad as it once was. Maybe that's because of the more recent conflict over such new threats as online attunements and instant Master programs. There's still plenty of "my Reiki is better than your Reiki" going around.

But I believe we can do better. We can, and we must -- people are coming to us for help. I don't know about you, but the people who come to me for Reiki are dealing with life-threatening illnesses, histories of abuse, and other serious issues. They don't need to be bothered with our conflicts.

The "my Reiki is better than your Reiki" argument reminds me of the perpetual Mac vs. PC (and Linux) dispute that's been going on since, coincidentally, a 1984 Super Bowl ad introduced the first Mac.

Mac users tend to like their machines, even if they've never used any other kind. Same goes for PC users. Linux users are convinced their operating system is better, but then they disagree among themselves about which version of Linux is better. It's endless.

So what can we do? The Reiki Digest hereby proposes that we look for some points of consensus as we move toward greater cooperation. We're starting a list of things all Reiki practitioners might agree upon, and we invite you to add to it and/or comment upon it. If you agree, if you disagree, if you have anything to add, please speak up.

Here's the list so far:

1. The system of Reiki was founded by Mikao Usui.
2. Usui was not a doctor.
3. Reiki is not massage.
4. Reiki is not a religion.
5. Reiki is not a substitute for medical care.

Can we agree on those points to start? Please let us know what you think. We hope this is the beginning of a productive discussion.

On to the Celeb-Reiki report. As regular readers know, in order to be named a Celeb-Reiki, a person needs to have a connection, however tenuous, to Reiki. Sometimes that connection is very, very tenuous, as it is with this week's first Celeb-Reiki, George W. Bush. He may never have heard of Reiki, but he still gets linked to it in this news spoof. But that's not all. Apparently some well-meaning Reiki practitioners have been attempting to send the lame-duck president distance attunements. And Mr. Bush isn't the only U.S. politician who's had distance Reiki aimed his way. There's even a web site named We looked, but couldn't find similar sites for any of the other candidates. We'd like to stipulate that sending unsolicited Reiki is unethical. What do you think?

Our next Celeb-Reiki is in a country that Mr. Bush seems to find fascinating: Iran. Painter and Reiki practitioner Mahdokht Khanboluki made online headlines for her artwork. She told an interviewer that she paints "because I think this way I can have many discussions and exchanges with many people without being constrained by language, culture or personal taste." We know the feeling.

This week's Reiki Roundup begins with yet another version of the classic tale of a reporter who gets a Reiki session and writes about it. This time the Des Moines, Iowa, reporter focuses on what it feels like to receive Reiki.

In the United Kingdom, Reiki has been some comfort to former nurse Colette Mills, who is fighting cancer as well as the National Health Service.

And in Colorado, two brand-new Reiki 1 students receive more recognition for earning their certificates than we've ever seen anyone get.

We conclude with a couple of reminders. First, we're planning to attend the second annual Reiki Symposium on February 18 at the New York Open Center, and we hope to see you there.

And we invite you to contribute to the next edition of the Carnival of Reiki. The deadline is February 25, and the Carnival will be published on February 28.

We also want to thank everybody who's contributed comments to recent posts on our web site. Please keep the discussion going.


Anonymous Casey from KC said...

Points of Consensus...

We are not "healers", but a "facilitator" for healing.

Also, on Distance Reiki and Obama... If you send to the person specifically, you can always ask that if it is not received that it goes to someone who is willing receive it. But I think more appropriately, it is ok to send Reiki to the situation and have the intention be for that situations highest intention and good.

12:38 PM  

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