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Thursday, September 25, 2008

'Keeping your head when all about you are losing theirs'

Many thanks to all those who responded to last week's post on practicing during challenging times. We asked, and Patsy Guglielmo replied in an email with the subject line "Keeping your head when all about you are losing theirs" (quoting Rudyard Kipling):

I could really relate to your experiences of last week as mine were similar. Thanks to Reiki and daily practice I've been so busy in gratitude that I have barely noticed the outside events and yes, my "fortune" has severly dwindled as well, plus a family member died and good friend has been told she has as less than a year to live. My house has been robbed, all of my jewelry and car stolen.... In all this chaos, what's important? ...Reiki for myself and everyone I touch with little acts of kindness. I can't change what's happened but I get to choose whether to dwell on the past or live in the present.Thank you for the wonderful emails. You contribute a lot....

Wow, Patsy! That's a lot to be going through all at once. I'm so glad your Reiki practice helps keep you grounded and focused.

Walter Cooke sent in some great suggestions for giving your practice an energy shift:

Re: your request in the last newsletter:

"How do you keep up -- or catch up -- with your own personal Reiki practice during difficult times? If you're an experienced practitioner, what advice do you have for those who are just beginning, or for those who have let their practice lapse?"

It's important to not let yourself become 'stagnant' like a pond where the water is not moving. Add more energy - either physical or mental energy - to your daily practice (or non-practice). Learn a new concept that may not be directly applicable to Reiki but will strengthen your basic beliefs and motivations for doing the work. Enroll in a Feldenkrais or yoga class and let your skeleton be more flexible, learn a new energy psychology technique like EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), add a new meditation you've never tried before, or read a book on energy medicine that challenges you to see the work with a new perspective. Call your best friend and ask them what you might do to 'recharge' your life right now. It's all good nutrition for the soul. When all else fails and in challenging times like the present, I think it was someone in this newsletter who said: "Don't take it personally!" Wonderful words of advice for both situations and people.

Walter Cooke
Reiki Master/Practitioner

Thanks, Walter!

Olga Rasmussen wrote:

Thank you for the wonderful reminder to engage in Reiki self practice and the recitation of the precepts during these challenging times. I was just feeling incredibly down by a lot of the depressing news in the world and recent sad events in my own family, when I turned to reading this newsletter. It is important for us to be reminded that Reiki is first and foremost a spiritual practice.

I also enjoyed the links to Pamela Miles. At our own Washington DC Reiki Dojo gathering yesterday, a member who is an oncology nurse recently attended a workshop by Pamela Miles and was sharing some of the information with us, so it was timely to see this, in addition to the many excellent articles and references you posted.

Keep up this wonderful work of sharing and connecting the Reiki community. It is an incredible labor of love and gift to all of us!

Love and grace,

Thanks, Olga.

I'm happy to have met Olga at meetings of the Washington D.C. branch of The Reiki Dojo. She and I have a teacher in common: Frans Stiene of the International House of Reiki in Sydney, Australia. Frans is currently on a world teaching tour, but he took time out from his travels to contribute a few suggestions on keeping on keeping with our personal Reiki practice.

During difficult times it is sometimes hard to practice as the mind becomes distracted. So, how to move out of that space using your practice?

1. Generally start focusing on the good things in your life - do you still have enough food to eat, a roof above your head, loving family and friends etc..

2. Sit down and practice what you have learned within the system of Reiki. Even just practicing your Reiki meditation for 5 minutes at a time will give you some calmness and peace.

3. Write down the precepts on a piece of paper and hang it on the mirror so that every morning when you look in the mirror you can focus on them.

4. If you are sitting there, stirring your coffee and feeling gloomy, breath down into your hara and feel its strength.

Hint 1: Little session times added up together make one long session in the end! Take the small opportunities that come your way to revive yourself.

Hint 2: It is VERY important to keep practising the system of Reiki when you feel happy and healthy as this will create a solid base for you to to fall back upon when things become rough in life.

Frans Stiene

Co-founder of the International House of Reiki

Thanks, Frans, and good point: some practitioners have more trouble continuing to practice when things are going well, rather than during difficult times.

Frans was the wise teacher I mentioned last week whose class I booked into a room next to a children's tap-dancing class.

Frans will be teaching in the U.K. this coming weekend, and his next stop is New York, where The Reiki Digest and The Reiki Dojo will once again be sponsoring his Shinpiden (Master/Teacher level) course here October 3, 4, and 5. We began sponsoring his classes two years ago, after first reading the excellent, excellent books he and his wife, Bronwen, have written about Reiki and then traveling to Chicago for the Shinpiden course. Frans and Bronwen have done their homework, not only in researching the roots of Reiki, but in presenting it clearly and with detailed documentation, and they are both engaging and compelling teachers. We have students coming from thousands of miles away for the class, each one of them already a Reiki master or advanced practitioner, which always makes for a very interesting group.

There are still a few spaces available in the class. For more information, contact

Building on the success of sponsoring the classes with Frans, The Reiki Digest and The Reiki Dojo are now looking to sponsor selected classes with other instructors, in New York as well as other cities. The requirements for our sponsorship are strict: for example, teachers must use their own written materials and other intellectual property. Classes should be geared toward Reiki practitioners of all lineages. And since our sponsorship is, in effect, our endorsement, we have to be willing to give each teacher our personal recommendation. If you'd like us to consider sponsoring your class, email

Thanks to everyone for the comments and suggestions!


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