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Thursday, February 05, 2009

The eyes have it

Last week, our Korea correspondent Michael Swerdloff made the case for keeping our eyes open while practicing Reiki on others.

This week, more comments on that subject from our readers, and from me.

Sandra wrote:


Thank you. My mind is famous for wandering off. I will definitely take your advice and shift to eyes open. I am a former family therapist...eyes were open then and I could easily witness when a session was helping. Thanks for the "eye opener."


Thanks, Sandra.

Beth wrote:

I practice on animals and I've always left my eyes open without thinking about it. My experience has been that I have always (or just about always) felt Reiki in my hands. As my practice progressed, I felt Reiki flowing from my lips. Next, my feet (during a long distance treatment when I was sitting with my legs over the arm of a chair) and lastly, from my eyes. I don't always feel it coming from places other than my hands, but it's always a fun surprise when it does.

Thanks, Beth.

Jo Morgan wrote:

Thanks to Michael for sharing his insights. I took a wonderful class in intuitive guidance this past year, and the instructor insisted that we keep our eyes open and on the client to be fully present for and respectful of them. It was important learning for me and has proven pretty effective. I loved Michael's question, "Why limit Reiki?". When my ego and I are out of the way, Reiki travels into unlimited territories. The possibilites are endless. I had never considered Reiki flowing from my eyes, but "know" that it often flows my my heart and other body parts. So why not the eyes? Thanks again, Michael.


Thanks, Jo.

And now, a few words from the editor. When I first read Michael's post, I was reminded of my first experience giving Reiki in my initial Level One class, as our teacher called out to a roomful of novice practitioners, "Don't get lost in the energy!" To this day, I remember those words every time I give someone Reiki.

But even more, it reminded me of a very important Reiki session I gave my husband during my first few months of practice. He is plagued by terrible migraines, and one reason I pursued the study of Reiki in the first place was that it seemed to help him with that. One morning when he woke up with a migraine, I set up my brand-new massage table and put him on it. As I began his hands-on treatment, I instinctively did something I had learned in another healing modality, Thai yoga bodywork. "Always coordinate your breath with your client's," my Thai yoga instructor taught, but as I observed my husband/client and tried to coordinate my breathing with his, I realized I couldn't. His breathing was not only irregular, but it stopped entirely from time to time. Of course, the diagnosis wasn't official until he'd spent the night in a sleep lab, but it was indeed sleep apnea, a life-threatening condition that might also have been contributing to the migraines. Since that day I have made sure to observe my client's breathing, and that helps guide my treatments. And my husband now sleeps with a CPAP machine to keep him breathing during the night.

Another reason I keep my eyes open while giving Reiki is simply a matter of balance. I usually stand during the whole treatment, and if I were to close my eyes while standing for a long time I might lose my balance.

But what surprised me in Michael's post was that it seems some teachers advise their students to close their eyes. That can be an interesting experience -- my Thai Yoga teacher had us do a complete 2-and-a-half-hour session blindfolded during an advanced class -- but I wouldn't recommend it as an everyday thing. 

We look forward to further discussion on this topic. Add your thoughts as a comment to this post on our web site, or email them to


Blogger michael swerdloff said...

An Eye Opening Experience:
Try walking down the street after connecting with Reiki and the lineage and then make eye contact with every person you pass with the intention of sharing Reiki with them. A simple split-second is all that is needed to connect people with their Higher Self.
If you do this every day for a week, my sense is that at least two things will happen. First, the question of whether Reiki can be passed through the eyes will be resolved. Two, walking in public will be altered dramatically.
I think discussion about Reiki is interesting, but for me, Reiki is a practice, and experience is both the Teacher and the proof.

Thanks folks for sharing your comments, i was a bit hesitant about asking Janet to post this piece. I have no intention of disrespecting anybody's practice or Reiki Teaching Master.


12:01 PM  

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