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Thursday, April 09, 2009

Bishops denounce Reiki: our discussion continues

Our readers are continuing to comment on last month's denunciation of Reiki by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.


This news pushed quite a few buttons for me last week and I found myself deeply disappointed. As I was raised Catholic and then left the church in my adult life, I have found Reiki a magnificent tool for connecting more deeply with my faith and coming to terms with some of the issues I've had with the Catholic church. Just recently I returned to the church where I grew up, after over a decade had passed, only to find myself in a completely different environment. I was amazed at how Zen the interior looked. The dark altar with all the heavy furniture had been replaced with a simple altar and a couple of chairs and a beautiful skylight had been installed. The baptismal in the back had a beautiful running fountain with stones and plants, inviting a touch of nature into the space. There was a beautiful lightness throughout the building that I had never experienced growing up. I wondered to myself if perhaps a subtle shift was happening within the church as a whole or if it was simply my own perspective that had shifted. I thought about my own spiritual journey over this past decade and how I've come to feel more deeply connected to my Catholic faith than I ever did when I was practicing, and I attribute much of that to Reiki. Just as Dennis mentions in his commentary, the teachings of Jesus in the gospels are filled with the idea that we are here to be channels of love, compassion, peace and healing for each other. Reiki has given me an outlet to practice these teachings in my daily life and to see where God speaks to us through the simple blessings we experience every day. Whether one believes in a God, the Universe or nothing at all, Reiki brings us more deeply into the journey of self discovery and that is indeed where Jesus was leading his followers - down that path of finding our own sense of God within ourselves. I have come to recognize for myself that I can have faith in these teachings without buying into a political structure that doesn't empower me to evolve spiritually. A great debate that has arisen from the different gospels ever since they were written is the argument of whether God is an external, enigmatic entity that we are here to serve, or if God is that great force that lives and breathes in each and every one of us. Reiki guides us in the direction of the later belief and I saw that belief represented by many of the Catholic teachers I had over the years. I also witnessed the former being taught and always found that to estrange people from the church instead of bringing them closer. Jesus did indeed teach his followers that it is possible to heal human suffering and every one of the Reiki principles can be found in the gospels. I do hope that some day the shift I had so gently and beautifully experienced that day when I returned to my hometown church manifests on a greater level. If everyone keeps the faith, it will indeed happen someday.

Peace & Light, 

From Graxwarrior:

I state a vested interest: I am a Reiki practitioner and a failed agnostic.
Statement of Fact.
Reiki is a Complementary Therapy. Not an "alternative" to anything!
Personal opinion
From the title onwards the "Bishops" have got it wrong, but the Roman Church has never been hot on truth; only "The Truth" - as they want everyone to believe it.

As for "Reiki lacks scientific credibility"; Have these people ever sought any scientific credibility for the events that they celebrate on the Friday of Holy Week? When they do, perhaps they'll be better qualified to comment on things they evidently do not understand.

Perhaps they should stick to astronomy.

The next item isn't a comment: it's a news story on a development that seemed inevitable in the wake of the bishops' statement. Two Catholic hospitals in New Jersey and New York will stop offering Reiki to patients. 


Anonymous Rose De Dan, Wild Reiki and Shamanic Healing said...

As I wrote in my blog article Reiki Attunements for Animals (the writing of which was inspired by the very same ruling of the Catholic Bishops), it was this history of persecution that caused me to break away from the Catholic Church as a teenager, a decision I have never regretted.

As a former Catholic it saddens me to see that the Catholic Church has once again chosen to act from the emotions of fear and segregation, rather than choosing to embrace the true teachings of Christ which teach love and acceptance. What are they afraid of?

Their stand does not seem to offer healing or Christ-like compassion to those who are ill and who need it most. Many people who could have benefited from the complementary modality called Reiki may now suffer for the Church's narrow-mindedness.

It is my intention to send Reiki to the situation. Hopefully other "healing" institutions that have their focus on the true benefits of complementary health care for their patients will expand the programs that they offer.

9:17 PM  
Blogger Alice said...

I am Alice Norris, an extraordinary Reiki Master. My beliefs are Christian to some, and atheistic to others. I no longer adhere to many concepts that the church supports. The state of the church saddens me. I left the non-Catholic church I was in due belief disagreement. It seems that Christ's teachings have been completely lost in today's church. The love and power that Jesus spoke of is no longer in the church. The church I attended was completely against any form of healing, while Jesus said we would do greater things than he was doing. He was a healer, and if I want to follow him, I should be doing similar things. I am (although it may sound horrible to some of you) hoping that this further church dogma will shake some great people into realizing the truth beyond their familiar authority figures.

5:54 PM  

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