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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Special Open Thread Edition

Dear Readers,

As you know, The Reiki Digest is taking a holiday break and will resume publication on January 3, 2007.

We wish all of you a joyous holiday season and a happy, peaceful and abundant New Year.

In the meantime, we hope this Special Open Thread Edition will allow you to contribute your comments. All you need to do is click on the word "comments" below this post and type away.

Thank you for your support of The Reiki Digest!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Reiki Digest for December 13, 2006: The Year-end Revue of Reviews

The Reiki Digest for December 13, 2006: The Year-end Revue of Reviews

Welcome to the final full edition of The Reiki Digest for 2006! We'll be taking a break for the holidays, so we won't be publishing on December 20 or 27. During the last two weeks of the year, it will be up to you, the reader, to publish your own comments and links here in a special year-end Open Thread Edition beginning next Wednesday. That's right: you can write for The Reiki Digest, simply by adding your comments to the Open Thread Edition. What's an Open Thread? On sites that get a lot of comments, an open thread is an easy way to let readers discuss the issues among themselves. We hope you'll take advantage of the opportunity during the remainder of December.

But the year's not quite over yet, so this week we have a special edition: The Year-end Revue of Reviews, focusing on books that may be of interest to readers of The Reiki Digest. Some of the reviews are new, and others are from previous 2006 editions.

First up, a scoop: This book won't even be published until March 2007, but The Reiki Digest was able to read a prepublication version in order to do this advance review:

Your Reiki Treatment
Bronwen & Frans Stiene
(March, 2007)

Once again, prolific authors and Reiki Master Teachers Bronwen and Frans Stiene have outdone their previous outstanding efforts. This time it's Your Reiki Treatment, their first book about Reiki aimed at clients rather than practitioners. In fact, it's the first book written specifically for Reiki recipients.

With the reverberations of their groundbreaking first book, The Reiki Sourcebook (2003), still rippling through the Reiki world, the Stienes went on to write The Japanese Art of Reiki (2005), a practical, illustrated guide focused on the roots of Reiki as well as its foundation: self care. This year they followed up with two publications: the A-Z of Reiki, a handy guide to all things Reiki in a book the size of a deck of cards, and an actual deck of cards, the lovely and very useful Reiki Techniques Card Deck (which includes an illustrated booklet as well.)

In Your Reiki Treatment, Bronwen and Frans have topped all that off with a thoughtful, graceful distillation, blending their impeccable and extensive research with insights and anecdotes drawn from their years of experience as Reiki practitioners and teachers.

Your Reiki Treatment rightly envisions the reader as a potential Reiki client who isn't so interested in the name of the founder or the practitioner's lineage or how many branches of Reiki there may be. Potential clients, i.e., everybody on the planet who hasn't already received a Reiki treatment, just want to know what Reiki is and what it might do for them -- or to them. If you're one of those potential Reiki clients, this book will satisfy your curiosity, though not as well as an actual Reiki treatment, of course!

I plan to keep a copy or two in my office to lend to potential Reiki clients, and I can envision a lot of other practitioners doing the same. If you know someone who's curious about Reiki, show them this book and you may end up with a new client.

Although Your Reiki Treatment won't be on sale for several months yet, it is available for pre-order at

Speaking of the Stienes, their weekly podcast, The Reiki Show, is on holiday for the rest of the year, but meanwhile you can vote on your favorite episode of 2006, perhaps even the one I guest-hosted so that Bronwen Stiene could be the guest for a change and answer some questions about her books.

And stay tuned for details soon about the Stienes' 2007 world tour, including a Shinpiden (Level 3) class in New York.

We discovered, and reviewed, all their previous books in 2006. Rather than repost the reviews here, we'll just include links to them:

The Reiki Digest review of The Reiki Sourcebook and The Japanese Art of Reiki
The Reiki Digest review of the A-Z of Reiki and The Reiki Techniques Card Deck.

Punk Science: Inside the Mind of God
Dr. Manjir Samanta-Laughton, M.D.

If I hadn't read beyond the title, I probably would have taken no notice of this book. Apparently "Punk Science" is a British concept, or at least a British educational comedy team. The subtitle, "Inside the Mind of God," doesn't offer much more about what this book is about. Even after reading it, I still have no suggestions for other titles, however. Whatever the title might mean, Punk Science is an invigorating, enlightening read for any of us who are fascinated with quantum physics but are not quantum physicists ourselves. Dr. Manjir Samanta-Laughton, M.D., asks us to reconsider some of the 20th-century dogma about such things as the Big Bang and black holes, hyperspace and dark matter, and she backs up each concept with solid documentation and footnotes.

If the word "punk" is a reference to those morose young people dressed in black who used to go around (especially in Europe) drawing anarchy symbols all over the place, then the title fits, in a sense, as the model of the universe put forth by Dr. Samanta-Laughton is more anarchic than the currently popular version. Could the chakra in the palm of your hand have a tiny black hole at the center? Dr. Samanta-Laughton suggests that it might. Could there be an even tinier black hole at the center of each and every atom? Maybe so, she argues. Besides which, where DID all the antimatter go? And what if the Big Bang wasn't a big bang at all? To complete the picture, Dr. Samanta-Laughton weaves in the Gnostic Gospels, ghosts, angels, string theory, the concept of the divine feminine, and more.

Heresy? Why not at least consider, or reconsider, all the possibilities?

If you're already somewhat familiar with the weirdness of quantum physics, this book will challenge some of what you might believe and take that weirdness to another level. If you haven't read much about quantum physics, this might be a good place to start, as you'll have fewer preconceptions.

We published our first book review with our premiere issue back in July: Here's a link to our review of Reiki: A Comprehensive Guide, by Pamela Miles.

Other books read and recommended by The Reiki Digest staff this year include:

Mending The Past And Healing The Future with Soul Retrieval, by Alberto Villoldo, Ph.D.
The Four Insights: Wisdom, Power, and Grace of the Earthkeepers, by Alberto Villoldo, Ph.D.
Coyote Medicine: Lessons from Native American Healing, by Lewis Mehl-Madrona, M.D.
Coyote Healing: Miracles in Native Medicine, by Lewis Mehl-Madrona, M.D., Ph.D.
Coyote Wisdom: Healing Power in Native American Stories, by Lewis Mehl-Madrona, M.D., Ph.D.
The Joy of Ritual: Spiritual Recipes to Celebrate Milestones, Ease Transitions, and Make Every Day Sacred, by Barbara Biziou
The Hidden Messages in Water, by Masaru Emoto

Finally, The Reiki Digest welcomes a new sponsor: Our regular Celeb-Reiki feature is now brought to you by Miriam's Well Healing of New York, New York, specializing in the health and well-being of performing artists. Miriam's Well Healing now offers a discount exclusively for Reiki Digest readers. More about that in a moment, but first, this week's Celeb-Reiki report.

First, an update on a previous Celeb-Reiki: New Zealand cyclist Hayden Roulston, who had to retire from the sport at age 25 a few months ago because of a heart ailment and turned to Reiki in hopes of getting back on the bike. He has now officially unretired, has won his last two races, and will be representing his nation in January's six-day, 667-kilometer Tour Down Under in Australia.

From New Zealand, we travel to India, home of Celeb-Reiki cricketer (and Reiki aficionado) Sachin Tendulkar who last week achieved new fame on the TV game show Jeopardy! -- not as a contestant, but as a question: "Sachin Tendulkar of India is a leading bowler in this sport. (What is cricket?)"

On to Toronto, Canada, for a dramatic first-person piece in the Toronto Star by our next Celeb-Reiki, Jessica Holmes, a regular on the CBC show Royal Canadian Air Farce and the wife of a Reiki Master, headlined "Surprise, I'm (still) pregnant!"

If you are a celebrity who practices or receives Reiki, we hope you'll speak out about your Reiki connection so that more people can discover this natural, safe form of healing.

Now a few words from our sponsor: We asked Reiki Master Claire M. Schwartz, proprietor of Miriam's Well Healing, why she decided to focus her practice on Reiki for performing artists.

As an actor and singer myself, I know the toll taken on the mind, body and spirit. Auditions, rehearsals, classes and performance are all challenging. Not long after I discovered Reiki, I was in the theatre and I watched an experienced actor go up on his lines. My first thought was that Reiki could have helped him steady his nerves and focus him!

How can Reiki help performing artists?

Actors, dancers and singers in particular rely so deeply on their physical being to create their work. The wear and tear of the performing lifestyle is constant and can grind you down. Health is simply not an option. So the first tenet of my healing philosophy is Self-Care, which is also the first thing students learn in Reiki 1.

Self-knowledge is also key to growth and clarity for the actor. As a performer taking on a role, Reiki energy brings you to a higher vibration of being, to balance self with character, work through personal issues that might interfere with your process, and provide clarity so you can work at your highest level. Therefore, my second tenet is Personal Empowerment. And building a career in the arts requires SO much energy and fortitude, the endeavor deserves as much support as possible

Among the benefits of Reiki to help optimize the conditioning of any performer are:
- Vocal and Breath Support
- Joint Support
- Focus for Performance Days
- Goal-Setting for Auditions
- Support for tired eyes, sore knees, and tense necks
- Regular Sessions to address performance anxiety
- Ongoing Support for injuries, doubts and challenges.

I also utilize Affirmations for boosting confidence, facing emotional issues and connecting to your Inner Wisdom, as well as Chakra Balancing and sending Reiki to the Past or the Future. These are tools I use every day for myself, as well as my clients. I also have designed specific protocols for musicians’ fingers and dancers’ toes.

Thanks, Claire.

As you know, The Reiki Digest is a free publication, supported by advertising. If you'd like to advertise here, please email or call my office at 201.653.7700, ext 6.

That's it for this week, and this year as well. See you back here in 2007, and remember to participate in our Open Thread Edition (starting December 20) as well as our Reviewing Reiki Online Project if you get the chance over the holidays.

New Year's Resolution: The Reiki Symposium at the New York Open Center is just over a month away -- January 15, 2007 -- and if you register now, you can save $25. Among the many interesting workshops: my Qigong for Reiki Practitioners and Reiki in Cyberspace with Reiki Master James Rosenow and myself.

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Reiki Digest for December 6, 2006: Brought to you by...

Welcome to the first annual Holiday Shopping Issue of The Reiki Digest, brought to you by our very first sponsor, Dancing Light Candles of New York City.

As you know, The Reiki Digest is a free, advertising-supported publication, and we thank you for patronizing our advertisers. This special issue puts the spotlight on some of the products and services available here, along with personal reviews and recommendations, just in case you might be buying gifts (or a little something for yourself) this time of year.

There's a level above advertiser, however, and that is a sponsor: an advertiser who not only places an ad but makes a special offer to our readers. A sponsor also gets my personal endorsement. Ads can be bought, but my endorsement can't.

Why would Dancing Light Candles choose to sponsor The Reiki Digest? It's simple: Dancing Light Candles contain an extra ingredient: Reiki. So our readers are more likely to understand the value of that ingredient.

How does the Reiki get into the candles? I asked Dancing Light Candles founder, Reiki Master Jean Bromage, to explain:

When I started incorporating Reiki into my candle making process, something completely shifted for me. I was finding myself more focused and grounded when I made the candles, and the energy was opening me up to both my spiritual and my creative self making my craft that much more playful. This process became even more enjoyable during the year I was doing the Reiki Master program because I found myself reconnecting with my magical child that can see the endless possibilities. The tools I gained as a Reiki Master helped me to channel my intentions and the Reiki energy more deeply into the candles. Each day as I prepare to make a new batch, I call in the Reiki and ask for it to bring to my work area a deep sense of joy, love and abundance. As I feel the energy come through me, I know something very special is taking place. While I don’t necessarily know who will end up with each candle as I make it, it is this sense of the sacred in everyday life that is being translated into each candle connecting both me and the customers to the joy and abundance that spirit offers us.

Candles have a long history and have been used throughout the ages for both religious and secular purposes. They open our environment up to something that is soothing and healing and can connect us with our inner selves. Light and color are very therapeutic and so it only made sense to me that I should channel the healing light of Reiki into my candles. Each night, before placing it in the melter, I bathe the candle wax in Reiki energy. As I add the colors and the scent to the melted wax the next day, I channel more Reiki through my third eye before pouring the mixture into the molds. It is at this moment of blending everything together that I will receive a sense of what symbols, shapes and colored light spirit is asking me to add. As I continue to stir and blend everything together, I often times enjoy a beautiful visual in my mind. For instance, as I blended the mixture for my sugar cookie candles the other day, I had a beautiful vision of Saint Nicholas sitting at a kitchen table and enjoying a plate of cookies with a cold glass of milk. The little girl inside of me giggled with glee and said, “Yes, that is what the smell of sugar cookies should bring to mind.”

So, as my
Dancing Light Candles are sent on their sometimes long journeys all over the world, they are not only being wrapped in tissue paper, boxes and ribbon, but also in a layer of Reiki energy blessing them and protecting them so they make it to their intended destinations. While it is nice to think of them traveling by a magical sleigh ride and being delivered through a beautiful fireplace instead of going by trains, planes and automobiles, I know that there will still be a great sense of magic once they are opened and glowing in someone’s home.

I've known Jean and her products for about a year now and received a couple of very nice table sessions from her as well, so I can personally attest to both her Reiki and candlemaking skills. Since I'm not familiar with candlemaking myself, I asked her what makes Dancing Light Candles special. Her reply:

The pillars and votives are made with a highly refined paraffin wax that burns evenly and doesn't smoke.

The pillars burn straight down and rarely drip unless burned for more than 4 hours.

The fragrances in the pillar and votive candles last the life of the candle and can be enjoyed without overpowering the senses.

The colors used create a beautiful glow, making them much more visually enjoyable than the competition.

The aromatherapy jar candles are made with soy wax and all natural essential oils making them all natural.

The jars come in a beautiful bulb shaped jar that gives them a classic look.

All the candles are made with cotton wicks and are therefore lead free.

Of course, the Reiki energy is the biggest draw for the candles. For those who are "feelers", they can often times feel the energy of the candle when they walk into a room where a DL candle is burning. I'm included in that group. When I have my candles burning, I'll leave the room and come back only to feel the Reiki energy come over me. It's different from feeling the warmth of the candle flames. Its the same feeling I get when I call in the Reiki energy.

Dancing Light Candles is offering Reiki Digest readers 10% off through January 31 for online purchases. Use coupon code RD 123 at checkout.

If you're interested in advertising on The Reiki Digest, or even better, becoming a sponsor, please contact me at or call my office at 201.653.7700, ext. 6.

How about some sparkly crystals to go with that flickering candle? When O Books sent us a copy of Crystal Prescriptions: The A-Z Guide to Over 1,200 Symptoms and Their Healing Crystals for review, I asked Reiki Master Teacher and Crystal Healing Practitioner Margaret Ann Case, proprietor of, among other things, Earthsong Crystal Healing in New York, to look it over. Here is her review, along with a link to the book:

Crystal Prescriptions – The A-Z Guide to Over 1,200 Symptoms and Their Healing Crystals, by Judy Hall, is a welcome addition to any crystal healing library. Ms. Hall’s gift for succinct writing imparts a great deal of information in few words. This is helpful with a topic as esoteric as crystal healing, and a welcome relief from the overly-personal style of many books on this topic, or from ones that list so many properties and uses for each stone that distinctions blur. Ms. Hall’s straight-forward approach makes it easy to determine what stone to use for what purpose, and the information is organized in a clear and easily accessible format.

Part I of the book is a very basic overview of crystals and their use that includes a brief Q&A, some history and background on stones and crystal healing, and how to choose a stone. There is also basic information on the chakras, uses and placements of stones for personal healing, as well as how to make crystal remedies, and how to determine which stone(s) to select for a particular challenge or concern. Part II is a list of 1,200 “symptoms,” which is extremely thorough and obviously based on extensive knowledge, experience, and research.

Although Ms. Hall states at the beginning that the book is a self-help guide for personal use only, and is not a course in crystal healing, greater emphasis and reminders from Ms. Hall on this point is needed throughout the book. It is too easy for people to read a book of this nature and start working on others without a grounded training and the wisdom of experience.

Additionally, a word of caution is needed regarding the terminology used in the book such as “prescription”, “symptoms”, and statements that claim “healing” with crystals and their “important role in preventing disease.” In the United States, usage of these terms and statements, along with the inferred ability to diagnose, is the legal privilege of members of the medical profession and should not be used by any other type of practitioner.

Crystal Prescriptionsis an invaluable resource for the interested general reader and for the experienced crystal healing arts practitioner. It is a perfect companion to her book, The Crystal Bible: A Definitive Guide to Crystals, and the two together form an excellent reference set on the properties and uses of stones, crystals and gems.

(Reviewed by Reiki Master and Crystal Healing Practitioner Margaret Ann Case of Reiki Arts Continuum.)

Thanks, Margaret Ann.

I'm not the expert that Margaret Ann is, but I love working with crystals and am learning more about them. I often enhance Reiki sessions not only with crystals, but aromatherapy, using only the highest quality therapeutic grade essential oils: Young Living. I even have a little online shoppe where you can buy them..

Life can get a bit frantic this time of year, but a daily meditation practice can help. Check out this simple meditation bench from Gaiam:

Thai Meditation Platform


Or maybe you'd prefer Qigong or T'ai Chi:
icon:, Inc

Finally, an offer of my own this holiday season. Reiki Digest readers can get 10% off any Reiki or Thai Yoga session from me through December 30th at Hudson Healing Arts in Hoboken, New Jersey, or Reiki sessions at my New York office. And if you've read this far, you get a reward: that same 10% off on any gift certificate. Just call my office at 201.653.7700, ext 6. If you're the first to call, you get an extra bonus: a free 15-minute energy balancing with hematite added to any Reiki session or Thai massage. By the way, my office hours are now more flexible in both Hoboken and New York.

Thanks, and whatever holidays you celebrate this time of year, I hope they are filled with love, light, and of course, Reiki.