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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Reiki Digest for February 28, 2007: Enhancing Reiki with Aromatherapy, Part 2

Alas, as advanced as our technology has become, there is still no way to convey scent over the Internet. That's too bad, because this week's edition would smell soooooo good: Guest writer Michelle Shinagawa offers the second and final installment in her series, Enhancing Reiki with Aromatherapy. If you use your imagination, you can almost smell the lavender, the eucalyptus, the orange, the grapefruit... can't you?

We also have another Reiki Roundup, and of course another Celeb-Reiki.

First, let's finish what we started last week.

Michelle Shinagawa is a Reiki Master, Certified Aromatherapist, and founder and owner of Purple Fish Healing in New York City.

Enhancing Reiki with Aromatherapy, Part 2

(Click here to read Part 1)

By Michelle Shinagawa

How to decide what oil to work with

I normally have 10 to 15 minutes of checking in and verbal counseling with the client before I start the physical part of the Reiki session. Based on the information from the verbal part of the session, I choose three oils and let them smell one by one. I ask my client which one resonates with them the most. I don’t normally tell them what each oil is until they pick one. It normally it turns out to be the one that was calling me the most, but I want my client to be part of the process. Here are four things you could do to help you decide which essential oil to work with.

1.Talk: While you are talking to your client about how they are doing and what support they need, you can decide which oil to use, based on what challenges they have or what intentions they have for the session. You can also decide on which oil to work with based on which chakra your client may need help in. There is more information about chakras and essential oils in the Aromatherapy Essential Oil Information section of my website,

2.Reiki Scan/Intuitive Guidance: You can scan your client’s body or place a hand on your client’s head and ask for guidance to decide which oil to use.

3.Pendulum: You can use a pendulum alone, or use it to vertify the information you got from the Reiki scan/Intuitive guidance. If you are new to the pendulum, all you need to know is “to and fro” (towards and away from) means YES, left and right means NO and circle means “maybe.”

4.Kinesiology: I use this for a confirmation of the information from the Reiki scan/Intuitive guidance. It’s very easy. Hold the bottle at the client’s chest and ask them to hold the arm at the shoulder level. When you try to press the arm down, if the arm goes down, that means the client could use that particular oil. If the arm is strong and stays up, try a different oil.

Important Information about Essential Oils

Quality: It’s very important to know the source. Do the research on the company you are buying the oils from. Check on the standards of the company, how they grow, harvest and distill. It’s a very expensive and time consuming process to produce good quality oils. There are many inexpensive adulterated oils on the market. When it comes to essential oils, you get what you pay for. If you are interested in purchasing oils from me, please visit my website.

When using oils with a client:

- ALWAYS ask your client about skin sensitivity and allergies before applying essential oils on your client.

- Keep vegetable oil near by: If your client has an allergic reaction to the oil, DO NOT flush with water. Essential oils will spread when you flush with water and make things worse. Please use vegetable oil. It can be olive oil from your kitchen. I've never needed to use this, but it’s kind of like having a fire extinguisher in the kitchen.

- Tell your client not to rub their eyes when they get a drop of a sharp oil like peppermint, oregano, basil, etc., on their hands.

Safe oils for different individuals

Below is a list of what is generally considered safe oils for particular individual. However, everyone has a different reaction; please use caution and test them before use.

Babies: Chamomile Roman, Lavender, and Rose: 1 drop each per ounce of vegetable oil.

Children: Chamomile Roman, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Mandarin, Rose and Rosewood: 25% dilution with vegetable oil.

Pregnancy: Orange, Grapefruit, Lemon, Lime, Neroli, Mandarin, Patchouli, Rosewood, and Ylang Ylang: 50% dilution with vegetable oil.

Elderly: Any oil: 25% dilution with vegetable oil.

Oils recommended to avoid with particular individuals

Below is a list of what is generally recommended to avoid when using oils with particular individuals. I only included the most common essential oils. Just because it’s not listed below does not mean they are safe -- please use caution.

High blood pressure: AVOID Clove, Cypress, Hyssop, Juniper, Lavender, Spike, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sage, and Thyme.

Ragweed allergies: AVOID Chamomile or Yarrow.


This is the tricky part. As a Reiki practitioner or aromatherapist, you CANNOT diagnose or prescribe. Remember you are not a medical doctor. You may know how wonderful essential oils are and how much it will help your client, but you cannot prescribe essential oils for your client. (This applies to New York state in the U.S. -- I know that The Reiki Digest now has readers from over 40 different countries, please check your local laws.) You cannot use words like CURE.

What you can say is “Promotes good health,” “Makes you feel good,” “Mood elevating,” and/or “relaxing.” What you can also do is share your experience or quote an essential oils book.


My recommendation is to start by doing some more research. Then start practicing using essential oils with yourself, your friends and family until you feel comfortable offering it to your client.

1. Check with your friend/family/client about their sensitivity and allergies. If they don’t have any, proceed to step 2.

2. Place your hands on your client's head and do a Reiki scan and intuitive guidance to see what oil may be good for the session. If you are Reiki 2 or a Reiki Master, you can use the 3rd symbol to help connect to your client.

3. Once you have an oil chosen, let your client sniff the bottle to see if they like it. Then put a drop of oil in your hand and rub your hands together to activate the oil.* Then start the Reiki session as usual.

4. After the session make a note of your experience and your client's comments.

* After you practice a few times, you can start to offer the oils to your friends/family/clients on their hands, crown or wrists on step 3.

Enjoy! I hope this will help you to explore the wonderful world of aromatherapy.

Information gathered from:
Essential Oils Desk Reference (3rd Edition)
Foundation Level Training for Aromatherapy Industry by Katharine Graf

Thanks again, Michelle!

Now I'd like you all to turn your attention to your hara center, also known as your tanden. For those who don't recognize either term, it's an energy center about 2 inches below your navel. Breathe, relax, and feel the energy. While you're doing that, tune in to this week's podcast of The Reiki Show, featuring Tendai priest Jiryo Sensei, in a third-eye-opening discussion of form, formlessness, the use of kotodama (words carrying spirit), universal sound, and more with host Frans Stiene.

When you're finished listening (and meditating), we'll move on to this week's Celeb-Reiki: Prince Charles. While we still haven't found any direct, documented, published connection between His Royal Highness and Reiki per se, the heir to the British throne has long been an advocate of alternative and complementary medicine. This week, he made headlines by suggesting that McDonalds should be banned. The Prince of Wales made his much-quoted remark while visiting the United Arab Emirates, which has the world's second-highest diabetes rate.

Reiki Roundup

First stop, Battle Creek, Michigan, where Reiki Practitioner Peggy Bragdon got a nice writeup about her career change from shoe repair to natural healing.

Our second stop is also in Michigan, home of William Lee Rand and his Reiki News magazine. The monthly online edition for February is now available for perusal.

Next, Stockholm, Sweden, where 3 to 5 lucky people can get free Reiki sessions. If you're not in Sweden and you still want free Reiki, do a Google search on the words "free" and "Reiki" and the name of your city. Hundreds of practitioners offer free or inexpensive demonstration sessions, so you might find one in your area.

Finally, back into the blogosphere, where ReikiBlogger has a somewhat appalling, somewhat entertaining post about what NOT to do when practicing Reiki.


Shinpiden master class update: There is still one space remaining in the New York City Shinpiden workshop with Frans Stiene of the International House of Reiki, April 14-16. Click here for more information, or contact:

As you know, The Reiki Digest is a free, advertising-supported publication. This week, we welcome two new advertisers: Spirituality and Health Magazine, and Gaiam (one of my favorite places to shop!). You'll find their ads in the left-hand column, right under the ad for Dancing Light Candles. We also have a special video preview of the much-talked-about movie, The Secret, at the bottom of the page, thanks to Gaiam.

Wondering what happened to the printable PDF edition of The Reiki Digest? Don't worry, it's coming back soon, as a monthly publication.

Interested in writing for The Reiki Digest? Send your pitch to:

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Special Video Bonus: The Secret

Scroll down to the bottom of the page to watch a free preview of the much-talked-about new movie, The Secret. And feel free to click on the "share" button to send the video to anyone you want, including yourself. If you'd like to see more, just click on the link to buy the DVD.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Reiki Digest for February 21, 2007: Enhancing Reiki with Aromatherapy

This week's edition includes:

* Guest writer Michelle Shinagawa on Enhancing Reiki with Aromatherapy

* An Oprah update: Now that Reiki has been mentioned on The Oprah Winfrey Show, some readers are suggesting a letter-writing campaign to urge her to devote a whole program to Reiki. What do you think?

* Our Reiki Roundup and more -- so let's get started.

Michelle Shinagawa is a Reiki Master, Certified Aromatherapist, and founder and owner of Purple Fish Healing in New York City. She was one of the presenters at the recent Reiki Symposium at the New York Open Center, and we asked her to share some of her presentation with our readers. This is the first of a two-part series.

Reiki Master Michelle Shinagawa works with a client.

Enhancing Reiki with Aromatherapy

By Michelle Shinagawa

I am happy to share with the readers of The Reiki Digest some of the information from my workshop “Enhancing Your Reiki Sessions with Aromatherapy.” I know many readers from around the world could not make it to the Reiki Symposium here in New York City. I won’t be able to recreate much of the in depth material on specific oils I presented in the workshop, or include the aromatherapy partner exercise that we did in the classroom. However, I have included an easy step-by-step exercise at the end of the article next week so you can start using essential oils in your Reiki sessions.

How did I start using aromatherapy in my Reiki sessions?

I actually came across essential oils before I started Reiki. I saw my friend using essential oils on her dog and it caught my attention. I started to do some research and eventually used essential oils on myself. As I started to study essential oils, aromatherapy became an integral part of my life. Now my medicine cabinet contains mostly essential oils. When I have a headache, I use peppermint. When I have a rash or burn, I use lavender. When I am congested, I use eucalyptus. Since I had such a positive experience using essential oils for myself, friends and family, I put it to use on my clients during Reiki sessions. I use essential oils in my Reiki sessions 90% of the time. I find the two work really well together. For example, I found that essential oils help put clients in a more receptive state before the Reiki session. When they walk into my office from the busy New York City street, a drop or two of essential oils help calm down my clients instantaneously, whereas Reiki alone could have taken a few minutes longer to get to that place. Essential oils work very quickly. If a client has a sinus problem, eucalyptus can help clear out the nose before they get on the table. At this point the Reiki can work its magic and get to the core of the problem.

What are essential oils?

Essential oils are aromatic liquids that are extracted from shrubs, flowers, trees, roots, bushes, rind and seeds. Just like the blood in our bodies, the oil or resin carries nutrients throughout the plant and protects against infections and other diseases.

How it works

Essential oils promote healing, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. When the oil’s aroma enter the nose, it goes into the blood stream and every part of the body. Chemical interaction can occur between the oils and our bodies. For example, when I accidentally burned my hand while cooking, lavender oil helped reduce the pain and inflammation. At the same time it calmed my mind, so it helped ease my body and my mind from the trauma of the burn. Our bodies can become sedated, stimulated or relaxed by the action of certain oils. Pain could be reduced; cuts and scrapes could heal quicker; and inflammations and spasms could be reduced. For the most part essential oils will always affect more than one system so many times I find there are beneficial bonuses that are unplanned.

Some more benefits of essential oils

* Many of the essential oils have a high frequency vibration and help to bring our frequency up.
* Many essential oils have a high antioxidant rating.
* Many essential oils help relaxation and more restful sleep.
* Many essential oils help relieve physical discomfort and pain.
* Many essential oils are known to improve immunity to ailments such as cold and flue.
* Many of the essential oils help emotional traumas by accessing the amygdala (the part of the brain that retains memories from emotional trauma) through the olfactory nerves.
* Science has confirmed that many individual essential oils are anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic.

The different methods of applying essential oils during Reiki sessions

There are many different ways you can use essential oils in your Reiki session. I use them very gently as a supplement to the Reiki session. It’s very important that you stay within your scope as a Reiki practitioner. In the state of New York and many other states in the U.S., for example, unless you are licensed massage therapist you are not allowed to rub oils or massage the client with essential oils.

1. Diffuser: I normally diffuse essential oils in the foyer area only, so that each client can pick their oil and not be forced to be in a room filled with essential oils diffused by the previous client. (A cold press diffuser is highly recommended.)
2. Spray Mist: Place a few drops of the essential oil of your choice in a spray bottle filled with distilled water. Shake and spray in the room and/or mist the client’s head.
3. Paper towel/tissue: Put a drop of the essential oil of your choice on a paper towel/tissue and place the tissue on a pillow when client is lying face up or on a face cradle when facing down.
4. Your Hand: Put a drop of essential oil on your hands before the session. (Please avoid sharp oils like peppermint, basil, or oregano, etc., if you are going to place your hands on the client’s face.)
5. On client’s hands, wrist or crown: Place a drop of essential oils on the client’s hand, wrist or crown before the session.

(To be continued next week)

Thanks, Michelle. I look forward to the next installment.

Let's move on to our Celeb-Reiki feature, which begins with a couple of updates. First update: last week's Celeb-Reiki, Oprah Winfrey. Now that Reiki has gotten a brief mention on her influential program (thank you, Dr. Mehmet Oz!), several readers have written to suggest that Reiki practitioners begin a letter- and e-mail-writing campaign to urge Oprah to devote an entire show to Reiki. Fortunately her web site has an easy-to-use form for e-mailing Oprah and another easy-to-use form for contacting the show's producers. Meanwhile, we've got hundreds if not thousands of Reiki practitioners standing by to give Oprah a session.

Let's just visualize it for a moment, shall we? ~~~~~~~~~

On today's Oprah Winfrey show, everybody gets a Reiki session! We have a half-dozen or so Reiki practitioners continuously giving chair sessions to the studio audience off to one side, while Oprah, Dr. Oz, and a few other expert-types talk about the value of Reiki. Off to the other side, one lucky person, maybe somebody on the production staff, is getting a Reiki table session right there on TV. The audience members who've received Reiki talk about their experience, if they're so inclined. At the show's conclusion, the happy table client sits up, smiles, and tells us how she feels. Then Oprah herself, having received a Reiki session off the air, talks about her experience. Attention, Oprah producers: this would actually be more visually interesting than those teeny-tiny needles in Oprah's hand and foot on the acupuncture show -- and not nearly as anxiety-producing for Oprah herself. Hold that thought, dear readers, and don't forget to use that handy form. Let's see if we can co-create, manifest, and otherwise bring about this thing!

Let's move on to an update on another prior Celeb-Reiki, U.S. Sen. Tim Johnson (D-South Dakota), who suffered a brain hemorrhage last December and is still recovering from that and the surgery to repair the damage. While he was unable to speak for himself, someone requested distance Reiki for him, which is how he became a Celeb-Reiki. Johnson began working from his hospital bed a few weeks ago and even co-sponsored a bill. This week he left the hospital and moved to a private rehabilitation facility. We wish him a full and swift recovery.

Our last Celeb-Reiki this week is the former sponsor of this feature, Claire Schwartz of Miriam's Well Healing, who is this week's guest on The Reiki Show podcast from the International House of Reiki. The topic: Reiki on Broadway (On Broad-way...) and in the performing arts in general.

On to the Reiki Roundup.

First, we welcome new readers in Honduras and Austria. The Reiki Digest now reaches 46 of the world's 193 countries. At least one of our Spanish-speaking readers is considering translating The Reiki Digest, or parts of it, so if you'd be interested in that, please let us know: -- or make a comment on this post.

And we take note of the echo chamber (echo chamber, echo chamber) of the blogosphere, where Reikiblogger has reprinted our recent Ask the Masters feature on attunements. We publish under a Creative Commons "some rights reserved" license, which permits reuse of anything on The Reiki Digest provided you credit us and don't revise the material. Thanks, Reikiblogger, for making use of that privilege.

Out of the blogosphere and into the real world -- first stop: Charlottesville, Virginia, where WCAV-TV has a brief item about Reiki on its web site, presumably based on a TV report. The web version of the report ends somewhat abruptly with an interesting statement that isn't really about Reiki, per se: "There are hundreds of stones that have different affects(sic) on the body."

We move on to the English town of Wigan, where the word about Reiki is spread at the hairdresser's.

Shinpiden master class update: We've had a cancellation, so there is now one space remaining in the New York City Shinpiden workshop with Frans Stiene of the International House of Reiki, April 14-16. Click here for more information, or contact:

Rest in Peace

Reiki Practitioner Richard Curnock, 84, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Reiki Practitioner Donald Norbert Schram, 74, Sheboygan, Wisconsin

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Reiki Digest for February 14, 2007: O! Reiki on the Radar!


Last week, when we explored the power of focused attention, there was one effective means of focusing the attention of millions that we neglected to mention. She appeared in one of this year's Super Bowl commercials, sitting in David Letterman's lap. This week, she turned her attention to so-called alternative medicine, and that's how Reiki showed up as a tiny blip on the screen of Oprah's radar. Whether you prefer champagne or sparkling cider, it's time to break out the bubbly, because Oprah Winfrey is one of the world's most powerful lenses for focusing people's attention. It's time to celebrate!

Every author, every publicist, anybody with a cause or a product to sell dreams of being noticed by Oprah, because when she takes notice, millions of her viewers, readers, and listeners also take notice.

So when a fellow Reiki Master let me know yesterday that she'd heard Dr. Mehmet Oz mention Reiki on Oprah's show, I scheduled my television box to record the rerun of the program at 1 o'clock this morning. It's a good thing I did, because if I hadn't been able to rewind and play through the segment several times, I might have missed it entirely.

I knew Dr. Oz was aware of Reiki because months ago, a new subscriber told me that Dr. Oz had mentioned The Reiki Digest on his satellite radio program. But I didn't expect the resounding endorsement he gave to energy medicine yesterday. Here's an excerpt from Oprah's web site:

"...It's not just about acupuncture," Dr. Oz says. "The reason I'm so excited and passionate about alternative medicine is … [because it is] the globalization of medicine."

Alternative medicines, Dr. Oz says, deal with the body's energy—something that traditional Western medicine generally does not. "We're beginning now to understand things that we know in our hearts are true but we could never measure," he says. "As we get better at understanding how little we know about the body, we begin to realize that the next big frontier … in medicine is energy medicine.

And here's my own transcript:

[Oprah bravely allows an acupuncturist to put needles in her hand and foot, but has to break for a commercial before getting a full treatment. After the break, she and Dr. Oz talk about acupuncture and more.]

Oz: ...But let's broaden the discussion, because it's not just about acupuncture. The reason I'm so excited and passionate about alternative medicine is because, you know, Oprah, this show is watched all over the world.

Oprah: Yes.

Oz: We have questions today from other continents.

Oprah: Yes.

Oz: So we have global media. We have global banking: you can go put your bank card in a bank machine anywhere in the world and get cash back in their currency.

Oprah: So why shouldn't there be global medicine?

Oz: Bingo!

Oprah: Bingo!

Oz: And alternative medicine is the globalization of medicine.

Oprah: Are you saying that medical science is more open to alternatives?

Oz: Ironically, it's more open because we're beginning to catch up. Let's take energy as an example.

Oprah: Energy.

Oz: Acupuncture at its very foundation is tapping into meridians of energy we can't actually see. When I look at you out there, I actually see beams of light. That's what we're all about. It's what defines life, is energy. A cell is defined as being alive if the membrane around it separates the energy on the inside from the energy on the outside. You put those cells together, into an organ, the heart, the heart has to have energy. Those organs in the body have to give up energy. So at the end of the day, Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, and prayer, all deal with energy.

Oprah: I was going to ask you about prayer. This is amazing, because I've been doing this show a long time, and I would say 10 years ago, I couldn't have gotten a doctor in America to say what you just said.

Oz: As we get better at understanding how little we know about the body, we begin to realize that the next big frontier is energy medicine.

Oprah: Because we're all energy. Isn't that exciting? I think that's exciting. Very exciting.

From your lips to the world's ears, Oprah. And Oprah, if you'd ever like a Reiki session, on or off the air, we've got hundreds of Reiki practitioners standing by.

Meanwhile, we'll do our part by naming Oprah Winfrey this week's Celeb-Reiki.

Speaking of globalization, please welcome our new readers in the Czech Republic, Oman, and Guatemala. The Reiki Digest now reaches 44 countries.

The focus of this week's edition is not attention, however, but intention. Reiki Master Jean Bromage covered that subject in her Reiki Symposium presentation on candles last month. For those who weren't able to attend, we asked Jean to write about it. Here is her article:

Reiki, Candles, and Intention

By Jean Bromage

The Candle Workshop at the Reiki Symposium generated some interesting discussions and was received with much enthusiasm. First we talked about how candles help to draw in a great sense of spirit, which is one of the reasons they have a long history of being used in different spiritual and religious practices. We also discussed how they are used to support us in our day-to-day lives whether it’s for a celebratory gathering or some relaxation time at home. We then went on to discuss how one of the things that makes candles so unique when used in our Reiki and meditation practices is the fact that candles transform themselves from the tangible earth plane to the spiritual ether plane as they burn. The tradition of making a wish before blowing out the candles on a birthday cake is an example of how our requests to the spirit world can be transported through candles. So when we channel Reiki into a candle with a clear intention, we are creating a highly charged focus and a great sense of empowerment as we experience the candle’s transformation into the spirit plane.

We then went on to talk about how the shape, color and scent of a candle can also help support and bring clarity to the intention we are setting for our candle. For example, if you are asking spirit to help bring energy to a situation in your life that has stagnated, then a bright colored red, orange or yellow candle with an uplifting citrus or energizing herbal scent might be what you’d choose for the candle you want to burn during your meditation or Reiki session. If you’re asking for the energy to help ground or stabilize a situation, then perhaps a square shaped candle would be a good choice, but if your intention is to move the flow of energy, then something rounded would be more appropriate. It was also noted that if you use a scented candle for a Reiki session with a client, make sure you have their permission first. Some people have allergies or reactions to certain scents.

Of all the candle elements we discussed during the workshop, color was the topic we talked about the most. Everyone has different experiences with color as well as different traditional uses in their culture. For example, red can be energizing for one person but cause an angry reaction for someone else. I told the story of the gigantic, bright orange butterfly who visited my candle display at the flea market last summer and how that 5 minute visit transformed the energy of the day not just for me, but for everyone who had experienced her joyful presence. The vibration of smooth flowing abundance came over the market and I smiled to myself as I witnessed this because orange has always been a color that for me personally resonates both joy and abundance. We concluded our color discussion by asking ourselves when we gravitate to a specific color, is it because it resonates a quality or resource that is already accessible to us? Or is it because there is something in our life that needs support from the vibration of that color? Experiencing color in our day-to-day lives is a real gift from Mother Nature, especially when we are aware of its presence and how it influences us.

After a meditation that used the candle as a metaphor for our own inner wisdom, beauty, and strength, the workshop concluded with an intention setting exercise. Everyone chose a candle from a variety of colors, scents and shapes. Then we each wrote down on a slip of paper a personal intention. As a group, we took a moment to call in the Reiki energy. We then sandwiched the intention slip and candle between our hands and asked the Reiki energy to support the intention on the slip of paper. Those who had studied Reiki II and above used the sandwich technique, silently calling in the Reiki symbols, and those trained in Reiki I simply focused on sending the Reiki to their intention. As we prepared for this exercise, the discussion of intention setting got very interesting. We talked about the importance of asking for what we want instead of what we don’t want. Also, the question of asking for something that is beyond our control came up. The consensus in the end was that the desired outcomes of many situations in life aren’t completely in our hands and Reiki can be a huge help for supporting those situations as long as we don’t become overly attached to the outcome. Our desires evolve as we travel along our spiritual journey, and remaining open and receptive to how the universe responds to our requests is an important tool for our own personal growth. The other conversation that came up with the intention setting exercise was the question of asking for materialistic things. This is an issue that comes up for many of us who are on a spiritual journey. One really great point made was to ask how are the materialistic things we seek going to support and/or be an outward expression of our personal life’s journey and co-creation process? We took our time as we channeled the Reiki into our candles and as the exercise progressed, I asked everyone to also focus on how their intention looks and feels to them. If it’s a goal, how does it feel to already have it accomplished? If it’s a challenge, how does the transformation of that challenge look and feel? In taking our time to let our intentions be experienced as feelings as well as thoughts, we are actually helping to move along the co-creation process.

One last thing I want to share about the intention setting exercise is that this is something that can also be done when giving someone a candle as a gift, as long as you know the intention being set is something that the receiver wants. An example is when a friend mine was having trouble with a noisy neighbor. I gave her a candle I had made and infused with Reiki and told her that I asked for the Reiki to help bring peace and quiet into her home. You can also channel Reiki into candles being used in a specific event, such as a celebration. For example, if there is someone special you are spending a candlelight dinner with on Valentine’s Day, why not channel a little bit of Reiki into the candles, asking for the loving energy of the universe to bless your evening together?

Thanks, Jean.

With that pleasant image in mind, we'll bring this week's edition to a conclusion. The Reiki Roundup will be back next week, along with another report from the Reiki Symposium.

Our final item is a two-for-one, since we left out the usual link to The Reiki Show podcast last week.

Last week's Reiki Show was about Reiki and recovering from brain injury, and this week's is about connecting with the Reiki kanji through calligraphy.

And remember, The Reiki Digest now comes in a printable, portable PDF edition. Click here to download this week's issue.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Reiki Digest for February 7, 2007: Attention

This edition of The Reiki Digest comes to you from 24,000 feet above the earth, somewhere over Pennsylvania. I'm on my way from frigid New Jersey to snow-covered Ohio, traveling to the funeral of my cousin Linda, who died last Sunday at age 58 after a long battle with cancer. If you are among the many who sent Reiki her way in response to her requests, thank you and please keep it coming, for her family and her spirit.

At the moment she passed, I was in a classroom learning a new healing modality: hypnosis. Our teacher, also a Reiki Master, explained that Reiki and hypnosis bear a family resemblance to each other because both are methods of focusing the attention.

A few hours later, I got another lesson in focused attention, as much of the United States turned its attention to the annual ritual of the Super Bowl. Not only did millions of television viewers focus their attention on the game, but the players focused their attention even moreso.

In hypnosis class, we watched a video in which a woman had surgery on her legs with no anesthetic but hypnosis. Doctors cut a rectangle about the size of an iPod in her calf, then reached in with their tools to repair damaged veins, and all the while the patient chatted cheerfully with the surgical team.

In the Super Bowl, the rain was pouring down, but the players gave it little attention, even as it soaked them to the skin and left both field and football more than a little slippery. At half time, the performers ignored the rain as well -- although Prince (and the illuminated marching band) did acknowledge it with a topical rendition of Purple Rain.

Meanwhile, advertisers paid top dollar to try to catch some of the attention focused on the annual altercation, each trying to outdo the other with the most innovative, entertaining commercials.

For the convenience of viewers whose attention may have wandered, or for those who gave the big game no attention at all, this year's crop of Super Bowl commercials are available online on demand. How thoughtful!

The focus of this publication's attention, of course, is Reiki. When we give Reiki, whether to others or ourselves, we focus our attention on the recipient, in an unfocused kind of way. We go into a meditative -- you might even call it hypnotic -- state, concentrating on the ritual of our practice and the Reiki energy itself, rather than the client's specific aches, pains, or personal issues. We let the energy, and our intuition, guide us as we work.

Reiki energy aside -- and that's a big aside -- the simple act of one person focusing fully on another is a rare treat in today's multi-tasking world.

"All he could pay was attention," goes the line from an old country song about a man whose pockets were empty. But as any Super Bowl advertiser can tell you, attention is one of the world's most valuable commodities. Here's hoping we spend ours mindfully, without letting it get scattered all over the place. And thank you for the attention you give The Reiki Digest.

Now let's turn our attention to this week's Reiki Roundup, starting with this week's Celeb-Reiki feature. Our first is a double feature: Celeb-Reiki renowned complementary and alternative medicine expert Dr. Andrew Weil features on his web site one of the best-known names in American Reiki, Pamela Miles, author of Reiki: A Comprehensive Guide.

Our next stop on the Reiki Roundup is Oregon, where the Mail Tribune has an article about Reiki Master Alissa Lukara and her new book, Riding Grace.

We move on to Columbia, Missouri, where the Tribune features an article headlined "Teaching the Right Touch." The article almost, but not quite, lumps Reiki into the same category as massage.

And we stay in Missouri for our next item, an article in the St. Louis Review, the weekly newsletter of the Catholic Archdiocese of St. Louis. Unfortunately this one includes Reiki in an inappropriate category: "occult activities." It also says the same about hypnotherapy, a respected medical practice, so Reiki is not alone in being mislabeled. This same article tells us about a person on a hunt for UFOs who hears voices and has visions, but it doesn't call that "occult." It's too bad the St. Louis Archdiocese isn't aware of the many Catholics, some of them nuns, who practice Reiki with the blessing of their church. Again, in case you missed it the other gazillion times, Reiki is not a religion. Neither practitioner nor client need believe anything in order for Reiki to work.

Finally, if you don't want to see the once-secret Reiki symbols on a set of stones, don't read this item at

There'll be a slight delay in the publishing of the printable edition of this week's Digest. Look for it here on Friday.