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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

What's your story?

A couple of weeks ago, Phillip Racette told us his Reiki Story. Every Reiki practitioner, not to mention Reiki recipient, has a Reiki Story. Would you like to tell us yours? Just email it to

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Weekly Waka


As the waning moon
Is hidden by passing clouds,
So can one’s spirit
Be covered in tiny doubts
That conceal the light within.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Carnival of Healing #135

Welcome, one and all to Carnival of Healing #135. For those just joining us, the Carnival of Healing is a weekly roundup of blogs across the Internet featuring information about healing, healthy living, self empowerment, and spirituality. The Carnival travels continuously through cyberspace, each week setting up on a different host site. The Reiki Digest is privileged to be this week's host. If you're interested in Reiki, we invite you to subscribe free to the world's only weekly publication about Reiki, delivered each week to your inbox.

Last week's Carnival of Healing was hosted by Mind Mart, and next week's host will be A-ha! TV.

It may be too soon to call it a Carnival of Healing tradition, but we're going to use the same structure that worked so well for Mind Mart last week, dividing the posts featured into three categories: Body, Mind, and Spirit. Of course, we can't really separate them, but for Carnival purposes we can:


Every carnival needs music, and at Brain Blogger, Lindsey Kay, M.D., tells us that Stroke Recovery Improves with Music: "Stroke victims who listened to music for 1 to 2 hours daily showed significant improvement in certain mental functions than those that did not." For anyone interested in the brain (and who isn't?) that is a great site.

If you're one of the many who prefers the natural approach to looking your best, you might want to check out Give it a Try - Skincare from the Kitchen Cupboard at Allie's Answers. Yes, my friends, there is yet another handy use for baking soda!

And Organic Makup and Skin Care takes on the same issue in The Healing Life Force of Natural Ingredients.

Stone Mountain Shiatsu in the U.K. offers a roundup post on shiatsu in the media -- reminds us of what we do here weekly at The Reiki Digest.

All About Your Body and Spirit focuses more on the body this week with What is Protein, And Why Do You Need It?

Alex Bo's post is definitely in the body category: Fix Crooked Teeth with Dental Braces.

You might not expect an e-publishing blog to address the subject of germs, but hey, e-publishers get sick, too. The post at OLIN e-Book e-Publishing is titled Big Picture Progressive Exposure The author confesses to being a germ-o-phobe, but there's some mind and spirit in there, too.

The next submission may be just in time: 10 Ways to Boost Your Immunity from

Carnival of Healing founder and organizer Phylameana Iila Desy's contribution isn't just about the body, but it's got the word in its title so we'll put it here even though it addresses all three categories: Eckhart Tolle and the Nightly Body Scan.

buddy don's contributions, one prose, one poetry, are also impossible to categorize, but since he writes about a visit to the neurologist and is in physical pain, we'll include it in the Body section. Oh, and here's the poem inspired by the same experience. Get well soon, buddy don!

And speaking of visits to the doctor, Christina Laun at gives us 25 Tips to Help Protect Yourself from Medical Errors.


Our first item in the Mind category is from Jessica Jones in Montana, USA, who contributes My Struggle With Living Purposefully from her blog Practical Nourishment. She's been wrestling with her own mind lately, and I believe she'll prevail.

Party time! Or not. Australian motivational speaker Craig Harper offers us The Pity Party: Slow-Dancing with Misery.

Alex Blackwell at The Next 45 Years offers a list that won't take quite that long in 24 Weekly Actions for Creating Lasting Success.

Life Coach David B. Bohl at Slow Down Fast has a list that just a bit longer in his post, "Are You Happy? If Not, Here are 25 Ways to Get There."

Frederick Premji at Blog Motivation keeps it short with 7 Questions to Finding Your True Passion.


Brandon at FitBuff knows that fitness isn't just physical, as he shows with his spirit-minded collection of Friday Fitness Quotes.

At Cool Cat Care Stuff, guest poster Eri Hariono writes about Reiki for Cats. Unfortunately there's some common misinformation in the background info about Reiki: Usui wasn't a doctor, but many practitioners don't know that because that's what they were taught. It's a nice piece just the same.

Healing Through Words is definitely in the Spirit category, addressing the question, "Who is Love?"

Would you like to hear the Inner Sound of your Soul? Swami Pyjami tells us how.

Thanks to all our contributors. Now that we've divided them up, let's reunite the body, mind, and spirit, and wrap up this edition. See you next time!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Sakura studies

The more I study and practice Reiki, the more fascinating I find the culture from which it came. In recent years I've become a fan of classic samurai movies and the television show Ninja Warrior (Sasuke), books about Japanese history, and of course waka poetry. I aspire to study tea ceremony and flower arranging, not to mention learn more than a few words of Japanese, and naturally when time and resources permit I plan to visit Reiki's birthplace. Two years in a row now, I've heard from fellow practitioners who made the trip to Kyoto and then up Mt. Kurama just in time to catch the cherry trees blossoming, and I confess I am envious.

Cherry blossom viewing is one of the most enjoyable ways to explore Japanese culture, and it can be done outside Japan as well. Like the system of Reiki, cherry trees (sakura), are native to Japan. The cherry blossoms are not only breathtakingly beautiful but a living lesson in the Reiki precepts: they are with us almost literally "for today only," emerging as the first blush of spring and then drifting down to earth in the blink of an eye as green leaves take their place on the branches. In Japan, cherry blossom season, or hanami, is a time to pause and celebrate life, because the blossoms' brief but spectacular appearance each spring reminds us that our own lives, however magnificent, are also fleeting. Cherry-blossom viewing has been a tradition there for thousands of years.

Here in the New York City area, the cherry trees are in peak bloom right now. Since I couldn't make it to Japan, I went instead by subway last weekend to my favorite cherry-viewing venue, the Japanese hill and pond in the world-renowned Brooklyn Botanic Garden. The winding paths around the pond and over the hill were as crowded with gawkers as Times Square. Jam-packed as it was, the garden still seemed a world apart from the anger and worry Mikao Usui warned us to avoid in the precepts, and people were generally thoughtful and polite, so nobody needed to remind us to "be compassionate to yourself and others." Wandering among the flowering trees, and being reminded of the ephemeral nature of life, is humbling, and it inspires gratitude for the many blessings we have.

My visit to the garden was just for a few hours, but I see cherry trees blossoming elsewhere: along a chain-link fence by a gravel-covered lot under development, poking through scaffolding over the sidewalk, even on the piers jutting out into the Hudson River. I've learned that even if a tree is one around the corner that I walk past almost every day, the flowers I see exploding today will likely be littering the ground before I pass that way again.

Ornamental cherry trees bear no edible fruit: the blossoms are fruit enough. That fact reminds me, every time I give a client Reiki, that it is not my job to diagnose or prescribe or even decide how and where the energy will flow or what purpose it will serve. I simply stand, rooted to the earth, reaching to the heavens, and let the energy blossom.

(For a more succinct, and beautifully illustrated, take on cherry blossoms, scroll down or click here.)

Last call for contributions to the Carnival of Healing

The Carnival of Healing will be hosted by The Reiki Digest once again on Saturday, April 26, 2008. If you've got a healing-related blog or web site and you've recently posted something you'd like to share with like-minded readers, click here to submit it to the Carnival. Email subscribers of The Reiki Digest will receive this Saturday's Carnival as part of next week's regular edition. Since this publication is about Reiki, we'd love to see the subject well-represented in the Carnival, so we're especially interested in posts about Reiki.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

What is Reiki? Here's an answer from a registered nurse and Reiki teacher

Lilia V. Marquez, Registered Nurse and Reiki Master/Teacher, is the personification of integrative medicine: she provides critical care to patients at one of New York City's busiest hospitals, and she incorporates Reiki into her work and her life. Here's her contribution to our ongoing "What is Reiki? discussion:

Reiki is Spiritually Guided energy. Reiki is a combination of two Japanese characters (kanji) that together mean universal life force energy. Reiki is the name of the energy that is used with the System of Reiki.

Rei: Spiritually Guided, God's Love or Light, sacred. Rei guides the ki, the second Japanese character in the word Reiki and stands for life energy. The energy that is used to give life to God's creation.

Reiki is a healing technique that utilizes deep relaxation to reduce stress, relax the body, and ease the spirit.

Reiki can be combined with other healing modalities.

Thanks, Lilia!

Let the discussion continue. . . .

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Weekly Waka

Each week at The Reiki Dojo in New York, we use a waka inspired by those of the Meiji Emperor of Japan to enhance our meditations, so we've decided to share them with you. We'll be publishing the Weekly Waka every Tuesday on our web site. Here's this week's waka, written by Michael Dagley, with an illustration:

Frail cherry blossoms
Reflect in still spring water,
Their blushes doubled,
Before, petal by petal,
They descend to the surface.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Can you go from beginner to Reiki Master/Teacher in a day for free without even leaving home?

A reader has written to ask my advice, and since it's a topic that comes up almost as often as those "free online Reiki training" Google ads, I'm posting the question and my reply here:

Hello, I am writing in regards to an internet site that I came across looking for reiki and would like your opinion on it. This site claims to give all attunements, from level one all the way through master/teacher level, in the span of a single day using distance reiki to do the attunements. If you could take a look at this site and get back to me I would be so grateful because I have not yet begun my reiki training or received any attunements yet, and if this is real, then I think that it would be a great asset to me and others that I will encounter throughout my life. (Name of site omitted to avoid giving them free publicity -- Editor)


Hello K.,

Thanks for your message. You bring up a couple of questions, which I’ll restate here to make sure I’m understanding you. You want to know:

1) Can a student go from complete beginner Master/Teacher in a single day?
2) Can a student become a Reiki practitioner through distance training, including distance attunements?

If all you want is a certificate saying you are a Reiki Master/Teacher, design one, print it, and sign it. If you want to learn Reiki and become a practitioner, at any level, find a teacher who can work with you in person. Reiki is an energetic practice, and a subtle one at that. It is traditionally taught experientially, in the physical presence of the teacher, especially at the basic levels. I’ve got nothing against distance learning, but some things don’t come across as well that way. Reiki is one of them. As for distance attunements: science itself tells us that at a certain level, there is no such thing as distance. That doesn’t mean your online teacher, whom you’ve never met, has the training and experience to work with Reiki at a distance. But even if your distance attunement were the equivalent of an in-person one, it would be out of context, so what would you have?

The distance issue aside, you don't go from beginner to Master/Teacher in a day, not with Reiki, not with anything. It takes practice, regular practice in real time. And it takes time to assimilate the energetic shifts that take place with Reiki: that’s true for experienced masters as well as beginners.

All the best,


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Reiki caught in UK crossfire

Congratulations to the publicists for the soon-to-be-published book Trick or Treatment? Alternative Medicine on Trial by Simon Singh and Edzard Ernst. They've employed one of the oldest tricks in marketing: attacking a celebrity in order to draw attention to something that otherwise would have drawn little notice. The old trick worked, as usual, and the book has already made headlines.

The celebrity under attack is Prince Charles, a vocal proponent of complementary and alternative medicine and founder of the Prince's Foundation for Integrated Health. In a letter to the Times of London, Singh and Ernst demand the recall of two documents recently produced by the Prince's Foundation, charging that they are inaccurate.

“The majority of alternative therapies appear to be clinically ineffective and many are downright dangerous," the Times quotes from the letter in an article by Science Editor Mark Henderson. And in a section labeled "Claims and Counters," the article addresses specific modalities, including Reiki:

Reiki: used for physical, mental and emotional conditions

There is no good evidence that Reiki is effective for any condition

Neither the book authors nor the Times' science editor cited any specific sources for that claim, but it appears the authors did not look at any of these articles or those available here or here or here or here or here or here.

Strangely, Dr. Singh, a particle physicist before he turned to science journalism, received a Ph.D. for his efforts to find something that wasn't proven to exist (the top quark), even though that subatomic particle wasn't discovered until after he earned the degree. Obviously he was more persistent in his search for that quark than in seeking "good evidence" about Reiki.

Singh and Ernst, along with Henderson (presumably quoting them), make similar charges about acupuncture, cranial therapy, homeopathy, reflexology, and shiatsu.

Let's go back to that quote from the authors' letter to the Times: ". . .appear to be clinically ineffective and many are downright dangerous. . ." That description could -- based on scientific studies -- describe certain controversial and lucrative prescription drugs to which scientists Singh and Ernst apparently have no objection.

The attack on the Prince of Wales and complementary and alternative healing are badly timed, not only for the book (which is not yet on sale) but for the United Kingdom's natural healing community, which is soon to be self-regulated under the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (scheduled to begin this month, but now said to begin "in summer").

But publicity is publicity, so that means Simon Singh and Edzard Ernst are this week's Celeb-Reikies. Prince Charles then becomes a re-Celeb-Reiki, since he's already received the distinction previously. And because there's so much interesting reading at the links in this post, it will also serve as this week's Reiki Roundup.


Ever had that cliched nightmare that you're back in school, there's an exam coming up, and you don't even know what the subject is or where the classroom is? Most of us aren't inclined to go back and redo studies we've already completed. But with Reiki, retraining can be a good thing.

I've already done two Reiki master programs myself, and I'm looking forward to another one in a couple of weeks. I've gone back and observed Level 1 and 2 Reiki classes, and as sponsor of one master class myself, I've had the privilege of attending that class not once, not twice, but three times so far. And there are graduates of that class clamoring for a chance to resit.

So I was delighted when I got a call the other day from a Level 2 Reiki practitioner inquiring about studying Level 1 in the lineage I teach. He's a teacher himself, of martial arts, and he explained that in his field, even those who've reached advanced levels in one lineage usually start at the beginning when they study others. He began naming the various arts in which he'd done just that, but I couldn't list them now.

As any good student does, he made me think. I'd never emphasized retraining, even though I appreciate it so much myself. From now on, I'll keep that in mind for students coming in at advanced levels.

I'd be interested in hearing from other Reiki teachers on the subject. Do you, as a teacher, continue to study the subject yourself with other teachers? Do you require, or offer, retraining for advanced students? Is it helpful, or a waste of time and money?

Hint: Don't be shy. If you contribute a comment on this subject, it can include a link to your own web site.

To speak up on this topic, add a comment to this post on our web site (just click on the word "comments" below the post), email it to, or phone it in by using our web call button.

Step right up! The Carnival is coming next week!

It's almost here: The Carnival of Healing, a weekly round-up of personal blog posts on the topics of holistic health, wellness, spirituality, and self empowerment, is returning to The Reiki Digest on April 26. Founded by Reiki practitioner and Holistic Healing Guide Phylameana Iila Desy, the Carnival is very popular and draws a lot of traffic, so if you've got a blog or other web site and you'd like to submit a healing-related post, we invite you to contribute and expand your readership. We'll be broadening our scope beyond the topic of Reiki for the carnival, but we'd like to include plenty of Reiki-related posts from our readers. To submit your post, just send it to and include the words "Carnival of Healing" in the subject line.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The best way to study Reiki

What’s the best way to learn Reiki?

That depends on your reason for studying, your schedule, your personal style and other factors.

For example, if all you want is a certificate, you don't even need to learn Reiki. Just design a certificate for yourself and print it out. Or you can spend a dollar or two to buy one online. Either way, your mission would be accomplished: you'd have a Reiki certificate with your name on it. We don't recommend that method, but we have to acknowledge it.

What about those online Reiki courses? Many subjects can be studied online, but in our opinion, Reiki just isn't one of them: you need a real live teacher (preferably one who really studied rather than just printing out a certificate) who can work with you personally. As an experiment, I signed up for one of those free online Reiki training courses myself a couple of years ago, in between master training programs. I got an email every day for a couple of weeks, in which the teacher wrote about Reiki in a very general way. Ever since, I've received emails from that teacher, trying to sell training that isn't free. Fortunately my spam filter catches most of them now.

How about a big class? Again, it depends on your goal and your personal style. If you're happy to sit in class with a dozen or more students for a weekend, you can go home with a certificate. The teacher may not recognize you on the street or remember your name, or even know whether you understood what was being taught. But there are some advantages to large classes: it's easier to keep up with text messages on your cellphone, or even doze off for a few minutes after lunch.

One-on-one: For me, as a teacher, as a student, this is the best possible way to learn. With personalized, individual training, the teacher can constantly assess whether the student is "getting" what is being taught, and the student can ask questions as they arise. Every student comes to Reiki training with a different background, a different style, and a different purpose for studying. Not all teachers offer this kind of personalized, individualized training, but at The Reiki Dojo, we're making one-on-one training a priority. Sign up when you want, study at your own pace, even in your own home if that's more convenient for you. There can be a downside to a class of one, since students need other students to practice hands-on Reiki, but we solve that problem by setting up practice sessions for two or more students at a time during the course of both Level 1 (Shoden) and Level 2 (Okuden) training. And of course, students can also attend regular meetings at The Reiki Dojo and gain experience working with a group of advanced masters.

Students who've already done Reiki training in other lineages are also eligible for one-on-one advanced training, customized to their needs, style, and goals.

One-on-one training at The Reiki Dojo is by appointment only. Click here for further information.

What is Reiki? One practitioner's quest for an answer

Reiki Master Scott K. contributes his thoughts to our ongoing conversation:

This may seem a little naive since I’ve only been at for little more than a year, but here it is.

The responses you received so far have been actually directed at answering three questions:

1. What is Reiki?
2. What is the system (practice) of Reiki?
3. What are the benefits that practitioners and clients receive from the
practice of Reiki?

Save the first question for last.

What is the system of Reiki? This will depend on lineage and hopefully it can be agreed upon by people within the same lineage.

What are the benefits that practitioners and clients receive from the practice of Reiki? This question has been thoughtfully answered and agreement can be made across lineages.

I think the most interesting question, and most difficult to answer is “What is Reiki?” or “What is spiritual energy?” Can we really give a definitive answer to this? Key words seem to “spiritual”, “light”, “energy” and “love”. Or are our limits of consciousness’ and language forcing us to use these familiar concepts and words. For me, the concept of what Reiki is has continually evolved since starting my Reiki Journey a little over a year ago. All I can say is “For today only” I think Reiki is ………... But to tell you the truth I don’t think I have a clue as to what the reality of Reiki really is. For that matter is there only one reality? Oh, yes oneness, one reality??....?? For me, this search for “What is Reiki” is one of the many aspects about the practice of Reiki that keeps me in it. I don’t expect to really know the answer any time soon but will keep looking. I know there is something to it from my personal experience with the system of Reiki, but what is Reiki?

Thanks, Scott.

If you'd like to tell us your answer to the question, "What is Reiki?" just add it as a comment to this post on our web site, email it to, phone it in by clicking here to use our web call button, or mail it to:

The Reiki Digest
P.O. Box 3146
Hoboken, NJ 07030

Let's keep the discussion going!

Reiki Roundup

This week's Reiki Roundup begins on CNN, where Reiki gets a mention in a feature headlined "10 fresh ways to boost your energy now."

In Albany, New York, doctor, blogger, and Reiki practitioner Beth Netter, M.D., discusses "The Incredible Healing Powers of Touch" in her blog for the Times-Union.

Next stop: Burlington, Ontario, Canada, where we find physician and Reiki practitioner Dr. Conrad Sichler. He's among the Canadian doctors donating all or part of a day's pay to help provide health care for the poor in Africa.

On to sunny California, where KSBY-TV in San Luis Obispo reports on a new cancer resource center that includes Reiki among the modalities it offers to help cancer patients. All the center's services are free, thanks to a $1 million grant from the William Randolph Hearst foundation.

Meanwhile, in Malaysia, Reiki training is also being offered free to cancer patients and their families, thanks to the National Cancer Society of Malaysia.

In Manchester, UK, we find business analyst-turned-healer Caroline Boulton, who provides massage and Reiki to stressed workers in the corporate world. How nice that the article doesn't confuse or combine the two modalities.

In Dursley, Gloucestershire, UK, doctors are offering free complementary therapies, including Reiki, to patients as part of a pilot scheme to find out whether those therapies can help patients for whom orthodox medical treatments have not worked.

And in Dothan, Alabama, USA, the local newspaper features a very nice photo of Reiki being demonstrated to illustrate an article headlined, "Alternative approaches used more and more with traditional medicine."

Celeb-Reiki of the week

Congratulations to this week's Celeb-Reiki, Dr. Mehmet Oz, who'll be graduating from frequent guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show to the host of his own Oprah-produced talk show on health. The news was no surprise, since the celebrity cardiac surgeon had already been proclaimed "America's doctor" by Oprah, who coincidentally recently purchased the Discovery Health Network and is in the process of transforming it into The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). Here's hoping that the new show, and new network, will give the doctor a chance to say more about Reiki, which he mentioned awhile back on the Oprah show. We'd like to suggest at least one guest appearance on the new show by Mrs. Oz, who is herself a Reiki Master.

Carnival time again!

Cue the calliope: The Carnival of Healing, a weekly round-up of personal blog posts on the topics of holistic health, wellness, spirituality, and self empowerment, is returning to The Reiki Digest on April 26. Founded by Reiki practitioner and Holistic Healing Guide Phylameana Iila Desy, the Carnival is very popular and draws a lot of traffic, so if you've got a blog or other web site and you'd like to submit a healing-related post, we invite you to contribute and expand your readership. We'll be broadening our scope beyond the topic of Reiki for the carnival, but we'd like to include plenty of Reiki-related posts from our readers. To submit your post, just send it to and include the words "Carnival of Healing" in the subject line.

Advertise in The Reiki Digest

As you may have noticed, we have some new ads there in the left-hand column of our web site and email edition, and we take this opportunity to thank our advertisers for helping keep The Reiki Digest free to our readers.

We've also discontinued the Google text ads that have been on our web site, which means we have room for more advertisers. Unfortunately no matter how hard we worked to filter them, the Google ads tended to include ads for services we don't endorse: online Reiki training, cyber-attunements, and Reiki-by-video.

We choose our display advertisers carefully, and we reserve the right to reject advertising that is inconsistent with our purpose. For rates and further information, contact Thanks!

Stop and smell the cleaning products

I'd like to introduce you to a friend I've never met. She keeps me company when I do my household chores. Her name is Thelma A. Meyer, and she's a real person with a home in Iowa and a camper in Arizona, both of which need cleaning from time to time. Before I discovered Mrs. Meyer's aromatherapeutic cleaning products, I used to dread cleaning because the artificial scents in most conventional cleaning products brought on such severe allergic symptoms that I felt like I was coming down with a cold whenever I used them.

Then I discovered Mrs. Meyer's products, all of which use natural essential oils instead of artificial scents. That was several years ago, and since then I've refused to use any other cleaning products in my home. Although Mrs. Meyer's is a big company and they don't usually deal with small sites such as The Reiki Digest, they've made an exception for us and agreed to become one of our sponsors. And although cleaning products aren't exactly related to Reiki, we've made an exception, too, and included them with our personal endorsement.

Mrs. Meyer's has changed the way I feel about what used to be an unpleasant chore. Now whether I'm doing laundry, washing dishes, cleaning the counters, mopping the floor, or scrubbing the bathroom, I actually enjoy the work thanks to the delicious smells of lavender, geranium, lemon verbena, basil, and more that are blended into Mrs. Meyer's cleaning products.

If you use aromatherapy with your Reiki practice, or if you'd just like to incorporate it into your cleaning practice, you might want to give Mrs. Meyer's earth-friendly, cruelty-free products a try. All purchases of Mrs. Meyer's products via this link, or the display ad there in the left-hand column, help keep The Reiki Digest free to our readers. Thanks, Mrs. Meyer!

(Mrs. Meyer's products are available only in the United States and Canada.)

Friday, April 04, 2008

Even more ways to share The Reiki Digest

Now there are even more ways to share The Reiki Digest:

You can link to our new Email Edition Archive Page, or any individual email listed there.

There's also an easy-to-use button in the left-hand column of our web site, just below the list of archives by month.

You can also use these handy buttons (also in the left-hand column on the web site, right above "Previous Posts") to share our posts, our RSS feed, or add The Reiki Digest to your personalized Yahoo! page:

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Please use those handy methods rather than copying material from The Reiki Digest onto your web site. Thanks!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Ki by another name

In Japan it's ki, in China it's chi or qi. Either way, it's universal life force energy. You're invited to join My Chi Qigong as we celebrate the 10th Anniversary of World T'ai Chi and Qigong Day April 26 (but hurry: spaces are going fast). And if you're not in the New York City area, there may be a World T'ai Chi and Qigong Day event near you. More than 60 countries and all 50 U.S. states are participating. Kudos and thanks to Bill and Angela Wong Douglas for all they have done to promote energy cultivation exercises worldwide.

Reiki Intensive Training starts Saturday, April 5

Breaking news: due to family emergencies, two students have had to drop out of this weekend's Reiki Level 1 - Shoden class at The Reiki Dojo, so that means there are two spaces available. The next Reiki Intensive Training at The Reiki Dojo won't be until July, so if you're interested in developing a disciplined daily Reiki practice from the start, this is the class for you. And if you'd rather just take Level 1 and see what happens, you can do that, too. Either way, you'll get intensive mentoring and support as you begin your Reiki journey. Click here for details.

What is Reiki? Here are some more answers

Our discussion continues: Several more readers have sent in their answers to the question we asked a few weeks ago: Reiki practitioners, what do you say when people ask you, "What is Reiki?"

From Kim Glover:

This is a little wordy.
Reiki is consciousness or the lifeforce received through light hand placements which activate the innate healing intelligence of the body; allowing one to experience a deep and peaceful rest.

From "The Mystic 1":

Reiki originated in Japan. It is a hands on (or laying on of hands) technique that promotes relaxation and healing.

My friend Reva Iden, Reiki Master and dental hygienist, of New York City (and The Reiki Dojo) was kind enough to allow me to share this excerpt from her information sheet for Reiki clients:

Reiki is. . . Japanese for Universal Life Force energy. It is both a
spiritual discipline and a natural, holistic healing modality. Reiki is a
powerful energy creating healthy balance and harmony within all levels of
existence. While powerful, it is also known to be a most loving and gentle
energy. It works through a soft, light touch that allows you to feel
relaxed and at peace. Although a spiritual discipline, Reiki is not a
religion nor does it require a belief system to work.

That description wasn't intended to be the two- or three-word answer we're looking for, but I wanted to included it to further our discussion.

We haven't closed our discussion on the proposed points of consensus, so if you've got one you'd like to add, one you'd like to delete, or something else to say on the matter, speak up by:

Comment: Just click on the word "comments" below this post


Phone: Click here to use our web call button to record your comments onto our 24/7 voicemail. The hard-working computers at Grand Central will call you so that you can talk directly to the recorder.

Snail: If you prefer, you can mail your comments the old-fashioned way to:

The Reiki Digest
P.O. Box 3146
Hoboken, NJ 07030

Reiki Roundup

This week's Reiki Roundup begins in Wilton, Connecticut, USA, where nurse Nancy Sokolowski is retiring after a 50-year career. The article about her in the Wilton Villager doesn't mention whether she is also a Reiki practitioner, but it does say she was co-founder of a decade-old breast health center where Reiki is among the modalities available free. That in itself is quite an accomplishment, and her memories of how nursing and medicine have changed over the past half-century are reason enough to recommend the article. Congratulations to Ms. Sokolowski on her life's work, and to the reporter for a nicely done feature.

Next stop: Columbus, Ohio, where Reiki is combined with a detox foot bath and electricity: yikes! Kids, don't try this at home: the electrical cord you see in the photos isn't an ordinary one. "The Reiki Center's Foot Detox Bath uses an electric charge placed in a salt-water bath to draw toxins out of the body's lymphatic system. Although it sounds like an accident waiting to happen, the electric current is completely harmless and merely ionizes the water," says the article in Columbus Alive.

Since everyplace in cyberspace is equidistant from every other place, let's hop on over to Goa, India, where a Reiki master identified only as "Riju" offers some good advice to working moms that's just as good for everyone else: "If I am on the highway driving from Goa to Bangalore during the night, all I can see is the next 20 feet. That’s all I need to see, because I know that as I move, the road will keep unfolding. Gradually, I will reach my destination, I don’t need to see the whole staircase to reach the top. . ."

On to Sunderland in the United Kingdom, where the Sunderland Echo has an article about an animal communicator who also practices animal Reiki. Almost simultaneously, we find an animal Reiki practitioner in Green Valley, Arizona also featured in the local newspaper.

My local newspaper, The New York Times, had a Week in Review article this past weekend that doesn't exactly mention Reiki, but is definitely of interest to Reiki practitioners, especially professionals: The Murky Politics of Mind-Body, about efforts to require equal coverage for mental health and physical health in the United States. Could that lead to insurance coverage for Reiki treatments? Maybe someday.

Let's move on to Centralia, Pennsylvania, USA, where The Chronicle tells us about Reiki and other palliative therapies for hospice patients in an article headlined Offering Comfort 'Touch is Love'.

On to Annapolis, Maryland, USA, where we discover a women-only retreat coming up in May that includes numerous amenities, including Reiki, mentioned as ". . . full body and reiki massage." (Reiki is not massage, but some massage therapists also do Reiki. Reiki is not dentistry, but some dentists and hygienists also do Reiki. And so on. . . .)

If you're not already a member. . .

. . .This might be a good time to join the International Association of Reiki Professionals, because this month's issue of The Reiki Times (available free to members, for a fee to nonmembers) is the best yet. The magazine is only one of the benefits of membership: the IARP, now in its 11th year, offers liability insurance to members in the USA, UK, and Canada, as well as many other resources. If you use Promo Code TRD63 when you join, you'll get $10 off, courtesy of The Reiki Digest. (Disclosure: this publication also receives a small fee for the referral, so we benefit along with our readers.)

This week's Celeb-Reiki

Congratulations to this week's Celeb-Reiki: Reiki practitioner Jennifer Brinn of San Francisco, featured in an article about online appointment booking services in The New York Times, along with a photo of herself actually practicing Reiki on a client. As soon as we finish publishing this week's edition of the Digest, we'll check into that booking service. Who would have thought that the way to get an authentic photo of a professional Reiki session into that venerable publication was through a story about something else?

Thank you for sharing

As The Reiki Digest approaches the completion of its second year, we suppose it's a sign of maturity that we have now received a complaint letter: our very first.

The complaint was in response not to anything we've published, but to our standard email request to those who've violated our generous publishing restrictions, asking them to please comply. As this site is about Reiki and the people who "borrow" from it are usually Reiki practitioners themselves, our request includes a reference to the precepts:

"In addition to the Creative Commons license, as you and I are both Reiki practitioners I would also remind you of the Reiki Precepts. One of them is "Be honest in your work." Posting someone else's work on your web site without attributing the source is not honest."

For those in the New York City area, I point out that we are both practicing in the same local market, and their use of my work to draw clients their way is unfair. And it's clearly a commercial use: beyond the limits of our Creative Commons license.

No need to quote the whole letter here. If you'd like to see it in its entirety, just email and we'll be glad to send you one.

The practitioner in question had copied sections of the Digest onto her web site, where they appeared to be her own words since there was no attribution.

So here's the letter:

Dear Ms. Dagley,

No need to quote the Reiki precepts quoted to me, I know them very well. I was not be “dishonest” or lacking honesty. I was merely sharing. Forgive me for sharing. To merely think that I am being dishonest speaks volumes of where you are at. “your Reiki classes and services (in direct competition with my own Reiki classes and services).” I am not in a competition with anyone and Reiki practitioners should not be “competing” against each other. There are enough people on this earth that competitions is not warranted or necessary. It’s a shame how COMPETITIVE Reiki has become here. Obviously many so called Reiki Masters have not learned or mastered putting EGO aside. I’m just a simple Reiki practitioner who loves Reiki so much I want to share it’s benefits and any positive news about Reiki with everyone. It’s a plain, simple and honest approach. Your material has been removed from my site.

I wish you enlightenment and healing.

I thank the reader for her comments and her good wishes, but it's clear we still have a misunderstanding. It's easy to share The Reiki Digest without violating our license, and now it's even easier. Here's how:

1) Link to The Reiki Digest and/or any post or article here, instead of copying it onto your own site. To link to an individual post, just right-click on the word "link" at the bottom of the post and copy the link.

2) Email any post to as many people as you like. Just click on the little picture of the envelope at the bottom of each post, or if you're an email subscriber, just forward it: there's a link encouraging you to do so at the bottom of every email edition. Just don't post the email edition on your web site.

3) Add our RSS feed to your news reader, and share that if you wish, just as we share a continuing stream of Reiki-related headlines with you in The Reiki Digest Live Feed on our web site.

4) We've just added another way to share: at the bottom of each post on our web site, there's a little button that says "Bookmark" with various icons next to it. Mouse over that button, or click on it, and you'll see that you can share any post via a dozen social networking/bookmarking sites such as MySpace, Facebook, Digg, and others.

5) If you need help doing any of the above, let us know and we'll try to help you through the process.

6) If the use you have in mind doesn't fall into any of the above categories, you can always ask, and we'll do our best to accommodate you. Honestly.