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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Reiki outreach: pictures worth a thousand words

Frequent contributor Pamir Kiciman is the first reader so far to tell us about how he promotes his Reiki practice. He offers a few words (see below), but the photos of his (and his students') work at a health fair at Barry University in Florida speak for themselves:

Pamir writes:

The health fair was put on by the Division of Nursing at Barry University. I arranged to have a display table and six chairs, as well as roominess to be able to conduct short form Reiki (I prefer to call it that, rather then 'chair' Reiki, because it is a form, a kata).

I had a boom box and appropriate music, a large sign, one-sheet Reiki information to take, my business cards, and a small altar.

We were extremely busy, Reiki'ng 125-150 people amongst only five of us. These types of Reiki shares always draw crowds. I had staggered the arrival of my practitioners, but next time I think I'll have everyone there from the beginning, and have more hands available.

We took breaks in turn, which I managed by how long each practitioner had been giving Reiki. We took a longer break at lunchtime and it was much needed.

Next time I'll have one person dedicated to managing to flow of receivers and directing people to open seats in the order in which they arrive. We were still able to keep an eye on this and as the day progressed a natural orderliness emerged.

The rest was sheer joy.

Thanks, Pamir! You've reminded me of a health fair I participated in a couple of years ago at a local university. We had so many people lined up that we worked nonstop the whole day, taking turns breaking for a quick lunch. And at the end of that day I felt fantastic from all that Reiki, and from seeing the smiles on the faces of the students and others who took a few moments to sit in our chairs.
In case other practitioners might be interested, Pamir also gives us some background on how he prepared his students for the event:
This is what I sent my student practitioners initially:

* Bring drinking water
* Bring a snack
* Wear comfortable clothing
* This is a Health Fair. Sharing Reiki conversation as well as hands-on is part of it. Keep it simple, focus on common human challenges, health issues, nothing too esoteric. Think of some results you've seen in yourself & people you've shared with. Prepare your Reiki stories.
* Go over short form or chair Reiki steps.
* When people sit, tell them to relax & receive. And just ask for one major complaint they may have. Then proceed.
* Be aware of demand for empty seats. If people are meditating too long after you're done, whisper them out of it.
* 15 mins at the most is enough for each person.
* At home practice the Reiki meditations a little more.
* Also contemplate the Reiki principles:
Just for today, do not anger.
Just for today, do not worry.
Be humble.
Be honest in your work.
Be compassionate to yourself and others.
* Practice hands-on-self.
* Arrive ready & poised.

We'd love to hear from other professional practitioners about how how you reach out to your community with Reiki. You can post a comment on this post on our web site, or email

The Reiki Roundup

Our top stories this week come from the world of mainstream medicine.

A UK study on Reiki and multiple sclerosis has some encouraging findings, but the version posted online is nearly impossible to read. Still, the numbers are impressive:

90.2% Reduction of Lethargy
87% Reduction of depression
78.7% Reduction of Cognitive Problems
75.3% Reduction of Motor Problems
73.5% Reduction of pain
70.2% Reduction of Fatigue
69.1% Reduction of Urine Problems
62.8% Reduction of Bowel Problems
38% Reduction in Walking Time

Apparently it wasn't a double-blind controlled study and these cases are anecdotal, but still it seems worth further study.

RDH, a publication for registered dental hygienists, mentions a 2007 study at the University of California Davis Medical Center which examined the use of tai chi, yoga, meditation, and Reiki by registered nurses for self-care. The study found that "The outcomes of the self-care classes described by the nurses included:

Sensations of warmth, tingling, and pulsation, which were relaxing
An enhanced problem-solving ability
An increased ability to focus on patient needs."

Reiki and Therapeutic Touch are two separate modalities, but Reiki got a mention anyway in a Hartford Courant article about a scientific study on the use of Therapeutic Touch for bone and tendon cells in petri dishes. The cells that were exposed to Therapeutic Touch "grew faster and stronger" than cells that received either a sham treatment, or no treatment.

In Warwick, Rhode Island, USA, a woman plagued by sleep eating discovers Reiki and calls it "heaven" in an article headlined, "The Great Fudgesicle Incident of 2008:"

"Relaxed? I was beyond that. I felt a wave of peace that I had never encountered in my life before. . . The feeling stayed with me throughout the day. I could not get any writing done, I just wanted to sit and enjoy the serenity. Trust me; if you have never experienced Reiki or have had any doubts, it is worth a try!"

In Dudley, UK, a veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder now works as a Reiki healer and has written a book about her experiences.

And in South Yorkshire, UK, "Sheffield's oldest powerlifter" has a not-so-secret weapon as he trains for the World Powerlifting Championships: regular visits to a Reiki. practitioner.

The Times Online is offering a spa vacation, complete with Reiki, to "one lucky winner" among readers who can answer a sports-related question to qualify.

This Los Angeles Times story, purportedly about paganism, extends that definition to unrelated subjects such as Reiki, aromatherapy, and fortune telling. It's a "first in a series of occasional articles exploring alternative cultural life," so the reporter, and the readers, are likely to get even more confused as the series progresses.

Media attack natural healers in wake of Karadzic arrest

Last week's Celeb-Reiki, war crimes defendant Radovan Karadzic, continues to make headlines, and many of them have little to do with the former Yugoslavia or the crimes with which he has been charged. So we're holding him over as a Celeb-Reiki again this week. In his case, it's not an honor, just an acknowledgement of his notoriety.

For some reason, the fact that Karadzic, a medical doctor, hid in plain sight for years passing himself off as a natural healer has spawned plenty of opinion pieces about the evils of natural healing, but none about medicine. That leaves us puzzled, or as one famous news anchor might say, scratching our heads.

Karadzic is a real doctor -- he may no longer have a license, but he was a legitimate psychiatrist before he went into politics. He was passing himself off as a natural healer, with Reiki among the modalities he practiced. So why criticize natural healing because of that? Wouldn't it make more sense to criticize medicine instead, since that was the man's actual profession? Actually, blaming an entire field for the actions of one of its members is ludicrous.

Still that didn't stop the Financial Times, which published an opinion piece headlined, "Alternative therapy for evil homeopaths," (apparently with little understanding of what a homeopath is). That piece is a bit tongue-in-cheek, but it does give us this week's other notorious Celeb-Reiki, a world famous fugitive who still hasn't been caught:

"How long can it be," asks write Robert Shrimsley, "Until the National Security Agency, operating undercover in Greenwich Village, finally pinpoints the precise location of Osama bin Laden's reiki parlour?"

Puh-leez! The first Reiki Precept is "Do not anger." Anger is bin Laden's raison d'etre, so he is about as far from Reiki as you can get.

The Guardian jumped into the fray early on, with a piece headlined "A bad week for alternative medicine." By the time that item made its way to professional atheist Richard Dawkins' web forum, the headline had changed to "alternative medicine is the last refuge of the scoundrel." Where is all this hostility coming from? Anger toward Karadzic is understandable, but. . .

In Scotland, the Sunday Herald features a piece suggesting that all dictators should become alternative healers in "A hairy answer to tyranny."

Meanwhile, a real alternative healer, Petar Glumac, claims Karadzic stole his "likeness and energy." If the war-crimes suspect had pretended to be an accountant instead of a healer, would that have led to editorial outbursts against financial advisors?

Speaking of sports: 'Life force' makes the headlines thanks to Reiki cyclist Roulston

We haven't yet developed a comprehensive sports section here at The Reiki Digest, nor are we likely to do so, at least not until Reiki is commonly used in sports. For now, our sports report focuses on athletes who practice (or receive) Reiki, and in the 2008 Olympics, that means cyclist and Reiki aficionado Hayden Roulston of New Zealand.

Roulston credits Reiki with helping him get back into the sport after a life-threatening heart problem forced him into retirement a couple of years ago, and he recently told a reporter for New Zealand's Sunday Star Times that he'll be bringing his Reiki practitioner with him to Beijing. That story was published on Monday under the headline, "Life force behind lone rider."

"Reiki is the the be-all and end-all for me ... it's pretty amazing stuff," Roulston told reporter Gary Birkett.

And in an interview with another reporter for a story headlined "Golden tinge to Roulston's second coming," Roulston said, "I am feeling in a good space, physically and mentally - I am feeling the best I have ever been." If he mentioned Reiki in that interview, however, it didn't make it into the article.

In coming back from arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia, not to mention a couple of brushes with the law, Roulston has already won a more important prize than any Olympic medal. We commend him for talking openly about his experience with Reiki, and if there are any other athletes out there, Olympic or not, who enhance their performances (and their lives) with Reiki, we urge them to follow his example and speak out.

Monday, July 28, 2008

The weekly waka


After clearing space
The hall is broad and empty,
All dust swept away,
The spotless room comforting,
Like a soul purged of worry.
(by Michael Dagley)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Reach out and touch . . .

This week's edition of The Reiki Digest focuses on outreach, and we're fortunate to have two great articles by guest writers: author Pamela Miles, and intuitive business coach Jenn Givler. Many thanks to both of them for their contributions. And we hope other Reiki practitioners (that's you) will contribute comments on this topic. Whether you're a full-time professional practitioner, a volunteer or doing Reiki part-time, we hope you'll find these articles useful, and we'd love to hear from you. What kind of Reiki outreach do you do? Add your comments by clicking on the word "comments" at the bottom of this post on our web site, or email them to And if you have questions, send us those as well.

Organizing Public Reiki Events

Editor's note: Pamela Miles, author of REIKI: A Comprehensive Guide (Tarcher/Penguin) and a pioneer in integrating Reiki into conventional medicine, draws on her 22 years of experience with this practice in her efforts to empower Reiki practitioners with the skills needed to bring Reiki to a mainstream audience. She has been kind enough to write a brief preview for us of her upcoming classes on Organizing Public Reiki Events, in Cape Cod on July 26 and New York on August 4.

By Pamela Miles

How often have you had an opportunity to share Reiki with someone you don’t know, someone who is completely new to Reiki? Most of us treat ourselves, family, friends, pets, and clients who have sought out our services—all the usual suspects—and we become quite comfortable doing so. Stepping outside our cozy circle to offer treatment to people we don’t know in a public venue brings new challenges, profound rewards, and a chance to improve both our business acumen and clinical skills. It is a unique opportunity to deepen our relationship with Reiki and raise our visibility while serving our community and our practice. But where do we start?

There are a number of possible avenues to pursue, depending upon your community and your social and business networks. Conventional health care is increasingly interested in improving lifestyle in every segment of the population. Many large companies and community hospitals have responded to this new emphasis by hosting wellness days. At these events, employees and the public are exposed to an array of health-related activities. Attendees can get their blood pressure checked, have a mini-consult with a nutritionist, sit for a short guided meditation, and experience chair massage, reflexology and/or Reiki.

If you know of such an event in your community, why not offer to participate? You will learn a lot that will help you when you’re ready to create an event yourself. But if there is no such event in your community, why not step forward as a leader and make one happen?

Look around your community and think small. You might set up an event in the town square or the local mall, offering shoppers Reiki relief. Or perhaps there is a community health center that would be interested. Programs serving senior citizens are often looking for events that would address their clients’ needs. Many seniors experience pain and/or anxiety and they are often on a lot of prescription medications. There is some research suggesting Reiki can be helpful in managing pain/anxiety without adding more medications, health care centers that cater to seniors might be interested in hosting a Reiki event. (Medical papers on Reiki are available for download at, under Resources.)

If you decide to look for an organization to host an event, take the time needed to prepare well. Although success depends largely on how professional your approach is, it also helps to have an introduction or a professional reference.

Once you’ve scheduled an event, you will have a pile of details to organize. Be thorough in your planning, maintain an attitude of service and a welcoming demeanor, and be prepared to learn on the spot. Each event is unique, but experience does make it easier. And you will be sustained by the smiling face of every person who was introduced to Reiki because you made the effort to reach out to where they are rather than waiting for them to show up on your door.

Copyright © 2008 Pamela Miles

Thanks, Pamela! Registration and other information on the Organizing Public Reiki Events classes is available at

Making Reiki your full-time job

Editor's note: If you practice Reiki professionally, full time, you're among the rare few. If your professional practice hasn't reached that point yet, Reiki Master Teacher and holistic business coach Jenn Givler of has some ideas about how to achieve that goal. This article is excerpted from her newsletter, Mindful Marketing.

By Jenn Givler

I see it all the time. Healers who are carrying a full-time job along with their healing practice. The healing practice doesn't bring in enough financially to support the needs of the practitioner, so the full time gig is necessary.

I've had healers tell me that they can't let go of the full-time job for a variety of reasons.
Some tell me they don't feel right charging for their service. That it's a gift and they are here to share it.

Some tell me that they've tried to get the practice up to full time income, but anything they've tried hasn't worked.

Still others tell me that they feel that when the time is right, the practice will just take off, and clients will find them.

Your practice can make full time income

Now, I'm not going to tell you to do something very radical or irresponsible and quit your full-time job right now.

But I am going to tell you that your practice can — and absolutely should — make full time income if that's what you want to do.

You've got this amazing gift to share, and share you should. And you should be supported for sharing it — including financial support.

Money is energy. It's the energetic exchange that we use to buy something of value. Your practice is valuable to those you serve.

And in order for you to be secure, and keep doing the amazing work you're doing, money should be part of the equation.

What has to happen to create full time income

1. Realize you are in business. I know, we hate to think of ourselves as "business people." But in order to create a full time income that can support you, you will have to take on the mind-set of a business person.

And there is a way to balance that. You don't have to be Donald Trump. But you do have to learn the pragmatic pieces of running a business. Those include business planning, marketing, bookkeeping, and strategy.

2. Focus on what you want and pour your energy in that direction. Focus is essential to creating a thriving practice. You need to decide what you want your practice to look like, who you want to work with, and what you want to accomplish and then spend your time doing things that support that vision.

Once you've created your vision, take some time to discover which activities take you in the direction of your vision, and which activities take you away from, or scatter your focus.
Fill your schedule with those activities that take you toward your vision — and let go of the rest. And this is not an easy process. But if you want to achieve your vision, it's necessary.

3. Learn how to promote yourself. There is a right way, and a wrong way to promote yourself.

Being aggressive or manipulative — not the right way!
Being in service to those that need you — right way!

In order for your practice to thrive, you absolutely must engage in active marketing activities. All the hope and wishing in the world won't bring you clients. You definitely must take charge and drive the train on your promotional efforts.

However — that does not mean you have to be overbearing and sell to everyone you meet (whew!). But you do need to choose some marketing activities that get you out into the community of people you want to serve.

4. Get help. Bottom line, we can't do it alone. Nor are we meant to. If we were meant to get it right all by ourselves, we would be born, be isolated, do our thing, and then go back to source.
We are human. We need other humans to help us and support us in our journey.

I have no doubt that you are really, really good at what you do. I know you're an expert — I am too :) But none of us should try to go it alone.

We all need support and guidance. I work with a coach, and I also have a great Master Mind Group. I love having that support. Because sometimes, I need to be vulnerable too. Sometimes I get hurt, or angry, or frustrated — and I can't see the solution to my own situation. It helps to have outside perspective and motivation.

You can create full time, supportive income from your healing practice. You need to be supported in the work you're doing and part of that support can and should be monetary. You may have to shift your thought processes, and step into being a business person for a bit each day, but it'll be one of the best shifts you can make!

Thanks, Jenn. And even though Jenn helps practitioners build up to full-time work, she's not above taking a day off when it seems appropriate, as she writes on her blog today.

Rest in peace

Philadelphia — Reiki Master Teacher George E. Barrick, 46

Sudbury, Ontario, Canada — Reiki Master Sarah Gonawabi-Mahgegahbow, 55

The Reiki Roundup

London — We already knew that Reiki is considered part of the LOHAS industry. Now we find it's also part of the slow movement, one of the world's best-known slowness advocates, Carl Honore, writes in The Guardian. Reiki, he says, is a form of "slow medicine."

Falkirk, Scotland — Having trouble finding a job? It might help to go down to your local football stadium to get some training and some Reiki -- the Falkirk Football Club and 15 other Scottish football clubs (so far) have teamed up to offer a wide range of services to job seekers.

Ft. Bliss, Texas — U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey has said that the innovative post- traumatic stress treatment program here should be replicated at other locations across the Army, according to Reiki is one of the techniques used in the program to help soldiers learn to relax again.

Marblehead, Massachusetts, USA — What could be more heartwarming than the story of a cancer patient, a hospice worker, the teddy bear they created, a group of sweater-knitting volunteers, a Parkinson's disease support group, and Reiki?

Meanwhile, in Newburyport, Massachusetts, Reiki provides comfort at a special summer camp for bereaved children. And in Red Bank, New Jersey, at the Visiting Nurses Association of Central Jersey Hospice Children's Day on August 9, Reiki will be among the options available to children who have lost a loved one in the past year, and to their parents and guardians as well.

Utica, New York — Reiki Master and personal trainer Patrice Cahill offers senior citizens fun, fitness, and camaraderie with her seniorcise program.

Let's pause to take a breath, with Ode Magazine's article on the calming effects of breath therapy, which mentions Reiki in the same breath as yoga and acupuncture.

And in Hyderabad, India, we find a Reiki practitioner who recently presented a research paper on his work with music therapy for people with hypothyroid disorders and associated psychological problems. Certain ragas seem to work better with some conditions, he said.

War crimes fugitive Karadzic disguised himself as a Reiki practitioner

Dr. Karadzic, using the alias Dr. Dragan David Dabic, at an alternative medicine conference in January 2008.

Radovan Karadzic, the man accused of ordering the siege of Sarajevo, the Srebrenica massacre, and other war crimes as the former Yugoslavia crumbled into separate countries in the early 1990s, was arrested this week after authorities discovered he was living in plain sight (and under an assumed name) as an alternative healer whose modalities included Reiki, or as it's spelled in Serbian: Rheiki. The BBC has a photo of his business card, which mentions Reiki, as does Karadzic's web site, Psy Help Energy, which is still online. The site does not mention any Reiki lineage, however. Karadzic had been a fugitive since 1995.

Unfortunately, that breaking news story makes Karadzic a Celeb-Reiki, whether or not he was an authentic Reiki practitioner. In any case, long before going into politics and war, Karadzic was an actual psychiatrist, his studies including a year at Columbia University in New York. We hope his claiming to be a Reiki practitioner will cast no aspersions on the practice of Reiki in general, no more than the fact that he's a medical doctor should cast a cloud over medicine in general.

The weekly waka


Roots buried in muck,
Its slender neck standing tall
Above the pond’s sludge,
A golden pod, unblemished,
Spills pollen on pink petals.

(by Michael Dagley)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Reiki Roundup, super-sized (with video!)

This week's Reiki Roundup includes so many articles (and one really, really good video) that our Roundup is the lead article. Otherwise, you'd need more than a week to read it all.

We begin in London, where The Times Online interviews pioneering spiritual healer and Reiki practitioner Angie Buxton-King and others on the topic of spiritual healing. Buxton-King works full-time with cancer patients at University College Hospital in central London, as does her Reiki practitioner husband, Graham King. If you have 7 minutes to spare, you can learn more about their work from this video, which we recommend for everyone with even the slightest interest in using Reiki in a medical environment:

That video offers background on the Sam Buxton Sunflower Healing Trust, the charity Buxton-King and King set up to raise money to support even more practitioners and serve even more clients. This September, Deep Purple will headline the annual Sunflower Jam, the charity's main fundraising event.

Next stop,, where Stress Management Specialist Julian Marcus asks, "Reiki: Can it Heal What Ails You?" The men's portal site claims to have 5 million readers a month, so that's a lot of exposure for a more-accurate-than-usual article on Reiki.

On to Bridgewater, Massachusetts, where Reiki practitioner Lauren Deknis Bortolami gets a nice writeup in The Enterprise about her hopes to make Reiki more available to public safety and military personnel.

Let's head west from there to Green Valley, Arizona, where Reiki practitioners and other alternative healing practitioners, as well as nurses and doctors, make house calls.

Not to be outdone, practitioners in Calgary, Alberta, Canada not only make house calls, they travel to clients' doorsteps in a mobile spa that even has its own zen garden.

In Kolkata, India, we find a Reiki practitioner who is said to have "earned her five levels of Reiki Grandmaster" — that seems to go far, far, far beyond the levels Reiki founder Mikao Usui taught, but then inflation has affected most everything since Usui was teaching in the 1920s. But since Usui himself wasn't a grandmaster, we wonder how anyone else could be. The 5x grandmaster also tells the interviewer that Reiki can help people win a Ferrari, which brings to mind our recent discussion on The Secret and the Reiki Precepts.

In Johannesburg, South Africa (Happy Birthday, Nelson Mandela!), we find an article on the spa at the luxury Westcliff Hotel, where two of our favorite non-massage modalities, Reiki and Thai yoga, are combined, which somehow leaves the reviewer believing they are massage. Anyway, it sounds like fun, especially with the heated beds!

In Australia, The Age lumps Reiki in with a bunch of other alternative healing modalities in an article with the edgy headline, "Laws 'only way' to stop pharm-yard quacks."

In St. Paul, Minnesota, we meet a victim of childhood sexual abuse who uses Reiki, among other modalities, to heal herself and help others as well.

Elsewhere, Reiki gets a brief mention in a variety of articles, usually as part of a list of healing modalities:

"For the dog that has everything: Botox and a massage" — The Guardian, UK

The Boston Globe addresses the pet care issue as well in an article headlined, "How Far Should We Go to Save Our Pets?"

An article on a new director of pain management in suburban Philadelphia — Phoenixville News

"Boom currencies beating the credit crunch" includes a Reiki practitioner who accepts barter payments —

"Healing comes in more forms than you think" — a reporter goes to a Holistic Expo —
The Nashua Telegraph in New Hampshire

The Washington Post has a mention of Reiki in a travel article about the "hippie-era holdover" of Goa, India.

And The Scotsman mentions "a chilled out zone of Reiki head massage" in its coverage of the annual T in the Park music festival.

Finally, in Turkey, Reiki is mentioned in passing in a Turkish Daily News piece about its coverage of women.

A Celeb-Reiki on wheels — and on video

Go, Reiki, Go!

Reiki practitioners of all nationalities will be cheering for the New Zealand cycling team in the Olympics next month, specifically for Kiwi cyclist Hayden Roulston, because he's one of our own.

Roulston discovered Reiki after he was diagnosed with a serious heart condition in 2006, so serious that he was forced to retire from the sport. But to everyone's surprise, he recovered, came out of retirement and began winning races again, including last year's Oceania road race title and most recently the Tour des Deux-Sevres in France. Now, he's Beijing bound.

As the media buildup to the Olympics begins, Roulston sat down recently for an interview with New Zealand's Channel 3 News, in which he discusses how Reiki has helped him. You can read the transcript at that link, or watch the video here. Here's the best part:

“How did you fix something the medical fraternity said was life threatening?” the interviewer asked him.

“Through Reiki actually," Roulston replied. "It's a Japanese healing technique. It's a hands on treatment which transfers energy from one person to another. There was once upon a time just the mental and the physical, now it's the emotional and the spiritual, four very different components that's going to win the gold medal. If I walk away with the gold medal knowing I performed to my utmost best I”ll be happy, but if I walk away with silver or bronze or fourth the better man won on the day, but I'm confident I can win a gold medal."

We wish him a swift, safe, and victorious ride around and around and around the velodrome, and we'll keep you posted on his progress.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The weekly waka


To gain affection
One might assist another,
But for loyalty
Helping others rarely works:
For that let someone help you.

(by Michael Dagley)

Thursday, July 10, 2008


I love the expressions on people's faces when they get up from the table after a Reiki session: that certain relaxed, rested, refreshed smile that tells me they're feeling much better than when we began.

In keeping with tradition, and common sense, I always offer them a drink of water afterward, along with a few words of advice that sometimes take the sparkle out of that distinctive smile. As they take a sip, I explain that sometimes after a Reiki treatment, people can experience signs of energetic clearing that might be somewhat disconcerting: weakness, upset stomach, aches and pains, emotional ups and downs, or even old injuries flaring up. I explain that even though our session is over, the energy will continue moving and working, and advise them to take care of themselves over the next few days by drinking plenty of water, eating healthy food, and getting adequate sleep and rest.

As an example, I tell them that for about a week after my first Reiki class, I kept thinking I was coming down with some kind of bug, experiencing flu-like symptoms, even a low fever. But soon the symptoms went away, and I didn't get sick after all -- a classic energetic clearing experience.

I was reminded of that standard component of every Reiki treatment yesterday when, walking from one appointment to another, I found myself pausing on the banks of the Hudson River in New York to watch a dredging operation.

(Photo: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)
The site is the home of the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, housed in a retired aircraft carrier. The museum has been temporarily moved to Staten Island for renovation, and it took some doing to move it because it got stuck in the mud on the first attempt and even the toughest tugboats in town couldn't budge it. They had to clear away some of the mud beneath it, and a month later the carrier was successfully tugged and towed away for repairs. It's scheduled to return to its home site in October, and the dredging I saw yesterday was part of the preparations: nobody wants the Intrepid to get stuck in the mud when it comes home.

A small crowd had gathered along the waterfront to watch the giant machine reach its shovel down into the water to scoop out load after load of muck, loading it onto a nearby barge. It was fascinating, but I was probably the only person there who was reminded of Reiki.

Ideally, our energy is like a clear, free-flowing stream. But then, that flow gets impeded as rocks, branches, and other debris clutter it up. I'd heard that explanation for years, but I always pictured a scenic mountain stream, not the wide, powerful river just outside my door. As I watched that big metal mouth dunking below the surface and pulling up each dripping scoop, I noticed that the water was getting browner and browner. Dredging, whether in the river or in our own energy fields, makes things muddier in the short term, clearer in the long term.

So, energetic clearing is our next topic for discussion. What has your experience been like? Was it unsettling? Did you feel better after it was over? We hope you'll contribute your comments. Just click on the word "comments" at the bottom of this post on our web site, email your comments to, or click here to leave your spoken comments on our 24/7 GrandCentral voicemail.

Reiki Roundup

We begin this week in Milton Keynes, UK, where "Hundreds of Reiki therapists are to join forces to hold a huge healing session in a bid to cure the ailing Midsummer Place oak tree" on Sunday, July 13, at 3:30 p.m. local time. They won't be anywhere near the tree, however, because the management of the Midsummer Place Shopping Centre won't let them.

"I think it may be construed as inappropriate in that we could be perceived as not taking the tree's difficulties seriously," Midsummer Place manager Martin Hindson told the local newspaper, The Citizen. Hindson seems unaware of the fact that the Reiki practitioner organizing the healing event also works with cancer patients through the National Health Service, without anyone thinking those treatments are a sign of not taking those patients' difficulties seriously.

Keeping the practitioners away from the tree won't reduce their numbers, however. "The beauty of Reiki is that it can be done from a distance," practitioner Jean Wickson said. "We'll still hold the session for the tree – but we'll do it from my house."

"And we can ask every other Reiki practitioner in the city and all over the country to join in at exactly the same time 3.30pm on Sunday. "That way the tree will get a huge amount of healing."

So let's see, 3:30 p.m. in the UK is 11:30 a.m. in New York, so we're marking our calendar here at The Reiki Digest world headquarters to join in the tree healing from across the Atlantic. If you'd like to join in, click here to find out what time the event takes place where you are.

On to Shankill, Ireland, where a Reiki practitioner's garden (that's "back yard" in American English) was transformed from a space used only for "putting out bins" into a spot for meditation and relaxation thanks to a landscaping competition.

Next stop, Medford, Massachusetts, where nurse and Reiki practitioner Michelle Heron was honored at the Clinical Advancement Recognition Tea.

And in Vail, Colorado, writer Catherine Zeeb mentions Reiki in an article on energy medicine, in which she predicts that "within 20 years there will be complete integration of science and holistic healing that combines spirit, intuition and technology." So we're marking our calendars again, this time for the year 2028, to see if her prediction comes true.

Rest in peace

Reiki Master Bernadette Bourbonnais Pearson, 65, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

Mark Ronson, Son of Celeb-Reiki

The Times of London has dubbed him "pop's new crown prince," and DJ/producer Mark Ronson's mother, Reiki Master Ann Dexter-Jones, must be very proud. But Ronson is every bit as proud of her, and he took advantage of the opportunity to brag on his mother and the upbringing she gave him in a feature article published in The Times last Sunday.

Dexter-Jones, a two-time (and now three-time) Celeb-Reiki, is sometimes called a "New York socialite," but Ronson doesn't agree with that label. “She doesn’t go to the Met Ball. She’s not some vacuous butterfly who spends her time lunching at places up and down Park Avenue. So yes, I get offended when people label her as that. It’s insulting, and to me as well as her, because it makes me sound like a spoilt brat, which I’m not,” he tells interviewer Alan Jackson. For our purposes, we wish he'd said something about receiving Reiki from his mum, but on the other hand we're glad that at least some aspects of the Ronson family's private life are still private.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The Reiki Precepts and the Law of Attraction: more comments

Last month, Reiki Master Scott K. asked a question that has sparked weeks of discussion:

The other week I watched the secret and learned about the law of attraction for the first time. I was wondering what the opinion of the Reiki community is on the law of attraction. My understanding from the movie is that as long as you focus your attention on something, and it does not matter if it is in a positive way or negative way, that something will come your way. If this is true then focusing on the precepts will bring one more anger and worry.

This week, Scott shares his conclusions from the discussion:

Thanks to all those that have contributed to the question I posed regarding the law of attraction (LOA) and the Reiki precepts. All of them have been both interesting and instructive and clearly there is more for me to learn. Let me pose the question again because I do not think it was clear in the first post of the question.

… thinking “do not anger” and “be angry” are the same thing according to The Secret and will lead to more anger by merely thinking about anger in a positive or negative way. And according to The Secret the proper form would be “Be (antonym of anger)” and with the help of the MS Word dictionary it would be “Be Calm” for the Reiki precept. This was my understanding of the LOA from The Secret, not that I necessarily agree with it.

Well before I posed the question I found that reciting, contemplating and meditating on the Reiki precepts have been very beneficial to me. With out them I would probably be in a very different state (mental state that is) at this time. After reading the response and thinking about it I have realized, among other things, that the movie The Secret presents only a very superficial view of the LOA. Actually, sometime ago, I started to read a popular book about the LOA and found that a large component of it was focused on materialistic ideals and put it down after a few chapters and never finished it. But after seeing The Secret I saw some connection between the use of the precepts and what was presented in the movie, both are used to bring something to one’s life whether it be spiritual or otherwise. Besides this connection The Secret seems to say that the Reiki precepts are worded in the wrong way as mentioned above. So, I was wondering what the view(s) of the Reiki community was on this connection and how the precepts are worded. Frans rightly points out the difference between precepts and affirmations, though they are both composed of “thoughts” and according to The Secret it is the “thought that counts”. He also points out that follow through or action is key. This applies to both the precepts and affirmations.

In addition it may not be the exact wording or “thought” of the precept or affirmation that matters since different people may have different nuanced understanding of words or phrases. So what may really matter is the non ego emotion, feeling, Reiki moment or “vibration” as Katherine mentioned that is evoked by the affirmation or precept. For example to be joyful is not a word, or thought, it is being joyful, something that comes from deep within oneself and can be independent of what is going on externally around to you. Though that last bit is difficult to fully achieve. Perhaps one can think about as becoming one with joyfulness to really be joyful?

Thanks again to everyone, I think I just learned what it means to be joyful!


Thanks, Scott, and thanks to all who have contributed to our discussion. Comments are still welcome on this topic: just click on the word "comments" at the bottom of this post on our web site, email your comments to, or click here to leave your spoken comments on our 24/7 GrandCentral voicemail.

Monday, July 07, 2008

The weekly waka


Leaves turn upside down,
Anticipating the storm,
Dancing in high winds,
Warning all to find shelter
Before the summer rainfall.

(by Michael Dagley)

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Something about Merry!

Merry, the cat

Editor's note: One of the fastest-growing areas of Reiki practice hasn't been represented much in The Reiki Digest so far: animal Reiki. Guest writer Janet Dobbs, a Reiki Master/Teacher as well as a professional Animal Communicator, tells us about one of her memorable experiences. Janet is the proprietor of Animal Paradise – Communication & Healing as well as organizer of the Washington, D.C. chapter of The Reiki Dojo.

Animal communication and Reiki are distinct practices, but they do work well together, as author Kathleen Prasad explains on the Reiki Wiki in an item titled "Animal Communication and Reiki.

By Janet Dobbs
Reiki Master Teacher
Animal Communicator

Have you ever been deeply affected by an animal? Merry the office cat reeled me in, hook, line and sinker the first moment that our eyes locked.

I arrived late one fall afternoon to meet the office manager and the animals of my local humane society. There she was, the most beautiful white and black kitty, lying on the couch in the conference room. I was led to the door and we were introduced. I was told to keep my distance because Merry the office cat would bite me! I was left alone with her.

Merry looked up and checked me out. I introduced myself and asked if it was alright to join her on her couch. She sized me up and said, "feel free." I asked her if she would like some Reiki today. "I don't know. Just sit with me for a while. I will let you know," she said.

I gently sat on the very old couch, trying not to disturb her too much. It was a late fall day and the sun was low in the sky casting a soft light in the room. I sat there with her in the stillness and just took some deep breaths. The office manager was on the phone as the sound of cars passing by came through the walls. Merry was checking me out, wondering what my agenda was. With my hands gently in my lap I began the flow of Reiki. Merry looked up at me and sighed. She was snuggled in a light colored fleece cat bed that was just barely big enough for her to curl up in. She would use the walls of the bed to 'walk' on, to change her position. It was quite a funny and sweet sight.

As we sat in the silence, I asked Merry how she was feeling since her surgery that removed her cancerous breasts. "I am a survivor!" she announced to me. "Don't I look great to you? I am so much more than the cancer. I wish that they would all stop introducing me as the cat with cancer. I don't have cancer. I feel so much better. They need to learn to focus on the positive things in life and not dwell on my past." I told her that I understood what she was saying. I knew that I was in the presence of a very wise soul.

She gave me permission to place my hands on her body. I placed one hand on her hip and another on the shoulders. She just soaked in the Reiki. She began to purr and bliss out as her eyes rolled back and closed and the biggest smile filled her face. She moved several times in her bed as she sat to the left of me and then she rolled onto her back and I heard her say, "It is time for you to place your hands here." I gently placed one hand on her heart and the other hand close by. This was the area that had been filled with cancer. She requested Reiki to make the cells happy, healthy and to sing for joy. My heart filled with so much love and compassion.

The Reiki energy became even more intense than it had been on the rest of her body. The heat under my hands was like a little heating pad. I was sitting there in this peaceful meditative state, enjoying the energy flow when out of the blue I felt a very sharp pain. She bit the heck out of me! She was done. The session was over. Merry got up and walked away, but not before she turned and said, "Thank you. Thank you for listening to me. Not many people have actually taken the time to listen to what I want or have to offer. Thank you for respecting my wishes and for understanding that I am cancer-free. I have work to do here. I am the greeter of this shelter. I am here when people are sad as well as happy. Tell the staff that they need not fear my demise. I will be around for a long time to come."

I thanked Merry for allowing me to be with her and to share in the Reiki energy with her. She connected with me heart-to-heart on a deep level. I will not soon forget her. I talked to the office manager and shared some of what Merry had told me. More than two years later she is still the office kitty, greeting people and listening to all that they have to say.

Animals love Reiki healing energy. There is no issue or condition that Reiki cannot help. It is important to note that Reiki is not a 'miracle' cure-all. Reiki will always support the animal in the way that he needs the most, always working for the animal's highest good. Reiki is never a substitute for good veterinary care, but does compliment all forms of veterinary medicine.

Reiki deepens the bond between animal and human companions. Anyone can learn to give Reiki. All that is required is to take a class from a Reiki Master Teacher. Teachers are located all over the world so you will be able to easily locate one in your area. The level one Reiki class teaches you to do a Reiki self-treatment, as well as hands-on healing for family members and friends. You will also be able to begin offering healing Reiki to your animal friends as well. You may be able to locate a Reiki teacher that teaches Reiki for both humans and animals in the same course, like I do. I encourage you to find a Reiki teacher in your area to begin deepening your connection with your animal companions. The animals can't wait for you to begin this wonderful journey of healing and connection with them.

There was something very special about Merry the office cat. This wise teacher taught me so much in the short time we were together.

Janet Dobbs's Golden Rules for Reiki for animals:

Always ask permission of the animal and if they say no then you must come back another time.

Always begin hands off.

We don’t teach hand positions for animals any more. In Level II I might teach some hand positions, but I will teach the students to listen to the animal and trust their intuition. The animals will show us what they want and need.

One needs to allow the animal, especially a horse, to move around if they need to. They may even get up and walk away or walk out of the room. We just keep offering the Reiki. They will usually come back and take more.

Then there are the signs that they are receiving Reiki.

Finally signs that they are done.

There is no set time other than our own limits. Most animals can be done in 10-30 minutes, but of course some love the energy so much they will lay there for hours if you let them. That would be me!

Thanks again for the guest article, Janet!

Reiki Roundup

What's a Lohas? It's an industry that includes us, even though there was nary a mention of Reiki in this New York Times article, headlined "It's Not Easy Picking a Path to Enlightenment," about the famed Kripalu Center in western Massachusetts. Times writer Andy Newman defines the "Lohas industry" as "lifestyles of health and sustainability."

From Massachusetts, we move on to Fox Lake, Illinois, where we find Marlene Brown, a 70-year-old yoga teacher who's also a Reiki teacher, and has cut back on her yoga classes to accommodate the demand for Reiki training.

And our final stop this week: Burton-upon-Trent, U.K., where Reiki practitioner Tina Smith tells a reporter about her recent experience in Bosnia-Hercegovina helping victims of the former Yugoslavia's civil wars in the 1990s.

Review us, please

The other day we stumbled upon the fact that The Reiki Digest has been stumbled upon at Not once, but twice, someone has come across this publication and clicked on the "bookmark" button found at the bottom of each post on our web site. And both those visitors have reviewed us. Here are the reviews so far, both thumbs-up:

From inestimablelove:

so i'm looking for some current news/support/in the now what have you..with reiki...anyone have any ideas...i find i get so distracted ...a sort of blog may be what i'm looking for..a weekly/daily update on the science of it, worldly/local projects...any suggestions please!!!???

From DreamWolfSpirit:

This is very interesting. I have never looked for anything like this or what you are looking for... didnt think about it. I have friends online who are Reiki Masters, besides myself... maybe we could start one? Its something to throw around anyway

While we're flattered by the thumbs-up, the reviews seem more like suggestions to start a competing publication. Still, we thank inestimablelove and DreamWolfSpirit for taking notice.

On the reviews page for The Reiki Digest at StumbleUpon, there's a green button right in the middle that says "Add Your Review." If you have an opinion about this publication, whether favorable, unfavorable, or somewhere in between, we'd love it if you could take a moment to give The Reiki Digest a review.

Thank you!

Celeb-Reiki update: Boy George banned from U.S.

Last month we reported that Reiki aficionado Boy George (whose father used Reiki, among other modalities, to help him kick a heroin habit years ago) would be giving a free concert this summer for New York City sanitation workers to thank them for their kindness when he was serving time sweeping city streets in 2006.

But the Karma Chameleon's karma seems to be catching up with him. U.S. immigration authorities won't allow him to enter the country because of pending charges against him in the United Kingdom, so Boy George had to cancel his 2008 U.S. tour.