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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Statewide recognition for Reiki in Hospice in New Jersey

By Heather Alexander, Contributing Editor
Bill Stevens holds his award 

JoAnne Reifsnyder, NJHPCO Awards Committee, and Bill Stevens

Bill and colleagues from the New Jersey Visiting Nurse Association

For the first time in its history, the New Jersey Hospice and Palliative Care Organization has included Reiki in its annual awards ceremony. Practitioner and teacher Bill Stevens was listed as Reiki Practitioner of the Year, his name appearing alongside Nurse of the Year and Social Worker of the Year in a list of 25 winners. It’s fantastic recognition for his work and shows the huge impact the system of Reiki is having within the hospice community. President of the NJHPCO, Don Pendley, says they’ve found Reiki treatments can make an enormous difference, “Bill has become one of the foremost practitioners of Reiki in hospice, virtually a third of the patients request his services.”

Bill Stevens has been working in hospice in New Jersey for 6 years starting as a Chaplain for the Visiting Nurses Association and then moving over to being a salaried Reiki practitioner. When he got the job as Chaplain, the program manager hadn’t even heard of the system of Reiki, now his services are so popular that they’ve had to hire two more Reiki practitioners. He travels sometimes 100 miles a day visiting people who have been told they have less than 6 months to live. They ask for Reiki treatments via their visiting nurse and when Bill gets there, often close family members receive sessions as well as the patient themselves.

The results can be quite profound. Bill says as well as relaxation and a reduction in anxiety, the treatments seem to help people let go. “One guy was a rough edged contractor type, he just sort of put up with me at first but the next day he told the nurse he had never had such a spiritual experience,” says Bill, “there was a real change in his resistance and acceptance.” Another patient reconciled with his son, “he had a wonderful acceptance of death and was able to be with his family at the end. Reiki helps in so many cases and you don’t even have to know the story.”

And there are many stories, a Jewish woman whose family called Bill ‘Dr Voodoo,’ was totally distraught about having cancer. She told Bill the treatments took her to another place. A 14 year old boy who has a rare genetic disorder falls peacefully asleep in his mother’s arms during sessions. These shifts are one of the main reasons why the NJHPCO is so supportive of Reiki practitioners like Bill according to President Don Pendley, “people come to grips with things that they may not have wanted to discuss before, for example unfinished business with families, they reunite in a way that wasn’t possible when anxiety was setting up all that static.”

Bill and his nurse colleagues have so many of these experiences they could talk for hours, they share in people’s tragedies everyday and yet still remain calm and supportive of those they look after. Bill attributes this to his own Reiki practice, specifically daily meditation. He has now started to teach nurses so they can look after themselves as well. He taught long time nurse Pam Heckart who says she uses Reiki techniques on herself in the car before going in to see difficult patients, “I do chanting of CKR and SHK. It changes me I think, then I can handle whatever is in front of me, visits go better.”

As well as treating patients and teaching nurses, Bill also teaches the administrative staff at the Visiting Nurses Association and some of the volunteers. His work is just one example of successful use of the system of Reiki in hospice all around the country. Much of this comes down to a difference in outlook in this setting. Going back to Don Pendley, it is clear why. He says, “Hospice focuses on patient comfort, hospitals focus on cure.” In other words, they are not so hung up on what the scientifically proven results are, it’s enough for the patient to say they feel better. They also embrace other complementary therapies such as art and music therapy.

For Bill Stevens his award for Reiki Practitioner of the Year is an important boost for the practice, “I look upon it as giving Reiki some recognition as a complementary therapy. It’s important for people to get used to it being there even if they don’t necessarily understand what it is.” He credits others as going a long way to help with this too - Pamela Miles who has written extensively about Reiki in Medicine, and network TV coverage from Dr. Oz. He has also seen how important it is to partner with regular healthcare, “when a social worker or nurse says something is a good idea, people don’t question it so much.”

There is little in what Bill says about the award which is related to himself and his own achievement in winning. As anyone who has met him through his work in hospice or with animals at SARA (Shelter Animal Reiki Association) events will agree, he is the embodiment of the precept “be humble.” Others, though, are happy to champion what he has been doing in New Jersey. Vice President of Hospice and Palliative Care at the Visiting Nurses Association, Loretta Spoltore says, “Bill has made a tremendous difference in our hospice program, he provides an unparalleled level of peace for those who may be afraid of dying.” Bill’s current teacher, Frans Stiene, of the International House of Reiki says, "Bill is a real saint, always working hard to help others in their healing progress. Since I met Bill I have seen a tremendous growth in him spiritually, which means for me he is walking his talk, I cannot recommend him highly enough."

International House of Reiki Level 1 and 2 classes with Heather Alexander available in New York starting in December


International House of Reiki Level 1 and 2 classes are now available in New York! IHReiki Partner Teacher Heather Alexander will be teaching Shoden and Okuden to new students and existing Reiki Practitioners of all lineages in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Her classes offer a unique perspective, focusing on the system of Reiki as a personal spiritual practice rooted in the Buddhist and Martial Arts background of the founder Mikao Usui.


Begin to heal yourself

Dec. 4/5 Park Slope, Brooklyn

March 5/6 Hope Martin Studio, Manhattan

March 12/13 Park Slope, Brooklyn


Take your practice to the next step

Jan. 29/30 Hope Martin Studio, Manhattan

Feb. 5/6 Park Slope, Brooklyn

April 9/10 Park Slope, Brooklyn

More details at

Contact or 917 572 3172


Monday, November 29, 2010

Personal Practice Monday: Another day of gratitude

Here in the USA, we're slowly getting back to work after what was for many a four-day Thanksgiving weekend. For those who wish the Thanksgiving celebration could last a little longer, we have a suggestion: a gratitude exercise we learned about from multi-time Celeb-Reiki Lisa Oz, a Reiki Master who is married to famed heart surgeon Dr. Mehmet Oz. It's very simple:

Practice saying "thank you" every day. At first, just say "thank you" to everything that happens, good or bad. Just be grateful for it all. Then try alternating: one day, say "thank you" for everything that goes your way; the next, say "thank you" for everything that doesn't.

"The goal is to see how often things really do go your way, and to see the gift in things you thought were negative," Mrs. Oz said.

Give it a try and let us know how it works for you!


Hay House, Inc.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

On Gratitude

For today and every day, we at The Reiki Digest are thankful for our readers, contributors and advertisers. We wish all who celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday a happy one, and we'll see you next week! 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Animal Reiki Friday: Poll reminder and an article

It's Friday! Animal Reiki practitioners: Don't forget to participate in November's poll

Pete the cat, Reiki, and Intuition

By Beth Lowell, Managing Editor 

I’ve been thinking about Pete the cat recently. I worked with him a couple of springs ago. His human mother, Wanda, had called me at the advice of her local her vet’s office. Pete was in rough shape, and was under care at an animal hospital, some distance from Wanda’s home. Pete had a long history of serious conditions. He’d always bounced back, and Wanda was determined to do everything in her power to help him once again.

I met Wanda and her sister at her house and then we made the long trip down the parkway to the animal hospital. Wanda explained to the vet that I would be offering Pete Reiki. The doctor smiled, and then warned me not to overdo it. We could stay a short while. Since one can’t really overdo Reiki, I assured the vet that I wouldn’t.

Pete took to Reiki right away. He placed his paw on my hand and looked up at me with his beautiful green eyes. Wanda could see the change in him immediately. Wanda and her sister sat quietly, not wanting to interfere.

Knowing that being in a strange place is difficult for pets, especially for sick ones who could do without the added stress, I told Wanda to feel free to pet Pete during the session or talk to him if she chose to, but she preferred to wait until we were finished. The vet knocked on the door to signal it was time to leave.

The following day, Wanda and I drove to the animal hospital again. This time the vet smiled broadly. Pete’s blood pressure had come down. We could spend as much time as we wanted with Pete. I smiled back and thanked the vet, and began the treatment.

Pete relaxed quickly but he wasn’t quite as animated as he had been the day before. It was going to be a few days before anyone could get back to see him. During our absence, Pete went downhill. Wanda was heartsick, and friends were advising her that it might be time to let Pete go.

When Wanda called to update me, she told me that the staff member at her vet’s who had referred me suggested that perhaps I could tell her whether Pete’s time was up.

Clients whose pets are ill or who have physical problems themselves often ask me if I can share with them what I sense, either energetically of intuitively, and even though this was not the first time I’d been consulted about whether it was time to end an animal’s life, I was surprised.

“Wow. That must have been quite an honor.”, a friend said when I later related the story. On the contrary, I was dismayed. The well intentioned advice of a person who wanted only to help Wanda brings to light a common misconception about the purpose of Reiki, which is to offer the opportunity for healing, not advice.

Practicing Reiki, like any other meditative pursuit, helps increase intuitive powers. When your mind is quiet, you can better listen to the inner knowledge that everyone possesses. Sometimes, though, in an effort to be helpful, the line between listening to your intuition and trying to control an outcome becomes blurred.

I told Wanda that as a Reiki practitioner that I could neither diagnose nor prescribe, which advising her would have come perilously close to doing. My intuition told me that the right path would be in supporting Wanda so that she could come to her own conclusion and be at peace with it.

As the week wound down, Wanda chose to let Pete go. I drove to Wanda’s house one last time to offer Pete Reiki before the vet came to assist in his passing. The entire family sat in the parlor while I offered Reiki to Pete. Wanda, her sisters and brother in law, and her nephew had gathered to say goodbye.

The vet was running late, and I had to leave before she arrived. I had a previous engagement, for of all things, to let a friend’s piano tuner in before their weekend party. I felt badly that I had to leave, but I knew that Pete would understand. My intuition told me so.

This article appeared originally on the author's blog on November 18, 2010. To submit your animal Reiki article, please attach it to an email and send it to Be sure to include the words,"Animal Reiki Friday" in the subject line.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The weekly waka

This morning is good
Hopeful for the entire day
Afternoon things change
Nothing ever stays the same
Matters not really joy remains
by JeMaja Selas

To submit your waka, send it in an email to: Be sure to include the word "waka" in the subject line.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


iTunes & App Store


Monday, November 15, 2010

Personal Practice Monday: With gratitude, work diligently

Today's Personal practice article comes from Pamela Miles' blog, Reiki Central. The original post appeared November 24, 2009.

In practice,
there is much repetition,
and there is no repetition.

Much repetition when we repeat the form of our practice—
the when, where, and how.

And often repetition in the sensations of our practice,
the familiar pulsing cascade,
the familiar warmth of our hands,
the familiar refuge of stillness that opens within.

But not always.

Sometimes practicing the form doesn’t yield the same sensations.

Sometimes practicing the form is boring, or worse.
We make the same actions, but we are not content.

With gratitude, work diligently.

This is how my Japanese colleague and friend Hyakuten Inamoto translates the middle precepts. A Buddhist monk for 30 years, Inamoto-sensei brings great depth to his work as a Reiki master. He has lived in Japan all his life, and has done original research into Reiki history and practice. I have deep respect and trust in his understanding.

Reiki is a practice.

A practice is always the same,
and never the same.
And sometimes a practice is work.

Our practice is the work we do to create change–

change in our understanding,
change in our self-concept,
change in the accessibility of our hearts.

And we practice to cope with change,

especially the changes we don’t like,
the ones that make us feel powerless.

But we are never powerless.

We can always practice.

And for that, we can be grateful.

Thanks, Pamela! If you would like to submit an article about personal practice, please send it in an email to and include the words "personal practice" in the subject line.



Friday, November 12, 2010

Animal Reiki Friday: A new poll

Our last poll showed that an overwhelming majority of animal Reiki practitioners did not take any special course before working with animals. In this poll, we try to determine why. This poll will be open through November.



Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The weekly waka

I'm trying to work
but the dog is persistent-
just five more minutes!
Her disappointment shames me
and I change priorities.
by Beth Lowell


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Monday, November 08, 2010

Please welcome guest editor JeMaja Selas

Dear readers,

November's edition was put together by guest editor JeMaja Selas.

JeMaja Selas
JeMaja is an ordained Interfaith Minister, Spiritual Counselor and Reiki Master and Teacher (Usui Western and Eastern (Jikiden), Karuna, SKHM/Seichem and Shinpiden. She has also been certified in Crystal Healing and certified Flower Essence Practitioner. She is available to gives talks (or lectures) to professional groups, associations and women's groups.

Thanks, JeMaja!

Finding Abundance and Gratitude through Reiki

For all intents and purposes, Reiki was my initiation and a pivotal point of entry onto my sacred healing and spiritual path and it remains the cornerstone of my professional healing practice. However, it was my belief in the interconnectedness of all things and people in the Universe (at the very least, on mother Earth) that propelled me to become a minister. My studies and experiences had led me to assess what I knew, believed and understood about many concepts, among them - gratitude and abundance. It was through Reiki - as a spiritual and healing practice that I truly recognized that these two concepts travel together and are like two very beautiful peas in a pod, always ready and willing to illuminate no matter what obscures their truth from coming to light
As a child, my life was full of simple pleasures for which I was thankful, but not always grateful. I still do not often use the word grateful because for me it conveys a deep sense of thankfulness that is far more expansive than what is conveyed or expected in the daily usage and for which the customary thank you is sufficient.
The understanding and living (or walking the walk) as if abundance is present in my life and not just for the chosen few, was challenge for me as the lack of basic material necessities and niceties was also a large part and parcel of my childhood experience.
Now, my spiritual practice being anchored in Reiki, I understand there is enough of whatever is needed or wanted to go around and just because someone else is in receipt of abundance in the outward or physical form, does not mean there is less for me. I know this realization unfolded as result of meditating and giving myself Reiki. Now that I have tapped into the abundance within I can stay in the zone (ok, my zone), in the flow, for longer periods of time.
Reiki as a spiritual practice continues to have a profound effect on my concept of abundance and feeling connected to the universe - large and small. Being connected and maintaining a connection to people, animals, common experiences and situations is for me being in abundance. And I am grateful for recognizing this and being able to really feel the support that flows back and forth as a result of these connections.
As a Reiki Practitioner, I am grateful for how my understanding and embracing abundance has informed my practice. Early in my practice I relied too much on what I knew about Reiki and would always anticipate the (beneficial) outcome of the session. The simple, yet powerful fact of the matter is that we are connected through our coming together for a Reiki session that allows the abundance of balance or Reiki to flow.
A natural dovetail occurred between my spiritual practice, my Reiki practice and my ministry. Whether “hands on” (or above) your own or a client's body, or from a distance, with your heart open, abundance is ever present. Yes, I do give thanks for my practice and all the experiences that living my life provides. And I am immensely grateful for now having the wisdom and courage to incorporate all of the things that as a child gave me peace, joy and a sense of belonging to something much larger than my immediate family and community.
This Thanksgiving I will be giving thanks for my life - family, friends, and career. I am grateful that I am now able to go with the flow and recognize abundance in its myriad of forms. And for that I am very thankful.
Reverend JeMaja Selas, M. Div. is a Reiki Master/Teacher and an ordained Interfaith Minister and Spiritual Counselor providing energy-based therapies in New York City, NY. She maintains a private practice and enjoys teaching and giving talks with the goal of empowering individuals on how to access their highest potential. Check out her blog, JeMaja's Jems.


Hay House, Inc


The Reiki Roundup

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: In this editor's humble opinion, the opening of a holistic center what offers Reiki training is great, but not necessarily breaking news. But when the center is located in the Middle East, I think it bears reporting. The Holistic Institute opens its doors in Dubai. Sunita Teckchand, Principle Tutor of The Holistic Institute said: "I want people in the Middle East to have a greater understanding of the full realm of benefits of holistic health and to allow people with an interest in many of the wonderful facets of the sector to have the opportunity to formally train as practitioners. Ah, Springtime in Dubai, has a nice ring to it.

Dix Hills, NY: Ministering with the "spirit" of Reiki. As an ordained Interfaith Minister, I have found that many are women and many are either Reiki practitioners or proponents of other healing modalities that involve the "laying on of hands".

Santee City, San Diego, CA: Reiki continues to make inroads. Catholic, Pagan, City Council and Reiki all in one article. Wow! This one article is a collection of content I never thought I would see all in one place. And it's all good news.





From A - Z, celebrities have a lot to choose from and these Celeb-Reiki mothers and mothers-to-be have an abundance of healthcare options and luxuries at their fingertips, but choose to include alternative therapies: "London's celebrity set have also been arriving in droves at the North London clinic of Gowri Motha. Her birthing method, Jeyarani, concentrates on making lifestyle changes before birth with diet, exercise and treatments throughout the pregnancy. Gwyneth Paltrow, Sadie Frost and Donna Air are just a few of those who have opted for the Reiki, Reflexology and Indian Ayurvedic detox herbs and homeopathic tissue salts that Motha prescribes her mums-to-be."


DHC USA Incorporated


Music we love to practice Reiki by: "Touch of Silence"

"Ritualistic Simplicity is the Keyword for this Music." Tibetan Singing Bowls are the sole instruments played by Klaus Wiese in this soothing, spirit balancing musical offering composed and played by Wiese. The enjoyment time is 55:30 and is all in one piece with such subtle transitions that they are just barely noticeable, but enough to help one manage the time allotted for the session. Several of my clients have remarked that the music was just delightful. I play it because it helps me to reset my inner (gong) or harmony. Many of you may be familiar with his seminal composition, el-Hadra.

Click on the button to listen and find out more: Touch of Silence - Klaus Wiese

The weekly waka

Here now when where how
Where should I be
Merry go round be still
Grateful thankful here and now
Going with the flow
By JeMaja Selas



Sunday, November 07, 2010

Special offers for November

As we pause to give thanks this month, we also take a moment to express our gratitude to the advertisers who help make it possible to bring this publication to you at no charge. And we offer extra thanks for these great offers for our readers. When you shop via our links, your purchases go farther because they also support The Reiki Digest. Many thanks!

Shambhala Publications Inc.



Sounds True, Inc.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Animal Reiki Friday:Poll results

On October 15, we asked animal Reiki practitioners whether or not they took a course before practicing Reiki with animals. 75% of practitioners did not take a course before practicing Reiki with animals.  Next poll we'll delve more into why this might be. Thanks for your responses!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

The weekly waka

We celebrated
the demise of summer -
spent too quickly...
Wimter's knocking at the door.

by Beth Lowell

Monday, November 01, 2010

Personal practice Monday: Poll results and an article

October's personal practice poll results are in! We asked readers how much time they spent on daily practice.

0 - 10 minutes 13%
10 - 20 minutes 15%
20 - 40 minutes 36%
40 - 60 minutes 15%
1 - 2 hours 13%
Over 2 hours 8%

Reiki, Ego, and Heart

The following article appeared originally on August 28, 2010 on Pamela Miles' blog, Reiki Central, and is republished here with permission.

Ego is mentioned frequently in Reiki circles and discussions, usually with snide derision, as if it should be permanently blacklisted. As if it’s inherently dirty, shameful, bad…

But if you think about it, ego’s not the problem. What would we do without ego? How would we function as individuals? What motivation would we have to practice?

If we are clever, we make ever-present ego our ally.

Ego has its purpose. It serves like a skeleton to our psyche, or a tender skin. Ego delineates and gives backbone to our individuality, yet it’s acutely sensitive to touch. Ego is not inherently bad, but it does have a skewed perspective, remaining convinced against all argument that we are separate and disconnected.

Ego is not entirely wrong. There are ways in which we are separate. But although we sometimes feel disconnected, that’s a feeling, not a truth.

So it’s not ego, but wrong understanding, that is the problem. Wrong understanding: identifying with ego and believing its biased broadcasts.

If we are clever, we make ever-present ego our ally. We use it to be steadier, more responsible, more committed; to strive higher, to serve more fully.

Feeling adventurous? Try accepting that ego will keep doing what ego does. That’s not an error; that’s its job, what ego exists to do.

Then harness ego’s ambition. Let ego’s desire to be the best motivate you to practice, and practice every day. Ego doesn’t take vacations.

The inner spaciousness that comes with daily Reiki self-treatment helps us stay mindful and compassionate, and keeps ego’s pain and machinations in perspective.

As long as we try to rid ourselves of ego, or pretend it’s not in play, ego sticks like flypaper. The moment we get over the shame of ego and start trusting it to do what it does oh-so-well, we come to a place of peaceful, and useful, coexistence.

It’s not possible to be human and not have ego, but it is possible–through diligent, committed, mindful daily practice over time–to loosen ourselves from the delusion that ego has our best interests at heart.

Ego has no heart.

But we do.