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Monday, January 31, 2011

Personal practice Monday:Releasing Expectations

We featured a letter from a Reiki practitioner named Jen two weeks ago here at The Reiki Digest. Jen was having some problems with self treatments - namely, they made her sick, and she worried that continuing would make her sicker. We put out the call to readers to help her with her problem, and received some great responses. Thank you to those who answered Jen's call for help.

After hearing from fellow practioners, Jen was doing better but still concerned about sinus issues. She asked which chakra was involved.

We promised to follow up here with our own two cents and here they are. Three things that come to mind when talking about Reiki, whether in regard to treating others or self treatment, are setting intention, releasing expectation, and the power of the precepts.

Sometimes practitioners set their intentions for "the highest good". This can be confusing since we may have some preconceived notions about what we think the highest good should be. Others set their intentions that the recipient receives whatever it is that he or she needs. Either way, setting an intention is a way of focusing your practice. Once you're focused, free of worry and distraction, you can get down to work.

As for releasing expectations, one thing to think about is that no one is all knowing, and therefore, it's impossible to know or expect what will come out of any given treatment. Some practitioners talk about trusting Reiki, and others describe Reiki as being able "to go wherever it's needed."  All of these concepts revolve around releasing expectations about Reiki.  Since Reiki works on every level of one's being, the healing that occurs might not be at all what is expected. An example of this comes from many testimonials of Reiki recipients who sought help for pain or disease, for instance, but found that instead of relief from physical issues, they were better able to cope mentally or emotionally, either with the pain, or with other circumstances in their lives.

Lastly, the precepts are always there to support practice. "Do not worry" comes to mind for me right now. Do not worry because Reiki can do no harm. Do not worry about which chakra is connected to the sinuses, because Reiki works in ways we can't always imagine.  

For practitioners in need of healing, like Jen, I suggest you contact your teacher or other local Reiki practitioners you know, or would like to know. This is a great opportunity to start a healing circle in your community so that all can share in the benefits of both giving and receiving Reiki treatments.

Thanks, Jen, for your letter, and good luck! 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Music we love to practice Reiki by: Ambient Egypt

One of the earth's most ancient nations is in turmoil today: all eyes are on Egypt as the people take to the streets to demand change. Many of us in the global Reiki community are including the Egyptian people in our thoughts, prayers, and meditations as we envision a peaceful and positive outcome.

What better accompaniment to those meditations than a collection of music made with replicas of ancient Egyptian instruments (and even a few actual ancient instruments)? Douglas Irvine's Ambient Egypt: Sounds from Ancient Sources made its debut as the soundtrack for a museum exhibit in 1998 and has since been featured on radio, in movie soundtracks, and art museums.

It's nice for Reiki table sessions as well.

You can listen to sample tracks on the artist's web site, or click on the image below to learn more.

Friday, January 28, 2011




Animal Reiki Friday: Reiki and the Wilbourn Way

Dylan at the veterinary hospital

Dylan at home with Joe
                                                                     Photos by L.G.

Reiki has been a wonderful addition to my cat therapy practice and works wonderfully to treat the total cat. Because of Reiki’s ability to balance the mind, the body and the spirit, it seems only natural that it would aid healing.

As with my cat therapy, Reiki is not a substitute for veterinary medicine but is indeed a complement to support healing before and after surgery, and can ease the side effects of medication, radiation and chemotherapy. Reiki aids in the prevention and treatment of agitation, aggression and grief and can be particularly comforting in end-of-life compassionate care.

As I was making my behavioral rounds one day at a veterinary hospital in Manhattan, I spotted Dylan, a geriatric cat whose torso was wrapped in an enormous bandage. One of the nurses explained that he’d had major surgery the day before. As we conversed, his guardian, Linda, came to visit.

Although Dylan was alert, his expression was forlorn.

“Gee, I wish I could make him feel better,” Linda said.

I introduced myself. When I mentioned Reiki, Linda smiled. “Oh, maybe Reiki would help my Dylan?” and added, “Tell me more.”

After I explained a little bit about Reiki’s healing qualities, Linda agreed to give it a try.

As I treated Dylan, and he felt more comfortable, I felt his comfort echoed in my being. After the treatment, Dylan’s demeanor had changed - so much so that he tried to follow Linda from the room when her visit was over.

Here’s what Linda had to say about the experience:

“My seventeen-years-old cat, Dylan, had a cancerous tumor along with part of his lung removed. It was a major operation especially on such a geriatric cat. He was in the hospital recovering – his torso wrapped in an enormous bandage, not moving or eating much. Carole gave him a Reiki treatment. I noticed a difference in Dylan right away. He began a happy purr, his face lightened, and he was more alert. When I started to leave, after visiting him, he got up and tried to follow me - with three tubes and a large amount of pain medicine in him. The next day the vet called me to say that he got out of his cage, walked across the room and ate breakfast. The vet thought it was wonderful—me too.”

Dylan was able to go home from the veterinary clinic, but his recovery was still taking some time and it was not going as easily as Linda had hoped. She called me and I agreed to offer Dylan a distant Reiki treatment. While I worked from home with Linda on the phone, she began to notice a change in Dylan, who rose out of his lethargic state and began to purr.

Linda’s notes from the treatment follow:

When Dylan came home a few days later, he was lethargic, not purring, not eating much and my other cat would not go near him. Carole did a Reiki treatment for Dylan over the phone. While Carole was on the phone Dylan started to purr. Immediately after I hung up the phone, he got up, walked across the room, and my other cat, Joey, went over and licked him. If I didn't see it - I wouldn't have believed it. Carole was amazing! Thanks Carole, for helping Dylan with his healing.”

Through diligent practice since I first learned Reiki, I was able to improve to the point where I could offer assistance to Dylan and other veterinary hospital patients. Together, my hands and my mind work to chip away at their pain and anxiety.

I embrace Reiki as it resonates so well with my work, once referred to by National Geographic magazine as my "dual-species family therapy” practice. Reiki fills me with gratitude--just for today.

With over three decades of experience behind her, cat columnist Carole Wilbourn, known also as the feline Freud, is founder of the Wilbourn Way, her method of resolving behavioral issues in cats. She now incorporates Reiki into her international cat therapy practice.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Advertising opportunities at The Reiki Digest

Got a product or service you want to share with Reiki practitioners? Perhaps a series of online classes or webinars, a future best seller or meditation aid? Advertise with The Reiki Digest and reach over 5000 Reiki practitioners worldwide!

Our new advertising opportunities are part of The Reiki Digest's continuing effort to serve both professional and personal practitioners. It's a win/win -- you get the word out about your services and products, and you support the Digest at the same time.

View our rate sheet here - and if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to send us an email at bethlowell @

Getting into the mood for Reiki

Most Reiki practitioners have at least two things in common: a designated space for practice, and favorite music they like to listen to while practicing.

Last summer, we announced a contest for best reader Reiki room. The feature was so popular that we decided to continue it after the contest ended. If you missed out on the contest you can still submit a photo of your Reiki room. This can be the space you use for personal ot professional practice, full or part time, and it can be a shared space as well. Click here to revisit photos our contestants submitted. To submit a photo of your Reiki room, attach it to an email and send it to reikiroom @ Don't forget to include the words "reiki room" in the subject line.

And cue music! Each Saturday The Reiki Digest will feature music we love to practice by. If you have a suggestion or would like to write a review of your favorite Reiki music, please send it to bethlowell @ and include the words "Reiki music" in the subject line.

In case you hadn't heard...

The nomination process for's Readers' Choice Awards for best Reiki blog ends February 4th. If you'd like to nominate The Reiki Digest, please click here. There are nine other categories in which you can cast your vote as well!

 The top finalists will be announced, and voting for the winner starts February 11 and runs through March 8. The winner will be announced March 15.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The weekly waka

Bamboo -
well, at least for New Jersey...
how beautiful in the snow!

by Beth Lowell

To submit your waka, send it in an email to waka @, and be sure to include the word "waka" in the subject line.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Healthcare Watchdog


On getting paid - a new poll

Contributing editor Deborah Flanagan's December 14 article  about her work at the Initiative for Women with Disabilities at NYU Medical's Hospital for Joint Diseases sparked a few comments, including a question from Pam Turczyn, who asked if Deborah's was a paid position. We're happy to report that as Deborah replied, she is indeed paid for her work at IWD, and this conversation inspired our latest poll here at The Reiki Digest. Please feel free to re-read the article, join the conversation in the comments section, either here or at the original article, and please do respond to our poll here.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Personal practice Monday - your answers to a reader's question and 2010 poll results

Last Tuesday we featured a question from a reader who was worried that self care would make her sick based on her past experience. Part of her letter said : "I have it in my mind that if i do reiki i will experience pain. i have done it on my stomach before only to have it cause me diarrhea. I have done it on my head, only to get a headache."

We received two replies.

Em said, "This is Em from

There are so many things going on potentially. I would think that Reiki is not the cause of any symptoms, but rather you need to clear your channel so to speak and work on clearing your chakras. The newest Reiki Journal has a nice 10 chakra illustration that can get you started. I am curious if you experience these symptoms if you receive Reiki either in person from someone else or from Reiki sent through distance healing either from yourself (sine you are a level 2) or from someone else. Perhaps your teacher or someone from the Reiki community would be willing to do a free trade of Reiki with you to experiment? Maybe you could tolerate distance healing better? Since you can send it to yourself past, present or future, you might experiment with those modalities and with time. I'd be so curious to know if you sent it to the past when you experienced the headache or stomach ache and then tried hands-on in the present if that would not help. I'm just learning Gendai Reiki (my background is traditional western Reiki) and sme of those exercises may be helpful to you. Best of luck!"

And Charlie wrote, "Hi Jen,

I am also a Level II Usui Reiki practitioner. In my experience, there is no such thing as "overdoing" it - you will only take in as much Reiki as you need, no more - no less. Like Yoga or any other discipline, practice is of the utmost importance. In this case, self-treatment is the CORE of our practice, the very thing that keeps the channel open. Please remember that the root of the word "practitioner" IS "practice". Any increase in symptoms would seem to be Reiki addressing a possibly chronic situation and should subside with continued, regular self-treatment. I would encourage you to make a commitment to carrying out a daily routine of self practice for 21 days (received this idea from Reiki Master / Teacher Pamela Miles) and check back in with us after that.

Here's a link to her blog describing a good basis for doing just that:

You can follow her hand placement suggestions or a use protocol of your own choosing as long as you do it regularly and consistently. I feel that you will see tangible results dusing the 21 days and that you will choose to continue indefinitely.
In Light and Love,

Charlie Mayer
Eight Winds Reiki

Jen replied to her respondants and she's still a little nervous:

"I'm Jen the healer who needs help. I appreciate so much the article and the replies so far.
As far as distant treatment goes, sometimes it works just fine other times it seems to do nothing.
as far as the 21 day reiki thing goes, thats the point. Im worried if I do it, I will end up in bed sick or something. Ive already spent a year, most of it lying down due to candida albicans. It might be worth a shot in small amounts. my problem is one of you says that reiki will only give you what you need, but ive found that not to be true. I did used to do reiki in 2006 every day after my attunements and didnt feel pain at the time but i had less stress then. I love the fact people have took this seriously and want to help. thank you. contact me anytime."

Charlie responded:

"Just for today, release all worry." I believe that if you work through it (practice consistently even if you have some temporary discomfort), that it will soon subside. As for worrying about negative effects, any worry is like a prayer or meditation on / for something negative. If your intent is to receive the balancing, healing effects of Reiki, that is what you will get. If, however you are fearful of a different outcome, your intent will be drawn to THAT. We need to "unkink the hose" so to speak, in order to allow the energy to flow. Daily self care is the quickest and most effective way to do just that. Release your fear and worry and PLEASE find a way to practice daily, if even for a few minutes. I truly feel that you will see a positive change in a short time.

If you have any further words to reassure Jen, please add them here in the comments box below or in the comments box of the original post. We'll  post our two cents right here, next Monday. 

Poll results!

The 2010 personal practice polls are officially closed! Here's what readers had to say.

Poll One asked which aspect of Reiki you felt was most important.

Meditation - 21% .
Precepts - 21% .
Hands on - 58%

Poll Two asked how much time you spend doing Reiki.

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

Poll Three asked, which do you incorporate into your practice?

The Hara - 25%
Chakras - 75%

Thank you to all who responded! 

Friday, January 21, 2011

Pamela Miles' 7 Steps to Successful Public Reiki Events Webinar


7 STEPS to SUCCESSFUL PUBLIC REIKI EVENTS is the third in Pamela Miles’ series of Reiki Best Practices webinars, being created to help you develop as a credible professional who can raise public awareness of Reiki practice.

What you get in this webinar:
  • All the details of preparation so that even when the inevitable last-minute whatevers occur, you’ll be poised, welcoming, and effective
  • An overview of the main elements of public Reiki event organization so that you can write your own Event Proposal
  • A detailed Production Schedule that takes you from Concept to Reality, including a large section on Logistics
Each of the 7 key elements is broken down into manageable steps including how to:
  • identify and approach organizations to partner you for an event
  • organize event logistics
  • communicate clearly with practitioners and the public
  • find, prepare, and support your practitioners and clients
  • obtain and utilize feedback.
This webinar is appropriate for practitioners planning their first public event and those who already have some experience.

"I highly recommend this webinar. I took it last winter and it was invaluable. My first event, at a hospice where I volunteer, went very well because of it. She covers many details. You will not be disappointed!"     –Sue Jacobson

You can access the webinar online whenever and as often as you like, moving at your own pace starting February 5.

REGISTER NOW - Introductory fee ends Feb 4

SPECIAL BONUS: the first 50 people who register can join a free, live Q&A webinar Thursday, February 17 starting at 9 PM Eastern US time (6 PM Pacific).


Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Reiki Centre Survey is Published!

By Elaine Grundy

Following up on my February 2010 Reiki Digest article, I am delighted to announce the Reiki Centre Survey is finally published! For those of you who heeded the call and joined the 546 other respondents who completed the survey, a heartfelt thanks. The results may not be particularly surprising to anyone who has practiced Reiki for a while, but as a Reiki veteran myself, I was still stunned and humbled by most incredible results which poured in from you all.

87% of people noticed more peace after Reiki

80% noticed more happiness

80% experienced less stress

75% were less anxious or worried

73% were less angry

One of the key findings was that Reiki seems much more consistent in its benefits across the emotional/mental aspects of our well being (such as peace, happiness, less stress, less anger, less anxiety), and less robust in terms of physical or lifestyle changes. This is significant as it also points to a flaw in our current way of measuring Reiki’s effectiveness. As far as I am aware, most of the clinical studies look at Reiki’s effectiveness in the disease or pain management area. In the survey the results for these measures were correlated with the amount of Reiki applied, and were really only significantly successful if the respondents were doing Reiki on themselves on a daily basis. To illustrate this:

Physical Symptoms and Self-Reiki usage per week

Back pain problems:

Of those who practiced Reiki less than one hour, 43% noticed improvement
Of those who practiced over seven hours, 73% noticed improvement.


Of those who practiced Reiki less than one hour, 52% noticed improvement.
Of those who practiced over seven hours,76% noticed improvement.


Of those who practiced Reiki less than one hour,58% noticed improvement.
Of those who practiced over seven hours, 80% noticed improvement.

This brings me on to the second key finding; Reiki is cumulative, i.e. the more you do it, the better the results. Again this seems obvious, but how many of us get disillusioned if Reiki does not work within the first couple of tries, and how many of our clinical studies only look at Reiki’s efficacy over less than a dozen Reiki treatments? According to the survey results, those respondents doing self-Reiki every day, over many years, achieve the best results. In these cases, they achieve three times the benefits of someone doing Reiki for less than an hour a week. This was a very critical finding for me as I have always been a strong advocate of self-healing as opposed to relying on therapists, and this result confirms the importance of teaching someone how to do Reiki for themselves, rather than giving them Reiki treatment.

Overall the survey covers over 70 pages of results, case studies and further findings. I am currently gathering more data so that I can drill into the data more thoroughly, so if you haven’t already done the survey, please go to  to add your experiences! There is also a more thorough summary on the website that you are free to disseminate and use.

Author and Reiki Master Elaine Grundy has been teaching Reiki internationally for over 15 years. She currently teaches at The Reiki Centre in Singapore.

Special offer with the purchase of Reiki, Pure and Simple!


Buy Reiki, Pure and Simple and get the Reiki Centre Survey FREE!

Order Elaine Grundy’s new book, Reiki, Pure and Simple from Amazon and she will send you the full Reiki Centre Survey Report (consisting of 74 pages of data, charts, case studies and detailed analysis worth USD$9.95). Two great works of Reiki for the price of one!

Written clearly, thoughtfully and practically, Reiki, Pure and Simple is the ideal book for those looking for a straightforward, all-round introduction to Reiki. As well as explaining how Reiki works, Elaine takes you through the remarkable healing journey of many other practitioners and clients.

“Even as a seasoned Reiki practitioner, [I found that] this book has given me deeper clarity. Elaine’s logic makes Reiki very easy to explain to my clients, thank you!” -- Karen

Simply order Reiki, Pure and Simple from Amazon and then

Email your Amazon receipt quoting ‘Reiki Digest Offer’ in the subject line to receive your downloadable copy of the Reiki Centre Survey.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The weekly waka

white canvas
a painting of snow
winter morning
a canvas of snow

by Beth Lowell

To submit your waka, please include it in an email addressed to waka @ and be sure to include the word "waka" in the subject line.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A reader asks about self-care. Will you answer?

We received a letter to the editor from Jen, a level 2 Reiki practitioner that addressed the subject of self treatment. Her letter touched on some key points, like having difficulty finding information about self treatment and the fact that her teacher didn't touch much on that subject when attuning students.

Beyond that, the writer described her attempts at self treatment as challenging. She fears that Reiki will cause her pain, based on past experience.  She writes: "I have it in my mind that if i do reiki i will experience pain. i have done it on my stomach before only to have it cause me diarrhea. I have done it on my head, only to get a headache."

While she has no problem working on other people, she's upset because, a.) she needs some healing herself but can't afford a treatment, and b.) she's developed a fear that she's created a self-fulfilling prophecy; that treating herself with Reiki "might create side affects i dont want. i have been sick a lot the past year and dont want another bed ridden experience." 

The letter continues:  "i do minor reiki on myself a little every day but try not to over do it. if you can tell me or give me some advice about how reiki can flow better, or not hurt me than id appreciate that...if you can help me understand that would be great."

We'd love to help Jen out. If you have any words of Reiki wisdom to share about self treatment, where to find more information about it, the effects of a Reiki treatment and Jen's self fulfilling prophecy, please add them in the comments box below. We'll be recapping what we've received and possibly adding to it in next week's Personal practice Monday feature.

Thank you!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Personal practice Monday:Do not bear anger

By Deborah Flanagan

Editors note: This article is excerpted from Deborah Flanagan's November 3, 2010 newsletter.

The system of Reiki offers 5 precepts (or rules to live by). The first one is "do not bear anger," and I've recently been exploring this precept in depth.

I think the definition of "bear" is interesting--"to carry in the mind or heart." The precept isn't saying don't get angry, but rather don't hold on to it or suppress it. Instead of keeping it, feel it and then let it go. Otherwise, you carry it and research suggests anger can contribute to many illnessess.

When you're angry you're disconnected from yourself and others. Furthermore, if you're disconnected you aren't grounded. Reiki is all about facilitating a sense of centering and connection .

Reiki promotes relaxation and helps the body balance itself, and this includes the emotions. A session also offers you much needed space to gain clarity and perspective. So if your heart is racing, thoughts are going round and round in your head, and your blood pressure is up because you're angry and upset about something, getting a session can help.

An Exercise in Anger

Think about some of the reasons you get angry. Instead of suppressing your anger, investigate it. Anger is just energy; think of it as an opportunity to see what lies underneath.

For example, maybe someone isn't acting the way you want them to, or maybe they're acting in a way you don't allow yourself to act. Or maybe getting angry is a defense mechanism, a way to protect yourself. Often the person you're most angry with is yourself. (For more on this and for anyone who's dealing with any kind of pain, especially back pain, I highly recommend reading Dr. John Sarno's MindBody Prescription.)

You can even think of anger as a gift--if you let it, it will take you someplace.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Animal Reiki Friday: 2010 Poll results

Our 2010 Animal Reiki polls are now closed!  Here are the results!

Poll Number 1 - How animal Reiki practitioners get clients 38% of Animal Reiki practitioners find clients through advertising primarily. 62% get clients through word of mouth.

Poll Number 2 - How many Reiki practitioners took a special class to learn how to practice Reiki with animals? 29% took a course and 71% did not. These results reflected perhaps the reasons respondants who work with animals started practicing Reiki in the first place, as indicated in...

Poll Number 3 - Which came first, the animal, or the Reiki? 17% started practicing Reiki because they wanted to help animals. 83% were seeking a spiritual path.

Thanks to all who responded!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Nominations open for's Readers' Choice Awards and a New Year Greeting from The Reiki Digest

Just a reminder that the nomination process for's Readers' Choice Awards begins today! To nominate The Reiki Digest, click here. The top finalists will be announced, and voting for the winner starts February 11 and runs through March 8. The winner will be announced March 15.

Need a reason to vote for The Reiki Digest? Take a look at our 2010 year in review to revisit all of the great contributions from the Reiki community that make The Reiki Digest the quality publication that it is!

Looking back and looking forward at The Reiki Digest

By Beth Lowell, Managing Editor

Happy New Year! It’s hard to believe we’re almost halfway into January. Looking back on 2010, it was a great year for Reiki and The Reiki Digest!

The Year in Review

The Reiki Digest started the year by reporting late breaking news, as Reiki was featured on the Oz show, here in the United States. And of course, along with featuring current events, we published several articles about the history of Reiki, from writers like Susan Mitchell, who remembered the teachings of Hawaya Takata and special Correspondent Cymber Lily Conn, who visited Hawaya Takata’s Reiki clinic in Hilo. And when Reiki practitioners around the world responded to the devastation in Haiti brought about by the earthquake, Editor and Publisher Janet Dagley Dagley wrote about how Mikao Usui responded to The Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923. Oliver Klatt asked the question, Does Reiki have Buddhist origins?

In February, we bid a sad farewell to teacher Margaret Ann Case, whose influence and legacy lives on, and Elaine Grundy announced her Reiki self-care survey - more exciting news on that later!

Health care is always a hot topic when it comes to Reiki, and we read a lot of good news about Reiki in health care this year, including some great research from Yale, one practitioner’s personal experience working in a medical setting, and statewide recognition for another who works in hospice care.

In April, we held our annual Waka Fest and reached our goal of at least one waka a day!

Our regular waka feature, The weekly waka continues to appear every Wednesday, and we were pleased to hear from new waka writers from all over the world who shared their poetry with our readers.

We had some lovely contributions from Bobbe Bramson and Julie Goodale who talked about the healing power of Reiki for ourselves, and for others. We also solicited advice for beginners from seasoned Reiki practitioners, and received a great response. Thanks to all who chimed in - and if you have advice for beginners, you can still comment.

Zeynep Yilmaz contributed pieces on the precepts, specifically on gratitude and worry - that one really helped out during the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Cymber Lily Conn composed a musical piece to help facilitate the healing there, and also contributed an article about the connection between Reiki and harp music.

Summer found us with a new format and new editors. Heather Alexander, Rose De Dan (who also served as one of our Celeb-Reikis), Beth Lowell, Deborah Flanagan, JeMaja Selas, and Jeffrey Hotchkiss all guest edited their own edition of The Reiki Digest, which moved to a monthly format in June. Heather, Deborah, JeMaja, and Jeffrey are now on board as contributing editors which means The Reiki Digest will be featuring more great articles from them throughout 2011.

In addition to our monthly edition, we introduced several new features that appear throughout the month. These include personal practice Monday, Animal Reiki Friday, and  Reiki Rooms.

We’ve been honored to receive personal practice articles from people like Pamela Miles, our Editor at Large, Janet Dagley Dagley, Editor and Publisher, and Bronwen and Frans Stiene.

We’ve heard from a variety of new writers who contributed to Animal Reiki Friday who’ve written about subjects like using intuition, the healing power of animals, the healing power of Reiki, animals assisting the human dying process, and even a bit of humor as we received our very first cartoon submission!

Our Reiki Room feature was such a success we decided to continue it in perpetuity - so do share yours if you haven’t already!

Looking Ahead - 2011

2011 is already looking bright with our first monthly edition guest edited by The Reiki School + Clinic in Philadelphia, and our first article from yet another new contributor. We look forward to the results of Elaine Grundy’s self-care survey as well as regular monthly posts from Elaine. We are honored to include Marianne Streich, Susan and Paul Mitchell, and Mari Hall among our guest editors this year.

As we approach The Reiki Digest’s fifth anniversary later this year, we dedicate ourselves anew to serving the global Reiki community in its many aspects, lineages and styles.

We’re also looking forward to contributions from new voices and will be publishing more information on that and other related items soon. Can one of those voices be yours?

Just For Today

Remember the precepts, practice self care, and also remember, nominations are open for the Readers’ Choice award for best Reiki blog! We hope you’ll vote for our dedicated contributors!

Happy New Year from the staff of The Reiki Digest - we look forward to another great year with you.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The weekly waka

Reiki Waka

A Reiki practice
within every household
will bring joy and peace
in much greater abundance
to everyone in the world.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A personal journey of how the Usui principles guide and provide healing in this time of economic challenge

By Patricia Keene

editor's note: This article appeared originally on the Oakledge Polarity at LivingWell website in November, 2009.

In March of 2009, the world as I had known it for the past 11 years was seemingly turned upside down when my three day a week position as an Employment Specialist IV at Maine Medical Center was suddenly eliminated. This decision was made in response to a major departmental financial shortfall. As my thoughts tumbled in disbelief, I thought about things like: How could this happen when my most recent evaluation had been the best ever and my productivity numbers were some of the best in the program? All along, I sent Reiki to the situation and in the end; I listened to my inner guidance as well as my integrity. Following is the account of how the Usui principles have played a direct link to my healing from this loss, a shift in my perspective and the delightful discoveries along the way!

Just for today…………

For about 3 days, I panicked, and I admit it! I was rendered practically non-functioning; I couldn’t think well, couldn’t sleep well and was, for all purposes, a nervous wreck wondering how I would manage with the towering shortfall I faced.

It was then that I realized that this was the perfect opportunity to practice what I teach my Reiki I and II students and Reiki Master/Teacher apprentices. Though my being was shaken to the core, I knew I could model the Usui Reiki principles in a very visceral way!

Early on, I received the most helpful encouragement and advice from a wise esoteric teacher and friend whom I had sought for guidance and perhaps a bit of solace. What came back was loving yet at first, surprising and almost shockingly startling. It was the best response she could have given me. It went like this: 

Do not allow yourself the luxury of going into the fear.

She wrote more than that little phrase, all of which was compassionate and wise but as I thought about her choice of wording, I soon came to know that she was helping me to get up and out of my own way! (Isn’t that something we teach our students?)

“Just for today, do not worry,” said to me that it was time to trust in the wisdom of the infinite; the all-encompassing universal harmony of life. This I knew, cognitively, however………..

Then came the anger; not overtly expressed but just a little bit of roiling around inside with things like, “The indignity of it all!” “This is the thanks I get!” Still, I am forever an optimist at heart. I found early into this sort of thinking that it felt awful and I didn’t like it one bit!

Weeks passed, and as I continued to teach Reiki and work my practice, my own words started to echo in my head. Reflecting with students on “Just for today, do not anger”, I make it a point to highlight the thought that anger is an honest emotion. To deny its existence is to attempt to fool oneself but to take that emotion (energy) and use it as a catalyst for some positive forward movement into life is fostering the highest good for oneself and others. Is this, perhaps, what Mikao Usui intended! It began to dawn on me that I was being handed the distinct and perfect chance to live this principle. In addition to beginning the practical steps such as updating my resume and the myriad activities related to seeking employment, I directed this “energy” into things like a collage of what I desired to see for my life and affirmations posted so that I would be reminded daily to direct my energy to those very ideas/ideals.

There is a familiar little phrase that says: We teach what we need to learn. This concept was becoming a living reality in my experience! Incredibly, I found that I gained strength precisely because and from that very real difficulty. I thought back to my own mentor who talked often about the importance of the “don’t know mind” or “letting go of the outcome”. More trusting………

Spring came and with it, the splendors of the season awash with new and fragile life, demonstrating the promise of rebirth and renewal. For the first time in my adult life, I found that I had an abundance of time to relish in nature, something that has called to me since childhood. The “Honor your parents, elders and teachers” principle suddenly came alive in my consciousness and I listened with my total being and all of my senses, including my intuitive faculties. I felt the unfaltering and ancient whispers of Mother Nature teaching me to listen to my heart, my dreams, and my longings and simply be, for once in my life. Reiki, apart from all other energy modalities, is the modality of BEING. I started to honor all of my teachers; human, animal and plant life and to give myself the precious gift of experiencing what it is to simply BE and of course, more trusting…

With the onset of summer, I had had, to date, a mere two interviews, from countless hours spent with the application process, in a field for which I was well versed, well educated, and abundantly experienced. Nothing materialized, and as puzzling as that was, even with our current economy and tough competition, my inner knowing was calm, serene and I remained happy for no apparent reason! I thought about “Earn your living honestly” as I talked with my Reiki students about levels of understanding. It is thought that the throat chakra is connected to our ability to “speak our truth” and the ability to “ realize our full creative potential”. When either of these two ingredients are missing or not fulfilled, we are apt to experience a wide range of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual symptoms; simply the body’s method of disseminating information and an indication that change would be beneficial. Having long experienced my throat to be my weak spot as well as some thyroid function issues, it became increasingly clear to me that although I made significant differences in the lives of the clients through my work in rehabilitation/employment counseling, my yearning had not quite been fulfilled and I had fallen short of “earning my living honestly”. Even with my complementary health care practice in Polarity Therapy and my Reiki teaching, there seemed something more beckoning. All the while, the practical side of life seemed looming and squarely in my face! How would I reconcile all of this? Summer marched on and although time was mine, it seemed to fairly speed by. I began to pay particular attention to envisioning what I really want and to feel the emotion of what that would be like.

Perhaps the most significant of all the principles and likely the reason for listing it as number 5, is “Show gratitude to every living thing”. We might take this a step further to say that everything in our universe was once organic, therefore, we might say, “Show gratitude for everything”. One of the most highly discussed and widely written about laws of the universe has to do with what we send out will directly affect what we get back. Perhaps we could make a case for this thought relative to all of the principles.

As summer began to wane, my favorite time of year was just beginning to show itself in the rustling breeze, the delightful earthy scents of the forest, cool, brisk mornings, and the last brilliant burst of harvest. I thought about the season of plenty, grateful for the wisdom of the universe in taking me up and out of a situation that had become one of false comfort and complacency. My heart swelled in gratitude for the time I had had through the summer with my daughter and growing granddaughters, the deep immersion in nature and all her wonders and delights, the connection with family/friends and for the “piece out of time” that I had been gifted so richly enhanced through the time worn principles of Reiki.

My journey continues to unfold with the blessing of a new opportunity brought forth from an invitation to join a healing center with like-minded practitioners, incorporating mind-body modalities and a philosophy to offer enrichment with easy access to the community at large. I continue to pay attention, to not worry, to use strong emotion to fuel my actions for the highest good, to honor all of my teachers, to take leaps of faith to realize my creative potential, to speak my truth and to be grateful for this amazing journey.

Thank you Mr. Usui for the principles you have set forth, providing guidance for creating our best life, extending that life and sharing it with others.

Patricia Keene is a Reiki Master who also specializes in Polarity Therapy, Therapeutic Touch and Craniosacral therapies. Her practice is located in Westbrook, Maine. 

Monday, January 10, 2011

Personal Practice Monday - Nominate and vote for the Best Reiki Blog, and polls closing has announced the guidelines for the 2011 Readers' Choice Awards. In the past, these awards were given only to top technology blogs but have now been expanded to include and showcase the best products, features and services in a wide range of categories, including Reiki!

The nomination process begins this Thursday, January 13 and runs through February 4th.

Why nominate The Reiki Digest?

  • were first to break stories like the Catholic bishops' attack on Reiki and Dr. Oz's endorsement of Reiki on television
  • provide timely reporting on new research findings
  • publish original research on Reiki and its founder in the context of Japanese history and culture
  • support for your personal and professional practice
  • reach over 5,000 readers in more than 150 countries
  • welcome readers and feature writers of all lineages
  • feature thought-provoking articles on all aspects of Reiki including self-care, Animal Reiki and waka poetry
  • are a reflection of you, our readers!
To nominate The Reiki Digest for the Readers' Choice best Reiki blog, click here on Thursday. The top finalists will be announced, and voting for the winner starts February 11 and runs through March 8. The winner will be announced March 15.

Our special thanks to Reiki practitioner and Digest reader and supporter, Phylameana lila Desy, who is also's guide to holistic healing, for letting us know about the awards.  

2010 Personal Practice polls closing soon!

We're closing down last year's personal practice polls but wanted to be sure to give all who did not get a chance to participate to do so now. We will publish the results next Monday.

Our first poll asked which aspect of Reiki practice is most important to you: Meditations, precepts, or hands on healing.   

Next, we asked how long each day do you practice Reiki?

Our last poll was meant to ask, but did not do so as precisely as we would have liked, does your practice incorporate the chakras, or the hara?

Do you have something to say about personal practice, or self-care? We welcome articles for our Personal practice Monday feature - just send your piece in an email to bethlowell @ and be sure to include the words "personal practice" in the subject line.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Please welcome this month's guest editors from The Reiki School + Clinic, Jessica Marino, Michael Murphy, Helaina Johnson, Laurie Elder, Kimberly Fleisher, Terence Newkumet

from left to right: Jessica Marino, Michael Murphy, Helaina Johnson, Laurie Elder, Kimberly Fleisher, Terence Newkumet

Photo by Amber Johnston

Dear Readers,

We are pleased and excited to introduce our first ever team of guest editors, all from the Reiki School + Clinic in Philadelphia, PA.

Celebrating its 12th anniversary, The Reiki School + Clinic in Philadelphia, PA, is a Reiki center that offers in depth Reiki training and education, Reiki treatments, and ongoing support for cultivating a lifestyle of wellness. One of the school’s main focuses is creating community through the practice of Reiki.

Please join us in welcoming Jessica Marino, Michael Murphy, Helaina Johnson, Laurie Elder, Kimberly Fleisher, Terence Newkumet!

Creating Reiki community

Holiday Reiki Share, 12/19/2010
photo by Amber Johnston

Kimberly Fleisher

For the last 12 years I’ve had the privilege of practicing Reiki in Philadelphia, PA at
The Reiki School + Clinic. One of the most rewarding, sweetest fruits of my practice is being a part of a thriving Reiki community. When I first began my Reiki journey, I did not know many Reiki practitioners. Aside from wanting to expose others to the practice, one of my main reasons for teaching was selfish- I wanted to talk about and share my practice with like-minded people! I had no idea just how rich my experience of spiritual community, through the practice of Reiki, would become. I learned quickly that community was both supportive and challenging; eventually, I learned to see both as precious gifts that deepened my practice. Now, every time I reflect on the Reiki precept of gratitude, I remember how valuable my Reiki community is to me.

The beauty of connection

Each Reiki treatment or class establishes connections. Kinship is created. My experience of Reiki practice is that it breaks down unneeded boundaries and resistances, and softens us to the compassionate place inside each one of us. As we move back to our own inner balance, we are more open to finding harmony and kinship with others. My Reiki practice has brought me a wealth of people who value spirituality. It’s brought me a safe space to talk about my movements toward wellness, as well as a supportive network of people that nurture the notion of ‘handle with care.’ No pun intended. I’ve gained dear friends, listening ears, nurturing hands, loving text messages, and distance Reiki treatments. I’ve been able to give those same gifts to others. I’ve felt the beauty of witnessing connections form. Through the community of The Reiki School + Clinic I’ve had the privilege of seeing new matches made - long term friendships, work connections, romantic partnerships, love, marriage, babies, business partnerships, and innumerable connections.

Openness to others

Through my Reiki community I’ve also been exposed to new traditions and practices that previously were unfamiliar or sometimes, uncomfortable to me. My Reiki practice has helped me become softer and more open to different ways of being. One might think that being a part of a group makes you less open, yet I’ve found the opposite – I am a part of a club that helps me become less and less exclusive.
My community has opened me to wisdom teachings, beautiful practices, and ways of thinking and being I didn’t know were possible. I’ve been able to take in those experiences fully, and use them as a means of self-reflection and growth.

Learning from challenges

Being in-community doesn’t always feel like a smushy, warm bed of goodness. Sometimes it’s frustrating, or challenging. It can bring out the worst feelings in us. Isn’t it wonderful, then, that we get to use our Reiki practice to help us learn from those challenges? We can return again and again, to our hands-on practice, and to the precepts. The co-founder of The Reiki School + Clinic, the late George Barrick, used to say, “To become more human is to become more divine.” My Reiki practice has helped me accept my humanness, my perfect imperfections, and to see their divine reflection in all others. My Reiki Community creates more opportunities for me to use my Reiki practice. What a gift! When we practice daily self-Reiki, we explore the landscape of our internal practice. We see the benefits and lessons that come from showing up daily. We practice when we think things are happening, and we practice when it doesn’t seem like anything is happening. Over time we learn lessons that only come from commitment and dedication. We see the growth that arises. Isn’t it the same with being part of a Reiki community? Sometimes it seems we like it, and sometimes we don’t. Either way, we continue to practice and we grow. As a Reiki community, locally or globally, we all have, at least in theory, a commitment to practicing and applying Reiki in our daily lives. Doesn’t this mean we have a commitment to each other, to use our practice of Reiki as we relate to each other? Community is one of the most valuable components of my Reiki practice. It has helped me in innumerable ways. I am so grateful.

Kimberly Fleisher is a Reiki Master Teacher and holds a Masters degree in Education. She is Director and Co-Founder of The Reiki School+Clinic in Philadelphia, PA

Editor's note:
For those who are not familiar with the Reiki precept about gratitude, many versions of the Reiki precepts include a reference to gratitude, and sometimes "be humble" is translated as "be grateful".


Sounds True, Inc.


The Reiki Roundup

Compiled By Terence Newkumet

Chicago, IL, USA:
Readers of newspaper offer their perspectives on Reiki therapy for animals.

Karachi, Pakistan:
Four children with cerebral palsy are given Reiki treatments along with other therapies.

Pacific, MO, USA:
A new center opens offering various styles of Reiki to the community.

New York, NY, USA:
Blog presents nerve stroke technique practiced by Hawayo Takata at the end of her Reiki treatments.

Danvers, MA:
Hospice starts complementary therapies program and is looking for Reiki volunteers.

Los Angeles, CA, USA: Tips offered for practicing Reiki and staying balanced in court.

Sewickley, PA, USA:
Reiki Master leads healing circles at local library even with three fractured ribs. Her practice eased her pain.

Philadelphia, Pa, USA:
Cancer Resource Blogger and Reiki recipient offers insight on how Reiki helped her during cancer treatment.

Terence Newkumet
is a Reiki Master Teacher and Practitioner at The Reiki School + Clinic





By Laurie Elder

This month we have a few celebrity reiki spottings!

James Marsden appears as a Reiki practitioner in the January 5th episode of ABC's "Modern Family" tv show. Read more here and view still photos from the episode.

Gregg Foreman of
Cat Power (keyboardist/guitarist), All Saints Day (with Katy Goodman of Vivian Girls), and The Delta 72, is a Reiki student and client of Jessica Marino of The Reiki School + Clinic. He is certified as a Reiki Level I Practitioner, gives himself Reiki sessions regularly, and receives Reiki sessions from others, for spiritual balance.

In the recently released documentary, "Every Heart Beats True: The Jim Stynes Story", Jim Stynes, "Melborne Demons" retired AFL legend, mentions
that he has taken up receiving Reiki sessions among other complimentary therapies as part of his healing regiment. Styles was diagnosed with cancer almost 2 years ago and is currently president of the "Melborne Demons". Read more here.

Laurie Elder is a Reiki Master Teacher, Practitioner, and Office Manager at The Reiki School + Clinic


Laureate Online Education B.V. -  Business


Music we love to practice Reiki by

We polled our team, asking each member if they had a favorite album….here are a few of the highlights:

Helaina Johnson, Reiki Master Practitioner and Massage Therapist:
"Quiet Heart / Spirit Wind" by Richard Warner - I never get tired of it!

Terence Newkumet, Reiki Master Teacher:
One of my favorite albums for reiki practice is actually "Dreams of Freedom: Ambient Translation of Bob Marley in Dub" by Bill Laswell. It is a mellow and moving arrangement of Marley's music. I enjoy the message of his words and the vibration of his voice. Always a winner at Reiki Shares as well.

Laurie Elder, Reiki Master Teacher:
My favorite cd to listen to while giving myself reiki sessions or giving reiki sessions to friends is: "Loveland: Music for Dreaming and Awakening" by Jai Uttal and Ben Leinbach. It is very soothing with flowy with sincere mantra chanting and long dreamy instrumental sections.

When giving reiki sessions to clients, I prefer to listen to music without lyrics, unless my client brings their own specific music to the session. My favorite cd without lyrics is "
Reiki Mountains" by Sambodhi Prem. It reminds me of what I would hear if I were riding a horse, calmly through the country side while staring in a hollywood movie. It is a combination of elongated guitar strung notes and electronically created emotions. This cd never gets old for me.

Jessica Marino, Reiki Master Teacher: Reiki outside in nature with the leaves rustling, birds, waves....children...even in the city, traffic and sirens all integrate into the auditory experience....

Our whole team agreed:
Any of the albums by Tania Alexandra, staff member at the school, and singer songwriter, is a favorite for reiki shares. Her music is one of the few choices with lyrics that we can practice with. Her music is a deep reflection of her spiritual practice.