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Monday, October 24, 2011

Reiki perspectives: you can become an instant Reiki Master

You've seen the ads: “You Too Can Become a Powerful Reiki Master in 48 Hours” or “Becoming A Powerful Reiki Master Has Never Been So Quick, Easy Or Complete.” Have you ever wondered how fast and easy can also be complete? Read more ...

Friday, October 21, 2011

Reiki perspectives: Are you crazy enough to change the world?

Are you crazy for Reiki? Crazy enough to change the world? Read more...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The weekly waka

Brave heart, innocent
Compassion flows in and out
Beauty rests, silent
Sand passed through an hourglass
Does not question the motive.

by Kathy Koval

Have you ever written a waka? Mikao Usui meditated on waka poetry written by the Meiji Emperor. Usually written in a 5/7/5/7/7 format, modern waka, or tanka, are often written in a variation of this measure, using a short/long/short/long/long format with no more than 31 syllables. Submit yours to waka @ thereikidigest. com and be sure to include "waka" in the subject line.  

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Music Review: Escapes - music for relaxing by Jeff Gold

By Beth Lowell, Managing Editor

We've featured the music of Jeff Gold before, here at The Reiki Digest. Jeff's collection titled "Escapes"  does indeed provide an hour-long  melodic escape from whatever ails you. His easy playing style, which features piano and guitar, has a real west coast feel - and in fact, the west coast of the United States as well as Hawaii have both served as inspirations for Jeff. He is often described by listeners as a creator of imagery through music. Unlike much of the music that crosses my desk, Jeff's music can truly be described as 'Easy Listening', rather than New Age, Ambient or Eastern.

His evocative compositions have as their healing muses the elements, the sun, the moon, and the earth itself. His music is known worldwide to not only spas but also to the parents of autistic children who report its soothing effect.

"Escapes" is available at Jeff Gold Music and at Amazon.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Journey behind the veil

By Jeffrey Hotchkiss, Contributing Editor

Oh my, I thought, we’re going to have to be very careful about expectations here.

On the bed, Ben* was lying, rigid, staring sightlessly at the wall next to him.  His arms were crossed over his chest, hands at each shoulder, like a mummy.  His legs were drawn up, feet flat on the bed.  Bald on top, hooked nose, slim and still strong, though his muscles were stiff, he looked like an eagle in repose.  He was breathing normally and his skin was clean, as were his clothes.  The staff of the nursing home were taking the best care of him they knew how.

I couldn’t imagine how Reiki was going to make any noticeable difference.  To my untrained eye, he looked catatonic and stiff as a board.
But, I had committed to trying.  So.... here goes, I thought.

“Hi, Ben”, I said softly.  “I saw you last week and told you about Reiki, gave you a little treatment to see how it felt, and now I’m here again, as I promised.”  No reaction – did his eyes move at all?  I wasn’t sure.

“I’m going to slowly and gently start to give you Reiki again.  As I said before, if at any time you want me to stop, just show me with your body.”  In last week’s brief introductory session, in the sunny common room off the courtyard, his body had relaxed into my hands, and I could feel him accepting the treatment.  Nevertheless, I had resolved to check for his acceptance at each session.  Although his daughter, Heather*, had signed the permission form, because she had power of attorney, that did not mean I could treat him every time I visited, that he would welcome Reiki every visit.  In end-stage Alzheimer’s, every encounter would be a first time for him, I assumed.  If he shrugged me away, or in any way showed anxious body language, I would remove my hands from his body and end the session.

I took a breath, and pulled up a chair next to his bed, trying not to scrape it on the floor.  Softly, gently, I let my hands find their way to the beginning places – head and heart. 

Almost immediately, though my eyes were open, my mind’s eye opened as well to a vision -- paired black triangles raising into a corner, like the Vietnam Memorial.  It felt like the ground opening up, to allow me entry to Ben’s mind.  
Then, I saw a large tawny cat, sitting on his bedstead, with the feeling of closeness to Ben  Startling in its clarity, personality and sense of meaning, the image seemed intent for me to remember it.
I continued the session, for half an hour, leaning over his bed.  Was he relaxing?  Hard to tell, but it seemed he was receiving as willingly as the last time.  Once during the session, the call button went off in another resident’s room, with a loud repeating beep echoing down the hallway.  “Leave me alone!” was the immediate sense I felt from Ben  Was that body language, intuitive sensing, or just my thought projection pretending to be his?  My notes say that the beeper stopped his process of reviewing his life in his mind’s eye, and he had to start over.  
I ended the treatment after half an hour, offered thanks to Reiki and to Ben, and left bemused and bubbling over with excitement, at the unexpected depth of the connection with an elder who had barely opened his eyes or spoken a word.
A few days later, I talked to his daughter Heather, to tell her how the first treatment went. Uncertain how she would react, I told her about the strong intuitive image of a cat.  She confirmed that her father had had a beloved cat fitting my description, before the Alzheimer’s forced him into full time nursing care.  Finishing the call,  we agreed to half-hour sessions twice a week for Ben.
At that time, I was dazzled by how often Reiki yielded accurate verifiable intuitions.  Finding the connection with Ben via the image of his cat, I felt joy at bridging the communication gap that is so anguishing for the loved ones of a dementia sufferer.  Ben’s ability to tell a story was unexpectedly restored, in a wonderful way.   
As it turned out, this episode served more as a comfort to his daughter and me, that we were reaching out to him in a meaningful way.  It was not to be an ongoing way to share his personal stories with the world at large.
For the next session, I gave him Reiki in the sunlit courtyard room.  My notes refer to working on his left shoulder – did I see his neck relax a bit, from its rigid board-straight posture?
Next time, I’ll continue the story.  It was to be a fascinating and joyful journey.  Writing about it, I learn anew.  
*Name changed to protect privacy.

 Your thoughts on intuition
Deborah Flanagan’s recent article on intuition makes some thought-provoking points.  In my own practice, I am more often encouraging clients and students to awaken their own intuition, however I can still see value in speaking and acting from mine.  Learning about appropriate and balanced expression of intuition has improved my practice.  This story marks a milestone along my way of understanding this question.
What do you feel is the role of intuition in Reiki practice?  How does permission play into it?  What are considerations for working with elders, for both intuition and permission? 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The weekly waka

wise poets know
that sometimes we're empty
and patience is always required.

by Beth Lowell

The Reiki Digest welcomes waka contributions from readers like you! To submit, simply include your poem in an email with "waka" in the subject line, and send it to waka @ 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

And the winners of The Reiki Digest's art and healing focus group drawing are...

By Beth Lowell, Managing Editor

...the following participants. Here's who they are and what some of them had to say about their experience. 

Jenny Garver

This is wonderful!! Thank you so much. I will place the print in my treatment room with honor - know that so many others will be able to enjoy it.
I want to thank you for including me in this beautiful experience!! The experience was the best "reward."
Everyone loved the mandala. I felt that the energy coming from the print "changed" or adjusted for each individual person. The print seemed to show a different image each time we focused on it for each healing experience.
I also had an opportunity to check out the art show and was very inspired by the other mandalas. All of them are beautiful. I will certainly refer my clients and friends to the website!
Many blessings to all of you who made the project possible. 
Christine Morley 
Thank you very much for the opportunity. I enjoyed myself immensely.  I will definitely be using the print in my practice, both for myself and for the people I work with.

Eva Chavez

I definitely would like to say that doing the Reiki with it [the mandala] helped me to get more in touch with my awareness as a healer. It breathed new life into me, and into my ability to heal as a whole.

Jason Campbell

Once again, a big thank you to all our focus group participants for their enthusiasm and dedication!

Monday, October 10, 2011

The results are in! The Reiki Digest's focus group analysis - Does art help the healing process?

Reiki: The Infinite Field (c) P.C. Turczyn 2011

By Beth Lowell, Managing Editor

"Images of a five pointed star, then [it]changed to a six pointed star, then a swirl, then an angel, then a dancing ballerina...Such an interesting experience!"

"I really enjoyed the movement and vibration of the mandala. I usually close my eyes during a Reiki session so it was a bit of an effort to remind myself to focus on it occasionally. I can say that I enjoy the mandala in my space and that it definitely had a positive influence on my personal vibration, if not the actual session."

"I am really enjoying using the mandala with my distant healing and will be sorry when this survey is over."

"I love how there is movement in the mandala. It flows, waves and pulsates, sometimes you see more bits than others. It turns into a 3D image at times too....I love the centre blue dot." 

On June 1, 2011, 24 focus group volunteers began practicing Reiki while looking at a mandala. Four groups of participants used the mandala for different types of treatments and meditation: self treatment, treatment of others, distant treatment and meditation.

Over a period of two months, they used it at least 5 times and recorded answers to a questionnaire. The results are in and it appears that art most definitely does have a positive effect on the healing practice!

Some participants felt hindered by the mandala as they were required to view it on a computer screen, or felt it was distracting and/or took them outward, rather than inward. One participant felt after trying it during meditation that it "did not apply" and chose not to continue in the program, either in meditation or in any of the other categories. One participant opted out due to an unexpected change in life circumstances.  

Most reported a calm and peaceful feeling although it took some participants a few trys before getting used to working with the mandala, and most experienced visual phenomena, such as colors blending together or changing, noting pulsations in the image, and even perceiving the image changing shape.

Here are the questions and a summary of comments. (You can also view the original survey.) 

What type of Reiki session did you do?

·         Self-treatment:                               36.5%

·         Hands-on treatment:                     23.8%

·         Distant healing:                              28.6%

·         Other:                                               11.1%

How long was the session?

                Average was 28 minutes

Was it different from your usual session?

·         Yes:                                                        68.3%

·         No:                                                         31.7%

How much of the time were you gazing at the mandala?

Respondents worked intuitively here, and while many looked at the mandala for only the first few minutes, others reported that they looked at it for up to 70% of the session. Many gazed at it off and on without recording hard and fast times.

Did it affect your perception of the Reiki vibration?

·         Yes:                                                        65.1%

·         No:                                                         34.9%

Did it affect your perceived ability to hold the Reiki vibration?

·         Yes:                                                        42.9%

·         No:                                                         57.1%

What was your response to the image?

Responses varied, with many respondents finding it to provide a calm and relaxing space. Others found the image distracting, and brought them outward, rather than inward. Many reported that with increased use, they noted a sense of Reiki flow in the painting, and most reported seeing vibrations in the image. The computer screen was a hindrance to a couple of participants. 

What was your response to the colors?

 Almost all of the participants felt that the colors were soothing, and that they seemed to blend together and pulsate in a pleasing way. Others could not be sure or had no reaction to the colors.           

Did you notice a sense of movement in the image?

·         Yes:                                                        88.9%

·         No:                                                         11.1%

Did the image appear to change over the course of your practice session?

·         Yes:                                                        77.8%

·         No:                                                         22.2%

Did you feel a response in your body?

·         Yes:                                                        60.3%

·         No:                                                         39.7%

If working with a client, did they have any comment regarding the mandala?

Not all clients had comments about the mandala, and many practitioners did not particularly point out the mandala as a source of focus. Of those who did respond, most found it to be a beautiful image. One client felt an energetic connection to the image.               

 Would you say the mandala supported or hampered your practice?

·         Supported:                                         63.5%

·         Hampered:                                         3.2%

·         Neither:                                               33.3%

Did you feel the mandala would provide a supportive atmosphere in your treatment room, even if you were not looking at it most of the time?

·         Yes:                                                        92.1%

·         No:                                                         6.3%

·         Did not answer:                                   1.6%

Do you have any comments to share?

Some of the comments have been excerpted at the begining of this article. You can read more here.

Overall results

Responses that indicated a positive response:                   69.8%

Responses that indicated a negative response:                  25.8%

Responses that indicated no affect:                                        4.4%

We are grateful to all of our participants for their enthusiastic response and wish them luck in each of the four drawings (one for each participant category) for an archival print of the mandala valued at $200.00.

Our thanks also go to artist PC Turczyn who started this whole thing way back in December of 2010.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Music Review: "Chakra Gold" by Aethurium

By Beth Lowell, Managing Editor

In last week's music review of The Healing Drum, we introduced musician Chris Puleston who along with being an accomplished musician is also a longtime student of Indian spirituality, music and yoga. More of Chris's percussion, chimes and didgeridoo are heard on "Chakra Gold" by Aethurium.

Each selection in this ambient collection is devoted to a different chakra,  beginning at the base and moving up through the crown. The melodies have a consistent resonant dreamlike quality, perfect for meditation or healing work. I listened to this CD during meditation, and also while painting. It served as the perfect backdrop for both.

This CD is available at Paradise Music and on Amazon.

Reiki perspectives: Reiki healing, a doctor's experience

I am always grateful to teach a physician, nurse, or other licensed health care professional to practice Reiki self-treatment. When we help a caregiver take better care of him or herself, we reach a lot of people. It's likely they will find ways to insert at least moments of Reiki touch to ease their patients' suffering, but even if they don't deliberately integrate Reiki in their conventional care, their patients and families and friends will benefit from their own self-treatment. When teaching in medical environments, I often say, "The care of the patient begins with the care of the caregiver." That said, I enjoy hearing from my students about how their Reiki practice is unfolding, and this feedback from a physician in a recent class particularly moved me.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Please welcome guest editor Jean Bromage!

Please join us in welcoming guest editor Jean Bromage. Jean is a Reiki master teacher based in New York City.  Over the past 8 years Jean has not only enjoyed her own personal Reiki journey, but also witnessing the healing process unfold as her clients and students discover their own path with Reiki. Jean also works closely with the social workers at Mt. Sinai’s Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention program, using Reiki to assist them in finding personal balance with their challenging field of work.

Thanks, Jean!

A matter of space: why we Reiki stuff

By Jean Bromage

When I began studying Reiki, I had recently taken up candle making as a hobby and was looking to turn it into a business. My teacher encouraged me to infuse the candles with Reiki and include this information on the labels and in the marketing materials. Immediately my inner skeptic assumed people would think I’m crazy and not buy them. While I enjoyed including Reiki in the candle making process and understood why we Reiki inanimate objects, I didn’t have enough faith in the non-Reiki population and assumed they wouldn’t understand. Well, after a year went by, I decided to fess up to the “secret ingredient” and added Reiki to my labeling. Ever since, the conversations initiated by this are quite interesting and sometimes amusing. I hear stories about Reiki trainings from all over the world, a person’s first experience with receiving Reiki, or how someone combines Reiki with another healing modality, religious belief or art form. For those who have never heard of Reiki, they often times become intrigued and want to learn more. The few skeptics that pass by my table at the market mostly smile and say “Well, it certainly couldn’t hurt . . .”

Through these experiences, I have come to a deeper understanding of why we Reiki “stuff”. We have the clearing technique for when we bring home used items (Jacki-Kiri Joka-Ho). We Reiki bank deposits and other financial records for greater prosperity. We Reiki our food for both purification and expressing gratitude for the universe providing what we need. We Reiki gifts, letters and even the phone before we call someone, setting the intention for clear and compassionate communication. Some may describe this practice as superstitious. However, from a scientific standpoint, there is real evidence that the thoughts and energetic presence we hold regarding the things around us, do indeed make a difference. In her book, Countdown to Coherence, Hazel Courtney interviews Dr. Gary Schwartz, author of The Energy Healing Experiments, about this idea. Dr. Schwartz describes how everything has a “feedback loop” which stores memory. This loop allows for an energetic exchange to take place when you are near or holding an object. He states that “Everything is vibrating, every atom is extending energy and information into space and every atom is receiving energy and information.” In another interview conducted by Courtney, William Tiller, PhD, who also appears in the DVD What the Bleep Do We Know!?, discusses how “. . . the visible matter we see around us . . . makes up around four per cent of the energy and matter content of the physical universe.” He goes on to say that “. . . ninety-six per cent of our universe is invisible matter and energy hidden within the physical vacuum of space. And this is where the magnetic information wave level functions. If a person learns how to connect, or ‘couple’, with this vacuum level of physical reality, which we can access in the spaces between our thoughts through spiritual practices such as meditation, then what many people think of as miracles could become child’s play.” That is a whole lot of space to be filled with thoughts, intentions and consciousness and Reiki is a wonderful tool for actively infusing our surroundings, the world and beyond with positive energy and healing light.

For me, channeling Reiki into my candles, or anything else for that matter, is not just about adding positive energy and intentions. It is also about living the Reiki precepts in my daily interactions and seeing this mirrored in my environment. Reflecting on the Reiki precepts throughout one’s daily work and play evolves into a metaphoric spiritual dance with a rhythm unique to each individual. In turn, this process emanates a sense of artistic beauty, wisdom and joy to the rest of the world. When making candles, I call in the Reiki and clear the work space, grounding myself in the present, or what I like to call the “just for today frame of mind”. While chanting the mantras, any negative emotions or worries are released, opening up space in my personal energy field to enjoy the creative process and experience gratitude. By the time I am mixing the candle ingredients and calling in the symbols along with any colors that seem appropriate, this spiritual connection created through using the Reiki tools then translates into the end product and eventually to the people who will enjoy it.

Every activity in which we participate is an opportunity to hold a healing presence and reflect a positive light with our surroundings. Whether the activity involves sentient or non-sentient beings, Reiki practitioners have the added benefit of the Reiki tool box with which to co-create a world of joy, compassion and harmony. Whether it is at work or home, in nature or the city, every situation offers endless possibilities for infusing this great space contained within the material world with the presence of Reiki, and inspiring that creative process we call life.

The Reiki roundup

Istanbul, Turkey: Reiki and Postpartum Depression

Pique, British Columbia, Canada: Day of Peace Celebrations to Include Reiki

West Midlands, UK: Dog Healer’s Use of Reiki

Palm Springs, California, USA: Annual Body Mind Spirit Weekend

Northfield, Minnesota, USA: Reiki as a Compliment to Conventional Medicine

It's a Celeb-Reiki roundup

Music we love to practice Reiki by: "Buddha Nature"

I play this CD by Deuter for both my healing sessions and Reiki circles and people are always asking me for the title. The waterfall of notes in the beginning washes away any distractions and helps center the mind and body. The beautiful flute solo in the middle carries one even more deeply into their process whether it is for healing or meditation. The final track, titled Blessing, is a beautiful, sweet melody that gently guides one back from their journey. Excellent for healing, meditation, massage or simply relaxing at the end of a busy day.

The weekly waka


The train rolls along
Lulling the dark night to sleep
Mist hiding the tracks
Until the dawn enlightens
Its journey through the mountains

By Jean Bromage

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Book Review: The Reiki Manual by Penelope Quest

By Beth Lowell, Managing Editor

Hot off the presses, Penelope Quest's The Reiki Manual - a Comprehensive Guide for Reiki Stuents, Practitioners, and Masters is indeed comprehensive. Published by Tarcher and containing over 300 pages, it covers the Reiki experience from soup to nuts.

Quest, who has been practicing Reiki since 1990 and who has written several other books about it, participated in the UK Reiki Federation's effort to produce Core Curriculum for Reiki training in order to ensure consistency and good business practices among Reiki pratitioners who chose voluntarily to self-regulate. This book was written, in part, so that those whose studies did not provide sufficient training to meet the National Occupational Standards (NOC) developed as a part of this initiative would have a resource to turn to. The manual is designed to address the needs of both teachers and students of Reiki training, as well as practitioners who just want to round out their Reiki knowledge.

Information is presented following the progression of a typical Reiki student, including theory and practice for levels 1 and 2, setting up professional practice, and becoming a Reiki Master. Each section addresses the needs of the practitioner as they may appear throughout a typical career, for instance, topics covered starting with Reiki 1 and ending with Reiki Master provide guidance about hand positions, an examination of the precepts, self protection, first aid, ethics, medical conditions and emergencies, running a business and maintaining professional standards and  preparing for a teaching career.

Quest includes a comprehensive history of Reiki, acknowledging the differences in the narrative of Usui's life as told by Japanese and Western practitioners and she also takes care in delivery of information about Japanese ideas and practices because of the many nuances that cannot always be accounted for in translation.

The robust appendix includes sections on different styles of Reiki, the science of energy, techniques, and useful sample forms for personal and professional use.

Written in an easy to read style, The Reiki Manual will prove to be a valuable resource for practitioners of all levels. You can purchase it on Amazon.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Music Review:The Healing Drum by Chris Puleston and Chris Conway

by Beth Lowell, Managing Editor

The Healing Drum's introductory selection The Source features flute, the sound of water, rich layers of perussion and a variety of instruments including the didgeridoo, setting the tone for the magical journey musicians Chris Puleston, Chris Conway and guest musician David Nash have created for listeners of this album, which also includes instructions for accompaniment should anyone want to drum along.

Listeners can easily imagine following the Traveller on this musical adventure, listen along to The Healing Drum, envision An Irishman in Africa, experience Cymbology, imagine The Seven Jewels and return, Back to the River. 

Instruments used throughout range from temple bells and glockenschpiel to ones I've never heard of, like the ghatam and pakhawaj.

Most of this exotic and relaxing collection is suitable for meditation, easy listening, waiting rooms and for listening during Reiki or massage. Take a listen first, though as personal preference may dictate that a selection or two may be a bit too exciting for those receiving healing treatments.

The Healing Drum can be found at Paradise Music and on Amazon.