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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Closing a door, opening a thread. . .

Even though we won't be publishing The Reiki Digest after this edition, we invite all of you to continue speaking for and about Reiki right here in this open thread. If you've got something to say about Reiki, if you have a question about Reiki, just click on the word "comments" below to add your comments and keep the conversation going...

The final edition!

by Beth Lowell, Managing Editor

A little over five years ago in May of 2006, a one of a kind on online publication devoted solely to the subject of Reiki made its debut from its home base in Hoboken NJ. The brain child of Editor and Publisher, Janet Dagley Dagley, a Reiki practioner and teacher, and award winning journalist, The Reiki Digest targeted an audience of Reiki practitioners worldwide, regardless of lineage or the branch of Reiki that they had studied.

Our mission statement: The Reiki Digest is dedicated exclusively to publishing news and articles about Reiki to promote its practice and educate both the Reiki community and the world at large.

Part of The Reiki Digest's goal was to bring practitioners together and eliminate the sometimes present "competition" between practitioners of different lineages over whose is the "better" or "correct" method of practice. Beyond establishing a community for all practitioners, the mission included providing credible information and responsible reporting about Reiki to empower practitioners to learn more about the system, strengthen their practice, and help them to bring Reiki to the world around them in a clear and positive manner.

The very first edition of The Reiki Digest provided an explanation of what Reiki is, and from there, the publication grew to include a regular roundup of Reiki news items, Celebrity news, waka poetry, book and music reviews, and articles on just about any aspect of Reiki that one could imagine.

The publication soon reached an audience of over 5000 readers worldwide, including Reiki practitioners from almost every country on the globe. During its publication, The Reiki Digest reported on such Reiki milestones as its appearance on the Dr. Oz show, the renouncement of Reiki by the Catholic church, and the mainstreaming of Reiki in healthcare settings - this despite the fact that the words"Reiki", "voodoo" and "faith healing" are often used in conjunction with each other as reporters from  news outlets struggle to understand this simple system. This level of reportage, along with information on Reiki research, both in the scientific and medical communities, as well as less formal surveys and focus groups conducted among practitioners themselves served well to fulfill the mission statement.

So, why end the Digest? Well, we prefer to think of this as a much needed sabbatical, instead of an ending and we don't discount the return of The Reiki Digest  sometime in the future, although we're not quite sure what form that may take. Our website will remain live so that you can peruse the archives and catch up on anything you might have missed over the past five years.  Janet and I both have some words to share here, and we invite you to take a retrospective tour of The Reiki Digest as we conclude for now. Enjoy!

Kudos and thanks!

Kudos and heartfelt thanks:

To Managing Editor Beth Lowell, whose heroic efforts extended the life of this publication for more than a year, and whose outstanding editing and leadership skills not only deepened the level of our ongoing conversation but broadened our reach into the global Reiki community.

To all our contributing editors, guest editors, guest writers, waka contributors, artists, and commenters.

To our advertisers for their support.

And to you, dear readers, for your kind attention these past five years.

Making way for something new

By Beth Lowell, Managing Editor

After completing my first Shinpiden training in 2008, I wanted to get my hands on as much information about Reiki as I could. It seemed that each of my Internet search results had one thing in common – article after article I found had been published by The Reiki Digest. One such search yielded a book review and at the bottom I read a note from the editor, which welcomed reviews by readers.  

I didn’t hesitate to contact Janet Dagley Dagley, editor and publisher of The Reiki Digest to find out more. Since I’d just recently met Janet during my training, reaching out to her was like reaching out to an old friend, and to my delight, she agreed to let me have a go at it. What better way to learn about the many aspects of Reiki from practitioner/writers around the world - and get books and CDs for free?
Through time, my participation in The Reiki Digest grew. Along with writing reviews, I partcipated in Waka Fest and started to contribute articles, mostly about my practice with animals. But along with these I couldn't help but explore the many facets of Reiki that continue to fascinate me, like how intuition develops as a result of practice, and the professional and moral consequences of if and how exactly to share it. Through interaction with practitioners around the world my experience with Reiki deepened.

I became a contributor, a guest editor, contributing editor, and finally managing editor. I met so many wonderful people through this endeavor – either in person, online, or by phone and I was able to renew ties with many Reiki colleagues I have met along the way as well. I was pleased and grateful to have found my perfect niche in the Reiki world.
Through this period, The Reiki Digest responded to reader response and moved from a weekly to a monthly publication and subsequently offered Reiki practitioners from around the world the opportunity of reaching out to the Reiki community through their contributions as guest editors, and after that, the option for them to become contributors who submitted several articles throughout the year.
Although I had no preconceived notions about our team of writers, month after month I was so greatly inspired to find how each had truly embraced the essence of Reiki and integrated it into their lives.
The decision to conclude The Reiki Digest as it now exists unfolded in an organic way – it seemed the logical choice for the time, and while it was at first a frightening and sad thought, it bloomed into a beautiful space for new adventures and opportunities.
The Tao says that when we lose something we love, it’s making way for something new.      
I’d like to thank all of our readers for their support throughout the years, our writers, guest editors, and of course, our waka contributors too. Most of all I’d like to thank Janet Dagley Dagley for creating The Reiki Digest, which has served as such a font of reliable information, a source of credible and responsible reporting, for her guidance in both editing and Reiki, and also of course, for offering me the opportunity for being part of it all.
I’d like also to say not goodbye readers, but rather, farewell, and may we meet again!

The Reiki Digest Retrospective

By Beth Lowell, Managing Editor

The Reiki Digest has covered so many diverse topics over the past five years that it's difficult to choose which ones to share!

Mikao Usui, founder of the system of Reiki (source: Wikimedia Commons)
Maybe it's appropriate to start with the man who started it all, Mikao Usui. Reiki practitioners are often taught about Usui in bullet form - some facts like when he was born and how he founded Reiki after having a vision. By now, most practitioners know that he wasn't a doctor, and that Reiki was not introduced until the 1900's, but what about who he really was? The Usui in Context articles delve deeper into both what we know about the man, and what we can't be sure of. The focus of these articles is Usui in the context of his time and his environment, but they touch on issues that are relevant today, like the complexity of religion and its relationship to Reiki, and coming to terms with natural disasters.

Dr. Robert Klein in front of Mrs. Takata's sign. The smaller sign below shows the text in a more readable format. Photo courtesy of Special Corespondent Cymber Lily Conn
Another person who should not be relegated to the bullet point is Mrs. Takata, often known only as "the woman who brought Reiki to the West." In these articles, we get a flavor of what Hawayo Takata's practice was like, and the legacy she left her students, and those who followed.

Perhaps the most basic component of the system of Reiki is the set of precepts that Usui developed. Some of our favorite precept-related articles have included how people can put them to practical use in every day life. Seems like the economy has been on most people's minds longer than we expected it to be. Articles by Editor in Chief and Publisher, Janet Dagley Dagley and contributor Patricia Keene discuss how using the precepts can help through difficult financial times. Precepts can come in pretty handy in all aspects of life, including dog training and minor emergencies too!

Meditations, like the precepts, are a key component of Reiki practice. The trick here is continuity as Janet Dagley Dagley explains in her article on the subject.  Two very different but effective CDs to help you meditate, should you need a boost, can be found in this review.

Another hot topic on readers' minds here at The Reiki Digest has been presenting Reiki in a credible manner.This is especially important the more we see Reiki being portrayed inaccurately in the press. Guest editor Claire Schwartz wrote about this back in the early days of the digest, calling for clarity and honesty in communication about Reiki. Her argument stands today, especially since in some corners, the same old misinformation about Reiki and its founder, Mikao Usui is still circulating. Personal responsibility has always been a popular subject among our writers and our readers and has been the subject of quite a few discussions.

Because so many branches of Reiki exist, teachings vary widely. In the interest of promoting community and the practice of Reiki to those not familar, The Reiki Digest formed a list of the points of concensus to embrace the common points among different branches.  What followed was a very thoughtful discussion on the finer points of these points.

Another potential stumbling block to communicating Reiki is an unclear grasp of its elements. Sometimes, practitioners find it difficult to explain concepts and rituals from another culture and spiritual practice without making them sound like so much hocus pocus. A clear explanation of the symbols and mantras can go a long way in helping people understand why these rituals are so important.

We heard from readers from all over the world when the Catholic Bishops denounced Reiki, and in the first broadcast of Reiki Digest Radio, Janet Dagley Dagley interviewed a practitioner whose clinics were affected by the fallout.

Reiki for hens!
Our readers also didn't hesitate to chime in to help when other practitioners had questions, often providing advice for beginners or suggestions for those having difficulty practicing. And we got a lot of great feedback in our polls, the subjects of which ranged from marketing to personal practice to working with animals.While we were kind of surprised that a vast majority of practitioners did not use waka for contemplation, we weren't at all surprised that animals were a great source of inspiration, and showed up in waka, cartoons, and articles about not only how Reiki has helped animals heal, but how it helped them become healers,too.
Creativity is one thing that's not missing in the world of Reiki. We featured two great articles about the music of special correspondent, Cymber Lily Conn, a harpist who composed music to help heal the Gulf of Mexico after the disastrous oil spill there. In 2010, we heard from waka writers who helped us achieve our goal of publishing at least one waka a day during month long waka fest. And inspired by practitioner- artist P.C. Turczyn and her painting titled 'Reiki - The Infinite Field', we held an online art show, the participants of which are all Reiki practitioners. (Catch it while you can, it closes January 31, 2012.)  The art show came on the heels of our focus group, inspired by the same painting and which asked the question: Does art aid the healing process?

'Tranqility', Guest Editor Mari Hall's submsission to the Reiki, Healing and Art show

Reiki practitioners are also prolific writers. Over the years we've reviewed a lot of great Reiki books in the interest of bringing you the best Reiki information available.  Several of our guest editors, in fact, are also authors, including Marianne Streich who has written a book about practice in the first two levels of Reiki and Eileen Dey whose book tells of her personal journey and how she uses Reiki to help war veterans.

In the area of caring for yourself and loved ones, we featured three very unique books by Carol Wilson who also includes information on using therapeutic grade essential oils and Tibetan wisdom, Cheryl Richardson who focuses on extreme self care, and Kytka Hilmar-Jezek who writes about Reiki for children.

We've got books on the history of Reiki by the Stienes over at International House of Reiki, and two very comprehensive guides on Reiki by Pamela Miles and Penelope Quest.

Bogged down by the thought of all this serious reading especially with the holidays coming? How about snuggling up with a thriller? This one by Dominic James features a Reiki Master as the hero...perhaps the perfect way to wind down after a hectic year.

And wind down too, we must. This tour of the past five years seems all too short, but our archives contain so many great articles on these topics and more from contributors all over the world  that it would be impossible to include them all, therefore we will be leaving the website live as a resource for you to access. 
  • Please feel free to add to existing conversations in the comments section of any article to keep the dialogue going.
  • If you wish to find a specific article, simply type a few keywords into the Blogger dialogue box in the upper left hand corner of the page, right above the masthead and click the magnifying glass tool to search for it. 
  • You can also browse our archives by date. Simply scroll down and click the month and year for articles you wish to access in the Archives section in the left hand column.
  • Our directory of practitioners (found by clicking on the blue 'Reiki referral' banner in the left column at the top of the page) will still be available, though updated less frequently.


Saturday, December 03, 2011

Reiki perspectives: build your vision

Reiki practitioners are often characterized as dreamers, but is that really the case? Aren't we builders who manifest our vision through daily practice? Read more

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Announcing the final edition of The Reiki Digest

The final edition of The Reiki Digest (and its email edition) will be published December 15th.