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Thursday, December 15, 2011

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.



Anonymous Ginny Mackles said...

So very very thankful to you and Janet for all that you have brought to the Reiki Community!
With gratitude,
~Ginny Mackles

7:00 PM  
Blogger Beth Lowell said...

Thanks, Ginny! I'm sorry our final edition came before we got a chance to review and share your Reiki training support CD. Good luck with them!

6:52 AM  

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