Monday, May 21, 2012

Using a Pendulum to Determine What is Going on in a Particular Chakra

Awhile ago I had a healing session with someone in a different healing modality then mine and she used a wooden pendulum to check my chakras before and after the session.  I asked why wood and she explained that wood does not need to be cleared after using it to do this or anything else, so I went out and got a wooden pendulum.  I didn't have a clue what direction a healthy, open chakra should be spinning in or what an ovoid spin v/s a large circular spin meant or just a little tiny circle v/s a large circle meant.  I went on the Internet in search of answers but got nothing but conflicting ones so I asked some of the big kahuna Reiki Master Teachers I know if they knew.  Again, got conflicting answers or "who cares" and "what does matter". 

Excuse me!!!!!!!! You gotta know it matters!!!!!!!!!!!!   So I set out to just experiment on my own and begin asking my clients if they would like to participate in the experiment and they all did and I got some pretty on target information but still wanted more concrete information about what direction a healthy chakra should be spinning in and how fast or slow?

This weekend, I had a very experienced and well informed Crystal Healing Teacher do a Crystal Healing class in my home and she answered my questions - FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ask the pendulum to show you what direction a particular chakra should be spinning in for this person and when that its determined ask to be shown what direction it was actually spinning in.  DUH right!!!!!!!!!!!

In Reiki, we can open, clear and balance a chakra by putting the harmony symbol in the energy field above it, placing one under the person, behind that chakra and sending Reiki through the energy field and the symbol into it.  So when I find a chakra that is out of whack, this is what I do.  It has helped my clients tremendously to do this on chakras that I am picking up are wonky and in need of help, based on their issues and what I am feeling when I scan them and what the pendulum is telling me is going on in eachchakra.  So this was a huge piece ofthe puzzle for me.  I am so grateful for my Crystal Healing teacher and Spirit for bringing us together so I could get this perplexing question answered!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Charging for Reiki Sessions and Classes

Another very hot topic in the Reiki world is whether to charge when performing Reiki sessions on people other than family and friends and for Reiki classes and what how much to charge.  There are again, two camps in the Reiki world on this subject, those who think Reiki should be given away for free because it is a spiritual healing modality and those who adhere to Dr. Usui's teachings that Reiki should never be given away freely as things that are given away are not appreciated and thus devalued.

I am of the second camp.  There is an old story that Dr. Usui begin treating beggars early on in the slums of Tokyo.  He supposedly worked there for several years, healing many and sending them off to find jobs and live normal lives.  After 2-3 years, as the story goes, he begin to notice many people he had "healed" returning to the slums.  He asked several of them why they had returned and their response was that it was easier to beg for a living then to have a job, a home, family and all the responsibilities that all that entailed, so they gave it all up and moved back into the slums to beg.  This astounded him and his realized that because he had given Reiki away for nothing it's value was nothing.  He vowed to never give Reiki away again.
Awhile back I had a talk with a friend of mine about raising my prices for sessions and classes.  I spend a lot more than the average amount of time on my clients (way above the standard 1 hour that many others give their clients) and was feeling that I was not being appreciated for all the extra time and energy I put in on top of charging under the going rate and very few ever thought of offering to pay me more or tip me for all the extra time I spent with them.  She related this life changing story to me:
There was a very high end jeweler in Santa Fe who decided to carry a line of Native American Silver and Turquoise jewelry which he marked at very low prices.  It sat there for ages and didn't move at all.  Then one day, someone came in to do a major cleaning of all the displays and accidentally replaced all the price tags with new ones, marking up all the silver/turquoise jewelry well over what it was originally marked.  It began flying out of the shop.  Moral of the story:  if you put a low price on something people take the cue that you only value it for that amount, and something with a higher
price tag is seen as much more valuable and thus much more desirable.  The jewelry and clothing industry knows this very well and has taken advantage of it for ions.  After I raised my prices to reflect the going market rate, my business showed a very big increase and continues to do so.
So, if you charge below market rates or not at all you are in essence saying to the Universe, I do not value what it is I do nor my time and energy in doing it.
There are those also who do Reiki sessions and hold classes who do not need an income from this as they are financially in a position where all their needs are met and they see this as a way of giving service to mankind.  There are VERY few in this position as you can imagine.  Most of us have had to pay large sums of money to be trained to do what we do and many like myself continue to take new classes and learn new skills.  You  have to purchase a vast array of supplies to set up a business and either lease or rent a space to do it in or do it in your home where you have to pay a mortgage, utility bills and so on and so on.  Someone has to pay the bills or we would not be in service for long.  So charging for Reiki sessions and classes is not an immoral thing to do it is the right thing to do.  You would not expect an acupuncturist or massage therapist to not charge you, so why would you think a Reiki practitioner or teacher should give it away?
There is also the issue of an energy exchange.  We are not charging for what the Reiki energy does, we are charging for the time and energy that we put into what we do and our society is set up on a monetary system of exchange.  This exchange does not always have to monetary, it can be something like making a meal, doing some kind of service for the practitioner like an exchange of services (massage, acupuncture, etc or house cleaning or gardening) or taking them out for a meal, whatever.  But an energy exchange needs to be made.  Some even say it sets up a karmic debt between the receiver of the energy ad the practitioner if this does not happen.
To sum up, everyone is going to and should do what they feel is right for them, but I have hopefully given you some food for thought.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Charging For Reiki at the Lower Levels of Training

There are three levels (well four in my lineage as we separate Master Practitioner and Master Teacher). Level I is all about you and your healing: cleaning up your physical, mental, spiritual and emotional bodies so that you can channel as clearly as possible, we believe, a third of the Reiki energy you would channel at the highest level of training.  At the second level you are given the Reiki symbols and opened up to another one third of the flow of energy you can channel.  This is known as the distant healing level as you receive the "connection" symbol at this level which enables you to send Reiki distantly, although I discovered several years ago that Reiki Level I's can do this also, but when you use the connection symbol the connection is much greater therefore the flow is much greater and for lack of a better word, more powerful.
The third level (Reiki Master Practitioner) is the level in my lineage (and in all the Reiki books I've ever read - over 50 and still counting) where you are given the high sign to go out, hang up your shingle and start doing Reiki on the public and charging for it (if that is something you want to do, you don't HAVE to do that, it's up to you).  The fourth Level is Reiki Master Teacher IIIb where you are taught how to pass attunements and how to set up your own business as a teacher and so on.
There are many, what I consider unscrupulous people out there setting up Reiki businesses, working on the public and charging for it at Level I and II that have no business doing so.  First of all, they are not channeling the full flow of Reiki energy that a Level IIIa or IIIb is and a lot of times they have the nerve to be charging what a Level IIIa or even a Level IIIb does.  Secondly, they lack the experience required to be working on the public.  If you have just been made Reiki or jumped into Reiki II right after Reiki I, you have not had the time to #1 clear out all your old stuff and #2 get a lot of experience working on others and sending lots of distant Reiki so are really not qualified to out working on the private sector. 
The problem is that unscrupulous people, as they have always done and will always do, have discovered that they can make some good, fast cash doing Reiki on the unsuspecting public at these levels.  So public BEWARE!!!!!!!   Check first before you have a Reiki session and only give your business to qualified Reiki practitioners, not to "just out of the box" people who have not been properly trained (if they were they would not be doing this) and are raw and inexperienced.
I hear the groans of , "then how are we supposed to get experience?"  You work on your self, your family, friends, pets, and attend LOTS of Reiki shares.   You read all you can on Reiki and ask your teacher all the questions you can think of, maybe even audit a class or two to refresh.  Again, choose your teacher wisely, make sure she/he hosts Reiki shares and is there for you when you have questions or concerns.
Yes this is a major pet peeve of mine.  I understand that some of you might be coming from a position of wanting to help the world, I get that, but you are not helping anybody by doing something is not acceptable in the Reiki world and that you are not qualified to do.   Take your time, move up in the levels slowly, get the experience and then by all means go out and set up your business when you have it, the world needs us now more than ever and will continue to do so as we all go through the shift (2012).
Someone else brought up something about someone being a more incredible healer at  Reiki I than someone who is Reiki IIa.  Remember people that we aren't really supposed to be using the "H" word.  Yes we do healing work, but Reiki is doing the healing not us.  We are the channels for the energy, we are not doing the healing, Reiki is.  It is actually considered politically incorrect to call yourself a Reiki Healer.  That is all ego stuff, so get your ego out of the way and only do what you are qualified to do.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

How to Select a Reiki Teacher

I was just asked by someone on the web who lives out of state how they would go about selecting a Reiki teacher. The first thing I was suggest is to book a Reiki session with them or if they are open to it, book a sit down talk with them so that you can meet them, ask any questions and concerns you may have about Reiki and becoming Reiki.   A Reiki teacher forms a mentor like relationship with you with the attunement and the Reiki training.  It is paramount that you find a teacher that you resonate with, you feel good in their presence,  you feel comfortable with them.

If you are into shamanism, are Wiccan or Pagan or have very strong feelings against these things, then someone who works with these issues would obviously not be for you.  If the teacher makes a point of her psychic abilities while doing Reiki and you don't believe in this or are adverse to it, he/she would not be the teacher for you and so on.  So it is very important to investigate the person who is going to connect you to the divine energy that is Reiki for life.  Yes folks, the connection is a life long commitment and cannot be reversed.  You do not have to use Reiki after you are connected to it, but the connection is there for you for a lifetime.

I would also recommend someone who has a website and gives a lot of information about her experience and credentials and has lots of believeable testimonials also. Also one who provides a lot of information on Reiki and any other healing modalities he/she incorporates while doing Reiki like crystals or aromatherapy oils.  But again, I highly suggest having a Reiki session with a number of teachers.  Did you feel comfortable with this person?  Did they explain things to your satisfaction or just ignored or glossed over your questions and became annoyed? Did they try to push you into a class or were they just matter of fact - I am here for you if you decide you want to become Reiki but that is up to you sort of attitude.  No pressure.

The other thing is the cost of the training.  You get what you pay for applies.  If someone is offering a short 4 hour or so class for a very low fee you will get very little in the way of hands on training and information about Reiki and this might mean you would also get very little of their time after you have become Reiki and have lots of questions and/or concerns.  Spending a little more is highly preferable to a cheap quickie believe me.  I have people coming to me from other teachers who don't even give out a manual, or diagrams of hand positions for self-treating or treating others and don't stress how majorly important it is to do a self-treatment, especially during the 21 day cleansing process that happens after you have been made Reiki.  I could go on and on with the things people are coming to me with that should have been covered and taught in their class/es but weren't because they choose to go the cheap route.

Reiki is spiritual practice.  The source of Reiki is the divine, whatever the Divine means to you.  Therefore it should given the respect it deserves and be taught properly. Many people have discovered that it is a way to make some fast easy cash so are out there giving these cheap, short classes and sending people out uninformed and worse.  Very sad.  Mrs. Takata charged $10,000.00 to make someone a Reiki Master Teacher because she understood, as did Dr. Usui, that people value something that costs them dearly so to give it away cheaply cheapens everything about it. 

There is a plethora of teachers out there these days, so choose wisely, take your take and make the decision that feels that best for you and your circumstances.  You might even want to meditate on whether or not this teacher or that teacher is the teacher for you if you meditate or ask for divine guidance.  Wishing you lots of luck on your Reiki Journey. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Reiki - what story have you been told?

Many Reiki practitioners and teachers are still laboring under the belief that the founder/creator of Reiki, Dr. Mikao Usui was a Christian teaching in a Christian school in Japan and as the story goes was asked by one of his students if he believed everything he read in the bible and if so did he believe that Jesus could heal with his hands and so on.  We know now that Mrs. Takata (refer to my other posts about "the Mother of Reiki)" made up a parable along these lines many years ago when she first begin practising Reiki in Hawaii.  To her credit, doing so is the traditional Japanese way to get across important spiritual teachings so she was not lying just simple trying to get across an important point.

In the past 10 years or so, many very high level Reiki Master Teachers and authors of very well known and admired Reiki books, have taken it upon themselves to go to Japan to learn all they could about the real origins of Reiki and it's creator.   They include such people as Frank Arjava Peter and his wife, James Deacon, Chris Marsh, William Lee Rand and many others.  They were able to connect with an actual practising Japanese Reiki Master Teacher, Hiroshi Doi who made many other connections for them including several 100+ year old Buddhist nuns still living who were connected to Reiki and taught by Dr. Usui himself as well as many others. 

They learned many things about Usui we didn't know which clearly debunked the Christian myth surrounding Reiki that Mrs. Takata created.  We now know that Usui was born into a very old and high ranking Samurai family and as such was sent off at the tender age of 4 to a Buddhist monastery to study.  Among  the many things he learned there were Kiko (the Japanese form of QiQong) and martial arts.  He actually became a very accomplished and admired martial artist in swordsmanship and grappling.

In his relatively short in modern terms life, he studied and worked in many areas and at some point became a Buddhist lay priest (meaning he could marry and live at home as a priest, he did not have to live a cloistered life as a monk in a temple).  He also studied Zen Buddhism with it's founder at one point.  So clearly he was not a Christian. 

Like many seekers of our time he worked at many diverse jobs (working in a prison, as a secretary to a government official for example) and studied a large variety of things including psyhic phenomena, Shintoism and a form of Japanese shamanism. (see Taggart King's Reiki Level I manual).

It is currently believed that Reiki is actually a compilation of all the things Usui studied in life in his pursuit to achieve "satori" - the state where nothing that happens to you in life bothers, you, you are calm and serene and you are doing what you came here to do or on your soul path.  It is possible  that he also did have an "enlightenment" experience on top of the sacred Japanese mountain Kuryama as many say. but others say he performed the "Lotus Repentance Meditation" as many as 5 times (not the one as you always read or hear about in just about every Reiki book there is).  The story goes that he went to the top of the sacred mountain with the intention of receiving the instructions on how to understand and utilize all the information he had gathered about the system of Reiki but could not figure out how to activate it.  Being told by the head monk of his temple to go up and meditate/fast for 21 days and either get the answers or die.

At the end of 21 days he had still not received any answers and was preparing to come down off the mountain when he saw a "great light" heading towards him at very high speed and made the decision to allow the light to enter his body (at the third eye) and all was revealed to him upon contact which knocked him unconscious.

As with most things about Reiki and actually with many other things in life, we will never know the "real" story as Usui has been dead for many many years as well as Hayashi (his predecessor) and Mrs. Takata, the last of the BIG THREE in Reiki history (so far).  But this new information is very arresting and eye opening and gives one a much better idea of how this hands on healing modality was originated and why.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Reiki Symbols - Why and How to use them

When you take a Level II Reiki course your are given a set of Reiki symbols to use to enhance your practice on yourself, others and in sending distant Reiki.   The number of symbols varies from teacher to teacher.  There are three traditional Reiki symbols, meaning ones we know with certainty were handed down by Hawayo Takata (the woman responsible for Reiki being spread all of the planet today - the last in line of the BIG THREE in the history of Reiki, or as I like to call her the "Mother of Reiki".) and that she more than likely, received them from her Master Teacher, Chujiro Hayashi who was the next in line after the creator of Reiki, Mikao Usui.  These are the power symbol, the harmony symbol and the connection symbol.  In my lineage we also pass on two more, one that has to do with healing issues of the heart and the other with healing karmic issues, inter-dimensional issues and some say it is good to use on people who suffered some form of a abuse as a child.  I later came to find out that these later two are actually Karuna Reiki ®  symbols.

Symbols are a way to direct the Reiki energy in a more focused way for specific purposes and are very powerful.  Many books and teachers suggest you set in meditation with each symbol for a while so that you can get the feel of each one before using them. 

There are those who feel that using the symbols isn't all that big a deal and there are those who can't envision a Reiki session without using them.  As you can see from all my other blog posts there is always some form of division but this is true in every aspect of life. Example:  I have a Yang Style T'ai Chi Chuan in instructor/practitioner for almost 25 years.  In my town alone, there are 3 or 4 different variations of how this is taught and how it is performed, all VERY different.  None is right or wrong, just different - different strokes for different folks.

I use Reiki and Kaurna Reiki® symbols to clear the energy of my healing space before I start a session.  I place them in the energy field over my clients torso before I begin a session and as I am also a Level II Karuna Reiki®  Practitioner, I also put them in my hands before I start a session.  I may use them to clear a crystal and charge it.  I may use them to open and balance a chakra or to reduce pain in the part of the receivers body I am working on and more.  I also may use them on my own body during my daily self-treating session or when I Reiki my food or beverage and so on.

I tell my students to experiment with them, get the feel of them before you decide if you are more comfortable using them or not.  I feel a huge difference when I use them versus when I don't.  I "feel" energy moving very strongly in hands and fingers when I do Reiki, send Reiki, work on myself or even when I am doing T'ai Chi or Qiqong.  Everyone is different and some people may never "feel" anything or very little in their hands/bodies when channeling Reiki.  I have found several ways to
enhance your ability to "feel" energy helpful.

One is to rub your thumb into the center of your palm like your winding it up for several seconds (this stimulates the minor chakras there which is where Reikii flows our of your hands, or to place a drop or two of lavender oil in the palm of your hand - again this stimulates those minor chakras.  There is a QiQong exercise to help you feel energy between your two palms called "pulling taffy" also that is helpful.   I found from experimentation that the more distant reiki sending I do the more connected I become to the energy and the more sensation I can achieve in my hands.  This is very very good for those who wish to practice scanning or for those who are drawn to a more "intuitive" style of doing Reiki instead of just going through a prescribed set of hand positions.  I recommend this highly to my students who say they can't feel anything in their hands, especially when self treating.

So experiment, read books on Reiki about the use of the symbols and see what you find works best for you.   Ask questions of your Master Teacher, attend Reiki shares, do trades!  Practice, Practice Practice!

The use of Reiki Symbols - Pro or Con

I was asked recently by someone on my Facebook Reiki group about whether or not I felt symbols were a necessary part of Reiki and got some interesting responses from others in the group.  There again, are two camps around this subject.  Those who adhere to the KISS (keep it simple sister) rule and those who feel that using symbols, crystals, oils, Reiki sticks (and now I have heard about something with wristbands) is all part and parcel of doing Reiki. 

I absolutely use and recommend using Reiki symbols and that is what works for me. I am not pooh poohing those who choose to go the simpler route, that is their choice and their preference and it works for them.

I use the Reiki symbols a lot and can definitely really feel the difference.  I am a "feeler" some people are not.  I can feel all kinds of things going on in my hands and under my hands when I am channeling Reiki and can definitely "feel" the change in the energy when I use a symbol/s.   Reiki symbols can be used to clear the energy in a room for the purpose of setting sacred space before you begin doing a session or a class (or anywhere you feel the need to do that).  I place the three traditional Reiki symbols (power symbol, harmony symbol and connection symbol) in the energy field above the torso of my clients in the beginning of a Reiki session.  I use them to clear and charge crystals and program them or to Reiki my food, drink with them and on and on.

I also use them to open, clear and balance chakras or to help to alleviate pain in a particular area of the body where my client is reporting pain issues.  To me they are tools, and if I have been given these tools, then I am going to use them in as many ways as I can to help my clients and myself.

One of the things I love to do is to read new (new to me) Reiki books to find out even more ways to use them. A pperfect example of this is the book I am reading now, "Reiki for Life" by Penelope Quest which I highly recommend. She uses them in a completely different way to balance and clear the chakras using then I have ever heard of before and I can't wait to try it!

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Reiki symbols are powerful tools provided to us to use for healing ourselves and others.  As I said, I can feel the shift in the energy when I use them. 

We all must do what feels right to us: to use symbols or not, to pass on intuitive information when channeling Reiki for others or no , to bring crystals and essential oils into your practice or wristbands or whatever - it is a personal choice.  There is no right or wrong only a choice which is pretty much about everything in life.   You are either for abortion or against it or for one political party or the other, or a cat lover or a dog lover, etc.  You get to choose so maybe experiment with using them and not using them and then decide what feels right to you. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

What does the word Reiki mean?

Reiki is a hands on healing modality that was created at around the turn of the century by a Japanese Buddhist lay priest by the name of Mikao Usui.  The word Reiki is a translation of the Japanese Kanji characters "Rei" and "Ki".  In modern times, the Kanji characters have been updated and a new more moderate translation of the Kanji has surfaed.  The original or older Kanji characters translate roughly (it is almost impossible to translate Japanese into English as English is a romance language and Japanese Kanji are pictograms representing a language) into a system described as spirit based, Divine in Origin.  The newer characters give a more benign explanation, just equating the energy as that of "universal life force energy" or ULFE.  ULFE is the energy that everything is made up of - our bodies, food, water, air, everything in nature, etc.  Practitioners of T'ai Chi Chuan and QiQong cultivate ULFE or Chi (Ki) when performing these other ancient forms of exercise and Chinese medicine. 

As a teacher and practitioner of T'ai Chi and QiQong for almost 25 years and a Reiki Master Teacher and Practitioner of almost 10 years, I am very much more drawn to the original Kanji characters translation. That Reiki comes from the Divine, the source of all that is, the Creator, the  I Am, Universal Intelligence, or whatever the Divine means to you whether it be God/Jesus, Mohammad, Buddha, etc.

The original characters for "Rei" translate to "the deliberate action of bringing rain" (Heavenly power) down to earth and the characters for "Ki" translate to the asterisk-like figures of "rice" - the staple food of human life, the other lines are the aura of the rice.  So "Rei" is Spirit and "Ki" is energy.  We can think of Ki as being our personal energy and Rei-ki as the action of the energy of Heaven or source uniting with our personal Ki or energy.

This is another bone of contention in the Reiki world.  Many people feel that the newer translation or Reiki's source is strictly universal life force energy is correct while others like myself feel this falls far short of what the real source of Reiki is.   As no one really knows what the source of Reiki is or how it works I think we all just have to decide for ourselves what we feel is correct for us.  Just like the discussion yesterday about whether receiving intuitive "hits" as we call them (the act of receiving "information" while doing a Reiki session (some call this a psychic ability) is a part of Reiki or something that occurs when someone is channeling Reiki because they are psychic and that it is not Reiki, while some (like myself) feel that it cannot but be a part of Reiki as it only happens when one is channeling Reiki either for someone else (or on rare occasions) for oneself. 

Whatever you believe the source of Reiki is - Divine in Origin or ULFE - Reiki is a miraculous gift given to the world, at a time when humanity is screaming for help and answers.  I am eternally and humbly grateful to Dr. Usui for his "Method to Achieve Personal Perfection"  or Usui Shiki Royho".

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Is is Psychic or is it Reiki?
I keep running up against this wall. There is one camp of Reiki Practitioners/Teachers who feel that any intuitive information, visions, visits from crossed over loved ones, etc. one receives while working on a receiver (the person having the Reiki session) is not a part of Reiki, but a separate energy and should be ignored or just stored away for your FYI only.  And there is the other camp (mine) that believes that this phenomena cannot but be a part of Reiki because all of this occurs only when one is channeling Reiki so how can it be separate?   This is a huge bone of contention with many in the Reiki world.

When I was made Reiki I, II and III (Reiki Master) we were doing Reiki sessions on our fellow classmates, as you should be doing in a Reiki class.  The first person I worked on was complaining of lower back pain.  When I put my hands on her I "saw" or "knew" that she had fallen off a ladder and that this was the source of her pain.  When I asked her about this she said that is exactly how it started, how did I know that?  I DON'T KNOW!  I just did.   So there is no other explanation other then the latent or limited abilities I had in this area were awakened or enhanced with the attunements.

As I have gone on to become a Reiki Master Teacher and now a Level II Karuna Reiki Practitioner, these ability had greatly increased and I know connect with many of my clients crossed over loved ones, hear their guides and guardian angels names, see the colors of the energy coming in and more during Reiki sessions.  For someone to tell me this is not part of Reiki is like telling me the sun or the moon is not part of our earth experience it is just some unconnected stuff up there above us.

I understand that many teachers and practitioners do not have these abilities, but they may be a much clearer channel for the energy or they may be empathic and experience something in their bodies during a session that relates to what is going on in the receiver they are working on, or can scan much better than I can, etc.  It's like I am horrible at math, I can't balance a checkbook to save my life, but I am one hell of a cook.  So should I be jealous of someone who is better at math then me and then belittle math as something we don't really need in our lives?

I just ask that if you are in the camp who feels it is not a part of Reiki, that you open your mind a little, read Amy Rowland's book "Intuitive Reiki for our Times" (could be my life story!)
and question why you so adamantly stick to this premise.  Let go of any beliefs you have that because you don't experience this it means it is not a part of Reiki.  It is for those who do.