October marks my 20-year anniversary as a Master in the Usui System of Reiki Healing. Reiki is a gentle, hands-on healing practice that encourages balance on all levels of being — body, mind, and spirit. “Reiki” means universal life energy, and it is that energy that flows through the hands of a practitioner.
Mikao Usui developed the system in the mid-1920s in Japan after experiencing a profound awakening during a fast and meditation. It is now practiced in nearly every country in the world.
After two decades, my enthusiasm has not waned since the great joy of discovery I felt on the first day of my Reiki training. I continue to be inspired to deepen my practice and to share the gift of Reiki with others through teaching.
When Reiki came into my life, I had been practicing a variety of bodywork modalities for close to 14 years and was experiencing some pain and discomfort from overuse of my hands and arms. I was in search of a way of doing healing work with others in a way that was gentle on my own body.
I found that and much more — an enriching daily practice, guiding precepts, and a way to satisfy a spiritual longing for connection that I had yearned for since I was a child. I felt as if I had come home and found my true path.
As I say to my students, I cannot imagine my life without Reiki. Hawayo Takata, the woman who brought Reiki to the West, taught this healing method as a simple and practical resource for everyday use. And I do use it everyday in many ways.
My self-treatment refreshes and nurtures me. It is the foundation of my practice. Through it, I have a vehicle for tapping into the inexhaustible supply of healing light that supports my well-being and nourishes my spirit.
Japanese Reiki master, Hiroshi Doi, states:
Reiki energy is the waves of love, harmony, and healing that radiate from the great universe toward all existence.
Love is the spirit of the great universe, harmony is its will, and healing is the result.
All existence is all encompassing, and everything can benefit from Reiki. I offer it to my garden, my food, and my home to cleanse, revitalize, and harmonize.
When I encounter challenges throughout the day, my Reiki hands are right there to give me comfort and strength in the moment.
Usui gave his students spiritual precepts as a source of guidance for living each day in a way that can bring healing. Reciting the precepts each morning and evening is a reminder to let go of anger and worry, and to invite gratitude and kindness into our lives.
Living by the precepts is not easy but striving to do so offers a path to gaining compassion and patience.
All of this I do to care for myself. I have learned that this is not a selfish thing, but a necessity, if I am to assist others in their healing. Usui and Takata began with their own healing and instructed their students to do the same. I follow their teachings.
Of course, I also offer Reiki to others, providing sessions to the public through my private practice and to my family and friends as comfort and support for physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual healing. Whether it is a full treatment or a simple hand on a shoulder, Reiki soothes and allows the recipient access to the healing energy of Reiki.
Teaching Reiki to others all these years has brought me great joy and continues to be rewarding. It is for people of all ages and backgrounds. I love this! It’s exciting to see the variety of people that enroll in my classes and hear their stories of what drew them to learn Reiki. Anyone can easily learn to give Reiki to themselves and others. A class may have a business person, a nurse, a teacher, a massage therapist, a veterinarian, a nun, and an artist all seeking healing in some aspect of their lives.
It is a profound honor initiating others into Reiki practice, awakening their natural ability to bring healing to themselves and to offer gentle healing touch to those around them. Students report back to me about the growth, change, and balance that manifests as a result of their Reiki connection.
These “results” come in many forms: improved sleep, greater focus and clarity, increased creativity, reduction in medication, deeper relationships, decreased pain, anxiety, and stress, a better sense of well-being and peace, just to name a few. All of these benefits are indicative of a return to balance and harmony.
I have learned that there truly is no limit to the form in which healing can take place. Reiki treatment always has a benefit. One cannot necessarily say what that benefit will be. When giving a Reiki treatment, whether to oneself or to another, the practitioner is a conduit for the universal healing energy. The energy is not directed in any way; it is simply offered.
I cannot predict what the healing will look like for any individual or situation. Reiki is not about doing, or fixing, or knowing the answers. It is about letting go of expectations and allowing the mystery and wonder of healing to unfold.
Simply being and not doing was my largest challenge and learning with Reiki. Not being attached to the results is easier said than done and yet, quite freeing. Allowing myself to just be present with the flow, I find that I benefit from giving a treatment, feeling as relaxed and refreshed as if I had received it.
Reiki is always there for me. With any and every difficulty in life I can invite its loving to surround and fill the situation with Reiki. If a loved one is not within the reach of my touch, I can send it to them at a distance. I am never at a loss.
I am deeply grateful to have this practice that sustains, amazes, and delights me.