At Easter I am always reminded of a very special “resurrection” or “new life” story. This story is one of several writings that we had available as Team Members to read to the participants of the CREDO Personal Growth Retreats. I always tried to be the one to read this particular piece because I found it to be so meaningful and moving. (Unless Chaplain Bruce was on the team, then he got first dibs and I would read my second favorite – a passage from The Velveteen Rabbit by Marjorie Williams.
Jeremy was born with a twisted body, a slow mind and a chronic terminal illness that had been slowly killing him all his young life. Still, his parents had tried to give him as normal a life as possible and had sent him to St. Theresa’s Elementary School.
At the age of 12, Jeremy was only in second grade, seemingly unable to learn. His teacher, Doris Miller, often became exasperated with him. He would squirm in his seat, drool and make grunting noises. At other times, he spoke clearly and distinctly, as if a spot of light had penetrated the darkness of his brain. Most of the time, however, Jeremy irritated his teacher.
One day, she called his parents and asked them to come to St. Theresa’s for a consultation. As the Forresters sat quietly in the empty classrooms, Doris said to them, "Jeremy really belongs in a special school. It isn’t fair to him to be with younger children who don’t have learning problems. Why there is a five-year gap between his age and that of the other students!"
Mrs. Forrester cried softly into a tissue while her husband spoke, "Miss Miller," he said, "there is no school of that kind nearby. It would be a terrible shock for Jeremy if we had to take him out of this school. We know that he really likes it here."
Doris sat for a long time after they left, staring at the snow outside of the window. It’s coldness seems to seep into her soul. She wanted to sympathize with the Forresters. After all, their only child had a terminal illness. But it wasn’t fair to keep him in her class. She had 18 other youngsters to teach and Jeremy was a distraction. Furthermore, he would never learn to read or write. Why waste any more time trying?
As she pondered the situation, guilt washed over her. "Oh God," she said aloud, "here I am complaining when my problems are nothing compared with that poor family! Please help me to be more patient with Jeremy." From that day on, she tried hard to ignore Jeremy’s noises and his blank stares. Then one day he limped to her desk, dragging his bad leg behind him. "I love you, Miss Miller," he exclaimed, loudly enough for the whole class to hear. The other children snickered, and Doris’ face turned red. She stammered, "Wh-Why, that’s very nice, Jeremy. Now please take your seat."
Spring came, and the children talked excitedly about the coming of Easter. Doris told them the story of Jesus, and then to emphasize the idea of new life springing forth, she gave each of the children a large plastic egg. "Now," she said to them, "I want you take this home and bring it back tomorrow with something inside that shows new life. Do you understand?"
"Yes, Miss Miller!" the children responded enthusiastically – all except for Jeremy. He just listened intently, his eyes never left her face. He did not even make his usual noises. Had he understood what she had said about Jesus’ death and resurrection? Did he understand the assignment? Perhaps she should call his parents and explain the project to them. That evening, Doris’ kitchen sink stopped up. She called the landlord and waited an hour for him to come by and unclog it. After that, she still had to shop for groceries, iron a blouse and prepare a vocabulary test for the next day. She completely forgot about phoning Jeremy’s parents.
The next morning, 19 children came to school, laughing and talking as they placed their eggs in the large wicker basket on Miss Miller’s desk.
After they completed their Math lesson, it was time to open the eggs. In the first egg, Doris found a flower. "Oh yes, a flower is certainly a sign of new life," she said. "When plants peek through the ground we know that spring is here."
A small girl in the first row waved her arms. "That’s my egg, Miss Miller," she called out. The next egg contained a plastic butterfly, which looked very real. Doris held it up. "We all know that a caterpillar changes and grows into a beautiful butterfly. Yes that is new life, too."
Little Judy smiled proudly and said, "Miss Miller, that one is mine." Next Doris found a rock with moss on it. She explained that the moss, too, showed new life. Billy spoke up from the back of the classroom. "My daddy helped me!" he beamed.
Then Doris opened the fourth egg. She gasped. The egg was empty! Surely it must be Jeremy’s, she thought, and, of course, he did not understand her instructions. If she only had not forgotten to phone his parents. Because she did not want to embarrass him, she quietly set the egg aside and reached for another. Suddenly Jeremy spoke up. "Miss Miller, aren’t you going to talk about my egg?" Flustered, Doris replied, "But Jeremy your egg is empty!" He looked into her eyes and said softly, "Yes, but Jesus’ tomb was empty too!"
Time stopped. When she could speak again, Doris asked him, "Do you know why the tomb was empty?" "Oh yes!" Jeremy exclaimed. "Jesus was killed and put in there. Then his Father raised him up!"
The recess bell rang. While the children excitedly ran out to the school yard, Doris cried. The cold inside her melted completely away. Three months later Jeremy died. Those who paid their respects at the mortuary were surprised to see 19 eggs on top of his casket, all of them empty!
Jeremy’s Egg by Ida Mae Kempel
I love working with the energy. Whether you acknowledge it as the “universal” energy or the “God” energy (which are really one and the same!), it is truly wondrous to be part of someone’s process as they open themselves to receive healing energy.
As I have already mentioned in a previous posting, Self Nurturing- Reiki, I am a Reiki Master Third Degree or Level III. This means that I am certified not only to practice Reiki but also to teach other people about Reiki and to attune them to the different Reiki Levels I, II, and III.
I have had some wonderful Reiki Teachers/Masters along my Reiki path, Pio, Marta, and Amy, and each has gifted me with something precious and unique. In order to develop my own practice and understanding of Reiki and to better help myself to teach and impart the principles of Reiki to my students, I have written my own basic Reiki text.
There is so much information about Reiki “floating around out there”, and so much has been added to the basic steps that Dr. Mikao Usui laid down, that I find a great deal of “complication” in many texts. My personal opinion is that Dr. Usui received very simple instructions through visions about modern day Reiki.
I know that my first Master, Marta Getty, who attuned me to first and second Degrees, added no frills to the basic concepts taught by Dr. Usui. I would like to share with you some of my writing about Reiki.
REIKI: A Definition
– Reiki, pronounced “ray-key” comes from the Japanese language
– Rei, is the Japanese word for universal, spirit, and gift
– Ki, is the Japanese word for the life force energy which flows through everything
Reiki is a profound yet very simple system of healing. The Reiki practitioner places his/her hands upon the person receiving the treatment thus facilitating the flow of the universal life energy. Some Christian Reiki practitioners call this energy the “God Energy”.
BASIC INFORMATION ABOUT REIKI
Reiki Levels: There are three levels or degrees of Reiki. Reiki I, Reiki II, and Reiki Master/Teacher. Some schools of thought on Reiki like to make a separation between Master and Teacher thus creating a fourth level.
Attunements: The attunement process for each level is what awakens the student to the energy of Reiki and helps to open the energy channels within each student, thereby facilitating the flow of the energy.
Symbols: There are four Reiki symbols. 1) the empowering symbol/physical healing symbol; the mental/emotional symbol; the long distance healing symbol; the master/teacher attunement symbol.
Hands-On & Distance Healing: Hands-on healing is demonstrated during training at the Reiki I level and this is the basis for all levels of Reiki. During the Reiki II training students learn how to effect distance healing.
THE FIVE PRINCIPLES OF REIKI
- Just for today do not worry
- Just for today do not anger
- Honor your parents, teachers, and elders
- Earn your living honestly
- Show gratitude to everything
All Reiki practitioners are encouraged to commit to and live by these principles every day of their lives. (I have made them a part of my morning meditation and quiet time.)
Worry consumes a lot of energy that could be put to better use. Worry is perceived as a stressor by our brain which sends messages through the nervous and hormonal systems to get our body into “fight or flight” mode. This causes unnecessary wear and tear on the body and leads to illness.
Anger is as destructive to the mind and body as worry. Anger, in and of itself, is not bad. It lets us know that things are not right. It’s how we react to anger that can be the killer – literally. Many violent crimes are the direct result of anger, and serious illnesses can be caused by living in a state of anger.
To honor and to be kind implies being non-judgmental and allowing the other person the space to be and become all that they can be. This allows us to develop compassion for others which, in turn, allows us the space to have more compassion for ourselves.
Whether working hard to earn our living or to deepen our spiritual practice we will increase our self esteem and sense of personal dignity. Living honestly also offers us a path to personal truth and leads us to inner peace and happiness.
When living in a state of gratitude ego is “kicked to the curb”. Gratitude encourages us to look at our blessings rather than our lack, which in turn leads us to live in a positive state rather than a negative one. Gratitude also helps us to cultivate the quality of humility
I will share more writing from my Handbook in some further posts.