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Self Nurturing: More About Reiki

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.

Labyrinth Meditation At The Beach

On the first Sunday of each month on a beautiful beach in St. Augustine, Florida, the Friends of the Labyrinth wait for the tide to go out.  As soon as there is enough damp, compact sand available they set to work and create several labyrinths in the sand.

A labyrinth is an ancient symbol known to go back 3,500 years, and may be even older.  Labyrinths appeared on most of the inhabited continents in prehistoric times.  Many people confuse a labyrinth with a maze, but they are different.  A maze is more of a puzzle and the walker has to work out which is the correct path to the center.  It is intended as a form of entertainment.

The labyrinth is a walking meditation design and holds no trick paths to confuse the walker.  It has a single winding path from the outer edge to the center and back out again.  This walk represents the journey inward to our true selves, our “Higher Selves”, our Spirit, our God-Center, and then back out again to the outer world.

Some people use the following process when they walk the labyrinth.

  • releasing of concerns and worries on the journey in
  • centering meditation, prayer, or quiet contemplation in the
    center
  • empowerment of new thoughts or intentions on the way out

However, everyone is free to use the labyrinth as he or she wishes.

Today I walked the labyrinth at St. Augustine.  It was a gorgeous sunny day with magnificent cloudscapes against a cerulean sky.  There was a wonderful warm breeze that caressed the skin.  My friend Lorelei, who creates the labyrinth, had in fact drawn five or six different ones in the damp sand.

There was the classic seven circuit labyrinth and the famous eleven circuit  labyrinth based on the one incorporated into the floor of the Notre Dame de Chartres cathedral just outside Paris, which was created around the year 1200 AD.  Lorelei had also designed a magnificent fifteen circuit labyrinth as well as two smaller “Baltic” labyrinths, which reminded me of the female womb.

So with the sun on my face and the breeze in my hair I entered the fifteen circuit labyrinth.  Within a few steps I realized that almost without thinking I had slowed down internally and I was totally focused on walking the path.  This brought me right into the here and now, the present moment, which is where I always desire to be.  Because of this process, I automatically let go of any worrisome thoughts.

After a few minutes, I stopped my walking and closed my eyes just to enjoy this feeling, of being present to where I was in that very moment in time.  I became aware of the sound of the sea, the waves crashing onto the beach, the distant voices of children as they played in the sand or the water.  I lifted my face to the sun and thanked God for the joy and the peace of this moment.

I then opened my eyes and watched the surf spraying as the waves crashed. I saw the seagulls swooping through the air and in the distance I could see several kites flying with long tails fluttering in the breeze.  Running swiftly back and forth at the water’s edge were groups of sandpipers checking out what tasty morsels the sea was washing up to shore for them.  I found myself being grateful to be alive, to be able to enjoy this.

When I reached the center of the labyrinth I stopped again and brought to mind people who I wished to uplift to God.  I asked that He bless and protect them, and I asked the same for myself.  I stood there for a few minutes just enjoying being still, having no agenda, no need to move. 

I then moved on to the outward journey.  I felt a new energy sweeping through me.  I found myself thinking of a dream that I want to manifest in my life.  I held it close to my heart then offered it to God.  I continued walking and became aware that I was breathing deeply, taking oxygen deeper into my lungs than usual.  It felt so good to be alive!  I stepped outside the labyrinth and just breathed.

After a moment or two I decided to walk the small Baltic labyrinth.  Compared to the labyrinth I had just walked this was just the size of a babe in arms, maybe three yards in diameter.  (The fifteen circuit one was approximately ten yards in diameter.)  The feeling was completely different.  There was a sense of intimacy, a warmth that surrounded me. 

When I reached the center I sat down and did not want to come out.  I felt protected, as though someone had put their arms around me.  I hugged my knees up to my chest and thought, “this is what love is about”.  I had the distinct feeling that I was “home”.  I was, in fact, with my God-Center.  I stayed for quite a while before coming out.

If you have never walked a labyrinth, then I highly recommend that you try.  It is another way to create that quiet time.  It is a wonderful stress reducer and a beautiful way to connect with Creator.  You can find more information at www.labyrinthsociety.org.  Happy walking!!

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