Just for today (Kyo Dake Wa)
Do not be angry (Ikaruna)
Do not worry (Shin Pai Suna)
Be grateful (Kan Sha Shite)
Do your duties fully (Gyo o Hagame)
Be kind to others (Hito ni Shinsetsu ni)
This is the Gokai, the five Reiki principles, devised by Usui sensei as an integral part of Reiki. Students are advised to say them every morning and every night. Reiki is a Japanese word representing Universal life Energy, the energy which is all around us. My introduction to this natural healing art a couple of weekends ago was a strong step into a new, powerful tool for my healing and the healing of others. It has served me well the past few weeks as I’ve experienced life like being on a roller coaster.
I share here part of what the journey into Reiki was for me a couple weekends ago. I experienced emotions all along the spectrum during my training time at The Healing Arts Center with Tom Tessereau, Reiki Master/Teacher. As I have reflected back upon those emotions and the ways in which becoming attuned to Reiki energy have opened things up inside of me, I am fascinated by this new understanding of energy and healing. This will probably be an even longer musing than I usually write as I explore all of what I experienced during my training.
On Saturday, our first day of training, I entered the Healing Arts Center a little wobbly. I felt excited to finally be at a training to learn about the first level of Reiki. I’ve wanted to do this training for a long time and yet things never quite lined up for it to work. So I felt excited to be able to learn. I also felt very introverted wanting to hide away under a blanket fort for the day. The mere thought of talking with folks I didn’t know closed up my throat. New crowds of people make me a little nervous anyway but this was more than that. It took a lot of self talk for me to walk into the room and say hello to people around me. I did it though!
I also had gone into this training in a low spot on my grieving/healing journey. I was physically feeling the absence of Russell as I have been for the past month or so. I felt nauseous, headachy, and off kilter the majority of the first day. Lots of focus on simply breathing deeply was needed as thoughts of Russell kept flitting into my thoughts all day long.
We spent the first several hours learning about the history or Reiki and the basic principles. It was all very fascinating and I loved the grounding mats the Healing Center provided for us to sit on. I love learning about different kinds of energy work and I could feel my interest growing as the day progressed.
Also during this time, as we discussed the benefits of Reiki and the need to practice with ourselves first I found my way wandering towards the ways that stress is taking a toll on my body and on how it took a drastic, life threatening toll on Russell’s. We discussed the reality that when a system experiences too much stress over too long a period of time it can start to shut down. Our bodies either learn how to heal, cope or shut down completely. When coping become a lifestyle this too can become a real problem. Prolonged stressors experienced during times of just coping can lead to less sleep, less ability to breathe well, and less than optimal health. Learning how to take care of ourselves first is critical. If we are not receiving enough oxygen, enough fuel for our own beings it becomes harder to heal and harder to give to others. Just like in an airplane crisis, our oxygen masks must go on first.
The afternoon on Saturday was spent receiving the 4 attunements to open, expand, clear, and help us tap into the healing energies. Bringing through Reiki, letting go of things safely, clearing my cup and allowing other healing things to enter was amazing. My ability to explain this process is still growing so for now I want to simply share what I was feeling in my mind, body and spirit during each of these attunements. This is what I found to be most healing, powerful and positive about the entire weekend for me. I will share in a kind of stream of consciousness the words, physical experiences, thoughts, etc that I felt during each attunement.
Attunement #1: Key word for me was Breath. In the beginning fear and tightness. Living out loud, healing heart, MY breath, MY heart. Felt energy expanding as I was approached by the Reiki master (all of this is done with eyes closed so it was a sense of energy without visual awareness). Deepening of myself, heart, love. Images of Russell and Kirsten kept flitting in and out of my mind. Felt hungry, dizzy, wobbly. Breath, love, live – from the heart. All will be well; all is well.
Attunement #2: Key word for me was Rising. Could feel self rising like a baby phoenix from the ashes. Felt a crinkling in my body, especially in my neck as I stretched. Felt impatient after my own attunement waiting for others. Had thoughts of let’s get it (my grieving) done already. Lots of aches in my body as waiting. Waiting – so heavy and achy (back, head, shoulder, hips, left shoulder and chest, throat, back of head) Wanted to throw up or jump up and really move. Questions – rising to what? for what? Saw lots of red and fire. Had lots of thoughts of Russell during this one. Kept thinking – what if I had taken Reiki 4 years ago when I first wanted to? Could I have healed him? Felt extremely sick to stomach and wobbly thinking of the what ifs? Could radically feel how much in my self needs to be cleansed and cleared. Can I do this? So much healing to do. Felt a little hopeless.
Attunement #3: This was a group attunement with 1 person acting as a surrogate for us all. Key words – forgiveness and love, pulsing love. Experienced deep sorrow and grief. Tears flowed down my face, sobs rising up inside of me. Sorrow, guilt, “so sorry Russell that I missed the signs. (whatever those were). Then, I heard and saw Russell and felt forgiveness, love as I stood in the center of a pulsing heart of love. Tears flowed. Not as aware of aches and pains in my body. Felt myself connect to my higher self, connect to Russell. Love is all that matters. Body felt lighter, tired as if it is clearing out toxins trapped inside. Clean my cup of sadness, grief, anger, guilt.
Attunement #4: Key words – nurtured and buoyant. I felt content, peaceful, embraced. Saw clear white sky and bright blue ocean. I felt myself parasailing – just joy of floating above the ocean. As I waited and during my attunement rested in that buoyant place of flying free in the air. Felt detoxed. Body free and clear, less achy. Loose and flowly. Calmer, more at peace. Released, stillness, mind slowed and stopped racing around in monkey mind. Felt radically recharged.
I can easily say that throughout these attunements from the 1st to the last that I experienced myself moving from a lower, blocked, stuck part of myself to a higher, clearer, open part of myself. It was one of the most extremely powerful experiences of feeling myself heal that I have ever felt. This first day of clearing and cleansing and tuning myself in opened the way for me to be able to thoroughly enter into the rest of the training. Giving and receiving full reiki body work on the second day was a joyful experience.
I am filled with gratitude for the things that I am saying yes to learning how to heal myself and others. There are so many paths opening before me filled with light, love and healing. Having this new knowledge of Reiki energy has already helped me through many wobbly times. I’m thankful I said yes and went to the Healing Arts Center. Learning from Tom and tapping into this new wisdom center is a gift that will unfold for a long time to come.