Touch

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Touch is such an important element in healing and also in our daily life. But how do we touch?

One of the most important elements to touch in the right way is our mind, because if our mind is not in the right space, touch can become very different, even hurtful.

Let’s look first at touching ourselves because if we do not know how to touch ourselves, then how can we touch others in the right way?

In the context of healing, we need to touch ourselves with the intent that we receive whatever we need. There is no need to have a very specific, boxed in intent, like “this or that needs to be healed”; in truth we do not really know what we need. We might think we do, but if we look honestly at ourselves we do not really know. So by setting a very open intent, our mind and energy also become more open and thus allow a more free flowing energy. For example, say you have a pain in your knee. If you just touch your knee with the intent that your knee gets healed, you are setting a limited intent. And thus your touch is limiting, because maybe the pain in your knee comes from your sciatic nerve. And that issue might come from a tightness in your kidneys due to pent up anger. If we set a more open intent when we touch our knee, the healing can take place on a much deeper level and our touch becomes something very different.

In our daily life we often are told from our parents or from society not to touch ourselves; thus we have created an obstacle through which our mind and energy don’t flow. Touching our own body can be very healing and freeing. But again, we need to touch it with the right state of mind. What is this state of mind? This is the state of mind of no anger and worry or fear, a state of mind in which we are grateful for how our body looks and feels no matter what. And we have to couple our touch with our innate love and compassion. Therefore, if our touch is without anger, worry and fear, and is infused with gratefulness and compassion, then we have the right touch. By being mindful when we are touching ourselves, which means our mind is not being distracted by past, present and future issues, we are therefore completely focused and open at the same time when we touch. This kind of touch, due to being completely free, brings a deep kind of healing, peace and even inner joy and bliss.

Thus, through knowing and learning how to touch ourselves with the right state of mind, we learn how to touch others when we perform a hands-on/off healing session, or just in our daily life.

When we touch someone during a hands-on/off session, we need to touch without anger, worry and fear and in a state of mind of gratitude and compassion. Often people touch with the intent of a specific outcome, that the person might be healed, feels something, has no more pain, or is happy. But in reality, this mindset comes from worry and fear; we may worry and fear that the client is not healed, does not feel anything, or still has pain and is not happy. If our mind is completely free of any specific intent, it therefore is completely open. In this place of openness, we can touch the person in a spacious state of mind. This means that the space is so open that the energy can flow freely through both practitioner and client without any obstacles. This in turn creates a deep state of mind for healing to take place and even for inner joy and bliss to occur.

When we first start to experience this kind of deeper touch it might start to feel very intimate. So to be able to do this kind of touching we need to stay centred and grounded. This kind of intimacy has nothing to do with sex; rather it is a remembering that the person who is touching is also being touched at the same time! Thus during this kind of touching a mutual state of healing will take place.

This kind of touching is also very important if we want to keep our relationship healthy with our partner. Often we may touch our partner, when we make love for example, in a distracted state of mind. Our mind is not focused and open. It is thinking about the past, present and future. But when our mind lets go of the past, present, and future, our touch becomes something very different. Now it is devoid of anger, worry, and fear; it is infused with gratitude and compassion. This kind of love making can trigger deep forms of inner joy and bliss which will heal many wounds that are often created in relationships. When we touch each other like this during our love making, then love making becomes magical and healing. Something very deep and intimate takes place between two people, an opening, a spiritual experience, a sense of peace and inner happiness.

Thus to really touch we need to stay very mindful and focused, not distracted by past, present and future. To help us to embody this state of mind so that we can touch in the right way, we can practice things such as yoga, meditation practices, the system of Reiki, Tai Chi, Buddhism…all of these help us to focus and open our mind. And by having an open spacious mindset our energy starts to flow freely through our whole being, which will result in a touch full of love, compassion and inner bliss and joy.

 

“Touch” was originally published on International House of Reiki blog.

 

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Frans Stiene has been a major influence on global research into the system of Reiki since the early 2000s. His practical understanding of the Japanese influences on the system have allowed students around the world to connect deeply with this practice. Frans is a co-founder of the International House of Reiki with Bronwen Logan (Stiene). He has also co-authored with her the critically acclaimed books The Reiki SourcebookThe Japanese Art of Reiki, and A-Z of Reiki Pocketbook.

Evolutions of Energy Healing: A Tale of Transformation

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Reiki came into my world during the first year of my Psychology degree, when I unexpectedly became ill. It was in the local library that I was drawn to a purple book about Reiki with beautiful illustrations. As I flicked through its pages, I knew that I wanted to find out more and train in the healing art.

Looking for the right teacher, I synchronistically came across a website that resonated with me. This teacher happened to be coming from abroad to my town in a few weeks to give attunements.

On the morning of the class, I felt a bit tired, in pain, and shy about what to expect. Throughout the day, however, I felt as if I transformed beyond what I had expected.

During the Reiki attunement, I immersed myself in a portal of beautiful colours in my mind and felt the soothing warmth of the energy running through me and through the hands of my teacher. There was a sacredness in the air that felt familiar, like home. By the end of the day, I remember my teacher looking over at me and commenting: “This morning your body language was more withdrawn and you were not making eye contact; now it is as if your eyes are twice as wide and the lights have been switched on again.”

For the next 21 days, I practiced on myself daily. Slowly, I healed from being nearly disabled, unable to walk and in chronic pain, to eventually starting the second year of my degree and regaining my vitality and hope. Two years later I completed the second degree of Reiki, which focuses on learning sacred symbols. I loved how the symbols added a new dimension to my practice and experience. It gave me comfort and vitality in my own body as well as connection with others in attending Reiki Shares and feeling the different styles and energy signatures of friends.

It felt very intuitive and flowing that I was led to the attunements at the right time and place for my soul’s growth and learning. A number of years later, during 2012, I was brought to a new method called Angelic Reiki that I felt guided to train in. I had some reservations about Angelic Reiki—that maybe it sounded a little too “fluffy”—but I knew by this point to trust the pull of my intuition.

The Angelic Reiki attunements and the healing energy felt very different from Usui Reiki. Angelic Reiki felt very pure and subtle to me, very comforting, while Usui Reiki is more of a warm masculine energy. As I opened myself to the meditation and healing sessions, I had new experiences. We worked with the Angels as well as the ascended masters, and during sessions we psychically opened up and gave each other messages from ascended masters whom we knew little about, as well as felt numerous beings around us healing us beyond just the hands of the participants.

I remember during the meditation attunement we received a gift from each archangel. When it was time for Archangel Raphael, he looked deeply into me. I was overcome with such pure joy that he held me and flew me up to a crystal temple. I was intrigued by this spontaneous vision and how incredibly loving the exchange was between us.

I began to understand that my mission on Earth was to bring healing and ground it into new methods and modalities, new ways of honouring our vitality and supporting ourselves back to perfect health. I started feeling huge waves of energy, as well as having visions of ascended masters and angels.

At one point, during a night time meditation, the Egyptian goddess Isis came to me and proposed: “You are in a dark tunnel with the light in the distance. There will be difficult times as you face your darkness, but it will be worth it. This is your rebirth, are you ready?” My response to Isis then, at the time, was a big “Hell nooooooo.”

I laugh at this memory now. At that stage of my life, I simply didn’t feel ready. I still held a lot of fear and was scared of what I would find within myself.

However, in the summer of 2015, the vision from Isis finally caught up with me, as I spontaneously started seeing past life visions. On the 1st of 2016 I woke up and felt different: I knew something had changed and that big shifts were happening. From this day onwards, I started to open up my psychic awareness to receiving beautiful messages from my soul and ascended masters, angels, and guides. I saw different visions, potential futures, past lives, different energies in my mind, sacred geometry, and channelling languages like Hebrew (that I have never encountered before). It was exciting, beautiful and mysterious.

It was, also, however, incredibly painful. I was awakening to find that the little human “me” life I had been living (relationships, friendships and work) was no longer resonating with me. I was changing whether I liked it or not, and all that was not in alignment was being pushed out no matter how much I tried to stubbornly hold on. I was then right back to feeling afraid, as I had during the Isis vision.

But from the stillness of this now moment, as I contemplate all I journeyed through to create a new beautiful life for myself in alignment with my soul’s truth, I can tell you that for all the tears, the screaming, the breaking down, it was all worth it. I have been given a gift and connection to the higher realms that is so beautiful; it is a state of being to be cherished.

What I feel guided to share with you at this time is this: these healing modalities are just the initiation, the focus for channelling energy, for reconnecting with your soul. The created and established methods serve us beautifully through the different transitions of life, but what I feel strongly now is that as awakening is progressing on the planet and the veils are thinning to the higher realms, we are being gifted new modalities and energy healing methods.

It is a very exciting time for creative exploration. Like many other healers, I have evolved my own practice, integrating the traditional practices with the new energy signatures. The violet flame, star seed energies and methods such as speaking and singing in light language. As we evolve into the multidimensional beings that we are, we are gaining many abilities from our souls’ Akashic Records that allow us to introduce new ways of healing to the world and to ourselves.

And so as I continue my journey, I am eternally grateful for the established methods that formed the foundation for my energy healing practice, as well as now learning, from my own higher self, methods that are not yet in manifestation. We are on the front lines of creation, introducing new energies and experiences to bring us to the next phase of our journey. By training in another’s method we are coming back into ourselves. With accepting and owning our sovereignty, we learn from our own higher selves’ abilities.

The sky is the limit, and I look forward to seeing how energy healing evolves as we do in the future.

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Aiyana is a healthcare professional with a degree in Psychology, based in the UK near Glastonbury. After an awakening, she quickly transitioned into channelling, writing poetry from the soul, and having visions and extrasensory experiences. She has a passion for blogging, adventuring this beautiful world, being of service, promoting peace, dance, and music. Please visit her on Youtube.

You are the Change: An Urgent Letter to Reiki Practitioners

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Dear Reiki Practitioners,

I want to share with you a message I received in my dreams last night.

The message I received is this:

You are the model of what human society is becoming. You, Reiki practitioners, are the future.

As I was filled with this message, my entire body radiated with light.

Indeed, you the model of what humans are becoming. You are a Reiki practitioner: a healer, an empowered soul, a blueprint, a template, an example. You are the change that is seeping into this world. You are the wave of future, coming back into the ocean of the past. You are the change.

As you work with life force energy, as you heal people and yourself and do things that others think are impossible, please remember that you are ahead of your time. You are a rebel. You are like the women in the United States who, one hundred years ago, stood in the streets saying “We must vote.” You are a rabble-rouser, a renegade. You come into dead and broken systems in order to bust them up. You are not a sheep; you don’t believe the bullshit they tell you.

You came here, into this beautiful life, with a purpose. And you are living out your purpose beautifully, right now. You’re doing it perfectly. Whether you are freely sharing Reiki with your friends, working diligently to heal yourself in self-sessions, or owning a thriving holistic business, you are doing exactly what you need to be doing. You are living your purpose.

Do the opposite of the what dominant worldview tells you. Be compassionate when the world asks you to be judgmental. Be calm, when the world tells you to stress. Be generous, when the world says be selfish. Be humorous when the world takes itself too darn seriously.

You are the change you wish to see.

You are the model of what human society is becoming.

It may be that you now feel like even more of a misfit, even more of an outsider than you ever have before. Many of us who are awakening in consciousness already felt weird or strange as children—and now that feeling is magnified!

Remember, dear ones, that when we feel desperate to “fit in”—whether that be in our relationships or in our employment or in our daily interactions with our neighbors and community—that the desperate feeling is simply the feeling of the final bits of our (terrified!) ego dissolving.

When our ego freaks out and protests that we are losing our friends or losing our economic stability or losing our firm footings in the “real world”…remember that what we are doing now is seeding a new world. Through adventuring into the light of the Reiki energy, we relax and we trust that, as spiritual teacher Matt Kahn says, “all is well.”

There is no need for us to squeeze ourselves into a damaged, broken system. Human society, as it stands now, is broken. Rather, we stand up, we Reiki channels of love and light, empowered, radiating our loving energy into the world. We make a commitment to practice Reiki daily, knowing no other choice could create such rapid progress in our evolution. Our lives are clay molded beautifully by the universal life force energy. As Reiki Master William Lee Rand writes, “A life filled with joy, beauty and peace is yours to create.”

We love ourselves no matter what kind of world we may see around us. We love ourselves, knowing we are perfect just as we are, in this moment.

We say “I love you” each time we look into the mirror.

Our human society is at that awkward phase of adolescence. Its voice is changing, its hormones are raging, and things are…quite…odd. Quite uncomfortable. Yet what emerges from this phase is the first blushes of maturity. The first taste of freedom, as humanity recognizes the truth.

Humanity is moving out of the awkwardness, out of the chaos and confusion, and out of the eons of darkness.

The future is bright. I can see it.

You are pregnant with the future; your light brings the new future into being.

I can see people walking streets, smiling, calling out “Good morning, brother; good morning, sister” with twinkles in eyes and blooms in hearts. I can see the end of wars. Genuine peace, harmony, and prosperity—for all.

This is the home we’re making.

This is the planet we’re becoming.

All my love to you, darling fellow Reiki friends. Please pass this message on.

 

 

And so it is,

And so it may be,

And so it always was,

 

Anya Light

Reiki and the Art of Faith

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There are many things in my life that I don’t prefer. For example, today I don’t prefer the fact that I have a million things to do. I’d rather relax and read a book all day.

Indeed, there are many things I don’t prefer. There are many things in my life I find difficult. Lately, my roommate and I have been arguing. Being around my family members have been triggering traumatic childhood memories. I haven’t had a lover in months. There are many things.

Human beings routinely deal with discomfort. Various challenges. We come into these material bodies and we go through our lives, and certain moments and people and situations arise—and we greet them smiling joyfully, or beating our breasts in sorrow. Yet, as we progress in the spiritual journey, we come to understand that we do not have to feel victimized by our experiences—rather, we can work with our experiences in conscious, healing ways.

When we learn to practice Reiki, we begin to understand that the best sessions are the ones where we, as individual personalities, can step aside. In other words, we can leave our ego at the door and allow the Universe to flow the energy through us.

Indeed, the more we can step aside from our egos, the more we can become beautiful and powerful conduits for the universal life force energy.

Reiki is an allowing force. It is an act of Wu Wei, effortless doing. When we make space in our day for a Reiki session, we make space for the reality that there is, actually, nothing to force or nothing to “fix.” Everything is already perfect. Everything is already flowing.

In this way, Reiki is the same as meditation. We breathe and we allow. We release our grip on little mind (ego), opening to the rush and expansion of Big Mind (Infinite). Even though a client may have come to us with a migraine, or even though we may have been prompted to perform a self-healing session due to some specific discomfort or illness in our lives, when we actually get down to the practice of opening ourselves up as a channel for the life energy, what is (paradoxically!) required is dropping all those reasons. All that’s required is simply being. All that’s required is simply breathing.

Truly, the more we advance on our path, we see that Reiki is a radical act of faith. To open ourselves up to Reiki is to, in essence, proclaim to the Universe:

The life I have NOW is beautiful. The life I have NOW is perfect. I trust that I have enough love NOW because I am love. Love is me.

As we progress in our practice, our vision of what’s required in a Reiki session simplifies. Sure, we may have been taught how to use symbols, color frequencies, mantras or mudras to help amplify the energy…but, in reality, all that’s really required is the simple setting of intention and then the conscious choice to open up to All That Is. From there, everything is taken care of for us.

This is the faith of Reiki.

The logical mind may, at times, balk at this. It may seem too simple, and we may wonder if we are deluding ourselves. Can the Universe really be that loving? We may look around in our day-to-day lives and feel a bit (or a lot!) of suspicion that the world is falling apart. We may look at our president and our government and feel that everyone has gone completely insane. And yet, when we can consciously become channels for the Reiki life force energy, then we can begin to feel a new perspective. We can feel—genuinely experience—how everything is perfect, just as it is, right now. It’s a paradox. The world has gone mad, and yet everything is perfect.

There may be things in our life that we don’t prefer …but that’s okay. We breathe, we relax, we open ourselves to the healing energy. We accept. We be.

The ascension process is the process of waking up to our faith. With every passing day, we learn to trust that everything that has ever happened to us was/is/will be exactly perfect.

We realize that every moment is a majestically orchestrated moment of pure perfection, and that whatever pain or suffering we have felt in the past or feel in the present is only helping us to wake up to our own divine power—for it is often through pain and struggle that we wake up to Oneness.

The practice of Reiki is the practice of faith. The practice of love. It is seeing that your heart is my heart, and my heart is your heart.

It is beyond logic; it is faith.

And that is a beautiful place to be.

Reiki, and my Return to the Angels

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I was raised by a mother who believed in angels. I remember her telling me stories about them, such as the time when about one appeared by her bedside, comforting her in a time of need.

My mother’s belief in angels was one of the most nurturing aspects of my childhood.

When I was in my early-twenties, however, I began to reject the fundamentalist religion of my parents. I rejected the belief in hell and an angry god in the sky.

Since I rejected their religion, I felt, at the time, that I had to let go of the angels, too.

Back then, angels and religion were too tightly intertwined. I had to say goodbye.

In my mid-twenties, I entered graduate school—which was, for me, the ultimate symbol of rebellion against the religion of my parents. It was the ultimate attainment of a rational mind.

Yet, at that time, despite the distance I’d fled from the religion of my parents, I was severely emotionally unbalanced. I may have been considered by some to have a brilliant intellect…but… my heart was another matter.

My heart was truly in shambles. My heart was closed. Sometimes when I passed a church, on a walk or on a drive, I would literally flip it the middle finger. Sometimes when I would talk with a Christian, I would leave the conversation in tears or flaming hot in anger.

What I couldn’t seem to forgive was what had been taught to me as a child. As an innocent child, I remember countless Sundays, sitting on the pew with my grandmother, and hearing messages from the pulpit of an “angry” god, a “jealous” god, a god who “smites evildoers.” This god supposedly watched my every move, every moment of my life, judging and ranking. I was told that if I broke his commandments and didn’t ask for forgiveness, I would be forever sentenced to an afterlife of hellfire and torture. Needless to say, these teachings left a deep wound in my heart. The first time I had sex, for example, I cried nearly nonstop for two days afterward. I was consumed with guilt and fear. Sex outside of wedlock meant that I was a terrible, lustful, awful person. I knew god would never forgive me. I hated myself.

The more years that passed within academia, the more and more emotionally disturbed I felt. (Click here for the full story of my journey with healing chronic illness.) On the one hand, here were these brilliant mentors, these professors that I so admired. They loved me. They thought I was smart. They said I had a bright future.

And…yet…on the other hand…something was missing. Something was wrong.

Where was the magic? Where was the playfulness? Where was the innocence, simplicity, and joy?

Far too often, my life, and the land of academia, was void of these things.

And then I met Barb.

Barb, my Reiki teacher.

Barb was the first non-academic mentor I’d had in a long time. She worked at a nearby holistic healing center.

Barb was a total rebel. I adored her. A few weeks after I’d taken her Level 1 Reiki course, she suggested I help her co-teach a class. I was shocked. I’d read enough Reiki books by then to know that only certified Level 3 Masters were supposed to teach. I protested, saying: “Barb! I’m not a master yet!?” To which she’d smiled and replied, “But you are a teacher.”

Barb was a rebel. I loved her. We began teaching together. We began growing together, deepening our friendship and deepening trust in the magical, unseen forces of life.

And so this is how it happened. This is how the life of academics that I had so deeply prized—the path that had been my escape from the insane, crushing world of religion—was beginning to lose its hold.

And so this is how it happened.

I was co-teaching a Reiki class with Barb. Barb was guiding the students and myself through a visualization meditation, inviting us to connect with our Reiki spirit guides. Up until this point, I’d had a few encounters with energies and beings I couldn’t explain, but had always managed to shrug it off or discount the experience. My overly-skeptical, overly-rational academic brain was still quite accustomed to being in charge.

But, on this day, this fateful day…everything changed.

I remember Barb’s voice. It is loving and sweet. We are resting on our backs on yoga mats. The air is warm. The wood under my yoga mat smells good.

She asks us to imagine a safe place, a place where we feel supported and loved. I imagine a beach. And then she asks us to allow a being to appear. “This is your guide,” she says. “This is a being who will help you with Reiki.”

Vivid in my mind’s eye (my third eye) appears a man. He looks a bit like Jesus. He has long hair, a long beard, and the kindest eyes I have ever known.

My body melts, and I am overcome by a wave of peaceful loving energy. “My name is John,” he says. “Do you have a last name?” I ask. He replies, “John.” We walk together along the beach.

The guided meditation is almost over. I am not ready to leave the wonderful presence of this being, but I know I must. When I finally open my eyes, and look around, I see that many of the other students have had beautiful experiences too. Their eyes are wide, shining. There is such joy in the room.

Since that fateful day, I have had the pleasure of meeting many angelic beings. I have had lucid dreams where beings of Light appear and, with gentle yet booming voices, offer wise teachings. I have received a waking hug from the founder of Reiki, Sensei Mikao Usui, who is no longer in physical embodiment. (I saw this hug in my third eye and also physically felt it as a gentle warmth and slight pressure.) I have had dialogues with Archangel Michael, Archangel Raphael, and Archangel Gabriel. I have channeled entities and frequencies from higher realms, such as the Pleiades. Sometimes these beings have names; sometimes they do not. I have experienced the loving presence of the Divine Mother, who goes by many names: Mary, Amma, Shakti. I have felt the Christ Consciousness and spoken his words to many groups of people.

My return to the angels, my return to magic and Spirit, has been a magnificent, miraculous journey.

I am reminded that no matter what, no matter how far we may seem to stray from knowledge of our True Self, we are always protected, we are always loved. 

Of course, as you may guess, I no longer flip off churches. In the past year especially, I have begun to release the final layers of anger and bitterness that for so long I held toward my mother and her religion. I’m currently reading A Course in Miracles, a channeled book from the Christ consciousness. And I’ve actually found two churches in my local area that I love! They are feisty and radical, preaching not dogma and hellfire but rather the spirit of Unconditional Love and Unity. They are engaged in social justice work, they support and embrace all spiritual paths, and they have no commandments or hierarchy. I give light to them and they give light to me. We are bonded, in a beautiful exchange of upliftment and joy.

Transcending my anger and forgiving my early life experience has been, for me, key to my blossoming as a healer and lightworker. As I return to the angels, as I learn to trust them more and more, I finally feel—and finally revel in!—what I missed during my time in academia.

I feel the magic again. I feel the sparkle.

Anything is possible.

 

Reiki is not a Religion

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People often ask me if Reiki is a religion. This is not only a valid question, but also a very important one.

Since the question comes up so often, I thought I’d write an article about it.

Dear friends, Reiki is not a religion. However, it is most definitely yes a spiritual path.

And what is the difference between religion and a spiritual path, you ask?

Good question.

Let me tell you a story. I was raised in a strict religious family. My grandfather was the pastor of our Presbyterian church and my mother the director of the choir. I was sent to strict Christian schools from preschool all the way through high school.

One word that aptly summarizes my upbringing is: oppressive. Religion was my life, and religion was all there was, but religion rarely brought me any comfort. In fact, religion usually brought me the opposite. Religion usually presented me with endless opportunities to judge and hate myself. The God I was offered by my grandfather and school teachers was a stern God, a God full of anger, jealousy, and even vengeance.

Though I couldn’t have articulated it in this way back then, the God I was offered in my childhood was not inspiring. In fact, he was not even particularly loving. The God I was taught was, actually, kind of a jerk!

In my experience, religion is about fearing and trying to appease some big, powerful entity outside of ourselves. Some sort of bearded wise man in the sky. Supposedly, that entity is more awesome than we are—in comparison, we humans are supposedly mostly rubbish: flawed, sinful, innately corrupt. We are bad. God is good. Or so goes the logic.

As I was growing up, I was taught that I should do good deeds in order to receive later reward, in heaven, after the death of my body. I was also taught that the resources of the planet all “belonged” to me and other humans. I was taught humanity was the center of all life. I was taught that animals had no souls and that the most important kind of creature that existed on the planet was human beings: those who had rightful “dominion” over all other creatures. I was taught that anything that deviated from heterosexual monogamy was evil, and I was taught that women who used their voices too much were suspect. I was taught that it was “of the devil” to read tarot cards, have sex outside of marriage, or adore nature.

In the traditional, conservative, monotheistic religions (especially the Abrahamic religions), there tends to be a kind of moral superiority: our way is the “best” way; our way is the “only” way. And these religions compete with each other for dominance: this ranges from heated debate to the bloodiest of wars and genocide.

In my experience, traditional religion can be categorized as the philosophical mode of the old paradigm. It is simply the limited human mind trying to comprehend something as numinous as the Universe. It is the old way. It is the darkness, groping toward the light.

While traditional religion requires us to defer to an outside force, to a kind of stern cosmic parental figure, spirituality on the other hand asks us to take responsibility for our own lives. There is nothing on the outside that will lead us to salvation or guide us to peace. There is no savior but ourselves. Everything, every single thing we need for our journey is located on the inside.

Life is an inside journey.

Spirituality is a way of approaching our life experience with an open, compassionate heart. Spirituality is being curious about and willing to learn the wisdom traditions of other cultures across the globe. Human beings, in their myriad forms, are seen as beautiful expressions of the Divine.

Indeed, spirituality is vastly different from religion.

Spirituality is a way of approaching our daily lives with the wisdom that comes from living in the present moment. We don’t do certain things in order to receive some future reward. No. Life is all about living in the now, with as much love, peace, and compassion as we can muster—and not because we “must” or “should” …but because to live this way feels more wonderful.

On a spiritual path, we are internally guided. There is no bearded father-figure in the sky who passes down commandments we must follow. In fact, if we immerse ourselves in the present moment, if we immerse ourselves in the beauty of this moment of life, we find there is no external “God” at all.

What we find on a spiritual path is extraordinary, revolutionary, truly amazing. We find that we are that which we have been seeking.

There is nothing outside of us to search for. God dwells within. In fact, we are God. God is us.

The practice of Reiki is certainly not a religion. Rather, Reiki is a spiritual path. A way of awakening.

Through Reiki, we feel the energy of life flowing through our hands. We feel that because there is such power in the hands, that there must be infinite power everywhere else, too. Surely Earth is a good place, full of good people. We feel happy to be alive. We feel light.

When new clients come to me and ask, in worried tones, “Is Reiki a religion?” I totally understand their concern. I empathize with their worry. They don’t want to get tangled up in an old system that they’ve worked so hard to break free from. As someone who has spent many years de-conditioning herself from all the Sunday sermons, I have great empathy for those who fear walking back into something that requires trust in what is unseen.

Many of us who have fled religious upbringings have turned to the rational mind, to intellectualism, to the University, to systems of science and logic. That may be the arena that feels safest at that point. However, after awhile, many people begin to feel that something is missing.

Although religion has been, in many ways, quite a harmful force on the planet (the cause of much hatred, vindictiveness, and bloodshed), what religion did do (and does do) well is that it inspires people to open their hearts beyond their limited perceptions. It inspires them to feel deeply. It inspires them to hope, to dream, and to love. This is religion’s power. And many of us who have turned away from religion eventually find ourselves circling back—but, this time, from greater awareness of what it is we are indeed seeking.

When we receive or give a Reiki healing session, what we are seeking is not a “God” outside ourselves, but the God within. What we are seeking is empowerment, self-love, and a sense of magic in our everyday lives.

No, Reiki is not a religion. It is, rather, a very deep, profound spiritual path. A way of waking up.

As more of us wake up on this planet, paths like Reiki will become more and more widespread, as we seek to heal ourselves from the limitations and disappointments of religion, boldly stepping into the power of the present moment, and building a human future that looks nothing like we’ve ever seen before.

That time has indeed come.

The Real History of Reiki

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Around a century ago, a Japanese Buddhist monk named Mikao Usui founded the Reiki system of natural healing. He began to teach students. His students taught their students, and then those students taught their students. Two women, Barb Hay and Lia Ricci, taught me. And now, through this blog, I teach you. This is our lineage.

However, within this lineage, there is also a paradox. While it is certainly beautiful and fitting to honor our founder, Usui, we must also balance that honoring with an acknowledgement of the deeper truth of our practice.

Usui did not “invent” Reiki. He did not start it nor begin it. Rather, what this gentle monk did was remember Reiki. What he did was remember a force that transcends space and time.

Usui did not “invent” Reiki. Rather, what this gentle monk did was
remember Reiki.

The power to heal with the hands is a natural human birthright. It has existed as long as human beings have been. If we study the histories of indigenous cultures everywhere, we find equivalent systems of hands-on healing across languages and borders.

The power to awaken with light is also a natural human birthright. If we peer into the varied religious and spiritual traditions of humanity, we will find belief in a universal life force energy. The concept is ubiquitous, inescapable. Just as the notion of “God” seems to be everywhere, so too is life energy. There are a thousand names for it. In China, it is chi; in India, prana; in America, it is known as the holy spirit. High in the Andes mountains, the Quechua people invoke ushai energy during healing ceremonies, and in Mongolia, hiimori is the intuitive and powerful “windhorse energy” that uplifts and animates all beings.

No, Usui certainly did not invent anything new. It would be more accurate to say, rather, that he remembered an ancient wisdom. He helped uncover what our modern culture forgot. He remembered what is most important: He remembered we are light.

Life force energy is light. It is energetic particles vibrating at high frequencies—and the higher the frequency, the stronger the light. With more light comes more harmony, more ease, more intuition, more joy, more compassion, more creativity, more bliss.

When we are new to Reiki practice, the story of Usui is a beautiful and necessary story to learn. We need to honor him. Eventually, though, we come to see Usui’s story as the story of us all. The story of every soul.

Eventually, we come to see Usui’s story as the story of us all. The story of
every soul.

We—all of us—have an innate craving to learn, grow, and heal. We journey onto this planet in order to fulfill that destiny. Whether through Reiki or through other practices, we begin to tap into the cosmic, Universal force that opens our hearts and strengthens our natural intuitions. We break out of man-made limitation, and move into the realm of universal love. And we stop relying on the rational brain to run our lives. We step back, and channel the life force through us, for our own wellbeing and for the wellbeing of all.

Reiki was not really invented in the early 1900s. It was not really invented in Japan. It is not really a system that can be traced and tracked with clocks and calendars. No. Reiki defies all of our mental comprehensions.

The real history of Reiki is that it has no history. It is timeless. Eternal.

As we practice, we learn to honor our human stories…bow to them…yet we also learn to move beyond them, recognizing that the story is simply a seed. It shall blossom, in time, to so much more.

Reiki Practice for World Peace

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It is a rose seed’s destiny to bring forth roses. Sooner or later, when the soil is watered and the sun shines, roses will come.

Reiki is one path among many beautiful paths. It is one road among many. At the start of our Reiki journey, we enter a phase of jubilation and awe. We feel as if we have discovered “the truth.” Yet, in time, we remember the wisdom of the mystics since time immemorial: All paths lead to the same place.

           All paths lead to the same place.

If we plant a seed and care for the soil, roses will appear. Sometimes the kinds of seeds that others may choose to plant may seem to be—on the surface—strange seeds. We may scratch our heads, not comprehend why they do as they do. We may feel there is no chance for them to blossom.

Perhaps we cringe when we look at the religion of our parents. Perhaps we condemn the strictly rational viewpoint of scientists and atheists. Or perhaps we roll our eyes at the get-rich-quick manifestation teachings so prevalent in new age circles. There are many things with which we may not agree.

And yet…over time…if we observe those who follow the paths with which we do not agree, we will always find growth. Let me repeat that: Every path offers growth.

          Every path offers growth.

Although it may not be in this particular lifetime that people are enlightened with the pure Love of the Universe, it will be that each lifetime holds growth. Whether it is subtle growth or more obvious growth—this is not our place to judge or criticize.

If there are those in your life who are following a path you think is foolish, I invite you to stop and ask yourself: What is it about that particular path that provokes negative reactions in me? How might this reaction be symbolic of a deeper issue, a shadow within me? Have I been “hurt” by the worldview of that particular path? What part of me is feeling defensive or worried?

Through this deep inquiry, we develop a deep sense of peace. We recognize what the visionary playwright Tennessee Williams said was true: “Every path is the right path.”

A good way to practice peace is through self-healing Reiki sessions. Or, we can receive healing sessions from others. As we are enveloped in the gentle radiance of the Reiki light, we can open ourselves, setting the intention to flow with whatever comes, without disagreement or contraction.

On the inhale, we whisper: I accept every path.

On the exhale, we whisper: All paths are perfect.

 

With time, roses come. They always come. To everyone, whether in this life or the next. It’s not our place to judge time. The Universe works in rhythms, fits, and cycles. Peace comes from resting in this wisdom.

Indeed, the quiet, simple, restful wisdom that all paths ultimately lead to the same place is a wisdom that is a vital step in our awakening process. We cannot skip this step. We must go through it—and in going through it, we dissolve the anger, judgements and fears we have about those who follow different paths. We forgive previous versions of our own self who may have been confused or convinced of something different. We make peace with everyone. We make peace with everything.

From Darkness into Light: My Journey of Becoming a Reiki Master

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I used to be sick. Really, really sick. I was so sick, in fact, that sickness was all I knew. Sickness was my life.

One of my earliest childhood memories is of lying in bed with a fever. My mother is hovering over me, holding pills and orange juice, a concerned look on her face. I have just returned from the doctor’s office. Yet again. All my friends are at school, and I am missing it. I am always missing it.

Indeed, doctor’s offices, hospitals, waiting rooms, and cold, sterile medical facilities were the norm of my everyday life growing up.  I was always in danger of being held back at school—always in danger of of having to repeat a subject or even an entire grade—on account of the fact that the number of my present-at-school days sometimes surpassed my sick-at-home days. Whole years became blurs of prescription bottles, shots, inhalers. The doctors were as mystified as I was. Life was awful.

There was not only physical illness throughout my youth, but also emotional and sexual abuse. Certain members of my biological family were quite lost: lost in conditioned patterns of fear, neglect, and outright violence. They unwittingly repeated to me what their parents had done to them. The nasty cycle continued. I had no idea, until years later, that my brain was being wired into a state of constant anxiety and panic. (Years later, a helpful counselor diagnosed me with Complex-PTSD.) I was abused by others, and then my own brain began to abuse me. My own brain became my enemy.

At age twenty-five, my body felt utterly broken. I felt like I was one hundred years old. I felt so tired. There was no cure or relief in sight. Yet, somehow, I entered graduate school. I may have been sick, but I was still mentally determined. I had a strong will and an insatiable work ethic. My goal was to become a professor of English. I had always admired the English teachers in my life: to me, they were these living beacons of hope and wit. I wanted to be like them. Despite my flagging body and the emotional chaos within, I entered grad school, thinking, “I can do this.”

I worked hard. I worked so hard, in fact, that by the time I was midway through a PhD program, I was nearly completely burnt out. I had developed a severe form of adrenal fatigue syndrome, among other chronic illnesses, including migraines, chronic sinus infections, severe food allergies, and leaky gut syndrome.

Although I had published more articles and presented at more professional conferences than any of the other students in my doctoral cohort, I was not able to enjoy any feelings of professional success. I was ready to give up. Suicidal fantasies bombarded my brain every morning, as I struggled to lift my aching body out of bed. I was sicker than ever. I was drinking nearly a gallon of coffee every day, just to get through the day. I was shoveling sugar, breads, and other “quick energy” foods into my mouth so as to not fall asleep at my desk.

I almost dropped out of school. One day, I called my dissertation advisor on the phone. My fever was raging at 103 degrees and I had just had an allergic reaction (yet again) to  what was probably the tenth round of antibiotics that year. I remember the tears and the feeling of defeat. I sobbed into the phone: “I just can’t do it anymore.”

Somehow, she convinced me not to quit. A few weeks later, though, I remember talking to my husband about wanting to die. I simply couldn’t take it anymore. Each day was too much effort. Each day was a little bit worse than the day before. Nothing held hope; nothing held light.

One day, during an afternoon seminar, one of my favorite professors, Sue, notices me holding my throbbing head in my hands. She softly touches my shoulder. She says: “Would you like a free massage gift certificate? I have an extra one. Maybe a massage might help with your headache?” I smile, thank her, touched by her generosity. She hugs me. There is kindness in her eyes.

A few weeks later, I find myself on the table of a particularly gifted massage therapist. As lovely Anna works with me, kneading and releasing my sore tense muscles, she gently inquires if I’ve ever heard of Reiki. Just hearing the word, Reiki, ignites a feeling of excitement. There is a little zing in my spine, a little burst of energy. She then refers me to a Reiki Master who works in the same studio.

About a week later, a beautiful Reiki Master named Barb Hay places her hands on the crown of my head. There is soft music playing. The springtime trees are blossoming, wafting their soothing smells through the two-story window.

Almost immediately, I feel strange sensations pulsing from her hands into my body. Her hands are hot—like an oven!—and my skin below her hands are tingling. As she moves her hands from my crown to my forehead, and then down to my chin, I begin to wonder how all of this is possible. How is there such a great amount of heat if her hands are resting still on my skin? How is there such vibration? What is happening? What kind of crazy magic is this?

A few minutes into the session, I begin to lose control. My body begins to twitch. My arms, legs, and head are thrashing, jerking about. My breath is coming deep and fast, and there are moans and sighs. I begin to breathe out what feels like nasty toxic sludge. As I breathe, I suddenly realize all that I have carried, since childhood. In this moment, I realize how truly sick I have been.

I begin to cry. Barb asks me if I am okay. I say “I am okay, please continue.” I am somehow aware that the best thing that I can do right now is not to think. The best thing that I can do to heal is to trust and to simply experience exactly what is happening even though I can’t logically understand it. And I can quite literally feel the love pouring from Barb’s hands. Her heart is speaking to my heart, without words. Her heart is gently whispering: You are well. You are home.

After about an hour, I sit up and rub my eyes. I swing my legs off the side of the table, and turn toward Barb, who is now seated in a chair across from me. Her eyes are wide and sparkling. There is a smile upon her face.

“What just happened?” I ask.

“I will teach you,” she says.

♦♥

Fast forward six years. I am now a Reiki Master, carrying on in the footsteps of my beloved teacher Barb. These days, there is more light than darkness. These days there is more joy than grief.

I am still healing, too. Even with all the miraculous changes in my body, mind, emotions, and spirit, I still get triggered some days into anxiety and anger.

As I work with people who are waking up, I notice I have a lot of gratitude for the darkness. And I remember the deepest of truths: that I chose to incarnate onto this planet into the specific family, time and place that I did. Nothing was by chance. All of it, my whole story, including the darkness and the sickness, was my soul’s desire.

In order to be able to help others, I needed to get lost in the darkness for a while. I needed to have that experience, so that I could empathize with others. I needed to understand illness and trauma not from a merely conceptual point of view—but I needed to live it.

I chose to have the circumstances that would shape me into who I am today. A healer. A teacher. These choices were made by my soul before birth. In truth, we all are given these choices.

Thus, understanding and integrating this knowledge means we can release victim-consciousnss. When we can view every circumstance of our life as a divinely-orchestrated moment of profound perfection, we shed the darkness of victimhood and step into the Light.

Hopefully, by my telling you the story of my own life and past darkness, you will begin to feel clearer and more confident about your own journey. About your own life purpose.

Through your own healing journey, you guide yourself out of the darkness. You love yourself, into the light.

My story is the story of a Reiki Master. It’s a particular story. And there are so many stories.

So…what’s your story?

This is such a beautiful time in history to share our stories. As a collective species, we are waking up. And by telling our stories, we give each other the energy and inspiration to keep going, to stay the course.

Yes, I’d love to hear your story, friend, and I bet others would, too. Please share your healing/awakening story in the comments. Or, alternatively, you can feel free to reach out to us if you’d like to share your story as a contributor to this site. We will be launching a new segment on the blog soon called “Stories from the Heart” and we’d love to share yours.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

∞ Be blessed ∞

Welcome to AWAKENING WITH!

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Dear friends,

Welcome!

The call to begin this blog was like a bolt of lightning.

It was magic.

We are compelled to share what has been gifted from the Universe to our hearts. We must do it. The lightning has struck. It is time.

Our intention for AWAKENING WITH is to share articles about a variety of practices and paths for spiritual awakening, such as Yoga, Meditation, Reiki, Tarot, Tantra, Herbalism, and more.

Through the words that are channeled through us, it is our intention to offer you courage, comfort, insight, joy, and love. Our purpose is to excite you! Our purpose is to inspire you! We want to embrace you and shine a light for your path.

Dear friends, as we walk together on this planet, supported by each other, embraced by each other, we come to realize that Reiki is more than a healing method and Yoga is more than a way to exercise the body. Meditation is more than a way to lower our blood pressure and Tarot is more than a way of predicting the future. These things, rather, are ways of waking up. Of enlightenment.

The spiritual paths we will discuss in this blog are vibrations. They are specific frequencies, into which we have the power to consciously tune. In the beginning, we tune to these frequencies in times of struggle and suffering. At first, they are our safety net: a way to momentarily escape or soften suffering. Eventually, however, these vibrations become who we are. (Not sure how everything has a vibrational frequency? Keep reading AWAKENING WITH…there is more on that to come!)

When a Reiki session becomes as typical as brushing our teeth, when a Tarot reading feels as normal as laying our head down on the pillow at night, when unrolling a Yoga mat feels as simple and sweet as eating a meal, we begin to taste our Buddha nature. We begin to relax into higher vibrations. And the distinction between “practice” and “the rest of life” simply melts away.

As we awaken in consciousness, these expanded, higher vibrational states are recorded daily into every cell of our bodies, effortlessly melting away every fear, pain, and trauma that has been encoded there since childhood.

Ultimately, awakening is not some wacky supernatural thing that happens to some lucky few. Rather, it is a natural, evolutionary process. One that happens to all of us, eventually.

Dear friends, we welcome you to the AWAKENING WITH blog! Thank you for being here.

May we be a blessing unto your heart and a light unto your path.

 

Love,

Anya Light

& the AWAKENING WITH writers


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