Proof that God loves us. March 11, 2014Posted by ourfriendben in Reiki, Reiki wisdom.
Tags: Ben Franklin, Benjamin Franklin, buried treasure, crystals, hidden beauty, proof that God loves us, Reiki, seashells
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Benjamin Franklin famously said that wine (or beer, depending on the source) is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. This quote came to mind when I went into my pet-free room this afternoon for a few minutes of peace and quiet.
This room is different from the rest of the house because our two huge, long-haired cats, our German shepherd, and our parrot and parakeets are verboten. The result is no fur, no feathers, no dust, no noise, no rushing around, no chaos.
No dust. In our house, that’s a miracle. This room is where I keep my comparative religion library, religious art and artifacts from around the world, and many other things that are precious to me. It not only doesn’t collect dust, it even smells different from the other rooms: If serenity had a smell, this would be it.
On a table in this room is a huge dish of seashells. The platter itself, a red laquered shallow bowl, was a gift from a dear friend. Its luminous color serves as a backdrop to the shells: pink, red, green, yellow, orange, white, in myriad shapes and patterns. The shells are so beautiful, each perfect in its colors and patterns. And yet the mollusks themselves don’t even see them: while they live, their shells are covered with the fleshy “foot” and other appendages that enable them to move and live in the sea. Only those of us who are fortunate enough to find them and the One who made them can appreciate them in their infinite variety.
This is even more true of crystals, minerals, and fossils, their beauty hidden from the eyes of all under the earth. No rose quartz crystal or gold nugget or stalactite ever said to another, “My, aren’t you gorgeous?” It is only when we find them that we’re filled with awe and delight.
I’m as fond of wine as the next person, and, while I don’t drink beer, I’m sure it makes those who do drink it very happy. But proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy? For me, it’s the Creator’s secret treasures we find on the beach, under the sea, and in the ground, the great beauty hidden for our sole delight. Every time I pick up a crystal or a shell and find myself smiling, I can picture God Creator smiling back.
Just for today, find your proof.
Finding heaven. March 10, 2014Posted by ourfriendben in Reiki, Reiki wisdom.
Tags: Emily Dickinson, finding heaven, heaven, one-pointedness, Pope Francis, Reiki, Reiki lifestyle, Ryokan, Sri Eknath Easwaran, words to live by
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“Who has not found the heaven below
Will fail of it above.”
“The Lord has strewn little signs of his presence throughout the universe.”
—Sri Eknath Easwaran, Words to Live By
“The Lord is knocking at the door of our hearts. Have we put a sign on the door saying ‘Do not disturb’?”
—Pope Francis, @Pontifex
Whether you believe in an afterlife, or that our earthly paradise is the only one we’ll ever know, it’s important to make every minute count. And that means living fully in each moment, appreciating each moment, enjoying each moment and the beautiful world around us.
It doesn’t mean rushing around multitasking, never seeing anything farther away than the latest text message, never giving our full attention to anything or appreciating the beauty of our world, the great gift God Creator has given us.
Fully being present to each moment is the way to find “the heaven below” and prepare for the one above. This does not mean being idle, but it certainly doesn’t mean mindless busyness for its own sake. As Jesus Himself said, “They also serve who only stand and wait.”
And let’s not forget the enjoyment part of ‘finding heaven below’, in the here and now. One of my favorite quotes is from a man who’d clearly mastered this art, Ryokan:
“Ten days’ worth of rice in my bag;
a bundle of twigs by the fireplace.
Why chatter about delusion and enlightenment?
Listening to the night rain on my roof,
I sit comfortably, with both legs stretched out.”
Just for today, find heaven.
Nothing stands in the way. March 9, 2014Posted by ourfriendben in Reiki, Reiki wisdom.
Tags: decadence, destruction of nature, eating living creatures, human hubris, live food, murder of innocents, Reiki and animals, Reiki and respect, Reiki and reverence, the price of greed, William Blake
“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way.”
When I read this for the first time, I thought of rainforest destruction, of strip-mining, of clear-cutting logging deforestation, of fracking. When I read it the next time, I thought of the trucks from the electric company that came and cut down my red cedars, not even informing me, much less asking my permission, and not realizing that evergreens are meant to withstand snow and ice by their nature and thus pose no threat to electric wires. Much winter bird habitat and food were lost because of their ignorance.
But when I read it for the third time, this morning, I had just read the most horrific article on the Yahoo news page, complete with photos and graphic descriptions, about animals that were eaten alive. How baby octopi were sliced in bits and consumed with relish by appreciative customers who loved the feel of their still-writhing tentacles and suction cups clinging to their tongues. How fish were filleted and served with their still-gasping heads as decorative elements on the plate. How living frogs were dissected at diners’ tables, their hearts still beating and limbs thrashing, and served as sashimi. How baby shrimp were stripped of their shells, plunged into hot oil, then served still squirming in agony. How rotten cheese riddled with writhing maggots was considered a delicacy.
Worse still, how perhaps the most celebrated restaurant in the world, Copenhagen’s Nomi, will serve you a salad with live ants substituted for croutons if you’re willing to ante (so to speak) up $300 a plate. I cite this as the worst example because at least the other dishes are traditional to their local cuisines, whereas I doubt the cuisine of Copenhagen has traditionally featured ants, live or otherwise. If a foraging culture depends on insects like Australia’s witchitty grubs, rich in fat and protein, to survive, that’s one thing. (And at least they cook them before they eat them.) For a high-end restaurant to charge $300 for any salad when people are starving is an outrage, and to serve up live insects is even worse. Shame, Nomi! Shame on you!!! (The writer noted that the ants were chilled before serving so they couldn’t escape from your plate before you could eat them. Thanks so much.)
What sort of people are we, who could easily subsist on vegetables, fruits, grains, beans and other legumes, and humanely, sustainably raised eggs and dairy, but who are not just content to live off dead animals, many of whose lives have been spent in the confines of a dog kennel or worse, but who choose to eat the poor creatures while they live?
This story certainly moved me to tears, but hardly tears of joy. The poor creatures in their agony, the full-color photos showing them still alive and struggling to understand what was happening to them, while the article claimed that live-food conoisseurs think that the flesh tastes far better while it’s still alive, made me wish I could ship each and every one to Fiji and feed them alive to the cannibals who once inhabited that island. But sadly, even the cannibals had the decency to kill and cook their victims before they ate them, so today’s “live-food conoisseurs” couldn’t experience the delights of being eviscerated, flayed, boiled alive in oil, or shredded for sashimi while still living. What a shame.
Could we please see the beautiful green tree as a step towards enlightenment, a creature with the same rights as ourselves, and not as a “green thing” that stands in our way, our dreadful, greedy, destructive, dehumanizing way. For when we see something as lesser than we are, we stray from our Reiki path and exalt our greed and egos and push toward worldly gain at any price, at the cost of all life and of our world.
Just for today, think about what you’re putting in your mouth.
Cherish the simple things. March 8, 2014Posted by ourfriendben in Reiki, Reiki Tips, Reiki wisdom.
Tags: cherishing simplicity, happiness, Reiki and happiness, Reiki and joy, Reiki simplicity
Today, let’s celebrate the simple things that make us happy: a hug in the morning, a cup of hot tea just the way we like it, our dog’s happily wagging tail or cat’s contented purr. A stick of Nag Champa or balsam incense. A CD we haven’t heard for a while or a scene from a favorite movie or passage from a beloved childhood favorite book. Some lovely mashed potatoes. Ten blissful minutes of Reiki self-healing.
Happiness needn’t come in large packages. Sometimes the smallest, simplest, humblest packages are the ones that bring us the most joy. We need only to open our eyes, our senses, and our sense of gratitude to see them. We don’t need the huge promotion or the beach vacation or the new Camaro or the Manolo Blahnik shoes and Vuitton bag to be happy. What we need is to appreciate what we have now, to enjoy it to the full. Joy is waiting for us in that blooming African violet, in that cardinal at the bird feeder, in that warm, delicious pasta.
Just for today, be happy.
A holiday in heaven. March 7, 2014Posted by ourfriendben in Reiki, Reiki wisdom.
Tags: defeating the ego, heavenly holiday, Reiki, Reiki vacation, Sri Eknath Easwaran, words to live by
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“In those moments when we forget ourselves…we spend a brief but beautiful holiday in heaven…. To the extent that we are not full of ourselves, God can fill us.”
—Sri Eknath Easwaran, Words to Live By
We forget ourselves when we are doing something that totally absorbs us, whether it’s watching the sun set in a beautiful place or painting a watercolor or reading a great book or playing with our dog. Whatever puts a stop, however temporary, to our obsession with and awareness of me, me, me.
For those of us who follow the Reiki Way, it might be doing hands-on healing or listening to Reiki music or a Reiki meditation or reading a Reiki book, magazine, or blog post. It might be creating calligraphy of the Reiki symbols or the word “Reiki” or the Reiki Principles (aka Precepts, Ideals), or creating ceramics or quilted wall hangings or collages of them. It might be going online and spending some time researching an aspect of Reiki history. There’s a lot to learn and explore and discover out there!
Just for today, take a heavenly holiday.
Reiki and the love connection. March 6, 2014Posted by ourfriendben in Reiki, Reiki wisdom.
Tags: Reiki, Reiki and compassion, Reiki and relationships
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What do you do about your past loves? I get my local paper, and every now and then it brings me terrible shocks. This week, I was reading a letter to the editor when I realized that it was from a man I had loved as my own life, more than my own life, for five years. Then this morning, there was a story and photo of my ex-husband and his wife staring out of the paper at me, celebrating their snowy wedding back in 1993. Talk about a shock!
Fortunately, I’m on good terms with all my past loves and my ex-husband, and am in a loving, stable relationship with my partner Rob. But it’s still hard to see an unexpected, sudden outcropping of someone you thought was yours, someone you loved and lost. What’s a Reiki person to do?!
Obviously, those of us who’ve attained at least Reiki III should send Reiki back to our relationships and to those we loved. We should send Reiki into the present and future for those we loved and love. We should not assume that, because our relationships failed, we should stop loving people whose qualities we cherished.
Instead, we should remember every precious moment that we shared with them. It was a gift. We should rejoice in their happiness as we rejoice in our own. We should send them Reiki. We should try to stay in touch. We are connected, and in our vast, busy world, every real connection matters.
Just for today, reach out.
Loving what you do. March 5, 2014Posted by ourfriendben in Reiki, Reiki wisdom.
Tags: happiness, secret of happiness
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“Doing what you love is freedom. Loving what you do is happiness.”
—fortune cookie fortune
Just for today, be happy.
Welcome the wind. March 5, 2014Posted by ourfriendben in Reiki exercise, Reiki wisdom.
Tags: Sri Ramakrishna, the grace of God
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“The grace of God is a wind which is always blowing.”
For those of us who are experiencing the most bitterly cold winter of our lives, welcoming or even enduring the wind seems beyond our ability. Even taking out the dog or getting the mail seem like tasks beyond our strength when the wind is blowing and dropping the temperature into the minuses. So I was very happy to find this positive take on wind (if not wind chill) from Sri Ramakrishna.
To make this real for me, I picture a hot, humid, airless day in summer, when I have no choice but to go outside. I have no heat and humidity tolerance at all; the mere thought of a hot, humid day makes me feel faint and ill. (Not a great thing when you have one tiny window air conditioner for your whole house.) So then, I picture a cool, drying wind blowing over me, saving me from the horrible, unbearable heat and humidity that destroy me. This is Sri Ramakrishna’s grace of God, the wind that is always blowing.
May it blow on us all, now and forever.
Just for today, welcome the wind.
God bless you, every one. March 3, 2014Posted by ourfriendben in Reiki, Reiki wisdom.
Tags: Be Grateful, Five Reiki Ideals, Five Reiki Precepts, Five Reiki Principles, gratitude, Mikao Usui, Reiki Principles, The Reiki Blog, Usui Founder
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This winter has certainly provided us with ample opportunities to practice the central principle of Usui Founder’s Five Reiki Principles, Be grateful.
For example, when our venerable furnace died on a 7-degree night, our power stayed on, so we were able to plug in space heaters. And when the space heaters overloaded our ancient electrical circuitry, we were able to use our wood-burning stove to thaw our frozen pipes so nothing burst. And when the repairman arrived, he was able to restart the furnace so we didn’t have to buy a new one, a cost we could ill afford. Every day, we’ve been grateful that the roof didn’t leak or collapse under the snow, the plumbing continued to function, we were able to get out occasionally to replenish our food supplies, we had a cord of dry, cured wood to keep our woodstove going, we didn’t slip on the ice and hurt or break or even kill ourselves, etc.
But today, I’d like to express gratitude to each and every one of you who has taken the time to read, follow, and comment on The Reiki Blog. I began this blog as a way to give back to the Reiki community for everything you have given me over the years. Today, the blog has more than 25,000 views and more than 100 followers. That’s all thanks to you. The numbers may seem small compared to many other blogs, but to me, they’re huge. That 104 of you would take the time to follow my blog, that so many Reiki people would read my posts that the blog would have 25,500-plus views, is humbling and encouraging. Gassho!!!
In turn, I urge everyone to feel free to comment. I read and respond to every comment. Even if your comment is completely off-topic (say, you’d like me to address a particular subject or something’s come up in your own practice and you’d like my thoughts on it), I’d be very happy to hear from you. Don’t be shy!
And thank you, readers all, my online Reiki friends. God bless you, every one.
Just for today, and every day, I’m grateful.
The green fields of time and space. March 1, 2014Posted by ourfriendben in Reiki, Reiki wisdom.
Tags: Five Reiki Ideals, Five Reiki Precepts, Five Reiki Principles, Jami, Mikao Usui, Reiki, Reiki meditations, Reiki path, Reiki practices, Reiki symbols, Reiki Way, Usui Founder
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“To display His eternal attributes in their inexhaustible variety, the Lord made the green fields of time and space.”
This is probably the most beautiful sentence I have ever read. The thought of our Creator at play among the “green fields” of time and space is almost heart-stopping to me. We tend to think of time and space as abstract, the realm of physicists and astronomers. Hardly as green fields.
One of the reasons this resonates so strongly with me is that my home is surrounded by farm fields, green in spring and summer before they come to their golden ripeness and harvest in the fall and then the snowy blanket of winter. But another reason involves my laptop computer.
When I got my computer, it had a screensaver—a beautiful, sunlit green field rising up to a blue sky. I don’t know if this screensaver was standard issue for Windows XP, or if it was selected by my company for all employees, but I found it serene and restful and I loved it. It didn’t distress me when it took the computer forever to get to my homepage, since I could look at the serene beauty of the green field and the blue sky.
I work from home, and sadly, one day my laptop died. The guy who fixed it asked me where the first place I went every morning was (Yahoo, to check my e-mail) and what my interests were (numerous, including gardening). Like an idiot, it didn’t occur to me to ask why he was asking such off-topic questions, so I just answered them. When my laptop returned, it no longer opened to MSNBC’s news page, but to Yahoo’s homepage. And my beautiful, restful screensaver had disappeared, replaced with a busy garden scene reminiscent of a pointillist painting, dizzying in the number of elements compressed into the screen space. I was devastated, though of course I was grateful to have a functioning computer back at my disposal.
At some point since then, the garden screensaver simply disappeared. Now there is no screensaver at all. But no day has passed in the years since I got my laptop back that I haven’t thought of the sunlit green field and the blue sky. The Creator at play in the green fields of time and space.
Those of us who work with the third Reiki symbol and the master symbol, the fourth, are also at play in the green fields of time and space. Like all mystics and meditators, we walk freely through those green fields, under the unchanging sky.
But thanks to Usui Founder and the Reiki Way, we have been given tools to help us find those fields and walk through them without losing our way: The Five Reiki Principles (aka Precepts, Ideals), the Reiki symbols, Reiki meditations, and exercises such as Reiki self-healing, hatsurei-ho, and hado breathing. We need not find our way alone, for we are not alone. We are taking our tentative first steps or our confident strides across those fields in the company of those who walk with us on the Reiki path, in their inexhaustible variety.
Just for today, be grateful.