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Don’t worry. September 11, 2014

Posted by ourfriendben in Reiki, Reiki exercise, Reiki wisdom.
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“Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose.”
—Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth

Worry is fear turned inward, as anger is fear turned outward. Usui Founder gave us his first two Reiki Principles (aka Precepts, Ideals), “Just for today, don’t get angry” and “Just for today, don’t worry,” so that we could get fear out of the way and free ourselves to feel gratitude, focus on our work, and be kind.

So all right, “don’t worry” may sound simple enough on the surface. But what if your bills are overdue and you can’t pay them, your kid is supposed to be in college but you wonder if he is or is just taking your money and lying to you, your mom keeps telling you she’s okay but she seems weaker and weaker, your best friend’s battling breast cancer, your house needs major repairs you can’t afford, your company’s downsizing and you’re afraid you’ll lose your job? How could you possibly not worry?!

Usui Founder tells you to let go of worry. Eckhart Tolle tells you that worrying accomplishes nothing. It seems to be important, but in the end, it only damages you without moving you forward. In my Reiki lineage, Hawayo Takata Sensei told our lineage bearer, the Reverend Beth Gray, that “Just for today, do not worry” was actually the first Reiki Principle. Beth was an intuitive, and her lineage has focused on that, and I think Takata Sensei was spot on with putting worry, internal fear, before anger, external fear. Controlling internal fear will control its outward manifestation.

Eckhart Tolle gives us all a great tool for shutting off fear and worry. He tells us to ask ourselves if whatever we fear is happening now. Is our car skidding off the road now? Are we meeting with the angry boss now? Has our electricity gone off now because we’re late paying our bill? If none of that is true, then we should enjoy the precious NOW rather than worry about the future, since worry simply paralyses us and serves no useful purpose. Quite the opposite.

Just for today, don’t worry.


West of Bree. February 13, 2014

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“An adventure? No, no, no! I don’t think anyone west of Bree would be interested in going on any adventures.”

So says Bilbo Baggins at the beginning of Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit,” passing up Gandalf’s offer to join him on an adventure, something no respectable hobbit would even consider. And yet, as all of us who love J.R.R. Tolkien’s novels know, in the end, Bilbo does go on an adventure, sees and experiences incredible things, and comes back much changed for the better, a friend of elves, dwarves and wizards. His world has been cracked wide open and his spirit expanded along with it.

I was thinking of this today, and of Bilbo’s song “The road goes ever on and on, out from the door where it began,” because those of us who follow the Reiki Way have also set foot outside our comfortable hobbit holes and onto the road to adventure. By committing ourselves to Reiki, we have embarked on the unknown, a journey that could take us anywhere, a path we have not traveled.

Like Bilbo, this path could inspire fear and uncertainty in us. Where are we going? We don’t have a map, much less a GPS! What if there’s an orc or troll or dragon around the next bend?! Will we ever find our way home again? And what will people think of us if we do?

But like Bilbo, every one of us who has taken up the Reiki Way has put our faith in our own Gandalfs, our own Elronds, our own Galadriels—Usui Founder, Hayashi Sensei, Takata Sensei, our own teachers—to see us safely “there and back again.” If we stray from the path and lose our Way, they will bring us back.

And we have not embarked on our adventure alone. We may not be travelling with a company of dwarves, but our fellow Reiki students, practitioners, and teachers are on the path by our side. We can count on them to be with us when we encounter difficulties, as Bilbo, Gandalf, and the dwarves relied on each other. As, in the movie, the dwarf Bofur puts heart in Bilbo when he’s ready to give up and head for home, so our companions can help us over the rough spots in the road, as we can help them.

Those of us who follow the Reiki Way are no longer west of Bree. We’ve abandoned our comfort zones and set foot into the Wild. When you leave the familiar and step into the unknown, as Bilbo discovered, it can be uncomfortable, challenging, even scary. And when you come back, “you will not be the same,” as Gandalf tells Bilbo. What Bilbo must discover for himself is that he is, in fact, much more.

Just for today, take up your pack and set foot on the Way.

Reiki Tips: Cooling your hands. June 10, 2012

Posted by ourfriendben in Reiki, Reiki Tips, Reiki wisdom.
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“Ow!!! My hands are hot!”

To my astonishment, the newly attuned Reiki I student’s palms had turned bright red. I’d never seen this effect of an attunement before, but mercy knows, I’ve experienced too-hot hands myself all too often, and I’ll bet you have, too.

Just the other day, I was giving a treatment in conjunction with four other practitioners to someone in urgent need, and my hands became so hot I thought I was going to pass out. I’m still not sure if it was the intensity of the energy being drawn by the client, the energy-enhancing blast of having so many Reiki people at work at one time, or a combination, but having fainted many times, I knew the symptoms immediately. I quietly (but quickly) got up, went outside, and lifted my hands to the cooling breeze. Whew! That was close. Once I stopped feeling faint, I resumed my place and we finished the treatment.

Super-hot hands can be a great validation of the power and effectiveness of Reiki for the beginning student. In my very first Reiki class, I volunteered to put my newly attuned hands on the shoulder of someone who’d recently slipped on the ice and landed on the sidewalk shoulder-first. I’d volunteered because I could feel that my hands were still active, even though we’d stopped practicing hands-on Reiki in class.

Ouch!!! Nothing had prepared me for the sensation of placing my Reiki hands on an acute injury. It was all I could do to keep them in place; I felt like I’d just set them on an oven burner set on high. What a shock! But trust me, nobody could tell me there was nothing to Reiki but a bunch of credulous idiots doing New Age mumbo-jumbo after that. I had felt Reiki’s power through my own hands.

I’m still more grateful than I can say that this happened my first time out, placing my feet firmly on the path I follow to this day. I’ve never doubted and never looked back. I have a hunch that student will feel the same way.

Having said that, it’s still a disturbing experience when your hands overheat when you’re doing hands-on or distant healing. Yes, it’s a great indicator that the person (pet, plant, planet) you’re working on is drawing lots of energy, and yes, it’s a validation. But once you’ve had that indication/validation, it’s time to dial the thermostat down. What’s a Reiki person to do?

The first line of defense is to raise your hands in the air and wave them, returning them to the body when they’ve cooled off sufficiently. I don’t like breaking physical contact once I’ve begun a treatment, so I’ll lift one hand at a time.

If this doesn’t do the trick, it’s time for stronger measures. Like one of my friends, you could excuse yourself and put your hands under cold running water. Or you could stick them in the fridge or freezer for a minute. Or you could try my favorite (which is what I recommended to the overheated student), wrapping your hands around a chilled bottle of water or other beverage until they cool down. If you use any of these techniques, please let your hands return to room temperature before putting them back on your client! An unexpected icy blast isn’t what I’d call healing or relaxing.

But there’s another technique that doesn’t require interrupting your session, and it’s one you can use for any uncomfortable sensations that arise when you’re doing Reiki. If you’re like me, you call in the Teachers—Usui Founder, Hayashi-sensei, and Takata-sensei—and ask them to be with you and to guide you whenever you do Reiki. If your hands get uncomfortably hot, you can simply ask them to lower the heat.

Ask them if they’re trying to show you something, and if so, if they’d show it to you in a different way, one that doesn’t involve discomfort. Remain alert for their guidance, without getting all worked up or trying to actively seek it. You have asked; now relax, and just see what happens. You may get impressions; you may simply feel the energy moving through you in a different way. You might have the sensation of their hands joining yours on the client’s body; the client may also feel hands where there are none, or at least none that you can see.

The Teachers are compassionate, and they will answer your call for help, if you remember to ask. If not, there’s always that water bottle.

How do you cool down too-hot hands?

Adapted from Living Reiki. All content © copyright Red Dog Reiki. All rights reserved.