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Shedding our skin to grow. January 12, 2015

Posted by ourfriendben in Reiki, Reiki wisdom.
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“Like a snake that must shed its skin to grow, our industrial civilization must shed its material outlook or strangle in outgrown ideals whose constructive potential has been spent.”
—Sr Eknath Easwaran, Words to Live By

“Ecology is essential for the survival of mankind; it is a moral issue which affects all of us.”
—Pope Francis @Pontifex

“If your heart were sincere and upright, every creature would be unto you a looking-glass of life and a book of holy doctrine.”
—Thomas a Kempis

Sri Eknath probably wrote his wonderful comparison of a bloated civilization strangling on itself like a snake on unshed skin in the 1960s or ’70s. Pope Francis wrote his tweet a few days ago. And Thomas a Kempis wrote his comment in the 1300s or 1400s. But they were all making the same point: That the world is much too small, and there are far too many of us, for us to continue to destroy it as though we were the only thing that mattered.

Combining ecology-destroying greed with mindless overpopulation can only result in annihilation, first of the rest of life, then of us. Why would we harm them by our greed when we could see them as “a book of holy doctrine”? Let us cherish them while they’re here and try to change our greedy ways before it’s too late. (And if you haven’t, do watch “Avatar.” It doesn’t address the overpopulation issue, but at least it gets right at the greed, and the lengths we’re prepared to go to to protect our “assets.”)

Just for today, please send Reiki to our precious Mother. If you can, use the symbols, then just hold an Earth marble, or any marble, in your hands and let the Reiki flow.

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Saying goodbye. December 15, 2014

Posted by ourfriendben in Reiki, Reiki wisdom.
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“If your heart were sincere and upright, every creature would be unto you a looking-glass of life and a book of holy doctrine.”
—Thomas a Kempis

“All things by immortal power
Near or far,
Hiddenly
To each other linked are,
That thou canst not stir a flower
Without troubling of a star.”
—Francis Thompson

Pope Francis got in big trouble this past week by daring to suggest that animals went to heaven. He was trying to console a distraught little boy whose dog had just died by saying that his beloved pet was now in heaven and that he, the boy, would meet with him again when he got there. Immediately, an outpouring of outrage from conservatives and spokespeople for organizations like the Pork Producers Association came pouring out like a pile of slaughtered pig guts.

All of us who’ve ever had a pet know that the cost of loving them is losing them, since their lives are so short compared to ours. Every time I get a new dog, cat, bird, or what have you, I know that in the moment of saying hello I’m also starting to say goodbye. But I get them and I love them anyway, because I can’t imagine life without pets to love, without pets to love you, even for a short time.

But how do you explain that to a little boy who’s just lost his first pet, his beloved dog? I suppose that for many of us, the first faces we’d like to see after Saint Peter’s are those of the pets we loved, the pets who loved us, the pets who, possibly, saved us when we were in physical or emotional crisis, watching over us with their endless loving concern. Telling a heartbroken little boy that he’d see his dog in heaven, as Pope Francis did, was an act of charity. It might also have been true.

Having not been there, I can’t tell you if there’s a heaven. But if there is, I want my pets to be in it, or it won’t be worth going to. I want all the plants and animals and water features that make our world an earthly paradise to be in it. And I want those pigs who believe that God gave them the earth and everything on it to despoil for their own enrichment to re-read their Genesis, which they always use to justify barbarous acts of greed and savagery, where God Creator says that He gave His Creation into man’s care, to stand for him as its protector. Not its destroyer.

Just for today, cherish the dog, the flower, and the star. For we are all linked, no matter what we are.

Give love this Christmas. December 9, 2014

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“Wheresoever we seek our own, there we fall from love.”
—Thomas a Kempis

“There is the tendency to place ourselves and our ambitions at the center of our lives. This is very human, but it is not Christian.”
—Pope Francis, @Pontifex

Yesterday, I received a Christmas card from my Aunt Betty. At this season of the year, most of us are either thinking about what we want for Christmas or what our family and friends might want for Christmas, or what we’d better get the boss and the office gang, or our kids’ teachers and coaches, or our secretary, or God-knows-who for Christmas. Or how we’ll ever afford Christmas, with all these ever-more-expensive presents for everybody and shipping costs getting more outrageous every year.

But not Aunt Betty. She gets presents for those in need and sends them in our names. In past years, we’ve gotten cards saying that a needy family in, say, the Andes has received a (live) chicken in our name through Heifer International, so they can get nutritious eggs. (You don’t need a rooster to get eggs.) This year, she donated to Doctors Without Borders, those brave individuals who risk their lives to share their expertise where it otherwise wouldn’t be available. People we’ll never see or know will have a better Christmas this year. Thank you, Aunt Betty!

What I think she’s trying to tell us is that she thinks we have enough “stuff” and don’t need any more from her. (And she’s right.) Whereas these organizations help people who lack food, shelter, warmth, medical care, and other basic necessities, much less toys, video games, the latest athletic shoes, and the like. I suggest that you think of an organization that speaks to you this Christmas, be it a local soup kitchen or homeless shelter, The Salvation Army, The Southwest Indian Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, or any of the hundreds of others, and donate in a family member’s or your office’s name this Christmas. (And don’t forget that you can volunteer your time as well, including giving free hands-on Reiki sessions.)

Obviously, I’d never suggest doing this when children are involved. But you could get them a book or toy and donate in their family’s name, and the family could start teaching them the meaning of sharing and giving. Think how much better you’ll feel knowing you’re helping others on Christmas than ripping open package after package of stuff for yourself.

Just for today, don’t fall from love.

The world is waiting. December 4, 2013

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“The Lord has left us love notes scattered extravagantly across creation.”
—Sri Eknath Easwaran, Words to Live By

“If your heart were sincere and upright, every creature would be unto you a looking-glass of life and a book of holy doctrine.”
—Thomas a Kempis

Just for today, let’s be grateful for all the creatures who share our beautiful world.

You can’t shut other people’s mouths. February 18, 2013

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“Do not let your peace depend on the hearts of others; whatever they say about you, good or bad, you are not because of it another, for as you are, you are.”
—Thomas a Kempis

“Go placidly in the midst of praise or blame!”
—Hyakuten Inamoto Sensei, founder of Komyo Reiki

“Even as a solid rock is unshaken by the wind, so are the wise unshaken by praise or blame.”
—The Buddha

“Even if you have ninety-nine people cheering you, there will always be a hundreth to boo. That is the nature of life, and to deal with it, we need simply to learn not to be always on the lookout for appreciation and applause.”
—Sri Eknath Easwaran, Words to Live By

“You can’t shut other people’s mouths.”
—Sri Eknath’s spiritual teacher

“We never see ourselves as others see us.”
—Jill Connor Brown of the Sweet Potato Queens

“I yam what I yam.”
—Popeye

I’m sure all of us who follow the Reiki Way have been taken aback by negative, even abusive, comments directed at us while we were trying to do our best, to help others and to progress on our path. Criticism can be crushing to those who depend on others’ opinions to shape their self-image. But for those of us who are secure in ourselves, it provides an opportunity for reflection rather than a slap in the face. It gives us a wake-up call, a precious opportunity to see ourselves and our views in a new light, the light of someone who doesn’t know us and love us but who comes upon us cold.

This is a great gift in disguise, a prod to keep us alert and aware rather than becoming complacent. It challenges us to review our practices and beliefs and either reaffirm them or change them. It helps keep our practice fresh; it stimulates us to grow. Praise is an invitation to complacency. It is blame, abuse, attack that wakes us up and moves us forward.

Don’t take it personally; these people don’t know you. Do take it as an opportunity to grow. Above all, know yourself, and be true to who you are. Stay on the path!

Just for today, go placidly in the midst of praise or blame.

All original content © copyright Red Dog Reiki. All rights reserved.

Reiki is love. October 7, 2012

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“We do not live in what we think; we live in what we love.”

                 —Sri Eknath Easwaran, Words to Live By

“Love makes everything that is heavy light.”

                 —Thomas a Kempis

To me, the true healing power of Reiki lies in showing the body that it is loved. Whether we are doing Reiki self-healing or putting our hands down on another, setting our minds aside and simply allowing pure, disinterested love to flow along with the energy allows that person (or yourself) to be in a safe, loving, healing space.

In our touch-averse society, where most people are only touched in desire or anger and people feel it necessary to apologize profusely if they accidentally brush against another person, loving touch is a gift those of us on the Reiki path can offer others, ourselves, and each other. It will help reintegrate mind and body into a continuous whole. It will help the consciousness that is beyond mind and body recall its connectedness to all life, to the All. It will help make everything that is heavy light.

Just for today, be love.

All original content © copyright Red Dog Reiki. All rights reserved.

Borne aloft. August 28, 2012

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“By two wings we are lifted up from things earthly: by simplicity and purity.”

                      —Thomas a Kempis

The mediaeval monk Thomas a Kempis gives us moderns two equally heavy wings by which we can shed our earthly obsessions and fly aloft.  We need to balance simplicity and purity. But simplicity and purity seem the farthest removes from our gadget-driven, multitasking society.

Like Daedalus creating wax-and-feather wings for his son Icarus, who was determined to take to the sky, then telling his son not to fly too close to the sun without explaining that the sun’s heat would melt the wax, we send what we most love plunging to its death, because we fail to understand its true nature. (Of course Icarus, like any teen, would try to go as high as he could!)

Can we really even understand simplicity and purity, much less hope to attain them? Can we give up our advertising-based obsession with having it all, doing it all, or at least having and doing as much as we can, in favor of being at peace and actually hearing a bird’s song? Can we climb from the pit of our desires and conflicts to the peak of purity, and then look out, and feel the dual wings on our backs? 

I have no idea. But I certainly think it’s a goal we should all aim for.

Just for today, do your best to embody the Reiki Precepts/Principles/Ideals.

All original content © copyright Red Dog Reiki. All rights reserved.