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Speak up, act out. December 30, 2014

Posted by ourfriendben in Reiki, Reiki wisdom.
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“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
—Edmund Burke

Several posts ago, I quoted Martin Luther King Jr.’s comment, “In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.” In that post, I also quoted the Lutheran pastor Martin Niemoller’s devastating comment about his failure to speak or act out against the Nazis, “Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.”

The Burke quote is another one to add to the list. All these men are talking about what they or those they cared about didn’t do, not that they themselves did some bad deed. How many people do you think would have gladly given their bus seats to Rosa Parks? Yet not one of them did. How many people would have been glad to give Mohandas Gandhi a seat on the train instead of watching him be pitched to the boardwalk when he had a first-class ticket and every right to ride?

Yet the onlookers were worried. What would their peers think of them if they stood up for what they knew was right? Would some roughnecks beat them up? So they just watched; they “did nothing,” they remained silent. This has been the horror of history. As the poet W.B. Yeats says, “The best lack all conviction, while the worst/Are full of passionate intensity.” Pope Francis has spoken again and again about this lack of conviction, about our duty to help the poor and destitute, to get out in the streets and engage with them, rather than turning our backs and remaining silent while others suffer.

There’s a lot of misery in our world. Rather than turning our backs on it, rather than pretending we’re some different species, let all of us who practice Reiki send it to those in need. Let all those who see injustice speak out. And let all of us who encounter need head-on meet it with compassion, with fellowship, with recognition that we’re looking at ourselves. For it’s only when we’ve pushed prejudice, violence, and separatism to the curb the the world can know peace.

Just for today, practice your Reiki Principles.

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How ardent are you? October 18, 2011

Posted by ourfriendben in Reiki, Reiki wisdom.
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Check this out:

“She lived in storm and strife,

Her soul had such desire

For what proud death may bring

That it could not endure

The common good of life,

But lived as ’twere a king

That packed his marriage day

With banneret and pennon,

Trumpet and kettledrum,

And the outrageous cannon,

To bundle time away

That the night come.”

       —William Butler Yeats, “That the Night Come”

Reiki people, do you feel this same ardor, not for death or marriage, but for Reiki, the Reiki fire, the Great Bright Light that is Reiki, that burns within every practitioner? If not, it’s time to crank up the heat. Find your own inner fire, your Reiki fire, and let it burn bright! If you truly believe in Reiki, you can do nothing less.

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

His mind moves upon silence. August 20, 2011

Posted by ourfriendben in Reiki, Reiki wisdom.
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Like a long-legged fly upon the stream

His mind moves upon silence.

            —William Butler Yeats

If you’ve ever seen one of the long-legged waterbugs, like a water strider or water skipper, riding high and dry on the surface of a fast-moving stream’s water—never even dipping below the surface, much less sinking—it seems to defy the laws of physics. Serene, untroubled, it rests untouched, allowing the water to carry it where it needs to go.

The great Irish poet W.B. Yeats likens this image to the mind, reaching its destination by riding serene and undisturbed upon a stream of silence. But what is silence?

When you think of silence, do you envision a peaceful forest, mountaintop, or other beautiful, isolated place in nature? But what of singing birds, chirping insects, croaking frogs, the sound of the wind through grass and leaves, the sound of rain or moving water? If you picture gentle, rolling farmland, what of lowing cows, cackling hens, farm machinery? How about a soundproof room? No noise may reach in from outside, but what about the clamor of your thoughts, the beat of your heart, the sound of your breathing and shifting position?

Silence is a state of mind, or mindlessness. Even in deep space, where quiet is absolute, if you floated there with your mind racing 90 miles an hour, there would be no silence. Your thoughts would make more noise than the universe.

So how can a person achieve silence? Short of death, there is one way, and one way only: To be fully present in the eternal now, the present moment. If you are fully present, your mind is still. And that is as true if you are beading or knitting or weeding or looking out from a mountain or into a flower as if you’re meditating or telling your beads. I’m sure you’ve had many experiences like this, when you suddenly realized that you’d become so absorbed that you’d lost track of time, and it took a minute to even realize who and where you were.

For a Reiki practitioner, if you set your intention, set yourself aside, and put your hands down on your client or the object representing the client—the Reiki recipient—you may discover that you have become silence, at least for that time. That there is no thought, there is no you, there is no client, there is only Reiki and this moment. That, like a long-legged fly upon the stream, like the protagonists in Mr. Yeats’s poem, your mind moves upon silence.

But, you may be asking yourself, why would I want to do that? It’s all very well for monks or Mother Teresa or the Dalai Lama or something, but what’s in it for me? I’ve got bills to pay, a job to worry about, supper to get on the table, e-mails to answer, kids to reassure and motivate, a dog to walk, the news to watch, and my favorite show is coming on in three hours. Sorry, Dr. Usui, but I don’t have time for this silence stuff!

In today’s world, where multitasking is considered a virtue and overstimulation is a fact of life, it’s no wonder silence, one-pointedness, is undervalued. Let’s just take three dinner scenarios as examples:

1. You and your significant other decide to go to a restaurant as a special treat. You arrive and are seated, with four giant TVs mounted on the walls and showing different programs, radio music blaring, the cooks at the hibachi or sushi bar or woodburning oven or whatever performing, and everywhere, people shouting into their cellphones or at each other to be heard above the din. Meanwhile, the staff rushes your food to you and away as fast as they can. By the time you get back to the car, you can barely remember what you ordered.

2. You swing by your favorite fast-food place to pick up dinner on your way home from work. You order from your car, move through the drive-through, and resume your commute, gulping coffee and trying to maneuver your wrap or sandwich while keeping a hand on the wheel and talking to your spouse, kids and friends on the cell. You hope the food’s still hot by the time you get the kids from practice, but hey, they’d probably never notice, they’re so busy texting, listening to the latest on their iPods, and bickering with each other.

3. You spend 15 minutes opening boxes and packages, grabbing stuff from the fridge and freezer, and nuking away so you can serve up a “home-cooked” meal. The kids grab plates, load them up, complain bitterly that they wanted this, they’re on a diet and aren’t eating that anymore, why isn’t there ever enough of whatever. Then they head for their own rooms with their plates and get back to their Facebook friends, tweeting, texting, and watching their own TVs or something good on their laptops or iPads. But you don’t even notice; you and your spouse have settled in front of the TV with your own plates and the only conversation is about what to watch or what to drink or if there’s dessert.

Doesn’t silence, “the peace that passeth all understanding,” sound kind of good by comparison? Not only are you never bored or frustrated when you’re fully present in the moment, you feel a sense of refreshment, renewal, vitality, and mental and sensory sharpness like no other when you “come back to yourself.” It’s the best vacation in the world, and it’s one we can all afford, anytime, anywhere.

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