The idea of learning the healing art of Reiki may not sit easily with many people. Will this change who I am? Am I ready to accept what happens? What if I am not? Will Reiki enhance or confound my existing beliefs? Can I change my mind?
Different people will have different experiences but there is something important that is common to everyone with whom I have worked. Over the years I have enjoyed meeting clients and students of many religions, also people who reject any notion of divinity. In all this time, I have yet to find anyone who considers Reiki to be at odds with any existing beliefs to which they feel an affinity. My own experience of approaching Reiki can serve as a good example. I was born and raised as a Jew. It has served me well, and the more I grow the more I am amazed at how well it defines life, on its focus around rules for living, our relationship with universal energy and the importance of respect for all living things. Hours of thought and many pages of a journal were written before I was ready to take my first Reiki class. I find, of course, that I need not have worried, but I had to arrive at this understanding on my own.
Excitingly, Reiki has drawn me closer to a faith my parents introduced me to and marvel even more the wisdom of the people first guided to establish the concept of a universal, singular, intelligent, divine energy, and to describe our relationship to it.
What these sages already knew I am just learning now. What I considered dry and dusty, but mine for good or bad, now seems vibrant and alive. While I am no more religious than I was before, I am aware of having a greatly enhanced spirituality. Far from teaching something different, Reiki has helped me find so much more from within something that was already mine. It was already here for me; its only ask of me was that I inquired
As I have stepped through the Reiki levels I have felt the power of Reiki strengthen and refine. And yet even after reaching master teacher level in both Usui and Karuna Reiki I was still having trouble getting to grips with the inward journey on which I had embarked. For me consensus unreality was hard, really hard, and though Reiki makes the subject of metaphysics approachable, it required me to look beyond the rational and re-explore everything I had once held as certain with a more open mind. Fortunately each time I began to lose confidence, something would happen that was sufficiently inexplicable, and good, that I was compelled to go on and not back. Still, there was something very comfortable about consensus reality. I missed it. You knew where you were: the impossible was just that, impossible! Now even that wasn't true there really wasn't anywhere to hide. The journey seemed safe but it wasn't always necessarily comfortable. There were so many questions spinning in my head. Was I showing sufficient respect? What happened if I overstep the line? Was it really possible to project energy through time and space? Where did my imagination end and Reiki unreality start? Was Reiki concerned that I was always testing to see if what just happened was repeatable? The questions were endless and yet the discoveries were fascinating and worth all the confusion.
After many years of testing Reiki, experimenting with it and doubting it, I did at least arrive at one answer. Maybe Reiki takes a dim view of all my skepticism and desire for proof but it is clearly willing to put up with it. I am absolutely certain of this: otherwise it would have given me up as a bad job long ago!
by Michael Emanuel at 12:15 AM
This is a lesson of perseverance. It was taught to me by a wonderful man who attended a Level 1 Reiki introductory class for veterans I helped co-facilitate in Seattle last week. A tall, wiry, Vietnam vet, he had the distinguished poise and need for precision of a retired serviceman military. He also had a gentle, self-deprecating humor and a delightful gentleness of spirit. I recognized him from a previous class, a class he said we held about 4 years ago. What I didn't remember was that, apparently, he was the one that just didn't get it. He wanted to he said; he wanted to feel what all the others in the class had been feeling. He just couldn't; he felt nothing. This was why he had come back - he wanted to give Reiki another chance. He wasn't at all surprised that he was having so much trouble last time. He explained that he had spent the previous 30+ years carrying himself around in a lifeless body and that it was only since attending the last class that he had started to come alive again. … But he hadn't been successful at connecting with Reiki last time, which is why he was here to take the introductory class again!
Smiling inside at the thought that perhaps that last Reiki workshop day might just have had something to do with this, I complimented him on willingness to want to give Reiki another go and asked him if he had ever experimented with Reiki again since the workshop. Oh yes, he said. Although he couldn't feel anything, it seems he had continued to Reiki his injured knee every day, without fail, for four years.
And how was the knee now, I asked? More or less pain-free, he replied!
Whether he intended irony I am not entirely clear; it seemed like there was no connection in his mind between his improved state of health and the Reiki healing work he was doing on himself. Yet even though he didn't believe he had the capability of doing it, even though he didn't feel anything directly as he did it, still he persisted and, ultimately, felt better for the investment of his time to do it.
I have so much admiration for this man. Even not believing in his own ability, he made room for Reiki in his life and stepped aside. It is a good reminder that Reiki doesn't need us to feel it for it to do its work. "Just for today …" Mrs Takata taught, translating Usui's words. Reiki only requires us to be present and invite it in.
His reward for his perseverance and commitment to taking the workshop a second time? Now he can feel Reiki too!
by Michael Emanuel