Tea for the day: Two Leaves & A Bud Tea Company's Whole Leaf Organic Darjeeling Tea Sachets. I had apparently over steeped it but I was in need of it regardless; I've been having a soar throat these past few days; probably due to the changing weather in Boston. What tea would you like to be served today?
This may seem random, but I thought that I'd like to share this post I had written in my Facebook notes about my Reiki I Training which I completed on Saturday. Enjoy :-) :
I had recently completed a Reiki I training and attunement in the Sacred Space of my campus. The price was cheaper than typical Reiki I trainings and was definitely worthwhile. I must admit, I did have my doubts but my trainer gave me a great way to think about it: "Do you meditate?" she asked me, "Yup" I responded, "Then take Reiki as a meditation, that's what it is. And be a scientist; experiment with it."
I was also told that although Reiki is secular, I may use my own religious and spiritual background to aid me in grounding myself before and as I'm doing it for myself or someone else as long as I do not neglect the Chakra system--if I'm not comfortable, the person I do it for will also not feel comfortable.
Therefore, Reiki doesn't interfere with anyone's belief system or anyone's "non-belief". The Chakra system, although being based on Ayurvedic Hinduism, doesn't in itself conflict with any belief system; it is just a tool and a framework diagraming energy centers (some forms of Sufism, Kaballah, and some Native American spiritualities also have similar concepts although the "energy centers" are diagramed differently and called different things). In fact, traditional Reiki as it is practiced today originally started off when the founder was asked about how exactly could Jesus (pbuh) have healed others with touch? Therefore, traditional Reiki doesn't really have a "religious" label attached to it. My trainer also emphasized the importance of joints as energy centers to be focused on since most movement produces a lot of energy. Among the goals of Reiki is to unblock these energy centers mainly via Chakras or joints.
Basic Reiki is done through touch or merely having the hands glide over the person without actually touching him. Advanced Reiki (i.e. Reiki II) focuses on the non-touch aspects of Reiki and on healing or reducing emotional and mental suffering through energy. Reiki III is the master level and is typically taken when one wants to teach it to others.
Energy is sensed in different ways for different people. I personally sensed it in the forms of vibrations, heat (sometimes internally; not just the natural way it is generated with any touch), magnetic field, or as a warm air going to areas of pain and energy blockage. Since I take Reiki as a meditation, I think that even the natural physical expressions of heat and touch itself helps me focus on that area that is currently being touched or at least visualize energy flowing with the same results as actually directly sensing the energy. Sometimes, Reiki can intensify a pain or reveal a pain you did not sense before hand and then slowly alleviate it. According to my trainer, pain always has something to tell us and we need to listen to it especially when it arises in the process of doing the Reiki.
Reiki practitioners do not claim to be the source of healing. In fact, it is considered to be more of a stress reduction technique which could potentially result in the body naturally and gradually healing itself with its innate wisdom or at least as a preventative measure when it is done frequently. It does not actually guarantee healing for everyone or in just one sitting. To me at least, the meditative aspect of Reiki is done by both the practitioner and the client, and to me also, unless both of them are in a meditative state then it won't fully work. The source of such healing or energy is believed to come from the Universal Life Energy (which some have identified as God or His "barakah" as some Sufis may label it or simply mere energy in the none divine sense of the word). The Reiki practitioner is merely a channel of energy.
I remember that before ever hearing about Reiki, I used to perform particular kind of supplication for pain I learned in a book of "azkar". It involved touching the area of pain and saying three times (translation); "In the name of Allah the Gracious, the Merciful" and then 7 times: "I seek refuge with Allah and His Words from the evil of whatever I find and undergo." I noticed that whenever I did this with total concentration, it always worked with either alleviating the pain or simply reducing its severity. There are more examples of such practices in Islam that involve invocation of God and I've even heard of a story of the Prophet (pbuh) healing a man's ankle by touching it and supplicating. To me, I'd think that such things are a sort of "reiki". Thus, if we are define such practices as forms of reiki, although not "traditional" or structured, then we could argue that Reiki is indeed as old as time itself and is more universal than a lot of people think.
One of my friends here has shared a beautiful and heartwarming blog post about reiki (or at least a form of it), I highly recommend you to read it, it's called Healing through Compassion: http://darvish.wordpress.c
I had an intense experience during the attunement process in Reiki I and I am currently brainstorming a poem about that, so stay tuned!
From your Tea Mate,
Reema B. :-)