INNER LIGHT – A REIKI NEWSLETTER FOR REIKI PEOPLE
Volume 4 – Issue 5
The next Reiki Share will be via Zoom on
Saturday 26 March 10-11 am The theme will be the principles of self-healing and the introduction will explain how these principles can help us to deepen our meditation and make our self-healing (and the healing we might offer others) a richer experience. We will include a virtual/distance healing for all those caught up in the Ukraine conflict
Saturday 30 April 10-11 am The theme for this will be the practice of 2 days/7days/21 days healing practices and how they deepen our understanding of the practice.
All Reiki Shares are at Shoden level (or Reiki I if you have trained in Western Reiki), as it is always good to go back to basics and to discover the levels we have not previously discovered. They are also designed to be simple enough to put into place in our everyday life.
THICH NHAT HANH – A Memorial
Thich Nhat Hanh made peaceful transition on 22 January 2022, aged 95. He died at the Vietnamese temple that was his Spiritual home. He was a prolific author, and recently he asked his monks to gather together his Wisdom around we yearn for better times in a troubled world. The result was a beautiful book based on the Diamond Sutra Zen and the Art of Saving the Planet. When Wayne Dyer died, it was suggested that those who valued his work hid a ‘waynathon’ and read all his books in the next year. I am reading Zen and the Art of Saving the Planet at the moment, then I will spend the next year reading all his books that grace my bookcase. Thank you for being so inspirational, not only to me, but to so many, many others.
LIVING WITH DYING
I know that some of you will want to bypass this article. That is okay. But for those who have stuck with me so far, I would like to share my learning from working as a volunteer in palliative care and counselling in a hospice around the more complex issues of death and dying and learning to live again when you go into remission. Not to mention the insights gained from what my trainees called “death workshops” – which were actually entitled “working with people who are dying”.
The relevance to Reiki I want to bring is the aspect of the transience of life. Impermanence is something Usui-Sensei tried to teach his students, noticeably in his “stars, mists and water bubbles” entry in his diary, which ends “things are in constant change”. Life is really insecure. Through our practices in Reiki we learn to be comfortable with the changes in life, to learn to grow and develop and bring the Wisdom we gain from every change into becoming more familiar with our mortality.
Dr Karen Wyatt has written a book 7 lessons for living from the dying. She, as a rookie GP, learned a huge amount from working in a hospice. She went on to work in a hospice to learn to soothe her own grief, which she did in time, but learned a whole lot more about “things are in constant change”.
One of the main things I have learned from my grief training is the words “death” and “dying” were not included in the 1900 Collins Dictionary, and the person who shared this with us suggested this is where the taboo about talking about death and dying can be traced.
When talking about your own mortality, do you say “”If I die…” or “When I die….”? This immediately lets me know how comfortable a person is with their own mortality.
“Suffering” is the first of the Four Noble truths. “There is suffering”. For many of us, this has its roots in not being comfortable – not just about death and dying – but in many other areas of life, so we struggle to find meaning in life, let alone death. Once we realise, become aware, of our struggles, and our habitual distraction therapies, busyness, our ‘existence’ every day, which leaves very little time for death to creep into our thinking, we can begin to realise life is for living at its fullest.
By recognising that things are in constant change we can unlock a deeper awareness that every moment-by-moment, breath by breath, that we spend in Jôshin Kokyû Hô is precious because it is teaching us to accept those fleeting moments of bliss. We can better focus on what really matters.
And what really matters to you? As I write this piece, my room is full of rainbow ‘Tinker Bells’ created by sunlight on the crystal window suncatchers, after several dark, grey days. I can just sit and ‘see’ this beauty, see the beautiful blue sky, see the growing buds, the catkins on the trees. This is what John Donohoe talks about in his book The Invisible Embrace “beauty offers us an invitation to order and coherence and unity. When these needs are met the Soul feels at home in the world”.
The death of winter and the birth of spring. The pandemic has brought about many deaths. Not just the physical deaths that covid has brought into our world, but changes in our work. For some working from home is a disaster, whilst for others it is a godsend. Home schooling made parents realise how little they knew. Shops disappearing from our High Streets create a mourning for “how things were”. The loss of public transport has hit rural communities hard, and so on.
Then there are the ‘normal’ changes in life, a neighbour moves away, a colleague changes jobs, and where that colleague is a really supportive manager, that can feel enormously emotional.
By acknowledging the fact that things are in constant change, really noticing the difference in our garden, our daily walks with our dog(s) or our commute, we can find so much deeper meaning in life by living more fully in every moment, because life is precious – moment-by-moment, breathing in, fully appreciating and expanding into the fullness of life, breathing out, arrive in this wonderful moment, breathing in enlivening my Body, breathing out releasing tension, breathing in, tuning in and opening up to life’s beauty, breathing out, releasing the grief.
We ARE what is changing moment-by-moment. Allowing our Inner Wisdom to become more available, then we can become filled with Faith and our True Path will unfold before us exactly as Universal Laws dictate. (The Five Blessings Ceremony of Reiju based on the Buddhist Five Spiritual Faculties of Buddhism).
Writing comes naturally to me – at times. Other times it doesn’t matter what offerings I have made to the Muse or the gods of creativity, the page remains blank.
The fallow period of not writing can be a rest period, time to let my thoughts mull on things. Just like farming, my land of paper and pen needs to rest and I try to give it the care it deserves.
Sometimes I write pages and pages. The pen miraculously weaving its magic, filling the lines, other times the Muse gets lost in another place, pen and paper lie abandoned.
Philip Pullman, whom I admire for his Dark Materials trilogy, declaims that only amateurs and people who are not serious about writing get fallow periods. Stephen King is equally scathing. I find these views interesting, but cannot agree. My writing comes from the heart, not from the head. It comes from an Inner place and I embrace my fallow periods.
As Frans Stiene has said, (and I expect you were wondering when this would come to the relevance of Reiki!) when you feel Reiki meditation is a struggle, go do something else. I totally agree – read a Reiki book, or a book about Chi. Do something different, and don’t force yourself to sit chanting Jumon (Mantras) or getting frustrated by your lack of ability to stay with the present moment, the breath or anything else.
Have a fallow period. Be stimulated by something new. Embrace this Space and the rest. Fine wine is not made by shaking the liquid. It takes time to age in peace and quiet.
Writing is transient, as is meditation, Kokyu Ho. And other things. But just as seasons change, so do our fallow periods. The Muse creeps back in the door, almost unnoticed, green shoots of ideas scribble themselves over the page. New breathing exercises excite. Meditation is no longer a burden.
Whatever our interests, we need wilderness time. Roaming and exploring without pressure and then discovering our abilities to be more creative; more patient, less frustrated and just delighting in our beautiful progress again.