Wanja Twan 1934 – 2019

Wanja Twan 1934 -2019

Wanja Twan, one of the 22 Reiki Masters initiated by Hawayo Takata, my Reiki great grandmother, passed away on September 3, 2019 in British Columbia, Canada.

In words from her family – “Wanja’s passing was a joyous and peaceful celebration, with family and pets by her side”. There is more, about her very rich and full life in the obituary from her family.

“God did not make us to be sorrowful…” words that Wanja would say, reminded by Anneli Twan, her daughter and successor. Anneli invites us to join in from wherever we are in the world – light a candle, say a prayer, walk in nature, send Reiki, meditate or however we want to remember Wanja…

Wanja was a Mystic, a visionary healer, a wonderful writer. She wrote five books. These books are about her life, her experiences. Reading them can be a profoundly enriching and healing experience. Apparently a sixth one is nearly ready, so we have another gem to look forward to. Even the back cover of her books hold profound messages.

Back CoverTakata Back Cover

wanja autographSome of Wanja’s quotes that became quite popular over the years – “We are always together and sometimes we meet”, “Anything is possible”. I feel blessed to have met her a couple of times on her visits to the UK. When I received the news of her passing, I decided to be with her books. Looking at the message she wrote for me, I was moved not just by her words, but with the beautiful flow in her handwriting too. I am wondering if this flow is indicative of the way she seemed to flow through life.

I opened the books randomly and messages started to emerge. In her latest book, A slight twinkling in the atomic structure, I returned to one of my favourite stories about her dream of joining the queue for ‘Grace bestowal seva’, along with her meditation teachers from Siddha Yoga. When I read thsi story for the first time, it felt as if Reiki is bestowing Grace.

‘Looking in boxes’ – the Visions of Jesus – sending Reiki healing and gratitude to Jesus – the message of ‘It is the heart that really hurts for humanity – it is in our heart that it hurts’. I cannot help wondering if this is why we end up with walls around our heart – to protect ourselves – because the pain is or has been too much to bear.

In her latest book, Wanja talks about learning by osmosis. Again, I cannot help wondering, if she was telling us about learning through oral tradition! Perhaps this is why it is so valuable to be together in person, when possible.

Her teachings seem to be more alive at this time. I found my way to a Reiki Talk Show interview with Wanja Twan that Phyllis Lei Furumoto recorded in 2008. It feels amazing to listen to Wanja’s voice. It feels particularly poignant to listen to the love and joy in the voices of both these amazing women at this time, the year in which both of them left this realm. Both of them dedicated their life to Reiki. It is a joy to listen to them talk about Reiki, sharing memories of their Reiki Master Hawayo Takata and their time together in the early 80s.

How I wish that I had asked Wanja about the present she sent for me, a few years ago, through a friend from London who went to Canada to visit Wanja. I want to know more about this intriguing Moose with wings! Perhaps this is the ultimate lesson in surrendering to not knowing, surrendering to the mystery of life. Or maybe she is continuing to communicate from where she is now…

Thank you Wanja for valuing Reiki enough in your own life to want to pass it on to others, for dedicating your life to Reiki and healing, and sharing some of your life experiences through your books.

Feedback from Reiki Share

purple rhodo
When I receive feedback like this, it makes all the work that goes in hosting Reiki Shares worthwhile:
‘Thank you so much for the Reiki share session on Friday.
It was wonderful to meet such a lovely group of people and feel the warmth in the room.
Thank you for making me feel so welcome.
For the first time in several weeks I was really able to switch off my head without effort and just be calm and peaceful in the space you have created.
As I walked home the air was filled with the scent of flowers and it felt so fresh and light.
I am going to start self practice and I thank the universe for directing me to you.
TS’

I am so glad that you were open to listening and acting on the guidance the Universe was sending you, TS.
If you have benefitted from attending a Reiki Share, please do share your experience. Being open to sharing can inspire and support others on their journey. Attending a Reiki Share regularly, helped me immensely in the early years of learning Reiki, as a new Reiki student, to stay with the regular practice of Reiki.
You can find the information about the next Reiki Share on my website. You can also sign up for my monthly newsletter email to be kept informed of Reiki Shares and other offerings.

Benefits of Reiki Share

white butterfly open wings

Feedback from a recent student after her first Reiki Share:

I was a little hesitant to go to a Reiki Share for a while as I mainly learned reiki to self-treat and feel quite shy to treat anyone else outside my immediate family. The reiki share has definitely helped me feel more confident and empowered to share healing reiki with friends. It was a lovely experience, very nurturing. When the 7 other people placed their hands on me, it immediately felt like a warm, protective cocoon. The glow stayed with me for a while after! Thank you for organising this :)
M.E.

Deep gratitude for this feedback. Hearing how you benefit from attending Reiki Shares nourishes and inspires me to continue with similar offerings.

Join The Reiki Association

I joined The Reiki Association (TRA) in 2004, quite early on my Reiki journey. I knew the value of belonging to a community, but I did not really experience the difference between belonging to the community of my Reiki Master’s students and the larger community of Reiki students from all around the UK ie TRA.

I received my Reiki Mastery initiation in 2008. I knew about The Reiki Alliance, the International community of Reiki Masters, practising and teaching Reiki in alignment with the Usui Shiki Ryoho form of Reiki, in the spiritual lineage of Usui, Hayashi, Takata and Phyllis Lei Furumoto. It was only in 2017, after I had been teaching Reiki for nine years, that I felt ready to join the Alliance.

Having attended my first annual conference of the Alliance in May 2019, I have come to appreciate the value of belonging to a larger Reiki community and the energetic aspect of it more deeply, at a visceral level.

Mystic order, one of the aspects of Reiki, Usui Shiki Ryoho, as described by Phyllis Lei Furumoto refers to the mystery, the alchemical nature of healing that accrues from being in the community, participating in the community. As the term mystic implies, this aspect of Reiki is subtle, rather elusive, beyond words and understanding really. One has to be open at an inner level to participate and partake in it.

What helped me was an insight that I am like an individual cell in the body of the Reiki community.  Each cell has to not only perform its own individual role, but it has to function in harmony with all the other cells in the body for the whole being to thrive. As the whole being thrives, the individual cell thrives too.

If you feel open and ready to experience the healing that accrues from belonging to a larger community of Reiki students, I would like to invite you to join The Reiki Association, a community of Reiki students that welcomes all Reiki students. You can find out more about The Reiki Association on its website, including its rich heritage.

You can read about how I have been participating in The Reiki Association over the years in the links below, and how being part of the community has helped me thrive. I started small, and my participation has been growing over the years. I am currently serving on the Council of TRA, as a Director on the Board.

How often do I need to receive a Reiki treatment


A question I am asked quite often is – how often do I need to receive a Reiki treatment.

I found myself saying to a new client recently that – Reiki is an Eastern tradition. Focus is on maintaining the state of wellbeing. It is much easier to maintain and enhance wellbeing. A lot more effort, ie no. of treatments are needed to restore it. Therefore it is best not to wait till one feels unwell.

Fortunately, she heard me and came for a Reiki treatment after about two months, while she was feeling okay, not struggling, not feeling unwell. She simply felt it was time for another treatment.

While giving the Reiki treatment, I felt in such treatments, received while one is feeling well, Reiki can not only help maintain our wellbeing, Reiki can help enhance it. Reiki can help us move closer to peace and joy. Reiki can help us align with the natural rhythm of life and synchronise with the Universal flow. Reiki can help us bring closer to our centre, our real self where all this resides and lots more.

Reiki and bowel movement

Wellbeing has many different facets. Some of these are easy to talk about and facets like bowels are not so easy to mention. I was delighted to receive this feedback from a new client who received four Reiki treatments recently. Feedback like this is deep nourishment for my soul. I feel it is really important to be able to talk about issues that may seem crude but are profoundly important for our wellbeing. It seems to me like a very important natural rhythm has been restored for this client thanks to the four Reiki treatments that she received. Hopefully other rhythms will synchronise as well.

This feedback is a wonderful example of staying open to the benefits Reiki can bring – how Reiki can flow to the area we most need, not necessarily the area we wish to see change in; how Reiki can touch the parts of us we least expect. This client clearly came for the four Reiki treatments with a different motivation. But the area in which she experienced healing was quite unexpected – and not so easy to talk about! I am so grateful that she had the wisdom to listen to her inner prompt and share this invaluable feedback.

‘Sorry to be crude but about a year ago I stopped going to the toilet regularly, I tried increasing my fibre and even went for two colonic irrigation’s but nothing changes. Weirdly it didn’t cause me any physical pain or side effects at all, I was just perplexed about why I struggled so hard to go to the toilet and would go up to a week at a time without a bowel movement.

When I came to see you for Reiki treatments, it wasn’t even in my mind because I was so used to it, it didn’t bother me anymore, but since receiving four Reiki sessions I have had daily movements. I think the stomach bug I seemed to have during the sessions was in fact some sort of purge. I just feel so much better.

It was such a pleasure to be in your presence and I just wanted to thank you for your healing, I’m sure you’ve done more for me than I even realise and I’m so grateful for that.’

Thank you, DEM. Thank you for capturing the essence of Reiki so beautifully with your words – Reiki has done more for me than I even realise. Reiki is a subtle practice, it always does much more than any of us ever realise.

And Gratitude is indeed one of the essential ingredients for healing to occur.

Reiki self treatment and sleep

Learning Reiki can have many many benefits. It is such a joy to hear from students, how they are benefitting from having Reiki in their everyday life.

Since the Reiki level one course, it’s been blissful to be able to self-treat at night in bed and it really helps me drift off to sleep. I can also use it when I’m in hotel rooms for work travel and previously I had a very hard time falling asleep there. Now reiki helps me switch off at nights! I even managed to sleep a lot on the plane, something I could never do before.

I continue to be grateful to have reiki in my life :) and the added benefit of now being able to self-treat where and when I need it most.”

M.E.

Drink delicious water

With warm weather approaching, (we can always wish for a nice, warm summer in the UK!) I thought of sharing a seasonal tip to keep you well hydrated. Drinking water can also help with detoxification. I switched over to using charcoal stick to filter water a couple of months ago. I am so glad I did. I much prefer the taste of charcoal filtered water. It has a sweetness and does not taste bitter anymore. The thought of reducing plastic usage with not using plastic filter cartridges also helps.

Charcoal stick for filtering water seems to be a Japanese tradition. I got a charcoal stick from Planet Organic, put it in a regular glass jug I already had and got started. I do not have any affiliate links with planet organic or any other charcoal vendor. Just sharing what I did, in case you may find it helpful.

If you wish to improve the taste of water even more, make it more refreshing in hot weather and indulge your sense of smell, you can add slices of cucumber, lemon, a sprig of mint, or even rosemary. You can either try one thing at a time or play with creating your own combination that appeals. Leave the water to infuse for a few hours and it can taste wonderful. You do have to look after the infused water, rinse the jug/bottle every day, discard previous day’s water as it can spoil overnight, especially as the weather turns warmer.

Drinking water with gratitude helps raise the vibration of water even further. Our body is more than 80% water. Drinking water, especially good quality water, that tastes delicious and has high vibration, nourishes the body profoundly, in ways beyond imagination or understanding.

Wishing you a perfect summer, with plenty of warm sunshine, not too hot, not too wet, just right!

Please do share your experience of filtering or infusing water in comments below. It is fun to learn from each other’s stories.

Phyllis Lei Furumoto 1948 – 2019

cherry blossom

Phyllis Lei Furumoto, deeply loved and respected Spiritual Lineage Bearer for Reiki, Usui Shiki Ryoho, the form of Reiki that I learnt, practise and teach, passed away on March 31st 2019.

I felt drawn to learning from Phyllis, quite early on in my Reiki journey. I attended some workshops with her. And I felt deeply nourished by her teachings when she started Reiki Talk Show, weekly online interviews. I followed my heart and emailed her expressing my appreciation and gratitude. When we met at a workshop subsequently, she came upto me, thanked me and invited me to her Reiki table for Reiki treatments. This was the beginning of our personal connection that continued with email exchanges over the years.

I got a chance to work with her more closely when she invited me to serve on the Board of Reiki Foundation International in 2010.

Our paths crossed again in 2017 when I attended two workshops that she taught for Reiki Masters – Usui Intensives. During these workshops I had the privilege of enjoying food prepared by her. She cooked a Japanese meal for the group one evening. I offered to help grate ginger for one of the dishes. There was so much ginger sticking to the grater afterwards, I asked if I can wash it off with some water that could perhaps be used for cooking rice. Phyllis was very particular about preparing rice and did not want anything else added to the rice. I happened to use the term ‘plain rice’. She looked me in the eye and said Mamta it is ‘pure rice’ not plain rice. I did not appreciate the difference at the time and just felt corrected. It is only now that I can appreciate what she was trying to help me see then. It feels as if she planted some seeds in me that are blossoming now. It was while teaching the first Reiki 1 class after Phyllis’s death, a new student helped me realise the value of keeping Reiki pure, with an inner knowing that it does not make Reiki plain!

Phyllis used to sign off from the Reiki Talk Show each week with the words – balancing form and essence. Now, even though her form is no more, her essence continues to blossom within our hearts and our practice. At this time, the Reiki Talk Show interviews are not available. I hope that in time, this wonderful legacy that Phyllis has left, will become available to Reiki students again. Her more recent interviews are available as Global Reiki Webinars.

Even in her passing Phyllis seems to have demonstrated Mastery. An email arrived in my inbox from my Zen Calligraphy teacher a couple of days later with these words: “In Japan it was the peak of the cherry blossom, clouds of pale pink petals floating, it is thought that passing at this time is absolutely skilful means.

I leave you with a message from Phyllis’s partner, Reiki Master, Joyce Winnough, hoping you will be able to find some comfort from these very healing words:

“What is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun? And when the earth shall claim your limbs then you shall truly dance.” Kahil Gibran This morning, March 31, 2019 at 0710 Phyllis Lei Furumoto passed from this life. Her transition started a few days ago as she became unresponsive to this physical world. From this early morning, I held her in my arms until the end, as she wished. We were surrounded by family, dear friends and her students.

As I watched her body being taken away from our home, I entered into an unknown space, one that we all share. I ask, How do I go on without her? And I feel deep within that she has given me, given us all, gifts for us to carry on. Her legacy is in our hands, in our hearts.

These past weeks have been an event, as you may imagine with Phyllis, full of love, Reiki, people, tears, laughs, hugs, fears, transitions, challenges, music, good food and more good food. Our home has overflowed with your gifts, flowers, cards, calls and most of all your true selves. I have been sailing on an ocean of love, wave after wave, surfing to places unknown. I pray that I may show my gratitude, in some way, to the global Reiki community.

With Great Sadness and Joy,

Joyce

Enjoy Cleaning!

TV remote

Do you enjoy cleaning or do you think it is crazy to even consider it being enjoyable! Do you prefer to delegate it? If you do have to do it, do you do it reluctantly or willingly?

When the television remote caught my eye one morning, I noticed how dirty it was. I can be pretty good at procrastination, but this once, I started cleaning it right away. It helped to remember that it was the waning phase of Moon. It is apparently a good time for cleaning, clearing, letting go. I have learnt to trust that action taken at a physical level can have an effect at other levels too – mental, emotional and spiritual. If I take a small step in the right direction, it seems as if the Universe starts to help as well.

While cleaning the remote, I found it interesting to observe that despite my usual cleaning efforts, the remote did not look much cleaner. I soon realised that I had to clean not just the top and between the buttons, I had to clean all the four side edges of each button as well.  This experience made me wonder about the times when the same issue keeps showing up, when the same pattern can keep repeating, especially when I thought I had dealt with it. It can be disheartening. In that moment, it felt as if this is one of the reasons why a daily practice is important – to be able to clean/clear many different facets of the issue. I know that Reiki heals the cause, not just the symptoms. Perhaps this is why Reiki can sometimes feel slow, because it is taking care of the many different facets of the issue.

It is so easy to get caught up in what am I doing wrong when the same issue shows up repeatedly. Or maybe I am not doing something I ought to be doing! This insight gives me hope that I am on the right path and I need to continue doing all that I have been doing to look after myself. I have simply been cleaning many different facets of the issue I have been struggling with.

At this time, I also realise that I do not have to wait for everything to be clean, tidy and perfect before I can be happy. My goal today is to be able to connect with joy, and allow love to flow, even if my critical eye spots the need for some cleaning!

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Mamta lives, practises and teaches Reiki in London, UK.

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Free Q & A – Reiki for mothers, babies, pregnancy

Doing an interview for an online Reiki Healing Summit, has inspired me to offer this virtual Q&A session for Reiki students/practitioners wanting to use Reiki during pregnancy, or for mothers and babies or older children.

You can register for the Free Q&A session on EventBrite. Please contact me, if you would like to send me any questions in advance.

Date: Tuesday June 4th, 2019

Time 6 pm to 7:30 pm GMT

Cost: Free

Global Reiki Webinars

Do you know about the Global Reiki Webinars?
Global Reiki Webinars is a project by Usui Shiki Ryoho lineage bearer, Phyllis Lei Furumoto and Reiki Master, Rachel Goldberg. Together, they offer free public broadcasts every 6-8 weeks for the global Reiki community to connect and share in our Reiki practice and inquiry.

There is a Facebook group too, providing a space for ongoing discussion, as well as updates and announcements about upcoming webinars and events. Please feel free to join.

I have been loving listening to the webinars. I have been doing it on my own. I feel inspired to listen to these in the group energy, with other Reiki students. Trusting that the group energy will help deepen our experience. Can you imagine being able to self treat for an hour and a half (yes the webinars are usually this long) with other Reiki students – while listening to the voice of the Lineage bearer and having a discussion afterwards about our experience!

Please contact me if you feel inspired to join in. My first offering is Wednesday 13th February:

Time: 7 pm to 9:30 pm

Cost: A donation towards supporting the Global Reiki Webinar project and my hosting would be appreciated.

Venue: my home, Highbury N5 1PU

This is open to all Reiki students – all levels, practising any form of Reiki. Purpose of our time together is to be in Reiki and deepen our connection with Reiki. Most importantly to feel the value of being with like minded people and part of the Reiki community.

Reiki treatment offer for mothers

Having a new client early in 2019, a mother with a 10 weeks old baby, helped me to feel really happy. It made me wish for more such clients.

Perhaps it helped me to reconnect with my original inspiration for starting public Reiki practice – to support mothers with babies and children; to support women during pregnancy, to support new mothers who may be struggling to cope with the changes a baby can bring in our life, or with post-natal recovery, or with an unsettled baby, or with sleepless nights or simply with finding enough energy to make through the day especially in the first few weeks of being a mother.

Reiki can be very supportive with all the above and more.

I don’t usually do any special offers. However, at this time, I feel inspired to offer 90 minutes Reiki session for mothers with new babies – upto the age of 6 months – for the price of a 60 minutes Reiki session. The longer session will allow me time to treat both the mother and the baby. Yes babies can also receive and benefit from Reiki. Yes, it is ok to bring the baby along. It can work quite well till the baby is mobile and crawling!

If you know a mother who could benefit from Reiki, please feel free to forward them this information so that they can contact me to book a treatment.

It may be helpful to read some Testimonials from mothers who have benefitted from receiving Reiki treatments, especially about my first happy mother and baby clients in this photograph from Reiki Magazine International in 2005.

Looking forward to supporting more mothers and babies so that they can enjoy this special time together ….

Feedback from learning Reiki

When I learnt Reiki in 2001, one of the first benefits I experienced was improved energy levels and health. I discovered that I was not falling ill as often as I used to, I did not need to sleep as much as I used to! I was delighted to receive similar feedback from a new Reiki student.

Receiving feedback like this energises me, nourishes me, inspires me and helps me feel ever more grateful for being able to teach Reiki. Please let me know if this inspires you to learn Reiki. With gratitude, I share her experience in her own words:

I wanted to share my latest experiences since Reiki one course. Mainly I am pretty amazed by how much more energy I have been having since the course and how rarely I have gotten sick. I have had the odd cold but they have been super mild. I sleep less each night and I eat more healthily and have also finally lost a bit of weight!

My work and private life had been extremely hectic but the good thing is that thanks to Reiki I have been able to manage it all and enjoy fun activities too!

To compare, I have probably been tired/low energy for the last 4 years and have had phases where I was sleeping loads… 11 hours a night if I could… Now 7.5 hours or so is just fine!

I tend to do Reiki in bed each night just before I go to sleep and it feels very relaxing. Sometimes as a treat during the day, if I feel I need it. At those moments, it really feels very restorative and like it is giving me a burst of energy. I think I have been able to enjoy life more because there has been more time and energy in the day to do things other than work.

I am glad to have Reiki in my life and feel blessed to have found something that works so well for me.

M.E.

Reiki 2 Circles

I know from personal experience that learning to use level 2 Reiki effectively, also referred to as second degree Reiki practice,  is a slow gradual process. It can take months, years even, to realise the power of the symbols and remember to use them in moments of need.

One learns from regular self practice. One also learns from practicing in a group. When we practice with other Reiki students, the learning and the benefits seem to go way deeper. And yes we are ­all students of the practice. We continue to learn even if we are Reiki Masters, and teaching Reiki. In fact, students are great teachers. Every time I teach, I learn so much.

Practising with a group, sitting in a circle, can seem like being able to move big heavy rocks more easily with the help of other people. Many hands make light work. This expression seems to take on a deeper significance in Reiki context – Reiki being light energy. Reiki also being a practice, that we practice with our hands – both level one and level two.

I have been offering Reiki 2 circles for my Reiki 2 students every couple of months. These circles have also been open to Reiki 2 students who have learnt level 2 Reiki with Reiki Masters practising and teaching Reiki Usui Shiki Ryoho. The Reiki 2 circles I offer, are practice sessions for Reiki students who have received level 2 initiation. With an opening heart, I feel ready to open these circles to Reiki students who have received second degree initiation from other Reiki Masters too. Please let me know if you would like to attend. If you have received level 2 Reiki initiation from another Reiki Master, you must check with me beforehand, if you can join us as this is a practice session, not meant for teaching. The form of Reiki you have learnt needs to be similar to the one we will practice together.

In 2019 I am planning to offer Reiki 2 circles every month, alternating them between weekday – daytime and evenings. Please let me know if you may prefer a different day/time. I feel passionate about supporting your practice and nurturing group practice. Please contact me if you would like to join us. I am looking forward to practising with you.

If you are not able to join us in person, there is the possibility to join the circle virtually – using Zoom or skype. Please let me know in advance, if you would like to join us virtually.

4 day Reiki Share

reiki share london

Having Reiki treatments every day over four consecutive days can be a very powerful way of receiving Reiki healing, as the energy is able to move deeper and deeper each day, often having quite profound healing results. There is something special about receiving four consecutive Reiki treatments. It can feel like a cycle completing.

I like to offer Reiki Share over four consecutive days for Reiki students to enable them to experience not just receiving four consecutive Reiki treatments, but to experience giving four consecutive Reiki treatments as well – in a supported environment. If you would like to be able to give four consecutive Reiki treatments, it is best to have experienced them yourself first.

It can feel like a mini Reiki retreat, that you can attend without having to go anywhere, without having to take time off work! Great way to start the New Year.

Date: January 17th to 20th 2019
Time: Thursday and Friday 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm; Saturday and Sunday 10 am to 1 pm.
Venue: my home, Highbury, Islington, N5 1PU
Cost: £75

Here is some feedback from one of the participants from June 2018:
When I first read about your proposed 4 day Reiki share, I immediately knew I wanted to take part. I am recovering from my second knee replacement operation and the slow process of recovery had left me feeling quite low.
On the first evening’s session, I felt my whole leg pulsed for several minutes as it released tension it had been holding. The following morning, in a moment of clarity, I was able to see how the pain and fear of it not healing properly had left me feeling ‘lost to myself.’ As soon as I could see my situation clearly, I knew I could overcome it.
On the second evening, sharing these thoughts resonated with the others and was helpful to all. I felt relaxed and tired, as if the healing was going deeper. On the third day I was aware of releasing tension from my pelvis ( which had also been painful) and by the end of the session I felt deeply replenished.On the fourth day I was ‘beyond words’, just glad to be in that Reiki space again. I had a sense of total immersion. As the sessions went by, the ‘giving’ time felt shorter and shorter and the ‘receving time’ felt deeper and more timeless. By the end of the 4 days I just felt so mellow! And sad and bereft that it had ended so quickly.
When can we do it again Mamta?”


Please let me know if you would like to attend this event. Places are limited, so you would need to book a place by contacting me. It is essential to attend all four days. Any queries, please feel free to contact me. I would love to hear from you.

Joy of being alive

Autumn leaves

Joy keeps showing up in my life. This is something I have been longing for. I received Joy in a physical form, as an essential oil blend from a fellow Reiki Master I met last year in the US on a Usui Master Intensive. I had a skin condition show up while I was there. She supported me with the essential oils that she had with her. Very kindly, she offered me an essential oil to take home with me to support me on the long journey home. She is a distributor for these oils, was on her way to a conference and therefore had the whole range with her. Instead of choosing an oil for the symptoms I was experiencing, I chose Joy in that moment. Little did I realise the value of this choice at the time!

Earlier this week, while giving a Reiki treatment, an insight surfaced – the purpose of healing is not just to fix what is not working; the purpose of healing is to reconcile with the joy of being alive. Joy can help the symptoms to fall away. I have been able to breathe with ease since this realisation! I have kind of known this about healing, heard this before, but in that moment I was able to feel it in a way I have not felt before.

Fortnight ago I discovered this TED talk on Joy. It helped me make these connections and remember the journey I have been on, seeking joy.

Earlier this year, at The Reiki Association’s Annual Gathering, Marta Getty, a very experienced Reiki Master, reminded us to reconcile with Joy. It is easy to find joy in positive situations, much harder to feel it in challenging, uncomfortable situations. To me, the word reconcile is an invitation to look deeply into a situation to be able to find Joy – to be with the discomfort, not try to fix it, not wish it away, but stay present in that moment, as best as is possible for a higher potential to be realised. When I struggled to feel joy in challenging situations, I felt that perhaps Gratitude is the backdoor route to Joy, gratitude for being alive in this realm of body, mind and time, causing feelings of separation and limitation– the source of most suffering. Being alive, being in the body enables me to feel what I need to heal. If I can remember to feel gratitude for being alive and for feeling what needs healing, it helps me to not go down too far the path of suffering and it seems easier to reconcile with Joy in that moment.

Perhaps the fifth Reiki Principle – Show gratitude to every living thing, can also be interpreted as – Show gratitude for being alive. Gratitude is certainly helping me cope positively when I struggle with the other Reiki Principles – worry, anger, relationships for example. Feeling deeper respect and appreciation for the Reiki Principles, they do reflect the whole spectrum of life!

Thank you Dr. Usui for founding the Reiki practice – it is a true blessing, a gift that keeps on giving. I am so glad I decided to learn Reiki all those years ago – without knowing much about it at the time.

Value in being slow!

Bee Autumn

You might think I am crazy to even suggest slowing down! You might think – Really when there is so much to be done!

I have been noticing a lot of bees, butterflies, dragonflies this year! I have also realised how easy it is to miss seeing the bees when I am rushing, moving quickly, focussed on getting somewhere on time and therefore not fully present in the moment.

This is making me wonder what else do I miss when I move quickly! I know that it is not just the bees I notice when I slow down; I can also hear the sounds around me. Perhaps the sensory organs can engage better when I am able to slow down.

If I can remember to slow down for even one mouthful while eating, I know that I can savour the taste, the flavours better. My taste buds can engage and activate. The brain, digestive system, and all the organs, perhaps the whole body can engage and hopefully play its part in the whole process that food serves. We need to eat every day. It feels like food serves a much bigger purpose than simple nutrition. Perhaps by slowing down we can be present and deepen our understanding of this need we have and the value hidden underneath.

When I slow down while eating, I can remember to feel gratitude for all those involved in the process of helping to bring the food to me. Not just the people who may have helped prepare it, but all the people who helped procure, grow and sell it. And not just the people, but all the little creatures that play their part in helping food to grow like the bees, the worms… And not to forget all the elements – Light, Air, Water, Earth and the most subtle – Ether.

I invite you to take a few moments each day to slow down, perhaps while having a meal, or while walking home. And observe what is moving within you and around you in that moment. So much can move even when we slow down.

If you are a Reiki student, perhaps you would like to observe what the Life Force energy is moving inside you during your next Reiki self treatment – in those moments of being still and simply placing your Reiki hands on your body – when our own Life Force is aligned with the Universal Life Force energy and is being strengthened.

I know from personal experience that it is not easy to slow down. So please remember to bee compassionate to yourself if you struggle to slow down. I am still learning. Especially to be able to see the gift when life is forcing me to bee slow and things are not getting done!

I would love to hear what you gain by slowing down in this fast paced culture where speed is valued. Please do share your experience in the comments below so that we can learn from and inspire each other.

Struggling to love your parents!

While reflecting on a question that I was asked recently, I felt drawn to share it here. The question – ‘Why are we told to repair our relationship with our parents to heal from trauma? What if you don’t like your own mother/father? How do you reconcile?’

The simple answer to the question why is because we are deeply connected to our parents, they are a part of us. Whether we like them or not is immaterial. Not liking our parents, and not just our parents, but other members of our family, like our siblings, is similar to not liking parts of ourselves.

An integral part of our life purpose is to remember/learn to love all these different parts of ourselves. This is the path to reclaiming our wholeness to be able to live life with peace, love, joy, good health and prosperity – something most of us long for.

This is easier said than done though, especially if a difficulty exists in the relationship. Knowing something is easier than living it ie feeling it. Just because we are told to love our parents, is not enough to be able to feel the love.

For me, a daily spiritual practice helps to go within and figure out the way forward when I feel stuck or unable to move forward. It feels easier to love the part of me that is struggling to love the parents or someone else that I feel I ought to love. It feels easier to hold this part of me that is struggling with love and compassion, acknowledging that there is something painful, some difficulty, a wound perhaps, held in my being from the past.

It does not feel necessary to figure out the underlying cause. Trying to fix problems, ignoring them or running away from them does not seem to work either. It feels possible to transform difficulties with love.

Sometimes this approach can even help transform my feelings to gratitude from anger towards the person, gratitude for helping me to experience the difficulty and help this wound surface to my conscious awareness so that I do not have to keep experiencing it. Compassion and gratitude are different strands of love. It seems easier to feel compassion for the part of me that is struggling, than to feel it for another person.

For Reiki students, this question seems to be about the Principle – Honour your parents, teachers and elders.

For people interested in Astrology, I find it interesting that this question arose at this time of Sun in the sign of Cancer, the sign of home, family and feelings. Cancer is ruled by the Moon, the planet/star of emotions and inner self. To me, this indicates how tuned in this person is to Universal flow.

This is where I am at this time, on the journey of learning to love and heal. With continued daily practice of Reiki, Yoga, Soul Plan healing, I trust that more insights will surface in time. I find comfort from this quote when I find myself struggling with a relationship:

You don’t develop courage by being happy in your relationships everyday.
You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity
.”
― Epicurus, an ancient Greek philosopher

Birthdays!

sunset

Birthdays come round every year. I did not used to make much of these anniversaries. I used to hesitate to mention my birthday to people around me. And then Facebook helped change it all. So many of my friends and family know about my birthday every year now! It feels wonderful to receive birthday wishes from so many people, from so many different parts of the world.

A couple of years ago, a wise friend wished me a few days in advance of my birthday. On asking her why she was wishing me in advance, she said that birthdays are about celebrating our life and it is good to start the celebrations early. Something deep started to move within me since that time. And I have started to be more open to this anniversary. I have actually started to enjoy my birthday.

This year I decided to go away for the weekend with my husband. I chose a cottage next to the river Test. Being in the open countryside, I wanted to watch a sunset. The day before my birthday, I was blessed with a gloriously spectacular sunset. It seemed a perfect way to end the previous year, and make space for the new to come through.  I remembered watching a sunset last year too, on my birthday. I think that I would like to continue with this ritual of watching a sunset near my birthday.

I had to walk up a hill to watch the sunset. I was amazed at being able to breathe with ease on the walk uphill. It seemed as if I could feel and use the muscles around the lower lungs, the diaphragm, to breathe on this uphill walk. Such a blessing to be able to breathe with ease again without having to use an inhaler!

On the way back to the cottage, we saw two swans with six cygnets in the river. In the fading light of dusk, the experience felt quite magical.
Interestingly this hill was called Bury Hill. This was the highest point around the village where we were staying. I kept thinking, we live in Highbury. Coming here seems to be quite significant. And the next day, walking to the farm shop nearby, I discovered a road named Highbury Road!

The whole weekend was full of many such synchronicities. I do not understand them. Perhaps I do not need to understand them. They were simply there to help me feel blessed and for the birthday weekend to feel magical.

Many insights flowed through during the weekend. Too many and too personal to share at this time. Watching a dragonfly land in the river, right under the bridge where I was standing taking some pictures, just before leaving the cottage on Sunday morning added some more magic to the trip. I had not seen a dragonfly with beautiful iridescent metallic blue and green colours before!

Dragon fly

This birthday brought up memories of the birthday last year. I could see many parallels that were not planned. Reflecting on what happened last year around my birthday, and this year again, it feels as if there is an opening that happens around the birthday. If I am able to welcome this anniversary as a celebration of my life, I am better placed to receive the light, strength and wisdom that is available at this time.

Children look forward to their birthdays. As grownups, one may not welcome them or become blase. I feel happy to be able to look forward to them again.