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.

Listening to the body!

I saw a client for a Reiki treatment recently, who had been having heart palpitations. She ended up in A&E two days in a row. Fortunately they were not able to find anything wrong.

During the Reiki treatment, I was expecting to sense more in the heart area. I was initially surprised to feel tension in the solar plexus instead. Then I realised that the solar plexus is the seat for self esteem, self love, self care, valuing oneself. It felt as if her heart was longing for her to take better care of herself. Understandably not easy for a working mother of five year old twins, a nurse, to make time for her own needs!

In that moment I remembered Hawayo Takata’s teaching – to treat the solar plexus for heart issues. It felt as if I could understand why the solar plexus would need attention to relieve pressure on the heart.

It seems as if we learn to live with what gradually builds up within us, ignoring what we can bear to be with. To be fair, it’s not easy to figure out how to take better care of ourselves. Usually it is only when we are faced with an aggravation of symptoms – I like to think of it as the body starting to shout to get attention – that we start to think of seeking help, or doing something different to take better care of ourselves.

I cannot help wondering how life would be if I start to listen to my body on a regular basis – perhaps asking it every day “What do you need today, in this moment? How can I take good care of you?”

The body is the home for the soul. One of the ways the soul communicates is through the body. As I listen to the body, I am listening to the soul. As I listen to the soul (atma is the Hindi word for the soul), I am listening to the Spirit, Source, Divine – Paramatma – the Hindi word for the Supreme Being.

I need the body to function well to be able to relax and feel at ease with being in the body. Hopefully this sense of ease can help keep dis-ease away. I have to take care of myself to be able to do all that I need to do.

When I am listening to my body, asking the question “What do you need?”, I find it helpful to be still, silent and focussed on the breath. Rather than seeking an answer, I find it is better to wait patiently, and allow the answer to come to me. Being patient is not easy though, sometimes it can feel like waiting for a fruit to ripen!

Open Reiki Shares in London

reiki share london

When I learnt Reiki in 2001, my Reiki Master used to offer Reiki Shares in London and I loved attending them. They felt very supportive and beneficial. It was not easy for me to attend her Reiki Shares regularly though as I had to arrange for a baby sitter – my children were about 2 and 6 at the time. So I started hosting Reiki Shares quite early in my Reiki journey, probably around 2003. I feel attending the Shares helped me to stay with the Reiki Practice over the years.

As I started teaching Reiki in 2008, I continued to offer Reiki Shares. I wanted to share what I had found helpful on my own journey as a new Reiki student.

Around 2011, I felt drawn to opening the Reiki Shares to all Reiki students, practising other forms of Reiki too. This was a big change from hosting the Reiki Shares for students practising Reiki, Usui Shiki Ryoho, the form of Reiki that I had learnt and taught. It was not an easy decision to open my doors to people I did not know, practising Reiki in many different ways. Reiki is probably practised in more than 100 ways around the world!

I found my way through this maze of different forms of Reiki, by requesting people to do the hand positions that I demonstrate during the Reiki Share, feeling that I can support only what I know. I try to make sure people understand that I am requesting them to do these hand positions just during the Reiki Share, that I am not asking them to change the way they have learnt to practise Reiki, and they need to honour the teachings that they have received from their Reiki Master – just as I need to honour my own.

On a practical note, I feel that I have to do this as we practice shared Reiki treatments usually on one, and sometimes on two treatment tables. So there are several people giving a Reiki treatment to the person lying on the treatment table, at the same time. If people were working on a one-to-one basis with each other, perhaps I may not have to ask them to do the same hand positions.

I am so glad that I decided to listen to my heart and opened my Reiki Shares to welcome all Reiki students – not just my own! Each Reiki Share, it feels as if an energy field gets created. Every person who joins the Reiki Share contributes something unique to this energy field, in a way that only they can. It feels as if together, with the help of this group energy, we are able to move some big heavy rocks that we may not be able to move on our own, by ourselves.

I continue to meet some amazing people through my Reiki Shares. I cannot help wondering if our paths would have crossed but for the open Reiki Shares! If our paths have crossed at my Reiki Share, I leave you with this quote from Hafiz “Your heart and my heart are very, very old friends.” I would also love to hear about your experience of the Reiki Share(s). You can either leave a comment below or email me.

Tooth extraction and healing

I had a tooth extracted recently. The only tooth with a cavity that the dentist had been trying to save for more than 15 years, but the filling kept falling out every few years. Finally she tried an inlay but the tooth started to decay and the inlay fell out as well! It seems as if the tooth was taking time to mature. The healing and insights that have come through at this time, may not have happened if the tooth had been removed any earlier! I tried to work with this whole process quite consciously. I said goodbye to the tooth, I was grateful for how it had been serving me and hoped that I was able to let go of the tooth willingly. I made sure I received a Reiki treatment before the procedure and afterwards.

It was the last upper molar. It came out quite quickly and easily. When the dentist showed me the tooth afterwards, the roots of the tooth caught my attention. It felt as if something had been unplugged from the upper realm. It felt as if this had to happen to strengthen my roots in this realm, on Earth.

On the walk home from the dentist, it seemed as if the numbing of the anaesthetic was helping me remember how emotional numbing can help to avoid feeling pain. Just as the area around my tooth needed to be numbed to avoid feeling the pain of the tooth being released – the emotional numbing seems to have been protecting me from the pain of letting go of some past trauma. If part of me has been numb, I have not been doing something wrong, or not doing something I ought to have been doing. With this came acceptance of this part of me that has been numb, accompanied with a wave of peace.

The next day I realised that the healing I was experiencing was not just in the area of the wound, but my whole being was being healed. I realised that I have to be patient with this process and allow it all the time it needs. It was helpful to remember the Rumi poem – a wound is an opening for the light to come in.

I struggled for three days, not so much physically, more emotionally. On Saturday when I got home, and did not feel like doing much, it was a blessing to be able to rest with my Reiki hands on me. The next day I could also rest on my Yoga mat in a Restorative Yoga pose. The tooth was released with ease, the physical wound was not too bad. So I was struggling to understand why I was not able to function, why I was feeling so low.

The third day, it felt as if something moved inside me. I realised that I was resisting letting go of numbness that has been held within me. I realised that I have been avoiding feeling pain. I remembered that I have to be willing to feel the pain to be able to feel the joy of being alive, the joy of being in the body. I was sitting cross legged in meditation, it felt as if my sitting bones yielded deeper into the floor.

The whole experience has been so deeply insightful and healing that I can actually feel grateful for losing a tooth!  Deep gratitude to the tooth that sacrificed itself to enable me to experience this healing. Gratitude to my spiritual practices that help and support me to accept what is, learn and heal from how life is unfolding. Deeply grateful to all the people who supported me in this healing process.

Another Rumi poem feels very apt at this time:
Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.

Desperation and Peace

I love learning in oral tradition. One of my favourite memories from childhood is my aunt visiting and telling us stories at bedtime. I am so grateful I found my way to Reiki taught in the oral tradition, in the spiritual lineage of Usui, Hayashi, Takata and Phyllis Lei Furumoto. This is the form of Reiki that I needed. There is something special for me about the spoken word. When I hear something, it can help move things deep inside me.

I know that I will not be able to stay with, or take in, each and every word that I hear. I have come to realise that it is not the words themselves but what the words are helping move within me that is more important. I have learnt to pay attention to what moves inside me. Sometimes I am aware of what is moving at the same time as I am listening. Sometimes the movement seems to happen at a subconscious level at the time and surfaces at a later date.

I listened to the Webinar – Living the Precepts – Reiki as a Way of Life. The next morning, after my Reiki self treatment, I remembered Phyllis Lei Furumoto talked about the desperation that people from Mexico must feel to want to leave their home to move to the US. I had read a book last year with a similar theme, The Year of the Runaways. This is about some men from India leaving home and in desperate search of a new life in the UK. I have not forgotten this book, and it kept surfacing in my consciousness ever since.

In that moment of rememberance, it seemed I needed to recognise the desperation in my own heart and tend to it. I felt that I do not have to understand what the desperation is about, I simply need to acknowledge it and own it. It felt like a physical ache in my heart. It felt as if tending to the desperation inside me will help me to accept the suffering, the seeming imperfections of the world. To me, acceptance of what is, seems to be a vital key to inner peace.

In that moment it felt as if through this realisation and recognition of the desperation within me, something moved and it will be easier to be at Home within myself, in my body and in the present moment.

There may be more layers that need to be peeled to live life in the present moment, in my body, at Home within myself. I trust that my daily spiritual practice of Reiki will help me recognise and work through these layers as they surface in my consciousness. It is a practice after all, a journey.

Feeling very grateful for my Reiki practice, all my teachers and the Global Reiki Community.

Thank you Phyllis and Rachel for the Global Reiki Webinars.

Spiced Hot Chocolate – healthy

spiced hot chocolate

I do not like drinking milk so I could never enjoy Hot Chocolate. But I love chocolate and the attraction has persisted. Last year I discovered turmeric Latte made with almond milk. It felt as if I was in heaven when I would have the time to make it with my own hands and savour drinking the cuppa.

With time, the attraction to Turmeric Latte waned. I know it sounds fickle. But wait for it, I was meant to go on to discover something even more delicious – Spiced Hot Chocolate. I tried Almond milk version of Hot chocolate. I loved it but missed the spices.

I decided to not listen to the strict inner voice telling me to keep the two drinks separate and pure. I tried adding raw cacao nibs to the turmeric latte recipe and loved the combination. To me it tastes divine. Last winter I felt that turmeric latte was my hot drink of the season. This year my vote goes to Spiced Hot Chocolate. You can try either of the two recipes, both are winners.

Turmeric Latte (makes one cup)

10 almonds soaked in water for at least 4 hours. I find it easier to let them soak overnight.

1 tsp powdered cinnamon

1 cm piece of fresh ginger

1 cm piece of fresh turmeric

1 green cardamom pods – skin discarded

1 date (you can use the sweetener of your choice. I prefer natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup rather than sugar)

1/2 tsp ghee/coconut oil

2-4 black pepper corns

I prefer to peel the almonds, discard the skin and any discoloured almonds. I know that it sounds laborious and time consuming. But do try to make the time for this ritual. Slow down, peel them really slowly, mindfully and see how it makes you feel inside. I find slowing down helps me to synchronise my rhythm to the rhythm of the Earth, slows down my breath and helps me to feel more in my body and in the present moment. Slowing down has also helped me to do the household chores with acceptance, dare I say it with enjoyment even! So much so that I do not like to use the word chore anymore for household work. Perhaps this is helping me to start understanding the Zen practice of ‘chop wood and carry water’.

If you wish to make Spiced Hot Chocolate, just add 1 tbsp of raw cacao nibs to the blender.

The recipe is simple – put all the ingredients in a blender with 1 cup of hot boiling water. Blend, pour in a cup and enjoy the drink. Make time to sit down, hold the warm cup between your hands. Savour the warmth in this cold weather. Drink slowly.

You can vary the ingredients to suit your taste. The recipe is very flexible. For example, you can replace ginger and turmeric with powdered version, if you do not have them fresh. I prefer the fresh version as it not only tastes nicer, I trust it is more nutritious, and will be absorbed more easily by the body. All the ingredients are so healthy, they may also help keep the bugs away at this time of the year.

I make 2 – 4 cups at a time, with just 1 cup water and store the leftover in the refrigerator once it has cooled down. It lasts for up to 2 days. All I have to do is add hot boiling water and my drink is ready.

It was not easy for me to pause, stop drinking this delicious creation and take a photograph. But when the inspiration comes, I know that I have to do this, the thoughts, the words keep coming and time becomes available in my day, to sit down and create a blog post.

Do try and leave a comment if my sharing inspires you in some way, either to try the recipe, make the drink or to slow down, or to do some writing or create something else in a way that only you can. Nobody else can do it in exactly the same way.

Any questions, I would love to be able to help. You can contact me through my website.

Small Restorative Yoga Class, Islington, London

Savasana Restorative Yoga

Small, slow, gentle Restorative Yoga class with maximum 3 people in Highbury, Islington, London.

To me, Restorative Yoga is a practice in beingness, helping us to remember who we truly are, helping release what blocks us, so that we can be deeply restored and live life from this space of true strength. Deeply nourishing and relaxing way to benefit from Yoga. Suitable for people who would like to benefit from Yoga, but may not find it easy.

Every Tuesday, Nov – Dec 2017.

Time: 2:30 pm to 4 pm

Cost: £15 per session

Venue: N5 1PU, Islington, Highbury, London, UK

Limited spaces – very small group of 3. Please contact me to book a place.