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,