If you have read past blog posts from me you know I am a committed student of the International House of Reiki.(IHReiki) I have been continuing to further my personal practice as well as teaching knowledge and experience through classes and support from Frans and Bronwen since my March 2008 Shinpiden class. The support and experience I have further gained from them through the years has helped me to take my practice and teachings deeper. I am beyond excited to be listed as a Graduate Teacher with IHReiki. The benefits of this also go along to my students! To see a list of benefits: http://www.ihreiki.com/about/teachers/graduate_teachers/
So if you take a class from a Graduate teacher you receive so many benefits from IHReiki! You will receive guidance from not only me, but also Frans Stiene! What an amazing opportunity! I am beyond thrilled to offer this to my students! I know first hand the amazing guidance I have received from Frans and IHReiki.
Checking in, looking and observing where I’ve been and where I am headed. Lately I have been contemplating the questions: Why am I practicing the system of Reiki? What am I getting from it? How has it changed? As I have been thinking about these questions I have been taking a good long look at myself, my practice, and my reactions to life in general. Then last Monday I decided to listen to the Meditations tele class. I was able to listen to all of week one and some of week two. I even did the meditation from the class. What came up for me was a confirmation of those same answers that I got when asking the above questions. Then a funny thing happened, on the recording we go around talking about our experiences so I was able to hear myself talk about what came up for me in the meditation back when we first did the class. It was interesting and useful to me. I was able to see how things had slightly changed from that class to now. I was also able to see some of my own growth from this. It was nice to know I had gone deeper with my practice and had a different sense in why I practice in the first place. I think it is a good thing to look at ourselves and see where we are and were. In looking at myself I see that I am able to approach the new school year with much less worry than I did last year. Even with this being a huge year for the family all three kids are now in school. Of course I had the feelings of separation from my youngest that up until now had never spent more than a few hours here and there away from me. I did amazingly well that first day of school, I cried only after they let the kindergartners in the class. Much, much better than I or anyone else who knows me had thought I would do. As we are in week 2 of school, I am able to enjoy my time home alone. I am working on my classes, and future workshops, meditating a lot more throughout the day. Even with only a week and 2 days down I can see my practice going deeper already. I am seeing how I am changing and dealing with things that come up in a much calmer easier manner. I am becoming more humble as I see my practice unfold in unison with life. So I ask you to look at yourself and see where you are and how that has changed from where you were. Be grateful for the changes even the smallest change matters. It doesn’t have to be these huge grand things we think of when thinking about how our life is better or could be better, it’s all the small things that add up to big things that matter most. To answer a question you may have for me: Why do I practice? Well it’s really simple, I like myself a whole lot more when I practice. I feel a deeper connection to my true essence. I feel more aware, open and expanded from my practice. I anger and worry less, and when I do it’s not like it used to be. It makes me feel humble, and helps me be compassionate; in essence it helps me live the Precepts as close as I can.
Last night at a meetup, someone mentioned someone else was really into Reiju. My quick reply was so am I. What this meant was that I really like Reiju. I find it to be a wonderful experience allowing me to go deeper into my practice and my self. What I did not mean by this statement was that I think Reiju is more powerful or superior over the other elements of the system or that it should be the emphasis of the practice. Some thoughts around Reiju are things like without Reiju you can not practice hands on healing. When you look at the history of hands on healing you can see it has been practiced from the dawn of time and it is not something new or unique to the system of Reiki. Another thing I did not mean by that statement was that Reiju should be the only element of practice. Each element that makes up the system of Reiki is a way for us to connect with ourselves on a deeper level. I don’t think I could choose which element was better to work with/practice or utilise than the others.(Though I lean towards the Precepts being the ultimate.) Each is great for meeting certain needs of each individual practitioner based on their own life history and experiences. Some will be drawn to certain practices and elements than others. I am drawn to the Precepts, and jumon techniques and Reiju, that doesn’t mean I don’t use the other elements. It just means those are the ones I am like using the most right now and getting a lot from at the moment. I am sure it will change, and I am open to that. I think by being open and listening to yourself and the guidance of your teacher you can go deeper within.
One reason I have been into Reiju a lot lately is because I am doing the Reiju/Attunement class with Frans Stiene my amazingly fantastic teacher. The level he is at spiritually is inspiring. It helps show me with commitment to my practice I can get there too one day. We have had 2 weeks of class and homework to do. This has brought me a deeper understanding fo Reiju and its practice. I know there is so much more to internalize and see on my own, but the class really helps point you in the right direction for contemplation and real practice. In week one of the class I learned some things that I hadn’t previously known about the history of Reiju. It helps make my personal thoughts and feelings on the subject click with what is known. This was great!
I know I can always go deeper and there is still so much to experience and that my practice still has a ton to teach me. I know with dedication/devotion to my practice I may one day get to the spiritual level of Usui Sensei or Frans. It’s a goal of mine and not for my ego-though it would love to be able to say I am an accomplished spiritual practitioner-the ego won’t have much hold then, though (a whole other post). It is a goal because of the benefits of the practice and being at that level spiritually is beautiful and amazing and the way we handle and experience life there looks wonderful. It’s a place I want to be all the time! So it’s up to me to practice, practice, practice all the elements of the system, no one else can get me there! (Though guidance and support from amazing people certainly helps!) I already see and live the benefits from my practice now, and can only imagine what it could be like with continued practice by looking at those who have been there before and continue to grow and go deeper themselves.
This past weekend Frans Stiene of the International House of Reiki was in Washington DC to give a talk and teach a Shinpiden class. From time to time over the weekend my thoughts would shift towards the class and all the people in the class. I would wonder what they were talking about at that given moment. I know from the Shinpiden class I did in 2008 that they were experiencing something amazing and life changing. I wondered how many were re-sitting the class and getting even more out of it this time around from their continued practice since they last did the class. Though I know that I couldn’t have made the DC class, I was trying to get to the class being held next week in San Rafael California. A friend is going and we had hopes of fling there together and rooming together, sharing the rental car. Sadly I will not be able to attend next week, but with be thinking of them and knowing how much all those participants will come out of the class feeling blissful and excited for what’s ahead. I had been planning on going to this class for months now. I had finally saved up the money with the help of our tax return to cover the cost of travel, lodging, food and the class. The International House of Reiki offers a deep discount to past students making the choice to resit the class all the more enticing.
I have done pretty much all the web classes offered by my teachers and received additional support through emails and a couple of one on one Skype chats. I know the level and quality of teaching taking place in the Shinpiden classes. This is why I want to resit a class. I know that the more I practice and the more my teacher practices the next time in class I am able to gain so much more. I know I will have during the teachings or practices given ah-ha moments. I know this based on my experiences from the past teachings and support. If you have the chance to resit classes with a quality teacher I say do it! I offer each student the ability to resit the current level they are at. I want every student to go home, practice what tools and techniques they have learned and come back for a chance to go deeper within by resitting the class. Just like I tell students, friends, my kids and colleagues to re-read books and their manuals after they have been learning and practicing because they will gain a deep insight from doing this. I frequently re-read my manuals and books. Each and every time something has come up for me that gives me an ah-ha moment. I see things in a different way as my practice grows and integrates new discoveries. The same goes for resitting classes.
I will admit I am bummed I will miss out on the class next week. I think it stinks because I know the potential of the outcome of it all. I am trying to look on the bright side of things and know if I was truly meant to be in that class everything would have come together so I could be there. It didn’t so I move forward and think about the upcoming retreat I hope to go to. I put the money aside that I saved for the Shinpiden class. It is sitting waiting to be used for the retreat. Once I had the money and details of everything figured out we announced to the kids I would be going away for a few days and that is when the issues came up. My youngest freaked out, became extremely attached and started waking up in the night and crawling into our bed. It got to the point where he had to be touching me. We are taking steps to help him with the separation anxiety this brought up. I did some major looking within and deep contemplating about whether I should go to the class or not. I talked with others seeking advice and opinions about the whole situation. You can imagine my dilemma. I wanted so much to go to this class, yet I knew on a deeper level my son could not bear to be away from me that long. Also my middle son was not happy about it either. I wasn’t sure how my oldest felt; he wasn’t sure how he felt about it. I contemplated how beneficial Reiki classes are, how it benefits not just me but those around me. Then I contemplated how young my son is emotionally and how attached he is to me. Both choices weighed heavy on my heart. The first choice being to leave my family for the first time ever for more than a day, the other of missing an amazing class and chance to grow and go deeper into my practice of the system of Reiki. In the end I decided to miss the class and hope he is in a better place and more able to handle me being gone for a few days in the months ahead for the retreat. I decided that I need to help my kids get used to me going away for classes and retreats. My practice is my life and my life is my practice, it’s who I am, who I have become. My plan is to have my mom spend more time with my kids especially the youngest one. She takes him when I do treatments, and my husband takes them places when I am teaching so far it is working out, but I am looking into renting a space. That is a whole other blog post in itself.
I suggest if you are able to resit a class, go for it! If life circumstances get in the way of that contemplate your options. Seek advice and support from others. In the end look within and make your choice. See if you can make a future class or retreat and work towards that if you can’t make the immediate one. Through experiencing this I learned how much my practice means to me, how much my kids are a priority and how I can/will/need to balance both. So hopefully in a future post I will talk about the great time I had at the retreat. In the mean time I look forward to hearing about the class from a friend and seeing how it is for her. I hope she as well as everyone else in the class has an amazing, deep profound experience and fabulous time!
I decided to write on here instead of into my handwritten journal I keep. I just finished a meditation session. I feel like I want to talk about something that I feel happening to me more often than not lately. It seems to be increasing each time. I really feel a connection to my practice and with that connection there seems to be a free-flowing movement from within. I often feel like I am in the ocean and waves are gently carrying me as I float freely. I cannot recall the first time this happened, but it has been going on for quite some time now. Some days it feels really strong like the ocean waters are rough and choppy. Other days it feels very calm and still, and still some fall somewhere in between the two. Any way it happens I feel guided from within to just be and let my body move as it needs. It often feels like it is being guided by the energy. This reminds me of a technique we teach in Shoden called Reiki Undo. I love this technique and find the more you do it and allow yourself to let go the more freely your body moves. Of course you must take safety precautions when doing moving meditations as to make sure that if you fall you won’t hurt yourself and that you won’t knock anything over with your movement.
This past weekend I got together with a friend and we did some meditation then Reiju for each of us then treatments too. It seems that when I was in the chair for Reiju I was swaying around. As I sat with my eyes closed fully open to receive whatever it is that I needed at that time I felt the same movement from within. During Reiju I don’t open my eyes so I didn’t know that I was actually moving. Afterwards though when I was told this, I got to thinking how many times I have sat with my eyes closed in meditation in the movement thinking I was probably really moving all those times too. I usually have my eyes half-open with a soft focus. I find it keeps me more aware of what I am doing and is another focusing tool. We have a new carpet and it has a bold print on it and I find this distracting lately though so I have been choosing the eyes closed method of meditation.
Either way eyes closed or slightly open feeling the movement and floating freely really allows me to be fully open to whatever it is that I may need. I can say that I love the feeling. Letting the movement come naturally and freely is the key to really being in that open oneness space. We must not try to force movement or attach to it. I do not go looking for it within my practice; I simply allow it to happen if it needs to. This falls in line with what I have been learning in the symbols and mantras class with The International House of Reiki. I adore my teacher, he is completely dedicated and full of wisdom and guidance and support for his students. We talked about something that was brought up in the meditations webclass, but it wasn’t until this one where it became a direct experience for me. (That ah-ha moment from previous posts) Well I find that the movement really comes within the second aspect of what we learned. When we just sit after having used a tool from the system of Reiki, whether it is techniques or meditations, it’s in that just sitting place where I am discovering what lies within. Discovering within not only myself, but the practice as a whole takes place during this just sitting space. It is within this space that I can float freely in the ocean of Reiki. I feel like I am gaining so much wisdom from within myself through my practice lately it is unbelievable! I also feel like I am making so many connections! Next time you are sitting in meditation if you have an urge to move, go for it and see what happens, don’t resist it. *Of course be safe and take the necessary precautions so no one gets hurt. If you have a condition that does not allow for this then please do not try it. I wouldn’t want to hear about anyone getting hurt from falling or anything. Go deep within yourself and see what you find!
For many years now I have had a hard time with using/finding the correct words to say when talking about the system of Reiki. For me the system is very much experiential than intellectual. Of course to practice effectively you need to have an intellectual awareness of what you are doing. A lot of the learning that happens within the system of Reiki is through the experience you have or the outcome of your personal practice. So over the years having learned so much from my practice I find it at times very hard to explain some things to people not familiar with or new to the Classical Japanese aspects of the system. I take many classes offered by The International House of Reiki (www.reiki.net.au) for post Shinpiden education and further growth. Each class is amazing and wonderful and I always come away with a new found lesson learned or new insight in to myself or my practice. Well I am taking the Symbols and Mantras web class on Wednesdays. We have done 2 weeks of 4 and I feel like I have learned so much for the class and others taking the class.
Week one of the web class was very insightful for me. I discovered a few ah-ha moments. You know the one’s where something you knew conceptually becomes new knowledge because you now have had a direct experience of it. This is something that happens within the system with con tined practiced and education. I learn something that at first is a concept that I think I grasp, then through my practice or specific exercises in class I gain a direct experience which take it from merely a concept to direct knowledge. Through this I gain my very own personal experience and the words to go with it. This makes it so much easier when teaching or talking to someone and getting my point across. During a meditation session the same day as day 1 of the class this thought came to me copied from my personal journal I write in after meditation:
“Now I realize through my practice the words will come as a result of the direct experiences I will have with the system. With practice and experience the words will come. My own words not someone else’s.” This is HUGE to me. The best way I can be true to myself and those I talk to is to be able to speak directly from experience. By having direct experiences of concepts within the system of Reiki gives me the confidence and commitment to speak clearly from my own point of view. This is something I think every teacher and practitioner should strive for.
The only way we can get to this place of personal knowledge is to keep practicing and working with the system and reading, taking more classes with your teacher and learning new concepts to aim towards understanding. Being able to check in with your teacher who is also working and furthering themselves and working with their teachers helps to see where you are. They can offer new concepts to ponder, and exercises that will unknowingly to you lead you to having that direct experience that you need to have to be able to talk the talk. I can relate this to crochet or photography; you have to keep doing a certain stitch or playing with exposures until you know them and can explain them to someone else. So I say keep on practicing and gaining your very own direct experience so you have personal knowledge to pass on and grow from!