Creating your very own Healing Centre

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Over the years as a result of the Reiki classes I run, I have witnessed a fair number of people having moments of revelation, accompanied by a deep desire to drop everything, change the course of their life and head off somewhere to heal the world or open a healing centre. It’s a lovely idea and in those instants I watch as imaginations get to work and the inevitable idyllic visions of the possibility of living bathed in the utopia of Reiki all day long are born.

I know exactly what that feeling is like because I had it myself. In fact I did drop everything to change my life and head off to live in community with other like minded people. I embraced wearing socks with Birkenstock sandals, grew my hair long and ate a purely vegan diet. I meditated every day, wore a crystal pouch around my neck and communed with earth angels and devas. I was constantly hugging people and developed the art of gazing deeply into the eyes of another for ridiculously long periods of time. I knew all the words to ‘Puff The Magic Dragon’, retreated in solitude to the islands of Iona and within a year my metamorphism from London Fashion Photographer to Way Out Tree Hugging Hippie Healer was complete.

As amusing as it sounds, I was loving my life, I felt deeply connected and had a sense of purpose that for the first time felt absolutely right to me. But the decision to depart this Spiritual Oasis I lived in occurred as rapidly as it had arrived. The catalyst for me was the departure of a group of American students with whom I had built strong bonds. My heart had felt that deep sense of aloneness that only goodbye’s can give you and I understood in that moment Living with Reiki was less about creating a sanctuary outside of myself and more about creating it within.

I learnt to locate a place within that told me I was connected. When self treating, I could give Reiki to myself and feel it filling up. I started to view it as a sanctuary inside of myself and in time, it became my source, my healing centre. I realised as long as it was there, I had no need for an outer sanctuary. In the ensuing years I lent my experiences to others facing the urge to drop everything and make dramatic life changes. I encouraged a more balanced approach than the one I had taken, allowing Reiki to transform them without causing great disruption and fall out in their day to day lives.

When we attend a Reiki course we are provided with a safe space in which we can be open, share and feel supported. It is deeply nurturing and most of us who experience it want to remain there for as long as we can. But just like returning from a weeks holiday on the beach can be difficult, many are immediately challenged by the need to go back home after a workshop. I have heard so many stories of people getting home and their stressed out partner says, well I am glad you had a nice time, welcome back to ‘the real world’ and hands the sugar laced kids over.

But here’s the thing, Reiki is as much a part of ‘the real world’ as anything else, it’s just a case of grounding it into our reality. Some compromises may be required depending upon where we live. We might have to consider those around us who haven’t been zapped by the Reiki Ray! We may need to find flexibility in our Reiki practice, make it less dogmatic, refrain from trying to convert everyone to our Reiki Religion and generally be a little more subtle in our approach. For me, it meant the socks and Birckenstocks had to go, the crystal pouch around the neck was replaced by a deep knowing that Reiki was in my heart. The deep gaze into another’s eyes for long periods of time replaced by a handshake or an appropriate hug.

As we ground and integrate Reiki into our lives we learn to use our increased sensitivity to navigate by and our vulnerability becomes an opportunity to inspire openness in others. We become to the best of our ability an example of the precepts. When faced with challenging and unsympathetic environments we are taught humility and to reflect upon the strengths of our beliefs.

A Reiki workshop is designed to offer us a glimpse into the possibility of a way of being where we live with awareness of being intimately connected to everything in this Universe. In a workshop we can bathe in the luxuriousness of all the participants focused on the same intention of love and healing. But the real work starts when we go home. Integrating what we have learnt and ensuring we complete our spiritual homework. Creating an inner sanctuary, a healing centre within, is an essential part of that work.

So the next time you meet people or situations that challenge you and are difficult to digest, remind yourself. How I respond right here right now is the full measure of my personal development. Drop into your inner sanctuary in that moment and see it as an opportunity to demonstrate a way of being that echoes your beliefs.

Thanks for listening Reiki Rich

For more go to www.practicalreiki.com/blog/

The Winter Solstice 2012

The Winter solstice on the 21st  December 2012 is the shortest day and the longest night of the year in the northern hemisphere. The sun arcs at its lowest point on the horizon and remains on the same trajectory for three days and three nights before ascending again on the 25th December. The day’s then become longer and the nights shorter until the spring equinox where night and day are equal in length. Many ancient stone circles and other monuments are aligned with the winter sunrise on the 21st of December. The most famous being Newgrange in Ireland, where a finger of sunlight shines along the dark entrance through a narrow aperture above the monument’s entrance.

Many of the symbols of Christmas echo the winter solstices aspect of rebirth and hope in darkness. For example the Winter Solstice was a time when people came out of hibernation and gathered together with family and friends. It was a time of generosity, loving, giving and letting go. People would wrap up unwanted possessions and place them in a basket so that each could choose a gift. It was a time to bring food and drink to share at a feast. To light fires, tell stories, to sing and entertain each other… Holly was thought to be important because it retains its greenery right through the winter months, and as such is a symbol of summer life in the winter starkness. Holly was the male symbol of this greenery, and Ivy was the feminine, the two often placed together in a circle just like the Christmas decorations you find on most peoples doors symbolising the cycle of the seasons and everlasting life at the dark end of the year. There was also a belief that evergreen plants and trees were refuges for the woodland spirits through the winter.

Yule was the traditional name for the celebrations around the 25th December, the festival lasted for twelve days, which are now the twelve days of Christmas. The origin of the word Yule seems to originate from the Anglo Saxon word for sun and light. Most likely regarding the rebirth of the sun from the shortest day.

The birth of Christ on the 25th December ties in with the Winter solstice celebration of 21st December too. This is the day that the Sun (after three days and nights) is resurrected and ascends into heaven. The resurrection of Christ (The S.u.n of God) isn’t celebrated until Easter time (The Spring Equinox) where the light of the sun actually overpowers the darkness of night and we head towards the summer solstice.

In the 4-5th centuries, Christmas and the winter solstice were on the same day and it was said “Christ was born with the new sun, as the Sun of Justice, Sol Iustitiae and transformed the cold winter season with a new sun and his birth brought salvation and he ordered the nights to shorten and the daylight to grow with himself.”

The winter solstice is the time where symbolically we are furthest away from the light. Our descent into darkness is almost complete and so this time of the year, marks a significant turning point as the wheel of fortune turns in our favour and we begin once again to move towards the light. The old year has died away and is now prepared for the rebirth of activity and expansion into the outer world. As such it is seen as the festival of rebirth, but it is not a beginning in a linear sense but part of our cycle of death and rebirth.

As the outer world has darkened, we have journeyed into the inner realms through introspection and reflection and as the winter solstice heralds a time of letting go we can lay aside all that no longer serves us on our journey. Releasing old energy opens the way for new energy to come in so the winter solstice is the time to birth our visions and dreams and make our resolutions for the coming year.

To let go of what you no longer need in your life and focus your intentions on what you do want try these exercises that are drawn from the tradition of winter solstice celebrations and enable you to ritualise this time and set new goals for the future.

On the 21st December

Spend some time in meditation thinking about the year that has passed and all you have experienced. with pen and paper at the ready, write down all the things that you no longer wish to experience and that no longer serve you in your life. Ideally if you have a fireplace Decorate a wooden log with pieces of paper tied to it with all the things you wish to let go of written on it and place it into the fire. Make it a ritual with a family or group, each stating out loud what they no longer want in their lives as they place the log onto the fire.

On 25th December

Christmas day! take a candle and each of you light it and speak out your wishes hopes and intentions for the future year ahead. Place each candle in a large bowl of sand and then let it burn right down to the wick.

On 31st December

After all your presents have been opened and the tree looks bare, on New Years Eve, get everyone to write down their dreams and wishes for the year ahead and tie them to the Christmas tree. This is a great ritual if you have a tree with roots and you can then plant it outside and watch it grow through the year.

 

Can anyone learn to Heal?

In this weeks blog I wish to discuss the questions can anyone learn to heal? Are some people more predisposed to be effective as healers than others and if so what can us lesser mortals do to improve our practice?

Over the years I’ve met some incredible healers and when it came to transmitting energy they seemed able to manifest huge amounts of Ki. Also their ability to perceive what was required and transmute energy went beyond the average Reiki practitioner. So in today’s blog I wish to discuss why that might be and how some people seem able to hold a healing space and channel energy more abundantly than others. Continue reading

Do we direct Reiki or just let it flow?

One of the first teachings my Reiki Master June Woods gave me in 1993 was “Just relax and let it flow dear.. Reiki knows where to go”. I still tell my own students this and when they are doubtful of their own capacity to give Reiki, I suggest, not making it about them but instead make it about the person receiving. I was also taught that there was no need to be concerned about the outcome of a healing or get myself involved in diagnosis because I was simply a channel through which the energy flows. The idea that Reiki flows to where it is needed most and is an intelligent life force energy that requires no direction is still taught today but there are questions that have arisen in me through my practice of Reiki and this week I wish to discuss the question; “Do we direct Reiki or just let it flow?” Continue reading

The Power of The Reiki Symbols

I recently returned from a retreat in Glastonbury where I had deliberately asked spirit to arrange a change in the weather as the prediction wasn’t going to serve me and my group at all. The resulting sunshine created an interesting discussion around the breakfast table of the power of the Reiki symbols to support clear intention. One of the group told me I should blog about the experience I had in Hawaii with the Reiki power symbol that I opened my book Reiki and the Seven Chakras with. Further bellow is the extract from the book. Continue reading

A Tale of Trust

I have decided to share a tale of trusting the universe to provide. It was 16 years ago, I didn’t have a care in the world and was travelling through Israel and Egypt…. It goes something like this..

It was hot. The driver on the coach had warned me not to walk, but I had slept through my stop and the only way back was on foot. The Dead Sea in July reaches 50’c and with only a few sips of water left, I was starting to realize the driver was right. The road snaked ahead of me with nothing but rock and salt either side. I laughed out loud. It seemed ages ago now, but it was only this morning I had decided to miss my flight home and head south from Jerusalem. I wanted to take in the Dead Sea and then head down to Elat, cross the border into the Sinai and then on down into Nuweba. Continue reading

The Ego

Following on from my recent blog on Reiki and Protection, I would like to discuss The Ego development and how it contributes to our notion of a Polarised Universe.

I love the Chakra system as an illustration of the journey we make into conscious awareness. Starting with our conception we begin the process of building ourselves in shape and form as millions of years of intelligent evolution programmed in our DNA sets to work at an incredible rate. If all goes well, by the time of our birth in a little under ten months we have all our fingers and toes and are thrust into the world with little more than a very loud cry to get what we need.From these precarious beginnings we begin to build the foundations on which we will develop to varying degrees our sense of self. This early development is designed to seat consciousness in the physical body. Fusing with the material dimension, we begin to differentiate between physical sensations in the body and those in the environment. A baby bites a blanket and it doesn’t hurt whereas it bites it’s own thumb and it does. So the baby begins to identify itself as separate from it’s environment like a secondary birth. The first being that from it’s Mother, the second from the World itself. Continue reading