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/