Last week I completed the sixteenth annual ‘Just Reiki’ intensive in our home here on the small Pender Island. During these four days each year while the roses are blooming, a group of reiki students gather to share reiki treatments each morning. We work in groups of two or three and give and receive a foundation treatment, the form of treatment I teach to beginning students. This year the suggestion came up that we perhaps sing or experiment with the treatment. My instinct was that no, we should stick with what has worked in the past. Participants have afternoons and evenings free to explore and experiment as they are inspired. As I contemplated my reasons for this, I considered other practices.

Musicians often return to the scales or basic chording exercises to warm up and prepare body and mind. Ballet dancers practice basic stretches– pliés, sautés, each time they enter the studio. I recalled an instance when I was having difficulty with a complex aikido sequence. I practiced and practiced, trying all different approaches, but could not master the sequence. When I began class the following morning we did the basic stretches. As I was reaching over my toes I realized what I needed to do in the more complex sequence in order for it to be easy. My answer was right here in the simplest of exercises. I just needed to let go with the parts of my body that were not doing the movement.

Almost every day I do a foundation treatment on myself. In a sense this is going back to basics every day, however when we treat ourselves, there is some part of us that does not get to let go. When we lay on the reiki table and receive a foundation treatment from someone else, there is opportunity for complete surrender and letting go in a deeply healing way. Every year in this four day experience I am reminded of the power of this simple healing technique and of the power of simplicity in general.

ImagePender Beach in the afternoon, photo Judith LeRoux

The treatments during the intensive felt wonderful and relaxing while I had them, but some areas in my body became more uncomfortable–areas of past injury or disease. For the first day or two following the intensive I was still aware of these areas that were uncomfortable. Gradually over following days I noticed muscles releasing that had been tight for a long time. In my morning stretches this week I notice more balance than I have felt in a few years and I am no longer aware of discomfort awakened by the treatments.

A few nights ago, when I felt I had integrated the effects of the four days of treatment, I attended the screening of “Northern Grease”, a movie produced by some young island boarders to share their experiences surfing on our pristine coast and snowboarding down remote and beautiful slopes in northern British Columbia, but also exploring communities and landscapes that are being changed by our quest for oil and coal. northerngrease.com  The sadness I experience when I see what we must lose to gain the oil and gas we consume is almost overwhelming. The complexity of this problem of our need of ‘resources’ versus our need to protect our planet is also almost overwhelming. I am so thankful that I had the experience of the recent ‘Just Reiki’ Intensive before attending this movie. When it threw me into overwhelm and I was not sure what I could do, I remembered the message of this year’s intensive. The answer is always in going back to the basics.

ImageHeart in the rock with blossoms, photo Judith LeRoux