What gift has reiki brought to the world?
To me…my health, my husband, daughter and home.
To the world…a loving expression of discipline.
I was asked by Reiki Home, to participate in a panel discussion of theses questions. Reiki has brought me so many gifts, so I decided I must begin at the beginning of this story. When I first encountered the Usui System of Reiki I was at a crossroads. I had returned to Canada from South Africa and a short-lived marriage there. My understanding of the way the world worked was shattered and just beginning to come back together in a new shape. I felt ineffective in my work with families and children and so was in preparation to enter medical school. I was having health issues that western medicine seemed unable to address. The first experience I had of reiki was casually, in a yoga class. That night I woke passing gallstones and then my health improved dramatically. I became fascinated with this ‘energy medicine’, and studied shiatsu and reiki. It completely distracted me from my pursuit of western medicine.
I took a reiki class and my teacher told us reiki is for us first. She encouraged us to practise on ourselves regularly but I still used it more on others and on myself more symptomatically when I felt a need.
It wasn’t long before I realized that the Usui System of Reiki was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I decided I would become a master. Before I was accepted as her master candidate, Phyllis Furumoto asked me to attend a ‘self-assessment’. I chose one in Puerto Rico, where five masters, including Phyllis Furumoto and Paul Mitchell, met with a group of students for about a week to determine if becoming a master was truly our path and if so where we were on that path. Reiki had already brought a great deal of healing to me, however I still had painful menstrual periods and on the flights to the intensive the cramps began. At the intensive I learned a great deal about strength and flexibility and by the end of it Phyllis invited me to join her in two weeks on a horse packing trip in the Sangre de Christo mountains in New Mexico, where myself and two others would be initiated as masters.
When I arrived the first stop after the airport was a visit to a ranch where they raised wolves to be re-introduced to wilderness areas where they had been eradicated. We entered the huge compound where the wolves were living and very quickly a female with all her very small pups came toward me. The owner of the ranch reassured me she showed only signs of friendliness. She stood up with both paws on my shoulders and greeted me, sniffing my mouth, while her pups wiggled and stretched and nuzzled my legs under my long skirt. I didn’t realize at the time that reiki had brought me to meet this wolf as an initiation into motherhood.
We spent a night in an adobe farm house before embarking on the pack trip. I shared a room with Phyllis Furumoto. When I woke in the morning I saw Phyllis placing her hands, as I had been taught for self-treatment. Suddenly I realized that this was what I was to be doing every day! I had been treating myself symptomatically up until then, but since then have had the benefit and joy of this as a daily discipline.
When we reached the departure point for our horse packing expedition we were each assigned a horse. I was the least experienced rider so I was given a quiet mare– who had her foal with her on its first expedition. I learned quickly that if I wanted the mare to do as I asked of her, I first had to be mindful of her foal, her first priority. She taught me about the responsibility of motherhood.
We were initiated on Portavadero Peak on a bright fall afternoon among yellow aspens after a quiet morning of snow. The following week we learned the reiki initiations. The first time I watched an initiation I saw the beautiful connection made when the woman performing the initiation blew on the man being initiated. At that moment I actually felt my uterus open and begin menstrual bleeding. It was such a surprising experience that I called out to tell the others.
I expected that after returning home I would begin teaching and soon be travelling a great deal teaching reiki classes, as did other masters I knew at that time. Reiki was quite new in the western world. Instead, within weeks of returning home a relationship blossomed out of a friendship of a number of years. At the same time I was bleeding not monthly but every two weeks. My body was cleansing and did so for about two months. By spring I was married and pregnant and a year later our little family moved to Pender Island to establish home. When my daughter was about seven, my mother came across an article about DES, which was a drug she realized she had taken while pregnant with me. This medication could cause all kinds of difficulties with reproductive health for the offspring, including infertility. I now understood that reiki had stimulated my body to cleanse from what remained of this DES.
We have spent almost thirty years in this small island community. I have stayed mostly close to home, teaching here and in the nearby cities of Vancouver and Victoria and only rarely elsewhere. I have led a simple life and learned to value discipline, especially the discipline of reiki, rather than seeing discipline as punishment. Discipline and punishment have been much confused in our society. One of the gifts I think reiki has given the world is this renewed understanding of discipline and the freedom and joy discipline can bring.