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Up until twelve years ago, I was the kind of person that didn’t believe something until I saw it. If it couldn’t be touched with human hands then it wasn’t real, especially when it came down to all those “unknown” and some rather esoteric alternative therapies like reiki, acupuncture and yoga. Now that I have been a yoga teacher for over nine years, I have obviously embraced some of these more “abstract” approaches. When I was gifted a reiki first degree course six years ago with one of the most talented healers I know, I knew I had to try it.
Upon arriving to the course, I pulled out my notebook and pen and was ready to start taking notes as I tend to be quite the serious student. My teacher immediately said, “Rina, please put away your notes. This course will be a lesson on feeling and experiencing, not memorizing.” Naturally, I freaked! “What!? I can’t take notes and be overly efficient?” That day I learned that shutting off the brain and turning on other dormant areas in your body is more efficient. No amount of taking notes would have helped me feel and understand the life-force energy that I was transmitting. So, note taken!
The first-degree reiki course is simply the initiation into the “ki” which is the same as saying “chi” in China and “prana” in India. During this course we tap into this “ki” or source of life-force energy and as I remember my teacher distinctively saying, “Now, everything you touch will be receiving reiki from you.” One of the examples he gave was that now whenever I go to the grocery store and I grab a piece of fruit, it too will be receiving reiki. I found this to be so powerful because now I felt responsible for whatever I touched; I had to be completely conscious of what I was touching while I was touching it. Even if the reiki works on its own and doesn’t have anything to do with my own personal energy, it still passes through me. I found that to be awe-some.
For several years after I got zapped with the reiki connection, I only practiced on my yoga students during their final relaxation known as savasana or when a student was injured. I also practiced on myself. I always found it fascinating how I would always feel a different sensation than the actual person receiving the reiki. I remember one person had a migraine during a yoga class, so while I was teaching I sat myself behind her and did reiki on her head. My hands immediately started to burn. After I finished, I asked her how she felt and she said that my hands felt ice cold on her head and that now she felt 10 times better. Being someone who has suffered from migraines, I know that ice packs on the head help reduce migraines. At that moment, I realized how powerful reiki truly is because it serves each person as he/she may need it.
During these years of practicing, I felt inclined to continue with the second-degree reiki course, but never “found” the time. This last year, I took the initiative and decided to do it. The planets aligned and the message was received so I had the fortune of doing my second-degree reiki as a one-on-one course. What a privilege!
The most remarkable discovery I made after my course was that I felt as comfortable with reiki as I did with yoga, which is saying a lot since yoga is my passion and calling. I immediately connected with the technique and the symbols, and felt right at home. It’s almost as if I was coming back home to a source my subconscious always knew was there. I guess you could say I found a second calling.
After completing the course, I had to practice on someone so I gathered up some willing guinea pigs. My first guinea pig was eerily perfect in the way that as soon as I put my hands on her and started the first technique, she started crying. The first technique is meant to permeate through to the subconscious and go deep through different layers of the body. As a reaction to her crying, I started applying the second technique, which is meant to bring peace and tranquility. Immediately, she stopped crying and started to relax. After a few moments of using the second technique, I went back to the first technique and she reacted on the spot. Her body started to twitch just a little. I then intuitively jumped to the third technique, which tries to give an overall sense of healing and intends to make the person feel more conscious and aware in a broader sense. She stopped twitching and I could feel her energy expanding. She felt lighter and softer. She had a slight smile on her face. After a few moments of this overall good feeling, I went back to the second technique just to finish off this mini-session with a little more peace. After the session I asked her what she experienced and to my surprise she described the exact experience that I had practiced on her. She said “First, I felt this deep penetration that was going straight through my head and down my body. It was so intense I had to cry, but in a good way. Then it quickly shifted to a peaceful state where I was relaxed and carefree. Then, it went to that intense feeling again where I felt a surge of sorts. That passed quickly and then there was a feeling of overall awareness and expansiveness. I felt a sense of joy. At the very end, I felt that peaceful state again. It was amazing!”
I just looked at her with awe and said “wow! Those were the exact techniques I used on you.” It blew my mind that this was the first person that I worked on after my course and it went right by the book. ’d like to disclaim, this person has no previous knowledge of reiki techniques. She is just very in tune with her body and she can perceive energy well. Just to give you a little perspective, this whole session probably lasted about 6 minutes, so not long at all. But there was an entire story and shift within those few minutes that again made me feel the potential this healing medicine has contained within itself.
I don’t know through experience what the third-degree reiki entails, but I am curious to see what greater wisdom and intelligence may lie ahead for me and for those blessed enough to experience this treasure that has been gifted to us all.
Editor: Jeannie Page
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