Spare Change News
The right road
beneath our feet.
– Alice Walker
So far, I have discussed how I came to Reiki, my initial skepticism and nagging curiosity about the practice, and the disputed founder Dr. Mikao Usui’s Reiki principles of “do not worry, do not anger, honor your parent, teacher and elders and show gratitude to everything.” Now I will explore Dr. Usui’s background and how he is said to have founded Reiki. Dr. Usui was not wholly satisfied with just book knowledge of Reiki; he had a desire to heal using the laying of the hand method. He went to the holy mountain of Kurayama for 21 days where he was struck by light on the last day and became enlightened.
In his book, “Reiki, Way of the Heart,” Walter Lubeck discusses why people come to the Reiki path. He asserts that people are intrigued by why so many practitioners are inspired by Reiki and ache to “know” Reiki themselves. He also states that, “Some people come to Reiki because they experience firsthand its healing powers often being treated for an injury and were fascinated by how fast it heals wounds.”
How did I come to Reiki? Well, I met this individual and we started dating. We ended up living on a lake in Lakeville, Massachusetts. Then I found out that this person was a level I Reiki practitioner and started performing Reiki on me. At one point I think I started to cry. The sessions usually lasted 45 minutes to one hour. At that point, I had no prior knowledge of the field of Reiki, but it touched me all the same. The experience reminds me of a short poem from the book A Poem Travelled Down My Arm by Alice Walker, it goes: “Because you stroke my shoulders last night / a poem travelled down my arm.” You see, I’m a poet, and when my companion stroked my shoulders by performing Reiki on me, my tears of creativity started flowing. And I almost always seem to find myself near a body of water. So how did I come to Reiki? I saw the letters on the wall, the light on the lake, so to speak. It was like Reiki came to me, because my heart, unbeknownst to me, was open to it.
Petter and Usui wrote about the three pillars of Reiki, the first pillar being “Gassho,” which means “two hands coming together.” Dr. Usui taught “Gassho meditation.” This meditation is often used at the start of a Reiki workshop or meeting. It’s supposed to be done for 20-30 minutes each session, once in the morning, and again before bed. To perform this meditation, sit down and keep your eyes closed, and palms touching each other facing your chest. You must focus your whole attention at the point where two middle fingers come together. Attempt to eliminate any thought that might get in the way. Should you start to fantasize about, say, lunch, or your favorite celebrity, acknowledge it and let it go.
According to Dr. Usui, the second pillar: “Reiji,” quite literally means “indication of Reiki power” and “Ho” means “methods.” “Fold your hands in front of your chest in the Gassho posture, close your eyes, and now connect with the Reiki power. Pray for recovery and health. Now hold your folded hands in front of your third eye and ask the Reiki power to guide your hands to where the energy is needed,” instructs Dr. Usui.
The third pillar: “Chiryo,” means “treatment” when translated literally into English. During “treatment,” the patient lies on a table with the practitioner standing next to the patient. The practitioner then places his or her dominant hand on top of the patient’s head or “crown” (located at the center of the skull) and waits for the impulse or inspiration that will surely come through. At the time of the treatment, the practitioner allows his or her hands to move about the body, hitting all the areas that hurt until they hurt no more.
We all have the power of touch, as Alice Walker demonstrates in her poem. Has someone ever touched you while speaking to you? Did it seem to open you up a bit, your ears, your eyes, and your heart? I have worked in a hospice, and touch was as elementary as breakfast in the morning. At the hospice, we always seemed to have the Reiki energy, whether we knew it or not, to cast some light on the darkness of death and decay.
A medical professional informed me that insurance will not pay for a Reiki session. He qualified this by stating that although insurance won’t pay for Reiki directly, it might be covered if it is masked as a more accepted form of therapy such as psychotherapy. But whether I end up paying for it myself or not, is irrelevant. I already know that it will be worth my energy, since Reiki has already has proven its worth in my prior sessions. I hope that you, too, are finding light, love and joy in your life, either with Reiki, or some other form of spiritual or religious practice.
JACQUES FLEURY’S book: “Sparks in the Dark: A Lighter Shade of Blue, A Poetic Memoir” about life in Haiti & America was featured in the Boston Globe & available at www.lulu.com. His CD “A Lighter Shade of Blue” with the folk group “Sweet Wednesday” to benefit Haiti charity St. Boniface is available on iTunes. Contact Jacques at: firstname.lastname@example.org and visit him at: www.facebook.com/thehaitianfirefly.