Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Volunteer's Story

This Blog is about Reiki, and about Hospice, and this week i received an email from a Seasons Hospice Volunteer that brought home to me what Hospice and Reiki are both all about. Seasons Honors Life and Offers Hope; Reiki procedes from 5 basic principles: 1) i will not worry just for today 2) i will not be angry just for today 3) i will be grateful just for today 4) i will work hard today and 5) i will do kindness today

Louise is a Seasons Volunteer, and a student in our Seasons Reiki Class. She herself, has been battling serious illness, and still has significant residual disability.

Put aside anger for what she has been through, worry about what she herself faces, Louise works hard for us, and demonstrates a gratefulness for her capacity to give kindness to others.

The stories of courage and kindness that i see in Hospice every day, make me proud to be working with this wonderful Team.

Here is a Volunteer's story:

I used my walker when I went to the Assisted Living and had no problem. In fact, it came in quite useful when there were clearly no chairs for me to use in the T.V. room as all the patients were there watching t.v. I was able just to pull up my walker and sit there and spend time with both patients.It is a bariatric walker with a padded seat and little wire rack underneath for me to store oxygen, my purse etc. I didn't take any oxygen as I don't use it any more but had my lunch in there and a few other items.

One patient, Betty, who is 90, was quite lethargic and sleeply. Her hands were purple and icey. Jean started working on her hands and that guided me to do the same. I massaged and sent energy to both hands and they turned pink and became warm. Later I helped to feed her, with some difficulty. She loved ice cream and ate that with gusto! When I told her that I was leaving and would see her next week, she pursed her lips together and made the sound of a kiss and said "that is for you."

The other patient was Bill. He reminded me of my father, who by the time of his passing, did not make any sense in his communications. Bill had much more clarity and a subtle sense of humor. When I said goodbye to him and told him I would see him next week, he said "Is that official" and I said yes. So you see I have bonded with them and perhaps they have bonded with me too.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The "Just-ectomy"

This posting is based upon an in-service given by my friend, Dr Gary Applebaum at Seasons Hospice. Dr Applebaum told our Home Health Aids about the procedure, the "Just-ectomy."

How many times have you heard it? "I am just a Nurse." or "I am just a Home Health Aid." or "I am just a GNA." "I am just a Social worker."

In Hospitals and Nursing Homes and Hospice, we hear this all the time. People see themselves as being unimportant.


It is such a painful and destructive word.

The purpose of the "Just-ectomy" is to remove the word and concept of "Just" from our Team members. When we take care of patients, we do it as a Team. Each member of the Team is important, and we cannot accomplish our goals alone.

Working together, we can accomplish so much. Alone, we can accomplish so little. If we function well as a Team, our patients are the beneficiaries.

Imagine a star quarterback of a football team saying to a Teammate, "you are just an offensive lineman." Hmmm. Wonder if he will have the time to throw the ball. Or, "you are just a wide receiver." Hmmm. Wonder how his arm will look if all his throws are dropped.

Having grown up in Buffalo, I was always a Buffalo Bills fan, and suffered through the Bills losing four straight SuperBowls. But, on the other hand, the Buffalo Bills won four straight AFL Championships and played in four straight superbowls. Their Quarterback of that era, Jim Kelly, was elected to the NFL "Hall of Fame." And i can still remember some of his interviews after huge wins, famous 4th quarter drives and he would say, "I owe it all to these guys." And he poured the glory on his offensive line. Story is after almost every game, he took those guys out for dinner.

They were not "JUST his offensive line, they were the guys who worked hard, and gave him the opportunity to use his skills. They were important, and he could not have done his job without them.

In the words of Dr Applebaum, and on behalf of all the doctors with Seasons Hospice of Maryland, I ask all of our Team members to do a "Just-ectomy." Remove that word from your references to yourselves.

We know how hard you work. We know what love and caring and skill you pour into the patients. We know, without you, we could not accomplish our Mission of helping our patients and families. In our eyes, in our patients eyes, your work and effort is incredibly important.


The name and some details have been changed to protect confidentiality, but the conversation is accurate. Reiki does not have to be done in a "formal" way, nor, does Reiki energy which is universal need to be "named." Once one is connected to Reiki energy, it is a part of who you are, and a part of what you do. But this story is not about me, nor is it about Reiki, it is about Mabel.

This month, i visited Mabel at a Nursing Home. She was being offered Hope in living the last days of her life with support from Seasons Hospice. I went to evaluate Mabel for management of her pain.

When i arrived i said "Hello" and sat down. Mabel said "I am ready to go, I can't stand this suffering anymore, i am not used to living like this." I listened. I placed my hand on her clothed shoulder, and i felt that she could benefit from the support of simple touch. Within calling it "Reiki," an energy channel opened through my hand.

"I woke up in the middle of the night and was running down the hall," she said. "I know i really wasn't running in the hall." She looked at me. I sat still, my hand on her shoulder, silent and grounded and open in acceptance. I nodded to her.

"My husband was in the hall, right outside my room. But he wasn't really there. He died 10 years ago. We had been married 51 years. He called to me and said he was waiting for me."

I nodded and sat there. "He's been waiting for you for 10 years," I said, "and i am sure he will wait for you a little longer." I could see her vision of them being together in this life and in another life.

"You can keep him waiting a little longer," I said. "He is used to waiting for you, and the wait adds to his joy when you are with him."

"I know." She said. "He always waits for me." "You will be with him soon enough," I said. "In the meantime, we will be sure that you don't have any pain here."

I knew that the pain from the cancer in her body was still there, and the shortness of breath from the disease in her lungs was still there, but she was no longer suffering. She had a huge smile on her face.

"You are a nice doctor," she said. "You are a very nice person," I said, "and i am sure that he will wait for you."

When i went on to the next room, I felt a deep sense of humility at having being allowed into this moment. I really hadn't done anything beyond serving as a channel. I had listened. Pain is simply a thing attached to the physical body, but, she had overcome her suffering by reaching beyond her own physical body to the spirit of someone she loved.

Friday, May 15, 2009


I have just watched a video sent to me by Roger for the 3rd time. I am moved to be included in an email that Roger sent out to his friends. I am moved by the courage and faith of this human being, a person, who understood without being taught the basic principles Behind Usui Reiki Ryoho, "The Secret Method of Inviting Happiness." Roger does not get angry, in spite of provocation, he is grateful almost every day, and in the midst of his own suffering he reaches out with kindness to others.

Roger has given me permission to tell his story, he is a patient at a Nursing Facility who lost the use of both his legs about 20 years ago. He battles multiple other medical problems, but until about 6 months ago, he would leave the Nursing Facility to do vounteer work at a nearby school. Roger had an electric wheelchair, and it gave him freedom, and he gave of himself to others.

Some months ago, two harsh blows hit us, first Roger's electric wheelchair was broken in an accident, and second, he fell, and broke his left leg. He went to the Orthopedist and was told it would never heal.

That was a sad day, and i decided to tell Roger about Reiki, and, myself and an excellent Level 1 student of mine began doing Reiki with Roger and on his leg. We hoped it might help, with a goal of allowing him to at least get out of bed again. For 2 months, Roger was in bed, and we were trying Reiki, and, in a day we looked forward to, he went to see his Orthopedist. That afternoon was the saddest i have ever seen Roger, he looked at me and said. "Dr Bob, i am broken and i can't be fixed. The Orthopedist said there was no healing at all." And that meant, that he could not even get out of bed. I examined the leg myself, and the pain that had been present at the time of the fracture was gone, and the leg felt more solid, i believed that perhaps a "flibrous union" had occurred. That means that, the bones had been sealed together with connective tissue, not a boney union, not enough to stand or walk on, but enough to be free of pain and get out of bed. As Roger said when i suggested that, "Dr Bob, i haven't walked in 20 years, i won't try to stand."

I called the Orthopedist myself to discuss the situation. I explained what we were trying to do with the Reiki, and ended up saying "I believe there is a fibrous union that you cannot see on the X Ray." There was a moment of silence on the other end of the phone. "I don't know anything about Reiki," he said, "and you cannot see fibrous union on an X Ray, and even if there is a fibrous union if he tries to walk it will come apart."

"He hasn't tried to walk in over 20 years," i said, "and if he can get out of bed, if it will make a huge difference in his life." The Orthopedist thought over what i was saying, and agreed, "i have no problem with him getting up now with the fibrous union, that will be fine as long as he doesn't put weight on it."

I wrote the orders on the chart and brought the news back to Roger. Now the fight was on to get the electric wheelchair fixed! Finally, funding was found.

A warm sunny May day, really a perfect day, with Reiki energy pouring down on us, and Roger got to go outside with his new electric wheelchair. A friend took a video of him, outside, in his own chair, letting everyone know he was back, "and ready to go to birthday parties" or whatever his many friends could dream up. And Roger sent that video out as an email attachment to all his friends, and it came to me as well.

I sat and watched that video over and over, and likely will again. I thought about Roger being so grateful, and how, i had really done so little. Whether we call it Reiki, or by some other name, there is an energy that connects us all, a spiritual force, and that is what healed Roger. Not me, not my education, not my medications, and even with my Reiki - only a vessel. And there are so many people who we cannot heal, cannot cure, for whom, all we can offer is human connection, and that we care.

In the meantime, watching that short video, i can feel the energy of the sun shining down on Roger, and i feel warmed by it. And very grateful that he shared his journey with me.

A Family Perspective on the Unit by Jane Fisher

Sometimes, i will choose to with consent of the author, add to my Blog a story that moves me very much, and that personifies the essence of Reiki and of Hospice. This is a story by Jane Fisher, a SW who i have the pleasure to work with. When we do our best, our very best, we go across the "white coat barrier" and connect to people in a human way.

A family's perspective of the Unit
I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the IPU and all that takes place here.

Yesterday I received a call from A......, the daughter of a patient who was extubated by Dr. P.... last week. At first I could not place her but as she spoke I gradually began remembering this patient, a beloved mother, wife, aunt sister and friend, and her large, loving family. For the two days she was on the unit, the staff were helping to care for her exhausted husband, and supporting A....... and her children, as well as many, many sisters, brothers, cousins, friends and neighbors. At one point I counted 35 people coming in and out of the patient’s room and our family room

A medical event, terminal extubation, had become a community event, a spiritual and religious event, as well as a family event. People were standing in the halls, weeping, laughing, in silence, and in prayer.
All around them were the staff including the therapy dog, providing a holding environment for almost every emotional state, supporting, giving, consoling, praying with words, with eyes, with touch…all of us working intensely to maintain a hopeful, respectful and loving environment.

This is only part of the story- so much more occurred in the realm of helping this family with ethical decision-making, goals of care, administration of medication for comfort and ongoing encouragement and integration of our care with the family’s care of this beloved woman, with the goal of healing life closure..

A...... told me that the staff of the IPU made the “unbearable more than bearable, it made our mother’s death feel like a loving gift from total strangers who over night became part of our family.”

This is just one small narrative of what takes place here and I felt it important to acknowledge this daughter’s perspective on the work we do. Thanks for listening.

Jane Elizabeth Fisher, MSW, LGSW
Seasons Hospice and Palliative Care
Northwest Inpatient Unit, 3rd Floor
5401 Old Court Road
Randallstown, MD 21133
(410) 701-4565

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

a simple cup of tea

We never know when the simple moments in life, become meaningful to us. As we practice Reiki, and bring it into our lives, the actions of refraining from worry (just for today), refraining from anger (just for today), being greatful (just for today), working hard, and giving kindness (just for today) change how we approach moments, and allow us more patience. Sometimes - it is just the capacity to appreciate a flower at the side of a path, or a smile from a friend.

Sometimes, more meaningful moments happen.

A year ago my wife and i were in New Zealand, a long flight, literally on the other side of the world. She is an avid birdwatcher, and insisted the we book a tour that took us on a day trip to Kapiti Island.

It was a cold and dreary morning, i had some concern that we would have a fairly wet, windy and birdless day, but we were here and we went across the bay on a small boat and disembarked on Kapiti. The main section of the island has no development at all, and is a protected nature area, the northern end of the island is owned by a Mauri family, a remant of the people living in New Zealand before the European settlers arrived. They had a small home and were to be our hosts for lunch later, and we were quite anxious to get going on our hike to the top of the Island. John came over to us and invited us in to have tea - there were two groups, and one group begged off the tea, there was only so many hours to be on the island, and they headed off, i started to tell John, "thanks but i don't really want tea right now" - but - i saw a look in his eye and what came out of my mouth was "thank you. we would love to share tea with you." As the other group headed out to birdwatch, my wife and our guide followed John and into his home and we sat down for tea.

It was Reiki energy telling me something, and me just following my intuition. John it turns out was a descendant of a Mauri chieftain, a warrior, he himself was one of the most famous birdwatchers in New Zealand, something i had not known. We talked about the plight of indigenous peoples all over the world, and our the common connections amongst humanity, how we were connected. And we talked of a common hope for peace. He decided though it was time to begin walking, and as we walked he explained that years ago, he would need to test his prowess and my courage by coming close to me with a weapon (without actually harming me due to his skill), but in these days, at the least, he could not comfortably help someone who did not first share tea with him. We walked past a sacred burial ground and he talked about his ancestors who struggled to retain their connection with this land, and then we came upon a group of South Island Takehe. This is a huge bird, walking wild on this island, less than 160 in the world. John told us to go ahead now ourselves on the trail.

We were followed as we walked by a pair of New Zealabd Pidgeons, large grayish green birds with pure white breasts and a stunning sound when they were flying. North Island Robbins posed for us, Fantails rarely seen watched us hike past. As we headed up the other group most of the way around the loop (they came opposite direction of us) passed by, "seen any birds" - "hardly any" they said as they trudged quickly on covering more ground more quickly than us.

Finally we came to the top of the tallest hill on this part of the island. The sun had come out, and it was a near cloudless sky, it was warm, and, the southern sky is different, more intense. I raised my hands up from my crown to reach toward Reiki energy, and bring it to me - a sense of intense light surrounded me, and as i took in energy i also let go, and, parts of souls departed who had attached to me freed themselves and headed toward the sun.

We walked back toward John's house slowly, enjoying an incredible day on an incredible island. Back for lunch my wife noted there was one bird she had really wanted to see - a rare North Island Saddleback thought only to be on Kapiti Island and only in small numbers. John told her to relax and enjoy and lunch, and as we ate he listened quietly. "Now" he said, "walk slowly around to the back." And there on the tree in the back were two incredible and gorgeous North Island Saddlebacks. They sang to us, and posed for a few photos. And then - it was time for them to fly away, and time for us to leave the Island.

I do not know for sure how different my day or my life would have been, had i not stopped that day and joined John for a simple cup of tea. I believe, without the impact of Reiki on my life, i would have been drawn to rush around that island. And i believe, that the conversation with the Mauri descendant may yet yield further wisdom, to enrich my life.

Just for today - i remain greatful for the gifts i have been granted.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

It's a great day ......

For those of us in health care, especially those of us working in hospice or nursing homes, it is important to keep in mind the 3rd principle of Reiki, to "be Grateful Just For Today." Life is a gift, it may not always be exactly as we would like, but it remains precious. And few people personified that spirit more than Badger Bob Johnson (1931-1991)

"Badger Bob" was a hockey coach, and for most of his careers was in less than glamorous jobs. He led the Wisconsin Badger hockey team to NCAA championships, and had the difficult honor of coaching the US national team, at a point where the US team was not an international hockey power. Later in life, he was hired to the big time, to coach one of the NHL's weaker franchises at the time, the Calgary Flames. There was a quote attributed to a friend after a 9-0 loss in the midst of a long losing streak, that, if someone saw "Badger Bob" they would not know how badly things were going, he always accentuated the positive, and his catchmark phrase was "It's a Great Day to Play Hockey."

In 1990 he became the coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins and led them to the Stanley Cup, the NHL Championship, the cumination of his dreams. But shortly thereeafter, it was found that he had a brain cancer, and he died in November 1991. Through all his challenges, he retained his remarkable good spirit, and sent a message to his Team, urging them on, and reminding them that every day, "was a great day to play hockey."

By avoiding anger at his fate, by renouncing worry for the unknown he was facing, by being greatful for the opportunities and joys that he had been given along the way, Badger Bob, never attuned to Reiki - was emulating its highest values. By trying hard in his declining state, and even then sending a kind message to his team, he was approaching transition in a positive way, and living rather than simply suffering and waiting to die.

Remember in your work and in your life, every day is a great day!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Book Review "Reiki for the Heart and Soul" by Amy Rowland

Amy Rowland is one of the truly creative and special master's practicing and teaching Reiki. Amy has shared Reiki with so many marvelous people, and, the Teachers and Masters who have shared with her have each left a section in the garden of her energy matrix. In Amy's class you can feel the presence of others, and it is very moving.

This book is both simple and difficult to describe, simple, because the book itself is in fact easy to follow, and complex, because it is a variance from Amy's prior books and from many other books about Reiki.

Amy's first book, "Traditional Reiki for our Times," focused on Reiki practice and on the precise importance of hand positions. This more advanced book, focuses of the basic principles of Reiki.

The magic of this book, very much like the magic of Reiki itself, is in its simplicity. So often, we focus on technique, on where to place our hands, on how to ground, on the lessons of using Reiki as a healing technique. And somehow, in the process of doing these complex things, we help others, and are helped somehow in our own lives.

"Reiki for the Heart and Soul" starts with us, and starts with the 5 principles of Reiki taught by Mikao Usui. "Just for today Do Not Anger." "Just for today Do Not Worry." "Be grateful: Show appreciation." "Do an honest day's work." "Be kind."

In meditating on these principles and bringing them into our own lives, we come into better contact with the Spiritual Energy that connects us all, and has the power to heal. In this lesson, first we work on bringing our own lives into "connection," and in the process, we feel the Reiki energy, it flows through our hands (and through our heart and souls), and we gain more capacity to heal.

Amy reminds us that for Mikao Usui, Reiki was not first a healing art, it was first a "Secret Method to Invite Happiness."

In Reiki class, we try to teach hand positions and Reiki technique, but, if we do this, and lose sight of the underlying principles, we have lost so much. If we live the principles, we do not need to augment our Reiki energy.

I sometimes wonder at Reiki practitioners concerned with enhancing their own Reiki "power." Reiki method helps us to connect to the infinite source of all energy, so that in the end, it is not about our power, but our capacity to create "channel" or simply stated "connection" between human beings, each other, and the power the creates and binds us all.

To quote Martin Luthor King Jr, "they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone."

In hospice, we reach out share human connection with those people in fear of death, people having difficulty living the moment they have to live. And we know that we are connected to them, that our world and their world, our moments, are shared. Reiki method can help us to do that.

And it is this spirit that is embodied in Amy Rowland's book, "Reiki for the Heart and Soul." A realization that the wisdom of a monk living in Japan about 100 years ago, is relevant to us here today. Just as a part of a man's dream enunciated in 1963, came at least partially to fruition in 2008. And the teaching to be kind to one's neighbor resonates from souls who lived thousands of years ago, resonates in our Sacred texts, be they Buddhist, or Christian, or Muslim, or Jewish.

Read Amy Rowland's book and focus on her explanation of the 5 basic principles - and hopefully, it will help enhance your connection to Reiki energy, perhaps your capacity to do provide Reiki healing to others, but most importantly, assist your own sense of connection and of Happiness in Living.

The caterpillar....

I came across this old proverb today, "just as the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."

And how appropriate it is for Hospice Team members to meditate on this proverb. As people are living the later days of their lives (and i always prefer to speak in terms of how we live these moments, than on how we die) the fact that death is so feared is the cause of so much suffering.

A close pastor friend enjoys reminding me that we should never speak about "the end of life," but only about "the end of mortal life." We do not know what lies beyond the transition.

Faced with ignorance, presuming that the death of the mortal body corresponds to the end of the consciousness, or if you, the soul - is neither scientific, nor consistent with our observations in the world.

At the moment of death, we have seen so many times, the body in terms of matter and energy is the same, but some vital quality has departed. The simple fact that we cannot yet measure this quality, does not diminish it.

When it was impossible to measure whether the sun went around the earth, or the earth went around the sun, it was ignorance that led "science" to declare with authority that the sun went around the earth. And so it appears, some will argue today, that there is no quality that departs and transitions.

What clues do we really have on earth? For one thing all over the world, from different cultures and different geographic places, people have come to the intuitive faith that there is a life that goes beyond this mortal limit.

And we have in front of us as well, the lesson taught by the simple caterpillar. Observe life to understand life. Just as the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.

The great Buddhist teacher Sogyal Rinpoche, wrote of the purpose of his work, "I want every human being not to be afraid of death, or of life. I want every human being to die at peace, and surrounded by the wisest, clearest and most tender care, and to find the ultimate happiness that can only come from an understanding of the nature of mind and of reality."

This for me is the essence of Hospice, and of our mission of compassion, and of our lesson from the caterpillar .......

Sunday, May 3, 2009

An Answer to the Bishops about Reiki

Jenny watches news articles closely, for new articles on Reiki, and there was a challenging one today in the Frederick news. I followed through on this link, and indeed a committee of Catholic Bishops has recommended that Catholics not utilize Reiki.

It is necessary to stress two points: a) first and foremost, be respectful. Whether it is a Jewish concern for the Sabbath, or a Muslim concern for avoiding pork or alcohol, or a Catholic concern with not using Reiki - in Hospice we are honored to be in a position to help, and this trust requires that we respect the history, strengths, and values of that individual and their family.

b) second, and these points are never intended for disputing this article of the Bishops with a Catholic patient, the Bishops stated that there was "no evidence scientifically" supporting Reiki - i need to comment on that. There have been recent articles supporting "spiritual energy" based alternative forms of healing such as acupuncture, reiki, reflexology, aroma therapy, massage therapy, and simply touch. In February of this year, the Institute of Medicine recognzied this fact and encouraged more evidence based study. A recent article noted on my blog demonstrated nurses employing methods adding "meaningfulness" were more effective in treating Terminal cancer patients, and were less likely to "burn out." Another recent article quoted broadly at the AAHPM meeting discussed findings that while Massage therapy reduced pain in Terminal cancer, Simply human touch did almost as well.

What to do?

First, this reinforces the importance of taking a spiritual history on all Hospice patients, and not doing anything without the patient's consent. Do not do Reiki (or anything else) without consent. This is never about us, this is about our patient, and we approach prayer or spirituality from the point of view of the patient.

Second, with the patient's consent, we can without doing Reiki, still hold someone's hand, or touch their shoulder, or simply be there for them making contact of Simply Touch in a human way. If they do not wish to be touched, we can just sit there and talk, and if they do not wish to talk we can just be a presence.

Our training in Reiki, should assist us in restraint and in respecting the tradition of the Catholic patient, just as Catholic priests, at their best, have served as Chaplains to patients of all faiths without attempts to coerce or convert.

If we are present, and our intention is to support, we do not need to "turn on" the Reiki channel, to be of service, or to relieve fear.

The Bishops noted that, Reiki has 5 principles of action, and they referred to these in a derogatory way without restating them in their article - those principles are: 1) i will not worry just for today 2) i will not be angry just for today 3) i will be grateful just for today 4) i will work hard just for today and 5) i will give kindness and compassion to other human beings just for today.

In the Hebrew scroll, it is said that the geometic center of the sheepskin scroll is the sentence which translates into English, "i will not do to my neighbor what is hateful to myself." The central teaching for many, of Judaeo-Christianity, is respect and caring for others, as ourselves. Reiki views us as all connected through a single Creator, a unifying source of energy that connects us all.

Reiki is not a religion, because it does not require a specific name of God, or even a faith, nor does it require a specific set of rituals or prayers. It is quite simply a method, that helps us focus, and accepts that we are all connected in a spiritual way.

We need not be threatened by this "banning." We must accept it with the utmost respect. If a Catholic patient is not aware of this ban, we ought to let them know. Never do Reiki without consent. As we "Honor life and offer hope" - let us do so with respect and in the tradition of each patient. Let the ripples of caring and respect continue ....

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Seasons Reiki Share newsletter May 2009

The next Seasons Hospice Reiki Share will be Tuesday May 12 from 5:30 to 7:30 at the Harmony Primary Care Greenspring Office, 2835 Smith Ave, suite 203, zip 21209 in the Greenspring Shopping Center.

All members of the Seasons Team including our Volunteers are welcome to this free Reiki Share!

Oct 1, 2006, about 2 1/2 years ago, that i accepted the mission of being Seasons Medical Director in Maryland, and about 1 1/2 years ago that i had a vision of bringing a Reiki share to our Team.

A wonderful aspect of working with Seasons, is that Marcia provides a vision that encourages creativity and spiritual approach to care of patients. In Honoring Life and Offering Hope, we need to focus on more than wearing the "white coat" of a doctor or nurse. Patients and families caught in in a space of apparent decline need human connection.

Seasons attracts a special sort of person, and it is both humbling and an honor to serve as a part of this Team.

And we have grown a great deal together. Our new move to the office on Aviation drive is incredible. The spirit this week was exciting and uplifting!

When Gary Applebaum and i brought "Salt and Bread" to the new office, on behalf of the whole Harmony Primary Care Team, but especially the docs working with Seasons, Gary, myself, Deb Burton and Sharlene Rajapakse, we celebrated the opening of the "new office," but we want the Team to know the physician joy in working with this Team is year round.

Thanks to Amy and Pat for supporting all that we are trying to accomplish! And congratulations to Brenda Jackson and to Pat, who completed Reiki Master level training, and joined myself, Barbara Hanley, and Sharlene Rajapakse as Reiki Masters within the Seasons program.

The intention of our Reiki program is to teach a simple method for helping patients in a holistic and non invasive way. Beyond that, it focuses on building our own skills in grounding, and in accepting spiritual energy from the source of infinite stength, so that we can work in this difficult yet rewarding mission without exhausting ourselves. In so doing, i believe we strengthen our own bonds of fellowship in this humbling and rewarding mission.

I want to invite anyone interested in joining our Reiki Share, one can join at any level, and there is no charge!

And i want to again thank my Reiki teachers, Robin Hannon and Amy Rowland for their continuing encouragement and support.