Saturday, February 13, 2010

Reiki's synergy: USA and Japan

In comparing Reiki lineages that flow from the Hayashi and Takata lineages, with those that flow from the Gakkai teachings it is interesting to reflect on the importance of synergy, and the special energy that seems to resonate between the United States and Japan.
Here amidst a North American winter, I am looking at two photos, one of Cherry Blossoms, taken not in Japan, but in the Basin near the US Capital in Washington, and the other a carving of Mickie and Minnie Mouse, done not in North America, but for an ice festival in Sapporo, Japan.
American and Japanese cultures are of course quite distinct, but, they seem to have a mutual fascination. All over the world, the most popular sports contests are soccer (actually called football almost everywhere else in the world), but in Japan as in the USA, baseball is incredibly popular. The development of computer technologies resonate between the two cultures, Comics from the USA led to Manga in Japan, which led to Japanimation popular in America.
If the history of Reiki is elusive between 1920 and 1950, it should not be surprising. Japan went through a rapid cycle change in governance in that time, and - lest we forget - so did the United States. Women's suffrage occurred in America in 1920, and America continued to grow through social change through the 1950's and 1960's. The world has been ravaged by War, and brought together through Globalization - what surprise that we cannot know for sure what Mikao Usui taught to Dr Hayashi, or to the other members of the Gakkai.
We seek history for what it can teach us, and out of respect for those who left us guidance - but the importance of the synergy may exceed the importance of which was "correct."
In a famous dispute between two the schools of Hillel and Shammai, (religious scholars who were themselves friends and study partners), the tradition has it that the word came from heaven that "this one and this one represent the word of the Living God." In seeking spirituality, both may be correct.
The wisdom that was taught by Mikao Usui was certainly not new. Whether or not Mrs. Takata was correct in her history of Usui, that he was seeking a wisdom used by Jesus and the Buddha, healing of hands and healing by prayer certainly exist in Biblical stories.
There are interesting arguments between French and English speaking sources on the "discovery" of certain scientific applications that were being worked on simultaneously in multiple parts of the world.
What does appear true, is that Reiki, in the format brought from Japan, fascinated North Americans, and that Reiki brought back to Japan from the Western Cultures, has fascinated Japanese.
Whether it be Cherry Blossoms in Washington, or Mickey Mouse in Sapporo, the synergy of energy that crosses the Pacific is important. Let us hope that this continues, that it be a synergy for peace and healing of humankind, and that both the similarities and differences of cultures can be appreciated. Humankind is more than the sum of its isolated parts, and every culture has a value.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Reiki and Unconditional Love

Fritz Smith, Founder of Zero Balancing

"the closer we come to unconditional love, the heart chakra, the more we will act without attachment, without comparing or judging ourselves or others. Unconditional love is free from emotional strings, conditions, rewards, manipulations, or hidden agendas - conditions that develop when our boundaries are not clear."

This Blog entry today is about an email I read yesterday, the events of the recent storm, and thoughts about the synergies that have occurred for me since 2002. When we think about it, so much is connected.

Yesterday in Rick Rivard's listserv, there was discussion about a tumor being treated with radiation. In addition, the person has received Reiki energy being sent from all over the world. The person reported that psychics have perceived the tumor as shrinking, but that the MRI does not show beneficial changes. Sometimes - X Ray findings are absolutely accurate, and sometimes, they do not reflect the functional status of what is dominated by energy, and reflects the condition of the person.

In 2002, I had a C6-7 recurrence of a severe spinal injury, for which I required a C5-6 fusion in 1991. My orthopedist was considering a second operation, but I elected to have Zero Balancing and Massage therapy with Larry Adams. Larry was an early student of Fritz Smith (the founder of Zero balancing), and he also was attuned to Reiki by Ethel Lombardi, one of the 22 Takata students.

Larry encouraged me to develop my energy based capacity. I resisted for several years. When I started Reiki training with Robin Hannon, I had not told Larry. After my first attunement, I came for a "ZB." He stopped and asked knowingly, "what have you done?" His perception of energy change is accurate and insightful. He could see the Reiki energy.

Larry, and did cranio-sacral work, and ZB on my cervical spine area. And of course, I do self Reiki everyday. Larry tells me my neck is "better" (energetically) even though an X Ray would never confirm that. The boney abnormalities persist, but my life and my function has changed.

In the last 8 years, nothing has changed my X Rays. I have a fused C5-6 and a degenerated C6-7, however, functionally, I have not been having pain. I work long hours, and have had the energy to help others through Reikie, and through Hospice.

The past week was particularly challenging. My partners could not get to the Hospice unit, and Sunday I shoveled through 3 feet of snow to get to the plowed street. Looking back over the years, and thinking on my X Rays, it would be hard to understand how this can be, if all we were was our physical form.

There is a functional level of a person, that involves the summation or integration of their energy and their physical form - it is not just one or the other. And while Larry has for years been telling me that my Cervical spine is better, he does not mean the X Ray, he means that the energy flow in my body has found a way to adjust.
For my friend in the listserv, both the MRI and the psychics may both be correct. Between the medical treatments, and the Reiki energy, I pray he has a recovery.

Reiki is not meant to replace penicillin or surgery or heart medications - those scientific remedies that treat the physical concerns of our body must be treated, but Reiki treats aspects of the person that matter as well, the spiritual core from which energy springs.

There are different lineages of Reiki, and different lineages of energy healing, such as Fritz Smith, Larry's teacher. And it is all the same energy - different approaches, diferent methods, all to be respected - but the same energy.

Fritz Smith describes the quality we are searching for as "Unconditional Love," and my teacher Rick Rivard often reflects on "Sharing from the Heart."

In seeing people help each other through the Blizzard of 2010 in Baltimore, and seeing the Caring and above and beyond effort by the members of my Hospice Team, I am very uplifted. It is what Reiki is all about.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Reiki Transitions and Cryonics

This morning over coffee, my wife handed me the Jan 25, 2010 issue of the New Yorker, and most specifically the article on "Cryonics" entitled "The Iceman" by Jill Lepore. She discusses an intriguing movement, but, I wish to limit my comments to a small portion, the chart of choices sent to her by an MIT Professor. It reflected on a scientific view, and I wanted to comment that there was another possibility.

The chart states simply:
Sign Up It works ---> Live; It doesn't work ---> Die, lose life insurance

And the alternate:

God Exists Pray Hard-----> Live; Doesn't Exist ----> Die
DoNothing/God Esists ---> Die ; Doesn't Exist-----> Die

How like a scientific perspective to ignore the spiritual aspect of Life!!

Let us consider another possibility - one Dies and one's Consciousness (or Spirit or Soul) Transitions - soars free from the mortal body, and perhaps has a rebirth. Not scientifically proveable you say? Yet, fascinatingly - almost all indigenous human cultures, as well as Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and Judaism tned to believe as a continuation of consciousness after death.

On of the dangers of Cryonics not considered in the above graph, is the possibility (not to judge the science discussed in the specific article) that in fact it might "work," and prevent the "Transition" of a Consciousness in a frozen body for an indefinite period of time.

This is one of the major problems in "traditional" hospice that focuses on the "suffering" of the patient as they approach death. Pain can be relieved with medication, but the fear of death is another matter - staff can be separated from the patient by the clinical distinction "they" are dying, and "we" are continuing in this life. The patient then is left suffering essentially alone, even with people all around, and in a state of anxiety over the impending future.

Hospice that includes Reiki does not view "death" as a finality, and thus it is not to be feared. The patient is headed toward a journey, and while we are not taking on that journey now, we share that someday we will do so, we are tied in what the Dalai Lama refers to as the "interdependent nature of reality." A recognition of our connection with all Living Beings, a realization that life is more than the current physical reality, leads one to the effort of spreading ripples of compassion.

Hiroshi Doi Sensei writes that "Reiki does not oppose modern medical science nor does it replace it." Both Medical Science and Reiki are part of achieving a balance of health that includes mind and body.

It is this powerful ripple to integrate care in a holistic way, that we are seeing surging within Healthcare.

And so - without placing a judgement on the benefit to risk of cryonics, I ask simply that we consider all the options - that "trapping" a spirit for milennia within a frozen form may not be a benefit. And that death may not be the end of conciousness - the summation of all human spiritual wisdom may not be correct, but as well, it may not be wrong.

We see this futility broadly in the scientific approach near death. We continue to see some less enlightened oncologists continuing chemotherapy when it is not working. Now - when chemo works, it is a great and wonderful thing, and it should be tried for cancer patients. However, when it is not working, the nature of chemo is that it is a poison, which attacts both the cancer and the normal human cells, so that, if the cancer cells are resistant to it, it can only weaken the normal human cells in their natural battle to fight off the cancer.

Acknowledging people's own spiritual strength, and acknowledging the human connections that bind us, diminish suffering. We need sometimes to accept that there exists a greater force who makes the decisions about life and death, and that we can ease transition by not making it something to be feared.

The Dalai Lama wrote, "Just as the disease needs to be diagnosed, its cause eliminated, a healthy state achieved and the remedy implanted, so also should suffering, its causes, its cessation an the path be known, removed, attained and undertaken."

While we use medicine to prevent death whenever possible, to cure disease whenever possible, to relieve pain whenever possible, the synergy of renouncing fear and attaining connection with life around us is very powerful. To have hope for continued existence, i will not need to have my body frozen, or risk my Ki being held in stasis for millenia.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Reiki Share February notes

The snow before the snow disrupted our monthly share Tuesday, and expecting 15 people but with cancellations 10 souls braved the weather and shared Reiki on our in patient unit.

Doing self Reiki every day is a good thing, as Mrs Takata is quoted "a little Reiki is better than none." A share though is a wonderful experience, and as we grow and people drift in from different traditions, the spirit in the share grows. We are also lifted by the spirit on our in patient hospice unit. One thing I have learned - it is easier to work in hospice and their is less burn out when the Team members share and support each other.

A Nurse who recently joined our Team emailed me that she was enjoying working for Seasons because "we embodied compassionate care," and she reflected that "patients trust us because we are honest with them." The Reiki that we share helps us meet our mission, to be honest with our patients, and to demonstrate caring to them. We do not separate ourselves from our patients by wearing a "white coat," and being aware of their "suffering." We give them our full presence, and we convey that we care about those we cannot cure. These traits are central to hospice and embedded in the spirit of Reiki.

Everyone decided to practice Reiki, and after some practice within the Team, Jean and Louise and Christine, Kathy and Deborah (new to our share) went to see two patients who had requested Reiki. Louise hadn't felt well and had emailed that she was not going to attend, but volunteer Dottie went and got her, and we all sent energy to Louise. Louise remains an inspiration for us all, for the energy she gives to our patients even when she does not feel well herself.

Karen and Dottie and I worked on sharing attunements, and Barbara Hanley worked with orienting Michele into Reiki. Having Barbara's years of experience in both clinical nursing and Reiki are an incredible boon to our class and our Team.

Some folks who could not attend emailed me - and my message was "do not worry" - "you are always welcome."

And to our volunteers - those who attend Reiki and those who do not - Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!!! What you give to our patients is incredibly valued.

Loneliness and loss of hope are the ingredients of suffering. Sometimes, one needs to take off the "white coat" and just say you care to make a difference.
One of my teachers, Amy Rowland, has a regular share in Pennsylvania. Deborah had read Amy's books, and studied with David Gleekel prior to attending our share, and Louise is lobbying for us to travel to Amy's share some time when the weather improves. (probably not for the next month or so - the snows have come to the Mid-Atlantic region!)