Love, Reiki and Me
Reiki is healing energy from the original source of life. Depending on your background and personal experiences, this healing energy can be called different names: God, Allah, the All, Vishnu, Kwan Yin, the Source...and on and on.
This source of life can have as many names as there are individuals to name it.
Based on my belief system, and the experiences I have had, I understand that Reiki energy is Love. Love like the pure, sweet, innocent love you see in a dog's eyes - begging to climb into your lap and give you snuffles and hugs. Let me explain:
I grew up in a conservative Catholic community. I went to Catholic school and attended Mass every Sunday and religious holiday. My home life was chaotic, violent and scary. Isolated from other people, I had few resources for friendship. I knew I was exposed to very unhealthy role models at home. However, I was rarely allowed close contact with other people, and so I had no idea how people were supposed to be. How does a healthy person live?
I was surprised to find the guidance I needed one Sunday in Mass, when I was about 9 years old. Mass was usually dull and endless for me - a source of never-ending boredom. I don't think anyone in the congregation wanted to be there. I would look around the church during Mass and see grave, joy-less expressions surrounding me. Mass impressed me as an obligation everyone had to endure every Sunday in order to stay on the good side of God. Priests repeated the same prayers in the same toneless monotone, while homilies were the priest's chance to scold the congregation and demand money.
One Sunday was different, though. A visiting monk gave the sermon - a ferocious sermon! Unlike the priests, he yelled his message and banged his fists on the pulpit for emphasis. He waved his hands to underline his words and shook his finger at us. As he preached, his voice rising and falling, the monk taught us about the Love that St. Francis of Assisi taught - that Love is kind, Love is innocent, Love is eternal, Love doesn't ask for reward, Love is free, Love is the highest form of God and can never be destroyed. If we don't know Love, we can't know God - they are one and the same.
For 20 minutes, the monk preached his message of Love. In the first minute, his sermon woke me out of my usual bored stupor As I listened I realized, "This makes sense! This must be what Love is!"
I looked around at the congregation once or twice during the monk's sermon to see how the congregation was responding his message. I'm still amused today when I recall the horrified faces of the congregation. I don't believe many in the congregation appreciated the monk's fiery delivery. Too different than what they were used to, I suppose.
I wanted to be different than the people I grew up with, so in the days, weeks, and years after this sermon, I tried every day to incorporate Love into my actions:
I learned what it was like to give to others without expectation of a return. I taught myself how to respect others and treat everyone with equal importance and dignity. I trained myself to take good care of others and stand up for others as much as I could - especially the vulnerable ones like children, dogs, and cats. My ability to practice Love was limited sometimes due to the restraints of my circumstances, but I kept trying.
As I practiced Love, Love healed me. Instead of allowing my harsh and brutal environment to destroy me, Love shrouded me with a big, healing hug. The more love I practiced, the more Love made me brave, sane and strong.
I am now 46 years old. It has taken years for Love to heal me as much as it has. I still struggle sometimes with the effects of PTSD. Having limited opportunities for socialization growing up has left me uncertain and awkward in social situations. But I can always Love. Anyone can Love.
That's why I do Reiki. I want to help others heal with the same Love energy that healed me. It takes time and patience to heal sometimes, but Love is ever-patient and always kind. Love so badly wants to burrow into your lap, snuffle a hello in your face and give you all of itself so you can heal. Whether through Reiki, prayer, meditation, yoga or other means, open up to the power of Love to heal you.
That monk from my childhood may have passed on by now. Wherever he is, I want to tell him how grateful I am to him for sharing Love with me. Maybe no-one else in the congregation listened, but I did. I love you, monk.