Reiki II

This Sunday I will be giving Reiki treatments at an event here in Oklahoma City. I am excited and nervous about the whole situation; will the people line up to have the treatment? Will they be receptive to this big, shaven-headed, tattooed guy telling them to relax and to become compassion?

I have a feeling most of them will be open to the idea of reiki to begin with. It is a fairly progressive meditation center and as such I am guessing most are aware of chi and how it can and does affect them on a daily basis.

I only recently received my attunement to level II in Reiki, so I am still not the seasoned professional I would rather be, but this is a great opportunity to learn for me. I am hopeful that after a full day of reiki on so many people I will have an epiphany. Kinda like being thrown over and over again in judo, after a few thousand you start to catch on.

I do something a little different in my reiki treatments though; I practice tonglen on the person receiving the reki from me. During tonglen I do a form of meditation whereby I center my focus on the person I am sending the reiki to and consciously imagine reducing the suffering in their life. It is a freeing meditation.

I will write more about tonglen soon.

Matt

Dreams May Tell Us

For the last two nights I have had interesting dreams.

Two nights ago:

I was on the rocky beach of a fast moving, dark water river. The water was that lush, deep green that you see in the old rivers, the ones that run for a thousand miles before they collide with the ocean. In the middle of the river the current is moving fast while the shore is more docile. People are wading out in to the water to wash their clothes, their pots and pans. The river is too cold to swim in unless you are bathing, and there are a few old men doing that too.The beach is hard to walk over with so many rocks. They are various colors of earth tones. Reds, browns, tans and grays are everywhere. The beach itself is small though, less than one hundred yards up and down the river and you are in deep jungle again.

On the shore, twenty or thirty feet up from the water I am making a raft with a little old monk in saffron robes. I don’t know his name, in the dream or in real life either. I will call him Lama-la because I know that is what I would call him if we were to meet one day.

The raft is strange looking. Long and narrow, it is made of ten or more bamboo poles lashed together to form a mast of sorts with a sail secured every so many feet with smaller bamboo pieces. This is hard to explain. Picture the left side with 20 bamboo poles tied together and then blue fabric secured to some of them. That blue fabric is only about 2 feet wide but it goes the length of the poles. On the outside of the fabric we have secured one more bamboo pole. In the dream this made complete sense, but as soon as I woke I wondered how this would hold us on the water.

We work on the raft for hours, cutting and securing the bamboo over and over again until Lama-la says it is good. Once Lama-la says we are finished we walk towards a small outdoor restaurant where people are sitting on the ground or on fallen trees eating the food they have. The fire smells wonderful to me and for the first time I notice how good the river smells, how the bamboo and the mountains smell. My nose is filled with the smell of grasses, earth, burning wood and water all at once; it is a cacophony and I love it. For one instant, there on the way to the front of the line I am alone in the universe; I am everything and everyone and everywhere.

Lama-la pushes me and I look up from my reverie, my vision. I point to the soup, which the little old woman sloshes into a tin cup. She passes me the soup and a slab of flat bread. The bread has blackened burn marks on it. It smells so wonderful.

After we eat Lama-la announces that we are ready.

Back at the raft we kneel, say our prayers and then we lift it together. He is carrying a strange wooden anchor that too my eyes looks like a wooden yoke, the kind you would see on oxen as they tilled the land or pulled a wagon. I start to ask him what it is, where it came from, but he just smiles and walks past me in to the water with his load.

As we set off on the river there is a thunderous applause from the beach. Our friends are excited to see us off. I wave and smile, but then the current swiftly takes us out of sight from the beach.

As we approach our first bend in the river I realize the mistake in the design. The raft is too long as well as too narrow. The turn will do something nasty to this little vessel, Lama-la will be headed one direction with me in the tail another. Before I can raise the alarm it is all too late. The river takes Lama-la hard to the starboard, this sends me careening to the port and I can see the beach coming closer by the second. Just as I come to the beach I am lifted in to the air and I sail over a small green bamboo stand to land back in the water gently.

I look to Lama-la but I only see the back of his stubble-covered head. Had he known, did he realize and lift me somehow? Maybe I should trust him?

The rest of the days journey is full of fast current and warm sun. Then, just before nightfall, we move through a cavern where the walls are smooth and the passage is easy. The water is calm and somehow warm here as I let me left hand dangle in the liquid. As we come out the other side I could see a beach on the far side of the river.

There is a group of people there and they are waiting for us. Cheers erupt and they wave us to them. As our tiny raft comes to a halt along the sandy beach they are patting our backs and hugging us both. Many people some up and offer hand shakes, kisses to our cheeks, more hugs and smiles.

I am not sure, but I think we were home.

Last night:

I was checking in to an opulent hotel suite. The staff was preparing the room all around me and I was busy taking it all in. The room was massive. It had deep, richly stained woods on the walls and a thick lush red carpet. The concierge was very concerned that the room was to my liking and the only thing I could do was smile and tell him that it would have to do. Even there, in my dream I knew that I did not belong here.Later in my dream I am standing at the front desk in the foyer of the hotel and I am asking which room I am checked into. I can not remember and they can not tell me. They woman behind the counter knows I belong there, but like me, she can not recall which room I should be in.

I woke there this morning. Strange.

Children’s Stories

I tell my children a lot of stories. Some of them are good, some are about Winnie the Pooh and his friends in the 100 Acre Wood. I tell the story very matter-of-factly, about how my kids are there for dinner with Pooh and something happens to cause an adventure. Sometimes I make up the story and it revolves around one or more of the kids on an adventure with our dog Scout and our cat Guru. The kids love those stories.

This is one example:

Once upon a time, in a magical kingdom, there lived a little girl. She wasn’t very big, just almost five years old, and a tiny little thing of a girl too. She loved to play in her backyard with her dog, and jump as high as she could on her trampoline, trying to catch the clouds.Scout, that is to say her doggy named Scout, was walking around the trampoline and watching the clouds, as he was used to doing, when he first noticed the birds in the sky. The seemed so very far away at first, and then oh-so-fast they were there, almost upon him.

Scout had to dive under the trampoline to avoid the birds as they flew across the yard from every angle. He barked out to his little girl, who was bouncing on the trampoline and laughing, that she needed to take shelter, and to do it now. She bounced on to her bottom Indian-style and then jumped to the grass and rolled under the shelter of the trampoline with Scout.

Peacocks, with long feathers of blues, greens and purples, floated in and slid across the grass, almost hovering as they gracefully landed near the porch. A giant albatross, snow-white and regal, flapped his massive wings a few more times as he stretched out and lit upon the wood pile. Cardinals, blue jays, crows and chickadees seemed to cover every limb in every tree all across the lawn.

The little girl and Scout were not afraid, but rather wondered what was about to happen as the last of the birds found their place and landed. She stood up, Scout followed her and they both walked out in to the sun light.

“You are the one we seek.” announced a very smart looking owl.

She slowly nodded her head ‘yes’ and looked from side to side at all of the colorful birds now in her yard. She knew that they had come for her, that she was needed, but she did not know why or how she knew that.

“Who are you?” the little girl asked the owl as she started walking towards the little brown bird.

“Humph,” said the brown owl looking quite dismayed that she did not know his name. “I am the Lotus King’s vassal. The kingdom needs you. You and your knight, Scout. We have come to ask for your help, and to take you to the Aviary if you agree.”

The little girl could feel the energy in the yard. It was a strange feeling and she knew that her mommy and daddy would worry, but she had to help the birds and the Lotus King.

“How long will we be gone?” the little girl asked the vassal and looked to Scout making sure he was still there beside her.

“To you, it will seem like a long time,” said the owl as he lifted his wings, stretching them in the sun. “But to your family it will be as if you never left your backyard. The Lotus King is strong and time has a way of bending in his kingdom.”

The little girl and her dog agreed to help in any way they could, and with that another adventure had begun.

I tend to end all of the stories with an open ending, so that we can either start where we left off, or further along in the journey at any time. The little ones lay in bed and I sit on the floor, playing with their feet or hair as they dangle off the edge of the bottom bunk. I don’t always take the time to tell them these stories, but I do always have the time. I need to remember that more. What does it cost me? Twenty or thirty minutes of my night?

One day, when I am old and my kids have children of their own, I hope they are still telling the stories to that new generation. I hope I am around to do the same.