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.


Energy, Compassion and Healing

I went last night to the Oklahoma City Reiki Energy Circle Meetup. Very nice group of people there. The woman who runs the Meetup has been practicing for 4 or 5 years, I forget how long, and is very knowledgeable. There is one person there that kinda blows me away. His name is Jim and his knowledge of the healing arts is formidable, for sure. Healing Touch and Qigong seem to be his area of expertise and he knows how to communicate with the person he is treating to help them as best he can.

I was skeptical when I first began to talk to people about Reiki. But being in the martial arts has probably predisposed me to accepting the idea of chi. Call is chi, ki, prana, or whatever; different cultures refer to the life energy in different ways, but it’s all the same.

A good friend of mine, Gardner Singleton, is a acupuncturist and Chinese herbal doctor. Learning from him has taught me to open myself up and experience what other cultures can teach me on the healing front. Herbs are used world wide by the indigenous cultures. From China to Australia to the Native American culture they are seen as the natural way to cure what ails us. It just so happens that these same cultures are not only open to the idea of chi, but all of them openly practice the energy work and training in various methods.

OK, back to Reiki then. Last night during the session I was flush with heat. The feeling of pin pricks was so strong on my hands that I had to shake them out more than a few times. It was amazing. Then, at the end, to see the woman we worked on and how she reacted to the healing; that was wonderful.

One of the women there, who is also an energy worker and yogini, asked me if I was using intention while working with the patient. I told her that I have been practicing tonglen while doing my Reiki. Tonglen is a Tibetan Buddhist practice of taking and sending. You are actively taking the pain and suffering from someone and sending them compassion. When you inhale you remove from them the suffering and when you exhale you send them pure compassion.

I can’t think of a better thing to offer someone; the wish that they are relieved of their suffering and that you are giving them compassion.

Compassion and Aggression

I am not a quiet person. I don’t sneak up behind people, they see me coming, they can hear my footfall and feel my presence in the room before I make myself known. I usually enter rooms by pushing doors open with strength, not subtlety. My voice carries, even as I whisper.

I am trying to make less of an impact upon my environment, I am trying to be that person in the room that no one sees until he speaks. I actively think about entering rooms and leaving rooms with out people taking notice. I don’t know how well this is working yet.

All of this to set the stage: I am aggressive.

Didn’t see that one coming, did ya?

Compassion. I don’t know that I had ever really thought about compassion before a few months ago. I started to read about meditation and mindfulness. I wanted to learn to calm my mind, to control my emotions and to still my tongue. Along the way I started to read more about Buddhism. Now I have quite a little library dedicated to The Buddha and the various forms of Buddhism practiced around the world. I lean more to the northern Buddhism, specifically Tibetan form of Vajray?na Buddhism.

Back to compassion though; I found that I started to see the world differently. Buddhism teaches that there is no division, no boundaries between you and I. We are all linked together, one organism in a way. My upbringing was one of Christian values, that whole love thy neighbor thing. I believe in that, no doubt, and I have always tried to look out for others. I was gifted with size and as such I have kind of always thought it was my lot in life to protect those who can not protect themselves. That doesn’t always work out in my favor.

Now that I am seeing the homeless as simply me, that changes how I think of their plight. The starving child on the television, the old man driving the boat on the interstate… they are all me. If that doesn’t change your attitude – nothing will.

Suddenly the homeless guy near our office isn’t someone who I blindly drive by every day. I mean sure, I occasionally gave him a buck or two if I had them handy, but now I actually say hello to him as well. He is a really nice guy too.

You know something; he was always just the ‘Can Guy’ carrying his garbage bag full of soda cans who waved at you and smiled, acknowledging you and saying “Have a good day” in his own way. Now I have to wonder what he knows that I don’t, what keeps him moving forward, what allows him to be able to smile and wish me a good day? Is it altruistic or is he only doing it in the hopes that I will offer him something in return?

Maybe he is like a sadhu, maybe he is a simple holy man and this is how he chooses to live.

My aggressive nature is hard to suppress, even with those who should only see compassion from me. Well, I guess everyone should only see compassion from each of us really, but you know what I mean. With my family, my wife, my children even, sometimes I have to remind myself to calm down, to lower my voice.

Just a few nights ago my son told me it worried him when I spoke in a low voice, that it meant I was really upset. I laughed at that, but it is sad.

So I am trying. Can you tell?