Archive for May, 2010

Mountain Moonlight – Preserving the Treasure

Although I am always happy to send out a new blog post, I’m particularly happy this week, for a couple of reasons.  First, this week’s post comes just as Mountain Zendo and Healing Center is about to mark its one-year anniversary: it was June 1st last year that I officially opened the Center.  And second, we have a surprise for you!

During the Center’s first year, I have focused more on developing my healing work than on the dharma and meditation side of the Center’s activities.  But I am happy to announce that from now on, you will have more access to the dharma.  As some of you know, I began studying Mahayana Buddhism with Jeff Brooks a number of years ago when he was leading Mountain Zendo in his dojo, Northampton Karate.  When Jeff relocated to North Carolina last summer, Mountain Zendo became a part of my Center.  And now, Jeff will be the Center’s Sangha Director.  He and I will alternate writing blog posts (you’ll be able to identify his, since they’ll be under the new “Mountain Moonlight” heading), so that you will get doses of both healing news and Buddhism! And when Jeff is in town, you will be able to join us for his in-person dharma talks.

A bit about Jeff: he began meditating in 1974, studying in the Soto and Rinzai Zen tradition in both Okinawa and the US, and receiving his priest’s ordination as the Rev. Jeffrey Tesshin Brooks in 1998. He also spent seven years in daily study of classical Indian Buddhism in the Dalai Lama’s Gelug tradition.

Jeff’s involvement in the Center seems like a particular blessing to me because it was studying the dharma with Jeff and taking my Bodhisattva vows from him in 2007 which helped my own compassion grow and motivated me first to make healing as my life’s work and then, to open Mountain Zendo and Healing Center. Precisely because dharma study and meditation practice inspire my healing work and lie at its core, I have always wanted them to play a prominent role in the Center’s activities.  And now, thanks to Jeff’s involvement, they will.  I hope you’ll enjoy his first post, “Preserving the Treasure.” 

Mountain Moonlight  

                    Mountain Zendo and Healing Center biweekly dharma blog            

by Jeff Brooks

“Preserving the Treasure”

Every moment of our lives is precious. Our human lives arise as a result of enormous good karma, accumulated by us over eons of practice and kindness and insight and suffering. Now we have the result of all that effort – a body healthy enough to practice, a mind clear and stable enough to practice, the good fortune to encounter dharma teaching, people with whom we can share our lives and who value practice.

We expend our lives quickly. All the good karma we have accumulated is easy to exhaust. Life runs down.  Our time gets short. Our mind becomes cloudy. Our body does not remain ours. If we lose this chance to practice we cannot hope to find another one very soon.

If we treasure what we have, if we study well, practice sincerely and behave with dignity and kindness, we will create conditions in our lives and in the lives of the people we touch which will produce future good results. If we dissipate the good fortune we have – pursuing things which, sought for their own sake, will not support us, things such as wealth, leisure, status, sexual activity, food – we become disturbed and dissatisfied, losing the chance to free ourselves from suffering, losing the chance to help the people who depend on us.

As human beings who have encountered the dharma – whether in Buddhist form, Christian form or some other form – we have a choice: to accumulate the causes and conditions for our future enlightenment  or to dissipate the good results of our own past actions we now enjoy, and so cast our selves down into suffering.

By practicing with a calm clear mind, studying and contemplating with deep clarity, behaving in a kind and dignified manner – even if it is inconvenient, unconventional, difficult or lonesome – we can have the life we want: free from suffering, with the skill and energy to take care of whoever needs us.

As modern people we are taught to frame most questions of behavior as matters of personal freedom.  As if yielding to every impulse, desire, attraction and fear were freedom. In fact such an impulse-driven life, devoid of purpose, is slavery.

If we are thirsty, in the desert, and have a last cup of water, we could chose to liberate the water into the sand, freeing it from the arbitrarily imposed boundaries of the cup. Or we could contain it, protect it, and use it in a way that will benefit ourselves and others.

Oil can be used, if handled with care and skill by many well-trained people, to power the Dalai Lama’s jet and the dharma center’s heating system, or to help you get your kids to school and yourself to work.  Or it can be liberated from its undersea prison, killing many fish and polluting the oceans.  All “freedom” is not created equal.

Our life energy can be squandered on pleasure seeking, intoxication, manipulation, accumulation, lying and destroying. This way of living is advocated, vigorously, as true and good, around the world.  Or our life energy can be conserved, used carefully, to sustain ourselves and others. Through disciplined practice and wise action, we can use our precious lives well, and put an end to suffering, for ourselves and others, forever.

How to do that is the subject of this blog.

Have a fun week!

Jeff Brooks taught karate in Northampton, MA, daily from 1988 to 2009, and led Mountain Zendo from 1994 to 2009. He now lives in a vast ocean of mist covered mountains rising to the sky, working in law enforcement. He can be reached through Mountain Zendo or at jbrooks882@gmail.com. His articles and book are collected at www.jeffbrookskarate.com

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Win-win

After a Reiki session, clients sometimes ask, “Doesn’t doing this tire you out?”  One woman, who felt she was a particularly difficult client joked, “You must be exhausted after working on me!”  But I always tell people that doing Reiki for someone is never depleting for me.  Quite the opposite.  The more Reiki I do for other people during the day, the better I feel.  That’s why I tell folks that I think I have the best job ever! But it isn’t just that doing Reiki for others is not tiring.  It actually can bring great benefit to the practitioner.

Both of these have to do with the fact that the energy I put into my clients – the Reiki energy – isn’t my own personal energy.  It’s universal (or divine) healing energy.  It flows through me into the client.  Since I am simply the conduit, there is no drain on my own energy.   And on its way to the client, the healing Reiki energy flows through me, calming and soothing me as it goes.  Think of it like a small brook flowing between two earthen banks. As the water flows, some of it inevitably sinks into the earth that serves as its pathway.  That’s what happens during a Reiki session.  There’s even an old Reiki saying: “Give a session, get a session.”  This explains why, at our monthly Reiki shares, we feel so relaxed and happy – we’ve not only received Reiki ourselves, but also had the energy flowing through us as we give Reiki to others.

What really intrigues me is that while my clients often experience releases and transformations as a result of their sessions, giving a Reiki session can be transformative.  I can’t tell you how many times I have come away with insights about my own life after giving someone else Reiki.  And my Reiki friends and I have discovered that this happens particularly often when we do the 3-sessions-in-3-days series for each other.

It makes sense that receiving Reiki three days in a row would really benefit the recipient (see my earlier post, “Day One, Day Two, Day Three“), but it did come to a surprise to see that doing an intensive series can be a pretty amazing experience for the practitioner, too.  During the 3-day series, the intention by the practitioner and the recipient to have the healing span that period seems to in some way set in motion an ongoing healing process which stays active between sessions and is enhanced each subsequent day.  And what I and my friends who have done these series for other people have also noticed, is that we become more in tune with the recipient’s energy than we would be during less frequent sessions.  And that means that both of us experience stronger benefits than during isolated sessions.

Just what are those benefits?  I’ll use today as an example.  Today one of my Reiki friends gave me the third of three sessions.  It was an amazingly deep session, in which I felt love just pouring into me. My friend went right from our session to a work meeting with two clients (in a job in the medical field.)  She said that during this meeting she felt unusually connected to the clients, and they, in turn, picked up on that connection.  One of them remarked, “It seems like you really love what you do.”  My friend replied that yes, she does.  And the client then said, “Well, it shows.  It’s wonderful.”

What my friend didn’t tell the client, but what she did tell me, is that she really does not always love her work. In fact, sometimes she is anxious to finish with her clients and get out, or finds herself annoyed with her work.  But today, that was not at all the case.  She attributed the difference in her mood and frame of mind to the fact that she’d just done the Reiki session on me.  It seemed to her that, in some way neither of us could explain, the fact that I had had a powerfully positive experience during the session also translated into a powerfully positive experience for her.

This is not really so very weird a concept, given the fact that one of the goals in Reiki is precisely to become fully in tune with the recipient’s energy field.  My view it that this tuning in allows the Reiki energy  to flow more strongly and with less impediment, to wherever it needs to go.  Another way to put this is that as practitioners, we do our very best to get ourselves and our own “stuff” out of the way when we are doing Reiki for someone, to be a clearer conduit for the energy. So, if we are very much in tune with our client’s energy state when we are working, of course we are likely to feel their own positive state in our own energy field after the session, in what you could call an empathic way.

So, if our client ends the session euphoric, and we are very in tune with them, then we are much more likely to be euphoric as well because of the energetic connection established during the session.  And we’ve found that the 3 consecutive sessions are more likely to induce that euphoria over the course of treatment, so it would be more likely that the practitioner would also feel more joyful afterwards.

But another way to explain it is simply that as we do intensive sessions for our clients, the energy is passing through us more intensively, too, which means that we ourselves are likely to experience deeper healing.  I can’t explain it at all, but every time I have done a 3-in-a-row series for someone, I myself have experienced profound releases and insights, as have they.  And so, it seems that there is some mysterious kind of energetic alchemy that happens during the consecutive sessions that doesn’t have time to happen during more widely spaced sessions.  What I mean is, I routinely do sessions three days in a row on separate clients without experiencing profound effects myself; when things really start to cook is during the 3-in-a-rows.  So, as you can imagine, I always look forward to entering into that process with my clients, both to give a big boost to their healing and to see what happens to me!

But the really great thing, to my mind, is that whenever we as practitioners come away from a session experiencing joy or transformation because the healing energy has sparked something wonderful not only in our client, but in us, too, then we are able to pass this joy on to everyone with whom we then come in contact, as my friend did today with her own clients.

That, in my opinion, is what Reiki is all about, whether for practitioners or clients: during a Reiki session, I feel like I am filling up the recipient’s reservoirs with love and healing energy, so that they can not only feel wonderful themselves, but also go out and share that well-being and happiness with those around them.  I have seen it happen with my clients, and that is my goal.  And how wonderful that it happens with me, too – that as I help my clients feel happier, I am also benefiting, filling up my own reservoir of love so that I can keep doing my part to spread happiness to those I encounter.   Win-win.  As I said, the best job ever.

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Because You Decide To Be

There’s a 1982 Russian movie called “Vliublion po sobstvennomu zhelaniu”, which is usually rendered in English as “In Love By Choice”.  Literally, it means “Having Fallen In Love Through One’s Own Wish”. But to get the real gist of the movie, you’d have to call it something like “In Love Because You Decide to Be”, or, since the plot involves a couple, “In Love Because They Decided to Be”.

The basic idea of the movie is this: a man and a woman who on the surface would seem to have nothing in common – he, a down on his luck  former sportsman turned factory worker played by Soviet-era hearthrob Oleg Yankovsky and she , Vera, a librarian (imagine that!) with dowdy clothes and hairdo –  end up connecting when she pays for his taxi home after he passes out on her shoulder one night in the subway.

Not surprisingly,  she is put off by his slovenly appearance and his drinking, while he – slave to stereotypical views of female beauty – is less than moved by her appearance and pedantic approach to life.  But he keeps contacting her, and she tells him to leave her alone.  Because, after all, he is definitely not her type!  One day, after he has shown up at her apartment on some ridiculous pretext and admitted his glaring failings, he asks what in the world he can do to improve his lot in life.

In a fit of annoyance, Vera, ever the pragmatist, tells him, “Work on yourself!  Get your feelings under control!  Work on whatever ones you want, but get them under control!?”  He doesn’t have a clue what she’s talking about.  She explains that his emotions and feelings are running his life and asks where the real him is.  ”If I want to, I can be happy.  If I want to, I can love my job, if I want to, I can fall in love.”  He asks whether she is happy.  Of course she is – she has her books, she reads a lot, thinks a lot. “I believe you can find happiness in yourself,” she asserts.  He doesn’t buy it.  He says that if she’ll help him change his ways, he’ll be able to help her, too…

She proceeds to bring him a bunch of self-help books and tapes (from her library!!) so that he can improve himself. She insists anything is possible, even falling in love with him.  And vice versa. He calls her bluff and says, “Davai!”  ”Come on.  Let’s try it!”  And so she proceeds to instruct him about how to fall in love with her:   he will start by finding one thing he likes about her and focusing on that, while also repeating related affirmations that will sink into his subconscious. And she will have to do the same in regard to him.  You can see a scene from the movie here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=byFQuAWIWLY&feature=related

You can guess that in the beginning, the process is sheer torture for both of them.  They force themselves to spend time with each other, but there is no chemistry whatsoever.  They annoy each other, chat awkwardly on their weekly daytrips out to the countryside. But then things begin to shift every so subtly…  Little by little the train conversations become less strained, the topics less general and more personal.  You begin to hear a softness in their voices as they speak to each other.  And before you know it, wonder of wonders, they are genuinely, as if magically, really, truly in love with each other!!!

The point that interests me here is not the specific plot details, but the big question, of whether one really can fall in love with someone just by deciding to do it and focusing diligently on the positive in that person, while trying not to notice the annoying or upsetting aspects of their personality and behavior.

I began thinking about this topic in the first place a few weeks ago when talking with a friend, who asserted that while people always say they take care of the things they love, he believes it’s the other way around: we love what we take care of.  In other words, if we make it a point to take extra wonderful care of someone, which will inevitably sometimes entail downplaying the negative while focusing on the positive, then we will end up feeling love for them.    I was wondering about this idea last weekend when I read an article about the large number of Chinese who, having lost their spouses in the big earthquake a couple of years ago, answered the government’s urging to remarry, usually with the help of matchmaking services.  In interviews, these newly-married folks showed a very touching devotion to their new spouses and talked about being extra grateful for their new happiness, a happiness which was surprising to many of them, given that most of these couples had married as near-strangers.  Clearly, these folks were motivated to take great care with their new relationships, almost as if they were… in love because they’d decided to be.

And this is, basically, Vera’s point.  And that is exactly what happens in the movie:  these two people make a distinct effort to be kind to each other and take wonderful care of each other, and over time their love and affection grow. What struck me when I was thinking about this movie recently, and even more when I watched some of the clips from it today, was that the movie presents a very Buddhist message.  If you look at the Tibeten Lam Rim teachings (a summary of all the points you need to master in order to become enlightened), you will find a whole series of meditations which are designed to enable you to develop compassion for any being, even the ones you hate most.  You start with the fact that all sentient beings have at some time, in some past life or other, been your mother.  And you practice transferring, through a series of different meditations, your love and gratitude for this mother who bore you and cared for you to gradually more and more beings, until all beings are as precious to you as your very own mother in this life.

A tall order, you say, being able to love someone simply because you choose to? Indeed.  But the Buddhists believe it can be done, and so does Vera.  And although this is, of course, the Soviet equivalent of a Hollywood movie, the idea is appealing, don’t you think?  Not that I suggest that we all pair up with the most unlikely partners possible and proceed to prove that we can fall in love with them – although that would be quite the project, wouldn’t it??  I bet we could get a grant for that.

No, all I’m saying is that it is a wonderful concept, one which I think we could all benefit from testing out in our everyday lives.  How about if we all pick just one person (even someone we already like a little, for starters!) and focus on being extra loving and kind and sweet to him or her.  Even if we don’t quite feel it sincerely.  Just as an experiment. For a day.  Or for 30 seconds. Try not to give in to our annoyance or impatience. Focus instead on his or her wonderful traits.  Take extra good care of that person, in every way we can imagine.  And just see what happens.  I think that at the very least we will feel that we are putting out some positive energy into the world for that period of time.  But maybe, like Vera, we might find that we will feel more positive and loving toward that person.  Simply because we decide to be.    Possible?   You tell me: try it and then tell me what you discover.

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Cough, Cry, Heal

When people who haven’t experienced Reiki ask me what Reiki can do for them, I always say that what Reiki does best is bring deep relaxation and freedom from anxiety.  And that is definitely true.   But at the same time it often serves as a catalyst for shifts and releases. Sometimes these occur during a session, while other times the work begins a shift or release which occurs fully only after the session ends. This can happen hours or even days later.

When I talk about shifts and releases, that can mean any of a number of things.  It can mean that you have a release of tension that takes a physical form- and often that kind of release takes the form of a cough, or a yawn, or a stomach gurgling, or muscles twitching during the session. I see at least one of these kinds of release nearly every time a do a session for someone, and they are generally easy for the recipient to handle, because they go hand in hand with deep relaxation.

Other releases are emotional.  Often people will be surprised to find themselves laughing or crying during a session.  It doesn’t necessarily mean that they are happy or sad.  This is just the way their body has chosen to release some emotional tension at that moment. This is the “have a good cry” version of a release, and although people are sometimes a little embarrassed if they start to cry, I always reassure them that it is perfectly natural.  And I tell them that if put me and 9 other people in a room and gave us all Reiki, it would be a good bet that I would be the one who’d start crying. It’s one of the ways my body releases emotional tension.  So, it’s no biggie.  Happens all the time. And again, people usually feel only relief after the release of tears or laughter.

But sometimes the releasing process is accompanied by what I call antsiness, and I’ve learned that it signals a larger release, one that generally begins during the session but is completed afterwards, later.

Take the example of one of my regular clients.  He comes for a session every other week and usually he is pretty much out like a light for most of the the session and gets up deeply relaxed.  But two weeks ago, I finished the session and stepped out of the room to get him a cup of water.  When I walked back in, he was already sitting up on the edge of the table.  ”I had to fight to stay lying down,” he said.  ”A couple of times I thought, I just have to get up!  But I didn’t.”  ”Are you feeling antsy?” I asked.  He nodded.  Almost a little sheepish, as if, in not feeling like a puddle on the floor after his session, he was somehow letting us both down.

I told him that the antsiness is not unusual, and that in fact, it’s a positive sign that a release has begun, that a shift is in process. I have experienced this myself during and after sessions, with varying intensity.  Sometimes when  I’m receiving Reiki, this is what happens: I’m lying there, relaxed, and then I start to feel like I’ve had enough.  I’m done. Okay. Time to stop.  Get me outta here!  But I find that as I continue to lie there, in less than a minute, that sensation fades and I once again slip into the deep relaxation. I’ve concluded that these little waves of antsiness are no different than other types of release, aside from the fact that they may feel a little odd and make me irritated briefly.

The first time I felt this antsiness and irritation so strongly and intensely that it really persisted after the session was late last summer when I was feeling all out of balance and upset by some incidents in my life, and my good friend did a couple of Reiki sessions for me.  After one of them I sat up, feeling like I was going to just scream.  Incredibly irritable, and I am rarely irritated or irritable.  It was like no Reiki session I’ve ever had before (or since!) She felt it, too. We looked at each other.  Finally, I think she said something like, “What was that all about?” and I replied, “I don’t know, but man, I feel like crap!”

But within about a day I had a big, BIG shift.  I gained great insight into something that had been bothering me, and all my discomfort faded.  I understood then that the way I felt coming out of that session signaled a shift in progress. And so, when I experience that antsiness in myself or sense it in my clients, or if they mentioned it, I now know what it’s all about.

For those of you who haven’t experienced this, I can give you a sense of what it feels like.  Think about how it feels when you begin to sense that you might be getting ready to sneeze.  And you’re getting ready to sneeze, but you don’t, or at least not for a while.  Another way I like to explain it is this:  Imagine that you are closing a door really, really slowly.  There’s the part of the door latch that slips into the indentation in the door jamb and keeps it closed until you turn the handle to release it.  If you close the door really, really slowly, that little metal part first pushes inward, and as you move it slowly to the place where it can finally slip into position, you will feel the tension before the latch finally does slip into position.  That tension is, I think, something like what it feels when one of these shifts has begun. And you will feel that tension until whatever thought, or emotion or behavior pattern which wants to be released or understood or rise to awareness does what it is trying to do.

I have gotten better at recognizing when a client is feeling this particular kind of “pre-release”, which means I’m able to let them know that although they may feel irritated and irritable and antsy, this is actually a very positive development, because it means that their mind and body are working to shift something big so that they can look at it or release it by just letting it pass on through.  When this does happen, I encourage the recipient to take it easy and focus on being open to the shift, instead of wishing the discomfort away. Usually, just hearing that this is a natural process helps the client relax and let the healing take it course without feeling that something went terribly wrong during the session!

In the case of my regular client, I learned that he is in the middle of a cleanse program, which means that he is poised for lots of big transformations, both physically and emotionally or psychologically.  I suggested that this might be a good time to try an intensive series of treatments – one session three days in a row – to really speed the releasing process along.  And that is what he decided to do.

So, those are some of the ways that our bodies and minds can release feelings or physical or emotional patterns which are not in the best interest of our health.  Sometimes the shifts are so quick and easy that we barely notice them during a session. Other times they are powerful and take place over a period of hours or days.  I feel it’s part of my responsibility to those for whom I do Reiki to talk to them about these various forms that release can take, so that they can both feel maximally comfortable with the releasing, free from anxiety over the process, so that their body and mind can carry out that healing work unhindered by unnecessary anxiety.

A final word: if, during a Reiki session, you feel any discomfort or anxiety about how the session is gone, please make sure to talk to your Reiki provider about it.  Most likely, he or she will be able to put your mind at ease by putting your experience into context of the various forms the healing process can take.  You’ll feel better, and so will we!

This is one of the ways a shift feels.  Sometimes it feels different, pleasant, like a pleasant release.    But since this unsettledness is usually a bit disturbing to people, i wanted to address it here.

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Day One, Day Two, Day Three

Since I last wrote about the intensive Reiki sessions (1 session each day for 3 or 4 days), I have experienced a series again and have done them myself for three more people.  It has been exciting to see that all of us have experienced results that are similar in theme, although not necessarily in the details.  And what’s more, all four of us who have given these sessions to others have experienced profound effects as practitioners, too.

I’ll start first with the effects shared by those on the receiving end of these intensive healing series:

In all of us, the first day of the series seemed to elicit a physical reaction, a physical cleanse, even.  For some it was fairly dramatic – abdominal cramps and intestinal disturbances – while others experienced perhaps a few aches and pains or headache or simply fatigue and the sense that they needed to rest so their body could have the time to do whatever healing was in process.

I’d say the second sessions brought the most dramatic effects for all of us, in the form of emotional and/of mental shifts or cleanses. What does that mean, exactly?  I’ll tell you about my experience first: during this session (from Karen, who trained me as a Reiki Master) I clearly felt that a longstanding layer of mental disturbance, of emotions that have been causing me trouble for quite a long time, suddenly lifted. I had a visual image of layers of disturbing emotions peeling off my body and floating away.  And with them gone, what remained was a calm and stillness that I have never felt, ever in my life.  That night I was still marveling at this release, searching my mind for some trace of this old pattern of disturbance, but finding none.  Gone.  Just gone.

I am not the only one who experienced this kind of shift.  Last week’s recipient reported that she felt that she had gained mental clarity, as if a “logjam” that had been present for a long time had finally begun to shift.  And a third told me after this second session, that she had spent a lot of time during the session mentally visiting a long string of people who had hurt and betrayed her in the past, and that she was able to take her leave of them forever and feel a freedom that had previously eluded her. The fourth person reported that following the second session, she was able to not give in to unhealthy food cravings.

This pivotal second session also seems to give people access to a frame of mind in which they feel free from the need to define, analyze, concretize or criticize various areas of their lives.  One recipient found that while conversing with someone with whom she would often speak very negatively about a certain third person, on this day, she felt that there was absolutely no need to do so.  Even though she had suffered a great deal in her relationship with this person, she was able to say, “No.  I don’t need to talk about that.  It’s okay.  I don’t need to go there.”  Which amazed both her and her interlocutor!

Similarly, another recipient, who was preparing for a job interview the next day, said that while in the past she would have prepared very precise answers to expected questions, this time she didn’t feel the need to engage in a lot of concrete thinking and preparation.  She felt comfortable trusting that her intuitive sense would serve her well in the interview and allow her to answer both sincerely and effectively.

I, too, after my second session, experienced such calm that it seemed unnecessary to engage in analytical thought about anything. There was simply no need. The mind could just rest and be still.  And this stillness is yet another common feature of the second session.  I can’t explain why, but all of us have settled in so thoroughly during the second session that our respiration has slowed to the point that either we feel as if we have actually stopped breathing or come very close.  That’s how still it is. Both I and one friend felt as if this would be how it would feel – in a very good way – at the moment of death. Such a sense of liberation and freedom and lightness.  But even those who have not expressed the experience in those terms have noted being in a state of extreme quiet and stillness.

So, if the first session brings about physical cleansing of some sort, and the second session equals profound letting go, release of emotional or mental turmoil and a sense of deep calm, what happens in the third session? In listening to what everyone has told me and in considering my own experiences, I’d have to say that the final treatment in a series of three provides the opportunity to synthesize the insights gained in the other two, on a higher, spiritual, if you will, plane.  What I mean by that is that you can gain a new sense of your purpose in life, and of whether and how you might want to alter your life in order to have the best shot at fulfilling that purpose.

I’ll give you an example: one recipient told me that after her second and third sessions, she felt that she really could not go back out and interact with her world the way she had before.  Her life is fast-paced, somewhat chaotic and requires a lot of physical moving around between destinations with accompanying shifts in mental focus.  But all she wanted to do after these sessions was to go home and give herself time to absorb the energy and let her body, mind and spirit maximize its use of the healing energy.  (And I appreciated that she was able to see her post-session fatigue in a positive, rather than negative, light.)

To my mind, this was an ideal use of the three sessions: rather than coming for three sessions and then throwing herself headlong back into her usual routine, this person found the shifts so profound that they shook her out of her familiar approach to life. They brought her to a mental, physical and emotional state that she could tell was beneficial to her and one she wanted to learn how to maintain in her life.  Bingo.  And now she has begun thinking about how she can reorganize her professional and personal life so that she can begin to protect this precious state of calm and stillness that she was able to achieve through the intensive healing sessions.

Something else that really struck me about the intensive series’ effect on everyone was that we all experienced deep shifts of various sorts, shifts which I believe it would have been hard to achieve with only occasional sessions.  When my three Reiki friends and I – who have done these series for each other in the past few weeks – compared notes, we all felt that these shifts were possible precisely because the healing energy was almost continually present over the course of three days, and because both the recipients and practitioners had in mind that they were doing this intensive healing process.  Never underestimate the power of intention in healing work – when you get up after your first healing in this series, instead of thinking, “Oh, that was a nice Reiki session. I’ll have to get another one, soon,” you think, “Oh, this is just the beginning.  I’ll be back tomorrow.” And so, in your mind, the healing session is not really ending at that moment.

And indeed, when you’re giving someone these three sessions in a row, it does not feel like you are doing three separate sessions.  It feels much more like one, extended session; each day it feels that you are able to pick up where you’ve left off the day before.  But that -the practitioners’ experience – is another story.  Another fascinating story. I may tackle that one next week.  But I will close for today.

One final note, though: no matter what a recipient experiences during any of the three sessions, the main benefit, to my mind, is not simply that healing energy is brought in in greater quantities than usual.  It’s that because the energy is flowing over an extended time period, recipients have the opportunity to experience profound shifts and insights which they can choose to use to adjust their lives to their healing plan rather than adjusting their healing plan to their lives.

That’s what it’ all about.  I hope this has given you a better idea of what an intensive healing series can do for the recipient. And perhaps even inspired you to consider trying one yourself!

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