‘Hierarchy of Needs’ and Reiki

Many of us may remember studying Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.  Yesterday at PACC where I volunteer, I was reflecting on that as I worked with one dog who wanted lots of affection (kisses, Reiki, massage and hugs) and another whom had apparently been so deprived of sufficient nutrition, that he just wanted me to keep feeding him treats/biscuits.

If we are Reiki trained and working on someone else, what is their hierarchy of needs?  Is it to feel safe? emotionally comforted? physically soothed?  or a variety of other needs?  As always, take a thorough intake with your client about their intention for the session as well as any history of trauma and loss.  Quiet your own mind and be the channel for healing energy, light and wisdom to flow thru you .  And…as Mrs. Takata would say:  ‘let your hands teach you’!

Doing a Distant Session from a Close Proximity

Every week that I volunteer at PACC, there is some new wonderful lesson or experience to share.  I asked my Volunteer coordinator to confirm that it was okay for me to go into a kennel with a dog whose color rating was a ‘blue’ instead of a ‘green’ that I am eligible to work with.  One dog in particular had been referred by other volunteers as a special needs girl who would benefit from extra massage/Reiki and TLC.  I was told that due to liability issues, I could not yet work directly with blue or orange graded dogs in their kennels but instead could get a pillow and sit outside the kennels sending Reiki to them.  I of course made my initial contact thru my heart and eyes and soon added on my voice telling her/him that I loved them.  I sat perhaps for 15 minutes each time directing Reiki with my hands thru each kennel cage.  I added on some Karuna chanting, Metta and even a little Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. One little gal relaxed so much that she began to eat her breakfast and to drink some water.  I was tickled to learn that she was adopted a day or two later…and was so glad to be part of her healing.  In terms of humans, sometimes one can be in the room with another human and it is best to send Reiki; to give an example, years ago a precious older Reiki group member and client had her husband in ICU for 4 months.  She tried to work on him with hands on but would get very fatigued standing on her feet; I encouraged her to sit near his bed and send Reiki to him.  By being mindful of the special circumstances, she respected her own needs as well as honoring his.

Using your Power or Master symbols during Meditation

This morning I rushed off to the gym only to discover that the class actually started 15 minutes later than I had anticipated.  I set up my weights, said good morning to some classmates and then felt as though I was wasting time.  The light bulb in my head finally went off, and I decided that I could meditate despite the noise of equipment being set up and other exercisers entering the room; after awhile there was even music in the background.  When I teach a community Mindfulness & Meditation group, I try to encourage students to not be impacted negatively by ‘distractions’ nor background noises.  So….I took my own guidance to heart.

I decided to use as my mantra the name (and energy) of the Master symbol over and over again.  If one has already taken Level 2 Reiki training (and not yet ART), one can use the name (energy) of the Power symbol.  This turned out to be a delicious use of my time, and I was so relaxed by the time the class began that I felt as though I was floating.

*photo is from another experience meditating in Sedona Az

Reiki, Ireland, Leprechauns and Magic!

My new article just came out in the Spring 2016 edition of Reiki News Magazine; you can read this under ‘press’.  Feel free to share any comments or questions that you may have. With blessings- MarshaIMG_2631

Integrating Reiki into One’s Yoga Practice

My first disclaimer is that I am not a yoga instructor.  This is purely my personal experience integrating Reiki into my yoga practice.  I have been doing yoga a few times per week for the past 10 years.  It has brought me innumerable gifts including increased strength, balance and flexibility.  Flexibility has been a true surprise because I grew up thinking that only my cousins who were dancers and choreographers were flexible.  I had trouble even as a child touching my toes!  I can’t tell you when it occurred but one day years ago in yoga class I realized how flexible I truly was; I became tearful because I realized that for decades I had lived with a belief system that I had accepted as a reality.  It caused me to wonder how often we walk thru our lives believing that something is true when it is only a limiting belief.

Yoga postures and breath work allow one to open up to chi/universal life force energy; energy can more freely flow thru  the chakras, blockages may be released and there can be an expansion in one’s energy field.  When I begin my yoga practice, I draw the power symbol on my hands and feet; I may also draw the Karuna symbol Gnosa over my 3rd eye to connect me even more fully to my spiritual practice.  When we chant together ‘Om’, I generally like to move my hands which are in prayer position from over my heart chakra up to the 3rd eye  and back to the heart chakra.

In Advanced Reiki training I teach a ‘moving meditation’ in which one intones the name of the Usui symbols while moving the hands around oneself in the energy field.  During my yoga classes, I intone the names of the Usui symbols when I feel directed to do this as my yoga teacher directs our movements in and out of postures.  I feel as though I am filling my energy field with additional light and love.

When we get ready for savasana, final relaxation, I sometimes draw the Usui mental/emotional symbol or the Karuna Harth symbol over my heart chakra.  I also like to draw the Usui Master symbol down the front of my body as a total blessing.  I experience
Art Poster from Sedona extremely deep relaxation and profound healing if needed.  To complete my practice when savasana has ended, I draw the Karuna Rama symbol on my feet and down the front of my body to ground me.  I may again draw the Gnosa over my 3rd eye as I express gratitude for my yoga practice that day.

Remember to be creative and open to how spirit may direct you to use Reiki in your Yoga practice.

Checking Items off your ‘Bucket List’

For years I have been telling myself that I wanted to climb Picacho Peak in Arizona.  For years I have had one excuse or another not to climb it including that  my former rotator cuff tears might be a problem or  that I had missed the best climbing season and  that it was now 100 degrees (in the shade!).  This year I put climbing Picacho Peak on my ‘bucket list’ and made a decision to do this no matter what.

When one strips away all the excuses or reasons for not manifesting our heart’s desires, generally one finds ‘fear’ and old constructs about our abilities or what we deserve.  Work with your mental/emotional symbol over your heart and solar plexus chakras if you are at least a level 2, set your intention for healing and  the release of outdated beliefs, and send Reiki to your goals and positive affirmations about yourself.

On 2/16, I climbed Picacho Peak and was absolutely delighted by my abilities and strength.  My increased mindfulness this year helped me to stay connected with the movements of my body and mind enhancing my sense of joy and safety.  The photo is of myself on top of the peak!

I don’t know all the new things that will now be added to my ‘bucket list’.  The thing that I know is that climbing Picacho Peak is now checked off.  Make your own list, use your Reiki practice,

On top of Picacho Peak

and live the magnificent life that you were meant to live!

‘Honin Myo’: Starting Fresh in the New Year

‘Honin myo’ is a Buddhist term that may be translated as ‘starting fresh’ or ‘beginning anew’.  Frequently at the start of the New Year you may find yourself setting a new resolution or determination to move your life in the forward direction that you desire. You may want to wipe some of the slate clear from the year before and use this moment to embrace life force energy to be even more victorious this year.  It may include improving any aspect of one’s physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual wellbeing.  It may also include moving outside one’s prior comfort level to try new activities and possible interests.   Most likely this involves looking at yourself squarely in the mirror and seeing what needs to be changed and determining to do it this year without any excuses or blame on others.

With your Reiki practice this is also the potential time to employ a ‘honin myo’ attitude.  Perhaps last year you anticipated doing Reiki on yourself daily, or offering Reiki sessions to friends, family or within the community; perhaps you wanted to attend one of the Reiki shares.  Perhaps you thought about taking the next level of Reiki training and lost the determination to move forward with your Reiki practice.  This is a great time and moment to reconnect with your intentions.  Remember that a wonderful way to begin the day is with your energy clearing in which you can clear prior disappointments or barriers and request that Reiki help you to achieve each goal.  Use your Reiki ideals if this seems right for you.  Send Reiki to your goals and affirmations for the New Year (and new you!) if you are at least trained in Reiki Level 2.  Let’s celebrate great accomplishments together this year.

With love and blessings for the New Year!

Marsha

Giving Gifts During the Holiday Season

I recently read this ‘gratitude quote’ by Albert Schweitzer:  “at times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person.  Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” Perhaps one of the best holiday gifts is to be that ‘spark’ to another person either by sharing an encouraging word, spending time together, sending a card or small remembrance, listening to that person with an open heart or most importantly sharing an act of kindness.  When I was in yoga class yesterday I looked in the mirror and the message on my shirt reflected back to me:  ‘be kind’.  I had received this shirt when I was awarded a Ben’s Bell in 2/11 (see the article under ‘press’).  Sharing random acts of kindness can be the best gift that one can give to others this holiday season.  Offering Reiki to a loved one, family member, neighbor, or participant in a community group is also a precious gift.  Remember that if you have  received Level 2 Reiki training and higher, you can send the gift of distant Reiki to others from the comfort of your own home (no package nor postage needed!). The holidays are also an opportunity to give yourself the perfect gift:  Reiki!  If you are trained, give yourself restorative self treatments.  You can also give yourself (or request from others) a gift by purchasing a Reiki session with a practitioner in the community or even a gift certificate for your next level of Reiki training. Wishing you all a beautiful holiday season!!!

Message on Ben’s Bells Shirt

Connections with Ourselves, with Each Other, and with Nature

I have been reflecting alot on ‘connections’.  This past week in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, we saw people putting aside political differences before the upcoming elections and connecting in heart and spirit.  It didn’t matter if one formerly lived back East, went to school there or even had family and friends there; one could connect with the deep suffering of others and feel compelled to take action whether through prayer, energy work, phone calls, donations or other acts of kindness.  We initially connected through the visuals of what  we saw of the devastation, what we heard, what we felt in our inner seats of compassion,  and what we believed about our shared humanity.  I would encourage those who are trained in at least Level 2  to continue sending Reiki (divine light, love and comfort) to others.  It will help to decrease anxiety, fear, frustration and fatigue and to cultivate more hope and healing.

Prior to this recent event I attended numerous family weddings since this past June.  I brought mindfulness into those gatherings and observed with compassion for self and others (releasing judgment and expectations for particular outcomes).  I noticed that as I have continued to connect with my own growth and humanity through my Reiki and meditation practices, that I could ‘connect’ in a more gentle manner.  I noticed that it was delicious to connect with a new 6 month old grand-niece whom I had never met before and to sense the sweetness of this new beginning and budding love.  I noticed how I was planting seeds of connection with new brides or grooms in the family.  I was able to observe evolving family relationships; some were closer, some more distant, and some were filled with delightful surprises.  I brought with me to these gatherings a sense of curiosity and greater acceptance.  I also noticed my own sadness when connecting with the matriarchs in the family while sensing more of the sunset in their  lives.  I could observe my feelings and not be at the affect of them while residing in the  sacredness of the present.

The Monday after the last family wedding in Santa Cruz, California, a few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit  the Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park.  These giants of nature were truly magnificent!  I breathed in their beauty and the grace of the moment and opportunity.  I held my hands up  to feel their remarkable energy and felt connected with awe and gratitude.  I felt the Redwoods’ ‘connection’ with the earth while simultaneously connecting with the sunlight and the divine!  May you too this month be mindful about your ‘special’ connections.
Redwoods State Park, California
       Feel free to share some of your reflections about ‘connections’ in our next Reiki share.