Thursday, February 18, 2010
Reiki Beyond Belief
Sara took Reiki to help her 8 year old anorexic son. Dana learned because I was her close friend. Dad and step-Mom learned because I was their daughter. Magda learned because her daughter Liora took the class as well. Others learned out of curiosity, or to address health or life issues. And for many of these people, myself included, life became 'before and after Reiki'.
During the Reiki I class, Magda couldn't list three positive traits about herself. She could list thirty about Liora, her daughter, but not about herself. Within a year from the class, Magda was taking general interest courses and joining her husband cruising on their yacht. Within a year from surgery, having being diagnosed with cancer, Dad was declared free of it. For the entire year, he was using Reiki, meditation and journaling as his daily routine.
A woman, who was struggling to make it with Multi-Level Marketing, changed her career to a passion so long lost but so dear to her, that she had teary eyes when mentioning it during the Reiki class: photography. My friend Liora, Magda's daughter, quit a boring job and opened her home-based healing clinic. Reiki was the launching pad for her to learn other modalities, and she is so talented that I will get on her therapy table with any chance I have!
And me, I quit a stressful, meaningless banking career to be a Reiki healer and teaching Master. Oh, and I started writing and painting again, and reading and growing, and achieving dreams I had not dared dream of. I stopped smoking cold turkey; and stopped drinking coffee, and ingesting alcohol. I took up physical activities, and then I took up helping others for the sheer joy of it. I crossed an ocean to relocate; changed my marital status from S to M; learned how to drive at 40; initiated and led people to ventures from a retreat to a business show with speakers and vendors and the whole shebang. Wrote a book in less than thirty days and last weekend I drove myself alone to Montreal and back to Ottawa! Oh, and I delivered my first workshop, a 'Love Workshop', in French.
And I'm still going.
I witness significant growth and transformation within the people who, myself included, have been initiated into the healing art of Reiki. They, we, evolved to a greater degree of integrity and freedom; greater capacity to access and express wisdom; greater expressions of love and care; better life skills, and more.
I have taught Reiki classes since 1999. Like all Reiki teaching Masters, the classes reflected my levels, states and stages of development, in each moment. In the beginning, I talked about the angels. Then I talked about science and energy. Then about language and verbal communication.
Today, it's the Integral Theory, as presented by Ken Wilber.
When you drive from A to B, you need two things: to pay attention to the road (presence), and a good map to navigate with. Maybe you could drive without a map, but it would take you longer to get there and there are no guarantees about where you'll end up! The Integral Theory is the most comprehensive map for life, consciousness, you and God existing in the world at this time. And I am a student of it.
Prior to the Reiki I initiation, I usually lead the students through a guided meditation where they get to meet a 'friendly being'. Interestingly, Christian students often see Jesus Christ; Jewish students often see their deceased grandmother or some other living or deceased member of the family; Hindu students see Hindu deities; here and there someone will see Angels, a pet, or a sage. This caused me to ask myself questions about the nature of reality.
Is Reiki a way to connect with Angels? Jesus? Lost pets, Spirit Guides? And who, specifically? What is the truth?
In each person's internal landscape there are levels of development, states, and stages of consciousness.
Example of Levels: how high are your various intelligences are (cognitive, psycho-sexual, moral, social etc)?
States of consciousness are temporary ways of being. For example, you have an awake state (the one you are in now, as you read this); a dream-state; and a deep sleep, dreamless state. Or, you can have a peak experience, such as when listening to beautiful music, watching a spectacular sunset or making love. You can also have altered states of consciousness induced by spiritual practices or substances, or intense pain. States of consciousness are available at all levels of development and stages of consciousness. They are freebies you get, not something you 'order'.
Stages of consciousness are something you achieve through growth. You act purposefully in order to achieve a stage; and once you're there, it's yours, you have earned it. A stage of consciousness is like a language: once you have it, you can't lose it. Examples of stages of consciousness are: egocentric (it's all about me); ethno-centric (it's all about us but not the others); worldcentric (it's all about all of us), and it goes on.
During the Reiki initiations and the preceding guided meditation, many Reiki students have peak experiences. The way they interpret these peak experiences depends on their developmental level, their stage of consciousness and the corresponding belief system.
When I realized this, I had to change the way I teach Reiki. If I hiccup when watching cartoons, I can't teach people that cartoons make you hiccup. The only authentic and liberating way for passing on Reiki to others is the evolutionary way, which takes the mind beyond any prescribed beliefs, and opens a space for growth.
The Integral Theory has become the framework for my living and working. It became the framework for the Reiki class. This way the student can locate the Reiki healing art on the integral map for each of the levels, from Reiki I to the Reiki Master. Reiki is acquired as the powerful tool it is for healing, without the limitations of a belief system to buy into, but rather as a tool for self exploration and advancement.
Reading the integral map reveals to the student where she or he is at, highlighting strengths and areas of growth. Reiki brings a spiritual and energetic support to evolve.
Reiki is a powerful force, and it is neutral. It is as neutral as water. The force of water can either flood cities or light them up. The fact that the Life Force Energy 'Ki' is spiritually guided, makes it powerful, but not biased. Spirit is not biased. Human mind is. The good vs. bad values are of the mental, not spiritual domain. Those who practice martial arts know this. The martial art practitioner sees a force directed at him or her as neutral, potentially either an adversary or a resource. It is how this force is put to use that makes it foe or friend. Another example is atomic power: in the wrong hands, it is a threat to the safety of many; in the right hands, it is a rich resource.
When you are locked in a single perspective, such as a belief system, or a consciousness structure, Reiki will strengthen you in that perspective. When you are willing and able to take multiple perspectives, Reiki will support your liberation and integrity.
Consciousness structures move from magical/archaic to mythical to rational to integral (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Gebser) So for example, a student whose consciousness is at the level of magical / archaic structure, will translate his or her peak experiences as seeing totem animals or faeries. A student whose consciousness is at the mythical structure, will be reinforced in the belief of his or her myth. For example, someone who beliefs in the mythical Jesus (who walked on water), will see more of Jesus!
The problem with mythical structures is that they are ethnocentric and so they exclude those who don't believe in one particular myth. Read the news and the history books, and you will learn about the wars started by the mythical structures.
If you wouldn't want atomic power in the hands of ethnocentric people, who care about 'us but not them', then you want to make sure that those who have it care about 'all of us' (which include all people, all sentient beings, all beings).
As a student of the Integral Theory and as one who has a daily Life Integral Practice, the Reiki classes I offer today are in this integral context and designed to advance the students to their next levels and stages of evolution. This is true particularly with Reiki Masters, who, as they will teach this further, are now required to read Ken Wilber's "Integral Vision" before their training.
This way, Reiki becomes a tool of liberation, beyond belief (pun intended!) and towards greater integrity.
To your freedom and fullness!
Reiki classes schedule: www.tanasaler.com/calendar