Reiki training and practice was a major crossroad in my life. The days and weeks following my first attunement brought about experiences that left me in awe: spontaneous cessation of addictive behaviour (cigarette smoking and drinking coffee); unexpected resuming of artistic creativity; mending broken relationships; closing debts; and knowing things without knowing how I knew them (intuition).
One remarkable experience that marked me, and possibly the most important one, was the experience of unconditional love. And I know exactly when I first encountered it.
As soon as I was initiated and trained to be a Reiki practitioner of the first two levels of Reiki, I (finally, at the age of 38) knew what I wanted to do with my life: healing! I laid my hands on everyone who would let me, and watch in awe headaches disappear, moods lifting up, and a variety of such other changes that fascinated my mind and challenged my Inner Skeptic.
One person who came to my home for a few Reiki sessions was an older gentleman who suffered with diabetes. He was a difficult man, cranky and displeased with everything. I lived in a modest apartment building, and he complained about the messy staircase leading to my apartment. I would normally get defensive in the face of such complaints and respond with resentment. But something really unusual happened while this man was lying on my treatment table, while I touched him with Reiki hands: I felt a kind of benevolence towards this man, a felt emotion which resembled the affection I knew and had towards my mother, when I was a child, and towards my dogs. I wanted to hug this man and I wished him healing and happiness, and I felt all this moving inside me. This feeling was in stark contrast with my regard of the man’s personality: I wanted nothing from him, and it didn’t matter to me whether I would see him again or not. I felt the same benevolence towards my friends and family members whom I treated with Reiki, but I attributed my feeling to my relationship with them, which was already based on affinity and intimate connection.
This body-felt benevolence towards a man whose personality was unpleasant surprised me and left me in awe. Some people discover unconditional love after years of sustained spiritual practice. I had Love drop on my lap just like that, with Reiki practice. It surprised me, it moved me, and it informed my drives and motives. I wanted to do good, to help and contribute to the well-being and happiness of people (and animals, and plants!). It was different than the romantic love that I had sought so far: in seeking the “perfect” romantic love, I sought, in fact, fulfilment of my needs. Romantic love was about having my emotional, sexual, sensual, and social needs met, it was really about me. This Reiki-induced love had me orient towards another - the person on my treatment table - and there were no questions asked, no needs to be met, nothing requested or required.
The old man left my practice mumbling and muttering things about my building’s messy staircase, and I doubt that I helped him cure the diabetes. And I was touched nonetheless, and left to explore, grow, lose and reconnect again with a kind of love that gives colour and purpose to life, making it strong, and making it worth it; a love that brings all living things closer together, with no condition, no questions asked.