New Updated UREI 110 Classes Begin This Sunday

New Year, New Syllabi. Classes begin next Sunday, 5 February 2017 at 4pm-5:30pm.
Informal meeting this Sunday January 29th, 2017 at Stacks Espresso Bar located at 260 Lark Street Albany, NY at 4pm. This will give us all an informal opportunity to meet one another and go over the syllabus. Please note on the UPDATED syllabus (see below) that there is a homework reading assignment scheduled prior to class on 2/5/17.

Meeting Times: Su 4:00PM- 5:30PM,
Meeting Location: Downtown SUNY Albany Campus, Husted Hall.
135 Western Ave. Albany, NY 12206
Meeting Room: HS110 (Rudolf Room)

Returning students may retake and/or audit the class for $19.

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Introduction to Shoden: Usui Reiki First Teachings UREI 110

COURSE DESCRIPTION
$75 (33 Hours) TWENTY-TWO 1.5 hrs. Seminars

This class is offered as an ecourse and locally with an interactive online component. Level 1 focuses on physical self-healing as you learn how to take healing into your own hands. This course expands approximately six months, which will give each student hands-on practice and facilitate a better understanding of Usui Reiki philosophy and cultural context. It is here where students are introduced to Shojin ryori mindfulness, and meditation. Students will be required to complete 10 hours of unpaid reiki therapy and 5 hours of community service at a local place of worship, garden, park, hospital, homeless shelter, nursing home, or non-profit. In order to receive certification, students will keep a journal documenting a Usui 21-day detox for purification and energetic clarity; and 19-day challenge, over the period of this 21 week course.

Before going any further, view this:
UPDATED UREI 110 Intro to Shoden Reiki Syllabus (2/12/17)

 

HEALING TYRANNY

America’s Cry for Help

“…WE SEE THIS ROTATING DOOR OF PEOPLE SEEKING SILENCE, RELIEF, AND CATHARSIS. WE ALSO SEE THEIR NEEDS JUST BY WALKING AROUND. AS HEALERS WE NEEDN’T WAIT ANY LONGER FOR PEOPLE TO MAKE APPOINTMENTS…IN THIS DAY AND AGE, THERE ARE SO MANY PEOPLE OUT THERE WHO ARE AFRAID, DEPRESSED, OR HEARTBROKEN. NOW IS NO TIME AS A HEALER TO HIDE…”

These be dark times healers.

Whatever your political affiliation, I am sure you can see the rampant surge of hate crimes and acts of violence filling the news.  The Trump cabinet is filling with representatives who have made it very clear their position on the environment, social sciences, education, and the health sector: all areas where many healers live, breathe, and work.  I have pondered this long and hard and see that we healers have been for a long time very wrong. For weeks now I have meditated upon the meaning of this election, is it doom or is there a silver lining? What lessons are there to find, embrace, and talk with?

As healers, let’s face it, we often are very superficial. We rarely get to the meat of an issue for several reasons. Perhaps the client does not want to dive too deep. Or they begin to and then cancel their next session, and we all know what happens after that: they never come back. Retention in any field is difficult, and when ours is a profession of the deep stuff, when our job is to be the mirror for people so that they may heal and not merely place a Band-Aid on the situation. It can get very annoying after a while. And yet, we see this rotating door of people seeking silence, relief, and catharsis. We also see their needs just by walking around. As healers we needn’t wait any longer for people to make appointments, especially when you learn the techniques of Gyoshi Ho and Koki Ho.  In this day and age, there are so many people out there who are afraid, depressed, or heartbroken. Now is no time as a healer to hide in our healing rooms.

Now is the time to act, and utilize the Gokai of Kindness in our everyday lives. There is no time like the time of tyranny for a healer to hear the call of humanity. There are so many marginalized people who are taken advantage of, who have for centuries been oppressed, beaten, and manipulated. As healers, our job is to heal on a holistic field, and if we ourselves are not staying aware, if we ourselves are not being mindful of these issues; our clients and our higher selves are doomed. If we fail now, we fail so much more than just ourselves. All the lifetimes of karma that have gotten us to this moment, this life where we have taken the role of healers, and now what do we do with it? Hide, keep our heads in the sand and “let go and let god?” No. That in my opinion is the ultimate abuse of privilege. Our duty is to grow, to help others “sit with their yuck.” To transmute, and transform situations. To mold and yes manipulate energies for the betterment of not only a few, but for all sentient beings. The world is crying- this is no time to wall oneself off. It is a time to be the one to break down Byoki boundaries, not create new ones.

Peace and healing are not static energies, they are a force, so it our prerogative to share that peace, and be that peace we wish to see in the world. We are the healers, and leaders of our communities. They look to us for support, guidance, and strength. I believe firmly that now is no time to play or think small. The mighty oak cannot forever remain a sapling. So use your skills and power. Be the healer I know you to be! With tact, with diligence, and of course with compassion.  We are the defenders and protectors of old, and no tyrant or bigot will harm our friends and family.

Heiwa beloveds.

Tsukimi Birthday Wishes

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Usui Sensei’s Birthday is always a wonderful chance to come together and celebrate his teachings because FUN FACT he probably never celebrated a single birthday! There wasn’t really a custom of holding Japanese birthdays until after WWII. Before that, New Year’s Day was the day in which everyone got older. This was because the ancient custom was that everyone got older on New Year’s Day, not the day they were born. Since then, however, due to globalisation, and assimilation, Japan has changed in that regard.

So, even though Usui Sensei may roll around in his grave for this, we can still honour his spirit via his teachings today, this week, or at the very least during this week’s full moon, dedicating this Tsukimi in a special way.

On 15 August 1865, the man who changed the way we look at bioenergetics, Buddhism, health, and enlightenment was birthed into this world. Once, twice, perhaps for the upteenth time on this planet. Who knows? Maybe it was his first lifetime, although I doubt it.

Regardless, this man who at about the ripe age of 57, created a school clinic in which healers from all over Japan could come and learn, hands-on, the ability to care for people’s suffering manifest in their anger, worries, ingratitude, sloth, and indifference.

See, some people are just late bloomers.

Last year, I wrote a comical 150th birthday roast for Usui Sensei. This year, I want to challenge each of us to go a bit deeper into our practice. Meditate upon it, and ask ourselves WWUD- What Would Usui Do?

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Because some of us may have forgotten the tradition of honouring one’s teachers.

Let’s face it, many of us (especially us Americans) do not practice Reiki the way Usui Sensei did. Many of us lack the patience. Many of us lack the cultural context to understand the subtle complexities of his techniques and teachings. And really, many of us would rather play with our crystal collections than actually go hiking up a mountain, fast, and meditate for 21-days. Many of us would rather play doctor instead of doing community service, and opening up a free school-clinic like Usui did after the horrific Tanto Earthquake hit in 1923. Not many of us believe in ourselves the way Usui Sensei did. Not many of us have the courage and dedication that Usui Sensei had. Not many of us are as selfless as Usui Sensei was.

Or are we?

Today is a day to reflect upon these questions, and ask what we really want our Reiki Practice to look like? Do we want it to be yet another superficial mass media fluffy bunny business? Or do we want it to be down to earth, and about helping people grow?

Many of us have forgotten Reiki’s roots. What is that phrase? “So many seek the truth in the stars that which can only be discovered in the tree’s roots.” So many healers now a-days are trapped in the ethers, in lofty abstract pseudoscience, and have forgotten about the beauty of meditating upon a waka poem or sweating doing hard manual labour in a rock garden. So many healers now a-days are captivated by technology and angels and being a “starseed” that they forget that they are made of this earth, of the Ancestors, of the winds and rain and sunlight. Not that one is more important than the other, but we certainly have strayed away from Usui’s teachings, and I think many of the problems that face modern healers: feeling drained/zapped, feeling afraid of so-called “demons,” or feeling depressed or lost is because of this. Our awareness has expanded but we have failed to meet our awareness with practice. With mindfulness practice. With the universal wabi sabi techniques that Usui and his students incorporated into Reiki in order to reach that level of mastery and skill. Why else do we tend to dabble in so many different workshoppes and self-help certificates these days, besides simple curiosity? Is it that we are still too afraid to just sit, listen, and look in the mirror? Are we seeking so fervently to understand and cope with these new talents and abilities that have been given us seemingly without an operator’s manual?

At the end of the day, we have to remember that Reiki is an Eastern practice of mindful nurturing. Based upon the strict mental disciplines of martial arts, Buddhism, Shugendo, and Shinto. We can use this day to pull some of that wisdom and diligence into our lives, minds, and actions.

So make yourself a cup of tea, light some incense, and meditate upon the cup. Meditate upon the tea, meditate upon the Gokai, and his teachings. And then drink them up, heartily, wishing the teacher of us all a very happy birthday: “tanjoubi omedetou gozaimasu.” 誕生日おめでとうございます

Bowing peacefully three times to you,
remember that there is a joyful, courageous, grateful, diligent, and kind healer within you.

Mikao-Usui-Sensei_ReikiOn

Grieving Lost Students

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Recently, there has been much death surrounding my heart. Over the last two years as Shihan, the issue of letting go of students has always been there for me. It isn’t easy letting go of any relationship, however, as a teacher it is so hard watching your students struggle with the material, especially when it has to do with dealing in patterns of human behaviour. 

Every teacher has their own way of imparting the teachings of Reiki that have been passed down from teacher to student over the last 90-something years. However, we do not simply teach techniques for healing with our hands. We employ a variety of teaching methods gleaned from our various holistic trainings (it’s like collecting Baseball or Pokemon cards: ya gotta catch ’em all!) However, Reiki is not just the energy exchange of light. This is only one level of living: using the technique purely for the sole healing role of healing touch. What some of us teachers employ, in addition, are the mechanisms BEHIND this light: the analysis of behaviours, environments, traumas, and the necessary lifestyle changes that require a firm and grounded approach to healing. Yet, changes in behaviour is easy to intellectualize, changing the choices students make and their awareness is another entirely. They are stubborn, and sometimes violent. Not everyone likes to be shown the darker truths that lie behind our western civilization’s way of living. Yet, these choices affect the healing energy we possess within us, whether it is enhanced or depleted, the experience of not only our students but in turn their clients will be impacted. 

So, with that in mind, as I write this novel of a paragraph, I ask you read the following with that in context. I sit here, writing my next chapter in my Shihan Handbook and the issue of students is paramount. Finding the students, students finding you, their experience, different teaching roles, different exercises to utilize… We spend so much time building up our teaching muscles that we forget sometimes that inevitably the students leave us. They leave us not because they do not find our material enriching, nourishing, or of substance; but because life takes hold of them and shakes them all about in  a very unsettling way. The abuses of the world, including the ones we inflict upon ourselves, are incredibly powerful. However, as you will see with the turning of these pages is that it is not the only such power in the world. 

The following is an excerpt from my forthcoming book. 

Read it. Meditate upon the words. It’s up to you whether you chew it up & digest it, or just spit it out. Either way, feedback is incredibly welcome.

Ubuntu,
Blessed be the work of our hands and voices.

GRIEVING THE LOST

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The screens we use serve to beautify the teaching.

But, remove the screen and what remains?

The light, which with all its shine and splendor is expressionless. It is the projector, but we and our teachings give it personality, we give it humanity. We add words and culture and colour and texture and form. With our experience, we pull flavour from the light in hopes of explaining the unexplainable. Ultimately, we prepare the student until that one day they peak behind and behold the flame. Hopefully, with enough training, they are not burned but wrapped in the same ecstasy we have discovered. Every teacher tries and attempts and hopes for this. Yet, some students inevitability will not be enraptured, but to the contrary, consumed by the heat of the Source.

In their haste, they do not develop the armour to withstand the inferno.

Teachers remember, this is not your doing but theirs. Theirs is a path chosen, not offered. Above all things, do not blame yourself. You are the screen, you are the teaching. If the student decides to toss you aside, what is to be expected?

Take us away, and the candle blows out. Take our protection away, and the fire grows out of control. Yet too, on occasion, the lucky chosen student enlightens… But again when egos are too large for their eyes, they do not see or feel what is happening. Disillusioned by grandeur or lost interest in discovery, students will disappoint. And they will suffer for it. As teachers, we will inevitably lose some, and… we will feel their pain…

Remember… we can hope the best, but we must also accept the contrary.

Remember, we are teachers not God. All we can do is as instructed by our Master’s Masters: teach those who diligently seek our teaching with kindness, and never give up hope on those who turn away from us in anger or out of fear for what they might discover behind the screen.

GRATITUDE TO CREATIVE COMMONS ARTIST MIKE MAGUIRE.

Shinpiden Usui Reiki Hikkei – Makafushigi: The Mystery

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Shinpiden Usui Reiki Level 3 for Masters
$265 (49 Hours) TWO 5-hour days, followed by THIRTEEN 3 hrs. Seminars

This class is offered as an ecourse and locally with an interactive online component. The Third Level focuses on spiritual healing as you learn how we are expressions of the Divine Source, how our movements are an aspect of this greater movement. It is at this level that the Usui Master and Grounding Symbols, as well as other nontraditional symbols are taught. Shinpiden prepares students to pass along the Reiki tradition, and this is where students take Reiki Vows possibly for the first time in their lives. Students will also learn the skill of Chado Tea Ceremony. This course expands from an initial 2-day workshoppe, which will give each student hands-on practice and facilitate a better understanding of what it means to become a Sensei. Students will be required to complete 10 hours of unpaid reiki therapy and 5 hours of community service at a local place of worship, garden, park, hospital, homeless shelter, nursing home, or non-profit. In order to receive certification, students will keep a journal documenting a Usui 21-day detox for purification and energetic clarity; and 40-day challenge, over the period of this 13 month course.

PREREQUISITES: Usui Reiki 1 Certification , Usui Reiki 2 Certification, and Advanced Usui Reiki Certification from me or another Reiki Master Teacher. However, an interview tea will need to be completed to see where you and your studies are currently at. You may not be ready for this level, or perhaps will be better suited to a higher level of course study.

REQUIRED Third Degree class materials include:

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  • Completion of all the above PREREQUISITE materials
  • Holistic Arts Institute Usui Reiki Level III Handbook (2012) (PDF File)
  • Gaian Tarot deck by Joanna Powell Colbert
  • The Mindfulness Survival Kit: Five Essential Practices by Thich Nhat Hanh
  • After the Ecstasy, the Laundry by Jack Kornfield
  • Buddha in a Teacup: Contemporary Dharma Tales b Todd Walton
  • The Teacup & The Skullcup: Where Zen and Tantra Meet by Chogyam Trungpa

A Letter from Me to You

Being a Reiki Sensei is simple, but not easy.

It is doing everything we have done before, but differently.

When we begin exploring Reiki, we study, read, and consume knowledge like it is candy. Then, we slowly realize that this is not just a one day, or a one 21-day thing. We slowly realize this is going to take work, and sweat, and many tears, and even a stronger sense of humour. Because not only do we study, read, consume knowledge like it is candy, but we do. We do the exercises, we do what the great teachers and books say. We do the meditations; we make the necessary lifestyle changes for our health. And then, we walk our talk.

We study, read, consume, do, and then LIVE what we have learned and continue to learn. Being a Master Teacher is like being a student all over again, but with insight. It is having done it and breathed it and lived it, but continuing to do it, breathe it, and live it.  It is having eyes to See, words to Speak, noses to Smell, ears to Listen, hearts to Love, and hands to Touch the world. We have grown and grown to accept that yes we are mentors and examples, but that we are also human.

We have bad days just like everyone else.

We cry, we yell, we get bad. We break up, we drink, we may even cuss. But we also love, unconditionally, and nurture ourselves and are kind enough to ourselves, because we Know- capital K, that we are still human.

We don’t go around wearing all white and throwing glitter. We aren’t now magically exempt from the suffering of the world because we are Master teachers. We are the wounded warriors of the soul. Through all the other levels and the more to come, we have become members & now leaders of the Scar Clan. With each passing day, we have grown to carry more and more of the suffering of the world in our hands, but we do not allow it to bog us down. Because as Master Teachers, when we peer into the darknesses of the world, and within ourselves, it is not that we are no longer afraid, it is that we know we have the cajones & ovarios enough to persevere and jump into the thick of it regardless.

Yes, to be a Teacher we have much work to do for others and the Universe, but especially for ourselves. Because yes, we may be “Masters,” but we have not yet reached mastery. But as Masters, we Know; we know that we do not have to do it alone.

Back to the Training

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Each student will Master the following Coursework over the course of the following year at different Reiki Dharma Seminars:

  1. Reverence for Life 301
  2. True Happiness, Love & Intimacy 301
  3. Deep Listening & Loving Speech 301
  4. Nourishment & Healing 301
  5. Global Ethics 301
  6. Mystical Laundry 301 (In One Voice Documentary)
  7. Forgiveness & Reconciliation 301
  8. Mature Spiritual Language & Awakened Emotions 301
  9. Laughter of the Wise 301
  10. Reiki Ceremony & Ritual 301
  11. Chado: The Way of Tea 301 (Fieldtrip)
  12. Dharma Tales 101
  13. Oxherding 101

Each student will be attuned to Reiki 3 at the end of each training. The attunement is a process that happens between the Reiki Master/Teacher and the student. As the auras of the two people meld together, the student’s energy channels open and obstructions or blockages start to release. Each time a person receives an attunement, a larger percentage of this density releases. With less obstruction, the light of the Universe flows brighter and more in phase, like a coherent laser beam. Each Reiki Master has their own way of passing attunements, and various methods are valid. I just so happen to attune people at a Buddhist Temple sometimes. You needn’t be Buddhist or even religious to participate. All faiths/non-faiths are welcome!

An attunement does not give you anything new; it opens and aligns what is already a part of you. Attunements offer a sacred moment, a memorable crossing from one phase of life to another. It heightens and strengthens your capability to send healing outward into the world to your family, friends, and community. During an attunement, as many different things are experienced as there are initiates. Some see colours, others see pictures, and still others recall past lives. Some are filled with light or a feeling of total peace, wonder or love. Some may perceive more than others do. When asked to place their hands upon someone else to bring the energy through, the new Reiki healer may experience for the first time the Reiki characteristic of heat radiating through their hands.

EVENT DETAILS

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SATURDAY:
We will all meet at The Interfaith Center in Albany by 8:30am for the training. There will be a break for lunch around noon, (Please bring your own homemade food, I only ask that it be fresh and organic to help facilitate your attunement process.) Herbal waters, Tea, and Healthy Refreshments will be provided. After lunch we will discuss some more followed by a meditation and attunements. After the attunements, I will give you all some time to talk amongst yourselves, meditate and possibly write/reflect in your journals. Then we will all gather for a walk to Washington Park, followed by a Japanese dinner at the Shogun restaurant.

SUNDAY FIELD TRIP:
Japanese Tea Ceremony Location TBD, possibly at Kaji Aso Studios in Boston, MA.

PLEASE BRING THE FOLLOWING:

  • Gaian Tarot deck
  • A notebook and pen.
  • A crystal of your choice for concentration.
  • A healthy lunch, and water/tea bottle.
  • A walking stick (not required)
  • A yoga mat (not required)
  • Please dress comfortably and accordingly. (It gets quite cold OCTOBER-APRIL.)
    (Bring a sweater/hoodie should it get cool. This is a RAIN/SNOW or SHINE event.)
    -Please feel free to bring non-toxic bug spray/sun block since this will be an all day event until around 5pm. (MAY-SEPTEMBER)

TRAINING COST: The training cost of the first day is $150 and non-refundable to help pay for course materials and time. (You will need to PREPAY a $60 depsoit for your Book Bundle and to secure your spot.) Each of the other Trainings will be $10 US. Other training out there can be very expensive, and so in a way to help and teach everyone of every financial situation I have created the above price, alternative payment options and this Scholarship.

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Shinpiden Book Bundle – $80 US
Tuition – $180 US
Training Room Fee – $5 US
Monthly Reiki Dharma Seminars – Included with Tuition (Series of 13 Above)

CANCELATIONS & MISSED TRAININGS

If you for some reason miss a class, you will automatically be added to the next month’s training date, and an additional $35 US (Reiki Dharma Seminars $10 US) will have to be charged. Of course things come up and happen, however I have to secure and maintain the training space and this allows us to keep running. If students never showed up, we would not be able to maintain the center.

Please be considerate and respectful of other students and your teacher.

RECEIVING CERTIFICATION:

You will be attuned the day of the training, however, as stated above you will not be certified until you complete the following criteria:

  • Completed Reading of Shipiden Book Bundles
  • Complete the 21-day Detox
  • Complete the 40-Day Challenge
  • Complete 10 Hands-on & Distanced Practicum Practice Sessions
  • Complete 10 Practicum Attunements
  • Complete PROJECT: 50 Random Acts of Kindness & Gratitude, includes 3 Peace Vigil Walks
  • Complete PROJECT: Sacred Retreat
  • Complete Individual Reiki Vows
  • Complete all 13 Reiki Dharma Seminars (See above for course list)
  • Complete Oral Presentation (10 Question Final Exam)
    Study Guide will be provided.

Students are expected to practice Reiki daily, obey the Five Principles, make an effort to live those principles in their daily lives, encourage mental & emotional growth, practice Hatsureiho daily for self-cleansing & spiritual enhancement, and to continue spiritual development by attending regular training seminars to receive extra Rei-ju attunements for cleansing, purification, and to strengthen their abilities to access Reiki.

THIS is also open to any degree practitioner for a tune up/refresher. ((This course is also available as an eCourse)) (*If you are interested in the class/distanced eCourse, message me: http://www.facebook.com/healey.derek )  

COURSE SYLLABUS: The goals for the first day’s training will be that the Student will be able to:

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  1. Explain the meaning of Sensei.
  2. Explain the meaning of Bodhisattva.
  3. Describe the role of the Reiki Master/Teacher.
  4. Explain the intent of Dai-Ko-Myo.
  5. Explain the intent of Raku.
  6. Explain the intent of Tibetan Dai-Ko-Myo.
  7. Explain the intent of Kriya.
  8. Explain the intent of Nin-Giz-Zida.
  9. Describe the applications for the symbols.
  10. Explain the happenings of a Spiritual Upgrade.
  11. Explain the intent of attunements.
  12. Describe the preparation for passing hands-on attunements.
  13. Demonstrate how to pass hands-on attunements.
  14. Apply the hands-on and distanced attunement methods in daily practices.
  15. Describe the process for sacred space, sacred object, and healing attunements.
  16. Explain the significance for Reiki Certificates.
  17. Explain the significance of good Reiki reference materials.
  18. Explain the significance of charging for Reiki classes.
  19. Explain the importance of being prepared when learning/teaching Reiki.
  20. Explain the importance of sharing when learning/teaching Reiki.
  21. Explain the importance of letting others share when learning/teaching Reiki.
  22. Explain the importance of taking lots of breaks when learning/teaching Reiki.
  23. Explain the importance of drinking lots of water while learning/teaching Reiki.
  24. Explain the importance of knowing one’s limits when learning/teaching Reiki.
  25. Explain the importance of relaxing and having fun when learning/teaching Reiki.
  26. Define miracle as it applies to Reiki healers.
  27. Describe the practice of Imagery in Healing.
  28. Describe the practice of Reiki Shamanism.
  29. Explain the meaning of Lightworker.
  30. Explain how the human heart is a source of intelligence.
  31. Define Spiritual Avatar.
  32. Explain how Reiki is a part of planetary healing.
  33. Apply the Unified Heart technique in daily practice.
  34. And SO MUCH MORE…

Learning to become a Master is a process. It takes time, dedication, and diligence. It takes patience of the Self and of the world. Every student in my opinion is a Master-in-Training. Everyone is a Master and my students are just as much my own Teachers as I am theirs! Once again students are asked to develop their personal practice before moving on to the Fourth Level of Shihan Secret Teachings. (COMING SOON!)

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150th Birthday of Usui Sensei

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In honour of Dr. Mikao Usui.

It isn’t every day that you get to turn one-hundred and fifty.

You fasted, you reached enlightenment, then stubbed your toe, and became the teacher of us all.

So many people are honouring you tonight, but all I can do is chuckle at the fact we only have two images of you, and let’s face it, the one not on my altar tonight is the one I like the very best because it makes you look oh-so pregnant.

Like seriously, watermelon sized pregnant. Like 9 months extended and ready to pop!

I say this humbly because I know you and I have that kind of relationship. You poke fun at me, and I poke fun of you; but seriously Sensei, some days I wonder if you took the Buddha’s teaching of “nothing survives without food,” a tad bit too seriously.

The fact of the matter is, there was no waist-watcher’s in the 1920’s but I guess we all know how you survived for 21-days up on that mountain, or what patterns you either resumed or created once you came back down.

All jokes aside though, we do honour you tonight. You have offered so much wisdom over the past 150 years, and we would all be remiss if we didn’t. So, my birthday present to you is as such since you so very much loved waka poetry:

Not everyone dies quietly, some go out with a laugh.
Not everyone dies longingly, some go out with a fight.
Not everyone dies honourably, some go with a bed pan underneath their bottom.
Not everyone dies gracefully, some go as you went:
with comfort, a full heart, and of course
a pair of worn chopsticks somewhere nearby.

Merry birthday to you and that Buddha Belly.
May you continue to inspire us all as the years go by.
Gassho,
Gyōshō,
Keibyaku (with humility)
Your number one fan,
Healey Sensei, “Derek-san”

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Reiki Holidays

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I’ve been meditating on Reiki Holidays for some time now. Like any path, or philosophy, there are specific cultural holidays and festivals that keep the spirit alive. I have added the following list of observable holidays that anyone wishing to strengthen and deepen their Reiki Practices can choose to do.

For the longest time, I have been gathering people together during moon days, equinoxes, and solstices. These I feel are observances that are so under appreciated! They ground us in the natural world, which keeps our energies grounded and in tune with not only nature herself, but the global energy climate and system as a whole. These moments and more, are doorways for us to tap into the collective pool of energy and see how we are impacted, and paradoxically (if we are clever) moments in which we can tap in ourselves to impact the world for the better.

These are all great opportunities to strengthen not only your own intuition, but also wonderful opportunities to strengthen your Sangha, or spiritual community. During these moments we come together to share stories, to hold Reiju Healing Circles, and heal our communities. By gifting ourselves with these moments we succeed in keeping our spiritual wells full and overflowing with energy. As healers, we MUST take and make the time for these very important self-care gatherings.

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Uposatha (Observance Days) – The four monthly holy days which continue to be observed in Theravada countries – the new moon (Shingetsu), full moon (Mangetsu), and quarter moon days. Tsukimi are Full Moon Viewing Parties to reflect on the beauty of the moon, drink tea/sake, listen to koto music, and recite waka poetry.

1 January – Oshogatsu or Shogatsu (Shinto New Year) – Shintoists consider this holiday one of the most popular celebrations, where many shrine visits take place.

7 January – Koshogatsu – This is the Shinto rite to honor Goddess Izanami, partner of God Izanagi. Together they created the Nature and the Kami (cosmic energies) as the Shintos believe.

3 February – Rissun (Setsubun) – This day when the Shinto community celebrates the beginning of Spring. Traditional celebrations include throwing of beans at the Shrines. The priests throw lucky beans towards the gathering while the people who assemble there attempt to catch them. At homes, the eldest male member is supposed to throw around roasted beans which is believed to send away demons and welcome good luck.

17 February – Toshigoi – This is the Shinto rite to honor Kami and to offer prayers so that they are blessed with a bountiful rice harvest.

March – Avalokitesvara’s Birthday (Kuan Yin) – This is a festival which celebrates the Bodhisattva ideal represented by Avalokitesvara. Who represents the perfection of compassion in the Mahayana traditions of Tibet and China. It occurs on the full moon day in March.

3 March – Hina-matsuri (Festival of Dolls or Girls’ Day) – This is the day when girls are honored. Prayers are offered for the health and the well beings of young girls. It is a common tradition for families with little girls to decorate a multilevel podium covering it with red carpet ad placing ornamental dolls on it as per the tradition of hierarchy. Offers like rice cakes, peach blossoms etc are put before them.

9 March 1926 – Usui Sensei’s Deathday – A time to honour Usui and his wonderful legacy.

cherry

21 March – Shubun-sai (Spring Equinox) – This is the day when the Shinto community embrace fresh new spirits. The homes are given a thorough spring cleaning. People often visit the cemeteries of their ancestors and pay homage and leave fresh flowers as a mark of remembrance. This is also the beginning of the National Cherry Blossom Festival which lasts until April 17th in Washington D.C.

April 1922 – Usui Sensei Opens Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai (Usui Reiki Healing Method Society), his first school/clinic in Harajuku Tokyo.

May – Vesak or Visakah Puja (Buddha Day) Traditionally, Buddha’s Birthday is known as Vesak or Visakah Puja (Buddha’s Birthday Celebrations). Vesak is the major Buddhist festival of the year as it celebrates the birth, enlightenment and death of the Buddha on the one day, the first full moon day in May, except in a leap year when the festival is held in June.

30 June – Oharai/ Grand Purification Festival – This is the Shinto rite of exorcising evil from the world. Devotees are cleansed and purified from offenses committed.

sunrise

21 June – Geshi (Summer Solstice) – Morning misogi done in the Pacific. It is timed to coincide with sunrise on the year’s longest day. Participants dress in white

13 July – Ulambana/ Obon – Beginning on the thirteenth of July and lasting for three days, which celebrates the reunion of family ancestors with the living.

6 August 1945 – Hiroshima Day – The day of ceremony to commemorate the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

15 August 1865 – Usui Sensei’s Birthday – A wonderful chance to come together and celebrate the teachings of Usui Sensei.

1 September 1923 – Great Kanto Earthquake

japanese maple

21 September – International Day of Peace & Shuki kōreisai (Autumn Equinox) A day of gratitude and thanks for a good harvest.

8 October – Gandhi Jayanti (Gandhi’s Birthday) – Gandhi Jayanti is marked by prayer services and tributes all over India, especially at Raj Ghat, Gandhi’s memorial in New Delhi where he was cremated. Themes of glorifying peace, non-violence and Gandhi’s effort in Indian Freedom Struggle. Gandhi’s favourite bhajan (Hindu devotional song), Raghupathi Raghava Rajaram, is usually sung in his memory

November – Loy Krathong (Festival of Floating Bowls) – At the end of the Kathin Festival season, when the rivers and canals are full of water, the Loy Krathong Festival takes place in all parts of Thailand on the full moon night of the Twelfth Lunar month (November in western calendars). People bring bowls made of leaves (which contain flowers) candles and incense sticks, and float them in the water. As they go, all bad luck is suppose to disappear. The traditional practice of Loy Krathong was meant to pay homage to the holy footprint of the Buddha on the beach of the Namada River in India.

23 November – Niinamesei (Labor Thanksgiving Day) – This national holiday takes place in Japan and was originally meant as a harvest festival, allowing people to appreciate their harvest and have a chance to share in the joy with Kami.

8 December – Bodhi Day (Enlightenment Day) – Bodhi Day honours the enlightenment of Siddhartha Gautama — the Buddha. Buddhists observe the importance of this event by celebrating Bodhi Day usually on the eighth of December. The day is observed in many ways, including prayer, meditation and teachings.

winter

21 December – Shunki kōreisai (Grand Ceremony of the Winter Solstice) – This day marks the end of the sun’s decline (the yin period) and the beginning of its growth (the yang period). In Japanese spirituality, the sun is expressive of Amaterasu Omikami, the sun goddess and guiding spirit of the Japanese people.