Pathways to Harmony
Our Newsletter...Summer 2013
Welcome to the Summer 2013 edition of the Pathways to Harmony Newsletter!
In our Pathways' Newsletters, Bonnie and Bob will bring you news, tips, and new original articles to enhance your practice and understanding of Reiki.
To see past issues, follow the links at the end of this page.
In this issue:
The Power of Non-Action
Original article by Reiki Master Bob McGrath
Memories, Pressed Between the Pages
Original article by Reiki Master Bonnie Fredrick
Fall Class Offerings: We have now scheduled our Fall 2013 Level I and II Reiki classes. We will be teaching Level I on Saturday, September 7 and Level II on Sunday, September 8. Both classes will be held at our Clifton Park studio and will run from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM each day. The cost is $100 for Level I and $150 for Level II. The cost of the textbook and all materials is included. Students will receive a certificate noting their level of training allowing them to practice Reiki both personally and professionally.
If you want to reserve a spot in these classes, contact Bob as soon as possible. To make the best possible class experience, we limit class size to just 8 students and the seats fill up quickly so if it's time for you to get your training, email Bob today: "firstname.lastname@example.org".
Free Reiki! Don't miss out! The first Friday of every month, we offer Free Reiki at Venture Inward. Upcoming dates are August 2nd, September 6th and October 4th, always at 6 PM. The Reiki hour from 6-7 PM is free. If you want to stay for Marge's wonderful psychic circle from 7-9:30 PM, it's a steal at just $10! We look forward to seeing you there!
Important Note: There will NOT be an August Reiki Share due to vacation, but be sure to mark your calendars for September 17th and October 15th! Those are next our upcoming regular monthly Reiki Share. (Note that there will not be an August Reiki Share this Summer due to vacations!)
We are now holding shares both at our usual spot at Venture Inward in East Greenbush NY and also in Clifton Park for the benefit of our students and practitioners in the northern part of the Capital District.
Both sessions will run on the same times and dates. Bob facilitates the East Greenbush group and Bonnie facilitates the Clifton Park group.
These Reiki Share sessions are open to practitioners of ALL levels.
The monthly Reiki Shares, always the 3rd Tuesday of the month (except for August), will run from 6:30-8:30 PM and each practitioner will have the opportunity to GIVE a Reiki session for an hour, and to also RECEIVE Reiki healing for an hour.
We ask only a $5 donation to pay for the use of the studio (heat, lights, etc). These are not about money…they are about maintaining and improving your health and well being and your skills as a Reiki healer.
If you’re planning to attend, please do a quick reply to this message so we have an idea of how many tables to set up. Let us know which site you'll be attending.
For each paid student you refer to any Pathways to Harmony Reiki training class, you can choose any one of the following three rewards as our way of showing gratitude:
Enjoy a $25 discount on your choice of any future class we offer
We will give you a $20 cash reward
Schedule a FREE one hour Reiki session for yourself ($50 value!)
Or host a class with at least 4 paid students and receive the class and certification for yourself completely free!
Call for details or with any questions. 518-312-1570.
by: Pathways co-founder Bob McGrath
This past weekend I stopped by a small local farmer’s market to pick up my supply of fresh veggies for the week. One of the non-food vendors was a young couple selling some really interesting hand-made articles of interest to energy workers.
As I was browsing their offerings, the young man asked me if I did energy work and that of course turned into a discussion on Reiki. After I told him that I was trained at the Master level and had an active teaching practice, he seemed unusually interested in trying to validate my lineage and knowledge level with a series of questions.
His first question showed me that he carried a misconception that is very common among energy practitioners. He asked me what type of Reiki I had studied…Usui or Karuna? He seemed a bit surprised when I pointed out that they are not different forms of Reiki and that, in fact, a student must attain the Master level of Usui Reiki before learning and being attuned to the Karuna symbols. The two systems are not independent and do not stand alone.
Karuna Reiki is an extension of an Usui Master’s practice which was developed by William Lee Rand and makes use of an assortment of additional symbols. These symbols each invoke unique vibrations targeting specific conditions, and were compiled from symbols received by some of William’s students during their Reiki practices.
There’s a great book on Karuna Reiki, aptly called “The Book on Karuna Reiki”. It was written by ICRT Reiki Master Teacher Laurelle Gaia who, with her husband Michael Baird, own and operate the Infinite Light Healing Studies Center and Peace Place Gifts in Sedona AZ. I have had the opportunity to meet both Laurelle and Michael since they coordinate the annual Reiki Retreat in Silver Bay on Lake George each year – both are amazing people. As a matter of fact, at one retreat, I took a seminar on Reiki Drumming from Michael – very cool stuff. But I digress…as usual…
Anyway, back to the farmer’s market…
My discussion with this young man became really interesting when William Lee Rand’s name came up. He asked me if I had ever met William and when I told him that William was my Master Teacher and that I counted him among both my friends and trusted mentors, he seemed somewhat taken aback. He went on to tell me that while he had never met William, he had spoken to him on the phone once and had found the experience to be unpleasant.
Knowing William, who is an unbelievably patient, gentle and kind man, I could simply not fathom this so I urged the young man for more details. He told me that as he and his wife were developing their Reiki practice, they had come across students from other schools that were bearing training certificates linking them to William’s lineage to Usui. He had also somehow discovered that these certificates were forged and that their training did not have an ICRT connection and quite possibly their attunements did not even have a true lineage to Usui at all. Having discovered this fraudulent action, he wanted to alert William so that corrective action could be taken to put an end to it.
The young man was quite surprised by William’s reaction, which was quite simply: “So?”
The response did not surprise me. It is what I would have expected William to say, and is exactly what I would have said myself in the same situation.
Now I’m sure that many of my readers don’t understand this. There are a million reasons why this practice should be stopped…why William should be angry and take legal action instead of allowing this fraud to continue.
But the truth is that none of those actions are in the spirit of Reiki, which has its own spiritually guided wisdom and will resolve the situation on its own without human ego or interference. It would serve no purpose to give energy to unethical practice by paying any attention to it. The spirit of Reiki will resolve the issue. Remember and trust rule number one – Reiki can do no harm!
One well known enlightenment which comes from learning Reiki is that students are ALWAYS eventually drawn to the teacher that is right for them. This happened to me personally since I was drawn to re-take Levels I & II after completing my Master training. Any of the students who received fraudulent teaching will be drawn to study again if that is the path that is correct for them, and they will have learned the value of researching their teacher’s credentials, which is quite easy to do through the ICRT Membership Association website.
If a teacher is listed with a Professional ICRT membership, that is a guarantee that their lineage comes through an ICRT licensed teacher and is directly traceable to Mikao Usui. An affiliate membership does not offer the same guarantee since those members studied under non-ICRT teachers. This does not mean that they are necessarily invalid – just that they are not guaranteed or traceable through the ICRT. Many affiliate members are no doubt wonderful and legitimate Reiki teachers and I believe that everyone who is drawn to the healing arts has a desire to do good for humanity.
Back to William’s reaction to the reported fraudulent certificates…
Now I am sure that many people see his inaction differently. The young man I was conversing with saw it as a sign that William’s organization had gotten too big and he had no interest in being bothered with small details like this.
Nothing could be further from the truth. William’s reaction is simply a sign that right down to his very core, he embraces the Reiki ideals and lives them with every breath he takes.
This knowledge is not new but very few ever seem to be able to reach this point on their journey to enlightenment. The entire situation reminds me of a verse from the Tao Te Ching, written sometime between 600 and 300 BC by Taoist sage Lao Tzu, a contemporary of the great philosopher Confucius.
Verse 43 of the “Tao” is one of the shortest of the 81 verses of this remarkable work but also one of the most powerful. It goes like this:
That which offers no resistance
Overcomes the hardest substances
That which offers no resistance
Can enter where there is no space
Few in the world can comprehend
The teaching without words
Or understand the value of non-action
In a later verse, Lao Tzu elaborates more on this concept, reinforcing its value in the quest for enlightenment.
Verse 69 of the “Tao”:
The best warriors
Do not use violence
The best generals
Do not destroy indiscriminately
The best tacticians
Try to avoid confrontation
The best leaders
Become servants of their people
This is called the virtue of non-competition
This is called the power to manage others
This is called attaining harmony within the heavens
So to wrap up my ramblings, I urge you my friends, students and readers, to not be distracted by the actions of others but rather remain focused on your own goal, always moving forward with positive action and loving intentions. The energy you put into the universe along the way will help heal the inequities in the world and make this a much better place!
Bless you all. May your journey be full of wonder and amazement.
Rather than just give you one tip in this issue, we're going to point you to an article by our Master Teacher William Lee Rand titled "The Many Uses of Reiki". In the article, William gives tips on using Reiki to help with many everyday tasks and situations from gardening to cooking to healing insect bites and sunburn to studying, solving problems and many other things. Reading his article will probably inspire you to think of a few new ways of your own to use Reiki. Click here to read it now.
Here's an excellent blog article on the University of Pennsylvania's website explaining how CAM therapies can fit into cancer treatment protocols. Special attention is given to Reiki as a beneficial part of the integrated treatment plan.
by: Pathways co-founder Bonnie Fredrick
I’m sure we all forget something now and then – where we placed the car keys, a loved one’s birthday, the baseball score of a game we just attended or the name of someone we just met, the last 15 minutes driving our regular route home (on autopilot) and so on. Perhaps we were tired at the time, we had other things on our minds, nothing remarkable stood out about the event or we may not have cared whether we remember or not. But what if we eventually find the keys in the freezer, we don’t remember the name of the loved one with the birthday, we think Mickey Mantle has just moved up from the minors, or on that drive home we can’t remember where we are or how to get home.
I recently read a wonderful book by Lisa Genova called “Just Alice” about a woman who comes to grip with Alzheimer’s Disease, told from her perspective. While Alice is a fictional character, through the author’s extensive research and interviews, Alice personifies the millions of people diagnosed with this devastating condition. As readers we get a glimpse into their minds, a story rarely told that helps us as caregivers, family members and friends to better understand what these people and their families are living with.
Shortly after reading this book, I was contacted by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) out of Atlanta about my willingness to participate in research studies that are collecting health information from folks around the country. Since my professional work is in public health and the studies looked to be legitimate and confidential, I agreed to participate in a number of tests, one of which was memory. In a small room I was quickly flashed cards with unrelated words on each and over a few trials asked to remember as many as I can.It was early evening, I was tired, a bit skeptical as to what to expect with these tests done in a trailer setting, and my memory skills weren’t exactly stellar. This started to really bother me. Is this a sign for things to come? What if I were to get dementia like my mother?
Since reading “Just Alice” and participating in the CDC memory test, I began to give more thought to how Reiki might help those with memory issues. Because of my work with many Hospice patients having Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia as well as memories of what my mom went through in her later years, I did a little research of my own to see if and what has been written to share with you and perhaps incorporate into your sessions.
In the literature I found several studies and articles on the use of Reiki for memory loss, these in particular - Crawford, S.E., Leaver, V.W. & Mahoney, S.D., “Using Reiki to Decrease Memory and Behavior Problems in Mild Cognitive Impairment and Mild Alzheimer’s Disease. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 12(9), 911-913, 2006. “Treating Alzheimer’s Disease with Reiki” by Therese Silva Johnson, and "Reiki's Use in Dementia Patients and for Their Caregivers" by Deborah Bier, PhD. There does seem to be preliminary scientific evidence that Reiki reduces stress, pain, depression and anxiety, and can help Alzheimer’s patients to overcome their cognitive impairment to some degree however it was stated that additional studies are needed to confirm these findings. It should be mentioned that improvements in cognition and behavior came after many weekly sessions.
Authors of other articles mention incorporating Level II symbols - the mental emotional symbol (SHK) as being helpful to use on Alzheimer’s patients or those suffering from memory loss and the power symbol (CR) to help remember where something was placed just by visualizing the symbol and asking to be directed to the missing object.
My article thus far has addressed Reiki and memory loss. It’s also important to note there are folks with good memories who might be suffering from chronic illness, limitations brought on by old age, loss of any kind, traumatic experiences, etc. that may cause them to also exhibit agitation, frustration, anger, fear, or depression at remembering times when life used to be better.
Providing Reiki energy to all of these folks and their caregivers is especially helpful to reduce stress, provide relaxation and promote healing to improve quality of life for everyone involved.
In closing I'd like to share some lyrics of a song I remember both Elvis and the Lettermen singing back in the 60's called "Memories" written by Bill Strange and Mac Davis:
"Memories pressed between the pages of my mind
Memories sweetened thru the ages just like wine
Quiet thoughts come floating down
And settle softly to the ground
Like golden autumn leaves around my feet
I touched them and they burst apart with Sweet memories…"
Reiki blessings and sweet memories,
Well that's it for the Summer 2013 Pathways Newsletter. Have a wonderful month, and we'll see you again this Fall with new tips and articles, and our schedule of Fall class offerings!