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« A Little Trip to see the Calgary | Main | Retreat. Part II. »

Retreat. Part III.

I can't tell you about the Reiki workshops because you don't know the secret handshake code.


Quite an interesting group of people, we all sat around last night and after taking a whack at the heart chakra bowl we said our names and why we're here. Most people are here, apparantly, because they've been led to Sister Eileen somehow. I'm here because of my cat.

Yes, I said that. It's true. During the last few years throughout the daily struggle my life became, I withdrew from everyone, including the internet. My caretaker, touchstone and the one who was there for me through all of it? Cabot. He's not the sort of cat that just sort of hangs around and sleeps like Magpie, Cabot is a little unique in that he needs me just as much as I need him. If 've spent too much time in a day away from him, he paces near wherever I am and talks to me until I lead him to the couch for a little bit of a cuddle. He greets me at the door when I come home. At night, I say, "Bedtime buddy" and he goes directly to the bedroom, hops up on his pillow and waits while I shut off all the lights so we can have a little snuggle before he settles in. I wake up in the middle of the night with him spooned up against me and my arm tucked around and under him. He lays and strokes my face. He's learned quite a few words and to a large degree, I can direct what he does. It's hard to describe all the ways this little animal is as much a part of me as my own arm. I think it may be extremely interesting to follow us around for a day and see how we interact, it's part dog and human, part cat and human, mother and baby and husband and wife, all rolled up in a mishmash of tangled limbs, purrs and conversation.

Now, where was I before the kitty love-fest?

I'm not sure about this reiki thing. I have questions that no one can answer. It's sort of like being back in Sunday school with me and all these fundamental questions seething about in my head and everyone refusing to answer them. Then kicking me out.

Okay, so they didn't kick me out and I haven't questioned anyone's faith. Yet. I mean, we're learning about Universal Life Force Energy here, people and I'm a humanist at heart. I need something more than "you just feel it" and "even if you don't feel it, it's there". I know, I know, I'm being taught energy healing by a nun - so in her eyes, we're dealing with a gift from God and she's been doing it for 17 years and yes, it straightened out her spine from the scoliosis even though the doctors told her nothing could be done. And she spent years dealing with depression and now, she's all good, no drugs, nothing. (Shouldn't nuns be immune to depression? Don't they live inside God's holy light?)

But, something inside me is asking, stridently, that if this is a gift from (lets just call him/her...) the Universe and it's something we all have, why doesn't it work all by itself? Why is the only way that it can be activated is by paying someone who then tells you nothing about it except that after waving their hands about - YOU'VE GOT IT? This isn't 'training' per se, it's an oral tradition handed down by stories, or testimonials or whatever.

And once I've got it, how do I use it? I know there's different schools of thought on the what of it's usage. There's an Usei school and some other guy but those are just the symbols you inscribe in the air - although I don't think you learn symbols in the actual healing until Level II. I do know that the nuns have added a "Christ symbol" only because they asked us whether we wanted it. Sure, what the hell? Throw it in the mix. The more dieties the better, I say.

But the treatment is just me (or whoever) just standing there while you lie down and placing their hands on you. Because, you see, now that I JUST HAVE IT it flows through me and into you. I don't need to turn it on and off. I don't need to do anything special. It just is. And no matter, in theory, where I put my hands, it's like aspirin, it just goes where your body/ mind/ spirit/ soul needs it.

So, if we have friends that are "attenuated" then why not just hang around them for an hour? Why pay someone, if, after all, it's flowing through them at all times and they're just the vessel, it's not like the people who charge for it are directing it in any way or doing anything special? Should I be charging all those people who sit around me on the plane? Cause, you see, now that I've GOT IT, then everyone around me is getting it too. And not paying me. And they should.

Shouldn't they?

The Sister told us that she never felt like she had anything, even though people told her how she made them feel and that until she did the second level, she didn't really believe it was working. But THEN SHE FELT IT. So, you know, even if you feel nothing, it's still THERE. And working. And I can get you to pay me to give it to you.

And the more you use it, in your healing hands, the deeper it gets, the stronger it gets. So you can wave your hands at plants and they'll be healthier. You can THINK energy in someone's direction and even though they're thousands of miles away, they'll GET IT.

Now, I know I'm sounding awfully cynical here and up until my self-treatment and one with my buddy this afternoon, I thought there may be something to it and I was all excited about my attenuation.

We all sat around and the Reiki people stood behind us and made symbols and waved their arms about and then, it was done. We were good. We HAD IT.

And that's about the time I started thinking, hey, wait a second here. I just spent a half hour in guided meditation not in healing. In any meditiation thing I've ever done, you imagine that light is filling you or moving through you and taking all the toxins out or surrounding you in a protective bubble so there was nothing new there. But now it's reiki because I HAVE IT.

And me and my partner just lied there while the other one put their hands on for half an hour. I felt relaxed, sure but....

And what about these people that cry? Or see Christ? Do they just have great imaginations or some previously unknown talent in self-hypnosis?

I'm not sure why I'm questioning this. Am I looking for a lightning bolt from the sky? Is it just not tying into what I believe in? What do I believe in?

I know that I believe the mind is the most powerful thing we've got, in so many ways and on so many levels. I believe that every living thing has an energy of it's own. I believe the nature of that energy is always changing and moving.

Maybe there is a Universal Life Force that I can suddenly now just think about and be tapped into so that it can flow through me.

But after telling Sister Eileen that I was watching during the attenuation she told us that no one, in her 17 years of teaching, had ever admitted to doing that.

And I started to wonder..... just a little.... if we're all playing a big game of the Emperor's New Clothes.

I guess, in the end, it doesn't really matter what my little devil's advocate voices are telling me, because I'VE GOT IT. And I can make you PAY ME FOR IT.

And isn't that just what healing's all about?

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Reader Comments (3)

I'm with you on the slightly cynical view on the whole thing - which comes from my secular, questioning upbringing and scientific education backgound. I like proof. I like evidence. In the absence of those I'll sometimes give in to a very elegant argument. But these 'answers' that don't really answer anything just irritate me.

I agree that the mind is an incredibly powerful tool and if you wholeheartedly believe in something then often there's a physical manifestation of the belief. I just disagree (often) when people say the manifestation comes from 'god' or Gaia or any similar anthropomorphised mystical entity. Even the idea that the Universe 'guides' us I find baffling. It's on one hand incredibly arrogant to think that the infinite universe (or god, whatever) is taking a personal interest in your life; and on the other hand far too self-effacing to think that the successes (or failures) in your life are due to an outside force rather than your own efforts.

Anyway. I can see we're going to have some extremely interesting discussions when you're here!

I wish you were bringing Cabot - I'd dearly love to meet him.
February 14, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterfishboy
Haha, you do make me laugh, Jen. Yep, you got all the weaknesses of the thing, there, right there.

But you also got all its strengths, too.

(What I like about new age hippy shit, is that you don't have to beleive in it for it to work. Least that's what I'm told, so that's what I live by.)

If I wanted to play devil's advocate, I'd say your mind was really busy, your mind is very agile, your mind is good at categorising and questioning.But it doesn't have to be. You can exist without it switched to TOTALLY ON every minute.

I think, if reiki exists, then Cabot has it. And you should pay him for it.
February 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSarsparilla
Loving both those comments. I've just met up with Kat here in Calgary, a blogger whom I've never met face to face and it's gone splendidly. Once I meet Jeff in three weeks then I've just got to get me some 'nessa loving and I think I'll be happy. :)
February 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJen

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