What to do when Reiki finds you

This article appeared in the December 2003 issue of Innerchange Magazine
One of the most amazing things about Reiki or the Usui Method of Natural Healing is that it always manages to find us at just the right moment! We all know the adage, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” In fact, all of us have probably had the experience of a teacher coming into our lives precisely when we needed what she or he had to offer. But what about “When the student is ready, the healing modality appears”?

Reiki has a magical way of finding those of us who need healing (Ahem, that would be all of us!) and those of us who are consciously or unconsciously on a spiritual path. In fact, beginning to learn Reiki can feel like going through a slow, beautiful awakening as your whole being—mind, body, and spirit—responds to this loving, powerful energy.

Simply translated, the Japanese word, “Reiki,” means “universal life force energy.” Yet the foreignness of the word can be daunting. I know I was completely intimidated by Reiki when I first heard about it. I was at a potluck at the Unity Church years ago, and a woman there offered me some of this strange stuff called “Reiki” for my menstrual cramps. I assure you that I moved as far away as possible from her because I thought hands-on healing sounded pretty darn weird and I was definitely not willing to be a Reiki guinea pig.

Now I am sure the Universe is chortling, amused that I have been practicing Reiki daily for over a decade and teaching it as a Reiki Master for more than eight years. How did that happen? To make a long story very brief, I had a serious car accident in which my old, virtually indestructible Volvo was totaled and I suffered a double whiplash. Because I was out of town at a poetry conference and didn’t want to be doped up on pain medications all weekend, I let the wife of my former poetry professor (a Reiki Level II Practitioner) do a treatment on me.

The results were wondrous! I did not have to take any more medicine, and by the time I returned (without my dear departed old Volvo) to Chapel Hill, I vowed to explore the pain relief method I had experienced. Shortly thereafter, I took my Reiki Level I training, and then followed that later with Reiki Level II and Mastership. Within two years, I was a full-fledged Reiki Master and had some seven hundred and twenty Reiki self treatments under my belt as well as many other treatments on animals, people, car batteries, and even my computer. (Yes, Reiki does work on electronics!)

Now, Reiki goes with me everywhere like a beloved companion. Somehow, I’m always seated beside a Reiki person in a crowded room. She or he might be a Reiki Master or someone who has just had a Reiki treatment or someone who wants to know more about Reiki. This happens no matter where I am: the gym, a lecture, even Wal-Mart. Somehow, Reiki always brings us together with others on a similar path. That’s the way Reiki works. It is a way of living and raising your vibrational level so that you attract what you need while also drawing to you people who can benefit from what you offer.

Over this last decade, I can tell you a number of incredible stories about how people have found Reiki, or rather, how it has found them. For example, there was the woman who happened to look at the Reiki manuals I was photocopying at Kinko’s and told me she’d just been on the phone with a friend. They had been discussing Reiki as a treatment option for her friend who had a fibroid tumor in her breast. Or there’s the person who saw my name listed as the only Reiki practitioner in a publication and then called to sign up for a Reiki Level I class. She later looked back in the same publication, and this time, there were a handful of Reiki practitioners; yet she had only seen my listing before. Later we discovered a half dozen commonalties that made it clear why Reiki had drawn the two of us together.

Yet another time, one of my academic colleagues at UNC asked me, out of nowhere, “Have you ever heard of Reiki?” We had never discussed Reiki nor did she have any idea that I was a Reiki Master. (This was long before I started my business and advertised.) Of course, we were both delighted that I could provide some answers to her questions and point her to some good books on Reiki.

Another student happened on a flyer of mine in a town some three hours away from here. How the flyer got there I still have no idea since I never took it there nor did I have any clients or students in that town or even near that town. Evidently, Reiki even does air mail!

The point of these stories is that Reiki and the right Reiki teacher will usually find you, particularly if you have set your intent on healing yourself and others. As a final powerful example, I offer this story. In a business workshop, I met a fellow who owns a bicycle courier service. When he found out I teach and practice Reiki, he told me one of his employees was interested in it. I gave him my card to give to the employee and forgot all about it..

Then one day after I had gone to the gym and was a sweaty, stinky mess, I clearly got the guidance that I needed to go to the bank. I tried all manner of excuses to get out of it: “I don’t have any reason to go to the bank today,” “I can wait till next week,” even, “I smell bad.” Yet I couldn’t shake the feeling that I had to go.

I went, and there in front of my bank was a fellow on a bicycle with a package, chatting with a friend and wearing this courier company’s signature shirt. Yes, you guessed it. This was the employee who was interested in learning about Reiki and who worked for the man I had met in a business workshop months before.

Of course, as the Universe would have it, I had a Reiki Level I class coming up that very Saturday, and there was just one space still open in the class. Todd, the employee, filled it since the timing of the class was perfect for him, and he obtained his Reiki I certification.

What do you do to help Reiki find you? Just be aware. Once you learn a little something about Reiki and its many uses, somehow it just keeps popping up in front of you. Notice the people you meet, notice flyers on bulletin boards, notice books that fall off the shelves in bookstores, right in front of you. (I’m not kidding; this has happened to a number of people, including me.)

Reiki is such a powerful energy that it is bound to attract those of us who are meant to work, play, and live with it! If you keep your eyes and ears open, along with your heart and mind, Reiki or another appropriate form of energy healing will find you. You will know it is time to take Reiki when your curiosity is aroused and Reiki keeps making appearances in your life. Like me, once you’ve had enough signs from the Universe (and hopefully signs that are not as dramatic as my accident), you will be ready and you will know, deep inside, that Reiki is for you. Then it is only a matter of time before the teacher appears, standing behind you in the grocery store line, doing yoga with you at the gym, or on a business card you find tucked in a book in a place miles away from where you live. Your teacher will have been expecting you and will be so glad you’ve arrived to experience the wonderful healing love and power that is Reiki! 

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