by Natalia Pisetskaya
About a year ago, I was attending a group meditation, after which a woman approached me and asked, "Do you practice Reiki?" She went on to say that her husband had been diagnosed with cancer and she thought that Reiki would be helpful in his case. While I was happy to answer "yes" to her inquiry, on the way home, I thought about what it means to me to have a Reiki practice. Where and how do I practice it?
When I say "I practice Reiki" I do not necessarily mean that I only practice Reiki on someone else. Doing this is an extension of my own daily Reiki practice, a very natural act of sharing what has become so meaningful to me. Reiki continues to bring peace and harmony into every moment of my life and I am inspired to share it in whatever way it is possible. Reiki session? Yes! Reiki class? Of course! But also, the simplest things: a smile, a word and a silent blessing that flows out with every breath.
Just like most people, I first experienced Reiki as a hands-on treatment that was provided by a friend. Peace came with it. Then after I took my first Reiki class, I was faithfully taking time in the morning and in the evening to find that peace again. Instead of looking for outside sources that could provide comfort, I was empowered to do something myself. Reiki was flowing through my hands, helping me to find safety within. Those times became islands of heaven in the stormy ocean of life. While experiencing the storms, I knew that soon I would approach one of my peaceful islands: I would use Reiki to help me make my journey toward peace. Reiki became my companion and my guide.
Eventually, consistency of my own hands-on Reiki practice and my inner commitment to carry Reiki with me started creating a different reality for me. The after-effects of Reiki started to last longer, and while I would be experiencing stresses of life on the surface, I would notice that I would not be fully caught up in it. There was a part of me that had nothing to do with it. The inner part of me "wanted to stay relaxed" and to retain the state of peace while the outer body was experiencing a fight-or-flight response and immediately wanted to overreact.
I started noticing that some of my attention was always monitoring my internal state, and I was ready to release anything that would begin to obstruct the flow of peace. Reiki, which allowed me to experience a harmonious flow of energy within in the first place, was teaching me to surrender to the principle of flow at all times and in all places. It is by the virtue of its flowing nature that Reiki relieves us from discomfort. It removes unease and tension that might otherwise be locked in the body for years creating harmful consequences.
There are so many times in our interactions when we feel that fight-or-flight response being activated within us. Here are the familiar signs: defensiveness, the need to prove that we are right, judgment regarding someone else's behavior and extreme discomfort in the body that accompanies all of this. The snowball of mental interpretations starts to roll and, if we are not watchful, we could be pulled to do exactly what it feels like: either to fight or to flee. Unfortunately, in that state we are unable to make the right decision as we are compelled to simply follow the urge to do something. Usually this is based on unresolved emotional issues from the past being triggered by current events that have nothing to do with what is happening in the present.
Neutralizing the fight-or-flight response is a necessary first step. Restoring the flow is vital and that is why we call on Reiki. As we do this, Reiki heals the unresolved issue and frees us to be fully present. Our hands-on daily Reiki practice creates the momentum for this process, but then we must step into every moment with full confidence that Reiki is there to support us and help us heal. It is then we start to experience the inflow of Reiki that seems to come from our very center, bringing peace and comfort to the body and mind. It is out of that flow that the right action comes, and it comes in a natural, organic way as Reiki provides us with all of the resources we need.
Without realizing it, some of us spend an enormous amount of energy on trying to make sure others see us in the right way and on trying to force a particular outcome. With Reiki it is so simple: without reasoning, we notice discomfort and … release it! Without trying to defend ourselves, we simply put ourselves into alignment with the flow of Reiki. What does it take to be able to do that? Just one breath. Let's do it now: Breathe out and then allow the next breath to flow in. Invite Reiki to help you, to free you, to guide you, and the most important thing—be open to receive.
By turning to Reiki right away, you will notice how centered you feel and you will able to respond in the right way. Sometimes no action or word is even needed, and what was perceived as a conflict a moment ago becomes something that is being resolved by itself. The flow of Reiki is very powerful! It does not work just on you exclusively. Yes, it can be brought into the situation through you, but it will work on everyone involved. Reiki is always about the most harmonious outcome for all involved and that is what you will see manifested.
What I am describing is a very powerful Reiki practice. During this practice you will be saved in each and every moment. You will notice that Reiki goes with you and you can always count on its grace. As you start practicing Reiki moment by moment, it will become easier and easier every time. Eventually, it will become your first, almost automatic response: You will put yourself in alignment with Reiki and then see in what way guidance comes to you. You will wonder, "Why did I complicate my life so much earlier? Why did I choose to assign blame? Why did I need to prove that I was right? After all, I am just a human being, who can be wrong too." It is so much easier to delegate the work to Reiki that has no ego to complicate matters and can lovingly embrace all of us, showing us the way out of the madness we collectively create.
So what is possible for our Reiki practice and where do we practice it? Reiki is a practice of alignment, and we can practice it every moment. Reiki is that deeper current that connects us with the infinite wisdom and power. When we find that connection within us, we feel enormous support of invisible, but very real forces of light. We ask Reiki for guidance and support in any and every situation, and we receive immediate response.
If you are just beginning to explore Reiki, you have much to look forward to. Hands-on self-Reiki done each day is actually just the beginning. It is a necessary starting point of reminding the body what it feels like to be at peace, what it feels like to experience joy, what it feels like to be free to breathe and to be free to live. Then as we open to what is possible, the practice expands to include every moment, so that each moment becomes the moment of peace.
This article appears in the Winter 2011 issue of Reiki News Magazine.