Interviews by Beth Simmons Stapor
Helen Sonobe - Hawaii
Helen Sonobe lives in Hawaii on the Island of Oahu with her husband Ivan who is an engineer and also a Reiki Master. Helen has established Reiki Hawaii, a training and healing arts center. Her main focus is introducing and integrating Reiki into traditional medicine and assisting people with their personal development and well being through Reiki classes and sessions.
Helen’s Reiki journey began about three years ago when a friend’s mother suggested that Helen learn Reiki to help her father through post surgery knee pain. She had no idea what Reiki was until a friend gave her the book, “Reiki The Healing Touch”, and after reading it she knew that she wanted to become a Reiki Master. By April of 1999 Helen was an Usui and Karuna Reiki® Master. She has now fulfilled all the requirements to become a Licensed Teacher with the International Center for Reiki Training.
Helen says that she chose to become a licensed teacher because the Center’s philosophy and purpose coincided with her own. She says that through Reiki she has learned to listen to her intuition and expand her vision of what is possible. Reiki has brought healing into her life for herself, for others, and given her the courage and strength to follow her heart’s desire. Helen felt that by completing the Center’s Licensing program she would have a better understanding of Reiki and be better prepared as a Reiki Master/Teacher to share the teachings of Reiki.
In addition to Reiki, Helen is also a Healing Touch practitioner. She volunteers at a local hospital. Her future vision is to see Reiki Hawaii evolve into a ‘Center for Self-Development”.
Helen leaves us with this thought: “Like a caterpillar who breaks free from its cocoon and emerges as a beautiful butterfly, you too can experience the emergence.”
Marcia Backos - Ohio
Marcia Backos lives in Painesville, Ohio, a small town about 25 miles east of Cleveland. She has two adult children, Eric and Amy. Her professional life other than Reiki finds her as a Program Director for Administrative Assistants and an instructor of English at Bryant & Stratton College in Willoughby Hills. She has been teaching there since 1989. Teaching has been a lifelong career for her.
Marcia was introduced to Reiki through an infant named Sara Rose who was receiving Reiki treatments. She was invited to observe a treatment and knew immediately that she wanted to teach Reiki. She was interested in becoming a Licensed Teacher with the International Center for Reiki Training because they are recognized to offer Continuing Education Credits for Nurses.
Marcia describes teaching Reiki as a wonderful spirit-filled adventure, providing the opportunity to meet new friends and to introduce Reiki into the local area. Her life has been full of experiences that have allowed people to learn ways to help themselves and others through giving and receiving Reiki. Reiki has given focus and direction to her life and provided her a unique way to serve God. Marcia uses prayer in her healing work.
Marcia has had several special experiences using Reiki. Most notable were the three surgeries that she was able to avoid when she had a broken arm, dislocated shoulder and a damaged sinus. Friends in the Reiki community visited daily to give her Reiki and organized a network to send Reiki to her. All the doctors involved were amazed at her rapid healing without surgery and pain medication.
Her future vision includes teaching Reiki to members of the medical community and to continue participating in healing services at local churches. Marcia’s dream is that every family will have at least one Reiki healer available for immediate and long-term healing needs.
When Marcia was asked in her interview if there was anything else that she would like to say in her introduction she responded: “ I would like to acknowledge and bless my Reiki Masters: William Rand, my teacher for all levels; Maryann Budoris, who first introduced me to the wonders of Reiki; and Kathie Lipinski who has been my Mentor through the licensing procedure. I would also like to thank the Director of the Teacher Training Program, Laurelle Gaia, for her patience and support through the training process. Finally, to all my students who have shared time with me since 1995 and encouraged me to follow my licensing dream, I wouldn't’t have succeeded without you”
Laura McGlennon - Scotland & U.K.
Laura Mcglennon is our first European Licensed teacher and she resides in Edinburgh, Scotland. When you meet Laura you instantly feel her warmth. Before Reiki she worked in retail management for 17 years with such companies as “The Body Shop: and “Crabtree & Evelyn”. In all the companies she has worked for there was an emphasis on health. Her job allowed her to travel to different countries including the USA. For the past 2-½ years she has owned and operated the Well Being Centre in Edinburgh where she worked as a Reiki Practitioner and Teacher. During the process of Licensing Laura closed the Centre going into private practice to enable herself the freedom to travel and teach Reiki. Laura is married to Sean and has 2 sons, Jamie and Saleem and 2 Grandsons, Jay (5) and Kai (2 ½).
At a point in her life when Laura was looking for a change Sean suggested she might want to give Reiki a try. She had been interested in complementary therapy and for 10 years had tried many different modalities. Laura says she had been looking on the outside to satisfy an inner yearning. She gave up her jet set career to be on her spiritual path. She made the decision on a Tuesday and took her first Reiki class the following Saturday.
Laura chose to become a licensed teacher with the ICRT because she felt it was important to be aligned with an organization known for its professionalism, good reputation and high standards. Laura said when she read the Center’s Philosophy that it seemed it put her feelings into words, she resonated well with the beliefs and philosophies of the Center. Laura his already promoting Reiki in Scotland appearing on BBC TV’s “Feeling Good” series talking about Reiki.
When asked what her ambition was, “it is to have a private pilot’s license and perhaps to learn skydiving.” So, we would then have a flying Reiki Master! The special Reiki event that happened to her was when Sean, her husband, asked if he could take the Reiki Master Class from Laura for his 40th birthday. It now seemed that events had come full circle from the day he had said , “why not try Reiki!”
Welcome Helen, Marcia and Laura! We are happy you have joined our network of Licensed Teachers, helping us fulfill Dr. Usui’s vision that Reiki would spread around the world.