by William Lee Rand
In 1981, I first learned of Reiki and began experiencing its miraculous power. Since that time many changes have taken place in my life that were brought about by my association with this wonderful energy. In fact, in looking back to that time, I can clearly see the role it played in placing me firmly on my spiritual path and leading me on a journey into greater levels of peace, happiness, and fulfillment. It has guided me in so many ways, helping me progressively strengthen my connection to the spiritual world as well as develop my ability as a writer, teacher, and healer. It has also taken me on adventures literally to the ends of the earth and saved my life in a dramatic way that is certainly a tribute to the healing power of Reiki and the way it unites so many people to help others.
I became interested in metaphysics in high school and decided I wanted to learn as much as possible. Over a period of 20 years or so, I studied and became a practitioner of hypnotherapy, astrology, past life regression therapy, rebirthing, and Neuro Linguistic Programming. While living in Hawaii, I worked with a Kahuna as his astrologer and did readings for his clients.
It was in a rebirthing class held on the Big Island of Hawaii that I first heard of Reiki. In the class a woman asked to talk to the group during one of our extended breaks. Her name was Bethel Phaigh and she was a Reiki teacher. I was fascinated by the idea that the ability to do Reiki is transferred to the student rather than being something the student develops. Yet I was skeptical. I wondered if the attunement actually did anything energetic or if it was an empty ritual that simply gave people permission to use the healing ability they already had.
During the attunement I was aware of an energy entering my crown and going down to the root chakra. Then I felt energy push out the heart chakra, and I could actually see small glowing chunks of something being blown out and felt that the heart chakra was being opened and a block was being released. When this happened, I knew Reiki was real and that I had discovered something very special.
The results that came from giving sessions to others and myself further validated Reiki, and a year later I received Reiki II training. I considered the teacher training (also called Master training), but the fee was too high and so didn’t consider it to be part of my spiritual path.
Reiki has a way of connecting us more strongly to the Source and in so doing providing a much clearer form of guidance. Realizing this I began taking my life more seriously and decided that with the help of Reiki I’d focus on pursuing my spiritual purpose. I began saying a prayer with conviction each day, “Guide me and heal me so that I might be of greater service to others.”
Things began to change. I loved Hawaii and planned to remain there the rest of my life. But when we make a commitment to follow our spiritual path, we must sometimes do things that don’t go along with what we think we want.
I ended up leaving Hawaii, living in California awhile, and moving in with my parents in Detroit for a short time. I had a dream of being a workshop leader and traveling around giving workshops. I planned to develop my own style of personal development, and never thought I’d be a Reiki teacher. However, when we’ve made a commitment to our spiritual path, sometimes we end up doing things we hadn’t planned. In March 1989, I took the Reiki teacher training and taught my first class in June of that year.
My teaching practice developed quickly and while teaching my first class in another town, I suddenly realized that I was living my dream; I was a workshop leader, and I was traveling and teaching! I was overwhelmed with joy!
I was also able to look back to the moment I had been initiated into Reiki and see that I had been guided step by step to be a Reiki teacher, even though I had thought it wasn’t part of my spiritual path!
After I became a Reiki teacher, and accepted the fact that as far as my spiritual path was concerned, I belonged in the Detroit area, my life began getting better and better. As my career continued to develop, I ended up traveling all over the world teaching Reiki classes, wrote several Reiki books, and published a Reiki magazine. I also traveled to both the North and South Poles as well as to Jerusalem to place World Peace Crystal Grids.
Then at the end of 2003, while dancing at a New Years Eve party I was hosting at my home, I felt a pain behind my heart. At first I thought it must be a rib that had come out of place, as I had been having problems with my upper back. I kept dancing, but the pain worsened and I began to feel a physical weakness that made me think it could be something more serious. I went to get some water and lie down for a few moments. The pain quickly spread around to the front of the heart and I also felt a pain in my jaw and down my left arm. My whole body was in trauma. I went back to the dance floor bent over with pain and asked a couple of friends to take me to the hospital.
I entered the New Year having a heart attack in the hospital emergency room. I had a blood clot in the heart, and it took them a long time to find the right thrombolytic agent to dissolve it. I was also told that the pain I was feeling was the pain of the heart muscle dying.
The two people who took me to the hospital had been giving me Reiki on the way. On learning of my situation, my friends at the party began sending Reiki, praying, and drumming for me. I gave myself Reiki as well and from the very beginning maintained a positive, upbeat attitude–even inviting the ER people to go back to my party when they got off work. I knew that regardless of the severity of the problem, Reiki would heal me and that this would turn into a positive experience.
I was transferred to another hospital to have a heart catheterization the next day. In the mean time, a cardiologist came in with a surprised look on his face. He told me my troponin level was off the chart and that indicated I had had a massive heart attack. He was surprised that I was sitting up in bed, smiling and in a good mood. Troponin is an enzyme that’s released when muscle cells die and is used as an indicator of the extent of heart damage. While the heart catheterization indicated that my arteries were not blocked and I didn’t need a stent or angioplasty, my heart function had been seriously diminished. Afterwards when visiting my cardiologist, he too indicated the seriousness of my heart attack, but apparently not wanting to scare me too much termed it as a “mildly” massive heart attack.
The seriousness of my situation was made real for me when I got home. My vitality was very low and I felt close to death. I could hardly walk and had to spend most of the time lying on the couch. It was difficult to speak and even thinking was at times too much. If I even thought about exercise, a life threatening feeling of danger would come over me and I’d have to stop. When I wasn’t sleeping, I found it best to simply focus on peace.
My heart was emotionally sensitive and very fragile. To feel any kind of feelings was very draining. Conversations with others or even their presence in the room drained me.
The amount of energy my friends who came to visit me had amazed me. How easily they spoke and expressed themselves. I wanted to reach out to them and explain how fortunate they were to be alive and to have so much energy and to be able to freely express themselves so easily, but I was unable to do so. I was too weak.
Another experience I had was during the catheterization. During the procedure, they were taking motion picture x-rays, and I could see my heart beating in real time. This moved me deeply. My heart was there, beating away, keeping me alive even after being so injured. A tremendous feeling of gratitude swept through me.
And there was something even more meaningful than this. I felt how grateful the heart is for the gift of life. And that it was this gratefulness that was actually keeping the heart alive. It’s gratefulness that keeps the door of life open.
While in the hospital I had a friend bring my laptop computer and was able to go online. I sent a simple request to my Reiki email list: “I’ve just had a heart attack, please send Reiki.”
Although we didn’t ask for it, 3,500 people replied to the request saying they would send Reiki. Many of these placed me on their healing request lists and we estimated that there were likely 5,000 to10,000 people sending Reiki to my heart. In addition, after I got home, I began receiving many hands-on Reiki treatments each week with several practitioners each session.
When I looked psychically, I could see that I was at the center of a giant ball of light at least 20 feet or so in diameter. While I remained weak at first, my spirits were always high, and I knew I would fully recover. The only question was how long would it take?
I got a little stronger each day. Over time it added up and soon I was able to venture outside. I began walking very slowly around the driveway. At first I could walk just one lap before feeling tired, but then gradually I could walk further until I was walking three or four times around the driveway. Eventually I was able to walk a quarter mile and dreamed of being able to walk a whole mile.
On February 3, I went for a treadmill stress test and echocardiogram to determine the extent of the heart damage. I was hesitant, not wanting to over stress my heart during the test, but the tests seemed to go well. I received the results the following week and they looked amazing. There was no detectable heart damage!
I went from having a massive heart attack to no detectable damage in less than five weeks! I was overjoyed. I can only attribute this to the love, prayers, and Reiki sent by so many people.
While my heart had healed, I was still weak, but gradually got stronger. Soon I was back walking the four miles a day I had been walking before the heart attack. I was also able to teach most of my scheduled classes. When I went to Norway, that summer I was able to climb the mountains I had dreamed of being able to climb when I was so weak. I had fully recovered!
I’m ever so grateful for the gift of life and the gift of Reiki.
Excerpt from Reiki The Healing Touch workbook.