One evening while I was weeding my shade garden, I heard this haunting, yet soothing music waft over my neighbor’s fence. It was almost trance inducing with its simplicity of tones and sinuous melody. After a few evenings of hearing this, I began to envision a lush, shadowy, exotic garden that could dissipate stress simply by seeing it….and it was right next door…on the other side of that fence. What happened next is a blur to me, but I’m sure it involved me peeking through the wood slats of the fence startling my meditating neighbor, who I barely knew at the time, and embarrassing me.
Probably to ease the awkwardness of the situation, she asked about my gardens, specifically the herbs. Eventually I told her about my new adventure into dream pillow making. I explained how herbs placed in pillows can elicit certain types of dreaming and bring about a more relaxed state when awake. She shared with me information about Reiki and the healing power of crystals and wondered if we couldn’t combine these two gifts of nature. She needed something that could be hand-held and could hold a variety of small stones, yet be comfortable.
We combined the idea of the herbal dream pillow, meant to relax the user and influence dreaming, with crystals and Reiki energy, thus creating the Reiki Healing Pillow. The crystals (preferably smooth, tumbled stones) are held in a pocket on one side of the pillow with a Velcro closure. The pocket allows the user to insert the desired crystals and to change them as needed. The user can then place the pillow on the body, usually a joint, and inhale the relaxing aroma of the herbs. Meanwhile, the Reiki and crystals go to work on the body, helping to release any blockages of energy flow.
Pam had success with the Reiki Healing Pillow the first time she used it with a client. The client found the pillow particularly helpful with a muscular disorder in his face. He mentioned that while he held the pillow to his cheek, the aroma helped him relax, which in turn, aided the flow of Reiki. The crystals also helped to “amplify” the energy.
As for my personal experience, the pillow brought about the calmness of mind needed to channel Reiki. On a good day, it takes me a while to quiet my mind. If my four-year-old son has been in an argumentative and contrary mood, I have a particularly difficult time, and I don’t let go of those feelings easily. Well, I had one such week—not just a day. Finally, I was able to find some time for a much-needed self-Reiki session, giving instructions to my husband that I was not to be disturbed. I couldn’t wait to try out my pillow. No sooner had I begun, than my son bounded into the bedroom. “Can I have Reiki with you Mommy?” he asked. Knowing that this would end up like other attempts (a loss of interest after five full minutes of restless fidgeting), I reluctantly whispered a “yes.” Under these conditions, the pillow served a surprisingly different purpose, one that I was not expecting.
I found that inhaling the pillow immediately sent me to a more serene place. As I kept breathing, I was stilled. Bewildering to me, Ben copied what I did, and he too, calmed. We shared the pillow in this manner, and from our handling it, the area around us was infused with the scent of lavender and mugwort. He eventually lay down with his head on it. We took turns doing this. I also gave him Reiki through the pillow by placing it over his heart. He was in my lap, so my arms were around him. He put his hands there too, and I silently scribed the SHK symbol over his heart and mine. I physically and spiritually felt him accept my apologies, and I his! The pillow was something tangible that he could share with me, and the aroma initiated a relaxed state. Because it was charged with Reiki, the pillow aided in opening our hearts to forgive one another. Ben said that pillow smelled like love. He even found the pillow the next morning and snuggled with it during his morning routine. Since then he has kept it in his bed. Interestingly, on numerous occasions I had tried using a dream pillow in his room, but he never liked it!
Of course, the Reiki Healing Pillow can also be used as a dream pillow. Simply slip it inside your pillowcase and as your head rolls over the pillow the herbs will be gently crushed releasing their therapeutic aromas. Depending on the herbal and stone combinations, you can influence the type or “feel” of your dreams. Need help with obtaining a goal? Write your goal or prayer on a small slip of paper and then insert it into the pocket with the stone. Then think about this goal and the action needed for it to come to fruition as you drift off to sleep and who knows? Maybe your dreams will come true!(1) Placing the HSZSN symbol on the pillow, with the intention of influencing your dreams or goals, would be beneficial to achieving results.So how do you get started? I have provided a framework for how to sew one. If you are familiar with a sewing machine, these instructions are simple. If you are not, take the instructions to someone who does, and he or she will have it made for you in about five minutes. To make the pillow, you will need basic sewing knowledge and two pieces of fabric. Cut a piece of fabric into a 6-inch by 12-inch rectangle. Cut a second piece, the pocket, into a 6-inch by 6-inch square. Sew a narrow hem along one side of the pocket; turn each of the remaining three sides under about 1/4 inch and press. Place the pocket over one end of the rectangle with the wrong side of the pocket fabric facing the right side of the rectangle. (diagram 1) Attach a small Velcro closure on the inside of the top edge of the pocket that you hemmed. Sew the remaining three sides of the pocket to the rectangle. You should now have half of the rectangle covered with the pocket. Then, fold the rectangle so that the right sides face each other (the pocket will be hidden from view). You should now have a square. Sew along two of the open edges. (diagram 2) Turn right sides out. The pocket should now be on the outside again. Through the only remaining open side, stuff your pillow with no more than 3/4 cup of dried herbs and any other filler you desire. Fiberfil, flaxseed, rice, or buckwheat hulls make good fillers. Don’t overstuff the pillow, as you want it to be somewhat flat, just an inch or two thick. Fold the edges of the open sides down just a bit and stitch closed. (diagram 3) Place any stones you choose into the remaining pocket and secure with Velcro.
Which dried herbs should you use? One herb we use is lavender, but I like to make a blend of herbs to intensify the relaxation and offer an aroma not commonly found in a store. Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris), known for its relaxing properties and effects on dreaming, blends nicely with lavender. Chamomile lends a nice aroma, but allergy sufferers might have a reaction to it. For an added benefit, I give my seedlings Reiki as they grow, and again when I use the herbs dried. The pillow itself should be charged with Reiki upon completion.As for the stones, Pam says a good stone to start with, especially paired with lavender, is Celestite. It is an intriguing blue stone, sparkling with little stars within its depths. Celestite offers a gentle, soothing vibration. Some say it attracts angels. There are many resources available online and at your library regarding the history and uses of herbs, dream pillows, as well as crystals. The same goes for purchasing these items—try online if no local sources are available to you.
Think about what a wonderful gift this would make! Choose a fabric specific to the person, be it gender, age or passions. A child could be told that this is a magic pillow that will ward off those monsters in the closet.
I encourage you to make friends with a gardening neighbor or to ask a neighbor about all those colorful, sparkling rocks around their house. After all, this is how I met Pam; from that event a friendship developed, and she has attuned me through Reiki II. Just be sure you use better social graces than I did!
1 For a detailed explanation of dream pillows, read Jim Long’s Making Herbal Dream Pillows (Storey Books, 1998).
This article appeared in the Summer 2009 issue of Reiki News Magazine.