Reiki, Rattle and Roll

by Linda Gnat-Mullin

It is a misty gray and golden autumn afternoon early in this century, and I am with my Reiki Master, the esteemed Marifran O’Neil, at Madison Square Garden in New York City. We have arrived to offer Reiki to some old Rock ‘n’ Rollers who are about to put on a show. When I later say, “Old Rock ‘n’ Rollers” to young people, they say, “Like Mick Jagger?” Well, not exactly. In this instance, we are at the roots of Rock ‘n’ Roll, working with recording stars of the 1950’s and early 60’s.

I believe in doing community pro bono work that brings Reiki into some unlikely places. With certain important exceptions, nearly anybody with a body can benefit from Reiki.

But why work with old Rock ‘n’ Rollers? As a kid in the 1950’s, in those boring, pre-air-conditioned summers, I listened to the close harmonies about teenaged angst and love on tinny transistor radios. Those performers burst on the scene with pure energy, sharp outfits, and great dance moves to their wall-to-wall vocals. I loved the excitement they brought to my corn-fed life.

And so, in the first beautiful summer of the twenty-first century, I wrote a letter to the producer of the old Rock ‘n’ Roll show show offering our services as Reiki Masters. Some of the original stars, I stated, were undoubtedly getting on in years. Reiki could help their performances. After a little negotiation, we were invited. In thanks, we were sent tickets to the show and the promise of dinner with the artists.

Not long after, something happened. Forty-five days before the Rock ‘n’ Roll show, two planes buried themselves in buildings at the tip of Manhattan. New York was shaken, frightened, and in grief.

I started offering Reiki pro bono for World Trade Center workers in a MASH-like unit at the New York medical examiner’s office; in my community; and for office workers in the buildings in the thick, dusty, chemical-laden air of the Financial District. The whole Reiki community was busy helping.

I am ready for some Rock ‘n’ Roll.

The producers invited First Responders and their families to come for free as honored guests. The event became a benefit for the New York City Firemen and Police Widows’ and Children’s Funds. And people are showing up. There is an air of anticipation. The line-up includes: Darlene Love, Mel Carter, Jerry Butler, Frankie Ford, Ed Townsend, Johnny Maestro and the Brooklyn Bridge, Eugene Pitt and the Jive Five, and more. Since the performers became our clients, however briefly, we of course can’t disclose who received Reiki.

Marifran and I make our way backstage, doing simple Reiki chair sessions of about 10 to 15 minutes each. Our Reiki goal is for best possible outcome, hopefully helping the performers to relieve a little stress, to give them a better range of motion so they can do their moves with grace and comfort. We explain what Reiki is, but mostly, we suggest that they experience it.

Singers are sensitive to energy; sound is powerful ene rgy. And it’s clear that for the most part, they truly like Reiki. They thank us for our work. A man in white snakeskin boots wonders aloud if I can send Reiki at a distance. I say that we can. He says that his wife has turned stress into a communicable disease in his house, and wonders if I can send to her. I say, kindly, only with her permission. He rolls his eyes a little, but then rolls his shoulders, too, and smiles a satisfied smile, saying that his shoulders feel so much better, he’s ready to tear things up. No, it doesn’t mean he’s going to destroy a hotel room. In old Rock n’ Roll speak, that means he plans to give a great performance.

At the last, we work with an older man in a somber suit and a baseball cap. He is courtly and appreciative of the Reiki. His friend, shy, pale and a little nervous, hangs back, an Instamatic camera on a black fabric loop around her delicate wrist. He tells us his greatest hit, and we remember it — and him. Once, he was a gorgeous, ebony-skinned young man with a slow, soulful ballad that undoubtedly launched a million makeout sessions in 1958.

We get the signal from the stage manager; it’s time to take our seats in the audience. We have to stop.

The show starts, and we’re truly in love with it, as is the rest of the audience. The singing is vibrant, the choreography remarkably tight. The performers are stepping up to the mike and doing an exceptional job. Sometimes, our hands are warm and running Reiki energy involuntarily. This is an electrifying experience! And what we begin to sense, as the old songs are delivered with such vibrancy, is that there was love, there is love, and that there will be love, and all our hearts will mend somehow once again. The sounds are healing. Some of doo-wop is very close to chakra seed sounds. But more than anything, the energy of the songs recall and rekindle youthful innocence and optimism.

Then comes the man in the baseball cap. He is all alone in the sharp ray of a spotlight on a darkened stage. He starts the first few notes of his ballad; oh-oh: he’s a bit hesitant.

Marifran and I look at each other, and begin to offer Reiki from the audience. It spirals out, bright ribbons of energy from an unseen spool, and we feel him drawing it in, gaining in strength, and he takes command of the stage, his voice becoming that of a passionate young man with a whole life ahead of him. He is singing with such grace, we feel the divine and perhaps his own prayers in his voice as well. He hits the big note in the climax of the song with total power, and then deftly, perfectly, sings the musical flourishes that follow. The song is ended. There is a silent split second, and then the audience leaps to its feet, cheering and clapping wildly. The man in the somber suit takes a humble bow and leaves the stage, a quiet smile on his face. He is gently alight with happiness — it is visible to the Reiki eye.

Within two years, he has passed.

Even now, we think of his face aglow as he steps off the stage. And we hope he cherished that moment as much as we did. There are so many places to share the beautiful gift of Reiki. Whom do you want to thank and honor with this powerful work?

Linda Gnat-Mullin is a Reiki Master with over 12 years in private practice and a range of Reiki community service experiences. Her new book about Reiki healing, angels, spirit guides, and other life-affirming topics, Kisses Out of the Blue, is now available on Amazon. Her web site is

© Copyright 2014 Linda Gnat-Mullin