Hearts & Minds #2

25th August 2011

Reiki & Personal Development

There are many ways in which human beings can develop and learn about themselves. Some are drawn to physical activities and use yoga or athletics to explore their internal and external potential; others¬†improve their mind by acquiring knowledge or learning new skills; whilst some prefer to take it easy and let life unfold at its own pace. For some reason, my nature demands that things happen quickly for me and there has always been an incessant drive to keep moving and keep learning. For sure, that has its upside but as Jack Nicholsons’s character in “The Shining” wrote: “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” so I do try to slow down from time to time. Fortunately, I am not as extreme in my R&R activities as Jack ūüôā

So Reiki opened up a new direction in my personal development and allowed me to explore new aspects of myself.¬† The first step as a Reiki student is to get used to working with the energy. This is so that your physical body can acclimatize to the energy that is working through the system. After a few months of this preparation it is possible to meet with a Reiki teacher for the second set of attunements. I did this in November 2007, again with Chris Parkes at Violet Hill Studios. This second set of attunements steps up the level of energy that the student is working with, enabling the student’s system to connect to and channel more energy, creating the possibility for deeper levels of personal work.


Personal work with Reiki means clearing your system of the stuff that is blocking the energy from coming through to its fullest potential. A good analogy is light shining through a dirty window. There are two factors here determining the amount of light that makes it through the window: is the sun shining outside; how dirty is the window pane? If the sunlight represents the energy that the Reiki student connects to, then the windowpane represents the student and the dirt the blockages in and around the student. So what are these blockages, where are they and where do they come from?  There are two aspects that we need to consider in order to understand this. Firstly, the nature of our energy system and secondly the blockages themselves. Depending on your outlook, one or both of these may be difficult to comprehend.

Your energy system exists on a number of different levels. The easiest place to start is your physical body, which contains a network of energy channels and points, or Meridian points. These are the points that acupuncturists use in their work to stimulate the flow of energy. Reflexologists use a different set of energy points in the feet to stimulate the flow of energy into the body – here, points in the feet correspond to organs and areas of the body. The physical body is only one aspect of your energy system: there is also a network of chakras at different points around the body. For the sake of simplicity I will describe the 7 major chakras on the body – there are others but these are enough for now:

1. Base Chakra, located between the legs;

2. Sacral Chakra, located just beneath the navel;

3. Solar Plexus Chakra located at the solar plexus;

4. Heart Chakra located in the centre of the chestbone;

5. Throat Chakra located at the base of the throat;

6. Third Eye located just above the point between the two eyes; and

7. Crown Chakra, located at the top of the head.

A Chakra is a spinning vortex of energy that transmits energy to and from your body. When the energy enters your body it is picked up by the network of energy within the body, first through a set of channels called “Nadis” and then into the Meridian lines. Each Chakra corresponds to a different set of energy frequencies, a different color, musical tone, and other qualities. In addition to the Chakras, there is a layer of energy in and around the body that corresponds to the part of us that feels emotion (the “emotional body”), and a layer of energy in and around the body that corresponds to the part of us that thinks (the “mental body”).¬† There are additional layers but these are the ones which I will focus for now.

In a perfect world, our emotional and mental bodies are clear conduits through which energy can pass via the Chakras into our physical body.¬† However, most of us have negative or fearful thoughts and feelings of one sort or another. These negatives feelings and thoughts create distortions in the emotional and mental bodies, and as a result energy does not flow smoothly down into the body. There is a correspondence between the nature of negative feelings and thoughts, and the area of the body into which the energy flows. For instance, if someone bottles up their feelings and does not express themselves then energy gets blocked and stagnant in the area around their throat and neck. A Reiki healer can experience this as a heavy vibration (signifying a blockage, as opposed to the smooth flow of energy), or the healer may see a blockage in the client’s energy field (the blockage is usually a dark area). As another example take the case of someone who has stomach problems – the stomach is where we digest food and process waste from the body. It is also the area where we digest and process our emotional experience. If we do not do this freely and openly, then we can end up holding onto difficult emotional debris. This builds up over time, blocking the flow of energy into the stomach and digestive system of the physical body.

The Reiki student’s personal development is, then, a process of clearing their system of blockages and in doing so unearthing and resolving old fears and beliefs. This often involves confronting difficult personal issues which have been at the heart of deep seated anger or fear. Debbie Ford’s “The Dark Side of the Light Chasers” describes how we each drag around behind us a bag containing the difficult and unpleasant stuff we experienced growing up.¬† Making it to adulthood involved putting all the stuff into the bag; adulthood can (if we chose to) involve getting all that stuff out of the bag again in order to understand and heal ourselves. So between November 2007 and December 2008 (when I attended my third and final Reiki course with Chris Parkes) I worked intensively on clearing up a large amount of the crap that was clogging up my system. Making a list and then working through it, issue by issue, was how I approached this. I took an issue, dedicated some quiet time to myself, and then started to write down my feelings. This was very cathartic in itself and allowed me to dump a lot of anger and pain. I then ended the written part of the process with an intent to forgive whoever and whatever was involved. The next stage of the process was to use Reiki to release the energy of anger and pain held at a deeper level of my being. Writing was of itself a release and I often cried when doing this, however the real wailing and gnashing of teeth (so to speak) came when the Reiki energy worked its way through all of my energy system. As I had consciously decided to let go of something, the Reiki was able to support this at a deep level and to clear everything, rather like sticking a hoover round the back of a sofa after two or three decades of neglect.

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