Do a Google search for chocolate cake recipes and you’ll find maybe 24,200,000 results in 0.23 seconds.
Are all chocolate cakes the same? Obviously not, but we can still understand and appreciate a good slice of chocolate cake.
Baking a cake is easy. Simply gather the ingredients, follow the recipe, and have a little patience (…and eat ^_^).
After following a recipe again and again, you begin to get the hang of things. By your 100th cake, you probably don’t need to read the recipe. You are comfortable and probably begun to make the cake your own, slightly modifying the recipe here and there.
Such changes may be discouraged according to some opinions, but in reality this is a great thing. You’ve begun to put your heart into it; your being into it. This is important.
However, it is also important to balance your input. A little more or less cocoa is fine, but changing it from a chocolate cake to a strawberry cake is a bit much. I love strawberry cake too, but let’s just be honest and clear about such a dramatic change.
In the same way, hands-on healing patterns are like recipes. At first we follow the directions to the letter (hands here first, then here, then, etc.), learning experientially and building a foundation. Eventually we become more comfortable and learn to add our own spin on it, while still maintaining the general idea.
Everyone has a slightly different approach. Some people say you should start at the head, others at the feet. Personally I like a pattern that starts at the belly (hara) as taught by Hawayo Takata to John Harvey Gray.
After your 100th healing session, you probably don’t need to read your notes from class anymore. By this point (usually much earlier), you’ve made slight changes here and there to fit your style.
This is fine in most cases, as long as we maintain the foundation. We keep the foundation by working with/in the right frame of mind; by balancing our input with the tradition, and by (most of all) being honest about it all.
How much change is too much change? Once again, let’s go back to the cake. Sometimes you want to follow the recipe, but are out of certain ingredients. Not enough sugar? Maybe you can use a little honey. No oil for the pan? Ok, use some butter. We simply use what we have and what makes sense at that moment.
For example, let’s say you start your healing session with your hands-on their shoulder. You may say “But, I wasn’t taught this position in class?! The book/chart/handout is different!” Do not worry. Be humble. Show compassion. Maybe you’re facilitating a healing session in the hospital and they are in a difficult position, machines all in the way and such. Is the treatment going to “fail” because you can’t reach their head? No, of course not.
Relying on strict adherence to your hands-on healing “pattern” and assuming this adherence is the key to healing is magical thinking. This is false. Using your hands-on healing “pattern” to express your inner Reiki – the qualities of love, gratitude, wisdom, and compassion, this is different. This is real, honest, and especially magical.
You can always flex and adapt a bit here and there as long as we have a chocolate cake at the end of the day. You can always flex and adapt a bit here and there as long as we respect our tradition and promote healing at the end of the day.
Being with a sincere and open heart, settling your mind, and placing your hand on them is more than enough; cake and icing.
On the other hand (pun?), adding to hands-on healing with oils and massage is great, but it’s a change. Adding needles, cupping, and moxi is also very helpful, but it’s a change. Nothing wrong with a cake and ice-cream, as long as that’s what was asked for, you know? If you change, simply be clear about the change.
Generally everyone who cooks (and eats) has a preference. We all have an idea of what is “best”, “optimal”, “right/wrong”, “traditional”, etc. Maybe we like coconut and walnuts in our cake. That’s just how the cake should be, period. Then again, maybe we are cooking for someone with a nut allergy. Well, then we simply adjust and take out the fluff.
No matter your style, quality ingredients are what matter most.
Quality flour for a stable cake.
The best chocolate you have.
Fresh milk and eggs.
Butter, sugar, vanilla, etc.
Quality practice for a stable mind.
The best intentions you have.
Fresh eyes and ears (awareness).
Wisdom, compassion, sincerity, etc.
Like chocolate cake, hands-on healing is something sweet.
Like chocolate cake, hands-on healing is something to be shared.
Like chocolate cake, hands-on healing is something made best with a full heart.
Unlike chocolate cake, hands-on healing is something to partake in every day.
Unlike chocolate cake, hands-on healing is something a bit more healing and nutritive.
Unlike chocolate cake, Reiki is something we have and can all be.
We don’t need a Google search to know there are over 7 billion people in the world.
Are all we all the same? Obviously not, but we all can still understand and learn to appreciate a peaceful and healthy mind and body.