I spent 5 days at the 35th Northwest Reiki Gathering in Oregon USA where I was asked to be one of the guest speakers. The other two speakers were Paul Mitchel, who is the head of discipline for Usui Shiki Ryoho, and Hyakuten Inamoto, the founder of Komyo ReikiDo.
As the theme of this conference was “Being Together in the Harmony of Reiki”, it was a unique opportunity to learn and share teachings from different traditions.
What was so wonderful about this gathering is that it gave the opportunity to listen to each of the speakers without thinking about one system being better than the other, or that we need to be in conflict or competition with one another. It was an opportunity to grow, to be open without judgments, to share and to explore different viewpoints.
This of course is not always easy and that is okay too. We all have our own ideas, beliefs, and patterns that we hold on to and we take for granted. But when sitting in that space of openness and non-judgment, we are in fact expanding our own mind, and therefore the Reiki will flow much more deeply and brightly.
Of course we don’t all have to agree and that is fine too. But we can hold hands and support each other in each others’ journey, because that is really what the system of Reiki is all about.
The teacher is not there to impose their teachings onto a student, or anyone. The teacher is there to create a space in which the student can remember that they are Reiki, their inner great bright light. And this state of great bright light is called spiritual freedom, being free from spiritual dogma.
During one of the discussion sessions, about 90 people paired up in small groups, I sat in meditation and could also see Paul Mitchel sitting in meditation to hold the space for everybody. At that moment I felt a deep interconnectedness with him and a clear thought surfaced from this interconnectedness state of mind. This thought was that at that moment Paul and I were supporting each other to go deeper into our true self, our great bright light, without the need to impose the idea that he should start following and teaching my way or that I should start following and teaching his way. Just helping each other to go deeper into our own way without imposing something on the other: a state of pure love and compassion. This space touched me deeply and triggered an amazing state of love for him, a love without asking anything in return, a love of holding each other in an open hand, pure love.
I had many other wonderful experiences during this retreat, not just during the teachings and hands-on healing sessions but also just by having breakfast with people or laughing together or bathing in one of the amazing hot springs.
Most people who used the hot springs sat in it naked, but you could also wear a bathing suit or swimmers. At one stage I sat in one of the hot springs together with a woman, who had one breast removed due to cancer, and a man with one leg and who also was deaf. We sat there being naked with each other, not just on a physical level but naked with all our issues, nowhere to hide. This experience was so sobering; we all have issues and scars, either physical or emotional. To share them in such an open way was very profound.
Many people are afraid of their physical nakedness. Or of being truly naked with someone, not physically naked, but without their masks. But when we start to practice the system of Reiki we start to make friends again with our physical body, and this in turn also helps us to start to drop our masks so that we can be in a state of nakedness with our mind/heart.
So even though I was the speaker – the teacher, so to speak – I also was the student. We can not divide those two; we learn so much when we start to realize this, that we are the student and the teacher at the same time.
But to be able to learn during conferences and gatherings like this, we have to enter the retreat with an open mind. If our mind is full of judgment and ideas we can not learn, we are not empty enough to learn. Just like we can not fill a cup of tea which is already full.
I hope that more and more people start to see that as a Reiki community we need to hold hands, look at the similarities instead of the differences. Because it is only in this way that the world becomes a better place for all.
Based in Holland, Frans Stiene teaches in North America, Europe, UK, Australia and Asia.
Frans is also the author of Reiki Insights, it is the continuation of his previous book The Inner Heart of Reiki, taking your personal practice and understanding of the system of Reiki yet another step deeper.