I’ve just finished the book “Journey In Search of the Way”. It really echos with me and my journey thus far. I felt lost for a good many years, and was asking myself what the meaning of life was. I couldn’t find the answer in people, in work, in hobbies, in books… and in 2005 I set out to find myself by travelling to Thailand and Japan. At that time, I was looking towards yoga for an answer, and picked a health resort in Thailand that specialises in yoga and “fasting” for health.
Because of the “fasting” (I didn’t participate in the fasting), the yoga lessons were pretty boring as the starving participants didn’t have any energy to move. However, the resort also offered “reiki” lessons and I thought why not, let’s try reiki. My reiki 1 experience was “interesting” in that I had no idea what reiki was when I started, and still had no idea what it was when the brief 3 hour course finished. But I remember feeling energy in my palms and being taught some hand positions. I saw images of monks and temples, but thought I had probably manifested them.
I then moved onto the next destination for my holiday – Japan. Fate had it that in the youth hostel that I stayed in, there were two people that I met that affected my journey – one of them was a Mexican reiki master who was in Japan to visit the Usui memorial stone; the other was a French male model who was in Japan to become a monk! I received reiju from the reiki master and was provided more information about reiki. The French model told me about Japanese Buddhist practices and the meditation that he has been prescribed to practice – counting from 1-30 with a focused mind.
When I arrived back in Australia, I still had a lot of unanswered questions and therefore attended the mind body spirit festival to look for further reiki studies. That was the day when I met you and signed up for reiki II. Even though I found reiki II beneficial, I wanted things to happen really quickly and I wanted answers and experiences now. The thought of practicing everyday with an indefinite timeframe for getting to “enlightenment” was just too long. I did my token practice everyday – chanted my mantras, did the breathing exercises, but still I didn’t feel or see any of the special things that others did in the reiki II class.
So, in search for a quick fix, I ventured into psychic ability courses, tarot cards, etc, and I soon realised that not only do these courses not provide me with answers, they create a dependency where I need to constantly refer back to the psychics or tarot cards for answers. I knew that they were no good, and drifted back to reiki for good.
Finding a place and time to meditate was hard. I worked in a stressful job requiring long hours at the desk, and I lived in a noisy rental apartment with lots of traffic noises and poor ventilation. I knew that eventually I would firmly get back onto reiki, the seed was planted.
When I moved into my current place, I found that I could sit down daily and practice solidly. Even though the job still requires long hours, I found that meditation helped me to focus at work. I therefore forced myself to get into the habit of getting up 30mins earlier in the morning to practice. This has now become a habit and I just don’t feel right without practicing.
I then slowly saw my life change – my words are aligned with my thoughts, and I don’t say what my “brain” (ego?) suggests. I am happy to go with the flow, and if things are not how I want them to happen, I am happy to accept it as it is. I don’t actually put too much thought on fantasizing future events, and I only look back on past events when they arise. I am content with where I am now. I used to seek to “help” others and perform party tricks, but now I just want to do reiki for myself so that I can learn more about who I am. My relationships with people have become less “clingy” and I feel that I don’t desperately need people or company or their approval. My eating has changed too! I have never imagined giving up meat! I also feel other beings suffering more and am happily giving to charities without expecting anything back.
My attitude towards practices have changed too. Though I occasionally see visions or feel energy, I stopped looking for them in my practice. This has proven to be the best strategy ever! I just sit down and focus on practicing solidly during my 30-40min session in the morning. I don’t drift off into living in the visions, and I don’t get frustrated by not having any “special” experiences either. I trust that by practicing mindfully, the fruit will come to fruition eventually in its own way.
Life has become so “boring” and uneventful, but it is so much nicer to live in. All that I look for today is to be able to feed myself, have a saving for the future and have a roof over my head. I’m content with staying at home reading and hanging out with my cats.
It’s amazing how a full year of solid practice can do so much…
I look forward to more learning.
Grace Tam is a Shinpiden Reiki Level III student of the International House of Reiki from Australia