“Reiki Answer Lady” Transcript of podcast

Frans StieneArticles, English Leave a Comment

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Carmen: Hi, and welcome to the Reiki Answer Lady podcast; this is your hostess Carmen Tracy. Today I’m here with Frans Stiene, the main teacher from The international house of Reiki and author of The Inner Heart of Reiki: Rediscovering Your True Self. Welcome Frans.

Frans: Thank you Carmen, for inviting me. 

Carmen: Thank you for being a guest on my show; I’m really excited. I have watched a lot of your videos, in particular the toning videos. And I was hoping we would have opportunity to talk about that. But first I wanted to give you the opportunity to introduce yourself and International House of Reiki.

Frans: Okay. I am originally from the Netherlands but I have been in Australia for the last 18 years. I teach worldwide; I teach lot in the US, in Europe, in Australia, recently I was in New Zealand for the first time. I’ve been teaching full time for the last 20 years and it’s – I don’t like saying it is my work as I don’t really see it as work. It’s my hobby; it’s my life. For me, the system of Reiki is really a lifestyle, and from that the teaching flows. I wrote some books together with my partner, Bronwen. “The Inner heart of Reiki“ is my first book I wrote by myself that came out last year…really excited about it.

Carmen: So your path with Reiki has been…not sure if it’s because you had more access to international information in Australia or not…but it seems like you have taken a very specific approach to the way you teach Reiki, and the way you learn Reiki too, because you are always going to Japan for further training for yourself personally. How do you think that came about? Was it your access to information, or your first teacher…how did all that work out for you? 

Frans: Well, actually my first teacher was – I was living in India and Nepal at the time – my first teacher was an English guy who was a hippie who was smoking pot (laughs) while he was teaching. It was very “so-so” but it worked for me. It was interesting at that time because I was just traveling around…I was 30 and I had lot of time on my hands. I remember sitting in Kathmandu, Nepal in a beautiful area where they have these stupas and I was meditating on symbols and mantras. I wasn’t doing anything specific but just meditating upon it. And because I had time on my hands at that time, I was doing a lot of kind of playing around with it. He never had taught me these kinds of things but I was just trying to investigate, “What does this mean?”

Then I started to have very strange dreams. At that time we moved to Darjeeling in India, and these dreams continued…it was all very new for me. I’d made a friend there who I talked to; he was a Buddhist and I said, “I’ve got all these strange dreams.” I explained it to him and he said, “Are you practicing Buddhism?” I said no. Because, he said, these dreams are what my teacher would look for if a person is going through a lot of purification and those kinds of things: these are very specific Buddhist dreams. And I said I’m not sure where this system of Reiki comes from. So that was one trigger where I wanted to know where the system of Reiki came from.

And then another thing was that in Darjeeling and around it, there are lot of healers. And they are Tibetan, Nepali, shamanistic, Buddhist, Hindu. And when I talked to these people, all of them had a very strong meditation practice. And I thought, wow, why don’t we have that in the system of Reiki? I remember I met this young Tibetan lama, he was a Tulku, a reincarnated lama, he was 21. We were chatting and he said, “What is Reiki, then?” We were staying in the same little guest house…and so I explained to him and he goes with his hand like this (raising hand) and he goes, “Oh, like this?” And the energy and the heat that came from this guy!! I was going “Ah…yeah, something like it.” (laughs). And he just came out of a meditation retreat with his teacher where he’d spent 9 months in a cave. So I started to wonder and I started to read up more about Mikao Usui, and that he had spent 21 days on a mountain top. And then I saw that Mrs. Takata actually in her diary wrote that Reiki comes from bottom of your stomach and that with true meditation it has to come out and I thought why isn’t this…no one is teaching me this!

So I started to really investigate; the first thing I did was really investigating some more Western teachers and then more training with them. And then I started to do training with Hyakuten Inamoto, Hiroshi Doi…I was still not really finding what I was looking for. Then I did a training with Chris Marsh and that brought me closer. And then I started to work more with Japanese priests who were really pointing out to me what Mikao Usui really might have practiced himself at that time. You know, where do these symbols and mantras come from, where does the Reiju come from, or the attunement or initiation. All of these things.

Carmen: Like Shugendo and that sort of thing.

Frans: Yeah, absolutely. And it’s fascinating to see the heritage of all of that, and how Mikao Usui therefore also was seen as a – we might put between brackets – a “healer”. Because for me, what I was seeing was that in the time of Mikao Usui and before that, there weren’t many doctors. So people who were sick would go to these healers. They would go to the priests or the nuns, you know, for healing to take place. And those priests and nuns had spiritual practices to lay bare that innate healing power within themselves. And so therefore, you see there were a lot of traces of choku rei, for example. in other spiritual teachings in Japan. Or the Reiki 3 symbol and mantra, for example, you can see traces of that. So if we therefore look correctly and I think that’s been really my journey, to come back to your question. (Laughs) I’m kind of going like this.

Carmen: No, I love this.

Frans: That really instigated – these kinds of experiences I had in India – instigated my search of, where did the system of Reiki come from? What was Mikao Usui himself practicing? Because as we all know, we can all go to the movies, Carmen, with ten people and after we have gone to the movies, at the end we might all have a different idea about what the movie was about, right? And this is the same thing; we all might go to a teacher and he or she might give a talk. And we might pick up this bit, another person might pick up that bit and suddenly it’s already different.

Carmen: Right, then they take that back to where they are going and add their life experiences.

Frans: That’s it; yeah. And that doesn’t mean one is wrong, one is right. We all are right!. But we also all therefore have for ourselves, some people I see just want basic hands on healing; that is wonderful. Some people want to have real spiritual practice; that is also wonderful. Some people want to linger in the middle and that is also wonderful. I think Mikao Usui was very clever to offer that: like just basic hands on healing to a really deep spiritual practice and everything in between. And depending on the student, really supplying him or her with those tools. 

Carmen: Now, in your school, International House of Reiki, do you have a space where you bring your students together and practice meditation together out of there? Or have you adopted sort of just like rest of us, other places to teach, where people gather and have opportunities online to connect with you on a more regular basis? 

Frans: I have all of them (laughs)

Carmen: Oh yay. (laughs)

Frans: Actually I am sitting in my Reiki studio right now. It’s about an hour and half, two hours from Sydney, in the Blue Mountains, really beautiful. It’s 5 acres; we do some retreats there and I do my Reiki 1, Reiki 2 and Reiki 3 classes here. Actually I am just organizing a sound healing workshop for a day where we look at Japanese mantras and sounds for healing. When I travel, I often try to go back to the same places because then we can come together as a group again.

I offer a lot of online support; I do a lot of live video teleclasses. I just did one on Reiki and Intimacy; there will be another, Reiki in Japan, in October. People can contact me for Skype sessions. I really see it that when we have done Reiki 1 – say we do a class, maybe a 2 day class or 5 day class – that’s not the end. Actually that is the beginning, you know. It’s the same with Reiki 2; that’s not the end, that’s the beginning. And the same with Reiki 3; for me, it’s really a lifelong journey. And hopefully we can hold each other’s hands and walk that path together in that space of healing and supporting each other. I don’t call myself a Reiki Master. I would rather call myself a Reiki teacher. And I really don’t see it as a teacher and student but I see it more as, over time we become friends and are holding hands together. Supporting each other in that spiritual journey. And trying to rediscover this great bright light hidden within ourselves. 

Carmen: Right. That’s beautiful. When your students are interested in learning more of the deeper level of Japanese meditations, is that part of what you teach? Is that an inherent part of 1, 2 and 3 classes or do you offer extra intensives.

Frans: Actually, again I do both. So it is kind of interwoven in our classes. But of course, even if we have a month’s class it’s still only the beginning. So the student really has to take the practice and apply it on a regular daily basis for themselves. And so I kind of see I have two parallel teachings in a way, where we do the classes, and from the classes some people might say, oh, I might just do some hands-on healing or meditate a little bit on a symbol. Some others might say, well, I’m going to do every day some meditation, chanting of the mantras. And so from that, then I always say that it’s up to you that you reconnect with me; I cannot always connect to everybody. I have thousands of students, so it’s difficult. So for the people who connect back to me, we can really then monitor and say how you are going? And they say, I am going okay and this and this is happening. Then I might say, try in this way or maybe add this to it. So then slowly helping them with that growth and deeper practice. But I always say you can take a horse to the water but you can’t make it drink.

Carmen: Of course. You know, I had on a woman who learned from Mrs. Takata and I was comparing all the stuff that I learned versus what she had learned from somebody like that. And I was taught to use the ideals as meditation. In fact, my teacher taught them in Japanese. And I don’t know how accurate that translation was necessarily, but it added an element to my practice that felt very spiritual. And it did help a lot because I started to notice more things…the way I was acting in community. But that wasn’t something that Mrs. Takata taught per se.

Frans: I think also if I really look at Mrs. Takata’s teachings I can also see that she was teaching different people different things.

Carmen: Okay, that makes sense.

Frans: So again, we cannot really say this is Mikao Usui teachings. Because if we look at 10 students of Mikao Usui we might see 10 slightly different things. Even when I go to Japan, my teachers teach the same. They teach on a very individual basis on what they feel you really need, what they feel you are gravitating to. For example, if we look at Mikao Usui’s teachings, we see the precepts; that can be very intellectual so we can think about it. Hands on healing very tactile, mantras more verbal, symbols more visual. And we all learn in different ways. The other day my daughter had a book and she said, oh dad, this is a great passage; I’ll read it for you. She read it and I go, okay, but now I need to read it myself. Because that’s how I learn. So we also have very different ways of learning. I think this is why, you know, a lot of people debate – oh, this is true Mikao Usui teachings, blah blah, etc. But for me, what it comes down to is your direct experience. And most important is the direct experience of the precepts in your daily life.

Carmen: I like that; it gives us a little break too. As a person on what I consider a spiritual path with Reiki, for me that makes me feel like I can cut myself some slack. (Laughs)

Frans: Yeah, well absolutely.

Carmen: And just let Reiki guide me too, because It continues to bring in experiences and people into my life. And if they want to learn things with me, then I can share, hey this is how this worked for me. Why don’t you give it a try? 

Frans: Yeah, I mean this is also why there is no competition because people will be attracted to different people. Right?

Carmen: Absolutely. Yes, yes.

Frans: Because we all like different things and this is so important. But you know sometimes people say, oh Frans, how do you think I am doing with my practice? I can feel more heat in my hands or I see a color. I say all good and well but how are you in your daily life? Do feel less angry, less worried, less fearful? Do you feel more kind and compassionate? I say that is really the measuring stick for me for the system of Reiki.

Carmen: Yes. I did tell a student like that the other day, based on what they were coming back to me with 

Frans: Good, good.

Carmen: And it’s true, in their daily life. Reiki provides these foundational tools. If you put them in the practice, then they will bring results. Okay, let’s talk mantras… my teacher took Usui 1, 2 and 3 and pretty much went with what her teacher taught…then she added a separate Japanese Reiki section. And in there we did do different breathing techniques, the 3 “ki’s” being the one I remember the most. Then there was some sort of orbital breathing she taught us. But then the mantras, we learned them but they weren’t pushed as something we should probably consider doing on a regular basis. Then same with the chanting. So, she taught us the chanting just with the symbols with the way we pronounce them – choku rei, choku rei, choku rei – and then she did try and bring in the other one which is more like vowel sounds. When I listen to your videos, I think that’s more in line with what you do than the other way. But again, back to the way we learn individually, is there a problem with just chanting the way you originally learned? I mean…

Frans: You know ultimately…let’s look for example at choku rei. There are two different ways of working with that – choku rei, the mantra, or the mantra – O U E I. As you can see, the OUEI sounds are in chOkU rE I, so it’s kind of in there. Of course we can debate till we’re blue in face and it’s like the chicken and the egg. Was choku rei first or OUEI first? What I see in our classes is that when people work with vowel sounds in OUEI, they have very direct experience, almost like quick direct experience. I think that comes because if you look at all spiritual practices in the world, these particular sounds of OUEI, sometimes there is also “a” in it; let’s not get distracted. (laughs) We see that in a lot of spiritual teachings even in Yahweh as name of God. We see all of these things so common; like in Japan these 5 sounds of “AOUEI” represents the 5 elements and they say it’s the 5 mother sounds of Japanese language, really pure sounds. So by saying these we really connect to these inner essence of ourselves. And these kind of practices have been practiced in Japan, since maybe 6-7 centuries. You know, for a long, long, long time.

So, then over time you really start to chant – say if you just chant OUEI for a long time – and I am not saying one week. You talk about a couple of years, then there will come a time where there is no difference between chanting choku rei or OUEI; it’s exactly the same. But I see for most students that (Frans chants OUEI) chanting is much more direct. But again, it’s not just chanting you know, because we also have to make sure we do it correctly. What I mean by that is this – I was a conference in New Zealand and I gave a direct example and I actually used choku rei. And I said, we can just sit here and go choku rei, choku rei, choku rei and I look at my phone, think about dinner tonight, I don’t know. But then we are all distracted – chanting goes nowhere because we’re so distracted. Or we can really rest our mind on the Hara or the dantien, being in this really quiet space and then do the chanting. Then there is a very different ramification.

So I normally explain this in a class: you know when you have a singing bowl and you hit it. You hit it once but you can hear the vibration. So, I ask people; I hit it and they hear the vibration and I say, why do we hear the vibration and they say because you hit it. No, it’s not because I hit it. Then, why not? Then I put something soft in the bowl and hit it again and I say now you don’t hear it, right? So it’s not because I am hitting it, and they say oh it’s because it’s empty. And I say yeah, because it’s empty. So empty of what? Empty of rubbish!. So, when we do the chanting, we have to be empty. We have to be empty of any worry, or fear, or anger or any idea of an outcome. Then that vibration will trigger much more healing in our own being. And so therefore, it’s not just chanting but it’s chanting and being in that open emptiness space. 

Carmen: So, it’s setting up, creating a sacred space to have your Meditation. Set your intention. 

Frans: That’s it. Yeah, and either way, I mean it’s the same when we do hands on healing, right? If we do hands on healing with all sorts of attachments and worries and fear and being angry then the impact will be less. And if we let go of all of that…

Carmen: Right. And create a container that is free from like you said “rubbish”. (laughs)

Frans: Yeah, that’s it. 

Carmen: So, for our listeners then…I don’t want them to think I keep saying the same things over and over. But in a way it’s true: what is your established meditation practice going to be like? And do you recommend that your students do the meditation with the mantras every day?

Frans: For example if they have done Reiki 2, I really suggest that…first of all I suggest working with the first mantra choku rei. But some people are not very auditory; some people are more visual. Then I say it’s up to you, you can either do the visual, the symbol, and if you want you can say the mantra three times or if you feel more auditory inclined, do just the mantra. And then it also depends; if I’m in a plane I’m not going to chant out loud right? So then I might use…

Carmen: Right. But I don’t know; the acoustics might be kind of cool. (laughs)

Frans: So I can either do it quietly in my mind or I can say well, for today I do the visual concept. Or maybe now – I have a bit of a funny throat – so instead of chanting I’ll work with the visual aid. So, we all learn in different ways and this is really important – we can see very clearly in Mikao Usui’s teachings that he was supplying different aids for different kinds of people who learned in different kind of ways: auditory, visual, kinesthetic, intellectual. They’re all in there. So for the Reiki 2 student I will say, okay go home and if you like the chanting start small, maybe 5-10 minutes, and chant for 5-10 minutes choku rei. And then do that every day as much as possible and do that for 6 months or a year, you know.

Because we can debate until we are blue in the face what the symbols and mantras are about. I can read a book written by Carmen Tracy about choku rei and I might say, oh now I know really what it is all about. But that’s not true because then I know what you’re thinking it is about. Or I can research in Japan and go, oh it’s used like this there, used like that there. It’s also like, well I know something, but the only way really we know anything is by becoming it – becoming the symbol and mantra. And by doing that, doing it again and again and again and again and then we go, ohhhh! I had a big discussion with existing Reiki teachers quite a few years ago and they said Frans, how do you know what you are saying about this mantra? And I said okay, if you want to know if I am speaking the truth or not, go and do it half an hour once a day for 6 months and the teacher goes, I don’t have time for that. And I said well, then you cannot say this or that.

I mean, you have to have that direct experience. And when we have that direct experience then something else comes in our way. For me that is like hidden in the precepts and it is faith. That we have such a direct experience that we have faith in the symbols and mantras. We have faith in what we saying about it or about Mikao Usui teachings. And we go, oh yes because it comes from your own direct experience. Not what someone has taught you. Not what someone has written. Really from your own direct experience, but this direct experience needs to be full. So, for example I can go and eat a Thai meal and I say, oh there is coconut milk in it so this meal is just coconut milk. But that’s not true because there is other stuff in it, right? So we have to eat it again, we have to pull it apart, until completely we know what it is. So then we can say this is it.

Carmen: That’s really cool. I think it’s really an exciting time. I get more and more people coming into my space looking to start their journey on their Reiki path and I do get a fair amount of people looking to kind of leap frog a lot of the practice and go right to working with other people.

Frans: Yeah. 

Carmen: And I think, it kind of feels like they’re there, they’re coming forward and somehow something needs to be provided for them that offers more of the opportunity to establish an actual practice. You know, I have done this before where people come in and they’ll say, oh I am Reiki 2 and I don’t practice on myself. And I will be like, okay that’s cool for you; I actually practice on myself every day. It’s made a big difference in my life.

Frans: Absolutely. 

Carmen: I guess I’m not sure exactly where I am going with this except that I get the sense that you would encourage an openness and offering opportunity and hopefully some of those opportunities connect with those people versus just coming from a judgment space and being like, you know you can’t really necessarily call yourself a Reiki person if you’re not practicing.

Frans: I think there always needs to be an openness. I’ll give you one example, I have recently been in contact with someone who did a lot of training in Mrs.Takata’s teachings and he’s been doing that for a long, long, long time and he said I feel over the years there’s something missing. I don’t know this person; we’ve been just communicating by email. And he said, I don’t at this moment have time and money to do classes. So I said, just start contemplating the precepts maybe…he really liked the kanji of Reiki and I said contemplate the kanji of Reiki. I just got an email from him this morning and he’s, wow this is really changing how I see Reiki. He said I feel so much more open, I feel so much more energy going through my body, I feel so much more healing taking place when I help other people. He said I wish I had done this earlier.

I said it doesn’t matter if we do it now or whatever age we are. But he was ready because he had done previous practices and he said there is something I feel lacking, or something for me and it’s not for everybody. But for him he felt something needed to open up more. And therefore you know for me, I think it’s really not, as you say, not judging or labeling, it’s just giving like a smorgasbord of teachings to the people and say, you take it: you want visual or auditory or kinesthetic or another kind of practice. Ultimately, again, most important is that ultimately we become kinder human beings. (laughs) Right? 

Carmen: Right, right.

Frans: Right, it’s not about, I am this lineage. It’s not about, I studied with this teacher or it’s not about, I am closer to Mikao Usui’s lineage. No. It is about becoming a better human being! And that is the most important thing. And for me this is really what Mikao Usui was teaching. Because if we look at the precepts – do not anger, do not worry, be grateful, practice diligently, but that can also be translated slightly different, more as be true to your way or pure experience, and show compassion to yourself and others – if you look at them, none of them is saying feel energy, see colors, feel tingling in your hands or hot. And actually all of them are a state of mind. It’s a state of mind of not being angry, state of mind of not being worried, state of mind of being grateful, state of mind of coming from your pure experience and a state of mind of being compassionate. And therefore for me, really Mikao Usui was saying with the precepts all about that we become a human being, where we have less anger, less worry, less fear. And therefore we can become more grateful and more compassionate. And therefore that is already healing.

Carmen: Right, right. So, you know with the, oh I forgot where I was going with that question (Frans laughs) I had this sudden vision and then I was like, wait a second that’s not part of what this conversation is about. I guess it kind of was because it was like, this kinder, gentle learned-ness, that we are coming into contact with, because that comes out of our eyes when we are out in public, because we are going to look at people nicer and, in our heart, you know…so I really get that sense of how Usui would have felt that going out when he was in community, because that is very healing to other people that we come into contact with.

Frans: Absolutely. 

Carmen: But it’s not necessarily something you have to…I mean Reiki 1 folks, it’s not like that’s your whole point in doing it. It’s really just to get into contact with yourself, your own inner healing, your own inner light, and really your true self.

Frans: I mean for me it’s…imagine a lamp with lots of lamp shades. If I am taking these lamp shades away and that light is your inner great light, always symbolized by the Reiki 3 symbol and mantra DKM, great bright light, and what is really your Reiki or your true self, your inner nature or whatever we call it. And if I start to peel those layers away of this lamp shade, then what happens to the light? The light starts to go further inside the room, right?

Carmen: Yeah. 

Frans: So therefore, the healing is almost the by-product of you opening up to your inner bright light. And the more you peel away those layers, the more that light will come forward and people can walk into your light. And what is that light? It is the light of no anger, no worry, no fear and being kind. And that, as you say, that is already so healing. You know if you feel tired and depleted and you walk in the street and someone walks by and looks you in the eyes and gives you a smile, that is already uplifting, you feel already better. Or standing in line somewhere and someone says, hey, you are okay? Or, you are wearing a nice top or, can I do something for you? It’s already healing. You know we think healing is just hands on healing. But no, healing comes from our heart! And the extension is just our hands. But really, it’s our whole being. Our whole body can emanate this healing energy.

Carmen: Right, right. And I got such a sense of how impactful the mantras could be to boost that process of pulling away the lampshades. Because sound has such a vibration and it can reach so deeply that I really got that picture of – especially if you are chanting DKM, right? – then that light would just start, it could just start spreading out further and further.

Frans: Absolutely.

Carmen: If somebody hasn’t, like myself, I haven’t added the mantras into a regular practice…I started trying to experiment with them in my Reiki attunements. Even though that was different then the way I was taught, I was kind of called to add some for particular students. But it sounds like…should I just start with just one symbol? Or can I start with a bunch of them or is it better…

Frans: I would start with one…you know, in Reiki traditionally we are first taught the first mantra or symbol choku rei. That was the first one because if you actually investigate with the sounds of choku rei from a traditional kotodama viewpoint, those sounds are really about grounding and centering. And we see this also in the symbol. If you look at the symbol, it goes inwards, right?

Carmen: Yeah. 

Frans: And it is bringing us back home inside our body. And this is so important because we have to embody Reiki. We have to embody spirituality. It’s not somewhere, something outside of there. And therefore the grounding is so important, and centering, because then when we start to work with the other mantras, then the grounding and centering is like the foundation where we can build and have the other mantras rest upon, if that makes sense. Choku rei is like the roots of your tree and if the tree doesn’t have really strong roots and it starts to go up and open up more to the heaven but has no roots, then some external wind comes along – like maybe your husband or wife says something or society does something – then we fall over, right? And so then, when we fall over, we are going to have trouble. So, therefore, the first point of call is always making a very solid foundation. And that’s really what choku rei is about.

Carmen: Cool, okay. All right, then, so I really like the elements, the sound. So the main – did you call them syllables or were those vowel sounds?

Frans: This is another interesting aspect because when you look at the other mantras then there is also the word Ki in it, or AI. So it depends on the mantra and it depends also what they were trying to facilitate within, inside of you.

Carmen: I think I have a book that has those vowel sounds; you said there were 5 main… 

Frans: Yeah, traditionally in Japanese spiritual practices you have the 5 main vowel sounds; they call that kotodama theory. And it’s AOUEI. And for example, if you look at the precepts in Japanese… (Frans recites, emphasizing each word)

Kyo Da Ke Wa
I Ka runa
Shin Pai suna

All of these you can really see those AOUEI sounds really clearly and so even chanting the precepts… (Frans chants)

Kyo Da Ke Wa
I Ka runa
Shin Pai suna

Et cetera…then we’re really connecting to those 5 elements within ourselves, harmonizing them so that we can really connect to this…connect more and more to our true selves. So therefore, that inner great bright light starts to emanate more and more through our whole being, and therefore benefit other people. And therefore we embody the precepts more and more.

Carmen: All right, I am excited to start. (laughs)

Frans: So even you know – this is another thing – like in the precepts it says, recite or chant with your mouth and heart but in a way it also means hold the precepts in your heart. And so for me, it’s not really about – sometimes we might say, oh I am reciting and we go… (Frans says quickly)

Kyo Da Ke Wa
I Ka runa
Shin Pai suna 

You know really quickly, but actually that is just kind of almost like memorizing it. And you just recite it by heart but it’s not IN your heart. You know, it kind of just comes out of your mind. But when we actually sit still and again going to that really open and empty space…(Frans chants)

Kyo Da Ke Wa
I Ka runa
Shin Pai suna
Kansha Shite
Gyo o hage me
Hito ni shin setsu ni

Then we get a very different vibration.

Carmen: Yeah. Yeah, that felt really good (Carmen and Frans laugh)

Carmen: You know, it’s funny that I’m coming back around in such a spiral back to the chanting because I really love kirtans. I really love the Hindu chakra system, and all the seed syllables, and vibrating the body, and I love sound healing and here I think – I’m not looking at it as, oh we are missing out on this opportunity. I was looking at more as, you created this opportunity and space in your life to add it into your practice. So I am excited to see what will… 

Frans: This is also such a common thing in Japan. You know if you go to Japan, oh, you see people chanting everywhere: in their homes, in their private temples, at Shinto shrines, everywhere people do some chanting. And because it’s such a powerful tool for healing.

Carmen: Yes. In your sound healing workshops are you just using the tones or do you actually use bowls, gongs, that kind of stuff as well – like instruments?

Frans: Ah, normally we just use our voices.

Carmen: Cool, that’s awesome. So once you get all those different vibrations in the same space, it becomes really powerful.

Frans: Yes, but also for me I really see it that we always have our voice with us. We don’t always have a crystal bowl with us; we cannot always carry it on our back. But we always carry our voice with us. So sometimes when we use – not always, but sometimes when we use too many external implements we start to rely on them. A while ago someone was asking me this question and she had all these rocks and crystals and other things with her and I said, it’s nice, but if you walk on a street and you went out to a party all nicely dressed and your friend falls over, what are you going to say? Oh I don’t have my stuff with me so I can’t do hands on healing or it is not going to be as powerful because I don’t have my stuff with me. Then we give our power away. It’s about really realizing that traditionally the rock or the crystal or the bowl were tools to help us to realize that innate power. They were not – they were really an aid for yourself.

Carmen: Yes. Well you know I thought your website was really cool, and I know we need to start wrapping up our conversation. So when our listeners go to The International House Of Reiki, you have a way that they can say what area they are from, because you have opportunities all over right now for people to participate in your courses and your workshops and things.

Frans: Absolutely. On our website, if you go to the home page, you see a little tag that says Australia, Asia, North America, United Kingdom, Europe and if you click on it you get sub tags which is courses, online courses or events, retreats and you can click on those.

Carmen: Quite impressive database you have behind the screen there. (laughs)

Frans: Yes, it’s really good, actually. (laughs) So actually, we have a retreat coming up in September in Philadelphia and we have a retreat coming up in California. So we do four day Reiki retreats where we do a lot of those kinds of things that we talked about today, actually.

Carmen: That’s great, that’s really cool. And then do you, you wind up in San Francisco quite a bit? It looked like you had a couple of things going on. 

Frans: I do actually, because I fly in from Sydney to San Francisco; it’s an easy entrance point. So I do quite a few classes in San Francisco. Actually in February I am doing there a Reiki 1 and Reiki 2 class. And I also often do Reiki 3, Shinpiden class there. But I teach in New York. I teach in Boston, Cincinnati, Los Angeles, etc.

Carmen: Excellent. Hopefully our listeners will be able to connect to you somehow as things come together and you fly around the country.

Frans: Thank you, Carmen 

Carmen: Again, thank you so much for sharing your time. Is there anything else that I didn’t ask you that you want me to make sure our listeners know about?

Frans: No, it was perfect; I love it.

Carmen: Excellent, alright. Well I really, really, really, appreciate it! 

Frans: Oh, you’re welcome. 

Carmen: And it’s early in your time, so have a nice rest of your day .

Frans: Okay, thank you. Thanks bye bye Carmen.

Carmen: Bye 

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