Shaking off in New York City

Heather AlexanderArticles, English Leave a Comment

Dog Shaking wet

If you’ve ever seen a dog come out of the ocean dripping wet, fur all weighed down, looking happy he’s been drenched in his favourite watery goodness, then seen him do that doggy shake right down to the tip of his tail and emerge newly invigorated, lighter and bouncier, then you can imagine a little of the experience of the International House of Reiki Shinpiden course I attended this weekend. I went into it having spent the last half dozen years or so first dipping my toe into Reiki, then gradually emersing myself totally, now after 4 days I feel I have had that magical big shake and my fur is alive, each one standing on end, ready to face the world.

The weekend started informally, and at the beginning. Frans took us back to the Reiki precepts, there’s a chance to meditate on each one and to feel out what each could mean. For teachers, and longtime students this is a big ask. I mean we’ve been studying and practising for ages haven’t we? The precepts? We’re over them – we know what they have to tell us. But here starts the freedom of this course, the freedom to be a beginner once more with nothing to prove and everything to learn….or unlearn. From there we can ask again, what exactly is Reiki? What is the attunement? What are the symbols actually for? The course is set up to be simple and in that simplicity is the opportunity for great depth.

Like every good shake though, it requires a certain amount of effort. And this can be a challenge for us humans. Peeling back our own layers can definitely make the eyes sting after all – and so peeling back the human layers that have grown on our beloved Reiki is potentially much more difficult than that. To see that not everything that’s been taught about Reiki in the West fits in with the true teachings of Usui Mikao requires an open mind. As we look again at the original version of his first precepts, we are asked to look into ourselves, be true to OUR way and OUR being. To see that Reiki is within us, not drawn in a symbol and granted us just by way of knowing that shape. We are asked to realise that the shake comes from inside, there is no sidestep, no other power to do it.


On the other hand though, phew, what a relief. If I have the power within me then all I have to do is choose to access it and then accept the support it has to offer. One of the central parts of the weekend is the idea of developing our own spiritual practice. Like the self treatment in Reiki 1 but deeper – there’s chanting of the mantras that go with the symbols and a look at how both of those fit in with the precepts. In a way it brings everything together to show that each one is really just another path to the same thing created to give us choices about where to step.

And all of that is an amazing gift. Its obvious that years of research, studying and self practice have gone into the course and it doesn’t stop after the 3 days are up – just a week after and I have already been inundated with emails from Frans and Bronwen offering support and the chance to join forums to reach other Reiki practitioners too. As well as that emails have been flooding in from my new friends from my course. So following on from there I would like to say a big thank you to Frans and Bronwen for all their hard work and committment to Reiki and to us students, and I know that would be echoed by everyone else in the group. I am glad I had my big shake, although I am slightly daunted that its so obviously just the beginning!

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