Sometimes, as I move forward, my path feels like it becomes clogged: a traffic jam of modalities, movements, and personalities running or dancing along with the promise of Light. I parse and intuitively choose my path, holding on to the idea that all paths are valid and unique, but that mine is for me alone to design. The Shinpiden “stage” – the French word for seminar or apprenticeship – with Frans Stiene in Paris was no exception, though, finally, exceptional.
I was not sure why I signed up for the stage. My experience with reiki had been less than nourishing, spiritually, as my prior teacher had focused heavily on strict ritual, and I did not feel the deepening of consciousness that I was seeking, that I seek still. Yet reiki continued to call me, an echo of the haunting familiarity I felt when working in Japan years ago. When I saw an email announcing Frans’ stage in Paris, I signed up immediately. There was no question in my mind, no doubt: it was very clear that I would take this class, never mind that the timing was tight, my attitude toward the subject ambivalent, the teacher unknown (nothing a quick google couldn’t solve!), and the other attendees, strangers.
As the stage started, I was a bit nervous; it seems I am always thus when there is a great learning at hand… but that is hindsight. I was very nervous specifically because I felt out of my element: I learned that the other attendees were all “old hands”, former students, current teachers, come from near and far for a course which I had “just stumbled” upon. Gulp. But my nerves eased as Frans set the tone which was held through the three days: sacred space created in the context of his unprepossessing style, authenticity and humor. Sacred after all does not mean “seriousness at the expense of joy”! Thus I was able to forget my “self” and my worries and move into the sacred space he created.
As I listened, my soul sang out in recognition…my heart beat in confirmation. Frans laid out the historical context of reiki very simply and clearly, and answered all questions with integrity (including some of those “I don’t know”s which can be so rare in a teacher less comfortable with his subject, and with himself!)
But what caught me, what birthed relief and joy in my being, was his discussion of the rituals of reiki as a tool to use to get to the Essence (our essence), not as an end in itself. He explained further that our intention is the basis for the effectiveness of ritual. Yes! It seemed to me that he was speaking what I had always felt: that ritual, in the service of intention, is sacred as a path to the Sacred. In this context, I happily learned and practiced rituals to use in deepening my own practice and in passing the torch to others, that they, too, might find their Light and shine.
Each day of this stage, I felt myself grow; in the evening, I could barely make it home, I was so tired and happy. From one day to the next, I felt myself becoming lighter and lighter, and I joyfully saw this in the others as well. The final day brought with it a special gift: another “stagaire” said that he felt though my ritual that he had received “what he needed” – the very words I had used in forming my intention!! Full of gratitude, I felt I had found, somehow, my place.
Since the stage, I have been actively engaged in my growing, in this apprenticeship of energy and light- reiki – with tools I learned at Frans’ Stiene’s Shinpiden stage, a miracle begun one beautiful September weekend in Paris.
I did not know why I signed up for the stage…but I do now.