When I met Sr. Dee at Yoga in January 2016, I never thought that I would be teaching my first Reiki class to a group of retired Ursuline nuns.
We had an instant connection. When we discovered that we both have strong ties to Indonesia and that she was a Reiki practitioner too, we fell into each other’s arms. That’s when our friendship began and the course of my Reiki journey changed.
Sr. Dee had been trained in Reiki more than 25 years ago at a convent in Cleveland. She was attuned to the third level, but never taught Reiki to others. Over time, she stopped practicing Reiki. She was intrigued by my devotion and training and wanted to learn more about how I practice Reiki. I shared with her the importance of a daily Reiki practice and self-care, how taking my well-being into my own hands changed my life. I practiced reiju with her and we practiced hands-on healing together.
One day, Sr. Dee mentioned that it would be nice to bring Reiki to the other sisters at the convent. I had visited the convent in New Rochelle several times already and the sisters knew me as Sr. Dee’s young Reiki friend. Sometimes over lunch we talked about Reiki. We set the dates for a Reiki 1 class in June and July 2017. I wrote an outline of the class and six sisters signed up.
As the day of the class approached, I grew nervous. Thoughts like “Who am I to teach Reiki to nuns? These women have been living and breathing spirituality for 60+ years and I am just a young whippersnapper. What do I know?” Then I realized that I could talk about Reiki, that I could share my love for the practice, my stories and experiences with them, and that we could all spend two beautiful days together…
… and that’s what we did. We experienced connection, oneness, our inner bright lights. We talked about how being at peace with oneself and others can make an individual’s world a better place.
It didn’t matter that these women are in their 80s and 90s, it didn’t matter that they are nuns. All that mattered was the space we created and shared together. A space filled with love, respect, compassion and kindness.
We talked about the precepts and how despite decades of discernment and spiritual training, some of the sisters still feel anger at times, how they worry and that it’s easier to show compassion to others than oneself. We practiced Gasshô, Jôshin Kokyû Hô, Kenyoku Hô, hands-on healing on self and others. Each of us felt the beauty of Reiki and awe for the individual experience.
At the end of the second day, we were filled with gratitude, joy and a sense of deep peace. As I was getting ready to leave, one sister said to me, “you are part of our family now.”
Yes, I am. I am part of their community and they are part of mine. As Reiki practitioners, we are reminded that we are all part of the human family, regardless of age, culture, religious affiliation. We are all connected by the values of love, respect and compassion. We practice the precepts and carry them in our hearts. Through this practice we are reminded that there is so much more than the individual person… that we are all on this journey, called life, together.