In 1980, I decided to participate in a Reiki course. I had been told by my doctors that by the time I was forty, I would be totally paralyzed and in a wheelchair. After the Reiki course I started to give myself Reiki, and I experienced a return to harmony on all levels. The paralysis disappeared but most importantly I felt I had touched my soul and had experienced deep peace. I had awakened from a long sleep. I maintain my normal life as a financial advisor and did Reiki in the evenings. I became a Reiki Master in July of 1983 because I wanted other people to have an experience of peace and fulfillment that I knew Reiki could bring.
In 1988 I decided to make a trip to study regression techniques in England. I had been using regression work with Reiki in my Reiki practice in Texas. A few days before my departure I went to visit a friend at her office. There was a woman sitting in the waiting room; she looked at me and said: “Soon you will go to a long journey, you will not return to the United States. Take everything you need with you, especially warm clothes, you will wake up the sleeping people of many churches.” I thought the woman was strange and absolutely had no intention of working in a church. Besides it was my plan to be back in three month or less. Everything was arraigned.
However after I had been in England for two months I decided to stay in Europe. I was the first Usui Reiki Master in England. I had been invited by many people to travel and facilitate courses all over the UK. My family was shocked because I always had to have a steady paid job, and here I was leaving everything and following my heart. They did not understand me and were worried about what was going to happen.
After working in England for some time I was asked to come and work in Scotland with a group of doctors that were interested in the influence of Reiki by clinical application for depression and motor-neurogical defects. It was an exciting time with a tremendous amount of work and research going on but, I was still missed something. One morning I was compelled to pray. I got down on my knees and I asked to be told where to go to be able to serve mankind. In ten minutes I received a telephone call and was told to go to Czechoslovakia. I remember looking up to the ceiling and saying Gosh God that was fast!
I followed my heart and arrived in Prague on February 3rd 1991. Fortunately for me a friend in Holland had given me an old coat and a pair of boots because there was much colder than I had ever experienced. My first day in Prague the temperature was an all time low of –38 Celsius, even the water in the Voltiva river was frozen.
As a way to live I started teaching English in a local hospital and at the high school in Kolín 50-kilometers to the East from Prague. I had the idea that I would only stay three months. When I arrived it was so different. The people were just free form communism and had no idea about basic ways to support themselves in a healthy life style. They had never been able to experience energy medicine things that I had taken for granted. I had only fifty dollars, two suitcases and my willingness to make a difference in whatever way I could. I was housed in student housing for medical personnel. There were 17 of us on one floor that shared one toilet and one tub. I came away from everything I thought that I needed to feel safe and comfortable.
Actually I say to people now that God had a great sense of humor because he knew I would have said ‘Look I tried it isn’t working and I will leave now” but, I couldn’t leave I did not have enough money to go anywhere. I had to make it. I surrendered my fear and placed my trust in God. Some of the doctors took me in and fed me the first two months because it took that long to get my 30 Dollars a month salary paid to me. After some time my English students at the hospital asked me what I really did when I didn’t teach English and I told them about Reiki. You see life had given me the heads of the various departments in the hospital to teach English. They asked me to work with several of their patients to monitor the effects of Reiki. When they discovered that Reiki was a natural complement to their own Allopathic medicine they wanted to learn the system themselves. The first Reiki course in Czechoslovakia was for 28 doctors at the regional hospital in Kolin. The director of the hospital went on to become the first Health Minister for the country.
And they also gave me an office in the administration building to see people who may be interested in having some Reiki. I was also given a retired Doctor to be my translator three days a week. There were no promises that anyone would come in fact they said for me to bring a book to read just in case.
There was not a single day that I ever picked up the book. I was working at the hospital form 7 am to 9pm first for the three days and then every day, seven days a week. I had to quit teaching English and concentrate on the people who came from everywhere not only the Czech Republic but also Poland and the Ukraine. I may think I would have 10 people to see that day and open the door to 40 or more, some who had traveled through the night by train or bus to come and experience Reiki. It was an incredibly humbling time.
Being in the practice of Reiki through an interpreter, surrendering everything and just being the conduit to transfer the energy taught me so much about people, the illnesses and certainly myself. When my interpreter could not be there I would ask in Czech ‘Where is the problem and then watch what they touched. It taught me to be acutely aware of body language, smell, and touch. What a school.
After some time the hospital was finding that I had more clients than they did. Mail would arrive addressed to Mrs. Mari, Kolin. The decision was made to have the Red Cross take me under contract to do a relaxation technique called Reiki. I continued to see clients seven days a week for 14 hours a day. I used three translators. Now just in case you are thinking I ran into a gold mine in Czech I want to assure you that working in an Eastern Block country is never about money. It was pure service. I was under contract. I was paid 7% of the net amount by the Red Cross. I was the lowest paid person in the city, worked the longest hours and probably was the happiest. I was doing what I had asked God for. I was in service.
People have asked me why did I stay in the Czech Republic. There are many reasons. I was busy working from my heart and before I knew it seven years had passed and then ten. I had taught over 35,000 people Reiki worked in clinics in Kolin and Liberec and written 5 books. But on another level I feel that this country is a center of Europe and certainly its heart. We all who are deeply spiritual will play an important role in future of Europe and the world. In order to support this progress we first have to reawaken our spiritual essence and strengthen our own spirit. Today in every village and town I see a church and remember the words the women said to me before I left the States, “to awake the sleeping people of many churches”. Her message has a profoundly deep spiritual meaning for me right now. The Czech Republic lies in heart of Europe. The heart is important for the whole organism the same way, as love is important for healing of broken heart and a whole man. Reiki is the unconditional love of the Universe. If someone believes in God, we can say that Reiki is God’s unconditional love. I was spiritually re-awakened. I also experienced such re-awakening with others.
On February 3rd of this year I celebrated my eleventh year here in the Czech Republic by remembering the past years I have lived here and the tremendous growth of spirit I have experienced. I sat and looked at the pictures of Kolin where I first lived and remembered the English classes in the hospital and Gymnasium, all these children are now grown up, are parents and making their way. I thought of the very first Reiki class for 28 doctors…all the people that touched my life in such profound ways, the days at the Red Cross with Josef translating for me while I worked with so many people giving Reiki and love . . .How we converted a sewing room at the Red Cross into a Reiki Room on Friday after all seeing all the clients, making sure to pick up the pins on the carpet in order to teach Reiki on the weekends. I remembered all the miracles that I had witnessed, the changes in the people as they touched their own souls. I remembered the conversations started and continued with a dictionary, trying to speak Czech, and practicing to ask, ”how much is this,” only to be frustrated because I forgot to learn the numbers. I still had to hold out the change in my hand for them to take what they needed me to pay. I was impressed with the Czech spirit, how they sang from their heart and still do. It was a time to acknowledge the start of coming away from everything and having to discover my inner will and resolve to trust and embrace the unknown and to find the gift that each new day brings.
Foremost is the impression of how I came into a deep realization how we are the same, no matter what religion, philosophy, color and language we speak. We can choose to find a common language. We can come to understand each other. And this is born from the compassionate heart.
I looked at pictures taken of myself over these eleven years and saw my hair getting more silver. I noticed in those pictures how softness had come over me as I moved into my own peaceful place inside. I acknowledged all the inner battles of my spirit. I came to terms with my past, let go of demands, and forgave, let go of people that came into my life and left again. I realized that people came into my life in the “right moment” and that I could choose to let these arrivals awaken me. I learned from my students! I learned not to take their departures personally. That was the biggest lesson…loosing your family is always hard, being a woman who mothers also requires a letting go, but not to take it personally – to realize that this is about choices in living – was a process to learn and fine tune here.
I haven’t finished learning, life (by its very nature) will always bring lessons to deepen awareness and turn this new understanding back out to the world. The Czech Republic is known for its fine cut crystal that is made to sparkle by the way it is cut and polished. What better place than Czech to cut and polish Mari.
Basically I feel like an older piece of glass that has been tenderly treated to a re-cutting and polish. I am more exposed, vulnerable, and I shine from the inside out. I am more dedicated than ever to helping people find this inner same kind of beauty. I am here to light a path to brotherhood and peace from a new perspective. I realize that, like eagles, we all have our own patterns of flight But I hope we meet in the vast sky of love and compassion — and soon. I invite you all to join me in this grand adventure called life. I invite you to remember to fly free and high but not alone.
Mari Hall has gained a well-earned reputation as a driving force for the tremendous growth and development of Reiki. Mari is the founder and director of the International Association of Reiki. She is a published author of several books on Reiki and personal development including Practical Reiki, Reiki for Common Ailments, Reiki for the Soul, Reiki, Practical ways to Harmony and two books in the Czech Language. She is the hostess for the Usui 21 day virtual Retreat that is in its 6th year.
Mari’s pioneering spirit has been directed in the establishing of International standards for the professional practice and teaching of Reiki, which have been endorsed by the British Registry of Complementary Medicine. In 1998 Mari was nominated for President Havel’s “Heart of the Country ” award.