Archive for July, 2010

Will Reiki Cure Me?

Saturday, July 31st, 2010

Maybe, maybe not.

I bet you wanted more than that didn’t you? Here’s the full scoop, I simply cannot say and neither can anyone else. When I offer Reiki to someone it’s with the intention that the Reiki do for that person what is for their highest good. I simply cannot predict nor judge what that will look like.

Reiki is by definition life-force energy. Our personal energy becomes disrupted by negativity or imbalance of any sort. Thoughts, emotions, physical distress, all can knock our energy out of balance and may manifest as ailments on any level, physical, mental, emotional or spiritual. When you receive Reiki the energy flows to offer you balance once again. However, how and when you receive that energy is up to you on both a conscious and subconscious level.

When I offer Reiki to a client I ask them to intend that the energy will help them to release the negativity which no longer serves their highest good. It is important however to note that I have no way of knowing what the receiver is ready to release. If we are ready on all levels to heal then the healing may well begin. That healing may begin on a spiritual level and offer physical relief, either partial or complete. The balance that is restored to a client begins the healing on whatever level is for their highest good at that moment.

Healing has many definitions. It may the complete resolution of a problem, or it may be temporary relief of certain symptoms. For instance, I occasionally suffer from shoulder pain. While I may ask for relief from this pain during a Reiki session, until and unless I am ready to release the mental and emotional issues which manifest themselves as that pain, it will recur in time.

Am I asking for temporary relief or long term healing? Am I willing to make the changes to my life which will bring about healing? These changes may mean respecting and loving myself enough to take excellent self-care. It could be forgiving someone who has hurt me, releasing old grievances, reducing work or family stress, etc.

When my dog Indy had his strokes, I found myself offering him Reiki to heal him on whatever level was appropriate for him. I had no way of knowing if this meant restoration to his former strong, athletic self or minimizing his discomfort and bringing him peace as he passed form this life. All I knew for sure was that the Reiki would calm Indy, and do what was truly best for him.

What all of this means is that I can and will make absolutely no promises about what your Reiki experience will look or feel like. I assure you that Reiki can never do harm, only good. While some clients report dramatic healing experiences that is not the case for everyone. Reiki will offer you restored balance and as we return to the balance which nature intended we are restored to our personal best.

I encourage you to give me a call for your own Reiki session. Then you will have the opportunity to explain to me just how the experienced has offered benefit to you.

Namaste,

Sandy

Meditation Musings – Being In The Now

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

Meditation comes in many forms and with many techniques but one of the commonalities of most of them is that one must usually start by being in the Now.

Among the traditional Ways, most fall into one of two methods; concentrative or mindful. In concentrative meditation one focuses their attention on something specific, the breathing, an image, or a sound (mantra), while in mindful meditation one allows thoughts, images, feelings, sensory input, to pass through the mind without attaching to them or becoming engaged by them. In either technique one must have a starting point and that point is usually the Now.

Most of us don’t spend much time in the Now. Have you ever finished a routine trip in the car without being aware of the actual trip? You were somewhere but you weren’t in the Now. Your mind was thinking about something else while your body was on ‚Äö√Ñ√∫auto-pilot‚Äö√Ñ√π. When you are lying awake for the second night in a row, unable to sleep because your thoughts keep whirling around in your head, you’re not in the Now. When you walk away from the stove without turning off the burner, you’re dangerously not in the Now. For much of human history not being in the Now was often a fatal condition.

Babies exist in the Now and one can often watch as toddlers stop living in the Now over a matter of weeks or months. If you’ve ever played an intense game of volleyball (or some other sport) and felt like you had all the time in the world as everything around you slowed down, you were in the Now. The runner who’s in ‚Äö√Ñ√∫the zone‚Äö√Ñ√π and exhilarates in the feeling of the breath in their nostrils and the blood pumping in their arteries is in the Now.

Meditation allows us to relearn being in the Now and many of us then carry that process out of the zendo and into our daily lives. When one has learned to use that gentle, persistent redirection of the mind into the Now while meditating one often finds applications in other places. When faced with a complicated or tedious task at work, being in the Now allows us to keep focus and make better use of our time and energy. When interacting with other people, being in the Now makes us more tuned-in to them and can make us aware of subtle verbal and nonverbal cues we would otherwise miss. If one is in the Now at bedtime those whirling thoughts aren’t there and one can finally get to sleep. In a strange or unfamiliar situation being in the Now can bring to our attention details and information that can help keep us safe.

Some schools of meditation indicate that the ultimate goal of sitting is to move into a state where one is always in the Now. I would like to meet such a person. I marvel at the thought of such a disciplined mind and I think it would be fascinating to see how they deal with their day-to-day world.

Personally, this is one of the reasons that I say I ‚Äö√Ñ√∫practice‚Äö√Ñ√π meditation, staying in the Now isn’t always easy for me. I have, however, learned to notice the signs of my distraction and gently and persistently pull myself back into the moment. As time goes by I’ll continue to get better at it. It’s another tool in my spiritual and mental toolbox that helps enhance my life and make me a better person.

Namaste,
Jim

Join Team Ameriprise/Serenity!

Monday, July 19th, 2010

I don’t know anyone whose life has not been touched by cancer in one form or another. Ovarian cancer is often referred to as ‘The Disease that Whispers’ because it is often undetected in early stages. WOCA, or Wisconsin Ovarian Cancer Alliance is working hard to change all of that. It is their mission to educate the public regarding the symptoms of ovarian cancer so that it is recognized in it’s earliest stages when the survival rate is extremely high. They also make it their mission to offer support and advocate on behalf of women with ovarian cancer. These ladies are hard working, but always cheerful and optimistic. They know they are making a real difference in the world.

September is ovarian cancer awareness month. WOCA holds many events during September and one of them is Nancy’s Run, Rock N Stroll on September 18th. One of my favorite people suggested forming ‘Team Serenity’, a few team members will undoubtedly run the 5K and some will walk. This is your invitation to participate as part of Team Serenity.

You are of course most welcome to participate on your own or form your own team! For more information, visit the WOCA website. http://www.wisconsinovariancancer.com/news-and-events.php The brochure is also attached.

There are many other wonderful events happening, particularly in September, including the month long event ‘Turn the Towns Teal’ when they ask us to simply raise awareness of ovarian cancer by tying teal ribbons (gladly provided by WOCA) on your mailbox, lamp posts or at your place of business.

Serenity is donating $10 from each coaching and Reiki appointment scheduled in September to WOCA, it is our privilege to support this wonderful organization.

Give me a jingle, or drop me a line via email if you’d like to join Team Serenity. Of course we’ll have a great time and we will be making a difference. How cool is that?

Namaste,
Sandy

Meditation Musings

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

As Serenity expands it’s Group Meditation offerings I’d like to take a few
moments to talk about how we view meditation and how our groups tend to work.

Modern science tells us of many benefits of meditation including lower blood
pressure, stress level reduction and better sleep patterns. Most of us who
practice meditation would add to the list, a better understanding of ourselves
and a generally calmer attitude towards life’s travails and petty indignations.
Some form of meditation seems to be a part of most civilizations and some
methods have been in use for thousands of years.

I was an occasional meditator for many years and mostly practiced when I felt
the stress in my life becoming overwhelming. One day it dawned on me that if
meditation could help when I was under a heavy stress load, perhaps, if used on
a regular basis, it could keep my stress load from building up in the first
place.
As I practiced on a more regular basis I began to study the different types of
meditation disciplines. I was struck, not by the differences, but by the
similarities. I also found that my own meditation technique (crafted  by 40
years of intermittent practice) fell into none of the traditional methods. And
yet, I benefit enormously from my practice.

I don’t find it surprising that humans have found such diverse ways to touch
that place we touch when we meditate. We are an endlessly creative species. And
the similarities within all these practices? Well, how many shapes can a wheel
be? They were all created to get us to that place we go when we  sit. That is
their greatest commonality.

My friend Sandy says that when she prays she’s talking to God, when she
meditates she’s listening to God. I start my meditation each morning with the
affirmation “I sit, I sit because it is what I do, I sit without thought of goal
or gain‚Äö√Ñ√π. Our respect for each other’s Way is evident and when you come to our
group your Way will be equally respected.

If you’ve never meditated before we can certainly help you find your own Way.
There’s nothing magical or difficult about it. You don’t have to sit
cross-legged on a funny cushion (but please don’t mind if I do). You don’t have
to “stop your thoughts” (unless you want to). If you do nothing but sit quietly
in a calm and supportive atmosphere you will begin to reap the benefits of
meditation.

Our groups usually meet for 90 minutes. First we typically have a short reading
and/or discussion about some aspect of meditation. We then have 30-45 minutes of
meditation, which could be a guided meditation recording, meditation appropriate
music, or guidance by a group member. We then have a short time to unwind,
discuss the day’s meditation, journal or sit quietly. Whatever the group
prefers.

We presently have our Wednesday morning group which meets from 9:30-11:00 am but
if you would like to see a group at another time or in another format, let us
know. We will be expanding to evenings and weekends as new groups form. We have
a $5 fee per session to help defray the cost of the space, tea, and water.

As these groups grow I’m excited about meeting people with techniques new to me
and those who wish to begin meditating for the first time. Who knows what we’ll
learn?

Nemaste,
Jim