Archive for September, 2010

In Reiki the Only Absolute is No Absolutes

Saturday, September 25th, 2010

The first time I experienced Reiki it changed my life. Sounds a bit dramatic doesn’t it? Well, for me it was just that. I had been experiencing severe shoulder pain for quite some time. I vividly remember being on that Reiki table and as the hour neared ending I was getting very concerned, actually I was preparing to be angry. You see, at that time lying still for a period of time usually ended with me being in quite a lot of pain. I had gone through two shoulder surgeries which resulted in my shoulder operating properly but left me with chronic pain. Visits to my doctor had led me to believe that I would simply need to live with this pain, nothing else could be done.

The pain was not all that had let me to seek Reiki. At the time I was experiencing stress from several fronts and really was not being successful in releasing that stress on my own. My son Jeff advised, implored, nagged and generally badgered me to try Reiki as it had helped him with stress. Finally, I caved and went to check this out for myself. And if I admit the truth, I wanted to have a reason to ask Jeff to be quiet. 🙂

During our pre-session chat I asked questions, I wanted to know just what Reiki was going to do for me. The practitioner that I was visiting was very patient. She explained that Reiki is Universal Life Force Energy and that it would assist me to release negativity which no longer served my highest good. She went on to explain that this would assist me to heal on whatever level I was ready. Despite my many questions, or more accurately I might say that despite my badgering her to tell me precisely what to expect, she simply smiled and told me that my experience would be unique for me. She could not and would not tell me absolutely what to expect. Okay, I decided to give it a whirl.

That first experience was unlike anything I had ever encountered. As I relaxed, my mind quieted, bit by bit. I felt myself becoming calmer and I thoroughly enjoyed the downtime. However, as I said above, as the session neared its end I found myself becoming a bit nervous about the pain I knew I would experience when I got off of the table. The shoulder pain I continually experienced was worse when I was still for an extended period of time. I fully expected to be in quite a lot of pain when I got up from the table. Imagine my surprise when instead of being in pain, I felt better than I had in quite some time. What happened? What was this Reiki that I could feel so much better? Had Reiki achieved this miracle? Would Reiki accomplish this calming affect each time I went for a session?

So many questions filled my mind and I asked each and every one of them after this first session. What the Reiki Master who was my practitioner told me, quietly and gently was that Reiki had allowed me to calm and relax and I was healing to the extent that I was ready. While I accepted that response, it didn’t feel concrete enough to me. So I persisted. I began reading books, visiting websites and questioning anyone and everyone I knew who either offered Reiki or had gone for sessions.

Eventually I came to accept what I had been told after my first experience. No matter what the level of the Reiki practitioner, from Reiki level one to Reiki master, the Reiki which flows is offered to the recipient by the practitioner, but the level of healing is up to the recipient. There are absolutely no absolutes when discussing Reiki.

There have been times when I have been profoundly moved while receiving Reiki, tears of emotional release have flowed. Other times I have wanted to giggle I have felt such joy. Deep relaxation is not unusual, nor is it an odd event for my mind to flit from one topic to another. The only constant is that I now know, Reiki is flowing from practitioner to recipient and it is entirely up to the recipient to use in the manner which serves their highest good.

Mental, emotional, physical and spiritual. Reiki works on all levels, but it’s not for me to say to what degree at any given time. The intelligent energy of Reiki works on the level which we are prepared to accept. I find it exciting and reassuring that I do not know just what will happen. For me the trust is everything.

I know that Reiki only works for the highest good. I know that Reiki works on the level that the recipient is ready to accept. I know that Reiki is complementary with all medical treatments, that it can never do harm. What will that look like to me or to you? I can’t say for sure. That’s why once again I offer, when working with Reiki there are absolutely no absolutes.

I encourage you to experience Reiki for yourself. The experience may simply offer you an opportunity to relax and recharge…or it may change your life.

Namaste,
Sandy

Meditation Musing – Rhythms

Saturday, September 18th, 2010

Some form of meditation is practiced by many cultures and different cultures have developed many different ways to help its practitioners archive the desired mental state. A very common form of assistance is one that enhances the mental rhythms of meditation.

While it is unlikely that early Shamans and Holy people knew much about brainwave frequencies and functions, they early on recognized that certain beats and rhythms seemed to affect them profoundly. The easiest method of providing these beats and rhythms was with a drum and indeed, some form of drum or similar percussion instrument is found in most cultures. Meditators today have many options and technologies to help them get to that place we go when we Sit and the process of entrainment is one of them.

Entrainment is the method of using sound frequencies to lead our brain to a particular mental state by providing it with the frequencies that it will give off when in the desired state. As an example, the brains of many meditators begin to generate alpha waves when they reach a deep meditative state. These waves are timed at about 8 to 12 cycles per second. Alpha state entrainment will provide the brain with sounds in the 8-12 cycles per second rate with the goal of leading the brain into that state in which it will begin to generate brainwaves in the same range. When successful, the brain is led into that deep meditative state one is striving for.

The problem is that most brainwave frequencies are below the typical human hearing threshold, particularly of adults whose threshold usually gets higher and higher with age. Getting our brains to hear these rhythms requires more than just beating on a drum.

There is a process in the science of sound that shows us that if we mix two tones together we will produce the two individual tones, the sum of the two tones and the difference between the two tones. For our purposes, if we hear a 200 cycle tone in our left ear and a 210 cycle tone in our right ear, our brain will be able to perceive the 10 cycle difference harmonic and react accordingly. The 200 and 210 cycle tones are very audible to our ears and the 10 cycle tone is in the middle of the alpha band and may lead the brain into a deep meditative state. Since the desired sounds are below our hearing range they are often called sub-audible tones (not to be confused with subliminal messages, which may be covered in a future blog). We could also have two drums, at two different beat rates, providing our ancient Shamans with the same results.

When sleeping, the brain generally settles into delta wave activity which is in the 1 to 4 cycle per second range. By the methods discussed above we can provide the brain with delta waves and often encourage the brain to fall asleep. Theta waves, about 4-8 cycles per second seem to lead to deeper sleep, and when sustained while awake cause a deep meditative state that is often very creative and intuitive.

Many recordings that use entrainment recommend the use of headphones for experiencing the full effect of the technology. It is important to note that if the recording was created specifically for use with headphones listening to it without headphones can be disorienting and perhaps confusing.

I have used many different entrainment recordings but my favorites are generally from Brain Sync (www.brainsync.com), created by Kelly Howell. With a wide variety of titles to choose from and free downloads to try I have always found them to provide good quality recordings that work for me. This Serenity link; http://www.sandywalden.com/recommended.php will lead you to some of those recordings we like the most.

Namaste,
Jim

Teaching Reiki

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

Twice a month I hold Reiki classes. One full day to teach Reiki level one and another to teach Reiki level two. You will always find the scheduled Reiki classes on my calendar. However, I’m also happy to hold classes to accommodate the schedule of anyone who is interested in learning Reiki and receiving their Reiki attunement.

I remember when I was growing up that I thought I was destined to become a nurse. That’s what almost all of the women in my family did, they went into nursing. Seemed like a good idea, but a part of me balked at the idea, all of those bodily fluids I suspect. While I thought I was supposed to go into nursing, another part of me wanted to be a teacher.

Well, that’s simply not the way the cookie crumbled. For one reason and then another, I traveled a different path. It’s been a bit twisted, I even doubled back on more than one occasion and the truth is that I stumbled and even fell more than once. Still, it’s been interesting, fun and mostly fabulous.

Eventually I found that the path brought me to Reiki. Once there, I found myself wanting to experience the blessings that come with Reiki more and more. Marvelous! Of course, this led me to continue practicing and learning until I had become a Reiki master, teacher. Ahhhh, that felt very good. Now I was not only able to share this blessed healing energy with others, but I was able to share the gift of Reiki in still one more fashion. Being a master, teacher I now had the ability to pass along the Reiki attunement which ‘switches on’ one’s ability to channel Reiki.

Again and again I have heard others refer to me as a healer. Again and again I remind myself and them (very gently of course) that I am most certainly not a healer. The energy of Reiki is healing and allowing the receiver of the Reiki energy to heal themselves. I am simply the channel, a bit like the faucet in the kitchen. The water does not come from the faucet, but is channeled through the faucet, see my point?

It recently occurred to me that becoming a Reiki master, teacher was what I was intended to do, at least in part. I know that more is coming. I suspect that the part of me that thought I was supposed to become a nurse was the part that knew I would be offered the opportunity to share this healing energy with others at some point in my life. The little girl who wanted to become a teacher is satisfied each and every time I discuss Reiki with others, and most specifically when I teach and attune others to Reiki.

When you take one of my Reiki classes it may be a bit different from what you experience with other master, teachers. We all have our own style of course, which is why I encourage you to learn with as many as opportunity allows for you. When I teach it’s really not about me lecturing you, it’s much more interactive than you may expect. I’m excited and very interested in your Reiki experiences and I am happy to share mine. We learn from one another in the most wonderful way. Of course I will teach you what I have learned about the history of Reiki, traditions and the beliefs which hold true for me. Mostly, I will encourage you to trust, allow yourself to be guided by your own intuition, your gut if you will. You already have most of the answers; I will do my best to teach you to learn how to listen to those answers.

You will be encouraged to experience, question and share. Each of us takes a unique journey; we all have very different experiences with Reiki. If there is anything at all that I hope to teach you when you take a Reiki class with me, it is that once you have been attuned with Reiki, you have it, it can never be taken away and will never dissipate no matter how much or how little you use it. First, last and always, it’s about trust and intention. If you intend that the Reiki be offered with love and for the highest good of the receiver, the Reiki will do all of the rest. You may be a newly attuned Reiki practitioner or someone who has been Reiki for years, when you offer Reiki it is all the same.

Teaching Reiki gives me more reason to smile. It’s simply one more wonderful blessing in my already silly happy life and I am grateful to be able to share this with others. Reiki does the teaching; I’m just along for the wonderful ride.

Namaste,
Sandy

Meditation Musing-Focusing The Mind

Saturday, September 4th, 2010

When someone recently told me that they often couldn’t sleep because their mind just kept spinning around and wouldn’t stop, I suggested that they visit one of our meditation groups. I was told sadly that meditation wouldn’t work for them because their mind wouldn’t stay in one place for that long, they couldn’t concentrate like that.

I gently tried to explain that if only the people who could concentrate and focus their minds perfectly meditated there probably wouldn’t be very many meditators. In fact, I continued, I believe one of the purposes of meditating is to help build the muscles of the mind. Meditating is, for the mind, what a workout is for the body.

Using the gentle, persistent return to the Now during meditation is the mental equivalent to lifting weights. One starts with a level and intensity with which they are comfortable and through regular exercise of their mental muscles they get better and better at telling their mind what to do and having it obey. You sit in your space and when your mind goes someplace else you gently and persistently bring it back to the Now. Over and over and over. Like a would-be runner who can only jog a few moments before becoming winded and one day finds themselves trotting along for forty five minutes or an hour, the meditator gradually learns to keep their mind in the Now for longer and longer periods. Among other things this process teaches us patience and, perhaps most importantly, it teaches us patience with ourselves, which for many people is much harder than having patience with others.

Some Ways have a practitioner focus their minds on a thing; breathing, a mantra, a candle, focusing the mind like a zoom lens. Other Ways have one focus the mind on nothing, passing thoughts and sensations through the mind with no attachment or comment, a mental wide angle lens. Whichever Way one chooses, the focus is a tool to bring us into the Now. Our ability to use a tool quickly and efficiently grows with practice. So does the ability to discipline our mind

Please understand, the purpose here is not necessarily to reformat our brains to live only or entirely in the Now, although some Ways strive for just that. Mostly we want to be able to bring ourselves to that calm and stable mental place when we need or want to. That way, when a crisis occurs or we can’t get to sleep we can take the deep abdominal breaths with which we start our meditations and we will automatically return to the Now, grounded and centered, our minds calm and serene. And yes, the same processes can help us experience pleasurable moments of our lives quite intensely. Human interactions can be quite interesting when the people involved are in the Now. What greater compliment or gift could we give to another person besides our complete, undivided, focused attention?

Namaste
Jim