Reiki – Is It A Religion?

Nope, ’nuff said? Hmmm, perhaps it would be best if I elaborate just a little bit. 

Take a look at the beautiful trillium growing amongst the leaves. The flowering plant is indeed a living thing, it is energy. That’s what Reiki is, energy. Plain and simple. Well, not too plain and simple or this blog would be over and we would all understand just the point I’m trying to get across.

When we talk about Reiki, we define it as Universal Life Force Energy. It flows with our intention, calming and balancing our body, mind and spirit so that we are able to release, relax and heal. While I suspect that most of us do indeed consider this a spiritual event, it seems to me that the energy flows just as well for the atheist. After all, energy is energy and flows regardless of where we believe it comes from or how we explain its existence.

I have electricity in my house, that electricity or energy allows my laptop to operate and that allows me to share my thoughts about Reiki with you in this blog. Do I believe that this energy comes from God, Universe, Source or Creator? Yep, it just so happens that I do. However, I have a very dear friend who is ‘knows’ in his heart that my belief in a deity is a way to comfort myself, he considers it a myth. Turns out that the electricity flows in his house just as well. In the same way, I believe that the energy that we call Reiki does come from my Creator, use whatever name you prefer, I don’t think he/she minds a bit. I am simply a channel for this energy, it flows with my intention. Feels pretty darned good too.

This lovely flow of Reiki energy happens regardless if I am Catholic, Buddhist, Muslim or any other religion. Oh yeah, it’s important to note here that the Reiki energy also flows for those who are of no faith as well. Reiki is energy. Doing its job, completely independent of where I think the Reiki energy originates. How fabulous is that? 🙂

My belief regarding how the trillium grows, why electricity works, or indeed where the Reiki comes from is not an issue, at least for me. So, while I continue to feel that offering Reiki, accepting Reiki, simply thinking about Reiki is a spiritual experience. Reiki is absolutely not a religion. Reiki, along with all of these other wonders, exists. I see, enjoy and experience all of these things in one way or another each and every day. Reiki and all of these wonders that are made up of energy enhance my life in marvelous, wondrous ways. I am deeply grateful. That’s good enough for me.

Namaste,
Sandy

Why on Christmas?

First of all, if you celebrate Christmas I would like to wish you a most magnificent day! However, for a variety of reasons not everyone does celebrate Christmas, what does that say about them and how are they treated?

I happen to be a Christian so for me Christmas is a no-brainer celebration. After all, as a Christian my faith tells me that this is the day to celebrate the birth of our savior. In honor of that amazing fact, we as Christians gather together to sing praises to our God, we often exchange presents and offer good cheer to those we meet. So far, so good. I have many friends who are not Christian, no problem. I wish them a most blessed day on religious holidays that I know are important to them and they return the heartfelt wish on the days important to me. And then there are my friends who are agnostic or even atheist, no problem. Many of them celebrate the day in a totally secular manner, again that seems to be considered acceptable to most people, Santa Claus visits, egg-nog is enjoyed and the world continues to spin to everyone’s satisfaction.

Enter a young man I’ll call Jeff, okay, he’s my middle son. He was raised Catholic,  however, he has decided that’s simply not his belief system. He doesn’t rain on anyone else’s parade; he doesn’t disparage our celebration he simply doesn’t ‘do’ Christmas himself. It’s interesting what sort of conversations and interesting comments take place when he mentions this fact to others. Apparently, this actually aggravates some people, my question is why? It seems that the common thought is that he is somehow a living, breathing, unreformed Ebenezer Scrooge because he doesn’t buy or expect presents or put up a tree. Huh? While I have no problem with folks celebrating in any way they choose it seems to me that we should be just as tolerant of someone who simply chooses not to celebrate.

I’ve heard some pretty disparaging comments about this and I don’t get it. Jeff frequently asks simple but thought provoking questions, such as why so many people pretend to like one another this time of year, but can’t tolerate one another next week. Why do they spend money buying presents for these people if they don’t truly care for them? Why are people expected to overspend to show they care about one another even if they cannot afford to spend money? Do any of those things have to do with the birth of Christ? From what I understand Jeff considers this sad and more than a bit hypocritical, I tend to agree. So, there are very unkind comments about him being unfriendly, stingy or even uncaring. While I don’t know the situation regarding every person who chooses not to celebrate Christmas I happen to know this is not the fact with this young man.

Jeff is always thoughtful about the feelings of others. If he is in town for Christmas or Easter he even attends mass with his Dad and me, not for himself, but because he knows it makes us feel good. I consider that to be very thoughtful. He’s absolutely not cheap or unwilling to spend on others; he is very generous without any special occasion in mind, because that’s just who Jeff is and the way he likes to treat people. More to the point Jeff and others I know who do not celebrate this particular holiday tend to treat people pretty much the same, day in or day out. Willing to know strangers before they judge them, loyal to friends and pretty firm in their stand regarding those they dislike. Now that seems very fair to me.

It seems that Jeff had a few things to say about this himself, you can read his thoughts if you visit Walden Ponder. http://www.waldenponder.com/2009/12/christmas-comes-every-year

Today, I am celebrating Christmas with the members of our family who are in town. We will eat, open presents and enjoy being together all in the name of celebrating the birth of Christ. I’ve got to say that I appreciate Jeff and others who don’t celebrate for the gentle reminder they offer. I will try to keep his position in mind all year long, hopefully, it will be a good reminder for me to keep in contact with those I care about, offer my love and generosity throughout the year and not only on particular days. I have to believe that is the best way I can honor my own Christian beliefs and respect the beliefs of others at the same time.

For those of you who celebrate, I wish you all the most wonderful blessings of this marvelous day. For those who don’t celebrate, I still wish you all the blessings of this marvelous day. Gosh, that feels good.

Namaste,

Sandy