Literally – our heart is an amazing pump. Approximately the size of your fist, and weighing less than 1 pound, it circulates approximately 6 quarts of blood throughout the body 3 times every minute. An adult’s heart pumps (re-circulates) nearly 4,000 gallons of blood each day through blood vessels. If these could be laid end-to-end, they would cover a distance of about 60,000 miles!
Symbolically – the heart represents different things to different people; somewhat “in the eye of the beholder,” so to speak. One interpretation that seems to transcend language and culture is that the heart symbolizes love, charity, and compassion.
Whether I’m at the end of a paper letter or email correspondence my closing is always “Listen with your heart.” It’s my perspective that the heart is the intersection of thinking (logic) and feeling (emotion). When these two powerful aspects of self are healthy and used in conjunction with each other, we function from a place of wisdom—the heart. This brings clarity in decision-making, removes drudgery, and adds exponentially to joy in the abundance factor.
It’s my perspective that we shouldn’t lead with our heart and only follow our emotions. Nor should we lead with our head and only follow logic. Rather, we should use the powerful combination of both and listen with our heart.
Author, Judith Campbell said, “When your heart speaks, take good notes.”
What is it?
Reiki is an ancient healing art thought to have originated in Tibet thousands of years ago. The Japanese word, Reiki (pronounced ray-kee) consists of two syllables:
Rei — “Universal”
Ki — “Life Force Energy”
The word Reiki refers to the energy itself, or the actual practice of healing with the energy. Simply put, Reiki is the method of channeling healing energy through the practitioner into the recipient. It is important to understand that the energy does not come from the practitioner; rather through the practitioner for the good of the recipient — energies needed to heal oneself, loosen internal energy blockages, reestablish mental and emotional equilibrium, and revitalize the body and soul.
Reiki is versatile in that it can be used as a stand-alone treatment, or combined with any other type of intervention to treat almost any disease, the most common being stress-related disorders. Research shows that 90% of all illness stems from stress in one way or another. Reiki helps to relieve the body of stress and triggers the body’s innate ability to balance and heal itself naturally. Reiki can be used for physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual healing. It is a ‘hands-on’ method of energy work, although Reiki energy can be sent as ‘distance healing’ also.
How Can It Help Me? For healthy individuals, Reiki is a simple, effective way to relax, relieve stress, and restore energy. For those with acute or chronic health problems, Reiki is a valuable complementary therapy. Reiki blends well with interventions such as medications, surgery, acupuncture, chemotherapy, and psychotherapy. By enhancing a person’s sense of well-being and helping their system to regain balance, Reiki can strengthen the benefits received from other health interventions.
How Does Reiki Work? Without conscious intervention by the healer, intelligent healing energies flow through the healer to the recipient in exactly the right amounts to precisely the right places in the recipient. The healer’s job is to “get out of the way” — to keep the healing space open, and to watch and listen for signs of what to do next. The Reiki energies are multi-dimensional and can heal the root of a problem on whatever level it may exist — body, mind, or spirit. Because it is a channeled healing, the Reiki practitioner’s energies are never depleted.
The energy flows out the palms of the practitioner’s hands, and the recipient’s energy does not flow back into the practitioner. The Reiki practitioner can stay in one place projecting the energy on or towards the person who is receiving it, but typically moves around the body. While the Reiki energy fills and surrounds the recipient’s body with its gentle vibrations, if there are parts that require more balancing of energy (called energy blocks), the Reiki energy naturally focuses more in those places.
Garden Hose - A Reiki Analogy by Laurie Buchanan
An Analogy Consider whenever a person goes outside to water the garden. They turn on the water tap, pick up the hose and focus the nozzle of the hose toward the garden. The person is not usually concerned with the water running out, or with the possibility of anything foreign coming in through the sides of the hose. The person does not worry about anything coming back up through the nozzle because the water pressure is too strong. While this person could just let the water run and it would work its way to all parts of the garden, they enjoy directing the water to their favorite plants, then possibly the balance of the garden. However, if there is a part that is in greater need than the rest of the garden, the water will accumulate more there and balance the entire garden’s water content. And it is usually obvious where these spots are, as more water gets absorbed there than elsewhere.
The water can be thought of as the Reiki energy. It comes from a source outside of the Reiki practitioner, and seems to have no limit to its availability. The hose is like the purified Reiki channel that is opened within the Reiki practitioner. It is pure and strong and nothing can penetrate it. The energy flows out the palms of the practitioner’s hands, (the nozzle, as well as other chakras in the body), and the recipient’s energy does not flow back into the practitioner. The Reiki practitioner can stay in one place projecting the energy on or towards the person who is receiving it, but typically moves around the body, starting with the recipient’s head (just like watering the favorite flowers first). While the Reiki energy fills and surrounds the recipient’s body with its gentle vibrations, if there are parts that require more balancing of energy (called energy blocks), the Reiki energy will focus more in those places. The end result is a balancing of the energy in the recipient — body, mind, and spirit.
Reiki Session by Len Buchanan
What to Expect Every practitioner is slightly different in their approach. During a Reiki session at HolEssence the client lays fully clothed on a Reiki table that is lightly heated in the fall and winter months. The head and neck are comfortably supported by a pillow, and the legs are elevated a bit to insure that there is no pressure on the lower back. The client then enjoys a somewhat cocoon-like effect that is created by:
– A lightweight blanket
– Comfortable stereo headphones softly playing Reiki-specific music
– An eye pillow
This ‘cocoon’ serves to diminish, if not eliminate, any outside distractions — providing the client with the opportunity to simply ‘float away’ during the session. The treatment room is filled with our gentle Signature Scent—a proprietary blend of essential oils specifically designed for profound relaxation.
During the session my hands are placed in specific positions slightly above, or very lightly on, the recipient. Breathing becomes slower and more comfortable as the recipient moves toward a deeper state of relaxation. The client may encounter a variety of responses. Some people feel a sensation of warmth from my hands. Others feel a soft wave of subtle pulsations flowing throughout their bodies, or a sensation of tingling or humming energy; while others feel somewhat like they are floating. Some people simply fall asleep.
After a Reiki treatment people generally experience contentment, greater mental clarity, feelings of deep relaxation and greater vitality, encouraging a return to wholeness and well-being. What every person agrees with is that Reiki is very comforting and relaxing.
A few other things about Reiki… There are few limitations to Reiki, but there are some things that Reiki will not do. Reiki, by design, can not do harm to anyone or anything. Reiki can not change the course of an illness when death is imminent. It can, however, smooth the transition for the dying person and even their family. Reiki cannot violate free will. A person is free to refuse the benefits of a Reiki session if they choose, consciously or subconsciously.
Reiki is not faith healing. The belief in Reiki by the recipient is not important for it to work. Belief in Reiki, or lack thereof, does not validate or invalidate its effectiveness. Reiki is not a religious belief, principle, or dogma as it encompasses all systems of thought, but the results can be spiritually uplifting. A single person or organization does not own Reiki, and there is not one particular ‘right’ way to practice Reiki.
By now you are aware that my hard drive is in the “Geek Squad Hospital” being “extracted.” There’s no photograph today because EVERY bloomin’ thing (and I do mean EVERYthing) is on that hard drive. I wasn’t going to post today, but as I sat here tapping my foot, I started to think about an up-and-coming set of posts that have been simmering in the back of mind.
In the fall I’d like to go through the alphabet and post ONE topic per letter, for a total of 26 posts. I’ve thought of some topics that might be of interest, but I’d like to know YOUR thoughts as well. I’m gathering this information now so that I can do the writing and photography for each post.
In the following list, if there’s something other than what I’ve suggested — please let me know.
If I’ve provided more than one topic for a letter — please let me know your preference.
If there’s no topic listed for a letter, please provide one (or some)
A – Angels
B – Blessings, Belief, Balance
C – Clairs (clairvoyance, clairaudience, claircognizance, clairsentience)
D – Divinity, Dreams
E – Elements (earth, air, fire, water)
F – Faeries, Feeling, Freedom
G – Grounding
H – Heart
I – Inner Sanctuary
J – Juicing
K – Kirlian Photography, Karma
L – Life Lessons, Labels (as in how we categorize each other)
M – Manifesting
N – Numerology
O – Other Side (as in “Heaven”)
P – Paranormal (phenomenon)
Q – Quiet
R – Radiesthesia (the art & science of the pendulum)
S – Spiritual vs. Religious, Sound
T – Totems (animal, insect, bird, or fish spirit guides)
U – Unity
V – Vitamins
W – Water, Writing
Y – (In a previous post I’ve already talked about Yin-Yang)
Z – Zen
Ranked a great virtue in numerous philosophies, compassion is considered in all the major spiritual traditions as among the greatest of virtues. I recently came across this quote from Matthew Fox, an American Episcopalian priest and theologian. It said, “Compassion is not sentiment, but is making justice and doing works of mercy. Compassion is not a moral commandment but a flow and overflow of the fullest human and divine energies.”
The virtues of the heart help us make more conscious and ethical decisions; they are what fuels great souls. It is my personal belief that love is a person’s divinity in action.
Compassion is vital to the healing process; the common denominator of all restoration. When we hold heart-based intent (Light, Divine Love) for another person, it yields a dividend; the promotion of health and wellbeing for both the sender and the receiver. It activates HeartLight – illumination of the sacred space within.
It is my perspective that healing cannot take place without love. Like a blade of light that pierces the darkness, HeartLight in our sacred space, inner sanctuary, can remove dis-ease and restore wholeness—body, mind and spirit.
Have you ever been part of the healing process for yourself?
Have you ever been part of the healing process for someone else?
Regardless of the religious tradition or spiritual path, at least one basic ingredient is shared; prayer and/or meditation. I’m often asked if prayer and meditation are the same things. In my experience, they’re similar, yet different. I think of prayer as talking with Divine Love and meditation as listening to Divine Love. Most of us have the talking part down pat. Many of us struggle with the listening part. As one of my clients says, “Even though it’s simple, it’s not always easy.” Simple and easy aren’t the same. Simplicity is efficiency, a clearing of clutter—mental or otherwise; while easy is uncomplicated and trouble-free.
Whether we pray out loud or speak from the quietness of our mind, our words and thoughts are things—they have a vibration—which means they’re powerful. In her book The Dynamic Laws of Prayer, Catherine Ponder wrote, “When you pray, you stir into action an atomic force. You release a potent spiritual vibration that can be released in no other way. Through prayer, you unleash a God energy within and around you that gets busy working for you and through you.”
(Photo was taken with self-timer in Ardnamurchan, Scotland)
Different from hearing, one of the benchmarks of a great communicator is their ability to listen:
We hear dogs bark, tires squeal, birds chirp, a siren wail, and church bells ring. When we hear, it’s usually passive. A passive listener is oftentimes busy formulating their own response while another person is speaking.
Listening is active; it’s something we invest our self in. An active listener pays attention; they take in what’s being said. By intent, when I listen to another person I remain aware of their inherent divinity. This practice prevents me from interrupting. Most of us would never interrupt Divine Love—God.
Do you hear or do you listen? The difference is important.
In many cultures the Sanskrit word “Namaste” is used as a respectful greeting. Translated it means “The light in me honors the light in you;” or “I honor the light within you.” When spoken to another person, it’s commonly accompanied by a slight bow made with hands pressed together, palms touching, and fingers pointed upwards in front of the chest. The gesture can also be performed wordlessly and carry the same meaning; acknowledgement of another’s divinity.
The optical occurrence in certain gemstones such as moonstone, opal, and Labradorite is of tremendous interest to me. It’s known as Adularescence; a distinctive shimmering or glow that appears to come from below the surface, but which is caused by diffraction of light. This phenomenon is impossible in the absence of light. The shimmering only takes place in the presence of light. It is my desire to live in a heart-based manner that radiates the presence of inner light—Divine Love.
University of Life – Living Meditation Course Description
For some people, meditation is a loving task that they make time for. For others, meditation is a way of living; a way of life. Most of us would agree that:
– we are not our bodies
– each person is an expression of divinity
– the essential quality of divinity is light
When we focus on light—Divine Love—we find joy in our journey, our actions are not contrived, we maintain awareness, have a servant’s heart (act for the benefit of others), have peace of mind, and we recognize the presence of light in everyone and everything. As we hold light—HeartLight—sacred space is created; space that allows us to move with equanimity.
Living meditation is dynamic; it occurs throughout our everyday experience—the good, the bad, and the indifferent. It’s easy to spot people whose lives are a living meditation. They teach more by who they are and what they do, than by what they say. They shine—their light precedes them.
University of Life – Divine Grace Course Description
“There but for the grace of God go I.” I have a difficult time with this familiar phrase. In my experience, it’s usually said by someone when they observe a person in an unfortunate circumstance. To me, those words mean, “I’m somehow special—elect—and don’t have to encounter that type of thing.” As if God imparts some people with a healthy dose of favor and leaves others to flounder.
Grace. We all have it. We’ve all been endowed with this innate gift. But what is it? Some say that it’s compassion or divine love; others say it’s the protection of God. I define it as the immediate presence of Spirit. One of my clients offers this definition, “Grace is the breath of God.”
The famous Latin writing, “Bidden or unbidden, God is present,” means that God is everywhere—not just with a select few—but with everyone in equal measure in the University of Life. We’re all here to gain understanding. Most of us learn by making mistakes. Some of us are taking basic courses; while others are in accelerated programs. Regardless of the level of difficulty, the classrooms have an ever-changing terrain. Having a strong and secure internal foothold—divine grace—helps us to stay the course.
If love is an act of compassion, then grace is divinity in action. The next time we see a person and think, “There but for the grace of God go I,” let’s put our divinity into action instead and be the immediate presence of Spirit for that individual; giving them a smile, a word of encouragement, or lending them a hand. Grace not given is grace lost.
The University of Life — Being Still Course Description
On a recent flight I took a photo of the propeller through the window. It was spinning so fast that it appeared motionless. It looked that way not because it wasn’t moving, but because it was spinning so fast.
Physics tells us that everything—without exception—is in motion. Even the massive rock you see in the photograph I took in Nova Scotia. Stillness is dynamic; it is un-conflicted movement (no friction). It can be experienced whenever there is total, unrestricted participation in the moment we’re in; when we’re unreservedly present with whatever we’re doing.
Stillness is a natural rhythm in the cycle of life. In the space that stillness creates—sacred space—we have the opportunity to quiet the mind and body; to re-group, re-charge, re-connect, and to find a point of reference; something to measure against. To find the wisdom we need to move forward. It’s here we’re embraced by the strength of calm serenity.
When we enter stillness, we drink deeply from the well of Divine Love. From this place, we can move back into the busy world refreshed.