Attunements and Cycles
The practice of Reiki has been on my mind recently, as I just finished teaching a Reiki 1 Workshop. It was a great class. Perfectly small (I had only two students). I had a lot of room to explore both the practice and energetic anatomy with participants. We also had a volunteer who was up for letting the students practice their newly learned skill.
The true magic of the class was the Reiki attunement. The attunement process is the heart of Reiki. It is the act of passing the energetic filter of Reiki to a student. While anyone had access to universal energy, only someone with a Reiki attunement can access the particular “energetic flavor” of Reiki (unless, of course, they receive said attunement through an event of illumination… but that’s pretty rare). When one is trained to be a Reiki Master, that person is taught the process of attunement, as well as how to begin to teach others the art of Reiki.
This weekend was the first time that I had taught Reiki 1 on my own. I had completed the attunement for people before, but it had been years. My Reiki practice is wildly different than what I was doing when I first began my Master class. I was intrigued to see how it would play out, and the Universe did not disappoint.
The first student to get the attunement had been to me before as a client. I remember the first time that I had her on my table. I had dug into the layers of her aura and found past life trauma that needed a little fixing on her neck, as well as a few other routine things. When we were done, she looked a little stoned which (to me) signifies a good session.
What she had not told me was that she didn’t have her sense of smell. At least, most of it. She could smell a little, as I understood, but it was muted at best. She had been living with it for a very long time, and didn’t think to mention it. After a good night of post Reiki session sleep (the perfect time to let all the energy settle in), she awoke and decided to head out to the garden to get a little work in. Suddenly, she noticed a strong scent. She wildly tried to find where it was coming from, until she realized… it was her. She had been using essential oils for a long time and, due to a lack of smell, she never noticed how strong it was. She rushed inside and began to notice all of the other smells in her house. She could smell again.
It’s amazing what Reiki can surprise you with. While it certainly can’t fix a broken bone, it can support the body in its healing process. It can also help with body problems that are emotional or energetic in nature. It’s also damn relaxing.
Back to this past weekend’s Reiki 1 class. As I had said, this student had received Reiki before, so her body was already familiar with the energy. As I attuned her with Reiki, Reiki symbols, and body posture, I could feel her central energy channel open up. We both started to fill up with Reiki and our respective body temps shot up. I’ve mentioned before in other blog entries how Reiki gets pretty warm, and the attunements are no exception.
While that was magical to feel that attunement, it was the second student’s attunement that really grabbed my attention. This woman had never experienced Reiki before. Her body had yet to meet this flavor of energy work. As I drew the attuning energy into her, it was amazing! I could feel it make way for the flow, transforming her.
The idea that we, as humans, can pass on a lineage of energetic work is mind blowing to me. I think of different apostolic successions in priesthoods scattered across the world. There are orders who claim that they are passing a priestly blessing that originated with one of the apostles or saints, and this has always fascinated me. It is a difficult task to suss out if there is truth to that history, or the beginnings of the blessing are less ancient. I imagine that, should the lineage of blessing be old enough, it may not matter. The interesting thing about Reiki is that, as it started in the early 1900’s, we can follow the line of succession back to the founder, Mikao Usui. That is, if your teacher has the lineage traced out. My first Reiki teacher did. My second one did not. That doesn’t mean that my second teacher doesn’t have a connection to Usui, it just means that I need to continue my research.
It makes me think of ancestor veneration. In a way, Dr. Usui is connected to me through this lineage. While he is not the source of Reiki, he is the person who taught people about it. That makes him a sort of gatekeeper to the energy. Not only does the idea of being a bearer of his lineage fascinate me, the idea that I’m passing his lineage on to others further intrigues me.
As the class continued, we began to go over auric layers and chakras. I had the students learn what these felt like on them. When one of my students reached for her heart chakra, her mouth gaped open. She could feel it. That moment made me a little teary eyed, as ridiculous as that sounds. It was like watching someone regain a sense that they lost. It was this magical moment of reconnection that I was so honored to witness.
I’m sure it helped that both ladies were naturals. They both took to the work like a fish in water. Their hands put out a lot of energy. The friend we pulled in for free Reiki could feel it pouring off them. They were open to the energy and it showed in the heat rolling off their palms. While I’d love to take credit for their skill, the credit definitely belonged to them. I was just the guidepost.
In the moments of watching them work, I felt as if I had completed a cycle. I remember when I was first unofficially attuned in 2005 by a couple of friends in a lean to out in the woods of Craftsbury, VT. It was nothing professional, and they wanted to try out their attunement practice. Two official teachers, lots of classes, and a lot of experience in other modalities later, here I was part of continuing a lineage started over a hundred years ago on Mt Kurama in Japan. It was humbling and beautiful.
Hope everyone is staying warm.
Until next time
The Green Mountain Mage