Using the Story of Usui as a Model

indexFor the next 21 days starting tomorrow, consider Usui’s story as it relates to your life.  Set aside morning and evening contemplation time and space.  Note insights in a special journal, using the ‘signposts’ on this page as prompters as your progress.  You’ll finish by the lovely transformative time of the winter’s solstice.  I’m doing this along with my Reiki 1 class which begins 12/1.

1.        Dedication “Giri”

2.       The Power of Commitment

3.       Willing to Put in the Effort

4.       Worthy of Respect

5.       Determination, Patience

6.       What you Least Expect It

7.       Look Deeply, Intuit, Explore

8.       Mentors and Mentoring

9.       Always Possibility

10.   Fathoming Different Meanings

11.   Student of Self

12.   Trusting the Process

13.   Pure Potential

14.   Focused Attention

15.   Enlightened Understanding

16.   Place of Pure Joy

17.   Manifest a Transformation

18.   Ancient Wisdom

19.   New “Ladders:

20.   Beyond the Apparent

21.   Awakening

Taken from One Degree Beyond:  A Reiki Journey Into Energy Medicine

Authentic Therapy with Reiki

As a coheartunselor, I bring an innovative and authentic approach to therapy.  I was trained traditionally, as a counselor, in a graduate program on the East Coast, and I have spent the last decade of incorporating Reiki, the energy modality into that foundation.

It has made me a more intuitive, sensitive and compassionate counselor.  I feel I do my best work with clients who are ‘stuck’.  Stuck in relationships, work environments, and within their own habits or patterns of living.  I have developed, through my practice with Reiki, a keen sense for those obstacles a client faces, and a way to help unravel, discern and transform what is standing in the way of their growth.

I created a vocational school of Reiki, the only one of it’s kind on the West Coast, The Reiki Training Program.  It has served as a model for other states across the nation to offer standardized training and mentorship for students interested in the healing arts.  Through that experience, I have had the honor to teach and guide thousands of students in fulfilling their goal of learning the self-healing and self-soothing technique of Reiki.

My approach to therapy is as a guide for my clients, to assist those who are suffering from anxiety, depression, grief/loss, past trauma and abuse as well as addictions.

I am an artist and a writer, as well as a counselor, and often integrate a creative approach to the challenges present in each session.  I have lead Artist’s Way groups, and have used this text as a starting point for clients seeking to break through their own mental and emotional blocks.

Reiki in therapy serves a variety of functions.  For the counselor, it is a tool to help maintain presence, active listening, and sense the emotional challenges of their client.  For the client, Reiki is an additional support, like another ‘guide’ in the session room, that helps facilitate relaxation and centering, to assist a client in receiving insight.

For more information on my work as a counselor, please visit my website,

Copyright 2013 Eileen Dey Wurst

5 Reiki Treats for the Holidays

3e50a8299380ad40f45c051fedcefd6dIt’s time to get ready for the holidays, are you prepared?  Let Reiki take the edge off.  From taking a class, to getting a session, to attending a circle, there are multitudes of ways to reduce stress and re-energize yourself!  See our new bulletin here!

Self-empowerment through Reiki

indexOver the years I’ve read and heard many people discount the validity of Reiki.  Saying that when you open yourself to being a channel for Universal Energy, you let ‘everything else’ in.  As a teacher and practitioner since 1997, I can say I have yet to encounter any harm that has occurred in working with Reiki.  I’ve taught 1000’s of students.  I feel honored that I learned to work with Reiki in a safe and supportive environment from my teacher.  She emphasized taking your time in between Reiki workshops and practice, practice, practice.  Bring your questions to Reiki circles, which serve as continuing education for the Reiki practitioner.  When unsure, take a break.  Ask for guidance, and return to practice again.

This is the model the Reiki Training Program is founded on.  Continued growth and learning, stretched out through time and mentorship.

Reiki honors and supports an individual.  It is Universal Energy, meaning, it is greater than the ego of the individual.  It has a consciousness that is greater and assists for the highest and best good.  That being said, Reiki honors free will.  An individual can choose to follow through with a decision or not.  Reiki is not religion or dogma.  But when one taps into Reiki, they tend to hear their truer voice.  Again, an individual can choose to listen to that or not.

Reiki flows through the practitioner to the person/client they are working on.   A practitioner does not transmit anything to the client nor does the client leave a ‘residue’ on the practitioner.  As a practitioner progresses through Reiki, they become more sensitive and aware of their client’s emotional states, sharing in empathy, but proper training in boundaries and grounding allow for a safe session to take place.  No ‘backwash’ will occur when a Reiki practitioner is grounded and present and following the basic Reiki Process, which I will summarize as follows:

This energy is greater than you, not about you.  If “you” think you are “doing Reiki”, you are not practicing Reiki.  Reiki is about “being”.  It is effortless.  What does require focus is letting go of the ego.

Let go, and let it flow.  Be curious.  Notice what you notice.  Hold space for the healing (return to wholeness” to occur.  This is a sacred process.  It is quite simple, yet utterly profound.  Take a Reiki 1 class founded in this tradition and you will be on a healthy path of self-empowerment.

I hope this clears up any confusion as to what Reiki is and what it is not, but open to questions and comments!!

Copyright 2013 Eileen Dey Wurst.

For the love of Fungi

2013-10-12 14.41.24I had the fantastic opportunity this weekend to attend the Wild Mushroom Show this weekend and be enchanted and connected to all things fungi!  My inner botany geek was rewarded!

I think I had a vague notion that there were folks out there interested in such things, but there must have been at least a thousand people there on Saturday when I went.  Amazing amount of humanity interested in the myriad of genus and species so beautifully represented.

What draws people to fungi?  I think I’ll have to attend a monthly meeting and find out more intimately, but I can only speak for myself.  I’m reminded of many years ago, my first years in college, as a biology/botany major.  My fascination was delving into the structure and function of how these organisms work, reproduce, and take over, really without any assistance from humans.

Sure, we have an affect on their habitat, but give them the right conditions:  dark, warm, moist and a few spores, and voila!  You’ve got some form of fungus growing.  To me that’s the purest representation of surviving and thriving.

My focus back in those days was actually more on the lichens, which contain fungus, and a photosynthetic organism that live together in symbiosis.  Teamwork in nature in action!  Sadly, since this show was mostly focused on mushrooms, there was only one table of lichens, but perhaps, if I get involved in this group, we can have more represented.

Ahh, so many interests, so little time.  Thank your Northwest for rekindling an old interest in my love of all things fungi!

Copyright Eileen Dey 2013

Caution in making intuitive choices

I recently hedc0c154ae7772cb076b3001490232a17ard from a colleague of mine about a difficult circumstance he is dealing with.  His dog had been displaying various behavioral difficulties (barking, biting, etc.) towards another dog he lives with and so, my colleague invested in having an animal communicator come in to find out what was going on.

To my colleague’s surprise, the communicator (who had also consulted with another in the same profession on this before stating the following) ‘heard’ through intuition, that the dog had suffered brain damage at some time in the past and ever since had been suffering in the silence (of being a dog) and really did not want to live any longer, and hence, was acting out.

I think I am in as much shock as my colleague.  That’s not the kind of thing you expect or hear, or ever want the responsibility of hearing.

So I questioned the authenticity of the communicator(s).  Was that really the true message?  If the dog truly didn’t want to live, wouldn’t he stop eating, drinking, etc.?  Yes, he’s had behavioral difficulties, but wouldn’t there also be a physical component of not wanting to live?   Animals are pretty in tune with their needs, innately built in.

Personally, I’ve had two cats decide to die on me, when they were in relatively good health, for their own reasons.  One ran away and died under a bush nearby, the other crawled behind the couch and expired.

The whole event has brought up for me (and it’s not my dog!) questions around intuitive information and the responsibility of the intuitive in conveying information.  I think it takes a lot of guts and certainty by an intuitive to broadcast that kind of information.

I know in this case the communicator did consult with another intuitive, but did they also consult with the vet?  Should they get a written release from this client to do so to have more complete information?  Where is that line?

As a practitioner of people, I’ve worked with clients who are depressed, having trouble finding the will or motivation to live.  I’ve worked in a nursing home where when people wanted to die, they did.  They stopped eating, they stopped drinking.  They pulled back from life.

I don’t think this is the case with the dog in question.  It’s still active, albeit aggressive.  What are other strategies to try?  I don’t think ending the dog’s life is correct, I’m not hearing that is the case from my colleague.

I am left with an unsettling in my soul.  I’m sending Reiki to all involved.  I think there is another way, but not sure.  Thoughts?

Copyright 2013 Eileen Dey Wurst

Future Job Postings: Reiki Practitioners and Teachers

bbafc6f9c92238db1161b3ac766dcb61Imagine in the not-to-distant future when you will scroll job postings and find multiple listings for the following:

Hospital Job Listing:  Compassionate, skilled and grounded Reiki practitioners to offer pre- and post-operative treatments.  Data collection skills required for conducting follow-up research of patient healing. 40 hours/week. $35-50/hr depending on experience. CPR and Reiki state certification required.  Please send resume and references.

Vocational School Job Listing:  Engaging and knowledgeable Reiki teacher with 5+ years’ experience to develop curriculum and teach Reiki levels to adult students.  Comfortable and able to work with class size range of 10-40 students including veterans, elderly and disabled.  Position requires active publication of articles and research related to Reiki profession.  Supervision of instructor trainees also.  40 hours/week.  $50-75/hr depending on experience. CPR and Reiki state certification required.  Please send resume and references.

What it will take to get to this future will be a change in the structure of how Reiki is currently taught.

There is no universal standard or consensus for Reiki education.  It is a vast and broad range.  Some books and websites claim you can ‘be a Reiki master’ after reading their material.    No internship is required for this ‘instant’ training.  Then there are actual training programs that teach Reiki from other world-views mixing Shamanism, Native American, Egyptian and newly invented traditions.  What ‘Reiki’ is gets confused with other points of view.

Finding one standard is probably going to be impossible within the self-empowered, autonomous and non-regulated Reiki profession.

However, I propose to work with existing models that have proven effective:  training programs that provide continued mentorship to students through practice circles and community outreach, waiting periods between levels of training, emphasis on student’s self-growth, ethics, boundaries and case study discussion to further prepare the students for real-life clients and an extensive internship for teachers-in-training to feel competent in order to facilitate classes of any size and demographic.

Once the bar for Reiki training is elevated and a standard agreed upon, individual training programs that exist can modify their existing content and submit to a state-authorized program for approval.  In WA state that is the Workforce Training Board.

Training programs would fall under the vocational school requirements and be subject to license and application fees, subject to audits and required to collect student data to guarantee the legitimacy of their existence.

Massage schools follow these same requirements.  Having this structure has allowed for the advancement of massage in both salary, authenticity and insurance reimbursement.

I feel it’s time for Reiki practitioners and instructors serious about their profession to step up to the plate and defend their years of study, practice and service as a rightful vocation.  I know this will cause controversy.  But I think we need to continue talking about this.

Currently, I am engaged in a conversation about this on Linked In with other like-minded Reiki instructors.  I encourage you to join the dialogue and contribute your own thoughts.

I would like to see those job postings I started this article with in my life time.  I feel this is an attainable goal.  Are you with me?

Copyright 2013 Eileen Dey Wurst

Photo credit

Journey into the psyche

mandala_125Over 10 years ago I embarked on my first Holotropic Breathwork (HB) journey.  I had heard it was a technique for accessing an altered state of consciousness by using only the breath and evocative music.

I remember it being a very blissful, transcendent experience followed by a great feeling of Universal Love.  Very positive.  My world at the time looked like this:  I  had only been in Seattle a few years,  just started the Reiki Training Program and was involved in a long-term relationship that was changing.

Over the last decade, I since went on to explore other modalities and ways of accessing my inner healer, through Reiki, hypnotherapy, shamanic drum journeys and various forms of breathing meditation.

When I returned to HB this weekend,  I was curious to see where I might go this time.  Now my world looked like this:  My school has now been well established, my father’s health has changed,  I feel very integrated into Seattle as my home and my partner and I are quite settled.

The process of HB involves two participants teamed up.  One is the ‘breather’, who will go on the journey into non-ordinary reality, practicing deep and quick breaths while letting the music that is playing take them to where they need to go.  As they enter their various altered states, their partner, a ‘sitter’, is compassionately watching them to ensure they are safe.  The breather may start to move their arms, shake, release tears, anger, laughter, etc.  If the breather needs to get up, the sitter helps them, being grounded in ordinary reality.  The whole session takes about 3 hours, followed by integration time where the breather can draw their experience in the art form of a mandala.  Then the team of participants switches roles.

When I laid down to go on my journey, I was open and curious.  As the tribal and pulsing music began, and my breath took on it’s own rhythm, I was soon propelled in a life review of the last 10 years.  I experienced spontaneous laughter, tears and a gratitude in my body for having carrying me this far.

Breathers around me (this group had about 12 of them), began crying out sporadically, releasing their own feelings or emotions that needed expression.  Many remained silent and focused on an inner journey.

But as the breather, you are really only in your mind.  Mine soon took me into my own relationship with my father, my mother, my grandparents.  I felt a strong sense of ancestry in my blood.  It was very powerful.  With my dad’s health having changed, I let go many tears, mourning the loss of health, the passage of time.  I realized I had deep within my psyche held on to a resentment of having had to move to Arizona when I was 18 to go to college, when at that time, I had wanted to stay back in NJ.

Forgiveness came in waves.  It overwhelmed me.  I felt an amazing sense of peace.

After that emotional inner work, I had to release via going to the bathroom.  Not an easy task when you are in an altered state.  I was grateful for my sitter.  She helped me up, and held my hip and shoulder toward the bathroom.  My legs were like jelly.  My breathing was still continuing deep and fast.  It was the most surreal experience of doing a very basic thing, elimination, and really being more of a witness to this biological function.

My sitter guided me back to my mat on the floor and I went immediately back into that state of forgiveness and acceptance.  It was exquisite.

The music changed, it was now more transcendent and peaceful.  I started to drift off and away.  Far far away.  Not unlike places I have explored during Reiki.

Time ceased.  My perception of self was no more.  My next recollection was that some people were moving around me and I had no idea where I was or what had just happened.  I wasn’t afraid, just curious.  Oh, something must be ending, I thought.

I opened my eyes and saw my sitter.  She looked familiar to me, and then I remembered I was in this HB workshop.  She guided me towards the room for making mandalas.  I sat down for the next hour and drew a landscape of Arizona with many hearts imbedded in it.  I really had no ‘thought’ in the drawing.  It was a beautiful representation of forgiveness.

After lunch, it was my turn to be the sitter.  My partner, now the breather, had done HB also many years ago, so was familiar with the process.  Being her witness was an honor.  There was one moment during those next three hours where she had moved her body off the mat so that it was now bowing and lying prostrate, covered in her Native American blanket.  She looked as if she was in supreme and sublime surrender to the verdict of the Universe.  It made me cry.

Watching other breathers from the sitter perspective, I realized that HB gives individuals permission to explore their minds and their emotions in safe space.  It’s one way of bringing about insight to underlying issues and another way of taking a journey into altered reality.

I’m excited for the new developments that Glenn and his partner Laurel are creating in the HB community here in Seattle.

Everyone is excited that the founder of HB, Stan Grof, is coming to our town Oct. 18-20.  A very special workshop indeed.

I recommend a session if you’ve never tried one.  My advice is have no expectations, connect to your breath, trust in the process and be prepared to be surprised!

Copyright 2013 Eileen Dey

Reiki at the Zoo Part 2

2013-08-10 20.31.38 After my last zoo sojourn, I returned to Woodland Park Zoo, this time, in the evening, after all the crowds had gone home.  Rose De Dan lead a dozen of us healers by opening sacred space in her Peruvian shamanic tradition.  I chose this group because I am interested in shamanic ways and highly respect Rose’s work after our collaboration on the Duwamish River healings.

Rose started the journey by advising us ‘not to do Reiki’ but to be witnesses, to listen to what the animals had to say to us.  However, if any creatures wanted Reiki,  she would let us know, but this was a trip to take in their wisdom.  My heart was a little deflated, as  my last experience was so profound with connecting through Reiki.  But I was open to the experience of this other healing modality.

Walking quietly from exhibit to exhibit in the descending darkness after sunset, a meditative state soon set in amongst our group.  Standing before the lions and their cubs, they soon displayed a very relaxed posture, communicating they were comfortable with our presence.  They watched us as we watched them.   I felt I could just be with them through my heart.  The intention of ‘not doing Reiki’ was strong, as if the ability was placed on hold while I was there.

Going into the reptile house, I looked into the shadowy eyes of an alligator.  I felt a lot of sadness, apathy, boredom.  I just stood and witnessed, explaining through my heart I was just there to hold space.

Standing at the fence on the edge of the wolves domain, I gazed into blackness, feeling the eyes of these canines watching us all.  It made my heart race, an ancient instinct of survival activated within me, but I opened to them and said we come in peace.  A white specter appeared, the wolf walked towards us, then a second followed and seemed drawn in by the compassionate group.  Feeling their life force, feeling their solidarity with all the other wolves in the world beyond these grounds.  It was quite an extraordinary display of trust.

When we came to the penguins, Rose guided us that it was ‘alright’ to give them Reiki.  Suddenly my hands heated up and energy was flowing into the whole tank in which the penguins were swimming actively to and fro. This Reiki experience was a stark contrast to the other exhibits of simply standing in silence shamanic presence.

Both ways allow for a connection.  The Reiki way, my default way, if of course, the one I’m most comfortable and familiar with.  It is effortless, it allows for instant connection.  It’s a means of offering support, love, light to whatever the creature needs for their highest and best good.  I communicate through the Reiki vibration, I hear phrases, thoughts and receive images of what needs to be conveyed.

The shamanic way, to me, is more removed. It is colder.  Connecting through my heart did allow love to flow, but not always.  There was darkness.  There was sadness.  It felt hopeless.  The light was removed.  Just holding space to listen without offering a solution.  It was an effort.

By the end of the evening, I started to develop a headache.  This hasn’t happened for me since I was a novice Reiki practitioner.  Getting a headache doing energy work tells me I was ‘trying’…which was true.  I was trying ‘not to do Reiki’. Perhaps that is impossible after 18 years on the path.  Perhaps it’s a reminder I’m a novice in this other modality.

The last part of the night, the zoo guide brought in two reptiles for the group to touch and communicate with.  I looked into the eyes of one and felt the lizard was wanting to climb out of his skin!  I had reached my own limit with this exploration.  I removed myself from the group and sat outside, cradling my head in my hands.  I just waited until that last part was over and Rose performed the ceremony of closing sacred space.

The experience reinforced for me that in order to work with  the solitary compassionate witnessing  we practiced I have to combine the healing light of Reiki at some level.  I can’t just tune in, hear and feel suffering and walk away without offering light to assist in whatever transformation is possible.

A good lesson…to be continued…

Copyright 2013 Eileen Dey

Summer Reiki fun!

8247962Looking forward to enjoying all of August has in store!  Between 4 Reiki circles, 4 Reiki for Clarity meditations, 3 Reiki Soundscapes and the Annual Mikao Usui Birthday celebration at the Japanese Shinto Shrine in Granite Falls, we have a whole month full of light!

Here’s links to all of these amazing events and more!

8/11 Reiki 2:  Transcending Time and Space

8/13 Ethics, Boundaries and Case Studies

8/16 Ballard Reiki Soundscape

alpine hiker8/18 Usui Birthday Celebration

8/23 Tacoma Reiki Soundscape

8/25  Insight Reiki

8/27 Cultivating a Successful Practice

8/31 East West Reiki Soundscape

Ongoing Events

peaceEvery Tuesday, 12:30-1:30pm Reiki for Clarity Meditation

1st and 3rd Tuesday Reiki circles 6:30-8:30pm

1st Wednesday West Seattle Reiki circle 6:30-8:30pm

2nd Wednesday Eastlake Circle 6:45-8:45pm

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