Musings from the Spiritual Path


I remember in 1991 when I first visited Seattle on a family vacation how radiant and lush the landscape and views were.  I had travelled many parts of the globe by then, and yet touching down here at that time, I felt a deep sense of home.  The land whispered to me, “Come back”.

It took eight more years, a marriage, a divorce, a graduate degree and being introduced to Reiki before I was ‘ready’ to begin to grow roots here.  This internal preparation with external transition was the first manifestation of my spiritual journey.

The first decade in Seattle was about clarifying my vocational vision and stepping into the role of leader in establishing the Reiki Training Program.  Along that path I explored  much of the NW back country and became attuned to the seasons and weather here.  My artist self gained traction through various creative pursuits.  I travelled through Asia and South America with expanded awareness of other healing traditions.

Personal relationships ended, deepened or started anew.  My Reiki work and fellowship began to expand with the publication of my first book and guided meditation CDs.

Over this last almost-decade, a whole new spiritual path has begun.  It did require me to professionally ‘own’ both my counseling and Reiki paths with the state’s requirement of licensure.  That path has provided me with a whole other world of gratifying healing work and experience I never would have gotten from the Reiki path alone.

My home went through multiple transitions from becoming a public workshop and healing space for students and clients into a humble but creative ceramic arts studio.  Family health crises dominated these years, but developing sober strategies enabled an ability to drop further into witnessing.  Despite those tragedies, travel also occurred, to the Mediterranean and all throughout the Baltic.

Again, personal relationships ended, deepened or started anew.

I’m taking a moment today to just catch my breath, looking back with clarity and looking forward with fresh and curious eyes as to what lays in store.  I couldn’t possibly have predicted any of the profound experiences I am grateful to have had when I first walked this land.

I am prepared to be surprised at what comes next.  In gratitude for the journey…..

Image credit

Copyright 2017 Eileen Dey Wurst


Being a Healer in an Age of Unity

Danes form Ring of Peace around Copenhagen synagogue

As a helper and healer in the world, we are sensitive people, to both emotions and to the world we live in. The effects of the recent attacks on Paris and the mass shootings in the US have shaken a bit of my own confidence in humanity and for a world based on peace, rather than violence.
I see this same emotional angst in many of the clients I serve. When I first went into private practice, it was in the year before 9/11. After that fateful day, I saw firsthand how clients were dealing not just with their own issues but with this greater problem, terrorism, now brought front and center into their psyche.
Then, of course, there were all the wars we became involved in. I continued in my service work as counselor, Reiki practitioner and teacher to the public at large, but I felt a greater calling to offer help to those who were on the frontline.
That lead me to approach the Veterans Administration to offer Reiki classes and sessions to veterans, as the war(s) to come I forsaw having many soldiers returning needing deep healing. My colleague Michael Emanuel and I taught many veterans throughout the years and this year we received actual funding for veterans to pursue Reiki practitioner or master training.
It’s an accomplishment that came out of wanting to help heal a bruised and battered world.
This time around, with the rise of Daesh, the Syrian crisis, the bickering and posturing of politicians over what to do, I’m feeling a calling to global healing work again.
I am not a historian or a politician. I am a teacher and a healer, so those are the skills and abilities I continue to offer.
The vision for this global healing work is still forming. Like my experience with the veterans, it continues to evolve.
I was going to title this blog ‘Being a Healer in the Age of Terror’, but realized that the word ‘terror’ just reinforces itself. A key to dealing with the tragedies that occur in the world is to find a sense of unity. Reiki circles offer such a sense, a possible project could be organizing a day of Reiki circles across the country. Any volunteers? But I have other ideas just beneath the surface, and will give space for them to come forward. It all starts with a thought, then it can turn into a vision then it can become reality.
But I welcome thoughts and opinions on how you might see healing work being of service during this next evolution in the Age of Unity.

Image credit COPENHAGEN, DENMARK – MARCH 14: People of different faiths form a peace ring outside the synagogue where a Jewish security guard was shot last month in Copenhagen, Denmark on March 14, 2015. (Photo by Recep Yasar /Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Happiness of Trusting Intuition Day 9

1211111341For almost 20 years as a professional in the healing and helping arts, relying on my intuition has been a key ingredient for successful work.  And yet, even though I have many positive examples of following my instinct, I often am surprised when it occurs again.  Such was the result with day 9.

I was offering Reiki to a new client, a young gentleman who was suffering from digestive issues.  He had tried energywork before, including several rounds of acupuncture and some other form of energywork, with limited success.  Yet, he was determined to keep up with treatments because they offered a precious small amount of relief from his symptoms.

As I had my hands over his abdomen I heard the word ‘engage’.  That’s how my intuition comes through.  It’s not usually paragraphs or explicit directions, but clear and focused words.  Knowing this from previous experience with my intuition, I just gave space for the word ‘engage’.  Was it for me?  Was it for him?  When I thought of these questions, I then got the phrase ‘let him use his own hands in treatment’.

As a practitioner, I’ve learned to be discerning with my intuition, and I take into account who the client is (in this case, a client looking for relief of pain).  For some clients, offering an intuitive suggestion may go beyond their belief, or in other cases, we haven’t established enough rapport, etc.  I’m always mindful of their boundaries.  But in his case, I asked my intuition again, just to be sure, ‘should I engage him to assist with this treatment?’.  The answer I got, was ‘yes’.

So, I encouraged my client to put his hands on his abdomen and visualize what he thought of as Reiki flowing through his hands into his own body.  I put my own hands on top of his for support.  It was a very profound and powerful feeling of energy, heat and ‘rightness’.

After the session concluded, he told me he had never felt so much heat/relief from an energy session and was inspired to possibly pursue Reiki training.  I thanked him for being open to the process.

And for the rest of the day I was quite happy and inspired in trusting my intuition and how it flows through.

Eileen Dey 2014


Countdown to NW Reiki Renewal Retreat 8/8-10

RetreatCan’t wait for the Reiki to shine all across the Mount Vernon/Darrington Vallley next month!  We’ll be having an incredible time tuning in to the land, flower and fauna that call this place home.

I hope you can join us in celebration and community.  Details are listed below.  For images on the retreat, visit our site

Replenish yourself with a relaxing weekend on this 220 acre woodland petting farm and sanctuary.  Retreat includes inspiring talks, walks, guided meditations, fire ceremonies and of course, Reiki healing circles!

All meals, snacks and comfortable shared lodging included.  Open to those new to Reiki & practitioners and teachers of all lineages.

$280 for the whole weekend.  Register early!
Friday 8/8 Check-in 5:00pm
Sunday 8/10 Check-out 11:00am

Camp Brotherhood was founded by Rabbi Levine and Father Treacy (who hosted the interfaith TV show, “Challenge” on KOMO for over 14 years).   This is a place of peace and harmony with guiding principles of universal compassion and unconditional love.  Located in Mount Vernon, WA.  Directions and information on retreat provided upon registration.

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

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.

Doubting oneself

260d01ccd6caff276bcf07a8b3240062I often hear from students and practitioners of Reiki, ‘Am I doing enough?’ or ‘Is the Reiki doing anything?’.  These are great questions to have.  They imply a state of ‘not-knowing’, which is exactly where you want to be with Reiki, you don’t want to be an ‘expert’.  As George Iles says, “Doubt is the beginning and not the end of wisdom”.

Let’s first take the second one, “Is the Reiki doing anything”.  We get used to ‘feeling’ the heat, tingling, pulsing, vibration, etc. of Reiki and when it’s not there we panic.  Aaah!  What happened?  What did I do wrong?


Reiki is not contingent on you feeling anything.  Because it’s not about you.  Greater than you by many galaxies.  So the fact that you, humble human practitioner don’t feel anything, well, don’t take it personally.

“But, my client isn’t feeling anything either”, you might contest.  Again, Reiki doesn’t care.  But I’d beg to differ that your client isn’t feeling anything at all.  If you have practiced Reiki, your client has probably been able to have some time being held unconditionally in quiet space and self-reflection.  At a minimum, there has been a decrease in stress and external stimuli.  Perhaps even a greater degree of relaxation.

Reiki, regardless of feelings or sensations, always, without fail, in my 18+ years of observation and practice, offers s bit of sanctuary.

But I’m not an ‘expert’.  However, I do have some experience.

Ok, let’s get back to that first question, “Am I doing enough?”.  The practice of Reiki asks that you be a humble conduit, a compassionate witness and a holder of healing space and intention while respecting the boundaries of your client.  If you are do that, you are doing enough.

But you might feel you need to do something more:  give advice, make some magical sensation happen, make loud noises or big gestures.  STOP!  That’s not Reiki and it’s not needed.

Put that ego away.  There’s no need for that in Reiki.  Drop into your heart and leave your head/mind out of the picture.  Offer healing for the highest and best good.

Give any doubts you have over to Reiki, as an offering.  You’ll realize your silent presence is as much the gift as the flow of unconditional Universal Energy.

image credit

Copyright 2013  Eileen Dey


Where does Reiki come from?

21955116903852784_ObObeUFO_cWhen I teach Reiki, I make a point of talking about all the world cultures that have used energy as part of their healing systems.  In China, it is called chi, in India, prana, and in our own Western civilization, the first physicians in ancient Greece talked about the 5 elements which included ether, which is similar to the same concept.

Reiki is equivalent to all these different words and descriptions.  What distinguishes Reiki is the system in which it is taught and practiced.

Students receive attunements, which are empowerments for their own subtle energy systems, helping to open them as channels to work with this universal life force.

The practice of Reiki is also very passive, it’s not directive, which is quite different from other systems.  The practice of Reiki is about ‘holding space’ and ‘being present’.  The practice is about offering healing energy for the highest and best good rather than ‘making something heal’ or removing something bad.

But where does this universal life force coming from?  It just is.  It’s always been.  It’s what connects the heavens with the earth.  It’s what allows all life forms to thrive.  The founder of the system of Reiki, Mikao Usui, had a satori, or illuminating experience on the sacred mountain, Kuryama in which he was infused with this energy.  He showed his students how to work with it and that is what has been passed down over the decades, teacher to teacher, teacher to student, student to student.

Copyright 2012 Eileen Dey

Photo credit

Questions to ask a Reiki Master

71698_444606253582_653163582_5487713_1048131_nI often get invited to do radio interviews, and a recent host asked me to come up with a list of 15 good questions to ask a Reiki master.  Here’s the list I came up with and over the next few weeks, I’ll come back to each one and expand my answers a little bit more.  If you have others you can think of, let me know.    The short answer to all these questions is start to practice.  Make the time for Reiki and it (the energy) will be come your teacher..but more to come..Thanks!

  1. Where does Reiki come from?
  2. Can anyone learn how to ‘do’ it?
  3. What can I expect from practicing Reiki on myself?
  4. What are the advantages to joining a Reiki circle or share?  What can I expect?
  5. How can I make Reiki a part of my family routine (and they not consider it strange)?
  6. Is there a difference between giving Reiki to animals than people?
  7. I heard you can give Reiki to food and water, how does that work?
  8. Do I have to practice Reiki in a certain space and/or need special equipment?
  9. How does Reiki effect my environment?
  10. How does one work on healing their own inner child/past trauma with Reiki?
  11. What are the effects of Reiki when one is sick or having surgery?
  12. Are there any side-effects or counter-indications to applying Reiki?
  13. Where is Reiki being used in the mainstream?
  14. What are some scientific studies on Reiki?
  15. Can I do an exercise to experience what Reiki is?

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