Reiki Review of 2014

enlightenmentHere it comes.  The end to another amazing, challenging and eventful year.  When I reflect on all the wonderment that’s occurred, I’m happy I’m taking a pre-Christmas pause in lovely San Diego to compose this.

So here goes:

January:  We started off with Reiki circles at the charming Ravenna Healing House.  I couldn’t be there, as my family life was taking a turn, my Dad’s health was in a tenous balance, with many months of surgery and rehabilitation on the horizon.  Our Reiki classes and Soundscapes continued on, sparkling into the year ahead.

February:  A month of love and light, and yet, what I remember best is Valentine’s Day Reiki sessions!

March:  The beginning of working with some awesome Reiki practitioners and mentoring students and putting positive intention toward increasing my counseling work.

April:  I went on a women’s retreat to the Camp Brotherhood sanctuary in Mount Vernon and set my sights on holding a Reiki Retreat there later in August.  It is a truly magical and restorative place and I can’t wait until next year for our return!

May:  I moved one office into West Seattle Wellness and a whole new group of colleagues and clients opened up.

June:  When Seattle becomes paradise!  It was a beautiful, sunny and warm summer, and I remember many happy circles and sessions with smiles!  My Dad’s health had begun to regain strength and it felt like I could take my first deep breath in many months.

July:  Reiki Fellowship’s annual outreach to the Shoreline Solarfest!

August:  Reiki Retreat!!!  (see April entry)

September:  Left Ravenna Healing House and moved into Fremont Integrative Health Center.  A new chapter for clients, circles and spreading light through Seattle!!

October:  Counseling video unleashed!  Busy classes and circles as fall gains momentum.

November:  Last Soundscape of the year, as we get ready to enter into holiday season!

December:  Here we are, and we’ve got one more Reiki circle of the year!  We’ve got so many new workshops and classes in 2015, please stay tuned and keep being that beacon of healing and peace that the world so needs!

I’m grateful for all the students, teachers, colleagues and friends who have given so much love!  Thank you!

in light




Retreat Success is Happiness!

2014-08-09 13.54.18What a glorious experience of nature, wisdom and community.  Our Reiki Retreat was just that, an opportunity to take time to go within and let insight and healing emerge from within.

We were blessed with an enlightened group of women, who shared meditations, conversation and laughter throughout the weekend.

Jacquie Hansen, shown here, lead us into a soulful heart-centered meditation in the fresh air underneath the sentinel pines.

In between sessions, our art room was open for drawing sacred mandalas and other images in an exploration of inner creativity.  2014-08-09 09.36.33

While we were there, another group, of 40 children, would take their meals in our same dining hall.  These children came from Jerusalem and Palestine and were a meld of Christians, Jews and Muslims coming together to get to know each other despite their differences in belief.  It was a powerful statement to bear witness to, and we had the honor of offering Reiki to several of the facilitators of this organization, who took back to the children yet another form of healing to share with them.2014-08-10 12.02.12

Another spontaneous Reiki session when we had the opportunity to offer it to Father Treacy, the 95 year old Catholic priest founder of this center.  He is such an open-minded soul who went on a deep journey in receiving the treatment.  It was quite profound for him, and for us.

We enjoyed nutritious and healthy meals with each other and got to know the chef, Russell, quite well.  He was incredibly accommodating, often making special deserts or side dishes just for our group.  My favorite meal was this gluten-free Mediterranean vegetable dinner!  2014-08-09 18.16.37

We held drumming circles (thanks Jenn Evans!) and fire circles, spontaneous Reiki sessions and even a give-away raffle!

My favorite event was when we embarked on a full-sensory walking meditation of the grounds, where we took in all the beauty in each breath and each moment.  June Kerseg-Hinson lead us in this exercise.

As we went out into the grounds of the center,  I saw Jacquie, one of our facilitators, walk into the field and open up to the cows lounging in the distance and become one with the moment of the land.  2014-08-09 10.30.16

Looking forward to Reiki Retreat 2015!!!

Eileen Dey

Going on Retreat Dzogchen Style

Today I’m off on a Dzogchen Buddhist retreat.  No April Fool’s here! Going within to ‘notice what I notice’.  For those who aren’t familiar with this aspect of Tibetan Buddhism, here’s a little primer:

Dzogchen could be defined as a way to relax completely. This can be clearly understood from the terms used to denote the state of contemplation, such as “leave it just as it is” (cog bzhag), “cutting loose one’s tension” (khregs chod), beyond effort” (rtsol bral), and so on. Some scholars have classified Dzogchen as a “direct path,” comparing it to teachings such as Zen, where this expression is often used. In Dzogchen texts, however, the phrases “direct path” and “nongradual path” (cig car) are never used, because the concept of a “direct path” implies necessarily that there must be, on the one hand, a place from which one departs, and on the other, a place where one arrives. But in Dzogchen there is a single principle of the state of knowledge, and if one possesses this state one discovers that right from the beginning one is already there where one wants to arrive. For this reason the state is said to be “self-perfected” (lhun grub).
Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, from ‘Dzogchen: The Self-Perfected State’

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The necessity of the comfort cave

The contemplative life is where I feel most at home.  In other times in history I might have been a monk or nun, but in this one I lead an integrated life where I participate in the world and retreat on a daily basis.  I retreat to the realm of solitude.  Finding the inner space to connect with the Divine.  Giving gratitude for the unmanifest potential which dwells there.

The contrast of worlds, inner and outer has always been my challenge.  I’ve made efforts to explain the inner realm through my teaching and writing, which have served as a bridge of sorts.

But actively engaging in the exterior world, some parts completely escape me, and I fine with it.

The peace that resides within is so much more fulfilling for me than buying or consuming any object or even experience the material world can generate.  I feel I often walk in an in between place at times, because the material world is where I dwell day to day.  I’m far from wanting to be a sadhu, holy person, who dwells in a cave.

Yet, I have my own ways of making that cave:  eye pillows/blinds to block out light, noise cancelling headphones, to block out sound, and a heating pad to warm my body as it lies in meditation and Reiki, sometimes for hours each day.  I guess you could call this the creation of  “my comfort cave”.  It is a space of being held, of showing devotion, of maintaining my spiritual practice.

When I leave that space and return to the realm of cars honking, shoppers walking to and fro, airplanes flying overhead, it’s always an adjustment.

Ah, this place, right, ordinary reality, I liken it to be.  Where some would say ‘Earthschool’ happens.

Where we learn the lessons and have the relationships that are only possible in this third dimension of reality.  The place where we done egos and personas and have bodies and all the complications and sufferings that come with it.

The irony is, of course, that ordinary reality is where we are given the chance to remember our inner connectedness.

Some of us find it through religion and philosophy.  Some find it through intellectual or spiritual studies.  Some find it through being immersed in Nature.  Others find it through communion within relationships.

Yet, all these modes and means are grafted onto that exterior world.  These ways are simply entrance points to journey to our true home:  inner space.

My way of finding that place has been that ‘comfort cave’.  It allows me the opportunity to reconnect to the infinite dimensions of inner space and wisdom.  This is the realm where I feel completely whole.

Going from ‘comfort cave’ to exterior world is how I navigate through this life.  I am grateful for living in such a time and place when this can be possible.  Without such an opportunity I often think I’d feel stranded on an alien planet focused only on the material.

I encourage you to build your own cave in a way that suits you and is practical for your own life.  As I say to my students, ‘try it and see’.  As always, be prepared to be surprised….you will open a whole other way of looking at reality.

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