The Future of Reiki Practice

IMG_20191020_141902637As we all move forward through this pandemic, I wanted to ask this group for their thoughts, ideas and decisions they may be making in how they will be practicing Reiki in-person if you choose to do so.

Below is a compilation of resources I created for my own practitioners enrolled in The Reiki Training Program.

Those of us who practice can attest to Reiki’s benefits in reducing stress and promoting healing, necessary in any time of crisis. This recent article in The Atlantic also reinforces the popularity of Reiki in traditional healthcare.

Any profession or vocation that interacts directly with people incurs a risk. Here is information on what percentage those risks are.

In scouring allied health profession websites for guidance (as there was scant information to direct Reiki practitioners) I found these guidelines from the National Association of Social Workers (NASW):

The WA state Dept. of Health has posted these guidelines for massage practitioners. What stands out for me the most is the requirement for therapists to change their clothes between sessions. If Reiki practitioners were to adopt this guideline, perhaps we would wear scrubs?Masks for both practitioner and client are recommended as well as the sanitation and hygiene mentioned above.

What are your thoughts on having more air filtration in your practice office/room?

Here’s an article on what Chinese Medicine has found in treating COVID-19 along with the recommendation of NOT using an elevator as it is a transmitter of the virus. So if you have an elevator in your building, you and your clients should use the stairs for now (if they or you are able).

When should we begin offering sessions? When testing/contact tracing in place? I feel all practitioners should purchase liability insurance if they haven’t already. Also should we have liability waivers for our clients to sign? ‘Hold Harmless Agreement’ is the legal term, releasing us from liability should a client become ill and contract tracing links that back to your office?

Please feel free to contact on the above and together, as a Reiki community, we can create a safe and healing future for everyone. For additional training in Ethics, Guidelines and Planning Your Practice you can visit The Reiki Training Program, offering WA State Certified Practitioner and Master Programs.

In light

Eileen

Photo and text Copyright 2020 Eileen Dey Wurst

Fellowship Distant Practice

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What does the group practice of Reiki look like in this new world?  I’m calling it Reiki Fellowship Distant Practice.

Our ‘old ways’ of coming together and doing touch therapy with each other is off the table until such time that either everyone has immunity from the virus.  So that’s going to take awhile.

In the meantime, meeting virtually and sending energy at a distance has been our main method of group process.  Doing self-Reiki at home has been our daily maintenance.

I am extremely grateful to have a morning meditation group that has been meeting over the last several weeks and has served as a connection to community, laughter, a place to process grief and a source of healing and support.

I keep having the vision each time we meet virtually of getting together physically in a large space, like a field in the park and being 6 feet or more apart in a circle and sending Reiki to each other that way.  I think as the weather keeps getting warmer, this is going to be the way we can still connect and be safe for this healing work.

If you live in Seattle and there are certain fields in parks in your area and you think they would be good for this kind of experience, let me know.

I’m gathering resources now for when the parks are open and we can come together.

Teaching Reiki classes in this new world has become virtual, so the experiential component is quite different than coming to a designated Reiki studio for such practice.

But the students I have been working with have been very gracious and accommodating learning out of their living and spare rooms.  I’ve found teaching workshops in several smaller intervals (2-3 hours max) with a week or weeks in-between allows for greater integration and understanding of the course material.  So for now, that’s what the format looks like for my classes and working with smaller (1-3) groups of students is the most feasible.

I have been doing more guided meditation and remote Reiki with all my clients.  Because of the increased stress we’ve all been under, it’s been helpful for each session to have 10 minutes at the beginning and/or end to settle the breath, calm the nerves and mind.

I had tried prior to the COVID-19 crisis to include these meditation moments into my counseling sessions, but often, my clients would just want to use the time to talk.  Now there is space to do both and for that, I am grateful.

I’ve found the helpful way through anything, crisis or otherwise, is to give space for reflection and insight.  Daily walks are my mainstay backed by the practices listed above.

Some folks have asked me if I’ve delved back into doing my pottery/clay work and that’s the next step.

It’s been a challenge to feel my artistic self want to create.  But perhaps as we keep moving forward that part, just like the spring blossoms all around will begin to emerge.  I look forward to the evolution….

Copyright Eileen Dey Wurst

A moment of lightness

lightA few days ago I participated in the Seattle Sing-A-long on my front porch.  It was an uplifting few minutes that lasted within my heart well into that evening.  https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Feileen.dey%2Fvideos%2F10157466250793583%2F&show_text=0&width=267“>Here is the video.

It seems every day in some way, finding a method, technique or distraction to maintain lightness is an important goal amidst the heavy seriousness that is the reality of this situation.

This is not an easy effort, in fact, most days I rely on a lot of external events, like the sing-a-long to pull me through.

My morning meditations help set the day but my emotions often flux between being patient and then being frustrated.  Of being overwhelmed and then being bored.  Of being worried and then being perfectly calm.

The mornings and evenings are often more emotionally ‘level’ than the day itself.  That much I notice.

My cats and my partner keep me socially sane but I am grateful for my online community.  I’ve been working on updating my Youtube channel after last delving into it um, 7 years ago?  I was busy doing a lot of in-person events for a very long while.  Gosh how time flies.

Maybe I’ll put some of the virtual meetings I’m doing on the channel.  Or maybe some of the classes.  Or just me walking around with my camera phone showing how a Reiki master deals in a crisis.   I’ve never done video of my play with clay.  All possible content for the future.

Before this time, I usually would have some kind of event or activity each week to put on my calendar to ‘look forward to’.  I still have events I’m involved with and show up for.  But the ‘looking forward’ component has definitely shifted.  Making plans is very short-term.

I feel more cautious, not even ‘cautiously optimistic’.  Not quite on guard, but just hesitant most days.  Lot’s of waiting and seeing.  I know I’m not alone.

I’m not focused on ‘what the world will be like after all this’ because no one knows despite all their education, expertise and intuition.

I find the practice of gratitude to be most helpful because it keeps me present and aware of whats right in front of me.  Today, that practice manifested with myself playing the didjeridoo and Richard playing a flute while our cats looked on with great curiosity of the sounds we were making and laughing with.  A moment of lightness.

For now, I’m content when I do find a moment of lightness and with that I can shine brightly.  That’s all I can do.

Copyright Eileen Dey Wurst

Stay at Home

stay-at-homeWashington now joins the ranks of the other states in the US that have declared shelter in place or stay at home orders for it’s residents.  We’ve already been doing much of that over the last few weeks, but now, the pace of life begins to slow down even more as we are required to only venture out for essentials (groceries, pharmacies and doctor visits).

Our governor did say ‘going for short walks or bike rides’ were allowed for physical and mental health (I do thank you Jay Inslee for both permitting that and mentioning mental health) as long as social distancing was enacted.  So it’s not a total lock down in one’s home.  But it definitely is a much-needed action to curtail the social behavior that has enabled this virus to spread.

With this state-mandated order comes a trend to spend more time within, not just the home but within the mind.

Just in time, on the inspiration from a dear friend, colleague and fellow Reiki practitioner and shaman, Cedar Hyde, I will be engaging in a two week daily morning meditation and healing practice.  We ended up calling it the ‘Reiki Sit for ‘The Situation’.  Funny how such things find a perfect time and place to happen.

A client of mine recently mentioned ‘we are all turning into contemplatives’ with all this self-isolating and insulating behavior.  It’s definitely a retreat from the world for those who have the privilege to work from home and aren’t also doing double duty caretaking a family or family members.

So what to ‘do’ with the extra time I would have been going to an event or activity or gathering of some kind?

I have ‘become friends’ with the virtual world.  I’ve found a number of different groups that hold Zoom or Facebook group sessions and reach out to friends and family via some form of technology every day.  It feels like I’ve actually become more social with social distancing.  Is that possible?!!!

As I mentioned in a prior blog, I’ve already begun to look into enhancements for my online Reiki class offerings.  I get to create new versions of the content I’ve developed and organized.  In many ways, that’s something I’ve always wanted to do,  and lo and behold there is a need and want for it.  So I’m super pumped about having this extra time for this project.

In writing this blog I realize I am starting to sound like most of my clients who have been self-isolating and working from home.   We are getting on with our lives to the best of our ability amidst the backdrop of ‘The Situation’.

Should I be worried more?  If I was being irresponsible and reckless in my behavior, yes.  But I’m not.  I’m following the prudent guidelines, which give structure and the opportunity to do all of the above.  Should I be worried about other people’s lack of prudence?  How the government is handling/not handling things?

I could chose to be worried, or I could just focus on what I actually can control.

Instead of worrying, I can be vigilant about hygiene  and staying home.

I wanted to link this document on how to handle worry passed on from a counseling colleague of mine, Jori McChesney.  Thank you Jori!

Take a breath.  We’ll get through this!

Copyright 2020 Eileen Dey Wurst

Photo credit

Making a New Way

timelapse photography

Photo by Markus Bürkle on Pexels.com

Finally, I feel like I am able to start planning for the next phase of the Reiki work I do.  Just like everyone else, I’ve had to process all the information and feelings and then find a way to adjust to all the recent rapid changes in our world to the best of my ability,.

You might know that I created a virtual support groupto help others through this process of dealing with the COVID-19 response.  Being featured in the Guardian was a highlight but helping all those that have come has been the true reward for me.

By the grace of synchronicity, my month of March was not a ‘teaching month’ for Reiki.  I had deliberately kept that schedule free to be available to both friends and family going through their own transitions.  Who knew?!

But as I look ahead at the rest of spring, I realize in order to keep teaching Reiki in a healthy, safe, and supportive way, it needs to go completely virtual.  Now, many Reiki teachers have been offering online classes for quite some time.  I always appreciated the option to teach in person.  So, for me, going virtual is most definitely novel Reiki training!

Online learning is definitely it’s own medium.  The positive aspect to this is that Reiki flows through time and space, so the energy itself doesn’t require you to be ‘in person’ with a teacher to learn it.

I’ve looked into pre-recording classes and offering them as webinars and it doesn’t jive with how I feel this healing system is best experienced and integrated.   It’s that difference between live and recorded music.  I also have always structured my classes to meet the needs individually of each student, each class.

That individualized attention is probably one of my hallmarks.

A Reiki class, however, isn’t like a straight lecture or strictly hands-on arts class.  It’s got both qualities and then some.

The way I teach in person is a combination of lecture, practice, ritual, sitting down, standing up, lying down and moving around.  It’s serious, it’s funny, it’s inspiring, it’s transformational.

So all those elements will go into the online format.  The video is important, but there will be times when just audio is only needed and periods where there is only silence and the student is having their own experience.

It’s a good challenge for me to continue to develop curriculum in this manner.  I’m grateful that despite the seeming limitations of social distancing and staying indoors, it affords me more time to work on this project and bring another form of The Reiki Training Program to the world.

I’ve already had several weeks of the Virtual Sharing and Healing Meditation Circles to explore how technology can assist teaching  best ways to convey energy healing practices through online learning.

My next virtual Reiki 1 class will be April 5th.  Reiki 1 will provide an overview of the history and background of the healing system, instructions for self-practice and guidelines in working with others, pets and plants/spaces.  Attunements (empowerments) will be given as well as plenty of practice on one’s self and others in the class.

If you are interested to attend, you can sign up here.  All classes included continued mentorship through email or teleconference and participation in online circle sharing.  No pre-requisites required.  Be prepared to be surprised!

Copyright 2020 Eileen Dey Wurst

 

 

Calming down

enlightenmentPracticing Reiki:

We all have the ability to channel Universal energy.  Formal training increases our capacity.  The flow of ki travels through our meridian and chakra system (energetic pathways) and assists in bringing our bodies and minds back into balance.

Take time to do this practice each day and it will assist in calming and balancing your nervous and immune systems.

If working with a guided meditation is more helpful, feel free to check out some I have recorded over the years.

Now, begin:

  1. Give yourself permission to receive this energy.  If working on others, ask them if they give themselves permission to receive.
  2. Notice the pace of your breathing or the other person’s breathing.  Become more centered.
  3. Connect with Earth and Sky energies.
  4. You are a conduit for the energy.  It comes through you, not from you. Realize the concept of “Not my will, but thy will be done” or ‘this is greater than me’ (because it is).
  5. Using your hands, bring them to areas of the body where there is discomfort, tension over the eyes, the shoulders, heart, and gut.  Reiki is also used as a preventative and not just on areas of pain.  Further training follows the chakra system of the body.
  6. Hold hands over each area for 1-3 minutes.  Remember, there is no wrong or right, there just is Reiki.  Honor the pause.
  7. After giving yourself or others a session, smooth out their field and bring your hands back together so that palms are touching each other.

Copyright 2020 Eileen Dey Wurst

Passing time with Reiki

0806111344Using the Story of Usui as a Model

For the next 21 days consider Usui’s story as it relates to your life.  Set aside morning and evening contemplation time and space to reflect on the following and give yourself Reiki and/or meditation.  Note insights in a special journal, using the ‘signposts’ on this page as prompters as your progress.

Day

  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

Copyright 2020 Eileen Dey Wurst

Cultivate Best Practices

IMG_20200308_124432205_BURST000_COVER_TOP‘We need to prepare for a marathon’ one of my clients, who works in public health, shared with me thinking about the months ahead.

It already feels like we have been enduring, as Seattle and it’s residents lived 90 days without sun over the winter.  The pattern finally started to break only in mid-February.

Today’s presidential declaration of a national emergency will be very beneficial and assist us and the rest of the US during the weeks to come.  My concern is that we need to have the stamina to go the distance this is going to require.

So, how to do that?  I’ve been telling my clients for the past week they have to find ways to lower the stress levels in their everyday lives.  Lowering stress increases resilience.  Resilience is needed for the endurance required to go this distance.  I recorded a guided meditation album to assist in cultivating these qualities.

This is the time to practice Reiki, meditation, yoga, go for walks, read books, journal, do puzzles, binge watch programs and movies, do arts and crafts, etc.

If you are an extrovert and like to be around people, this is time to get more comfortable with online platforms that permit virtual meetings.

There are places where you can volunteer to organize and distribute breakfasts and lunches for the kids who are now staying home from school.

One client said she was considering getting  an additional pet.  Another said she was going to do some solo camping.  Another said she was supporting local businesses by purchasing gift certificates and ordering delivery.

Do what you can do to fill your well.  Tune out the news and/or your internet connection for a period of time.  Stay informed but not to the detriment of your mental health.

Some ski resorts said they are still open.  Check and see what is feasible for you, your budget and also your own risk.

This is the time to cultivate good sleeping, eating and exercising habits.

And please reach out to friends, family and neighbors, by phone or email.  Having social support will be the net to hold you in the coming weeks.

Keep calm and stay informed.

Copyright 2020 Eileen Dey Wurst and Photo

 

 

What’s Next?

whats-next240x400With northern Italy now putting 16 million of their people in quarantine the US and more specifically, Seattle, where I live, is asking ‘what’s next?’.

Since starting an online Coronavirus support group/healing circle last week, residents of King County have been joining me and sharing their own personal experiences.  It’s been helpful to hear we aren’t alone in how our communities are responding to the crisis.

Coming together like this does help in reducing the sense of being isolated at a time when we will be encountering more restrictions of social interaction and gatherings in the weeks to come.

Our leaders in government have only offered recommendations rather than mandatory measures, but today there has been hinting that these initiatives will be coming to pass.

If you take a moment and do a little self-educating of how this virus has spread infects it’s hosts and you’ll see that in order to help defeat it’s spread, containment, including quarantine, is imperative.

Is it too late for that in Seattle?  It remains to be seen.  This next week we will hear about more cases and more deaths.

As several people in our online virtual groups have mentioned, just dealing with the daily news reports is anxiety producing.

So I talked about my last blog of being proactive rather than reactive.  If we are aware of how a virus spreads, and also that cases and deaths will continue, when we hear reports about it, we will be less surprised and shocked.

Also, if we can continue to monitor ourselves, taking care of our health, getting enough sleep, boosting our immunity with vitamins, fresh fruits and fresh air, we really are doing as much as we possibly can.

I recommend following the advice from the Department of Health to avoid large groups of people, especially inside buildings or when close together at events.  I feel that whether you have health complications or are healthy it is probably a good idea for everyone at this time.  You can be a carrier for the virus and not even know it.

This weekend I went out to the nearby mountains as well as to a museum in town.

I observed plenty of fellow Seattlites and Washingtonians taking time to be outside as the weather became a bit sunnier today.  I saw them out at the farmers markets and on the nearby ski slopes.  I noticed only a dozen or so people within the Asian Art museum itself, but many were walking around the grounds outside.   It seemed to met people kept their distances from each other (the 6 feet recommended?).  It wasn’t awkward, but it was apparent.

Perhaps if and when measures are enacted to limit indoor gatherings, the outdoors will become our sanctuary and haven as it is already for so many of us.

Keep calm and stay informed.

Copyright 2020 Eileen Dey Wurst

Photo Credit

Just the messenger

Speedy-Delivery-e1472106532704My clients and students have been getting the message this week and especially today that I’m now working remotely, offering circles and workshops by webinar, sessions by phone or Skype.

I can’t ethically put them or the public at risk when the public health division of your city and county issues the statement: “If you can feasibly avoid bringing large groups of people together, consider postponing events and gatherings.”  “Workplaces should enact measures that allow people who can work from home to do so. Taking these measures can help reduce the number of workers who come into contact with people with COVID-19 and help minimize absenteeism due to illness.”  See the full announcement here.

And yet if you look on the local community calendar listings, groups are still meeting, events still occurring.  Most of the schools are still open and people are going to work.

But driving around today just to get out of the house and take a walk, the streets are definitely more quiet.  There is caution and hesitation in the air.  The city feels ‘on hold’.

Pulling back from the daily rhythm of life is hard, but as a community, we are being asked to do this.  We aren’t being told to…yet.

The governmental leaders in enacting states of medical emergency, all have the power in one degree or another to cancel events and gatherings.

My preference would be to have the choice to opt-out rather than have it dictated to me.  It’s something I ‘am in control’ of in a situation that is very much out of control.

I realize that my ability to work from home is a privilege that not everyone has, but I am exercising that privilege for the greatest good of public health and to protect myself, my clients, students and larger community and world.

It’s my hope that this action along with the many tens of thousands (more?) of others who can work from home are all helping to contribute to slowing the transmission.

Because, the transportation hub that is Seattle has not ceased.  Planes still come in and out (except for the limitations imposed by the Feds), trains, ships, cars and buses are all still running, still taking people, infected or not all over the world.  If those channels were to have limitations imposed upon them, further disruptions will occur, of course.

We’re not there yet.  Our leaders, I feel, have been keeping our community informed every day, and now twice a day.  Each successive day since last week we’ve gotten updates and progressively more encouragement to withdraw and set limits on our social activities.

This is all still the ‘new normal’.  Many people I’ve spoken to seem to be in some early stage of grief about it:  Either flat out denial that this is really something to be worried about, that it’s being blown out of proportion by the media or they are angry that it’s intruding on their lives and disrupting the ‘flow’.

Some people are paying attention and making adjustments, but this is really just the beginning.

People who live elsewhere and have 1 or 2 COVID-19 cases in their community, I encourage you to look at how Seattle is handling the crisis.  It will probably serve as a model as more cases occur where you are.

It remains to be seen just how this develops and evolves, and I feel it’s always best in times of crisis to do only what you are really able to do.  Limit having to make too many decisions if you can and help out if you feel called to do so.

In my work as a community leader, I feel it important to serve as a connector for individuals to resources and information that may be helpful to make the most informed decisions.

Creating the (now) bi-weekly online healing circle/meditations, switching my classes to webinar and sessions to remote have all been blessings in disguise.  I’m still able to maintain connection and groundedness  with my community and to the people I serve despite how fast everything is rapidly changing.  It’s a touch point.  I’m grateful for the technology that exists today to permit this to occur.

I foresee the importance of maintaining this connection as we are either asked voluntarily or are required to make changes to limit social interactions.

People are social and usually do not fare well in isolation.

In future blog I hope to explore this last point.

In the meantime, keep calm and stay informed.

Copyright 2020 Eileen Dey Wurst

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