Tuesday, 1 November 2016
On 1st November 1991 Alec and I were initiated as Reiki masters by Martha Sylvester. I'd like to tell you Martha's Reiki story.
Martha came across Reiki while she was at a Siddha yoga ashram in India. She was considering
going home because the
climate did not agree with her. Then she
found a leaflet about Reiki in the Ashram clinic. One sentence jumped out at her: "The
Healer will be healed by using this energy". This appealed to Martha because she had found
she became drained when giving massage.
So she began looking for the person who had put the leaflet there.
The next day a friend of hers, who was also interested in learning Reiki, came up to her and said: "You'll never guess what: there's a Reiki master in my dormitory!". This Reiki master turned out to be Wanja Twan, a master initiated by Hawayo Takata. So Martha went up to her and asked to learn Reiki.
Unfortunately Wanja was coming to the end of her stay, so she told Martha that there was not enough time for her to teach her Reiki. Looking at Martha she could tell that she was unwell, so asked her to wait in her room and she would come and give her some treatment. She said she might not be able to come, but that Martha should wait for her anyway.
So at the time they had agreed Martha waited. Wanja didn't come, but at the appointed time Martha felt a wave of energy go through her. She slept very well that night and the next day felt much better. When she saw Wanja that morning Martha asked if she had sent her Reiki, which Wanja confirmed she had.
Martha was even more keen to learn, so it was agreed that if Martha had enough people for a class when Wanja was next travelling via London to visit her relatives in Sweden, she would stop over for a few days and teach 1st degree Reiki. In fact Martha felt so much better she ended up staying even longer in India than she had first planned! When she eventually returned to London she persuaded as many friends as possible to join the 1st degree class and later that year was initiated into 1st degree Reiki.
She subsequently took 2nd degree and then became a master in 1985. She began teaching Reiki alongside her Monday to Friday job, but soon found she needed to give up her conventional work to devote her time to teaching Reiki. She travelled a lot to teach in those years, including to Birmingham which is where I met her in 1989. That same year she was told by Wanja to begin making her own masters, which may explain why Alec and I were invited to begin our master preparation in 1990.
Martha is a founder member of The Reiki Association, established in 1991 and continued to be an active member of the community for many years. However I think she felt that I could carry this on on her behalf and has always been very supportive of my community activities.
She still gives the occasional treatment and teaches a few people, but these days is happy exploring other creative pursuits such as painting and singing.
Martha has always been an inspiration to me with her grounded spirituality and I am deeply grateful to her for enabling me to be a Reiki master. Thank you Martha: I am honoured to be your student!