Kate Jones has been a Reiki master for 25 years. She is as passionate about Reiki now as she was when she first learned. In this blog she muses on the value of Reiki in daily life and shares her experiences of Reiki as a practice and a spiritual path relevant for today.
Last month Wanja Twan, who initated my Reiki master Martha
Sylvester, died peacefully, surrounded by family and pets, after a long life
dedicated to the teaching and practice of Reiki.Wanja was born This is how I heard the story of how she came
to learn Reiki:
Kate and Wanja at Reiki Alliance Conference 2006
in Sweden in 1934 and
emigrated to Canada in her 20s, settling in British Columbia.
Wanja heard about the 1st degree reiki class, at
a difficult time in her life.Her second
husband had unexpectedly left her (he said he was “too happy”!), leaving her
with 6 children to raise and a farm to run on her own.Searching for something to help her, she
opened a book called “We Are All Healers” at random.There she read about a woman named Hawayo
Takata, who said she could teach people how to become healers.Shortly after this Wanja heard that Takata
was coming to the local area to teach 1st degree Reiki.
She wanted to attend the class, but there were various issues
restraining her from making the decision to go.Being able to afford the fee of 150 US dollars was one. However, when
she went to the drawer where she kept the deposits for the weaving workshops she
ran in her barn, she discovered that someone had sent her $150 in US dollars –
exactly what she needed for the Reiki class.
She was still concerned about leaving the younger children,
but one of the older children volunteered to care for them and encouraged her
to go.So at the last minute Wanja made
up her mind and went.As she entered the
house where the class was being held, a small Japanese-looking lady dressed in
a bright Hawaiian dress was coming down the stairs opposite the door.She looked at Wanja and said “Aha, I knew you
would come!”.This lady was Hawayo
Takata, who initiated Wanja into Reiki in 1978 and as a master in 1979.
Wanja’s practice was often informal and completely
integrated with daily life.Reiki
treatments might happen on the kitchen table, with the children and animals all
around.Reiki was also used for
improving bread that was being baked and many other daily uses (including dispersing
clouds on a dull day!).Wanja had a deep
connection with the unseen world and Nature.She had an understanding of the spirituality implicit in Reiki.
Kate, Wanja and Martha in Leamington Spa!
I was fortunate to meet Wanja on a few occasions when the
was in the UK and at a Reiki Alliance conference in the USA (she was a founder
member of the Reiki Alliance).We first
met in London when I was a very young master full of questions.I would ask her a question and she would
respond: “Well I don’t know, but…” and then give a profound answer.
One of her teachings was that Takata encouraged her students
to be grateful for the healing gift of Reiki.Wanja developed a ritual for the end of treatments to honour this.She would encourage us to place our hands on
our heart and repeat 3 times “Thank you for this healing”.It is not part of the official Usui Shiki
Ryoho form, but it is a something I maintain to this day in my own practice.
I am grateful to Wanja, without whom I might not have Reiki
in my life!Thank you Thank you Thank
you Wanja, my Reiki ‘grandmother!