Sunday, 1 June 2014

Reiki Listening

At the wonderful Reiki Association Gathering I attended recently one of my Reiki master friends Viv Candlish commented during one of the sessions that she was enjoying being with Reiki people because of the way we listen to each other.  She went on to suggest that this probably has something to do with the way we learn to listen to our hands when practising Reiki.

This resonated with me immediately.  From the very early days of practising Reiki I have learned to ‘listen’ to my hands: feeling the differing sensations giving a Reiki treatment can produce.  The most frequent is warmth or heat in varying degrees, but there can also be tingling – which sometimes feels almost like having my hands in stinging nettles – throbbing, coldness and even a feeling as if there is movement under my hands.  When these sensations occur I (and other Reiki practitioners) pay attention, because they guide the treatment, showing where the person I am treating needs me to rest my hands longer, so that Reiki has enough time to flow to where it is needed.

These various sensations call my attention; invite me to be present with the person I am treating, so that I can be sensitive to changes and to giving the Reiki that is needed at that time.  As I give Reiki treatments in silence, rather than playing background music, this also gives a particular quality to the listening.

What Viv was commenting on is that this same quality of attentive listening is often transferred to our conversations when Reiki people gather together to discuss life with Reiki or Reiki practice.  There is a quality of listening and attention that is often missing in everyday chatter. 

This quality of attention can be very valuable.  It shows the person I am speaking with that I value what they have to say and offers the opportunity to really hear them.  When I do this there is often something valuable to learn!  I have also felt that the attention given when treating is also a form of acceptance, which can be very valuable.  Acceptance is something I used to crave and I have learned that accepting someone as they are, ;warts and all’, can be transformative. 

Working with the Reiki Association Council over the past five years has been a wonderful exploration of the quality of listening we can bring to working with other people.  Sometimes we slipped into argumentative discussions, our quality of listening was not good because we wanted to get our own view accepted.  However we would often stop and do some Reiki when this occurred, re-connecting us with a different kind of communication.  In the silence of Reiki treatment we would often discover a greater wisdom than we as individuals could not access.  When our discussion resumed there would be less conflict and frequently we arrived at quite inspired decisions that moved us forwards together and often rapidly.

So I’m grateful to Viv for pointing out this quality many people practising Reiki share and, like her, it’s something I value in our Reiki community.  She has subsequently been elected to the Reiki Association Council and I wish her, and the rest of Council, as much growth and enjoyment as I have experienced.