Saturday, 6 January 2018

Kimono Raincoat

The red kimono I'm wearing in the happy new year picture is actually a kimono raincoat.  I didn't know such things existed until I was taken by our guide to a shop selling second hand kimono and many wonderful accessories.  I was looking at what I thought were just ordinary kimono when the shop assistant and our guide told me that they were raincoats!

I had not come across this idea before and as I loved the colour and design of the one I was looking at decided to try it on.  It fitted beautifully and was not very expensive so, to cut a long story short, I brought it home.

Then just before Christmas we had a lot of snow on Clee Hill and I had the idea of taking some photos in the snow wearing the red kimono raincoat.  My husband was behind the camera and we went out first of all on the day it was actually snowing.  Conditions were quite arctic, but it was fun being out in the snow.  I found that the kimono raincoat did actually keep me dry!

The next day the sun came out and we went out again to take some more pictures in the snow and sunshine.  It's one of those that we used for the happy new year picture.

So I hope this bit of fun brings some brightness to your day during the dark winter months!

Wishing you a joyful and playful year in 2018.

A Principle of Kindness

Last January, reflecting on where my Reiki work would be going in the year ahead, I decided I would like a short phrase to express what I hope to offer the world through this work.  I had attended a workshop called "Reiki for a Better World" which had got me thinking: what would make the world a better place that Reiki can offer?  What I came up with was: kindness.  I therefore decided to try to write all my newsletter articles for 2017 with the underlying focus of "Reiki for a Kinder World".

I found that it was not difficult to find many aspects of kindness that come through the practice of Reiki, from the kindness we offer ourselves as we self treat (hopefully every day) to the kindness of giving healing to family and friends.  I have also found that the self treatment helps me to be in a calmer state, so that I also move through the world in a kinder way: being less stressful means that I am less irritable.  It also allows me to be more sensitive to the needs of others.

I was therefore very interested to read, in the recent Office of the Grandmaster newsletter, articles from both Phyllis Furumoto and Paul Mitchell about a Reiki principle of kindness. 

Phyllis, writing during her stay in Japan, talked about how her grandmother had not specifically listed the Five Reiki Principles that we are familiar with, but that each had been mentioned with a story during her teaching.  After Takata's death her masters met and acknowledged the 5 principles or Precepts as follows:

Just for today do not worry
Just for today do not anger
Honour your parents teachers and elders
Earn your living honestly
Show gratitude to every living thing

What Phyllis commented on was that in the direct translation of these principles from the Japanese there is also a sentence about being kind to others.  Phyllis and Paul both remember this being included in Takata's teachings but somehow this was not specifically included in the Reiki Principles in English.  As Phyllis comments, Takata translated not just the words, but also some of the underlying qualities that in Japanese culture do not need to be spoken because they are so fundamental: that of respecting elders and Nature.

So I find it interesting that I had found my way to including this quality of kindness even though it was unspoken, through many years of holding the Reiki Principles as we receive them in English and also my Reiki treatment and teaching practice.  I have often observed the kindness of people who meet to treat each other at Reiki Shares.  It's easy to take this for granted and forget how in many other groups there isn't this level of trust and consideration.  Something about the grace of Reiki helps people to let go of judgement while giving each other Reiki.

So I am interested to hear that this quality of being - of showing kindness to others - seems to have surfaced for more conscious discussion in the Reiki community.   I intend to continue to hold it as a focus for the coming year.  Our world can benefit from more kindness, even in the smallest act of offering Reiki to another person who is in pain.  Will you join me?

If you would like to read more about this you can read the articles from Phyllis and Paul here.  You can also sign up for to receive the newsletter here.