by Beth Haley

Dedicated to my teacher Ray

At the time my yoga teacher, Ray, mentioned she was teaching a Reiki level I class, I had never heard of Reiki. Having an interest in healing practices, I wanted to check it out.

On our first day of class, Ray stood, and looking at each one of us she said,

“We all come from different backgrounds. We may all have a different name for God or Deity:

God, Higher Power, The Universe, Jesus, Mother, Father, Lord, Lady, Goddess, Jehovah, Cernunnos, Brahman, Great Spirit…

And, there’s so many more expressions for Deity.

Or perhaps, she continued, you have no name at all.”

We went around the room, and those of us who wanted to share, spoke our name for Deity. Some were the same, and some were different. Some were unspoken, and some had no name at all.

Then Ray looked at us and said, “You are all welcome here.”

By this point in my journey, I’d spent almost 40 years in church, and this was the first time in my life that I’d ever heard a message of acceptance for others who were different.

This message wasn’t delivered under the fake title of “tolerance”. We didn’t have to merely “tolerate” each other. It was seeing each other exactly as we were and accepting that each of us was different. And that it was ok. That we were each OK, just as we were.

To this day, Ray is the only Reiki teacher I have ever had. So, I don’t know if this teaching is unique to all Reiki classes, or just unique to Ray. However, I do know that great teachers are irreplaceable.

During the 1920s, Mikao Usui, who was a Japanese Buddhist priest, rediscovered an ancient practice of working with healing energy, known to us today as Reiki.

Reiki is a holistic approach to relaxation, healing and the balancing of mind, body, emotions and spirit. It also encourages personal growth and spiritual development.


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