I am not into most New Age* stuff, but am willing to try new things. This afternoon I spent one hour lying flat and motionless on a mat in a dimly lit room experiencing my first (and probably only) Reiki class.
Before I agreed to tag along with a friend, I had heard of Reiki but had no idea what it was. I assumed it was some kind of meditation/stress reduction/mindfulness.
At the end of class I still have little idea what Reiki is all about. Or how it works.
|Singing bowl used in my Reiki class.|
The leader began the class with soothing words about relaxation and meditation, gave a brief explanation of what would ensue, and played two musical instruments I did not recognize, producing calming tones. While participants lay on mats, eyes closed, she slowly made her way around the room, maneuvering her hands over and around each person’s body. I don’t know if she touched anyone, but she did not touch me. Most of the time my eyes remained closed, but occasionally opened them and glanced around the room to see what was going on. The room was quiet – intensely so.
Reiki is supposed to relax the individual and generate a feeling of peace and security. It merges mind, body, and spirit, helping to heal body and mind, minimize side effects of medicines and promote recovery. Although not a religion, Reiki works in tandem with one’s beliefs.
Reiki is all about our life force, and if in disarray due to mental or physical illness or difficult issues an individual faces, the force is disrupted, causing physical problems affecting body organs and tissues. Reiki apparently releases negative energy flowing through the body and replaces it with positive forces.
It’s not that I do not buy into Reiki, but the practical part of my brain finds it difficult to get ‘into’ the practice. My mind stays stuck on the concrete and mundane, like what will I make for lunch and should I go shopping today or tomorrow and will my tax returns be accepted by the IRS and the state...
An hour channeling my karma, lying on a mat without moving, eyes closed, I didn’t fall asleep. But could have. I admit I did not feel any different after class than before, although my friend loved it. I doubt I will return soon, but my interest in trying new things is not dampened.
In a couple of weeks we plan on trying something else new.
*For those of us who spent the 1970s raising families, working, paying bills and engrossed in other activities and missed the debut of the New Age movement, here is a definition:Of or relating to a complex of spiritual and consciousness-raising movements originating in the 1970s and covering a range of themes from a belief in spiritualism and reincarnation to advocacy of holistic approaches to health and ecology.
Reiki is derived from two Japanese words: Rei means, “God’s Wisdom or the Higher Power”, and Ki means “life force energy.” Reiki is ‘spiritually guided life force energy.” The International Association of Reiki Training defines Reiki as follows: …a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by “laying on hands” and is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through us and is what causes us to be alive.