Finding A Reiki Course
I went around to several Reiki schools meandering around Rishikesh. The typical price point was around $100usd for about 10 hours of teaching over 2-3 days. I went to “Healing Hands Reiki School” and “Himalyan School“. The Himalyan School offers courses on a number of areas, but one of them is Reiki Levels 1 through 3. I met the teacher at each location and both of which felt good, though I was leaning towards the Himalayan School; the teacher here felt more authentic and less Westernized. But I heard solid reviews from folks in Rishikesh about both of these schools. They were either in the process of learning or had recently completed a course. I think you’ll be satisfied at either one of these places.
NOTE: There are so many schools around Rishikesh. Take it upon yourself to look around a bit.
Although I thought either school would be good, I still wasn’t feeling the pull! I was on the fence and wobbling away from the Reiki side of things (thinking maybe to do some Ayurvedic massages instead). I continued asking around until I found a yoga teacher named Mittra, who teaches at Sant Seva Ashram (check him out!); he offered a name and number, but unsure if she was in town now, if this number was still active, if she even taught still. A woman from Germany who has lived in India for 35 years and in Rishikesh for the past 20. I love little secrets like this 😉 No school, no store, no shop – just a woman with strong word of mouth. Now my wobble has shifted.
I give Shanti Jee a call, “The number you are trying to reach is inactive.” Shit…hmmm. I’ll try again tomorrow. I give Shanti Jee a call, “Hello??”. With a sigh of relief, “Hello! This is Mike, I’m looking to learn Reiki Level 1. Is this Shanti Jee?”. It is she, she does teach, and perfectly timed she has another student starting on the 28th of December! Perfect because it’s two days after my 200 TTC Yoga course completes ANNNDDDD the 28th happens to be my birf-birf-birf-birf-birfday yallllll!!!! :p A nice little gift to myself. One added bonus is that she only charged $85usd. Very nice.
Let’s Learn About Reiki
With somewhat cryptic directions (from the bridge go 300m, then find the hidden stairway on the left, find this hotel, opposite the hotel is an alley with this other hotel, my house has a white fence), I find Shanti Jee’s place. Just a woman, in her home, with a good heart, and good spirit, teaching reiki as it comes to her. No advertising, no flyers, no storefront – this is honest and authentic teaching whether you have belief in Reiki or not.
Typically Level 1 Reiki is only teaching how to heal yourself with Universal Energy, but Shanti Jee believes that this is a bit of bullshit. Reiki never used to have these levels and separations. About 150 years ago a Japanese spiritual leader named Osui discovered a way to access this Universal Energy and became the first Reiki healer of this age (assuredly there have been others in history using it in different forms and practices and names, but today we now have Reiki thanks to Osui). In these days a student was taught how to connect with the Universal Energy and act as a channel to allow it to heal the self or another being. Shanti Jee practices this same mentality, instead of following the constructs of the newly fabricated Reiki organizations.
In 2 days, ~12 hours, Shanti Jee taught us how to become Reiki channels and to use this to heal ourselves and others. She performed 3 “initiations” (for lack of a better word), which is a meditation where Shanti Jee goes to each student and helps align their frequency to match that of the Universe (similar to tuning a radio station to match that of the radio channel). Two initiations on the first day and one time on the second day. My most peculiar experiences came during these “initiations”.
What is Happening When Reiki-ing?
I’m still figuring things out. Two days is not enough time to learn something fully. Only enough to get started. After your brief stint with Reiki during a level 1 class, you have to continue practicing everyday for at least 21 days consecutively to build on that experience and enhance your understanding of what this is.
But what I was figuring out was that it seems best to keep the mind blank as best as this is possible. Every time I was able to find this “blankness” I was able to notice an experience of some kind. This was either colors, images, sensations, pressures, waves, or “happenings”. I call anything I can’t explain with physical reality terms as “happenings”…so basically spiritual experiences. I’m new to this realm and have yet to fully commit, so I say “happenings”.
A few interesting things happened during the first initiation. At the beginning Shanti Jee came over and moved towards my hands with her own. With my eyes closed and meditating to the music she played, I noticed her presence approaching and felt her hands approaching mine. At the moment just before her fingers made contact with mine I felt a small pulse of energy (electricity, force, line, something) from the middle of my palm extending up to the tip of my middle finger. With this energy my finger also gave a little twitch. This happened for both of my hands. Interesting…
Another time during the first initiation, she comes over and holds the top of your head. At this exact moment I began to see a flowing of watery smokey colors behind my eyes. Pink, Blue, and Purple began swirling poetically within my black vision. When she completed whatever she completed and moved her hands away, the colors too faded to blackness. Interesting…
One more thing I’ll share is that my hands are always feeling more warm during these meditations where Universal Energy is supposedly flowing through me. I can feel a warmth emanating from the center of my palm (apparently the power center of the hand), and through my fingers. Sometimes I feel tingling, like pins & needles through the fingers and around the palm. My body as well has a bit of warmth that I notice. However, I’m never focusing so intently on my body and hands when I’m not in meditation so maybe this is always present. The only clear notice is that as soon as I come back from the meditation, I instantly feel my hands are cold and my chest is cold. Not exactly my chest, but like inside my chest – internal of my chest feels very cold. After each initiation this same feeling occurred. That was the most interesting thing to me because it is specific to the Reiki meditation. It isn’t something that I may just not be noticing throughout my daily routines, but is happening specifically in this moment. Interesting…
The Biggest Happening
Now this one gets a little bit more crazy. More surreal.
I noticed my mind wandering off again. Most of the time it would be doing this during the initiations. Sometimes I would notice my lack of focus, my lack of presence and I’d try to bring myself back to my hands or body or, in this case, to blankness.
Its hard to describe blankness. But for me it is staying fully open to anything that may come. I am not thinking about anything, not focusing on anything, just an intention of openness. I see just blackness or blankness behind my eyes. And in this moment I brought myself to blankness. And then very soon after I felt a presence come upon me, the same feeling as if Shanti Jee was approaching to help align my frequency, but I knew this wasn’t Shanti Jee. In a brief moment after feeling the presence, I felt both of my hands being held by someone else – interlocking between my fingers. Very real physical feeling of handholding, very gentle and warming handholding.
I focused my attention on my hands. “How can I be feeling like this?” The muscles themselves were constricting in all of the places another hand would be applying pressure if holding my hand. So strong was this feeling and so noticeable the muscles. And then in a brief moment after the hand-holding, a face appears behind my eyelids. A woman with head garb and the feeling of Egypt looks into my eyes the same as if a person was across from me with eyes open. I could feel her eyes and feel her looking deeply into mine, through mine. The feeling as real as real.
The other strange note is that I could feel that it was a presence from someone in the room. It seemed as though another person from in this room somehow made contact with me. I don’t know what to make of any of this. I just let it be and move on with this new experience. If many more like it come to pass then I’ll continue adjusting my view of the world and how it works and how I function in it.
When I mentioned this to the group, it was met was peaked interest (though everyone had quite interesting experiences), but no one was aware that they or their soul had visited me. Interesting…
What About the Reiki?
Yeah Yeah! The Reiki! We also practiced Reiki healing on ourselves and between the 3 of us students. I won’t say much here because it’s similar to the initiations. You speak to yourself that you are an open, clear, and receptive Reiki channel for the benefit of either yourself or the client . You offer the fruits of this healing to the divine. You ask for any help from gurus, spiritual masters, loved ones, whomever you wish to help in the healing. You then connect with the other person or with yourself and you connect with your hands. You go over different parts of the body staying for a minimum of 2 minutes on each spot. Trying to maintain focus on your hands and on being a clear, open, and receptive Reiki channel.
You also imagine a protective white energy bubble around you so that you and the other person are protected from any bad energy either of you are carrying. A common problem that happens to people practicing Reiki is taking on the negative energy of their clients and then getting sick or having something happen to them afterwards. So you create an energy bubble for protection.
Sometimes during the session I noticed my heart beating faster, or little pulses of something across my palms, or I’ll have random images popping up into my mind. My hands were always noticeably warmer during the Reiki. But that is about the extent of it.
I would feel relaxed and I would feel nice after receiving and giving Reiki, but nothing different than a good meditation session.
What Now After the Reiki Training?
I’m continuing to practice Reiki healing everyday with myself or with some friends I’m with. At least 20 minutes everyday. I’m still figuring it out, but I think there is something there. Even if it is just positive intentions with love, care, compassion, and concern being expressed for yourself or another person over the course of 60minutes. This in itself is a healing practice.
I also find it quite fun to practice the blankness of the mind. I can’t seem to find this blankness easily during my routine meditation, but during Reiki I find the blankness readily available. It’s interesting to see what experiences come into play during a Reiki session. For these reasons I’m continuing the practice and I’ll see where it leads.
Sidenote: Shanti Jee also spoke highly of using pendulums to help with decision making. Where you have a crystal on a string and use it to answer quetions. You ask the crystal a question and then it will move in whatever direction and this tells the user something. I tried this for the first time recently and without any movement from me the crystal moved. Then I asked another question whilst it was still moving and it slowly stopped its current motion and started in a new direction. Interesting….