Spiritual Spring Cleaning

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rural village churchEaster is a time of rejoicing in renewal and re-birth. We celebrate the beginning of Spring, the return of the Sun’s strength and our capacity for fresh growth – whether on the roots we put down in the past or from a seed of new promise.  It is time to celebrate our own spiritual renewal.

Over the past few months the Earth’s energy has changed and positive energies have flooded into our lives.

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Just as the angle of the new sun shines through the window revealing the dirt and smudges of winter and the dust on the furniture so these light energies illuminate any dark that surrounds us, showing it up in stark contrast so it can be dissolved and healed.

If you tried to clean the windows in the nighttime, it’s likely you would miss many smuts of grime in the dark – but in the sunlight it is easy to see. You may not like what you see at first, but you can soon clean it up. A newly-cleaned house feels brighter and full of happiness so imagine how wonderful you will feel when you clean your soul and your life!

freeimages.co.uk free desktop wallpaperTake a moment to really look and discover what these new energies have revealed to you. See what you need to release in order to grow and move forward. Maybe you need to throw away things like fear, anger, anxiety? Maybe you need to polish your mirror to a perfect shine so that you can reflect all the shining things around you?

litch gateMaybe your floor is littered with things you started, things you meant to do, old thought patterns that no longer serve you.  Maybe you have shut yourself in with old conditioning?

To make way for the new beginnings that are coming in the next few months, open the doors and windows of your spirit.

 

red tulipsLet in the sunlight and the soft breezes of Spring.  Sweep out the old and dusty. Polish the things you treasure. Dust off the feelings of happiness and joy that have been lingering in a corner.

Bring in the flowers of delight, smiles and laughter.

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Relax and enjoy your new Being – a Being with room for inspiration and excitement and the pure joy of being alive and whole.

Happiness is a choice

“A Sufi mystic who had always remained happy was asked…. For seventy years people had watched him, he had never been found sad. One day they asked him, ‘What is the secret of your happiness?’ He said, ‘There is no secret. Every morning when I wake up, I meditate for five minutes and I say to myself, “Listen, now there are two possibilities: you can be miserable, or you can be blissful. Choose.” And I always choose to be blissful.’”  Osho

 

Understanding subtle energy

100_0266Although I have learned a great deal about the subtle energy system as I’ve travelled my Reiki path, I well remember the bafflement I felt when it was first described to me. In those long-ago days, I was a practising lawyer and used to rational ideas and explanations, so I found the whole concept of energy difficult to understand.

Since then, of course, the internet has made information available as never before and the understanding of metaphysical concepts through the medium of quantum physics has blossomed. However, although there is a great deal of information available, it is not always understandable.

Now, before I teach a first Reiki class, I ask my students to come to a workshop in which I outline the subtle energy body and its subtle energy channels, so that when they come to practice this wonderful healing art, they have some understanding and experience of the way that energy spins into matter. In this way, they become aware, not only of subtle energy itself, but of its interaction with the whole of creation.

The first step in understanding our subtle energy is to learn to trust our inner knowledge.

This can be difficult because we’ve been conditioned by society to trust only what we are  taught by others and to hide all those parts of us which we believe to be unacceptable to society. So let’s take a long hard look within, imagining we are seeing with the all-seeing Eye. This Eye sees everything within the compass of our body-mind-spirit — our hopes and fears, our happinesses and sadnesses, our kindnesses and cruelties, joys and griefs, wellness and illness, and everything else that we like to keep hidden.

The Eye sees without judging, but with compassion. It looks deeply within, seeing where we are lost, where we are selling ourselves short, where we are stuck in our thought processes, where we are clinging to a belief system that is harmful or weakening. Compassion sees: and, in seeing, understands.

From this understanding, we humans have a choice that comes from our free-will. We can stay as we are, or we can choose to change and take responsibility for all that we are — including our feelings, our beliefs and our judgements.

If we choose to change, the change occurs spontaneously.

If we choose to stay as we are, limited by our existing patterns, beliefs and thought forms, there is no judgement. But there is acceptance — and in that acceptance there is also compassion. And that is a kind of change.

Once we accept ourselves, exactly as we are, we can move on — if we want, there is no compulsion — to seeing what serves us and what does not. From there, it is only a short step to deciding what we would like to keep and what we would like to fall away.

This sounds easy, but can be uncomfortable, especially if we realise that the things we need to let go are things, beliefs or people to which we are attached. For this reason we need to be gentle with ourselves, giving ourselves time and encouragement as well as understanding. If you find difficulty in letting go, try blessing each thought, idea or belief — with gratitude for what it has taught you — before releasing it.

The beginning

Blue Water Lily

In this post I’m continuing my book: Refreshing Reiki – a reprise of a Reiki 1 class

Hello and welcome!

It is a great honour to be chosen as your Reiki Teacher, and I thank you for the privilege. You are giving yourself a wonderful gift by empowering your life with Reiki

One of the lovely things about teaching Reiki is getting to know those people who choose to study with you, so thank you for taking this journey with me.

Because Reiki is energy, it has to be experienced, rather than taught. So I am asking you to come on a journey of experimentation with me. Use your body-mind as a laboratory and let’s do some experimenting. Nothing is right or wrong. It is just how it is. Allow yourself to relax into that understanding.

Before we start, let us bring our energy into the room. Let us become present: letting go of all the getting here and all the things that are superfluous right at this moment.

…So let’s all stand up.  Take a silent inventory as to how you feel. Work from your feet up. Do you feel tense anywhere? Uncertain? Anxious? Wondering? Where in your body do you feel tension or pain? This is just for you. There is no right or wrong and no reason to tell anyone, unless you want to.

Take a step backwards or sideways. Make sure you have room to move. Shake out any bits of you that are stiff, cramped or painful. If thoughts or aches and pains are making themselves awkward, take them off, shrug out of them as though they were a suit of armour (which indeed they are, in the energy sense). If you need help to unbuckle and release yourself, ask your neighbour to assist. Help each other. Then carry that energy to the window and toss it out into the greenness and wisdom of Nature where everything is recycled… more of that later!

Now come back to where you were. Ease your shoulders in a circle, pull them up to your ears and then backwards, feeling your shoulder blades drop down your back… see if you can make them meet…now circle them round to the front. Repeat a couple more times. Then circle your shoulders the other way round.

Now release your elbows by circling them, first one way for about 10 revolutions and then the other.

Do the same with your wrists.

Shake your hands at the wrist, feeling them loosen and relax. Open and close your hands, stretching the fingers as far as you can and then closing your fists. Do some mad piano-playing.

Now put your hands on your hips and circle at the waist, first one way then the other.

Stand on one leg and circle the other at the knee. 10 times one way then 10 times the other. Then stand on the other leg and circle the first leg at the knee, 10 times each way.

Repeat with the ankles, circling each of then 10 times one way, then 10 times the other.

Next rock backwards and forwards on your feet, back on your heels, then on to your toes. Stand on tiptoes if you like.

Now stand still, close your eyes, take a deep breath in …. And let it out slowly. Take your awareness into your body and see how it feels now … Again there is no right or wrong, but you may find that tension has relaxed, your mind is more relaxed, body and mind are connected … you feel more present.

Share your experience with me and the others if you feel like it. Or make a note … or not. This experience is yours to do with as you wish.

Change – a natural, organic process

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Several of my Reiki Master students have asked me to help them as they begin to teach Reiki. I have told them, as I am saying now, that I no longer give the same class that I gave when I started to teach Reiki — over 20 years ago now.

Not only have I changed and developed in my Reiki practice, but the energy of Reiki itself has changed as it has become more widely known, used and accepted. Similarly, those who decide to learn this wonderful energy healing modality are different from those to whom I taught it way back then.

Change is is a natural organic process. Whether we like it or not, we all alter. If we embrace change, everything in our lives will run more easily. And so will our thoughts and emotions.

In the second decade of the twenty-first century, people accept the whole concept of energy more easily, they appreciate that we have a bio-magnetic resonance, and they are beginning to come to an understanding that we are all one, in that we are all part of Nature. No longer do we believe in the uniqueness of man (and woman) kind. Now we recognise that we inhabit a comparatively small planet that is infinitely fragile and precious. We see that whole of Nature is interdependent and that the essence of the universe is infinite and way beyond our comprehension.

I say this to demonstrate how much we, and thus the whole of Life, is affected by the constant alteration in our perception of energy and of the infinite.

No doubt my teaching will change too over the coming years, but, since I have been asked, I am about to set down the way I would approach teaching a Reiki 1 workshop in my present state of awareness and understanding.

I offer my words as a framework for students and teachers alike. Take from it what resonates with you and chuck the rest out. Maybe you will come back to it another time, but maybe you won’t. The important thing is to trust your own energy and to act accordingly.

I am not enlightened and I do not profess to be. I am simply someone who has walked along the Reiki path a little ahead of you. I offer guidance, but of course there is no need to accept it – most important is that you choose to walk your own way.

My hope and prayer is that amongst my words you will find something of value.

Namaste.

Roses, Reiki and a Revelation

I’ve been asked to write a book about ‘How to teach Reiki‘ so I thought I’d better try! This is the Foreword, which explains why I’m mentioning Summer at the end of Autumn. Anyway, fingers crossed that it’s okay, here goes:

I fell in love with Reiki over twenty years ago.

Just thinking this, I feel a smile spreading through the whole of my being.

100_1011I am sitting in the summer sunshine on the deck that overlooks my wonderful wild garden, where, now, in July, the reds and oranges of day-lilies and montbretia vie with the mauve of rosebay willow herb, the pink stars of rambling roses, the purplish blue of wild geraniums and a magnificent  clematis the colour of a clear evening sky. The perfume of honeysuckle and roses is heavy in the late afternoon air. A light breeze ruffles the leaves of the rowan tree. The complaints of squabbling jackdaws interrupt the contented buzzing of bees. A child laughs in the garden next door.

As the smile reaches my lips, I can think of no other love in my life than compares with my love for Reiki. I am privileged to have known many loves and to have been loved much in return, but Reiki is more than any tense of the verb ‘to love’ … it is Love itself….

I believe that Reiki is simply love, an energy from the Divine — whatever you perceive that to be — that moves within us all and which informs the whole of life itself.

The Way of the Rose

The Way of the Rose – The Power of the Feminine

Reiki is energy. It can be perceived but it cannot be seen. It can be felt, but it cannot be touched. It can be heard, but its sound is that of the universe and cannot be recreated. Some few individuals are aware of its perfume, but are unable to describe it. Others see it as light, but the colours are so intense and vibrant that comparison is almost impossible.

Reiki is wisdom.

Reiki is that undefinable life force — known variously as prana by theIndians, qi by the Chinese, ki by the Japanese, vital force or orgone by Europeans — that gives us aliveness.

100_1005All I say here is my own opinion, my own personal understanding of the nature and uses of Reiki, all of which I have learned by allowing it to flow through me. For the past twenty years and more, it has been part of my own energy field, informing and educating me, healing and comforting me, but most of all, teaching me about the nature of compassion and unconditional love.

I am not perfect, by any means. I am human, having chosen to incarnate on earth at this time in a human body with a human mind and human emotions and the spirituality that is vouchsafed to us all. I have foibles and weaknesses. I judge, and I make mistakes. I know that I have accepted others’ opinions as truth. But I have learned to see that this is all part of the richness of life, and that nothing is stuck, nothing is permanent. If I catch myself in something that I dislike, I change. It might be my opinion, it might be my judgement, or it might be some form of conditioning that I have believed to be the truth.

I honour myself by accepting that I am not perfect. Nor would I wish to be… for where is the excitement, the richness, the lesson in that? But I can do my best to see where I can also honour myself by adapting and changing. I believe that in doing so, I allow others to do the same — to adapt and change as they need.

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Monsoon, Moon and Mandala

Amber Foxx Mysteries

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Finally. A real monsoon.

The sky had to work up to it. After a couple of weeks with temperatures in the upper nineties and low hundreds, it took a few days of clouds and passing sprinkles to cool things off enough that rain could survive its trip to the ground without evaporating in mid-air in those beautiful but maddening long gray brushstrokes. This is a tough place to be a water droplet, but at last they came together in a grand, full-sized storm. And then the power went out. I tried not to think about how long it would be off or what would happen to the week’s groceries I had just put away. I stumbled and groped my way outside and sat under the overhanging roof to watch the rain, feel the cool (probably eighty-something) night air, and enjoy the view of T or C without lights. Occasional passing…

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Book Review: The Elephants’ Child

before the second sleep

The Elephants’ Child

(Volume I in The Faraway Lands)

by M.L. Eaton

One of the first things I noticed about M.L. Eaton’s The Elephants’ Child when I initially received it, was its modest volume. This didn’t take away from what I expected it might be, but the contrast between its size and the story power packed inside becomes a delightful discovery.

elephantSet in post-Partition India, The Elephants’ Child is mostly six-year-old Melanie’s story, though told in omniscient third person with brief forays into others’ perceptions. This works well because readers are able to get a grip on what is happening in the “adult world” while remaining anchored in Melanie’s. At times Eaton chooses to blend the two beautifully, capturing a resulting understanding of where the young girl acquires some of her own thought patterns, but with her own will intact.

“Now Lakshmi was there, insisting on holding her hands…

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One Cover Poll, Two Authors and a World of Fairy Tales

A Lover of Books

The First Lie - Book Cover

Short Blurb

When Selkie Moon escapes her life in Sydney to start over in Hawaii, she triggers a series of events so bizarre that she’s forced to delve into the murky depth of the past and face the shocking truth about herself.

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When A Lover of Books hosted a cover poll earlier in the year for the psychological mystery/thriller The First Lie, one of the two winners was Kendra Olson. Kendra’s winning comment was: I chose the cover with the water and reflection of two different faces. I found this image both disturbing and intriguing, which is how I expect to feel when reading a psychological mystery/thriller. Good luck!

Author Virginia King sent Kendra her ebook prize of The First Lie and got on with the final drafts of The Second Path, the next book in the Selkie Moon Mystery Series.

From Virginia: When you give…

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The Back Yard Buddha

Such a delightful thought …

Amber Foxx Mysteries

My landlord put a Buddha on the back deck of the house I’m renting. This statue is about two feet tall at most, a slender Indian Buddha, not the jolly fat Chinese kind, and he has a seam on his right shoulder that shows where he was broken out of a mold. He’s a mass-produced Buddha.

A few weeks ago, I was sitting for meditation after my yoga practice and noticed that his hands were in dhyana mudra, which I was about to use to center my mind. (Imagine the classic thumb-to-first-finger jnana mudra joined by sliding the hands together so the tips of the thumbs and the nails of the first fingers touch.) Dhyana means concentration, the most difficult stage in yoga for many people, myself included.

His eyes are closed and he has an infinitely subtle Buddha smile, an expression that somehow conveys deep and effortless focus…

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