I first met Reiki master Diane Armstrong when she came from Maryland to attend a Medical Reiki seminar in New York City some years back. Here she shares her experience of spending time with some of our Reiki elders in Breitenbush.
Northwest Reiki Gathering
by Diane Armstrong
I’ve been home from the 27th annual Northwest Reiki Gathering in Oregon at Breitenbush Hot Springs for a couple of weeks now and I’m still feeling the exhilaration.
I attended my first gathering in 2010. I was excited to return this year, and also a bit apprehensive. Although I am of the Usui Shiki Ryoho ineage, I was unsure how closely my training was aligned with Mrs. Takata’s teaching, and her granddaughter, Phyllis Furumoto, was scheduled to attend.
The accommodations at Breitenbush are comfortable and rustic. My Reiki Master, Terry Jordan, and I were assigned to a cabin with three beds, which we shared with the incredibly wise Reiki Master Cynthia Lamb Faust. We often peppered Cynthia with questions late into the night, questions that ranged from asking about her personal Reiki experiences to what it’s like being a member of The Reiki Alliance.
As we discussed our teaching styles and how our students find us, the conversation segued into a fascinating discussion about the $10,000 fee Mrs. Takata and her lineage traditionally charge for the yearlong process of training and initiating Reiki Masters. I watched Cynthia listen for the essence beneath our words, taking care to respond in ways that helped me to see how our Reiki perspectives and practices are much more alike than different. She created an opening…
Then there was the gathering itself. Four of the 22 masters initiated by Mrs. Takata attended: Phyllis Furumoto, Paul Mitchell, Wanja Twan and Rick Bockner. I don’t know how often this happens, but I felt that I was a part of something much greater than what appeared on the surface. Each of these Masters was extremely approachable and seemed genuinely interested in hearing what I had to say as well.
Mornings began with a group Reiki session, which set a lovely tone for the day. I live in a very rural, low population area on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, and I found the sight of one-hundred-plus Reiki practitioners sharing Reiki treatments four to a table to be both impressive and inspiring.
The rest of each day was segmented into three two-hour sessions, during which we explored the theme of this year’s gathering, Mrs. Takata’s familiar statement: Let Reiki teach you.
Most sessions started with Phyllis or Rick sharing a story, then the room was open for anyone to share. Every story inspired the next, and the conversations continued outside these sessions. There was much laughter, joyful tears, and comments about how connected we felt with one another. The experience revealed to me a new understanding of the words “oral tradition.”
I aspire to walk through my days feeling lovingly connected to everyone I meet. As I reflect on the theme of this year’s gathering, Let Reiki Teach You, I realize my Reiki practice has taught me that community matters if I want to be successful in this desire.
Participating in a community, especially one as welcoming and safe as this year’s gathering, expanded my ability to connect with people I meet outside the Reiki community. I’m looking forward to next year!
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