Writing helps us capture the insights of our practice, and Reiki practitioners often ask for advice to start a Reiki journal.
Journaling is a bit like Reiki practice. Just as in Reiki self practice, there is no wrong way to journal. The mere act of placing your Reiki hands on your body is so beneficial.
The mere act of writing is so beneficial, and you are the only one who will read it…
If you are journaling to engage more deeply in the Usui Virtual Retreat, or in your daily Reiki practice, here are some simple suggestions:
The exploration for the first week of the Usui Virtual Retreat is Reiki as a Healing Practice.
For this purpose, let’s focus our journaling in two directions:
1. Describe your experience during self-treatment.
The challenge here is to stay descriptive: to give details, as if you were drawing a picture for someone else, and avoid explanations, assumptions, and interpretations.
This approach is extremely grounding. It brings our awareness into sharp attention in the moment — Today only — while we are deeply relaxed and tending to space out (or in).
Compare these examples:
Descriptive/concrete: “I felt waves of sensations moving through my body” or “I felt my breath become first deeper, and then very soft.”
Not descriptive/vague: “I felt Reiki going where it is needed” or “I felt Reiki energy.”
The first two are so clear that anyone reading them knows exactly what you felt. The second two raise more questions than they answer.
2. Describe what you are noticing that tells you Reiki is healing
These experiences may be details of your self-treatment — perhaps your heart rate or breath has slowed.
Or maybe you don’t feel much while you’re practicing, yet you notice a healthy difference in how you feel between your self-treatments.
Maybe you find yourself sleeping more peacefully, feeling kinder or being less reactive (who, me?), eating more slowly, or wanting fewer cigarettes. The details have to be relevant to you and your life. For some, eating more is a sign of healing, while others appreciate thinking about food less often.
Have you thought of free-writing instead of journaling?
Free-writing is an option if you prefer being less directed when you write. Free-writing flows easily from a Reiki-related prompt, which is provided to you each day in WRITE REIKI. You can learn more in a free webinar Wednesday, June 17. Register here to participate live or receive the recording.
Practice and explore. And please share your experiences of self-treatment, journaling, or free-writing in a comment below.
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17 thoughts on “Reiki Journal ABCs”
Wisely stated, Celine: “By focusing solely on the physical plane, Reiki masters can be united in bringing their practice to the scientific world.” The spiritual benefits of Reiki practice are impossible to quantify, but the physical benefits, such as improved heart rate and blood pressure, are easily demonstrated, and very useful in health care. It is strategic to stay with the simple physical benefits and let the rest unfold over time.
Dear Reiki practitioners:
Today is the final day of our retreat and I would like to share some of my thoughts with you based on my personal experience.
I am so thankful to have received the “Reiki touch”—the true touch of love, the one that brings you peace. This touch changed me; it is healing my body and soul every day. This touch changed me by allowing me to become more aware of my true nature. However, I am a “work in progress” and I have also become aware that only through the everyday practice of Reiki I can live more and more in harmony with the universe, myself, and other beings.
I came to Reiki because I was going through great pains. And just to think how good I feel now, tears are coming out: I am so thankful! I would like to share with you my story and thoughts because it may be useful to others who suffer to know that there is hope, and that this hope can be found in our own hands!
For the last 10 years have been carrying on a debilitating thyroid disorder. To make this long story short: I am 34 years old, have been on and off prescribed thyroid drugs and never seemed to be able to get back to some kind of “normality” even when the levels of hormones in my blood were said to be adequate. During these 10 years I saw many doctors to seek out solutions. Most of these doctors told me that I should get rid of my thyroid through nuclear treatment or surgery and go on a lifelong artificial replacement of thyroid hormones. I refused to do it (and this is not easy to stand up in front of doctors when you are going through hyperactive phases: I really felt like a crazy person!). I refused to destroy my thyroid because deep inside I knew that there was a solution and that if I had a thyroid disorder it was caused by some kind of imbalances within by whole body. My thyroid disorder may have been triggered because of some hereditary predispositions, but I always had this feeling that it was essentially the result of my lifestyle as a 21st century woman: too much stress, too much loneliness, too much fighting, too much anger, too much TV, too much smoking, too much about money….you can add, the list is long!
Today, I feel good and I feel good because of Reiki. I know that I may have issues with my thyroid all my life and that I have to pay a lot of attention to my little gland. But I also know that through the everyday practice of Reiki I am being healed trough true love. I finally feel united. I finally feel that I can grow. For the first time since very very long, I find life interesting and worth living to its fullest. Reiki allows me to be in touch with the values dearest to my heart and empowers me take action: love for our mother earth, respect toward every living being, friendship through brotherhood (and sisterhood of course!).
Today, I am also wandering: how come so relatively few people know about Reiki? It is so simple, so pure, it is right there: in our own hands! The major problem that I see in the mass-spreading of Reiki is that each one of us who has experienced it interprets it with his or her own words. I strongly believe that this is the main reason why the founders of Reiki, although extremely generous, did not write any book or manual about it. Each experience of Reiki is personal and the individual rationalizes the experience by screening it trough his or her own cultural map. Experiencing Reiki may then lead to many interpretations. How can then Reiki become a “mainstream pain killer”? I personally think that Reiki can become mainstream within the scientific world and public if the serious lifelong practitioners around the world stop using words to describe it and start using images with a united voice to show it to people. Reiki is both spiritual and physical by nature. Although the spiritual plane is impossible to evaluate, the physical one can be (although current technologies are still limited).
I learned Reiki through Ms. Pamela Miles (and whoever knows her knows how beautiful she is!) Before finding her, I looked for several days on the Internet. This is what I discovered during my quest: there are a lot of Reiki masters, each of them carrying their own ideology and their own routine in the practice of Reiki. I found Ms. Miles by typing on my search engine the simple words: “Reiki, Takata, NYC”. When I saw her website, I had no doubt she was the right person to set up an appointment with: “professionalism” is the best word I can find to describe her website; her Reiki practice was described in a transparent manner and was not linked to any ideological or spiritual endeavors, she seemed to be concerned only in making her patients feel better on the physical plane. I then read her book and what I liked most about it was the last chapter: the section where the hand positions were shown through drawings. And this is what I mean by “start using images with a united voice”, Reiki masters should decide worldwide on some simple sets of procedures to follow in Reiki treatments. By focusing solely on the physical plane, Reiki masters can be united in bringing their practice to the scientific world.
OK, hope my words made sense. I have to go take care of my daughter now! Much love to you all.
We might also want to wait until the retreat is over before reviewing our experiences. I hope you are all planning to stop by the retreat page on September 4 to see how we might do that.
Now that the retreat is drawing to a close, does anyone have any comments on reviewing their experiences during the last two – three weeks that they can share? How do you feel about going back and reviewing your journals?
Does anyone regularly write a review note page or something similar in their journals at a regularly timed interval? ( Sort of a Journal speccific self reflection maybe )
Pamela, thank you for your tips on journaling. I missed reading this last week when the retreat started but, on my own, I started to document my thoughts about my experience and relationship with Reiki during this virtual retreat.
It’s been a very rewarding experience for me already, being able to deepen my relationship with Reiki as well as with my writing. I’m not sure if I’m doing it right, now that I’ve read your tips, but here are my thoughts and emotions so far: (Note: you will have to scroll all the way down for the entry for Day 1 of the retreat.)
I would be honored to hear from you and other participants of the retreat who might be experiencing similar experiences. Thanks!
I have not had time to journal since this Reiki retreat started. I’ve commited and kept up my morning practice and done some evening practice of Reiki. Even though I’ve been really sleep deprived, I feel that my Reiki self treatments have added some balance to my life. I feel journaling helps us focus in and capture the present moment; all the particulars that make this slot in time we are observing stand out. The observing itself is a practice like observing our breathing and putting our observations on paper makes them more real. They aren’t as easily forgotten or dismissed. Going forward I will try some journaling of my Reiki experiences.
I looked at the links at the bottom of the page for Elena Brower on The Art of Attention, The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and Barbara Bash’s visuals of True Nature and I enjoyed them all. Very enriching in so many diverse ways.
I appreciate your observations on the apparant conflict between journaling as an act of self-observation, and the invitation to surrender to reiki’s own action. For me, self-reflection is also an act of curiosity. I have always been very, very curious about why reiki is drawn to this or that, why it brings this forward in my awareness or that forward. Partly I want to know why because it contributes to self-understanding. The other part is, frankly, I think reiki is operating according to laws we have yet to fully appreciate, and I want to understand that as well. That’s why reiki eventually drew me to study other energy systems that gives me different lenses to look at the how and why energy moves.
Sharon and Karla, thank you for sharing your suggestions/forms you use with clients after a Reiki session. Lovely, and I am now thinking of using something similar. Much appreciated.
This has not yet been post-Reiki-specific for me, but I do Julia Cameron’s Artist’s Way Morning Pages exercise daily and plan to try it after my Reiki self-treatment tonight. For those who aren’t familiar with it, there are many descriptions of this simple tool on the web (a quick Google search on “Artist’s Way Morning Pages” will point you there). It is basically 3 pages longhand of whatever is in your mind, no censoring and no stopping to analyze (or judge). I just tear the pages up when I am done, as that feels freeing and keeps me from worrying about “good writing” or a polished keepsake. Interestingly, lately, I have used the blank backs of the pages to draw the Reiki symbols a few times. I don’t know exactly why I started this after many years doing Reiki, but it feels good.
Alice in Brooklyn
Karla, you expressed the benefit of journaling so well, “…when clients are willing to commit to the time to express themselves post treatment they gain greater realization and understanding of their own experience…”
This is why I suggested that the retreat participants might want to write. We can write and stay in that detached space by keeping our writing descriptive, simply putting our experiences into words on paper, writing about our feelings–just as you encourage your clients to. Since the Reiki experience often is nuanced and subtle, revisiting and recording our experience in this way helps make it more real for us and strengthens its presence in our awareness. This makes it easier to bring forward when we are not practicing, especially if we use the Precepts.
And journaling can include visuals, or be only visuals, as you like. It’s your journal.
My friend Barbara Bash’s book “True Nature” is a stunning example of a journal that combines words and visuals. There is a link in the Articles & Books section, and her visual blog is in the links at the bottom of the sidebar. I hope you find her work inspiring as I do. Please let me know.
I use a simple after treatment client form for tying to encourage clients to think about their own expereinces of receivng Reiki too. I add these to the Journaling pages written for every treatment as well. sometimes I take a few pages and fold some down on a diagonal and adhere them to the following one or two pages to make a pocket for these added forms. This saves me hand duplicating them as ammendments. I find that when clients are willing to commit to the time to express themselves post treatment they gain greater realization and understanding of their own experience as well.
I ask simple questions like:
How did you feel before your Treatment session?
How did you feel after…..Etc.
For me Journaling is a pleasant but curious form of self expression. I find it troubling only on one level. In Reiki we are to taught to be present and allow the Reiki to work freely. In this way we become a passive participant, just a facilitator. When we Journal and are encouraged to express our multi leveled experiences, we are doing the opposite. We are showing our involvement. Of course we are involved, but I still find it contradictory and at the same time necessary. It think it illustrates our personal investment.
I have always tried to look at journaling as a healthy means of self expression and a way to learn from my own experiences without being able to equate or quantify this feeling of breaking a rule. I am a creative type who works with visual imagery so writting is not my first form of self expression. I certainly do not plan on writing a book but maybe this is how some peole prepare for that, I am not certain.
I do love to journal, it is a way for me to fully close my experience and put it away for the day, out of my head and move on to another experience that is on the list be it more Reiki, my Life or chaos. So, at present, it seems more practical, a way to show I have accomplished something really important with my day.
Since I have a very busy schedule, it helps me to set a time limit on my journaling. I type my journal, so I can get a lot said in five minutes, which is my limit. I try to journal every day. I like doing it that way because it’s like eating a very good piece of chocolate, and enjoying the fact I didn’t over eat!
For my journal I’m using the same format that I recommend to people after a Reiki attunement: I have a print out for every day over the 3 week period and I note the following at the end of a daily meditation:
Then at the end of the 3 weeks I’ll do a consolidated reflection on all my experiences and endeavour to summarise my learning.
What a great idea, Sharon. Thank you for this gift!
Journaling is a healing tool that can be used for many purposes, as you choose.
The first focus I suggested above helps train the awareness to stay present. The second focus is a way to explore what healing means to us and to train our awareness to notice evidence that healing is happening in our lives. The mind left to its own devices tends to focus on what’s wrong or uncomfortable–the usual litany of complaints.
These are simply suggestions to help strengthen awareness and build clarity of attention, and I encourage you to journal in the way that appeals to you.
Journaling is a means to what eventual end? DO we use it to illustrate self growth? Do we create it to document repeating events and find patterns? Do we do it to train ourselves in skills necessary for future work in medical practice? I ask again, what is the eventual end to be expected from participating in Reiki Journaling?
Today, my 4 year-old daughter started looking at your Reiki book. The book was lying around, waiting to be packed. I have never said anything about you to my daughter…
She looked at your picture and she said to me, “She smells good, she is your friend, she is laughing!”