Jaime Kim Libowitz is a bright, engaging professional with broad interests and a perspective informed by time spent living in Japan and Italy. I’ve always appreciated her insightful comments in class, so I was delighted to hear she was writing about her experience learning Reiki. As teachers, we do our best to inspire and motivate our students, but how can we know where it all lands unless our students tell us?
I was so moved by Jaime’s kindness in completing the circle that I asked her permission to share it with you. After reading Jaime’s comments, please contemplate what it was about your Reiki master that made such a difference to you, and share your story in the comments area below. Then send your Reiki master the link to complete your circle. Jaime wrote:
“My decision to learn to practice Reiki was more or less a last resort. I had reached a pinnacle of dissatisfaction and anxiety, and my usual coping methods were not working. And yet, the decision was not an altogether easy one. For one, there were financial considerations. Then, there were personal considerations: as an intellectual, it’s difficult for me to engage in anything that does not first stimulate my mind.
“Reiki, I had been told, was something everyone could learn, yet I was skeptical. Aren’t there just people who are born with an innate talent for healing, and might it be true that for one to become skilled at something like Reiki, that he or she must first have some sort of spiritual or healing background? Wouldn’t that take a long time? Wouldn’t this be boring? I’m American, when I need a solution, I need it as fast as possible!
“My first encounter with Pamela was through her book, REIKI: A Comprehensive Guide. To be honest, I skimmed through the first few chapters (yawn: where’s the intellectual stimulation in this? Intern, get me a coffee, now!) until I reached the chapter that finally moved me: Reiki and Science. I was fascinated. My mind was engaged. I was persuaded: if I am going to learn Reiki, this is the woman who can teach me.
“My First Degree class profoundly changed my perspective of Reiki, and more importantly, of myself and my relationship to life itself. When I stepped into Pamela’s home, I was greeted by a smiling, composed woman who radiated compassion and self-assurance. When she began speaking about Reiki, she spoke with words that rang true to my mind and my heart, words that resonated both logic and profound understanding. My inner pedagogic was placated by her sound reasoning; my heart was nurtured by a sense of indescribable connection: yes, this is someone who understands me, and this is someone I trust to help me help myself.
“It’s because of these two factors, and these two alone, that I initially committed to daily self-practice in a way I had never done before. I don’t commit to anything, not until it proves itself worthy to me. And here, I’m about to say something perhaps unexpected: my first couple Reiki self-treatments were not life-changing. I won’t describe them, for they are personal, but I will say that had it not been for the line of reasoning in Pamela’s teaching, and had it not been from a total exhaustion of inner resources I felt at the time, I might have ceased to continue practice.
“Here’s where I’m going with this: what a Reiki teacher says, those specific words and the place where they come from, makes all the difference in the world. Let me repeat it: they make all the difference in the world. Chosen wisely or chosen carelessly, they are the gateway to a non-practitioner’s education, and they have the power to inspire and to alienate.
“Here’s why Pamela’s words have made such a difference to me. She speaks of Reiki with a discerning attitude and an inquisitive, yet accepting, spirit. She does not question Reiki itself; she questions how Reiki is being described and conceived of. Reiki is a spiritual healing practice that promotes physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being. When we practice Reiki, we are accessing the source of subtle energy itself, and this is something that never changes. The way Reiki healing expresses itself in a person changes over time, but Reiki itself does not change.
“This is something I understood from practice. As I have grown in my practice and in my continuing education, I have come to realize that, (I) Reiki, itself, is understood experientially. Practicing daily is not merely an exercise, it is absolutely intrinsic to understanding. And how hard is it, really? All you have to do is place your hands on your body! (II) Reiki cannot be practiced if the practitioner is not willing. See where I’m going with this?
“Thank you, Pamela, for reaching into my perspective, for touching the core of me first through reason, and then through your compassion. As I continue to deepen my understanding, I am enriched by an irreplaceable gratitude. First towards you, because you are my teacher, and most of all, towards the loving source that is Reiki, the one that lulls me to sleep each night and brightens the commencement of my days with light and joy. It’s not always easy, and I’m not a perfect person. But it’s okay, now, and we’re all okay.”
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