Usui Virtual Retreat Welcome

You are warmly welcomed to the Usui Virtual Retreat. I created this retreat as a gift to the community in honor of Reiki founder Mikao Usui’s 144th birthday on August 15, 2009, and it will remain available on my site.

Please visit the retreat as often as you like — the entire retreat or any part you find appealing — whenever you want to deepen your practice and experience the sweet refreshment and profound transformation that waits for you in the palm of your hand.

Why not start your Reiki retreat now?



37 thoughts on “Usui Virtual Retreat Welcome”

  1. Deep gratitude to Pamela, Mari, and all who participated from your own unique lives. This retreat has been invaluable.

    May we all continue to grow in our awareness of Being Reiki,


  2. Thank you very much for this wonderous experience.#1scanning improved#2feeling in hands came back stronger than before.#3 Blue,yellow and purple emanateing from 3rd eye more often and intense.#4Images from3rd eye not clear but there/#5 More comfortable with long distance healing.#6Iwent back to my reike books’cd’s and dvd,s.There were manny days I missed and days I didn’t write in my journal.There were times I felt lost.Your meditations were truly inspirational.I wonder what this last day will bring….Manny blessings

  3. Thank you for you comments–Simple and true. The retreat came at a turning point in my and Ross’s life. A drop in the wave,a wave in the ocean.

  4. I am sure that your visit meant a lot to your nephew. It’s very difficult when a young person seems to be slipping away.

    My suggestions are simple, Joe: have confidence in your Reiki practice and don’t doubt that your practice is supporting him–and you–in ways that may not be apparent. Just keep practicing, with love. And you might want to read today’s post “Practice Makes Present.”

    Many blessings to you both. You are fortunate to have one another.

  5. Thank you.I have a newphew who appears to be loosing his battle with luekemia.I went a long distance to vist him.The retreat is helping me improve my reike skills and hopefully helping him.I’m back home sending him reike long distance. Any suggestions?
    Peace Love and Light Joe

  6. First I wish to express my gratitude for continuing this Usui Virtual Reiki Retreat. So many of us today have lives filled with the obligations of family and work that time for self work can be limited. In this virtual setting we each can afford ourselves much needed time to reflect on our own healing and peace.

    Recently I began to focus on moving forward to resolve some long standing personal issues. I became aware of these things when I was initiated as level I in 1989. While I have worked through many issues some have been stubbornly persistent. I have read many books, tried various approaches for clearing but the issues remained to my dismay and sometimes discomfort.

    I asked spirit for guidance and direction and immediately became aware of the answer. A still voice repeated, simply “ego” and then “surrender”. I was stunned to think that after 20 years of practice I still had not moved beyond the dictates of my own ego. This in spite of advising others on the need to do this very thing. I thought I understood but clearly I didn’t and my body and unresolved issues reflected that point.

    I have now begun to focus on the intention to surrender ego and already can feel the difference. I’ve found that the ego’s need for self-protection is much stronger and more pervasive than I imagined. Now as I begin to speak, or become aware of my thoughts I am much more conscious of the role ego plays in every aspect of my life and, how can interfere with the flow of energy and healing, especially self healing.

    For me at least, surrender ego may be the most powerful and important gift I have received through Reiki and for that I am truly grateful.

  7. This morning as I sat listening to Pamela’s superb guided meditation for Week 2 of the Virtual Usui Retreat the following suggestion jumped out at me: “don’t try to fix it….just be present with it” and it got me thinking about all of those times in my life that I have felt an uncomfortable sensation, be it emotional, physical or spiritual, and have gone out of my way to try to “fit it” rather than just be still, sit with it and really feel it, really listen to what it was trying to tell me. More often than not, I made “it” worse with my efforts, rather than better!

    I wonder what would happen if we were all able to just sit with “it” – whatever “it” may be at any given time – and stopped expending so much energy trying to make “it” go away?

    I’m nowhere near the expert that I would like to be on just sitting with my stuff but I do know that when I choose to let it, Reiki will ease the discomfort and soothe my senses. Thank you for the reminder!


  8. Pamela, I love that this week’s focus is on Reiki As A Spiritual Practice and I love your working definition of spirituality. It is such an apt description of what Reiki means to me, as I enter the stillness of a self-treatment, meditating on the precepts, or endeavouring to take that stillness with me into the world each day.


  9. As I settled into my special space to do my daily practice and be part of this wonderful Usui Virtual Reiki Retreat I was filled with a sense of awe and gratitude.

    Years of practice have brought many blessings and realizations my way. One realization in particular came floating up again as I breathed in and out with my hands on my heart and solar plexus was how we can consciously choose to bless life itself with our particular energy. Ideally, in doing so, we express our deeper selves, so that the energy we give to the world makes it more meaningful, beautiful, and welcoming.

    By choosing to be conscious instruments for Reiki and to embrace life with all its various opportunities and challenges, we are also choosing to bless life with our authentic selves. From the depths of our hearts the light shines through and the music is sweet.

    Why I asked myself has Reiki made such an impact on my life? How can something so simple to do make such a difference in my life and the lives of others? The answer is simple because where love is, where Reiki is, great change takes place. The answer to love is love. Where there is light there is no longer darkness. We are truly “opened up and filled.” It is that simple and that profound.

    We all have questions about this incredible journey of life. How lovely that we can sit quietly and place our hands on our bodies and have the answers come from the clarity of our minds and hearts. How delicious to know so many of us are connected in this moment joined by intention, BEing Reiki together. Ah how sweet life us with you all there.

    Albert Einstein wrote:
    “The intellect (no matter how powerful) has very little to do on the road to discovery. There comes a leap in consciousness (and it happens totally within), call it intuition or what you will (maybe it’s just slowing down to listen), and the solution comes to you and you don’t know how or why.”

    I wish you beautiful moments of grace each and ever day. Enjoy each of them!

  10. Thank you, Pamela. This week has brought me back into a somewhat more mindful practice. While I’ve continued daily practice (OK, mostly daily practice), during the past couple of weeks I’ve felt less centered during my practice, less able to calmly but joyfully observe. It’s as though my conscious mind was refusing to let go of all the details of the day. In spite of that, I did practice, but it sometimes felt like an intrusion. During the course of the week I have found myself returning to a more quiet, mindful state.

  11. Alice, when you said “…my self-Reiki was a haven” it donned on me that this is why I took to the daily practice of self-treating so easily immediately after my Level 1 attunement – it was like I had permission to be still, be quiet, just be. I often wonder if our world would be a gentler place if we weren’t feeling so pressured to do, do, do, run, run, run, get, get, get all the time.

  12. That’s an interesting contemplation, Alice, whether there is a difference between hair-splitting and semantics.

    My relentless endeavor to express my understanding as precisely as possible pushes my understanding to deeper and deeper levels of clarity. Specifying that it is our awareness that opens is, I think, valuable in that it protects against the dualistic objectifying of Reiki as some foreign force that moves through us or that we in some way use.

    From the nondual perspective that Reiki is our essence, what the Reiki practitioner offers is a direct inner connection to essence/source/core wellness, and the recipient’s system begins to reorganize around this reconnection. This reorganization is the healing. Although the reminder of that connection may be external (i.e. the Reiki hand), the healing comes from within, through the individual’s own self-healing mechanisms.

    From a nondual perspective, we don’t “use” Reiki (we are Reiki), there is no judgement of readiness or lack of readiness, and it is not the opening of our awareness that allows us to heal–rather, the opening of awareness is part of the healing.

    Dense I know. But this is where I spend a lot of my time. 🙂

  13. Hmmm…in some ways, I think this may turn out to be semantics rather than hairsplitting, Pamela. 😀 When I say “deeply opening to and accepting the Reiki” I pretty much mean exactly what you are saying when you say “open our awareness-we let down our guard, sit in our vulnerability, and voila!” I totally agree, we are Reiki, are all part of the Reiki, and are always connected to the Reiki (thank goodness for that!). Yet don’t we also sometimes consciously or unconsciously disconnect (our awareness) from ourselves and true nature in a misguided attempt to “feel okay”?

    I was taught that each person “uses” the Reiki we share with them to heal themselves to the best extent possible at that time. I am not sure if all Reiki masters use that kind of language, and I don’t always relay that when I share Reiki, but my interpretation, which seems to mesh with my experience/perception, is that the opening of awareness/connection (conscious or unconscious) is what allows us to heal. Sometimes we’re ready, and sometimes we’re not.

    Not that any of this matters in the larger scheme of things! I know that, bottom line, yesterday my day was a bit off-kilter, and coming home to my self-Reiki was a haven. The joy I increasingly feel is rooted in daily self-Reiki, too. And with no thinking or talking whatsoever, I have seen Reiki work wonders in other people’s lives, as well, for years. So yay for Reiki! 😀

    Alice in Brooklyn, cheerleading for Reiki! Rah rah rah! Gotta get myself a set of pom-poms now…

  14. I completely agree with you, Alice, that asking can be empowering. The part I don’t relate to with hair-splitting precision–and this is simply my perspective–is “deeply opening to and accepting the Reiki.”

    My understanding and experience is that Reiki is our essence, what we truly are, so how can we open to it or accept it? I think the act of asking can open our awareness–we let down our guard, sit in our vulnerability, and voila! the inner veil of confusion opens.

  15. That hairsplitting is great, Pamela, thank you! Subtle differences like that can make all the difference.

    More food for thought (or hairs for splitting?!)…I find for me and sometimes those I share Reiki with, briefly asking for something general or specific (not setting an intention, which isn’t quite the same) can be (I don’t know how to articulate it) empowering (?). A way of deeply opening to and accepting the Reiki. I always emphasize that, like with prayer, we can ask, and we will get an answer, but it won’t always be what we think we want/need.

    I would love more thoughts on this if it strikes a chord for anyone, for both myself and my practice sharing Reiki with others.

    Thanks all!

    Alice in Brooklyn

  16. Thank you for asking for that clarification, Janet. The optional exercise was about observing, not intending.

    It may seem like a subtle distinction–I have a well deserved reputation as a hair-splitter!–but it is important.

    The reason to choose a quality to “measure” every day was simply as a point of observation regarding how daily self-treatment might be affecting you. Intention brings another level of involvement, which is certainly not wrong in any way, but then you can’t separate the benefit of the daily Reiki treatment from the benefit of the intention.

    The purpose of the optional exercise is to help motivate people to practice daily self-treatment by giving them a glimpse of the benefits it offers. In this perspective, intention becomes what’s called in research a confounding factor.


  17. Hi Pamela, just to clarify, I thought part of the optional exercise was to choose a quality that we wished to strengthen/decrease, etc., so that’s what I meant about setting my intention.

    This morning’s self-healing session for me was a wonderful reminder for me of how delicious it is to just Be. Here. Now.

    Why don’t they teach that (along with Reiki!) in school?!

  18. Ah, I see this retreat is part of your master plan for getting everyone to practice daily self-treatment … and it seems to be working!:)

    As I sat here in front of the computer with my hands on myself, knowing that most likely someone, somewhere in our Reiki community was practicing right along with me gave the experience an added dimension — something like the feeling I had at Hyakuten Inamoto’s talk here last year, when he began by leading us all through a self-treatment. Thank you for guiding us through this retreat, Pamela, and giving us this opportunity to be together even as we go deeper within ourselves.

    By the way, I have always thought of the attention I give Reiki during my daily practice as a form of listening, so the idea of Reiki as singing, chanting or humming makes perfect sense to me.

  19. Hi Pamela,

    At the end of the day, after the kiddies are all in bed, I’ll use self-Reiki to relax. On most days, it’s the only “chill out” time I can find. Its become a ritual that I value so much that you could say that I think of my self-reiki as a good friend.

    Often, when I begin (with hands on top of my head) I’m agitated. Its hard to stay still. I want to jump up and complete another task. My legs revolt, kick and squirm. I might notice that I’m thirsty or tempted by a salty snack. Shouldn’t I just read one more thing? Pay one more bill? Slowly, in the way that the daylight recedes into darkness, the agitation decreases, my breathing deepens and slows, and I become aware of the feelings in my hands. There is usually some heat, but it’s a subtle feeling, just a bit more than I’d expect from the warmth of my body.

    Normally, my thoughts are me, they are driving and pulsating, goal-directed, nagging, worrying, pushing me to be better, to work harder, to think more. By the time my hands reach my chest, I’m able to let go of the desire to get more things done. My thoughts feel “softer” in that physical action no longer seems necessary, resolution isn’t required and everything is just fine. This makes falling asleep much easier than it used to be. Before I started doing self-reiki, I used a growing amount of alcohol to relax. So much, in fact, that my 4 year old son once said after dinner “Daddy, when I’m a daddy I’ll drink a lot of wine, too.” Now there’s a mirror to look at yourself in.

    After just 4 nights of self-reiki, I no longer felt the need or desire to drink alcohol. The craving I had almost all day long literally disappeared. That was an astonishing and unexpected change. I never really wanted to stop drinking. I enjoyed the buzz and was willing to lie to myself about the health risks of heavy drinking. I wish I could understand what reiki actually did to enable such deep and rapid healing.

    For me, the “big missing” with my reiki practice is a way to share it with people who are suffering enough to be out looking for relief beyond conventional medical treatments. I’ve looked into two volunteer opportunities in the DC area and was spurned by one and ignored by the other. Too bad there isn’t a Northern Virginia branch of Pamela’s JCC Clinic.

    This virtual retreat is a great idea. Without taking the time to reflect like this, its easy (for me) to take reiki for granted simply because I’m used to it being in my life now. Big thanks for Mari and Pamela!

  20. Thank you, Alice and Janet, for bringing up this matter of intention.

    Although intention is important in life generally, I have never found a reason to set an intention for a Reiki treatment. Reiki seems to hold its own uplifting and all-encompassing intention.

    I also have never felt a need to ask Reiki for anything. I prefer to simply connect with that state that we call Reiki, which is, to my understanding, our very core and essence.

    Once we reconnect to our core through our practice, then every part of us starts pulsing our unique song of health and well-being, like an exquisitely tuned orchestra.

    Excuse me while I wax poetic. I guess it’s ok because this isn’t in the Reiki journaling thread! 🙂

  21. Janet Pal’s thoughts for today about setting an intention to feel grounded but then finding her thoughts wandering and going with that flow remind me of a trend for me lately (thank you, Janet).

    I was taught to always ask for Reiki to flow at the highest level possible that is beneficial at this time. Lately, whether giving or receiving Reiki, I am paying more attention to “at this time,” which for me reinforces letting go, letting the Reiki/spirit guide from a higher/larger wisdom. It can apply to anything, really. As in, I ask that Reiki bring me groundedness today, to the level and in the way that is beneficial at this time. That way, I’m not failing (and neither is Reiki) if I don’t feel an instant groundedness in the way I expected or hoped. I am just experiencing what I need to experience at this time (just for today).

    I have also found myself saying to myself, during meditation or Reiki or moments in my day, “I lovingly set my ego aside to let Reiki flow more freely.”

    Thanks to everyone again for all the comments. I get something from each one and looking forward to checking in with my fellow retreaters each day.

    Alice in Brooklyn

  22. This morning my intention was to feel more grounded and I felt anything but. Rather than fight it though I decided to just let my thoughts go wherever they needed to go. I wonder if by setting an intention each day I’ve been keeping myself from seeing/feeling something that I need to see/feel during my meditation time. I’m just going to sit with that today and see if there is something that is trying to make itself known to me….maybe it’s something as simple as the fact that grounded is not something that I’m feeling right now and I need to work on that throughout my day(s).

  23. dear pamela,

    i am loving this first week of the reiki retreat. i have more experience with embodying healing frequencies than i do with chanting but what you describe is exactly my experience. i’m feeling the sense of silent chant more deeply after listening to your guided contemplation.

    i, also, am enjoying the invitation to increase or decrease a given quality. i usually do artwork to bring a quality into my life but now i am including reiki in the process. i expect my results will be enhanced but we’ll find out in 21 days.

    i’m considering doing the same process for the yamas and niyamas while i work on a series of mandala prints based on them. 21 days on each?

    thanks again for the beautiful guidance.

  24. Wonderful to hear from you in Pakistan, Nadeem. Thank you all for engaging so sincerely. I’ve been emailed about how to write a Reiki journal and expect to be posting about that today. Till then…


    We have celebrated our day of INDEPENDENCE on AUGUST 14th.

    I have also started Meditation yesterday, although it was late night and i was also tired. But neverthless i will try my best to complete the 21 days meditation.

    May God Bless all of you.


  26. Today I decided to focus on gratitude and the first thing that came to mind as I set that intention was how grateful (and filled with awe) I am that each time I place my hands in Gassho and “open myself to Divine Love and Wisdom” which is how I begin every treatment, the energy flows and the healing takes place.

  27. Hi Pamela and Everyone!

    Joining in from Long Beach, CA. I am very happy to know I am joining in with Reiki practitioners from all over and happy to support by good thoughts, everyone’s intentions for this 21 days. I am in a transitional period in my life, making physical changes in my place of residence, as well as working on career and other issues, so I welcome this dedicated time to my Reiki practice. In listening to Pamela’s meditation, ‘self-confidence’ came to me as a major choice to intend, something I’ve been talking to friends about lately and seems fitting for this time in my life.

    As I carted boxes out of my apartment yesterday and made my first delivery to self-storage, I started feeling better about this move; that physically moving to a new place opens up potential for the expansion of new possibilities. I think I have been in a rut and I realized that being in a new place will give me new perspective on what it is I want and need to do now. And with a growing self-confidence, the timing can’t be more perfect!

    Happy Sunday, All


  28. Yes, that is healing. And if you weren’t paying attention, you wouldn’t have noticed. That’s the benefit of observing.

    It’s not that we always have to pay attention; we can certainly place our hands for self-treatment while doing something else (for me, it’s while watching the Yankees), but observing at least some of our practice each day has many benefits.

  29. I must say, I’m quite enjoying this process that Pamela has recommended of keeping track of the thoughts and feelings that arise as we self-treat each day for the next three weeks. It is going to lead to some great things for me, I just know it. If nothing else, I can see it becoming a habit that lasts well beyond three weeks! Pamela, perhaps that is your intention, since it is often recommended that when we’re attempting to break an old or form a new habit, we give it 21 days?!

    Self-treatment has been an integral part of my day since the day I came home from my Reiki 1 class. I don’t always go through all of the hand positions, often concentrating on my heart, solar plexus and tandien. I’ve experimented with doing it first thing in the morning, or last thing before sleep, or both. The latter seems most natural for me, although I’m often asleep less than 5 minutes into the nightly version. Funny how, when I don’t self-treat at night, it can take me 10 times longer to fall asleep…..

    My thoughts this morning seemed to be a continuation of where I left off yesterday as I found myself thinking “What am I afraid of as I embark on this new adventure of building up a Reiki practice and pursuing my Reiki Master Teacher training”. A lot of the things that came up were along similar lines as yesterday…”I’m not good enough, not smart enough, they’ll laugh at me, I don’t have the energy to concentrate on doing this and work full-time at my other job, I’ll fail, I always fail….”

    And then I found myself thinking “There is nothing to be afraid of…it’s okay.”

    Now that’s healing!

  30. Thank you all for your thoughtful comments. I am so excited about this gathering and the opportunity it offers us to experience that when we practice self-treatment, our profound commonality comes forward and our differences become delightful.

  31. “Reiki singing” is marvelous! Thank you for a beautiful first meditation, Pamela.

    I have been deepening my daily practice recently, but this feeling of a community of self-practice is wonderful. How many other hands are bringing themselves Reiki just as I am doing right now?

    To Janet Pal, your comment could have been written by me with a few details changed! Thank you so much for posting your thoughts of where you are at.

    Love and gratitude to all,

  32. Dear Pamela, I loved your voice, quietening and reassuring
    I agreed with what you said and the way you said it. It made sense and you left complete freedom. There was no pathos and no slogans. Your words conveyed your experience and understanding. You mean what you say.

    My left hand went to the heart and my right hand chose the navel.
    The welling up of tears mean a softening of heart, which precedes a feeling of happiness.
    That is all old practice for me, but what was new and exciting is the feeling of “singing hands”.
    It is miraculous and I would never have thought of that. It is true and the old faithful hands really do sing with joy.

    Thank you, anyway, I feel fine, unfortunately I have several trips in front of me and am leaving tomorrow to where there is no computer. But I shall think of your Retreat and read up your messages when I come back.
    Love Ruth

  33. As I began my “Reiki as a Healing Practice” meditation with my hands over my heart chakra I felt an incredible sense of connection, of oneness, of groundedness that I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced until that moment, even though self-treatment is an integral part of my day and has been since the day of first Reiki 1 attunement just over a year ago.

    As one hand moved to my solar plexus and the other to my tandien, I began to experience self-limiting thoughts. “Who am I to think I can build a Reiki practice, complete with website, blog, subscriber list, clients and, eventually, students. No one will come. There are so many who are so much better than I”. As I sat with the feelings, I cannot say they dissipated much, but I did begin to experience a sense of knowing that I could work through them and that the answer lay in just sitting with them at the moment and in each and every moment that they might arise in the future. Just for today….

    That nagging self-debt is something that I have carried with me throughout my life and there is hardly a day goes by that something doesn’t trigger thoughts of “Who am I to think I can…..” and I suspect that it was that which led me to Reiki in the first place. Though I don’t recall the specific thoughts and feelings – and whatever they were they were mixed in with a healthy (or perhaps unhealthy) dose of skepticism – I do remember a vague sense of “what if…what if I could…what if it is real…what if it does work” when I was first introduced to Reiki in the West Hill United Church lounge during a Capacitar workshop in November 2007. There was an undeniable “warm, buttery feeling”, as I described it at the time, in my hands.

    What if I can experience more joy?

    What if I can build up my Reiki practice? What if they will come?

    What if?

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