What Does a (Reiki) Master Teacher Really Teach?

It’s not often that I’m intrigued by an obituary, or that I even read one. But as I paged through today’s New York Times, a photo drew me in, just as it was supposed to.

Jerome Liebling was a photographer and filmmaker dedicated to showing people things that they “wouldn’t see unless I was showing them.” Liebling also became a masterful teacher, deeply influencing many documentary filmmakers, including Ken Burns (himself so influential in the field that a cinematic effect bears his name).

As a teacher, Liebling’s interest was not to teach the technical aspects of picture-making. Rather, he wanted to impact his students’ reality, to infect them with a suspicion of dogma, and make them “see that there are no shortcuts.” Liebling pushed his students to plumb the depths of their motivation and vision until “they really started to look.”

Burns referred to Liebling as being “so authentic, in a way that a lot of us had never experienced.” As reported by the Times, Burns said,

“You wanted to be like him. You wanted to tell the truth. You’d go out to take pictures with him, and we all saw the same things he did, and then we’d come back, and he’d put up his prints, and you’d put up yours, and you were devastated.”

Reiki practice, like all spiritual practices, reveals truth from within, and prepares us to be in its presence.

It’s not easy being in the presence of truth. That’s why there are no shortcuts. It takes time, and steady practice, to develop the ability to face truth without flinching, or trying to make it pretty, or somehow fix it. It takes time to be willing to let truth’s beauty shine forth on its own terms, unembellished.

Isn’t this the possibility that a master teacher shows us, no matter what the technique? And isn’t this the possibility that consistent practice makes real?

Who inspired your pursuit of truth?


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4 thoughts on “What Does a (Reiki) Master Teacher Really Teach?”

  1. “The blessing of on glimpse of truth
    allows the heart to open
    and is enough to propel you onto your journey…”
    – Frank Coppieters, Ph.D., LMT, Reiki Master

    Frank has been a continually inspiring source for many who know him and his work.

    1. Jason, I have heard similar comments about Frank from many people. I hope to have the opportunity to meet him sometime. Thank you for sharing that uplifting quote.

  2. “I want to know if you will stand
    in the centre of the fire
    with me
    and not shrink back.”

    These words come from a beautiful poem called “The Invitation,” by Oriah Mountain Dreamer. I chanced upon this poem many years ago, and the words have never left me.

    This blog entry has prompted me to share Oriah’s poem. Although the words are beautiful, the invitation itself is not. It’s both a challenge and a calling to transform your way of life, starting now, and anyone who is willing to seriously accept the challenge of the invitation will probably never live the same way again. I share this because in so many ways this is what consistent Reiki practice challenges me to do.

    For the complete version of the poem, and for other works, please visit Oriah’s website at:

    1. Jaime, thank you so much for sharing this link. I hope many people will click to read the entire poem, which is on the left homepage sidebar.

      At the foot of Oriah’s homepage is one of my favorite Rumi quotes:

      There are lovers content with longing.
      I’m not one of them.

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