25 Years of Reiki

virginia slepIn the spring of 1991, I became a Reiki practitioner under John Gray. That’s a quarter of a century of Reiki!! It’s time to tell my story.

I took Reiki I with John at Interface, in Watertown, Massachusetts.   I was impressed with how strict John was, and how careful he was to be certain that each student did the whole process correctly. We had so much practice time, and John was meticulous in his insistence that each hand position be correct. I was especially impressed by John’s story of Hawayo Takata, and how carefully she had taught him.

After I learned Reiki I, I joined the Reiki Wellness Center that was run by John and his Reiki practitioners. We would meet each Tuesday evening in Watertown from 7 – 9 p.m., and we did two sessions of Reiki on about twelve clients. I loved the work, and I enjoyed the company of the other practitioners… the only problem was that during each session, I would get light-headed and dizzy, and feel like I was going to faint. I would have to go sit outside on the steps for a while until the world stopped spinning.

I recall sitting there the first time it happened, wondering if this Reiki stuff was worth it, and if I was going to be able to drive home safely … when John came out and sat on the step beside me. He started talking to me very quietly: ” It’s okay, Virginia. Just breathe. It’s just your body getting used to the energy. It’s all going to be all right. Takata is here helping you… I can feel her presence… and Dr. Usui is here too, helping you. It will be all right.” It took weeks for the problem to go away, and I’ve never forgotten John’s kind encouragement. Each time it happened he would come outside and just sit there, talking quietly to me, reassuring me, until I recovered.

Eventually I noticed that John would always take sips of water — or coffee — while he was doing Reiki.  He said it helped break up the flow of energy. I hadn’t thought the energy might need breaking up — but I decided to try that. It worked, and I’ve never had a problem since I started drinking water while I do a session.   It If it hadn’t been for John’s support, I probably would never have continued with Reiki. But in the fall I took Reiki II, and the real adventure started.

virgina-and-greyhoundsOne night, my beloved greyhound Nick was hit by a car right in front of our house. I carried him into the house, laid him on the floor, and started doing Reiki. I was so upset that I couldn’t even think straight, and he was clearly in shock, so I just asked my guides and all the Ascended Reiki Masters for help.   I covered his whole body with Reiki for about forty-five minutes. Then, at the end of that time, he got up, walked to his water bowl, drank it dry, then went to his bed, curled up, and went to sleep. In the morning, he was fine.

Another time, I was out walking Nick when I fell and sprained my ankle badly. I couldn’t walk at all. My friend ran home to get her car and come get me, and while she was gone I put one hand on my ankle and just sent Reiki into it. The next day I went to the ER, thinking the ankle might be broken, and when I took off my sock, the doctor was shocked: over the sprain was the perfect outline of a hand, each finger clearly outlined, in normal flesh tone, … and the rest of my foot was a lurid purple. He asked what in the world was going on, so I showed him that the outline perfectly fit my hand, and told him about doing Reiki on it.

Since then, I’ve used Reiki on just about everything you can think of. When birds fly into our kitchen windows and lie stunned on the porch, I send them Reiki through the window… and soon they get up and fly away. I do Reiki on my African violet leaves when I’m trying to get them to take root;   I do Reiki on my car each time I get behind the wheel. My hands are on the wheel anyway… might as well send some Reiki into it. If I’m working in my garden and I damage a worm, I do a bit of Reiki on it. I use the scanning techniques John taught me to scan the energy of plants I’m about to buy… might as well take the one with the strongest energy field!

I’ve always remembered John’s advice: when you’re sitting, never let your hands lie palm up… always place them palms down somewhere on your body. No point in wasting the energy, he used to say!!

One of my favorite Reiki stories involves my grandson, Aaron. When my daughter-in-law announced that she was pregnant, I started sending Reiki to this tiny being, my first grandchild-to-be. During her entire pregnancy, I sent a brief absent treatment each evening.   My husband and I went to North Carolina to see this new baby for the first time when he was one month old. His mom put him in my arms. I held him and and sent some Reiki to him… and he looked right at me, and smiled for the first time. It was so clear that he recognized the energy, and made the connection… “Oh! I know who you are!! I know that energy!!”

In 2004-2005, I took the Reiki Master Practitioner training with John and Lourdes. What a wonderful experience that was!! I so respected John for his strict adherence to Reiki traditions and practices; and I came to admire and respect Lourdes for her willingness to explore and experiment, for being so open to possibilities and ways of making Reiki work.

IMG_0493-150x150Lourdes taught me that if you have even a tiny piece of something, it’s the same as if you have the entire person/item right there. So each winter when my ancient rhododendrons are threatened by extreme temperature fluctuations, I take a leaf from each one and spend a few minutes each winter evening doing a bit of Reiki on them. They’re thriving.

Right now, our enormous maples are threatened by winter moths eating all their leaves… so last week I took a small piece of bark from each of them, and I do Reiki on the whole tree — all of them together — this way.

Lourdes taught us the technique for Walking the Dead, and I’ve been able to use this as a spirit releasement technique on my clients. It works wonderfully. I’m a Clinical Hypnotist, and I tried putting some of my clients in a light hypnotic trance state and then doing Reiki on them. I found it’s amazing how much more easily the Reiki energy flows into the body this way… and Lourdes was so interested to hear about my experiences, and so open to trying it herself.

Last summer, I was at an international conference for hypnotists, and I met a woman from Pennsylvania, a nurse/professor who is also a Reiki Practitioner by someone I didn’t know.  We got to talking about how Reiki has become so diluted by Reiki “Masters” who teach it incorrectly, and turn out practitioners who don’t know what they’re doing. I said that I was always so thankful I had studied under John and Lourdes Gray, and she interrupted: “JOHN GRAY !? You studied with JOHN GRAY???!!! Oh, my goodness!! You really do know what you’re doing, don’t you?! WOW!!”

And thanks to John and Lourdes, she was right: I’m proud to say that I studied with them, and I really do know what I’m doing!

Virginia Slep,

Reiki Master, Ph.D.