The word reiki is composed of two Japanese words – Rei and Ki. Put simply, “Rei” can be defined as the wisdom of the Higher Intelligence of the Universe, while “Ki” is the non-physical energy that emanates from all living things. Ki is the energy flow in plants, animals and humans. My personal definition of reiki is “higher wisdom (God/Source/All That Is) intelligence energy that lovingly heals.”

An amazingly beautiful depiction of energy by Linda Masson Serenity Garden Art

I’m not a fan of giving long and boring dissertations. Who wants to read crap like that? Not me. I would rather try to provide a more “colorful” view. So, if the following commentary doesn’t give you a complete understanding of Reiki, please just google it or feel free to contact me. 🙂

 I first heard the term “reiki” when I went to see a pain management doctor. We talked about different modalities for healing the RSD with which I had been recently diagnosed.  I really wasn’t into the endless pill popping, pain pumps and physical therapy, (to  me, “physical therapy” is just another term for sucking the insurance companies dry.)  Can you say “bad experience?”  I told the doctor I wanted to try the most natural approach to pain management as possible.  He asked me if I ever heard of reiki. Nope, never have.  He looked over his glasses and down his nose at me. “Reiki is rough stuff,”  he said, in a somber tone, “but I’m told it works very well.” I immediately had visions of some medieval torture like bloodletting with leeches. Why the hell would I want to do that?

When in doubt, I always look up. I have legions of angels that follow me around. They must like me or something. So, I asked them to show me what I needed to do for self-healing.  I have to laugh because in the next two weeks I was literally bombarded with the word “reiki”. I had never heard of reiki before my visit to the doctor. Suddenly, everywhere I turned I was seeing the word like a flashing neon sign.

For example, I was searching for something on Ebay and the next thing I knew I was looking at a list of “reiki infused candles”. Hey, how did that get there? That wasn’t what I searched for. Okay, I’ll be perfectly honest, I was searching for a Tory Burch handbag and those cute little flats she does with the logo, you know?  I really feel I needed the bag and shoes to wear to a livestock auction that I was attending in my “neighborhood” the following week. After all, when I protested carnivores and made it on the 6 o’clock news, I wanted to look totally put together. (yes, I realize these fabulous items are made from leather but that isn’t the point -) My grandmother would kill me if I was out in public, let alone on television, looking like a schlepper, carrying any old shmata.  I can just hear people saying…….(She was a crazy, new age weirdo who laid down in front of the cows but she looked SOOOO chic). Wait, I think I just channeled Joan Rivers. May she rest in peace. LUUVVED HER!

Honestly, and I really am being honest, I have no idea how the “male chastity device cage” listing appeared on the Ebay search page.  Whatever I clicked on was by accident. I promise. But, I have to say I was fascinated looking at that thing and thinking about how it would work on my husband.  Wait, wait………hear me out please – this isn’t going to be weird. I did receive about 2 minutes of sheer joy daydreaming of Al in the emergency room having this “thing” removed from his um, “thing”  (sorry the key got “lost” oopsie)  Okay, well maybe it was more like 5 minutes of joy but that’s all, I swear.

I was seeing stuff on the internet for reiki everywhere; reiki jewelry, reiki candles, reiki “massages” (um that’s a no no). I even saw a sign outside of a physicians office” Reiki Done Here.” Really? Bloodletting in Northwestern Pennsylvania?  On second thought, maybe I shouldn’t have been so surprised after all. Anything can happen in the hills.

It was pretty clear that my angels were sending me a message about reiki. I did a little research, found that there was no pain or leeches involved (goes to show you that medical doctors don’t know everything)   and BOOM – an opportunity to take a Reiki Level 1 class practically came knocking on my door. Universal synchronicity never ever fails to amaze me.

IMG_0512The first level of reiki is very gentle and loving but at the same time, can be life changing.  At this level, students receive reiki and are taught to self-heal.  They receive an “attunement” which aligns them with the reiki energy so that they may channel this energy to themselves, family and friends. Students are highly encouraged to share this healing gift with others at this time of learning. The reiki principles are taught and students are encouraged to live by this beautiful philosophy.  The energy centers in the body, called chakras, are introduced and their significance in the healing process is explained. The students are given energy exercises which they are asked to practice on a daily basis for continuous learning.

Okay so that’s my unofficial-official explanation of Reiki I. Now I will tell you about my experience.  I couldn’t make the group class so my teacher was kind enough to schedule a private 8 hour session with me. I was quite fascinated with everything I learned that day and the time flew by very quickly as I absorbed this new found knowledge……….

We are “alive” because of the life force energy (ki) that flows through us. It flows through our physical bodies via energy centers called chakras and, flows around us in a field of energy called the aura. Life force nourishes our cells and our organs and supports them in their crucial functions. Disruption of this flow of life force can cause diminished function in these areas.

Thoughts become things.” If we allow these negative thoughts and feelings to invade our consciousness, they will attach themselves to the energy field and cause a disruption in the flow of life force.

Reiki heals by flowing through parts of the energy field that have been afflicted with negative thoughts, feelings, disease, etc. and, charges them with positive energy. Reiki raises the vibration of the energy field in the areas where this negative energy is attached, causing it to break up and dissipate. It clears and heals the energetic pathways, which allows the life force to flow in a healthy manner.

 My teacher asked me if I was ready to receive my “attunement”. Um, gulp. I guess so. I didn’t see any instruments of torture nearby or dolls with pins sticking in them so I thought I was good.  I did see a couple of small crystal skulls sitting on a shelf but I told myself that my angels sent me here so it must be okay. What I did feel during the attunement was a very loving, warm and peaceful energy come over me. It was fleeting. It was gone before I could really embrace it.  My teacher then asked me to give a healing to her. (uh oh)

I directed the energy to her the same way she had just taught me.  She began to ooh and ahh and smile and tell me how wonderful she was feeling. I have to tell you that I was starting to get a little freaked out.   Nervously, I took a few steps back from her. I couldn’t help but think of  Shirley MacLaine. (Holy shit, you’re as crazy as she is if you believe this crap) I honestly didn’t know what to think. One thing was very clear to me though;  my teacher was feeling something very real. And, although it had quickly passed, I, too, had also felt that very real something when I received my attunement.

My thoughts were in a jumble when I left my teacher’s home that day but I knew the angels wouldn’t have sent me to her if I wasn’t supposed to learn and grow from this experience. So, I decided I would give the practice of reiki a chance. Technically speaking, I was clear on how and what to practice but I just wasn’t sure I believed this stuff.

I gave it a shot. Nothing happened. No self healing; nothing earth shattering. I couldn’t change a staff into a snake or make it rain frogs. I continued to practice and began to notice  with each practice that my faith grew a little deeper. I relaxed a little more each time and begin to allow the energy to flow through me. I began to realize that this was a process. I was given the tool but I had to learn how to use it in order to define reiki for myself. (I still can’t change a staff into a snake or make it rain frogs but,  I can bring forth the Angel of Death simply by calling Al’s ex-wife on the phone. Lovely woman. May she live long, be well and never be alone in bed – the bedbugs and lice should always keep her company! (Gotta love the fine art of a  Yiddish curse!)  Sorry for the digression. It’s a big problem of mine.

I invited a friend to my house so that I could practice reiki on her. What I learned that day is what really changed my life. In giving healing, I was being healed.  Once again, I felt that calm, peaceful and loving feeling that I had felt that day during my attunement.  I realized that for me, reiki was a journey. It was just another step along the path of my spiritual development.  The more I practiced the reiki, the more I was allowing the energy to flow for my continued spiritual growth and development but most of all, for my self-empowerment.

Having been through three levels of reiki training, I am now considered a “reiki master.” But you know, I’m not the master here. I’m the student. Each and every time I practice reiki on myself or on another, I learn something new; I feel something new.  I recently gave a friend of mine reiki healing. She told me that she felt amazing during the session and when we were finished she said she was “high.” First time I ever heard someone catching a buzz from reiki but hey, it’s legal and you don’t get the munchies. BONUS! I understood exactly what she was saying though. I was feeling the “high” too.

I feel that I can liken receiving reiki to receiving “confirmation” in the Catholic Church.  In the confirmation ceremony, you become sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit but, that doesn’t necessarily mean your ticket to heaven is assured. This gift must be nurtured and cherished and used wisely.  (In my opinion, Catholics believe they own that train to heaven  – that you have to buy your ticket to the celestial gates directly from them. Personally, I think that train derailed a long time ago. ) ( Jeez, will you please stop throwing things at me? I’m allowed to have my opinion and I really do like the Pope! He’s such a mensch!)

At some point, I may further my reiki journey by becoming a master/teacher. I don’t necessarily feel that I want to teach reiki but I know that raising my vibration to that level will help me to travel a deeper and more enlightened spiritual path. More importantly, it will certainly help me serve more of humanity.

Beautiful chakra healing crystals, courtesy of Divine Healing with Mary. Bring peace, harmony and balance to your life with energy and crystal healing.

As reiki heals the mind and spirit as well as the body, it is my belief that we all each need to participate in our own healing by connecting with our I AM presence in order to live a happier and healthier life.

Bring peace to your heart by letting go of anger. Be happy and live in the moment. After all, each moment is really all we ever have. We’re guaranteed nothing more. Don’t worry about things you can’t change. Worrying will only lower your vibration and draw more negative energy to you. It can’t change the situation. Only YOU can change the way you THINK about the situation. Be grateful for what you do have instead of being unhappy about what you don’t have. Work honestly and put your whole heart soul into everything you do each day. You will be amazed at the joy that this self-satisfaction can bring. Be kind and loving to every living being. Where there is LOVE there can be no more.

And, if you’re Jewish, (and even if you’re not) please call your mother everyday.

Much love,


Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about reiki, want to learn how to make your children feel guilty or want to learn to curse in Yiddish. 🙂















One Comment

  • Dana, I really enjoyed reading about Reiki and I did not know this is how you got started in learning and doing the Reiki!!! Wow from you doctor no less, I am impressed!!!!!
    Yes would like to learn more about getting the kids to feel guilty and yes could I take your course on learning to curse in Yiddish??? Love you Dana and again thank you xoxo

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