Before I even knew what Reiki was, this healing energy practice came to me repeatedly… introduced years ago by my Tai Chi teacher who became a Reiki Master. Then in a period of 16 months at various workshops hosted at my studio in Texas, I met three women who just “happened” to be Reiki Masters in addition to being workshop instructors.
They arrived in my life from California, New York, and Australia. The last Reiki Master I met during that time finally asked me the frank crucial question…“With all your inclinations towards teaching and healing, why aren’t you studying Reiki right here in Kerrville?”
It was true, I had sought to nurture those around me – intuitively helping them to heal and grow in whatever ways I could. I found I could often do this through my art workshops and teaching Tai Chi, as well as through my writing. I decided to take a major step further with Reiki and actually study healing in order to promote healing within myself and within those close to me, primarily my family.
I first received Reiki training from my former Tai Chi Sifu after she became a Reiki Master in the Sei Chem tradition. I practiced self-Reiki daily and frequently shared Reiki with my family and friends. Reiki was the first thing I did for myself each morning as I sipped a cup of green tea. Reiki helped to calm and center me for the day, as well as address any minor aches and pains.
Reiki also proved to be a wonderful tool for helping my occasional migraine, sore back, or allergy symptoms. My husband and I were delighted to find that Reiki could help bring relief to his hips – both prior to and after his hip replacements. (Still under the influence of the anesthesia for his second hip replacement, he asked for “more Reiki,” not drugs.)
My 86 year-old mother, my two grown daughters, and my two grandsons all regularly request Reiki. When my youngest grandson was 2 ½ years old, he had his mother phone me one night so he could say, “Nana, please send Reiki…my head hurts.” I’ve given Reiki to ill friends, to dogs and cats, even to a new rose bush.
People who heard about Reiki from my family and friends called me for appointments. A small Reiki practice at Ventana Al Cielo Studio grew from there. My clients have included a doctor, a retired State Department worker, a writer, a teacher, a disabled person no longer able to work in a career position. The lists of “who” or “what” are not important. The point is Reiki raises the energy, within any matter, to a higher level that assists the entity’s ability to heal itself.
After several years of study with my Reiki Master in Kerrville, I received my Sei Chem Master initiation. I soon felt a call to do “more,” to go beyond practicing Reiki for myself and others…even beyond teaching others how to do Reiki. I believed that if Reiki somehow was available readily through my local medical community, even more people could receive Reiki and perhaps learn it for themselves.
With my first Master’s blessing, I sought a traditional teaching Reiki Master who could lead me to the manifestation of my new goal. A few months later, I was fortunate to meet Penelope Jewell at the International Women’s Writing Guild conference at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY.
I had signed up for Penelope Jewell’s workshop on “Personal Mastery” – a five day class designed to help participants define their values and to develop a mission statement and vision based on those values. The fact that Penelope’s course bio also mentioned she was a Reiki Master, delighted me.
Checking out Penelope’s website www.ReikiWorks.info, I discovered that she is a Traditional Teaching Master of the Usui System of Natural Healing Reiki (Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki) – practicing since April of 1985. She was initiated as the first Teaching Master in New York State in 1988, and at that time was one of approximately 500 Teaching Masters in the world. (In the following years, Reiki blossomed in popularity and is now taught and practiced in almost every country of the world.)
Penelope’s Reiki “lineage” is Mikao Usui, Chujiro Hayashi, Hawayo Takata, Ethel Lombardi and Phyllis Furumoto (her Master’s teachers), and Linda Keiser Mardis (Penelope’s initiating Master). Knowing your Reiki lineage means knowing who taught and initiated you as a Master, and who was your Master’s initiating Teaching Master, and that Master’s Master, going as far back as Sensei Usui in Japan in the 1920s. Not many practitioners today know their Reiki lineage and I am honored to claim Penelope’s lineage as my lineage.
Since her initiation, Penelope has traveled around the world teaching Reiki, including: New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maine, Florida, Ohio, Canada, Texas, Alaska, Hawaii, Trinidad and Tobago, France, England, Scotland, Wales, and leper communities in Bali, Indonesia and Katmandu, Nepal. She was one of the first Masters to bring Reiki as an integrative therapy in the treatment of AIDS, working in The Living Room in Cleveland, Ohio, and The Globe Centre in London, England.
This is the firm foundation on which I began the life-time relationship with my Usui System of Natural Healing Reiki Master. For three years I studied and practiced Reiki in an apprenticeship with Penelope – scheduling and assisting her in free public Reiki talks and demonstrations, writing Reiki articles for publication, hosting and assisting her in Reiki training workshops, and developing my Master’s plan.
March 24, 2010, is the date of my Usui System of Natural Healing Reiki Master initiation by Master
Penelope Jewell. In an ongoing tradition of honor and support, I am Penelope’s twentieth Master Initiate. I am very close to ten of her other Master Initiates—sending Reiki to them daily, spending quality time together at annual retreat gatherings, meeting monthly online via Zoom, and regularly communicating by email and WhatsApp. Though we live across the world, we are united in family love through Reiki.
Anne’s Vision for Reiki
Reiki is a natural healing art that anyone can learn for personal support and for use with any living thing. Reiki is a means of working with energy that we cannot see. It is not a religion and requires no particular belief system. Here in Kerrville, Texas, I see so many opportunities to utilize Reiki as an integrative therapy tool…Peterson Regional Medical Center, the Veterans’ Hospital, cancer and cardiac clinics, wellness clinics, palliative and hospice care, nursing homes, and countless individuals who seek to support within themselves an innate balance.
On a global vision note, I became a member of The Reiki Alliance (TRA) in October 2017. TRA is an international community of Reiki Masters practicing and teaching Usui Shiki Ryoho (translation from Japanese: the Usui System of Reiki Healing). TRA members consider themselves stewards of Usui Shiki Ryoho by maintaining the time-honored form passed through the direct lineage of Mikao Usui, Chujiro Hayashi, Hawayo Takata, and Phyllis Lei Furumoto. I attend TRA annual meetings to support and be supported by its members and to deepen our experience as Masters.
I also have served in an international online forum for Reiki as a professional practice. Together we hold the vision for Reiki as a paid professional practice in places like hospitals, clinics, and assisted care residences. Unfortunately, not much Reiki research data exists— it does not attract the funding from the big pharmaceutical companies that new drug research receives.
Existing research does suggest the value of integrating touch therapies such as Reiki into acute hospital settings. The award winning integrated-medicine charity Full Circle Fund Therapies is dedicated to supporting the quality of life of children and adults being treated at St George’s Hospital, London. One of its projects, Connecting Reiki with Medicine, introduces Reiki to help support critical-need patients, caregivers, and staff.
From this, the plan is to carry out well-designed research studies to add to the evidence base of patients’ experience of Reiki. Initial money raised by Full Circle funds training, data gathering, data management, case studies, plus the ongoing work of up to eight carefully selected and experienced Reiki practitioners. This important project is donation driven and Full Circle Fund Therapies receives no funding from the government or the National Health Service in England