The Story of Reiki in My Life
by Julie E. Brent, Reiki Master Teacher
Reiki first came into my life in 1988, when I was enrolled in IPSB (Institute of Psycho Structural Balancing) in San Diego, California. I had previously experienced the power of energy as a form of healing, however, and had developed a curiosity about Reiki.
I began my introduction into energy work when I had my first Polarity treatment while living in Lexington, Kentucky. I began learning to practice Polarity from the book, ”Your Healing Hands “, by Richard Gordon, and wanted to add Polarity to my growing reflexology practice. I found that doing Polarity was a wonderful experience in surrender for myself. I clearly understood that I was not the source of the energy flowing through me and I made a clear affirmation each time I gave a treatment that I was only the vehicle to transport the energy to the client.
After two years of successful bodywork practice, I chose to go to San Diego to further my training. During my year of work at IPSB I met Barbara Clark who was developing a book and teaching Jin Shin Acutouch. Barbara and I spent hours discussing her work and she was very interested in training me to do Jin Shin. I asked her to trade treatments with me, so she could see the work I was already doing. I had developed a style of treatment that I believed combined reflexology, polarity and shiatsu and wanted some feedback from her. Upon completion of my treatment to her she said, “You’re doing Jin Shin.” I said, “What do you mean?”, since I had not received a Jin Shin treatment before. She then gave me a short treatment of Jin Shin and I said, “that’s just what I did!” she said, “Yes, that’s Jin Shin.” So I had intuitively developed a touch pattern that was done thousands of years before. We developed a fast friendship as she guided me through my intellectual development related to understanding Jin Shin. We often discussed how other forms of energywork compared and related to Jin Shin. Jin Shin has it’s roots in Japan.
IPSB scheduled a Reiki Level I & II weekend while I was a student, and I was very interested in learning more about this mysterious energywork. Barbara and I went to the Friday night introductory class and I met William Rand. I decided that I was not financially able to take the class at this time but Barbara said she would fill me in so I could know if I wanted to take it at a later date. During this time I also met a woman who was teaching Barbara Weber Ray’s Radiance Technique, and was attracted to this work as well.
After the weekend, Barbara Clark and I sat down and discussed her impressions of Reiki. She decided that Reiki and Jin Shin were related in their historical roots. She had felt for some time that Jin Shin was not a complete body of knowledge and that probably much of the esoteric information was lost during the ‘dark ages’ in Japan. During this time of suppression in Japan, Jin Shin became a secret art, the body of knowledge was divided into logical segments and given to ‘priests’ to remember and pass on. Each priest built a Shinto Temple as a sacred space for the information to be stored and then lived there, passing the information on for generations. Barbara felt at that time that Reiki was very likely a part of that early body of Jin Shin knowledge and was separated during this time period of suppression.
I was truly impressed with these thoughts, and started to look further in to the roots of Reiki as it was discussed in books that I could find. I found little information at the time to support these ideas but it did keep the Reiki flame burning inside me.
In 1994 I found a Tibetan Reiki workshop that sounded interesting and signed up to go. It was billed as an intensive and I enjoyed this kind approach to learning. The weekend was very ‘intense.’ I was attuned to 14 symbols and given very little practical knowledge about how to use them. I was awake for over 30 hours after receiving the two attunements. It was an energetic feast. My teacher was sure I would have a healing crisis, but other than not being able to sleep I saw no immediate effects.
I did however feel the power of the Reiki working through me. My life began to change and I started to clear out the things in my life that seemed unimportant. I didn’t feel any ability to actually give treatments to anyone else. I could only rest in the Reiki and let it work on me. I began to be able to work on many of the physical problems that I had, using whatever was available, including acupuncture, chiropractic and others. I learned more about energy work from many other sources.
I purchased a copy of Diane Stein’s book “Essential Reiki” so I could learn more about the Reiki Attunements that I received. This was a very helpful resource. I found out much about the history of Reiki in this country and how it had gone through many incarnations according to the teachers it passed through.
After this I intentionally sought out The Center for Reiki Training. I read some of the ideals that William Rand had incorporated into his work and I agreed with the idea that Reiki should be for everyone and that it should be affordable. I was then, and still am very clear that the power of LOVE through Reiki is meant to be given to anyone who is ready to work toward peace, healing and unity.
About this same time I had decided to move to Fairhope, Alabama. After settling into Fairhope I proceeded to try to find a Level I & II class to take through the Center for Reiki Training. I was directed to talk with Laura Gifford who was the closest teacher to my area. As it happens she was living near Louisville, Kentucky. I had just moved from there!!
Laura and I began to discuss my options and I decided to try to organize a class to be held in Fairhope, that Laura would teach. This eventually came about and I had an incredible experience with the training. It was the perfect time for me to incorporate this work. I immediately decided that I would like to complete my master training and go on to become a center certified teacher. I wanted to be part of the flow of energy that William Rand and Laura Gifford had set in motion.
My story continues in my next blog post…..Reiki Love…Julie