Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Ladakh-October 2015

Ladakh- October 2015

Leh Valley
If there is one word to describe Ladakh, it is "fairy-land" (or should I say Dakini land)? The flight from Delhi was one of the most spectacular as we flew over the whole range of Himalayas from south to north, with breathtaking views of the Himalayan landscape. As we landed in Leh, capital of Ladakh, a wave of ecstasy spread, not only in our group but amongst local tourists too. Even though it was prohibited to take pictures at airports in India, everyone was taking selfies, smiling, and hugging each other, as if we couldn’t believe we had come this far and away land. Because Ladakh is India’s most sparsely populated and well preserved region, it felt like we had been transported to a few centuries ago. The high desert cradled by mountains preserved Ladakh’s culture and principle religion, Mahayana Buddhism for centuries. It felt to me that this could be second best to Tibet in being exposed to Mahayana culture.

We were warned about possible altitude sickness, since we flew and landed at 11,600 feet (3,500 mt). It takes few days for the bodies to acclimatize to the altitude. We took the first day very easy as advised, rested a  whole lot, drank lots of fluids (3lt/day), but still a few people in our group became really sick with headaches and nausea.  I had some altitude sickness in Cuzco, Peru years ago, and this time I came ready with my homeopathic medication. I was lucky this time that I adjusted pretty well and didn’t feel any discomfort except it felt like we were walking on the moon due to the lesser gravity.

Shanti Stupa-Leh
Our hotel was charming with a touch of local architecture, rooms were simple but comfortable with even a few TV channels. Hot water and delicious meals, who needs more? We slept after lunch for a few hours and then stepped outside to visit Shanti Stupa. We were in Stupa heaven in Ladakh, there were stupas in every corner. I engraved the flying Tibetan flags and stupas into my mind. Shanti stupa was situated in a hill top overlooking to Leh. It was simply gorgeous. The green Indus valley, surrounding high deserts, and lofty mountain peaks were like scenes from a movie. This was my first real stupa encounter J I saw pictures of stupas and I was practicing a Stupa meditation for years but I had never seen a real stupa before.

People walk around the stupas, typically clockwise, for healing, to let go of their ego or karma, to reconnect to their spirit or deeper truth, or simply with a heartfelt prayer. You can also meditate in front of a stupa with compassion and loving kindness.
My intention for this spiritual pilgrimage was to clean any karma that keeps me away from my Divine self. It was to release, let go of any root causes, including karmic causes, of any physical, mental, emotional or spiritual package that don’t serve me anymore. It was healing at all levels by letting go of all that’s not in harmony with my Divine self.  

I was determined to use every opportunity to practice this in this trip. The Stupa was no different. As I circumambulated the stupa (what a big word!), I imagined any karma that I don’t need any more simply falling off of me, leaving me lighter, brighter in each step. 

As I sat for meditation in front of the stupa, I noticed that it was so easy to do the Stupa meditation here. I’ve have been practicing a stupa meditation for a while but here, it was as if the stupa was doing the meditation for me and I was just witnessing, it was so effortless. In this meditation we visualize a square in our base and on top of the square a sphere, a triangle, a crescent moon and the top of stupa in perfect balance on top of each other. These shapes also correspond to the elements; square for earth, sphere for water, triangle for fire, a crescent moon for air and the top of stupa for the space.  As we chant the syllables corresponding to each element and visualize the shapes within our body perfectly balanced on top of each other; our inner Universe, our elements balance and harmonize just like the pieces of the stupa.

We started every morning with energization exercises and meditation followed by a rich breakfast. We had chanting and satsangs during the day too. The next morning we left early to visit Hemis, Tikse and Stakna monasteries. These are still vibrant centers of meditation, dedication, and service, preserving a deep and ancient mystical heritage, still intact.
As we walked in to the Hemis monastery a big poster for Naropa’s millennial birth anniversary celebration
Hemis Monastery
greeted us.
 My heart started to beat. I just stood there, and couldn’t take my eyes off of it. It turns out that this monastery belongs to Dugpa (Dragon) order and is an off shoot off Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, one of the 4 schools of Tibethan Budhism and the lineage of one my heroes Milarepa. Milerepa is a beloved hero of Tibetan Buddhism because he is a living proof that anyone can be enlightened with proper dedication and practice even if they’re killers and sinners. I can’t get enough watching Milarepa’s life story, reading his 1000 songs, I even watched an opera about his life; and now I was at this monastery dedicated to his lineage. I deeply bowed to Naropa, Marpa and Milerepa. 

Hemis is the largest and wealthiest monastery, founded in 1672, and home to 500 monks. They are famous with the annual festival held here every summer, in honour of Guru Padmasambhava. Guru Padmasambhava is the 8th century Indian guru who brought Buddhism throughout the Himalayas and to Tibet. The dancers wear brightly colored masks that represent good and evil characters in Mahayana Buddhism and enact an age-old tale of the victory of good over evil. Hemis has the largest Tanka (silk embroidered brocade) in Ladakh, which is unfolded, once in 12 years, during this festival. They even call this festival as the Kumbh mela of Buddhism. The next one is coming in summer of 2016! Hemis is also the monastery that the old manuscripts were found in to support the claim Jesus stayed at this spot during his “lost years”. We knew the monks don’t answer any question about these manuscripts anymore so we didn’t even bother asking. Yet someone from our groups stayed behind in Ladakh to further investigate Jesus’s lost years.
We were very fortunate to witness a soul-stirring chanting by the Buddhist monks during one of our visits. I witnessed chanting many times before but probably because of the inherent energy built here over the centuries it felt deeper. We were also lucky that there was ample time built in our schedules to meditate in each of the monasteries we visited. This wasn’t simply a sightseeing tour, it was a spiritual pilgrimage. I took the opportunity in each temple to meditate and pray to let go of my karma and clear myself from anything that is not in harmony with my true self. As I left each monastery I felt lighter and lighter and thankful to the presence of Dakinis and Masters surrounding me (Dalai Lama blinking me with his big smile)  and helping me with my practice and to heal myself to BE my true self, the Great Bright Light, Dai Ko Myo.

The next day we traveled along the scenic Indus River and visited the charming village of Alchi containing
Alchi Monastery-1000 Buddhas
deeply peaceful 11th century temples with wall paintings done in Kashmiri style, amazingly preserved by Ladakh’s dry climate. The Buddha’s teachings were brought from India first to Kashmir, then to Ladakh, then to Tibet in the 9th century. Ladakh’s continuous and still vibrant tradition of meditation, introspection, and Buddha’s teachings of Dharma, dates from this time. We’ll also visited Likir and Spituk monasteries, which offer rich collections of paintings and Buddhist artifacts, and the opportunity to feel the tangible power left by centuries of spiritual practice in these same monasteries. 
with my Tibetan Medicine doctor 
In one of the small towns I noticed a sign for a Tibetan Medicine shop. Just before I left for the trip I ordered Dr. Yeshes’ book (Dalai Lama’s doctor) on Tibetan Medicine and I was reading it in every chance. I walked into the store and met the monk who is also a Tibetan medicine doctor. It didn’t take me long to realize he didn’t speak any English. I pulled Dr. Yeshe’s book from my book bag and showed it to the little monk. First he didn’t get it, I realized he might not read the Latin alphabet either. Then I slowly pointed him the picture of Dr. Yeshe and said his name. He got it. He repeated the name himself a few times. It was so funny. He smiled big time. I told him I’ll be back with a translator but of course he didn’t get what I said. I got back in few minutes with our tour guide and asked him if he could give me a consultation. I didn’t tell him anything about my health condition. Just like that, no appointments, no insurance cards, you walk into the doctors office; pretty unusual for us Westerners. I sat on the wooden stool while he is checking my pulse and looking into my tongue and asking me questions about my sleep patterns, how hot/cold I am, etc. When he concluded his examination he said I am in perfect health. Yes! That’s what I needed to hear. Yet he gave me herbal medication to take daily. He only charged 72 rupees (less than $1.5) including the medication. If only the health care could be this accessible! As I was reading Dr. Yeshe’s book, I see a lot of similarities with Ayurveda. Just like in Ayurveda, Tibetan Medicine is a holistic system that restores the balance of the elements. In Tibetan medicine these elements (life forces) are called, Wind, Bile and Phlegm. These forces represent the combination of 5 elements (earth, water, fire, wind, space). If these elements are in good harmony and balance – the person is healthy. But misbalance of elements is known as a sickness or disorder. Everything is about the balance and not a quick fix. Later I learned more about the real applications of Tibetan medicine from my friend I met at Bodh Gaya as she treated her paralysis with Tibetan Medicine. I’m mostly surprised they still practice moxa (moxibustion), literally burning the skin until it blisters at acupuncture points which then scars after it heals. I saw it movies but when I saw my friend’s scars, I knew it was real.
Guru Nanak- First Guru of Sikh Religion

Another landmark in Ladakh was Guru Nanak’s temple. Guru Nanak lived in the 15th century and is the founder of Sikh religion. According to the legend, he was visiting Ladakh , at the time there was a demon who terrorized local villagers. Guru Nanak sat on meditation on the river banks. Determined to kill him, the demon pushed a large boulder down from the hilltop, aiming at Guru Nanak. The boulder rumbled down the hill but when it touched the Guru's body, it softened like warm wax and an impression of Guru Nanak’s back is embedded on the rock.  Thinking that the Guru had been killed, the demon came down and was taken aback to see the Guru deep in meditation. This time, he tried to push the boulder with his right foot, but his foot got embedded in soft rock. The demon realised the spiritual power of the great Guru and he fell at his feet for forgiveness.

Now there is a temple built around the rock and we were very lucky to witness warm Sikh hospitality as we enjoyed the prasad (blessed food) and the masala tea.
White Tara
A trip in India couldn’t be complete without shopping. Leh’s main bazaar,  on the ancient Silk Road connecting China, India, and Europe—and still a crossroads of Tibetan, Kashmiri, and Indian culture was literally outside our hotel where we shamelessly spent a  few hours to look into all delicacies of handmade craft.

As we left Ladakh, I said goodbye to Dakinis over my air plane window and bowed deeply for accompanying me in my trip and taking part in my journey.  Needless to say, I left a piece of my heart (and my karma) there J.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Bodh Gaya-October 2015

Bodh Gaya

The final leg of my trip in India was to Bodhgaya.  As soon as I decided to go to India, I added Bodhgaya to my list. I intended to go there years ago but it didn’t work out then, it probably wasn’t the right time. Now, I was finally on my way.
Bodhaya is a pilgrimage site for Buddhists where Buddha had obtained enlightenment under the bodhi  tree.  I planned to stay 3 days in a Buddhist institution which a FB friend had suggested.Since I was travelling alone, I was warned about the crime rate in Bihar, the upcoming elections, and possible commotion on the streets. At least I knew I was staying at a very safe place, the Root Institute, a Buddhist center, founded by Lama Thubten Yeshe Rinpoche and Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche. I didn’t know I was going to be accompanied by two angels though.
On the airplane, I made an intention to sit next to someone whom I can talk about Bodhgaya and get some tips.  I’m generally not very talkative on airplanes but this time, I initiated the conversation with the young woman sitting at the aisle seat.  After introductions, Lily moved to sit next to me and we spent the whole time chatting. She is a Tibetan Buddhist student living in Hong Kong and visiting Bodhgaya for a long weekend to study with her Lama.  We talked about our paths, the teachings. I told her that I’m not Buddhist but I like to study Buddadharma. Why do we always need labels?
While approaching to Bodhgaya, just looking out to the fields, my excitement peaked. I imagined Buddha walking on these same fields thousands of years ago. I couldn’t believe I was soon about to step into the same land he once walked, meditated, achieved enlightenment and gave his first sermon. That thought filled my heart with gratitude.  As I imagined him, I felt an overwhelming compassion from BUddha. It felt like I was totally safe and taken care of. He was almost saying, “we’re taking her over from here”.
As we landed, Lily and I said we’d meet again the next day in the Mahabodhi temple but quite honestly I didn’t know if I could see her again.
I grabbed a rickshaw from the airport for the 6 km ride to the Root Institute.  Because so many people have warned me about safety, I was a little bit precautious. Before grabbing my rickshaw I stormed through the crowd waiting outside of the airport,  giving a confident image that I  knew exactly where I was  going. I went all the way to the outer ring of the crowd and then grabbed a rickshaw there. I was closely watching the road to make sure we’re on right track. A few minutes into our ride, I noticed the driver made a call from his cell phone and later pulled to the side and another motorbike approached. I thought “here we go”. The guy in the motorbike greeted me and said “Madame, how long will you stay? I asked him why he was asking. It turns out that he was trying to convince me to hire him as a tourist guide. Wow what a clever sales strategy.  I told him I don’t need a tourist guide and we continued. The rest of the road was uneventful.
Yet, I was going to hear these questions many times in the next couple of days “Madame where are you from” “Madame which country ae you from”. Lily gave the best answer when asked. She said she is from “Everywhere”, when asked which country she is from, she said “Pureland”.
Life is full of surprises! I didn’t know that when I arrived in monastery I was going to be greeted in Turkish. It turns out that the staff member at the reception has worked in Turkey as a tourist guide for 3 years and she knew Turkish. She said she saw my name on the list and was so excited to have someone from Turkey and that she was waiting for my arrival.   I got my key to my very modest room, yet with private bathroom and running water.  That’s all I needed. This reminded me of the nice memories of my stay at Dai Bosatzu Zen monastery a couple years ago. I wasn’t expecting much at all. I dropped my backpack at the room and left immediately for the MahaBodhi temple. I knew I had to be back to the Institute before it gets dark, since I was warned by many people not to be out on the streets after dark in Bodhgaya. I grabbed a rickshaw (only 30 rupees-50 cent one way to the temple). The driver dropped me off of a temple and pointed out and said Mahabodhi temple. I still don’t know if he intended to joke or if it was a misunderstanding, anyway I got off and walked into the temple he pointed out, and I knew something was wrong. This temple was so small and almost empty. Yet there was a sign for a Bodhi tree and the tree didn’t seem to like 2500 years old at all.  I was confused and disappointed. I immediately realized my “expectation” to have a certain temple and a certain tree.  I got the lesson. I dropped all expectations and walked out of the temple. I saw a bus full of monks and I thought it would be wise to follow monks as they were most probably going to the correct temple. I was right. As I walked into the entrance, I imagined this place to be more vibrant before the terrorist attacks and bombings couple of years ago. Since then, sellers were not allowed on the premises or on the pathway leading to the temple, yet Indian people always find ways!   I finally saw the temple on my right  side, you couldn’t mistake this temple with anything else. As I stopped at the top of the steps leading to the temple,  I wanted to take it all in at once. The temple was simply magnificent.  It was stunning. I had a quick visit to the Buddha statue inside the temple and turned around to go behind the temple to find the Bodhi tree. As I turned the corner and saw the tree I was rushed with emotions. I can’t believe I’m here at the Mahabodhi temple, where Buddha has enlightened, under the Bodhi tree. I found a quiet spot and sat on meditation. I circled the temple and sat on meditation again. I watched people, mostly monks and nuns who are visiting the temple from all over Asia, some quietly meditating, some reading scriptures, some doing walking meditation, while a distant chant was making a perfect background. 2 hours passed too quickly and it was time to get back. The next day I could spend the whole day here.

When I got to my room at the Root Institute, my next door neighbor came out and greeted me warmly. Carol was a Canadian woman who lived in Asia for the last 20 years, who worked, studied and served in different Asian countries. She is a committed Tibetan Buddhist practitioner and it was her first time in Bodhgaya. Since she only came a day before me and she was going to stay for 5 weeks, she hadn’t been to the temple yet. We had dinner together that night and talked quietly since the rest of the residents were in a silent retreat. There was a course going at the Institution. Residents were mostly young folks from all around the world. I’m always amazed how these young folks are attracted to teachings and find their ways here to study.
After dinner, a staff member came over and reminded us of that the local elections are the next day and she said we are advising all our residents to stay indoors tomorrow in anticipation of possible unrest in the area. That was my only full day in the temple and I would not sacrifice it for an anticipated commotion. Carol and I decided to go to the temple anyway.
The next morning, I joined the guided morning meditation at 6:45 am. Since this was the residents last day of silence, the teacher advised the students to take the most out of it, by having more introspection,and more practice.  After meditation we all walked to the cafeteria for breakfast. The meals were simple, satisfying and silent. You wash your own dishes as in most monasteries. They do everything to conserve limited water supply, by having different compartments to sink your dishes in until the final rinse. There are of course some rules of conduct (modest dressing, silence, etc.), after all, this is a meditation center. After breakfast Carol and I headed to the temple to spend the whole day there.  I was rushed with emotions once again when I saw Carol’s reaction when she first saw the temple. She later said this is “THE bucket list” for her. We meditated, walked in the premises, and sat to absorb it all. Soon I saw Lily waving; she found us. I quickly introduced Carol to Lily. The three of us spent the rest of the day together,  and had a spiritual blast. We meditated together, chanted Heart sutra together,  did offerings, (thanks to Lily she was here before otherwise we didn’t even know where to get the lamp offering), and had a wonderful long lunch at Be Happy CafĂ©, a restaurant owned by a Canadian woman. We even shared a mango cheesecake. We visited other temples, the Japanese, the Butanese, the Tibetan and we even did some shopping, buying malas. The temples were exquisite with artwork and murals. At the end we returned to the temple for some more meditation. I was so glad we didn’t let the fear of elections stop us. Actually, since all the stores were closed, it was much quieter and peaceful. It was the most wonderful day full of practice, friendship and fun.

Carol and I said goodbyes to Lily and headed to the Institute for dinner. After dinner I was invited to Dharma Movie night. All residents were invited to watch a documentary about the Tsoknyi Nagchen Nuns of Tibet, a group of dedicated nuns living in the remote mountains. The Institution looked stunning at night with all the decorations and lights, the prayer wheel and the Buddha statues. I engraved it all into my memory.
The subject of next morning’s meditation was patience. I found some emotions rise and cleared with lots of shedding tears. I guess I was ready to let go of these emotions regardless of what the subject of meditation was and the teacher has just become an instrument. At least no one knew me, so I could cry freely. After breakfast Carol and I chat over a masala tea. She had a traffic accident in Nepal couple years ago which almost left her paralyzed. She knew what surrender means while taking charge of your own healing. After all, she went to northern India to find healing in Tibetan medicine. She was such an inspiration.  I headed back to temple to spend my last morning there; deep in meditation, observation, offering and gratitude. I remembered Lily talking about her Lama’s teachings about the right intention one should hold when you visit the temple.  I thought for a second what my intention should be. I realized there should be no better intention but the “original thought”, HSZSN. After all, "the original thought is the right thought". I hold the thought that I’m not this body, I’m not this mind, I’m not my beliefs, I’m not my experiences, I’m not even this consciousness that thinks I’m this Zeynep, my true nature is beyond all these. I’m the pure light of consciousness; I’m the existence, awareness and bliss. I hold this thought during my meditation that morning.
It was time to leave for airport. It was a short trip but full with great memories. I left a piece of me there forever.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Reiki Newsletter -September 2015


We are only a week away from the next Cincinnati Reiki Day! Cincinnati Reiki community meets twice a year for Reiki Day. It is a chance for Reiki Practitioners from all lineages to come together to practice Reiki, make friends, find community and have fun! 
This year we will all bring something yummy and have a fun Potluck for lunch. :) 

Reiki Day will be on Sunday Sptemebr 20th. The morning session is for Reiki Masters from 9:30 A.M. until 12:30 P.M $10 per participant cash only.

Potluck Lunch 12:30-1:30 everyone is invited!

The afternoon session is open for all levels of Reiki practitioners from 1:30-5:00. $10 per participant cash only.

Hope to see you all at Hoffner Lodge/Northside, 4120 Hamilton Ave, Cincinnati, Ohio 45223.

Please RSVP to Maria Kammerer at

Love & Light,

Friday, July 10, 2015

Reiki Newsletter- July 2015

July 2015 Newsletter

Another Retreat is over and it gets better and better. You’ve heard me enough to share my experiences, this time I wanted to share impressions of 3 of my friends, Maria, Andrew and Denyce. One thing they all say in common: Transformation, laughter, practice, expansion, compassion.

Here enjoy reading:

 “When I pack my bags for the IHR retreat I pack the usual things but I also pack my daily practice, my presence, and a few water balloons. Retreats with Frans are incredibly life changing, intensely deep and full of laughter! Frans has a way of teaching that is so lighthearted and clear that it cuts away to the heart of your being.
Retreats are about transformation and every year I meet up with these special souls, my Reiki family to to go deeper, to blossom, be renewed and transform. Each time we meet up we are more expanded, joyful and compassionate. We are constantly transforming. Our attachments and judgements keep falling away and in its place is clarity, stillness and the infinite. We are experiencing our true selves and from this space we are inspired to continue to practice daily so we can be more human in each moment.
Overflowing gratitude for Frans and our Reiki community. The support and guidance from each person was a powerful experience. As a wise woman once said, "You are a blessing, You are a blessing, and you are a blessing."
Much love,
Maria Kammerer

A Direct Experience - Cincinnati Reiki Retreat 2015
by Andrew Andres.
Lightning never harms the clouds. 
Only when you cling or resist do you provide a target to strike. 
Be like space; become formless and invincible.
For the last four years (although it seems much longer), I’ve been fortunate enough to learn/practice/train in Usui Reiki Ryoho via IHReiki’s Frans Stiene in Cincinnati, Ohio. It all started with a chance encounter with the Reiki Sourcebook and ( At that time, I was already practicing and teaching Reiki for a few years, trained in Usui Shiki Ryoho at a number of different venues (four or five depending how you count).
Despite all that training, I still wanted a bit more “clarity” about of this seemingly magical healing practice; credibility and legitimacy was/still is important. Maybe I could find what I was looking for in “Traditional Reiki”?
I’d heard of “Traditional Reiki” before, and thoroughly read Maureen Kelly’s book on “Reiki and the Healing Buddha”. I was very surprised and interested in that book and briefly considered visiting the author in Australia. I thought if I wanted to train in “traditional Reiki” I’d have to save money and go to Japan or Australia or something. Unfortunately, Ms. Kelly had passed on before I had the chance. Also, such a trip just wasn’t possible at that time in my life.
In the meanwhile, I reverted back to my usual approach of reading books and soaking up whatever info I could. One day, when may random Reiki search, I happened upon a few pages of the Reiki sourcebook via Google Books. Eventually I found The Reiki Sourcebook, (Revised edition) on Amazon and summarily read the text from cover to cover in a matter of days. The “ah-ha” moments and resultant questions / curiosity were innumerable. I finally had words and concepts for experiences I’d had but didn’t know what to make of (for example, stumbling upon a Gassho meditation version of seishin toitsu). Near the end of the book I found the authors had a website; (now After reading a few pages on the old IHReiki site, I realized something was different about it all; something more realistic, less “woo-woo” and yet still Reiki all the same.
Later, I realized that one of the authors teaches around the world, including the US. My interest and excitement was definitely piqued. Initially, I reached out to the Chicago organizer looking to attend one of the classes there. For reasons I’ve learned better than to question, that class didn’t work out. Thankfully, that organizer pointed me south toward Cincinnati. In a way, it was all uphill and downhill from there. I’d never gone that far south in my life. All of the (endless Ohio) farmland was very foreign to me. I knew I’d definitely traveled south when I’d heard some of my classmates’ slight yet distinctive and charming Kentucky/Tennessee border accents.
After the first meeting (public talk by Frans Stiene) at the New Thought Unity Center, I felt something was quite different about the whole experience. These folks were normal - warm, welcoming, and…real? Honestly, after the previous 4-5 different Reiki seminars and practicing with some people, I’d come to expect the usual new-age-y stereotypes. While there were definitely a few adoringly eccentric personalities, I didn’t feel that same “weird factor”. Maybe the Borg fully assimilated me…? Anyhow, little did I know I’d be laughing, learning, practicing, growing and just Being with these people (my new family) for the next few years.
Fast forward to 4 years later 2015 and to my 5th time training/practicing Frans and the Cincinnati Reiki group; I’m still falling down the rabbit hole.
This year’s gathering was (as usual) like a family reunion; old faces, new faces, missing faces, life changes, etc. In a way, this sense of familiarity is what made this year’s event so special. It’s amazing how you can be apart from someone for a year and catch up like you’ve only been gone a week.
Speaking specifically about this year’s meditation retreat, I feel like I continually had a “confirmation” of sorts that my earnest practice is definitely having an effect. Embodying the practice (precepts, meditations, etc.) is a daily and very gradual shift. This shift is so subtle you may miss it. Thankfully we can see each other, help one another, and play as “mirrors” so to speak.
On a more practical note, I’ve finally learned how to let go, relax on the note taking, and to simply practice. This is a big shift from years ago when I believed the more notes the better. Subconsciously I believed there was some sort of “magic formula” and how you must transmit and practice exactly as shown. Basically I was a bit stiff. Thankfully Frans is well aware of this and knows how to shake things up (to say the least). Frans’ totally clear, light-hearted, and unique approach allows us to be both human with regular issues, yet learn how to grow beyond it. Nothing fake or spiritually stiff (overly pious) about it. Yet totally honest and rooted with honest compassion.
This perspective and understanding allows me to appreciate the value and place of experiential growth. Experience is a much stronger pointer to Being Truth than any note on paper can point to.
As this was a meditation retreat, we worked on all sorts of meditations /practices with a general emphasis on developing and/or growing with our kokoro (heart/mind). Examples included:
• Sitting meditations, moving meditation, sitting/moving meditations. 
• Partner practice, group practice, individual practice. 
• Hands-on healing, breathing, moving, chanting. 
• Love, laughter, and a bit of chocolate in-between.
Having approached so many practices left me a bit confused. Once again I slipped back toward previous thinking, trying to understand a formula or method to this madness. I think I asked the same question 3 different ways on 3 different days. By the end, only after giving up and not seeking the answer did the answer become apparent.
Though and by practicing with these various methods, we allowed a full range of flexibility in practice while mainlining a firmness in the development of the mind and body. The tools or methods are simply that, tools. The practice itself is the most important part.
By letting go, with no expectations, and just being, you invite the universe, radiate the universe, and simply are the universe. With no-mind, the mind can remember its truth; its original, limitless, bright nature. From here there is a dynamic stillness. A full emptiness. A healing beyond sickness and health.
A great example of this universal harmony / dichotomy was after the “formal” practice session during an outside chat. Suddenly, mid-conversation I noticed the universe in the trees.
Seeing fireflies light up the night’s trees
Like shining stars in the universe of me.
While I can get all airy-fairy about visions and write an inspirational poem, it was actually very simple. The trees were dark and the innumerable lighting-bugs in the trees looked like stars in a clear night sky.
Despite my cognition of this fact, the power symbology in this observation (universe on Earth) reaffirmed my appreciation for nature and confirmed the depth of the wisdom these practices offer. Being able to share, learn, grow and practice in a welcoming environment is very important and has helped me grow immensely. Understanding the value of such motivates me to share and provide practice environments for others who may wish to grow in similar ways.
Usually, near the end of these trips I feel a bit sad; we’ve been socially trained to (grasp) understand saying goodbye as a painful and difficult thing. However, this year I really didn’t have much of that. In one way, you could say we are never really apart. This may initially seem like whimsical thinking, but practice long enough and you’ll feel / see / know how real this is.
When you learn to let go of “you”, life is able to flow freely without restriction. When you learn to live fully and let go, the stress of change evaporates. Consciously knowing and experiencing the stream of life allows you to understand the preciousness of each moment life and how to give it its due respect.
Lightning never harms the clouds. 
Only when you cling or resist do you provide a target to strike. 
Be like space; become formless and invincible.
I’m learning just how true this is, more and more, each day both in body (Ki flow) and mind (Ki flow). Ki really is life if you look at it that way. Reiki is just simply acknowledging the sacredness inherent in life, both in ourselves and everywhere else (no difference). An honest method of inviting many blessings indeed.
Andrew Anders
“I was present this June at the meditation retreat at the Spirit of Transfiguration center in Cincinnati. This was my third experience working with Frans Stiene in person since 2011. Needless to say I was excited to see Frans and all the other amazing souls with whom I have experienced Shinpiden classes and meditation sessions over the years. Others have mentioned it and it merits repeating, it’s like gathering with family. It is our Reiki family! The opportunity to rekindle friendships and make new friends is an ever-present benefit of these gatherings.
I tried to enter this experience as a “blank piece of paper”, without any set expectations other than to learn, grow, expand and even laugh and cry with the flow. I experienced all those things and more, much of which I cannot put into comprehensible words although I carry them in my heart.
Frans is an extraordinary individual, teacher, guide and friend. I am continuously amazed at his energy level and how easily he appears to incorporate spiritual teachings in his everyday communications with us and the numerous classes and sessions with which he is involved. I have much gratitude for the opportunity to study and learn with Frans. He has and continues to “fill in the blanks” I encountered in my early days of Reiki training.
Blessings and gratitude to Zeynep and Sundar for “introducing” Frans to Cincinnati!
As I continue to reflect on our meditation experience last month, these are some of the thoughts that flow from my heart – “Oneness of kindred spirits, freedom to expand, the movement of many from different points meeting at the Center, effortless dancing in synchronized and harmonious flow”. As I drove away from the Transfiguration center the words of a song I remember from church – many, many years ago came back to me.
“There’s a sweet, sweet Spirit in this place.
. . . Without a doubt we’ll know that we have been revived, when we leave this place.”
The difference is when external forces and/or our ego influence us to leave “this place”, we know how to return to spaciousness and our True Self through practice.”
Denyce Peyton

You want to experience the fun of practicing together? Come join us on September 20th in our next play day ! Cincinnati Reiki practitioners will get together for another day of fun to learn, grow, share together!

Also, there will be a Shinpiden/Reiki Master level class in September 25-27 in Ann Arbor Michigan and we’re already booked for another Shinpiden class in Cincinnati in April 2016! 

Until then, keep practicing! J

Love & Light,

Reiki Newsletter- May 2015

May 2015 Monthly Newsletter

I walked into a laundromat at Montreal this morning, where I visit my son for the long weekend. Few minutes into putting my laundry, the attendant asked me if I work with animals. I found the question rather interesting since he didn’t ask me if I have pets or if I like animals, he asked if I work with animals. It turns out that he’s an animal massage therapist and animal Reiki practitioner. You never know where and how you’ll meet another Reiki practitioner. The next hour we delved into a conversation on animal Reiki and he told me all about his amazing projects. Can you believe that he got paid by local government for his therapy work on animals! May be one day in US too!

We’ve got fantastic events coming up in June and I got few important reminders for you.

In June, Frans Stiene, my teacher is coming from Australia to teach a 4 day Meditation retreat. The Retreat is almost full with only 2 rooms remaining in the Retreat center, for others we’ll have to work other accommodation arrangements but if you want to stay with us, hurry up!

Private sessions with Frans is filling up quickly too. If you want a session with Frans, just let me know.

There is one event, you don’t want to miss, that’s the Public Talk. Frans graciously offers a free public talk on Reiki every year. His talks are always enlightening, engaging and fun. This year we’ll be at the Centennial Barn.

Here are a calendar of events:
Reiki Retreat Events Dates/Times Payment
Reiki Retreat June 19-22, 2015
9:00 am- 5:00 pm Course fee $800
Acc & Meals $325
Total Retreat fee $1125
Private Tutoring and/or Reiki treatment with Frans
Wednesday June 17 and Thursday June 18 2015 all day $125/hour
Public Talk Thursday June 18, 2015 7pm- 9pm Centennial Barn, 110 Compton Rd. Free of charge

Some more exciting news: Did you know that Kathleen Prasad’s new Book “Everything Animal Reiki” is published?

A student of Kathleen, Kat Forgacs will be teaching an Animal Reiki class in Cincinnati and registration is now open for Animal Reiki Levels 1 & 2.
Level 1: June 19 & 24, 11a-6p
Classes held at Centennial Barn and SPCA Sharonville
June 25 special bonus practice opportunity at the Cincinnati Zoo!
$175 investment for Level 1 ($200 after May 31)
$300 combo rate for Level 1 in June with Level 2 in July ($325 after May 31)

Course registration:

One last thing: Mark your calendars for next Reiki day on September 20, 2015!

Hope you can join one or more of these fantastic events!
Love & Light,

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Reiki Newsletter- January 2015

Dear All,

May this be the year to claim your true self, your Divine consciousness, to be kind and compassionate to yourselves, to the Earth and to all humanity. May this be a year to unite around love, kindness, care, service and action. May this be a wonderful year for you all!

As always, my friend Tony has a New year empowerment event scheduled for today, January 1st at 3 pm.
This is an event where you can send Reiki to your resolutions and empower all other participants in achieving their resolutions. You can sign up in this link:

Every year, I love to share some tips on how to materialize your resolutions. Here they are:

 Manifesting a reality starts with clear intentions (remember The Law of Attraction). The more clear your intentions, the better the chances to attract it to your life.
 Express your New Year resolution with clarity. Instead of saying “I want to be happy”, define happiness. Say “I want a new job that will bring my highest potential” or “I want to be in a relationship where we can share and grow together”. Instead of “I want a new car” say the model and the color and add any other details as possible. This shows how clear you are with your goal.
 Always use positive statements in current tense. Instead of saying “I don’t want to be sick”, say “I am completely healthy”.
 Visualize yourself as already accomplished your wish or resolution, i.e. you can visualize yourself at the front yard of your dream home, at the office, or in a loving relationship. Visualize as many details as you can.
 Think about what emotions you’d have when you accomplish your goal. Add that emotion to your vision. Feel the breeze of the ocean or sand in the beach, warmness of the sun in your face when you’re in your dream vacation. Feel the joy, the happiness, the contentment of accomplishing your goal.
 To empower your goals with Reiki; you can simply write down your resolutions on a piece of paper or visualize it.
 Connect to Reiki by saying an intention or affirmation like “I’m opening myself to Reiki”. Feel the gentle current of Reiki.
 If you know Reiki symbols use them at this time. If you are using visualization, beam Reiki to the image as if it’s in a screen in front of you. If you prefer to write it down, take the piece of paper into your palms and provide Reiki.
 Send Reiki to the image or to the paper for 5-10 minutes, or as long as you feel necessary. .
 Well, the work starts after you send Reiki. Make an action plan and work towards your goal.
 It’s also very important to prepare yourself for your goal and bring your surrounding conditions ready for the materialization of your wish, i.e. check internet resources for healthy diets, how to learn a new skill, etc. One thing I often do is talk about my goals to my family and friends. The more you talk about your goals, the more you’re inspired and get closer to achieving your goals. It’s also important to surround yourself with people who’ll support you and your goals.
 Always remember you are worth it and you deserve it!
 Probably the most important aspect is not to cling to the outcome. Remember it’ll be materialized only if your goal is aligned with your life plan and if it’s for your utmost good. Trust the Divine order for that.

Here I’m making a wish that all your wishes to come true!

Reiki 1-Shoden Class in January 24 and January 31 (2 days) 9:30 am-5:30 pm
Ooops this class is full. I can keep your name in waiting list in case of a last minute cancellation.

Reiki 2-Okuden class November 15, 2015 9:30am-6:00 pm
Are you ready to take your Reiki practice to the next level? This class is empowered with Japanese Reiki Teachings and introduces the “symbols” as a means to invoke particular energies to help enhance your understanding of the macro and micro Cosmos. A light vegetarian lunch will be served. $175/per. Pls. RSVP

Reiki Master/Teacher-Shinpiden class coming in early 2015
Stay tuned for an announcement. I’m rescheduling the previously announced January class to a later day. This class is the doorway to find your true essence, Great Bright Light and a step to “be” Reiki. The class will be 3 full days, $450/person. Please RSVP.

Meditation Retreat with Frans Stiene in June 19-22, 2015
Don’t forget the most exciting event of the year! Hope you can join us in this 4 day adventure

To a wonderful year,
Love & Light,