I wrote this
article 8 years ago in 2010 but never published it. When a Reiki Master friend recently
asked me to advise on how to start a Reiki community, I dug this article out. I’ll write a sequel on what happened in last 8 years and how our community
evolved but here is how it all started….
It all started on a fall afternoon in 2008
when I was meditating. I got an “instant message” that “It’s time”. I instantly
knew what this was all about. Questions of my logical mind followed. Now?, Me?
,How? Where? Mute, no answer, deep silence, nothing, no response. It was a
passion for me to bring the local Reiki community together when I first started
Reiki, but why now? How should I do this? Who am I in the world to bring the
local Reiki community together? The next few days I tried to answer all these questions.
I realized I’ll figure it all out along the way. The idea thrilled me but I was
equally scared at the same time. It was a huge task but the more I thought
about this, the urge become so strong, stronger than any doubt or fear.
Reiki Day 2009 Sundar and I and Tony behind at Grailville
Now that it’s
been 2 years, I can look back and capture some of my learnings, hoping that
this might help other Reiki practitioners who have the same passion to bring
their local Reiki communities together.
If you’re reading
this and you are energized to do the same in your communities, You can DO it!
Just Trust Yourself
How to start:
Is there really a need out there?
First of all,
every successful idea should serve to a “human need”. Is there a real “need”
out there in your local Reiki community to get together in the first place?
Everyone may seem happy in attending their own Reiki circles, shares. Every
Reiki Master may have his/her own Reiki support group going on. Ask the
question “What could we possibly ALL do together”? Don’t think that someone
else should have addressed this. That “someone else” might be YOU!. The best
way to be sure is to ASK the community.
Ask your Reiki
Community: “Hey Reiki Community: What do you want”?
So, I started to
ponder how to best know what the local practitioners want. Is there really a
“need” out there or am I making this up? The answer came during another
meditation: “Use Victory of Light”. VOL is a local psychic festival that
attracts spiritual community in Cincinnati twice a year. There are 100’s of
booths of energy practitioners, crystal shops, vendors and day long workshops.
I’m sure everyone has one of these festivals in their cities. I knew there was
one coming up in 2 months. So, I had to hurry! I could use this festival to
bring the Reiki community together and ask what the Reiki community really wants.
How to find
other Reiki practitioners?: Social Networking tools
I had to get the
news out and reach out to Reiki practitioners. The first idea that came to mind
was to start a “Meet-up” group. Meet-up is a web based social networking tool
to bring people of similar interest together. I remembered there was a Reiki
Meet-up group in Cincinnati at one time. It was not active for quite some time.
I decided to start the Cincinnati Reiki Meet-up again. There were over 70
people there at that time, waiting someone to take the ownership. Here it is,
that was my first audience. Next step was secure a spot at VOL to get a session
during the festival. That would be the first Meet-up group meeting. I wrote a
letter to the VOL organizer, introducing myself and explaining my dream. I told
the organizer that this is first of a kind gathering and might attract all
Reiki practitioners to the festival. I was granted a spot in no
time. Now, I had to use that spot wisely.
I wrote to the
Meet-up group and anyone else I know from my own Reiki circles to invite them
to the VOL festival. I made a list of all my Reiki friends. I told them that
the purpose is to understand Reiki practitioner's needs and to improve their
practice and figure out how we can bring community together to serve these
Thanks to my
friend Sundar for the idea; I also put together a questionnaire with 5
simple questions with multiple choice answers (and space to elaborate) to hand
out during the festival session to get the pulse of the practitioners. The
questions were: What’s your Reiki level? How long have you been practicing
Reiki? What does your Reiki Practice look like? What do you need in order to
improve your Reiki practice? How would you like to be connected to Reiki community?
Reiki Day 2009 as they work on me, yummy...
Oct 2011 with Jeff
Finally, the day
has come. It was time for VOL. I was pretty nervous at first. Over 50
people attended the first session at VOL on November 2008. I had a brief
introduction of the purpose of the meeting. One goal was to get to know each
other better, but I only had 1 hour. So, I divided audience into groups and
allowed time for everyone to meet someone they don’t know and have a 15 minute
group session to discuss what they think would contribute to their Reiki
practice. Then we shared each group’s top 3 ideas. The results were astounding:
93% of participants asked for continuous education and more communication.
They wanted to meet with other practitioners/teachers and learn different
perspectives. This was the proof. There was a real “need” in the
Core & Engage all:
Next was to start engaging other Reiki
Masters and practitioners. I started with my own Reiki Master friends. I also
did a google search on Reiki Masters and practitioners in Cincinnati, I
reviewed all local healthy living magazines and health food stores that allow
business card displays to gather as many local Reiki Master names as possible.
I asked my own
Reiki friends to spread the word. I sent a message to all Reiki Masters
inviting them for a meeting. I explained the purpose of
the meeting as: “What can we, Reiki Masters, do together to
support each other and the Reiki community in Cincinnati?” I addressed the
community needs that came up in the survey: Connection and Communication
As a first step,
I had this idea of creating a one-stop-shop, to connect all Reiki
practitioners. This would be a place where someone new to the town or
someone interested in learning or deepening Reiki can go in and get all the
information he/she needs for all Reiki activities going on in the town. This
would be where local Reiki Masters can advertise their classes, support groups
and Reiki related workshops; and Practitioners meet with other Practitioners,
learn about city-wide support groups and volunteering opportunities, etc. I
searched social networking tools, talked to technologically savvy friends
(that’s Sundar!) and selected a tool that could provide it all: Ning.
I sent the invite
to all Reiki Masters. I could invite them to my home but I really wanted the
meeting location to be neutral, so that no one would be intimidated. I rented a
local Panera’s private room. 12 Reiki Masters came to the 1st meeting
in February 2009, some I knew, some I met for the first time. Regardless, we
had a great representation of diverse Reiki traditions! Now
there was only and only one goal: To spread Reiki in Cincinnati and grow
together with Reiki.
There were 3
major topics discussed at that first meeting of Cincinnati Reiki Masters:
1) How can we
spread Reiki in Cincinnati? We discussed having city-wide “Introduction to Reiki”
sessions. Masters were already having these sessions successfully. It was about
sharing our knowledge and wisdom on what works and what doesn’t, where to give
these sessions, how to advertise new sessions, etc. We decided to
use our social networking tool for that.
2) How can we
provide continuous education to Reiki community?
A great idea came
from one of the Reiki Masters that, before having a “Reiki day” for the
community, we should have a “Reiki Day” for Reiki Master/Teachers first. The
purpose would be to get to know each other, work together, learn about
different Reiki techniques, and any other subjects of interest before we
provide day-long activities, workshops, seminars, panels, healing
sessions, meditations for the continuous education of the practitioners.
3) How can we
help others who need Reiki?
We also discussed
volunteering opportunities and how we can match local Reiki practitioners with
those who need Reiki.
1-2-3 Here we
We’ve had the
first Reiki Day in April of 2009. 28 Reiki Master/Teachers attended the first
Reiki Day in Grailville, Loveland and over 40 Reiki Masters attended the second
one in September 2009. Along the way, I realized that there are over 90 Reiki
Masters in our city!
In 2010, we
started opening Reiki Days to all level of practitioners, morning sessions for
Reiki Masters only and afternoon session for all levels.
Here are some
tips on how to organize Reiki Community Events:
-Be engaging, share the responsibility, ask
for help (no one person can do this alone and I was very lucky to be surrounded
with great Reiki friends who each gave a hand).
-Recognize that at the end the work falls on
one person’s shoulders. It’s a lot of work but it’s well worth it.
-Keep a list of necessities (massage
tables, candles, water,etc.), keep a list of attendees, keep summary/decisions
in each meeting.
-Location: Keep it neutral, try to find a
spiritually charged location, centrally located, convenient for most people.
-Time: Check with some other conflicting
events going in the city, crystal festival etc. avoid conflicts. Ask feedback
from presenters and major contributors. We set the date at least 4 months in
-Send detailed agenda with directions. This
reduces the need to answer questions later. Agenda includes: time, location,
address and web site of location, cost (in our case, the event was free but we
split up the cost of room and lunch, we charged $20 for all day and $10 for
half a day).
-Nothing is written in stone, be flexible
-Have a balance of discussions and hands-on
-Advertise event: Use all social networking
tools, e-mail, ask everyone to invite a Reiki friend, ask Reiki masters to send
invite to their students, advertise in local magazines, health food stores.
-Update community after the
event: Send a meeting summary of what’s discussed and any actions
pertaining the community.
At first I was little
bit concerned for clashes between different Reiki lineages. There is no better
similarity than the Reiki energy itself. We decided to respect each other
despite differences. We set the agenda of the meetings accordingly. We also
decided not to have key note speakers. Instead we had roundtable discussions,
where everyone can join equally. Also, be aware that you can’t please everyone.
There were some Reiki Masters who thought what we were doing was way too main
stream. Also, some people left after first few sessions. That’s OK too. It’s important for these gatherings not to be
dominated by few individuals. Even the leadership should rotate. This came up
when I had an urgent business trip that contradicted with the Reiki day. I had
to make a decision to reschedule or delegate it to another Reiki Master. I
thought this was the great opportunity to give someone else to chance to lead.
And it worked out perfectly.
In the first 2 years, we’ve
not only built the local reiki community but we’ve achieved some milestone
Here were some of the
to Reiki Sessions:
We’ve started to organize 1-2 hour free“Introduction to Reiki” sessions across the town. A Reiki Master has volunteered
for an Introduction to Reiki session every month. This gave the diversity of
different locations and times. The whole purpose was to spread Reiki in our
community. We’ve had sessions at hospitals, non-profit organizations, and at
homes. We advertised these sessions in our social networking tool and continued
these session to spread Reiki.
for Reiki: We’ve
generated a list of all organizations that Reiki practitioners can volunteer.
We’ve made connections with these organizations, hospices, Wellness centers,
animal shelters, AIDS organizations, hospitals, health fairs, retirement homes.
We made presentations at these organizations to introduce Reiki.
“Pearls of wisdom” We’ve gathered “pearls of wisdom” for new Reiki
Masters. This is a collective list of advice from Reiki Masters to new Masters.
“How we define and explain Reiki”. We’ve
compiled Reiki definitions of various Reiki Masters from our community to help
practitioners to explain what Reiki is to their families, friends, colleagues.
Reiki practitioners and
teachers for the Cincinnati area. We’ve built a practitioners list for those
who practice or teach Reiki professionally, with name, location, e-mail address
and web-site. We’ve published this list on our social networking tool.
Reiki Day for
Masters organized a Reiki Day for all level of practitioners, with continuous Reiki trainings, forums. These events become perfect
Facebook /Twitter for
local events: We started to advertise local
events via our Facebook page and twitter.
If there is one
advice I could give, it would be to make this a selfless service (karma yoga) and
not to seek any personal advantage. I was determined to emphasize the community
need first and utmost; and not to bring my name in front line. I wanted to be
an instrument for all that will happen. I also realized that the better I can
practice this, the better the end result was. It was not an option after all.
It was not about how I practice Reiki, it was about what the community needed. Later I defined my role as “space holder”. I
was the Keeper of the Heart for this wonderful community.
Are you ready
now? I know you can do it. You have the
most important ally on your side: Reiki. Don’t forget to ask help from Reiki. For as
long as your purpose is to serve, Reiki will be there to support you any possible
I'm a Reiki Master/Teacher who has been practicing, volunteering and teaching Reiki in Cincinnati area with the goal of empowering individuals to tap into their highest potential.
My motto is:
Transform to the Highest potential