“I want you to sit up straight and when I ring the bell halfway through, you’ll lay down on your back. Try to feel the energy in my hands and focus on it moving through your body. If you experience a feeling, don’t fight it. Let it happen. Maybe you’ll feel happy, sad, sleepy. If you need to, you can cry, fall asleep, smile. Just don’t hold it in. Let’s sit for a few moments in meditation. Slowly, close your eyes. Now, think about why you’re here. A lot of reasons might come to mind, but try to find the true reason.” These are the first words the swami says to me before receiving reiki in Nepal.
The swami’s voice is gentle and calming. I’m here for my blog. It’s a simple straight forward answer. I’ve never done reiki before which is ironic because my dad was a practitioner. He learned so that he could heal himself, but he also worked on healing others. He’d send me reiki from afar, but I never had a session with him. I was skeptical at the time. I still am. It wasn’t until after he was really sick that I began to dive into eastern religion, philosophy, and even medicine. I don’t believe in regrets, but I wish I’d given reiki a chance when he was alive.
Reiki is a form of holistic healing developed in Japan to reduce stress and help with relaxation. It’s also seen as a form of natural healing by using one’s energy. The reiki master hovers or lays his/her hands on certain points and focuses on spreading healing energy throughout the patient. The idea is, if we have low energy then we are more likely to succumb to stress and illnesses. If we have high energy, we will be happier and healthier. This is something I experience after doing yoga or meditation, however I’ve never had someone share their energy with me.
“What is the reason you’re here?” My answer surprises me as it comes out of my mouth. “My dad was a reiki practitioner, and I never tried it with him when he was alive. I think this will be a good way to connect to something he loved.” He closes his eyes slowly and instructs me to do the same as it’s time to begin.
A soft sad song plays in the background and the swami places his hands to the sides of my head. At first I don’t feel anything, but then a great sadness overcomes me. I fight it out of instinct, and then, I remember the swami’s words. Let it go. Don’t hold it in. His hands get closer, and as he lays one on my forehead, tears stream down my face. I should have done this with my dad. His hand is warm. Hot almost. I remember the feeling of holding my father’s soft hand before he passed away. The tears flow, and instead of wiping them away, I let them go until they drip from my chin and into my lap.
He moves his hands to my shoulders and the sadness dissipates. Why was I so emotional? Next, his hands move over my heart, and I feel a great warmth. I focus on his hands and the energy. Sometimes I feel it. Sometimes I don’t. Then he moves to my hands. They’re sitting on my knees with the palms facing up and as he hovers over them I can see colors behind my closed eyelids. The bright magenta I’m accustomed to from meditation along with a bright yellow pulse.
When I did a 10-day meditation retreat, we practiced loving kindness. You sat, meditated on happy thoughts and let them flow through your body and out through your hands. A way to spread happiness to the world. I used to do it every morning but fell out of the habit. Now he puts one finger in the center of each palm, and I feel joy, so I try to project it outward. He is sharing his energy with me, and I feel like I should reciprocate. It feels better than the deep depression I experienced just minutes earlier.
A bell sounds and I lay on my back. We go through the motions again and as his hands come over my head, the bright colors disappear and I only see a dark gray behind my eyes. As if the lights in the room have been turned out. He moves past my heart and onto my legs. I’m curious to see how it feels as he grabs my ankle which was recently injured. I’ve been told that practitioners can feel the energy of past injuries and as he holds my foot, I’m taken by surprise. My foot hasn’t hurt in over a week but his delicate touch sends the same shooting pain through my leg that I experienced when I was injured. He moves to the other uninjured ankle, and I feel nothing.
The session is over, and after a few moments of meditation I’m told to sit back up. He looks me in the eye and then closes them softly. I can tell he is mindful of every movement. “You have trouble with two parts of your body. The thing that is very good is your heart. You trust openly. You love fully. You let people in and share everything with them. But, you do not respect yourself. You share love with others, but you need to learn to love yourself too. I can tell you have good posture. You meditate and do yoga, yes?” I nod. “That is good. You need to do more looking inwards. You only see imperfections on the surface. This body is a vessel; it is not you. These things happening on the outside are not reality. When you look inward, you will see yourself, and you will be able to love yourself. This is important.”
I listen to his words intently. I was in this same studio two days earlier to try sound therapy. I realized that the singing bowl that appealed to my chakras the most was the one meant for trust. The two that clashed with me were for wisdom and awareness. That same day I saw an astrologer who told me it was important for me to meditate more, but also to guard myself from those who might use me since I trust everyone openly. It feels strange that all three of these experiences had similar conclusions.
“Do you think your energy has a color?” I ask, wondering what the different colors I see during meditation mean. Are they the colors he projects, or the ones within me? He nods slowly. “What color is your energy?” I ask. He looks thoughtful and speaks slowly. “Colors change. I try to focus on reds and yellows. Since becoming a reiki healer, my favorite is orange. These are happy colors, and they’re the color of energy. If you’re very relaxed, you may see blues and greens. It’s very important for you to avoid seeing black.” He looks in my eyes as he says the last part, as if he knows I could see a deep charcoal energy during our session.
He invites me to his retreat to learn reiki. “Once you love yourself and heal yourself, you can spread that love and heal others.” It’s a beautiful thought, and I seriously consider doing it when I return. It’s a nice way to stay connected to my dad. I think he’d be proud of me if I tried to learn something he loved so much. I’ll admit I was skeptical coming into this session, but it was more spiritual to me than anything I’d done in the last several months. I’m surprised how moved I was in just a brief hour.
If you’re interested in trying reiki, you can go to the Dynamic Singing Bowls & Healing Center in Thamel, Kathmandu to see Swami Basu Samarpan. It’s $30 for a one-hour session. If you’d like to learn reiki, you can visit his retreat at the Osho Divine Zone.
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Michelle Della Giovanna
Writer at Full Time Explorer
I’m just your average New Yorker who quit her job in the fashion industry to explore the world. Come find out what it’s like to trade in five-inch heels for squat toilets.