When I first started to train in Reiki, we began by practicing on ourselves. In fact, that's the way we all start out our Reiki 1 Trainings. In the process, we radically detoxify, clear obstacles and transform ourselves into a channel for the pure healing energies. Right away, in those first few months, I felt Reiki working on so many different levels; physical, mental, emotional and spiritual and it enhanced every level of my life.
As I began to work with others, these benefits not only profoundly assisted those I laid my hands upon, but the benefits I personally felt were many times amplified. As stress and tension drained away, an emotional steady state of well-being became my new normal and I never looked back. Even my posture became more aligned, and I began to feel a crystalline mental clarity that I had not felt since the full bloom of youth.
As a kid, I was crazy about everything Japanese and my love of this culture and its treasures reignited powerfully as I synchronized with this ancient Japanese method of healing. The meditative sense of quietude that allows the energy to pour through, harks back to the Zen temples of Kyoto, as well as many of the other high spiritual arts Japan is so well known for. I often sense that I was born to rediscover this beautiful healing art and I am so honored to share it with others.
I continue to learn so much about the mysterious ways the vital and intelligent energy of the Universe wants to rush in joyfully to bring healing, revitalization and balance. It works very precisely, in the perfect way for each particular soul. Every encounter with Reiki leaves me with a feeling of intense gratitude and awe. The healing love light penetrates so deeply, that our lives, our bodies, our feelings and our perspective never fail to shift palpably and in wondrous ways. Each session is an act of loving kindness as the Reiki energy pours through with a love so pure, we know without a doubt that we are the dearly beloved children of the Divine, and that is always life changing.
Savitri's path of right living centers around the spiritual upliftment of each person she encounters. As a Yoga teacher, Savitri brings the potency of over thirty years of spiritual study and practice, including meditation, in-depth study of Tai Chi, Chi Kung and other martial arts, as well as her certified expertise in Kundalini Yoga. Savitri is honored and grateful to have studied with many great yoga teachers. Savitri transmits her passion, joy and commitment to truth through these Raj (royal) yogas, which enliven and empower all who attend her classes, workshops and retreats. More recently, she has become a certified Reiki Master Practitioner. Join Savitri on Wednesday and Friday nights for Kundalini Yoga with Sound Healing and on Saturday mornings for Kundalini Yoga & Meditation and her Reiki Trainings and Healing Circles.
The other day, I sat down to do Reiki on my dog, Star. I began the invocation to call on divine assistance to let the Reiki energy flow through me to my anxious pup, to heal the trauma she experienced before she was rescued. Star was turning around, trying to squeeze her wet nose under my arms, "Pet me, pet me, pet me." And my mind was turning around too, trying to take me out of the moment. My mind didn't want to stay on track. I noticed that and took a deep breath and started again. I felt my hands. "The pulsing is real," I said to myself. "The energy is real." "May I be a conduit for healing energy," and I placed my hands on Squirmywormy-Wigglesworth aka Star, and we both settled.
As we proceeded, I kept needing to recalibrate. I focused on my breath and tuned back into the energy, and a mantra came to me: Aad Such Jugad Such Hai Bhai Such Nanak Hosee Bhai Such. This is the mantra for dissolving blocks. It was curious that this is the one that came to me because it's not one of my go-to mantras. But I repeated it internally because I believe that the mantras that rise to the surface are significant. I may not always know the significance of why one mantra rises to the surface over another, but I believe there is a reason. Maybe Star has blocks to feeling safe and relaxed; maybe I have blocks to letting the energy come through. Or another reason not obvious to me. Nevertheless, mantra kept me present. I relied on the mantra.
I've found that the internal process of delivering Reiki is much the same as the internal process when playing the gong: Tune in and STAY tuned in. When I sit down to play the gong, I must first repeat three mantras to invoke protection and inner guidance. Then as I begin to strike the gong, I try to focus and "unfocus" at the same time. I liken it to the way you look at an optical illusion, unfocusing your eyes so you can see the hidden image. This is concentrating, but it's concentrating on being clear, emptying. More often than not, I rely on mantra to do that, to keep me tuned in. I let a mantra come and repeat it to myself as I play. I rely on mantra.
And, of course, it's the same process as doing yoga. We tune in with Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo, and we endeavor to stay tuned in as we practice, inhaling Sat and exhaling Nam. Let me tell you if you think you're the only one whose mind goes in a bunch of different directions all the time even when you're on the mat, you're wrong. It's a constant recalibration, a constant clearing, as it is delivering hands on healing, as it is playing the gong. We rely on Sat Nam.
I believe that mantra is our best recalibration tool, and I am so grateful that I found mantra. In fact, it's a bonafide miracle that I found it because I was NOT looking. When I first stumbled into a Kundalini Yoga class years ago, I did not know what I was getting into. When I heard the mantras, I was completely "weirded out." I fancied myself way too "normal" for mantras. (Little did I know!) Nevertheless, I somehow stayed with it. I stayed with it, but with a "bad" attitude. I told myself that I was only "visiting" the weirdo Kundalini world. It wasn't my world. I wasn't a chanter. The mantras weren't for me. Yet somehow, over time, the mantras melted me and, over time, they came to be my favorite part of the practice. Somehow now, mantras rise to the surface when I need them. Wahe Guru!
The word somehow in my usage above (and maybe always) is synonymous with "By Grace" or "Through Destiny's Momentum." I am here, and sharing the teachings of Kundalini Yoga, particularly the gift of mantra, is my life's work. Wahe Guru!
Today in class, a student said to me that she wished she'd had a practice when she first became a mother. I agreed. When my son was born 18 years ago, I had found Kundalini Yoga, but I wasn't all in. I was still in the "bad" attitude phase. I can get pulled into regret on the years I wasted on resistance. Yes, years. Ten years to be exact that I practiced as a tourist in the spiritual realm.
Then, I wonder if I needed to go through the years of resistance. In those years of half-hearted practice was a lesson. Perhaps I went through all those years, so that I could urge you not to...
Don't waste time thinking you don't belong in a spiritual practice. Don't waste time thinking the mantras aren't for you. They are for you. They are available, accessible, and useful to all of us. They are not religion. They are not weird. They are ancient guidance that resonate on a soul level, guiding us to be present, guiding us to be clear, guiding us to our purpose.
And if you do waste time as I did, know that if you continue with the mantras (with any attitude) they'll eventually penetrate. Inevitably, they will dissolve the walls.
If you had told me 20 years ago that I would be a Kundalini Yoga teacher who belted out mantras and started a blog talking about giving Reiki to a dog, I wouldn't have believed it. Yet, somehow, here I am.
Co-owners and Instructors of Montclair Kundalini Yoga, Cate Baily and Savitri Narayan Kaur. See their bios here.