This article first appeared on the old Holistic Vancouver Board, listed for Articles under Holistic Vancouver - Healing Vancouver. It was contributed on Sunday September 14, 2003 10:19 PM to by Jennifer Lundin Ritchie (Thanks Jen), a member of the Vancouver "The-Hand-To-Hand-Exchange"
The article talks about a Reiki Retreat held in April 2003 that I unfortunately missed due to attending a LightBody seminar in Oregon. How I wish I could have been in 2 places at once. The weekend retreat was held in the countryside about an hour from Vancouver. Both Wanja and Rick are Reiki Masters taught by Mrs. Takata here in British Columbia, Canada.
After a Friday evening of Reiki Exchange and getting acquainted, some of us got more acquainted than we expected...
This article and photos are © Copyright 2003 Jennifer Lundin Ritchie
...when the fire alarm started an impromptu Pajama Party outside Abbotsford's Heritage Valley Resort's dorm, with everyone showing off their "best PJs". Luckily, even though it was the hot water tank that burst, we all had hot showers to greet us in the morning.
After a delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs hinted with maple syrup, fresh fruit, and a toasty pepper/potato/onion medley, the main flavour of the weekend was set Saturday with everyone gathered around Rick Bockner and Wanja Twan in the Heritage Room. After humbly requesting we start by sharing our own stories one by one, Rick and Wanja began talking of their own backgrounds and training under Mrs. Takata.
While Wanja's points were revealed through her amazing storytelling, Rick expounded upon his philosophy of Reiki's uses, scope, and depth.
Wanja spoke at length about her early experiences with Mrs. Takata. Rick From the start, Mrs. Takata kept telling Wanja that she was to become a great Reiki Master and Teacher. Wanja recounted how she would nod and smile and think: "I will humour an old lady, since I cannot possibly afford to be a Reiki Master." Remember that to become a Reiki Master it cost $10,000 USD. That was quite a bit for anyone in 1979, let alone a newly-single woman with small children to support. So finally when Wanja admitted to Mrs. Takata that she couldn't possibly take the Master's class, that she barely had enough to take care of her family, that she had so much on her plate that she couldn't possibly add any more, Mrs. Takata, in true form, said "That'll be fine. I'll let you know when I'm coming."
As it tends to follow on the Reiki path, Wanja's tuition was paid through the classes she assembled. Mrs. Takata maintained that money has to do with energy: People should want the value of the Reiki, and feel the call to come. She didn't believe in advertising in newspapers. It always was for her a tradition to be passed hand to hand.
Rick's journey into Reiki began with his desire to go beyond the typical "musician's lifestyle" of peaks and valleys, splash and crash. He used Reiki in very mundane ways, to heal his dog, and help his wife through pregnancy. But there was nothing mundane about his experiences. He discovered that Reiki was effective - that it worked - and he didn't have to know why.
He coined a phrase with fellow student Phyllis Furomoto, "Reiki: Experience the Wonder, and Wonder about the Experience."
Even though Rick was always very down to earth in his talk, he did have a few stories of his own which delighted the crowd. A favorite was a vivid retelling of a dream he had involving our favorite Reiki Teacher, a certain Mrs. Takata.
Rick used to use dreams while composing music, in order to sidestep his internal editors. The song which emerged from the following dream became an anthem of the Kootneys for many years.
Rick dreamt he was coming down the clear-cut, and saw a huge bear. Rick thought, I should run! But he couldn't, and as the bear approached, it reared up on its hind legs, raised its paws on each side of its head, showing its face to be that of an oriental woman. Rick lay down in front of it in surrender. Then he was safe, and went to a cabin where there were 5 women he called "witches or grannies, or something in between". They were serving tea and cookies, and "something else".
In real life some time later, Rick found himself at a similar cabin in the woods, in the company of Barbara Brown, Phyllis Furomoto, Wanja Twan, Fay Brown, and Mrs. Hawayo Takata. Takata greeted Rick by putting her hands up next to her face, reminiscent of the dream bear, and saying, "Reiki very powerful!" It was enough to stand Rick's hair on end.
Rick is very much about honoring Teachers. He felt Mrs. Takata embodied the Reiki energy, and he has tried to follow her example: by living the Reiki Principles, and by seeing Reiki as a living thing, not just as bodywork. He has "learned to move much more lightly in the world", not just on a physical level. By reducing the number of needs in life, you see more clearly, and have more "space". He sees simplicity as the antidote to modern life, and the Reiki Principles a key to simplicity.
Even though it was not Takata's personal lifestyle, she taught mostly rural, natural lifestyle, living off the land types. She felt British Columbia was a great safe place for Reiki to incubate and mature. It was very interesting to hear Rick and Wanja talk about Mrs. Takata's expectations and methods for Reiki's expansion from a small group of people in one room before 1980, to a global phenomenon.
Wanja's soft melodious faint Swedish accent danced through Mrs. Takata's antics. She told cowboys that Reiki was great for their cows, told doctors that their wives should learn Reiki to help their poor overworked husbands, then told the doctor's wives Reiki could erase their wrinkles! A master business woman, her confidence in Reiki shone through every word she spoke. Also a consummate politician, Mrs. Takata had to negotiate her way through post-Pearl Harbour Hawaii in a time where being of Japanese descent and spouting idealistic Japanese healing methods were not terribly welcomed. It is supposed that this is where the present-day confusion over Usui's roots began. It would have been much easier to sell the American public on a Christian University Teacher who admired the Christ, than on a Buddhist lay-monk martial artist who searched the Buddhists monasteries and religious texts for healing secrets, before becoming enlightened on a Japanese fasting meditation.
The second big surprise of the weekend (the first being Friday's fire alarm) came late Saturday as the resort's hosts came down to tell us our singing and chanting was disturbing the dinner theatre upstairs, so could we please keep it down. That is likely the first time a Reiki group has out-partied the theatre community! So unfortunately, our jam session was cut short, but a few die-hards stayed up reading cards and chanting quietly.
What emerged from Rick and Wanja's experiences was the naturalness and flow of Reiki. Speaking of their own practices developing, they both found students flocking to them, wanting to learn from them before they were even sure of their own teaching abilities. Rick called it "being led on an energy trail." The Reiki Initiation is a new beginning. You are beginning to follow the energy. They both noted that it gets to a point where you just stand there and say "I'm ready. What's next?" And be present to each situation. Word of mouth is a powerful tool that announces you are willing to teach, and the students will be drawn to you as your wisdom grows. Wisdom is born of trusting your feelings and instincts, and looking for information that you feel to be solid. When discussing payment fees, Wanja pointed out that "Our living time is valuable." Of course we are not charging for the Reiki energy. That would be like selling life itself. But we are well within our rights to ask for a fair energy exchange. We are offering our experience, wisdom, and time. And an exchange will also increase the value of the other person's gifts. If they don't have money, what do they have of value they can use to raise money? Finding ways to create money empowers them. Money is just printed energy. Printed abundance and life force. This is also about permission, and how deep a person is willing to go into their healing. It helps put the client into the driver's seat of their own healing. A person has to move in their own time, when they are ready. As a practitioner, we need to let go of outcomes, have the intention to connect with the person we are treating, and let the Reiki energy go where it needs to go. Then after a session, it is more beneficial for the practitioner to let the session go. Don't think about it any more, or you will find you may burn out. And a point to ponder when building our own practice: Our energy falls out as money. Money is our substitute for energy. If we are in the energy flow, the money will come.
There were many questions peppered through the weekend, all of which Rick and Wanja were most gracious to answer. In between talks, the group did Reiki Exchanges, browsed the Reiki sales tables for items like sage, crystals, Reiki T-shirts, aromatherapy, Rick's music CDs, and Wanja's book. I even managed to sneak off and enjoy the indoor hot-tub at one point between the bountiful and frequent meal breaks.
Wanja demonstrated the Reiki Hand Positions, and a few little known tips and tricks for Reiki treatments. Rick spoke at length about living the Reiki Principles, and the importance of using Reiki first and foremost among your immediate family. They retold Usui's Reiki Story, and spoke of Reiki's path into the future, including the Internet, and the mainstream medical profession. An experience not soon forgotten, everyone left with a deeper appreciation for this amazing body of work called Reiki.
If you have comments or suggestions, Contact Me. I will try to answer them all.
Go to Top of Page for Menu