Wednesday, June 29, 2016

how to help

As a teacher, a nurse and a Reiki practitioner ~ I recognize that providing opportunities and witnessing are powerful ways to "help" someone.

Monday, June 20, 2016


D's mom died.

I sat with D on her mom's lawn last week. We sat in the sun, beside a rose bush. D greeted relatives as they arrived to say goodbye. There were hugs and tears. D wanted to be outside, wanted to be the greeter, wanted a break from the bedside.

We talked about her mom, life, and Reiki. I stayed about an hour. It was her childhood home, the place her parents lived in together for over 40 years. Her mom died a few hours after I left.

I went to visiting hours at the funeral home yesterday. Pulling in to the parking lot I nearly hit a nun. I mouthed "Sorry!!" and she made a motion with her hands. I thought it was a blessing, the motion, a downward motion. I felt grateful, forgiven, blessed. Later a friend told me the motion was not a blessing, it meant "Slow down."

D greeted me inside the entrance. I chatted with her, and with another Reiki practitioner, L, and L's mom. There were lots of people there, the casket, an altar, posters, and a video. More Reiki people arrived, and other healers. We stood in a big circle and talked. I met another spinner, another Dr Who fan, and a father with a patient young son.

We talked about our sunrise hike the previous day. How we had to park outside the closed gates at the state park, and feared our cars would be towed. Feared that we were breaking the rule, as the park opened at 9 am. We did see sunrise from the top and it was beautiful.

Grief comes in waves. It's good to have friends around to lean on when it's a big wave. It's good to have a community to help you get to the top and see far.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Reiki retreat with Frans Stiene

Home from a four-day Reiki retreat with Frans Stiene and 12 wonderful Reiki women. We chanted in Japanese, meditated, did shamanic journeying, and shared hands-on Reiki. We met all day in a big room with windows all around and skylights too.

The retreat was held at a resort, 20 acres of woods on the Massachusetts-Vermont border: hilly, woodsy, old dairy farms, ravines, and rivers. There was a pool and two hot-tubs. Lots of flowers: roses, peonies, lilacs, irises, and columbine. Lots of birds: rose-breasted grosbeak, turkey vulture, cardinals, jays, and sparrows; lots of birdsong.

The food was fabulous. Vegan and vegetarian, delicious and plenty. We had tempeh reubens, kale smoothies, spinach souffle, and carrot-ginger soup. Chocolate flour-less torte, chocolate chip cookies, and strawberry-rhubarb pie. Hot coffee and tea 24 hours/day. Hot was good as the weather was cloudy and chilly.

I walked to a dairy farm one morning and found three dark pink crystals in the road. Dark rose quartz or rhodocrosite? One night after dinner Dusty and I drove out looking for a river. We found one, with a covered bridge and a waterfall. I picked up chunks of milky quartz and Dusty found sturdy round gray river rocks for herself and spotted dinosaur eggs for her son.

My room-mate told me about plant spirit medicine. Every woman had a story. Every woman had a story of injury, loss, and conflict. Every woman had a story of rebirth and healing. Every woman experienced visions of transformance and empowerment. We sang and danced. We sat in bright light.

Frans taught us lots of guided meditations. He told us stories of his teachers and travels.

My favorite meditation was stepping into a tree, becoming a tree.