An Experiment in Teaching Reiki (Part 1 of 5)

The Background

I’ve written here before about My Reiki Journey with Frans Stiene.

I had originally started teaching Usui Tibetan Reiki in late 2004. In early 2005, I received Komyo Reiki training, and within a month of practicing it, I stopped teaching Reiki altogether. For me, the miraculous life experiences with the practice of Reiki were proceeding way ahead of my intellectual understanding of the same, and I felt that I couldn’t really teach anyone the system of Reiki with integrity, as I myself didn’t know what the heck was going on with me.

From mid-2005 through present, I focused on my own personal practice, for the most part under the guidance of Frans Stiene. While re-sitting a Shinpiden training class with Frans Stiene in Cincinnati in June 2012, I witnessed peak experiences and increased clarity about Reiki, about the system of Reiki, and about the foundation of my miraculous life experiences in the course of the pursuit of this practice.

The Question

In early July 2012, I was sharing the story of this whole journey and the impact of the practice of Reiki on my life, with a good friend, Jeff, over coffee. And he suddenly popped this question: “Will you teach me?”

Jeff is a spiritual entrepreneur, a rare human being who runs businesses in the most unique spiritually grounded manner, and I’ve come to deeply respect him for his firm commitment to his own practice and to make his practice come live in the conduct of business. His question hit me somewhere deep inside. Clearly I was unprepared for this question. And yet, almost involuntarily, I found myself telling him “Jeff, I haven’t taught in years, but let me think about it and get back to you”!

Introspection

There’s no way I could teach Reiki the way I did it before in 2004-2005, over a day or two days or even a weekend. The depth that I have experienced with the practice of the system of Reiki could not be shared in any meaningful way with students in such a short timeframe. And my own experience had informed me quite clearly that there were a few key things I had to acknowledge:

  • The system of Reiki was far more than a healing art
  • To me, the system of Reiki was a spiritual path, with the goal of Satori or awakening or enlightenment (as is the goal of any genuine spiritual path)
  • Healing was an aspect and effect of the practice of the system of Reiki
  • Usui san did not teach his students over a single day, or few days, but rather over a long period of time
  • Usui san would adapt his teaching to guide students individually along the path, at the right pace and through the right course of time – this made sense to me, since this is how genuine Gurus in ancient India would teach their students
  • I’ve had the great fortune of experiencing the power of receiving personal oversight and guidance through the manner in which Frans has taught me and provided support in my practice over the years. And that is the truth – it took me a few years to deepen my practice (and the deepening continues) and I needed the support of a great teacher in the process
  • Very few of the students I had taught Reiki to, during my first stint of teaching in 2004-2005, are practicing Reiki today. I had only been sporadically in touch with some of them, and clearly hadn’t supported them anywhere remotely close to the support I myself have received from Frans. While the student’s consistent practice is the key, I felt that I had a responsibility as a teacher to be there with them, for them, guiding them through their journey, just as Frans has done for me
  • Another crucial thing I’ve noticed is this – I’ve had a spiritual practice grounded in the Hindu devotional tradition for years, and for the longest time, I had trouble integrating the healing work of Reiki with my devotional practice, until Frans came along and realigned my understanding of everything, enabling me to move forth with an integrated practice that felt just right for me! In similar vein, many people with a desire to learn the system of Reiki as a spiritual path, would also come into the learning process with their own spiritual practice. Given that, I felt that I should have a similar level of maturity, understanding, sensitivity, and clarity in working with each student who would come to me to learn the system of Reiki and help them integrate it into their spiritual practice, as Frans did so wonderfully in working with me!

So, quite simply, I could not teach the system of Reiki the way I had done before – that was not my way, and I wouldn’t be true to my being, if I had attempted to resume teaching the way I had done before! I had to find the right structure, the right framework, the right method and delivery that would be consistent with my understanding and my experiences and my insights and intuition about how I should teach the system of Reiki.

A couple of days of introspection, followed by discussions via email with Frans Stiene, and I was ready to teach Reiki again, but in a very new way!

Coming up next, in Part 2, more details about “the new way”!


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Comments
  1. by Frans Stiene on March 07, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    Hi Sundar,
    Thanks for writing your insights in teaching the system of Reiki.
    Love
    Frans

  2. by Denyce Peyton on March 07, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    Sundar,

    I understand how the Reiki journey can significantly change one’s perspective in terms of practice and certainly teaching the system of Reiki. I view my teaching in a new light now.Thank you for sharing your insights my friend.

    peace

  3. by lee partin on March 07, 2013 at 09:43 pm

    As always I deeply appreciate your sharing of your thoughts. Fran’s Reiki training and insights have encouraged me in my spiritual practice. I have been asked many times to teach but have felt I am still in such a time of learning that the time of teaching needs to wait. Reiki has become so much more than a “hands on healing” practice also in my life.
    I am looking forward to your next blog.  Namaste Lee Partin

  4. by Frans Stiene on March 08, 2013 at 06:43 am

    Hi Lee,
    I agree with you that the system of Reiki is so much more than a “hands on healing” practice. If we would focus more on the other elements as well we can go so much deeper and this is what the world needs right now.

    I just read that depressions will be the number one disease to come, there are already more people suffering from it than cancer!
    Which means we need to find more and more our true self to combat depression.
    Love
    Frans

  5. by Denyce Peyton on March 08, 2013 at 08:34 am

    Lee, Sundar and Frans,

    I totally agree that the system of Reiki is a life long spiritual journey rather than just a quick fix for stress and relaxation. And just think, as we learn this we can do so much in practicing the foundational elements to have more profound effect on our spirtual development! I am enjoying the journey!

  6. by Elizabeth Heyenga on March 09, 2013 at 02:24 am

    Being fairly new to Reiki, but having experienced strong intuitive and energetic stuff my whole life (now 59 years!),  since Reiki has become part of my life feeling so connected and trusting that connection has brought such joy.  That deep sense of loneliness is mostly gone and when I do feel it, it is easy to get into the space of feeling the soul connections all around me and any sense of being alone disappears.

    Depression is often a manifestation of physical illness as well as emotional, and it doesn’t surprise me it is becoming a prevalent ailment.  Western medicine has been putting such a bandaid on it by dispensing anti-depressants (often before even exploring if it is a symptom of a physical ailment).  With technology and western beliefs and hurrying-to-find-happiness-for-me ideals, I think many people are becoming spiritually bereft and suffering in so many ways.  Perhaps this is why more people are being attracted to Reiki and spiritual practices and starting to realize there is more than science and technology can explain. Many people feel fundamentally alone and disconnected and depression is a powerful statement and symptom of that.

  7. by Frans Stiene on March 09, 2013 at 06:44 am

    Hi Elizabeth,
    Thank you for your insights into depression. I think that we have lost our own inner connection which also means the connection to the earth/universe which has triggered depression etc. Hope as a whole we all can find inner happiness again and live in peace.

  8. by Elly on March 10, 2013 at 08:58 am

    Well said, Sundar, and what a wonderful evolution! Your “few key things” are points all of us who follow the Reiki Way as a spiritual path need to keep in mind. I’m looking forward to the rest of the series!

  9. by Frans Stiene on March 11, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    Hi Sundar,
    And even the one year training is just the beginning isn’t it!
    As you always say: it is a live long practice.
    Great to have you as a fellow traveler on the road.
    Love
    Frans

  10. by Sundar Kadayam on March 12, 2013 at 12:14 am

    Denyce, Lee, Elly: Thanks for your kind words. This teaching experiment has been of great benefit to me, and I hope the rest of the articles in this series shine some light on the learnings from this.

    Elizabeth: Thank you for sharing your insights.

    Frans: One year is too short indeed.  I’m already seeing direct proof that this is indeed a life long journey.  A journey in which I as a sharer, have an obligation and personal responsibility to go deeper in my own practice, and simultaneously be present at all times for the students as they evolve in their own practice.  Kind of like how you’ve gone deeper in your practice and been present to my growth and practice!  Your own journey and example is a great source of inspiration, and one that I strive to learn from.  I am the one who’s fortunate to have crossed paths with you, and to be surrounded by some of the most amazing people who are fellow sharers both in the form of teachers and students.

    Love
    Sundar

  11. by Jenny Newman on September 02, 2017 at 02:21 am

    I am really interested in your wise words and would like to take my teaching practice further, making them longer, perhaps a day each week for a month or so. The seed has been sown, thank you Sundar. Need some advice though!

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