A Magical Mountain Trip

It was Labor Day in the United States - September 1st. Here in the Salt Lake area in Utah, we live in a valley with a spectacular mountain range to the East, and foothills to the West. That day, it was cold and rainy in the valley, and up in the eastern mountains the first snow of the season was falling.

My husband Sean and I had planned to take a hike in the mountains today, and were disappointed it was so cold and wet. We decided to give it a try anyway, in hopes we could find some snow. When the first snowfall happens, we like to be a part of it - washing our faces in it and just being a part of it.

So up the mountain we drove, higher and higher, and we first noticed snow on the pines, too high to reach. We kept driving and soon saw snow on the bushes and the ground. We stopped at the first place we could, and started walking along a path. I noticed all four seasons blending together: spring run-off, summer flowers in bloom, the first fall leaves changing color, and winter snow on the ground and trees. It was a lovely and rare day in the mountains.

We found a good patch of snow and we each scooped up a handful, washing our faces and necks. As we were finishing, it seemed like a good idea to hold the rest of that handful cupped in our hands in gassho.

For me, time slowed down, and as I was in gassho with the melting snow, open and totally in the moment, I could feel energy washing through me. It felt cleansing and beautiful and completely natural. I existed in that forever moment until the snow melted. In that moment, there was no "me" - there was only the entire Universe and no "I" to be a part of it, since it was all there was.

As the moment ended, and I returned to myself, I noticed Sean seemed to be in his own quiet place, very much like when he is in meditation. When he returned to himself, he mentioned how much better he felt.

Like me, he is Shinpiden level. When we went through Shoden level, one of the effects we both noticed after the fourth attunement was a sensation of soft, squishy, invisible "pillows" on our palms and feet. Sean was the first to notice this same effect, and when he pointed it out, I realized I was feeling the same thing. The difference this time was that not only were those "pillows" on my hands and feet, but I could also feel them on my hara centers, especially my center hara.

Neither of us saw symbols, as the mythology surrounding Usui Mikao suggests, but I believe we both experienced spontaneous reiju as we were standing on that mountaintop. It felt infinitely more gentle and natural than any human-initated reiju or attunement we'd previously received. It was nothing we planned on; it simply happened, and it was exactly as it should have been. I don't think something like this can ever be expected to happen; expectations and plans only ensure a very long waiting time.

I can't say if the reiju came from within us or outside of us, or both, or neither. It's not something that can be pinned down and analyzed. It simply was. It wasn't a goal to obtain, or even a reason to continue with our Reiki practice. It was just a reminder that maybe we're finding solidity and spirituality in our practice. Yes, an incredible reminder, but still just a reminder.

It gave us an incredible peek into what Usui Mikao may have experienced on Mt. Kurama. I hope to experience it again, but I will never plan on it. I hope others can receive this for themselves.


Ariel Casey is a Shinpiden graduate of the Internaitonal House of Reiki.


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