Best IHReiki Story Competition

To celebrate 15 glorious years of the International House of Reiki we ran a fun competition. 

Read your Best IHReiki Story in the Comments below. 

The top 3 winning posts (those that make us laugh, cry or choke on our toast) received a voucher for a free $55 teleclass by the International House of Reiki. But thank you everyone for your heartwarming stories! 

The winners are:

  • Katherine Wakefield
  • Kris Azzarello
  • Joy Whitehead





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  1. by Joy Whitehead on April 19, 2013 at 05:38 pm

    I first met Frans when he was teaching Shinpiden in Glasgow, Scotland, about 7 years ago. I coughed and spluttered my way through the course, trying not to disrupt the meditations, or croak through the chantings!  Somehow I managed to stay the course and began to feel a bit better by day 4. Knowing that I was likely to fall asleep on the train home (about a 6 hour journey) I decided to take no chances and made myself a sign to hang around my neck declaring “wake me up at Peterborough”. For some some reason I wore it at the beginning of day four of the course, which was a bit silly as my train didn’t leave until 5.30 pm. However, undeterred, I knew I would be OK and some kind person would take pity on me slumped in the train seat, snoring away as Peterborough station approached, and would prod me awake. Little did I know that I wouldn’t actually arrive home until 3.30 am the following day! Sadly, due to a train derailment, my own train screeched to a halt shortly after departure and didn’t move. I began to feel worse as the night wore on, and wondered what I had done wrong to deserve this!! What was really interesting was that there was only another passenger in our carriage, and as the night wore on, he told me all about his life, his hopes and dreams for the future. We both talked and talked - two complete strangers - but we were able to talk about things that perhaps we couldn’t talk to with our friends and family. It was a surreal experience as we shared our life stories together. We had to take two different trains, catch a bus, and then back onto another train, but somehow, despite my ailing health, time and delays did not matter. As we parted and said our goodbyes, I knew we would never see each other again, but for that time, our paths had crossed and maybe our lives may have changed by what was said. I believe everything happens for a reason, and turns up exactly on time and as it should. I will never forget my eventful first Shinpiden course and I have attended 5 more since then!

  2. by Hilary McPhee on April 20, 2013 at 04:51 pm

    Frams is an amzing teacher and I am always inspired every time I resit his classes. My son Hamish finally decided he was ready to join one of my level 1/shoden classes and was amazed that others could feel the energy in his hands when he was sharing reiki. That helped his comfidence but what really convinced him that he has “reiki” hands was an incident with his girlfriend’s car. The car had broken down when the engine died and would not restart, He instinctively placed his hands on the dashboard of the car. Suddenly, the engine spluttered to life without the key being turned and they both realized the power of reiki. What surprised him the most was hs instinctive use of reiki, without even thinking, he just placed his hands on the dashboard. He is now looking forward toi my next Okuden class.

  3. by Kris Azzarello on April 21, 2013 at 06:09 am

    It was 2011 and I was re-sitting the Shinpiden class, having first taken it in 2010 in DC.
    This time I was in Ohio and at a beautiful, more rustic location. After an incredible morning of practice and meditation, with many beautiful teachings to imbibe, we broke for lunch.
    I went back to my room.  The building is very charming; dorm style, with lovely common areas for eating and chatting. The bathrooms are unique; only one stall has an actual door that locks; all the others have these quaint shutters where a door would be - no locks.  I usually managed to get the stall with the door (and lock), but not this day.  I said to myself, “no big deal, everyone has been using these without a problem, people knock - this is perfectly fine.”  I proceeded to enter the stall. Great minds must think alike because everyone decided to use the restroom at that moment before the afternoon session started. 
    I had just sat down, pants around my ankles, when the shutters were suddenly and exuberantly flung open.  By Frans.  He froze, wide eyed, and his mouth turned into a large O.  I shreiked “Frans!” while trying to shield certain parts from view as to not emotionally scar either of us.  Frans snapped out of shock and turned and left.  Really fast.
    Now I didn’t even have to go anymore.  I was trying to figure out how to get through the afternoon session after this unexpected event.  I took a deep breathe, and went back to the class area.
    Frans was at the front table.  His face was the color of an eggplant.  I went up to him, and said, very seriously, “I think we’ve taken the Teacher - Student relationship to a new level”.  And then I laughed. And then, so did Frans.  The afternoon session was wonderful.  Frans did share the story with the class and I made sure I found a bathroom with a locking door from then on.  It was a very good spiritual teaching on not taking yourself too seriously.

  4. by Jill Woolaston on April 21, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    I remember attending a reiki master course north of Townsville in a beautiful tropical location.  this is the home of the cassowary.  I was running late for a session after lunch and had in my hands some fruit and who should I meet but a male Cassowary who blocked my path.  what else could I do but put the fruit on the ground, grab my camera and take some photos.  The cassowary pranced and preened in front of me and was obviously very interested in the fruit on the ground the Reiki class stood on the verandah behind the cassowary, while I took some very deep breaths.  Reiki is all about the breath???  The cassowary decided that the fruit wasn’t worth it and walked on by and I did the same.  Deep breathing all the way.

  5. by Paul on April 22, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    “Simple words … Immeasurable Gratitude”

    The day was like any other. It was the afternoon when I visit the Veterans’ Hospice Unit as a volunteer Reiki practitioner.  Upon arriving, I was asked to visit Mr. Tanaka (name changed to protect confidentiality) who was dying from cancer. Mr. Tanaka was a decorated World War II Army veteran. The nurse touted his accomplishments and remarked how notable government leaders had visited him.  In spite of the accolades and his decorated history, I did not expect Mr. Tanaka to be haughty – most WWII veterans are the most humble I’ve ever met. I was not, however, prepared for his immense humility and gratitude.

    I walked into the room to find Mr. Tanaka resting in bed and his wife reading the paper. He was so petite he looked almost engulfed in the pillows and bedding. All I could see was his head and his two hands. They both turned to me as I introduced myself. They accepted the offer of a reiki session stating another volunteer had come several days ago. Mr. Tanaka reached out and took my hand, and with a quavering voice whispered, “Thank you.” I told him it was an honor for me and commenced with the session. I raised the bed (to accommodate my height) and Mr. Tanaka responded with elevating the head-of-the bed, doing so with a week smile. Throughout the session I moved quietly around the bed. Mr. Tanaka rested with his eyes closed while his wife read the paper.

    At the conclusion, I lowered the bed down again with my mind half-calculating how much time I had to see another patient. I was surprised that Mr. Tanaka opened his eyes with the movement as I thought he had been sleeping soundly. He reached out to me again and clasps my hand with a firm shake. He spoke again, his voice in a whisper and difficult to understand: “Thank you so much. You have given me comfort. Like an old shoe.” I repeat the last sentence to confirm I heard correctly. He nods, “An old shoe is so comfortable ... you don’t want to let it go… You don’t want to get another pair. That is how you made me feel ... I thank you ... from the bottom of my heart.” I return the handshake with a squeeze and respond that it is I who am grateful. I realized he was ‘present’ the whole session and even afterwards – epitomizing zanshin (or “remaining mind”); while my mind was already distracted and moving on to other things. I struggle to hold back the wave of appreciation building behind my eyes as we exchange a few more words and I bid my farewell.

    Upon leaving the room, I hasten to wipe my eyes to avoid the staff’s notice and paused outside his closed door. I was dumbstruck and awed by the experience as well as the lesson I had just been given. In his last days of life, Mr. Tanaka did not cease to appreciate life and those around him. He embraced his situation, remained present in it, and looked beyond himself.  His humility was an example that I could only hope to emulate. I witnessed the exemplification of the moment when there is a blur between the ‘giver’ and ‘receiver’ of reiki. Though I did the physical movement of “hands-on-healing,” Mr. Tanaka was the quintessential co-creator of the moment. I was indeed honored and so grateful to share in that moment with him, together in an “old shoe.”

  6. by Katherine Wakefield on April 27, 2013 at 12:49 am

    A couple weeks after my first Shinpiden class…
    I was eating by myself at my favorite Thai restaurant. A man whom I never laid eyes on but heard, sat down at the booth behind me. He was obviously a regular, chatting it up with one of the waiters. He ordered a 3 course meal. I continued to eat my meal and forgot about him. I tuned back in when his meal was brought to him. As he began eating, I could tell his soup was brought first. Slurping, gulping, sighing, and smacking. I thought to myself in complete horror, “What kind of Neanderthal social circle did this guy come from?” I simply could not believe the intensity, fervor and range of sounds this man made while eating. I was grateful that I did not have to watch him, the sounds were enough.

    My compassion finally kicked in and I heard myself surrender with the ice breaking words in my head, “Well he obviously likes to eat!” With that, the humor and funny bone were activated. As he continued to eat, I went through the cornucopia of sounds I had already heard and realized that a burp and a fart were the only sounds I had not heard yet. I began smiling to myself with a child like focused ear now at his grunting, chomping and lip smacking open mouthed good time he was having with his food. I literally had to cover my mouth to hold back the intense laughter. I was now waiting for the signal that he appreciated his food - a belch. In my mind, I encouraged him like an exuberant cheerleader to “Let one go!” “Make the walls rattle man!” “Don’t let me down - I know you can do it” “Burp, Burp, BURP!!!”

    He didn’t fail me.

    I could tell he had been through his three course meal in record time. He let a mediocre belch go, yet loud enough to be heard in a four table radius. I placed my fork on my plate, a hand over my mouth, and grabbed my napkin to hide the laughter. Tears of uncontrollable hysterics began to flood my eyes. I contained myself, drank some water and blotted my eyes with the napkin as well as my nose.

    One of the happy smiling waiters stopped by my table and said “Too spicy!?” I nodded my head and said yes as I continued to blot my eyes. I heard Sir Chomp-a-Lot get up to leave as he grunted his way out of the seat and could hear him chatting at the register as he paid his bill to leave.

    Namaste. But in this case I heard him. This is one way to work the precepts I thought later…

  7. by Zeynep on May 01, 2013 at 10:12 am

    Thanks for sharing your touching stories, i’ve read with laughter and tears.
    Kris; thanks for reminding the Grailville-moment and the paranoia that it could happen to any one of us, especially the look in Mira’s face when she thought it was me :-)

  8. by Kris Azzarello on May 02, 2013 at 01:08 am

    Thanks, Zeynep.  And I remember the look of horror on your face when you saw Mira’s expression aimed at you!

  9. by shane knight on May 29, 2013 at 09:08 pm

    Thanks for sharing so touching words here appreciate your work

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