The 15 year IHReiki Journey (Part 3 of 3)

This is a 3 part story documenting the journey of Bronwen and Frans Stiene and the International House of Reiki to celebrate 15 years of Reiki Love. Read Part 1 and Part 2 here.

Bringing It All Together

There have always been a number of elements that we have based the International House of Reiki on and it is interesting to look back and see how we have developed them over the years, consciously or not.

When we first began with the system of Reiki we had little or no support from either teacher or community. This 'lack' presented us with a lesson that we took to heart. We wouldn't let our students experience this, we would do all we could to support them. It seemed only natural to create weekly practice groups from our Dulwich Hill lounge room. These were not "Reiki shares" as such as they were focussing on our students alone and what our students needed after taking their courses with us. We still hold these in Newtown, Sydney, along with monthly (where possible) teacher meetings. For many years, the lovely Rose Horsfield held a Thursday Level II group for the International House of Reiki as well. Students of IHReiki in other countries also hold regular practice groups and Frans will occasionally attend by Skype - which everyone enjoys.

One-day intensives are another support system we have for students where we focus on specific aspects of the teachings and the students love this continued help which is often individual based. We hold these one-day intensives for students all around the world, usually the day after a Shinpiden Reiki III course. And we encourage our students to resit our classes - some have taken them 5, 6, or 7 times and the classes only seem to get better - so they say. Anthony at last week's Shinpiden class wrote,

Fifth time really is the charm.

Then there are our Retreats. The Sanctuary at Mission Beach in tropical North QLD has been a beautiful Retreat for everyone who attended over the last four years. This year we are trying something new and holding a Retreat in the Bali hinterland (in just three weeks). None of us can wait for that experience, but we'll just have to. In North America we have enjoyed holding Retreats at the magnificent Sequoia Retreat in California, offering students a real "nature" experience that has helped expand their Reiki practice. In the UK we have held Retreats in Dorset and Bristol. And we have plans for many more!

To continue to support students we realized that Reiki classes were too short to actually help our students be 100% confident with their new practices. So, we developed the online Ki Campus. I spent about 2 years putting that together - painfully slow I know, but somethings need to take their own time. We now have a place where students can chat with their peers from their specific classes, their Reiki levels or just generally to any members. Once they finish their in-person class they attend the Ki Campus to deepen their understanding of the training and get themselves trained up to be expert self-practitioners or professionals. One other aspect to the Ki Campus that I love is that those who have already studied the system of Reiki with another teacher can simply take our Transition Courses to get up to speed with how we teach. Everyone seems to enjoy them as they are not difficult and sometimes even fun. We've even organized that Shinpiden graduates can give their own students access to these trainings and promote that they do so through our website. The Ki Campus is an active Reiki arena with Frans also posting his favorite quote of the day in the general section and often adding extra videos and articles too. There is a palpable sense of community and support on campus. In fact, one student made a comment that I took very much to heart - never had he been a member of a forum that was so unjudgemental. And that is how we like it.

Another way to support our students was to work with what is happening politically. In Australia, I became a founding director of the Council of Australian Organisations (CARO) in an effort to bring about fairness for all Reiki students when there was an attempt at biased regulation of the system of Reiki in 2005. Reiki politics is not my idea of fun, but I must have learnt something from it. 

Frans, realizing he couldn't be everywhere at once, has found numerous ways to help out while still being able to be at home with his family. These have included the popular teleclasses, and by offering Distant Healings and Private Teachings through Skype to individuals and practice groups. He's also had enormous support from class organizers and I'd just like to mention a few of the long term ones here: Zeynep Premdasi Yilmaz and Sundar Kadayam, Joyce leonard and Kathleen Prasad, Deborah Harrigan and Janet Dobbs, and Helen Galpin. Thank you to all of you listed (and all of you I haven't fitted in) for being there for us both and promoting the system of Reiki as a wonderful tool for perpetual wellbeing.

We love the challenge of new ideas and ways to communicate; any way to educate about what the system is, how it works, and how people can change things around to make the experience of this life, one worth living. Apart from our classes we have done this largely with the benefit of technology. Technology allowed me the pleasure of making our Reiki music video The Breath of Reiki to celebrate the opening of our new website, something my 15-year old self would only have dreamt of doing. And this website was also a journey and a half in the making. I think we started on it in 2009 and Bryan Lewis and I continue to plot and potter with it. Technology gave me the resources to create the Reiki Meditations and make them available as mp3 downloads and gave Frans the opportunity not only to give online teleclasses and webclasses but to record them, also making them available as downloadable mp3s. And then, of course, there was The Reiki Show podcasts I mentioned earlier. We hope that all of these things become your tools for education, resources that will guide you and support you.

Shibumi International Reiki Association is another landmark move that we have taken. Here we aim to provide a place of education for people looking for professional Reiki Practitioners or Teachers as well as a place for those teaching from a Japanese perspective to show off their wares. Site visitors can learn about what standards those listed on the site have and also what it means to be a practitioner in a Japanese lineage. Trish Edwards has set this association up with us and, as with everyone who has joined us along our 15 year journey, we are very thankful.

Apart from support and education, it is the actual practice itself that lies at the heart of the International House of Reiki. Practicing Reiki, not just for others, but yourself. In this way we see the system as a practice in spiritual growth. We know that we cannot teach something that we ourselves have not experienced. Our roles as guides are very important. We must be able to point out the pitfalls and rejoice in the moments of 'A-Ha'. I think Frans is an exemplary role model in this and his recent surprise nomination, and winning of, About.com's Reader's Choice Favourite Reiki Teacher of the Year is a validation of that. Congratulations Frans and thank you to every single person we have met along our journey- you have helped to bring us to where we're at today. 

I'm sure I've missed a lot of people and events from the last 15 years but as you can see time has not stood still, we have spent our years full of Reiki and learning and often fun.

It has always been the Japanese origins of the system that have kept drawing us in to look closer and deeper at what we are doing and we are merely fortunate to have been able to share that. One last thing we have attempted to always do as the International House of Reiki is to be able to give more than anyone might expect to receive. In this, I think we have been successful. My most favorite comment from each and every class is when a student says,

That was more than I could ever have expected.

As long as students keep saying that - I know we're on the right track.


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  1. by Kris Azzarello on April 22, 2013 at 12:35 am

    Dear Frans and Bronwen,

    Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful journey and quest to dive ever deeper into the limitless ocean of Reiki.  I have taken the Shinpiden class 3 times so far (wasn’t able to re-sit this time - I had a sick dog at home - she is now doing better) and each time I learn more and go deeper into my practice.  Although you are on another continent - you always answer my questions and emails promptly.  I had taken a western “Master” class in 2007, less than an hour away from where I live, and got less response from that teacher when I had questions.  I was told at class to “just make it your own”.  When I had a question after the class, I never got a response.  I felt there is no way I could in good conscience teach or call myself a “Master” after that class.  Now I feel confident that I can pass on the teachings in a meaningful way - knowing that if I have a question, I can contact Frans and will get excellent advice.  Than you so much for everything and on to the next 15 years!
    love,
    Kris

  2. by Mary on April 22, 2013 at 01:12 pm

    Dear Frans and Bronwen
    Thank you for sharing your dream with us and helping other to see their dreams can become.
    Learning Reiki in 2005 with a local teacher I felt there was something missing and when I asked questions I was told to go sit with it, what does that mean I thought.
    I was lost for many years.
    The opportunity came for me to go and Study with Frans in Sydney in 2010 and there I found what was missing. Frans’ teachings has taken me deeper and clearer in my reiki practise and I found myself doing things I never dreamed I could. Now I begin my journey of sharing this knowledge with others. So much fun.
    I look forward to conitnuing my journey with you and others.
    Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    Love
    Mary

  3. by Stephen Swartz on April 23, 2013 at 04:33 am

    Apart from me asking “all”  my questions directly to Frans during my Shinpiden 2009 class in Paris; he really does set the bar at its highest for other Reiki Masters to live up to by way of providing the constant support of internet options and even more amazingly by answering personal questions from students, usually within 24 hours by mail (no matter how silly you realize the question was after the response you receive back). lol

  4. by Frans Stiene on April 28, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Hi Bronwen,

    Thank you for writing down our journey, it has been an amazing one!

    Love you
    Frans

  5. by Allison Chun on April 29, 2013 at 04:02 am

    Aloha Bronwen & Frans,
    Much mahalo (gratitude, thanks, appreciation) to you both for doing what you do for the last 15 years and, Divine Order willing, for many more to come!

    I am grateful that my first Reiki teacher introduced IHReiki teachings to me.  At the time, I felt a deep resonance for the IHReiki teachings but hardly dared to dream that I would ever be able to pursue that line of study.  Living in Hawaii may be paradise but I felt very isolated and had no sense of how I was going to continue learning, growing, and practicing Reiki.  Bronwen, the study and training materials (books, CD meditations) that you have been so instrumental in producing has been and continues to be a lifeline to me in maintaining my daily personal practice and accompanying/guiding me on my journey in the absence of a like-minded Reiki community in Hawaii.  The on-line information (blogs, podcasts) and distance learning opportunities (Ki campus, teleclasses) have likewise made it possible for me to keep learning and growing in a tradition where I felt “home” with myself and to feel a sense of Reiki community. 

    I was eventually able to study in person with Frans (twice!) and while I think of those classes as peak experiences in my Reiki journey, it is my on-going daily practice that is really important.  Reiki has been and continues to be a huge blessing in my life.  The genius of both of you working together as IHReiki in providing training, study materials, and on-going support for students is…phenomenal…mind-blowing…amazing…it’s just GENIUS.  I have much more mahalo than I can express in words.  Deep gratitude, blessings of love and aloha to you both.
    Allison

  6. by Frans Stiene on April 29, 2013 at 09:05 am

    Hi Allison,
    Yes daily personal practice is a must, without it we will not get anywhere.
    Was great to see you again in SF.

  7. by Paul on May 05, 2013 at 06:35 am

    Dear Frans and Bronwen,

    Congratulations! We are honored by your story and your work!  You have truly made dentou reiki accessible to those who may not have the means or the way.

    Fifteen years is amazing but still so ‘young’. ;0). My sincerest wish is that IHReiki’s success, growth, and love continues to a ripe old age.

    With Deepest Aloha
    Paul

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