The New Normal or Reiki Magic

I saw a crow today and it spoke to me. Not in English, of course, but in some universal tongue. The language running like a current beneath the foundation of all that is, linking existences into one pool of wisdom.

It reminded me of 15 years earlier when we lived in Darjeeling, India, and a crow spoke of my daughter's conception. It was in my first weeks of pregnancy that this crow came daily to my bedroom window and tap, tap, tapped with its beak. I knew what it wanted to tell me, "Hey, wake up. Guess what? There's a new life growing in your womb!" This was confirmed when I consulted the local Tibetan doctor on the symbolism of this persistent crow. She shook my hand, "The old people say a crow tapping at the window means a new baby is on the way. Congratulations."

Had I entered Shangi-La? Things like this don't happen, especially to me. They belong in the realm of fairytales. It was as if this growing life within me had reached out through my body to sprinkle fairy dust upon my eyes. I had been Disneyfied.

And yet, I knew that if I had not been open to the crow's message, this entire magical experience would never have occurred. It was ME that was different, not the crow. And the change that had come upon me was not only due to the joy of a new child, there was more going on.

It's true, that as a child myself, I hoped to experience a mystical life, and I went in search of it. Inspired by the books and cartoons I read, 8 year old me secretly tried to levitate, become invisible, be a REAL magician--not just one that came out of a box with a set of instructions (although I tried that too!).

Yet on the day that crow came to my window, I recognized what magic actually was and the searching finally stopped.

Just one year prior I had begun working with the system of Reiki and it felt as if with each day of working on myself I was shaking a little of my old, comfortable, but dirty, dust away. I was left standing increasingly naked as I faced the world, and I was at ease. I was living a new normal.

The system of Reiki is ultimately a spiritual practice. The techniques refine your spiritual sensitivity, heightening your awareness to an innate magic that actually exists. The system is a complete practice, and, just as the wholeness of the universe exists in balance, so, too, does the system of Reiki.

This magic I am writing of is not special or unique, which we might have believed had we we let our minds carry us away up the Faraway Tree into the Land of Super Heroes and Heroines. Instead, we bring our wonder down into our gut. It is the gut who knows that this magic is not to be idolized or searched for, it is merely available as an unabridged version of life. Knowing this, frees us to be with magic day and night; to wonder at its beauty, and, yet, to know that this is how things are meant to be.

And I could thank the crow that I saw today for reminding me that magic exists everywhere, in all lives. But I also know that it is not necessary for me to always define the crow's message into something human and concrete. Sometimes, the language that the world speaks should be allowed to flow without interpretation. And if we are open to its message, we absorb that wisdom into our hearts, guided safely by pure universal balance.

Crow image is from National Geographic


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  1. by Elly on August 25, 2014 at 09:40 pm

    Hi Bronwen! What a wonderful post! Crows have been special to me since I learned that in Native American mythology, crows are the totem animal of October, my birth month. Very smart, social birds, very like us. Are they also spiritual, I wonder? Or are they simply spirit and flesh embodied without boundaries, as perhaps all animals still are and all people originally were before we started drawing lines around ourselves, “I am a doctor,” “I am a professor,” “I have money and social prestige,” “I am stylish and attractive.” It seems to me that now only the enlightened and the simpleminded among us can enjoy that blissful state where flesh and spirit are one. (This was recognized even in mediaeval times; the modern derogatory term “cretin” derived from “Chretien,” i.e. “Christian,” because the simpleminded were recognized as closer to God, through their purity, innocence, and happiness.) We may not be crows, we may not be simpleminded, but as you point out, all of us who follow the Reiki path can work towards reintegrating body, mind and spirit every single day through diligent Reiki practice aimed at shedding the ego and embracing the All.

  2. by seema on August 26, 2014 at 05:59 am

    Hi Bronwen

    lovely article and it brought smile :)

    I think we have started to sway away from lot of simple things in our lives , we constantly are going after evidence , science , proofs etc. and have forgotten some of our roots doing that way, roots which used to keep us grounded and close to magic that you mentioned .

    I think crows are very intuitive , persistent and “talkative” birds.

    Why I think all that your article and experience resurfaced some memories from my childhood. I am a 70 born born and raised in a big city how ever even at “those times” these tales were talked and “believed” in households at least in ours it used to be.

    two things come to mind—one its believed that if a crow is sitting outside your window and “crowing” etc,. that means a guest will come to your house. We used to get lots of guests and at that time people didn’t really used to call before hand ( who had phone anyways) they would just show up , so crow was our phone :). My mom would try to make the crow fly away so guests wont come , anyways they would :-).

    another one is my younger brother didn’t talked until he was 4 and some one told us that if he drinks water tasted by a crow he will start talking. I remember I would place a water in the dish and wait for the crow to drink and than I would shout for my mom that it did . he is 5-1/2 years younger than me. And yes he talks , a lot like a crow lol , but I do too , may be I also drank some of that water lol..

    Bronwen , I remember you had written about your experience around your daughters conception in one another article Reiki mom or parents ? I loved that one too :).

    While writing this I started to have tears in my eyes because it resurfaced some memories from my childhood that I had forgotten , so true that we have all inside us we just need to rediscover it all over again and magic is here and now inside around us all the time , always was ..and we don’t always have to find a “meaning” or “symbol” behind it..it is just beautiful and plain joy knowing that we exist in this “magic” where anything and everything is possible ..just as it is.

    Lovely !

  3. by Bronwen Stiene on August 26, 2014 at 01:45 pm

    Hi guys,
    You have such a way with words Elly. Beautiful!
    And Seema, your stories are magic:-).
    Thank you both.

  4. by Susan on August 26, 2014 at 02:10 pm

    Hi, Bronwen,
    What a lovely gift your story is!  Like Seema, I remember the other story that you wrote about your daughter’s conception. I also remember years ago, standing on the arm of our living room couch and jumping off believing I was a bird flying high in the sky.  Thanks for helping me take ‘flight’ again! Life is filled with messages and the richness of Reiki as a spiritual practice opens my ears and helps me to be listening, letting go into peacefulness.
    Susan

  5. by Andy Quan on August 26, 2014 at 05:58 pm

    Bronwen, that’s an absolutely beautiful piece of writing, and it resonates with me in terms of how I feel about reiki! We can explain it in terms of a spiritual practice, point to the number of practitioners and refer to some of the studies you and Frans have written about it, but I most often think of it as magic, not in the rainbow-dolphin-fairy-wings way, but a deeper place, perhaps a crow.

  6. by Karren O'Sullivan on August 27, 2014 at 11:15 pm

    Oh Bronwen, this magical story really resonates with me…

    How beautifully written and so symbolic the crow is…

    Thank you for sharing this intimate story with us.

    Love,  Karren

  7. by Bronwen on August 28, 2014 at 02:38 pm

    Thanks for the lovely comments guys.

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