Coronavirus is a mirror of ourselves if we choose to accept the gift of perspective. This time of lockdown is a pause. It is a time for people to look inside, to see society from outside our normal daily lives.
We are marching for a better world! A world in which our daughters will grow up to be seen as powerful contributors to society, not just a pretty body for men to grab. A world in which our sons will know that showing compassion and empathy is a truer sign of strength than being the top boss. We are marching for a world in which people experiencing disabilities are fully included in society rather than being mocked by the president of the United States. We are marching so that Muslims, and people of all religions, can live in peace, rather than live in fear that the president will order them rounded up and registered. read more
My own family was filled with chaos and secrets as I grew up. My father had a violent temper, and made liberal use of “spare the rod, spoil the child,” in order to beat (“grow”) us into godliness. My mother supported him and stood silently by, although she rarely raised her own hand to us.
There were also good times, tender conversations with my mother, and contemplative fishing trips with my father. These joyful waters never calmed completely, though, as the constant threat of another storm always loomed on the horizon. Even as a young child, my parents would argue with me and put me down over my liberal ideas of environmentalism, collectivism, feminism, and oneness. I was raised strictly evangelical fundamental, but my spirit rebelled against this from birth. At times I overrode my heart and tried my hardest to use fundie talk, and convert all my friends to Christianity, to earn my parent’s admiration. Even then, I felt like I never fit into my family, and, deep in my heart, I often questioned my parent’s love for me.
Many years later, after a painful excommunication by my church (my safety network of friends), unemployed, despite my master’s degree, because of a crap economy, homeless after exhausting all of my savings and credit cards, with a helpless toddler in my arms, my husband and I went back to my parents, asking for help. They said we were headed to hell for our “new age” views, we were in league with the devil, and God was judging us. After another religious argument they kicked us out the door and said they never wanted to speak to us again.
My tears fell.
My tears fell as Christian love died.
My tears fell as parental love died.
The pain of rejection was far worse than the pain of homelessness and the fear of the future. But the Holy Spirit spoke tender words to me in her healing grace. YHWH guided us to Minnesota in his wisdom. I found work and we have begun to rebuild our life.
The pain and sadness still linger, especially as so many people today on Mother’s Day are talking about the joy of their mother and how mothers forever love the children they carried, no matter what. Unfortunately, this is not always true. Today I am just finding joy in being a mother to my own son, and I know that, no matter where his life journey takes him, I will always love him.
If you, friend, are struggling today with memories of a mother’s rejection, or abuse, I feel your pain. I am sending healing Reiki out into the world to help soothe these wounds. Feel and acknowledge the pain, but embrace Life. Feel free to share your story in the comments, or contact me for a healing appointment.
Find joy in the journey.
Happy Mother’s Day.
I was a graduate student, studying music. I had left my car at home that afternoon and taken the bus to school for the week’s masterclass.
I had performed from the bottom of my heart. But the masterclass teacher had ripped apart my performance, picking at the length of my eighth notes and the sloppy edges of my articulation. Tiny details, but enough to make or break someone in the cutthroat world of classical music. And he should know. He was renowned in the music world, he had performed big gigs with big orchestras. My dream. Or was it? Now I found myself at the bus stop, warm tears threatening to overflow my eyes onto my cold cheeks in the brisk Michigan autumn.
“Details, Amy, details. Practice more. Technique. Your musicality is great, we can feel the emotions in your music, but details. You’ll never make it without the technical details.” The words echoed through my head like a hammer smashing and splintering glass. The glass of my psyche, which I always willed to turn to steel. They always told me I was too sensitive. Words of the masterclass teacher, words of many of my other professors throughout my high school and college musical years. I wanted to quit. I wanted to run away. I wanted to leave my clarinet case right there at the bus stop and run home, or run somewhere else, run anywhere. Run until the pain would stop.
I noticed the woman sitting next to me. She looked sad, too, another soul lost in the sea of broken dreams. I breathed deeply and said a small prayer for her. Reiki. I did not know much about energy healing at that time, but I knew the power of prayer.
A minute later, a bus showed up. Not my bus, but the woman stood up to talk to the driver. “Where is bus 75 tonight?” she asked.
“Sorry, ma’am, that bus came by fifteen minutes ago.”
“Oh, no, is there another bus to Haslett tonight?”
“No, ma’am, sorry.”
“OK,” she said and limped back to the bench. I hadn’t noticed the limp at first. I had been too self-absorbed in my own thoughts. Compassion and regret flooded over me. What should I care about stupid master classes and eighth notes when a fellow human being was suffering right in front of me?
“Are you OK?” I asked, timidly. I am an introvert by nature, so I struggle to start conversations with strangers.
“Oh, yeah,” she shrugged. “I just gotta get to Haslett. I guess I’ll have to walk again.”
“It’s such a cold night. Can I give you a ride?”
“You have a car? What are you doing at the bus stop?”
I shrugged. “I like to take the bus sometimes, but I do have my car at home. Here comes bus 84. Let’s take the bus back to my place, and I’ll give you a ride.”
“You sure?” She looked at me incredulously. I could tell that she was a woman not used to favors. Maybe her dark skin, her heavy weight, her stooped shoulders which betrayed years of poverty and hardship, worked against her in this rich college town. But why? Didn’t we talk in college about systems of oppression? Weren’t college students known for caring tremendously, radically fighting the System? Did I care enough?
“Yeah,” I said. “I’m sure. Let’s get out of the cold. My name is Amy.”
“My name is J.” she said.
I gave her a ride home that night, and we eventually became great friends. I prayed over her aching knees and other joints, her body groaning under the mental anguish of unrelenting poverty and discrimination. She told me of her struggles to get a job, her struggles to raise her children, and her dark journey of depression when social services took her children away because she could not maintain housing. I cried as she told me of undergoing knee surgery and then being released from the hospital to the street. I could only imagine her pain, but, in sharing the burden, she looked a little happier, a little lighter.
This is true Reiki healing. This is Holy Spirit healing. Yeshua came to seek and to save the least of these, and J. is his best friend. Reiki is holy, and the holy is intricately tied with social justice. I couldn’t pull J out of poverty, give her a better place to live, but I could offer a listening ear, compassion, Reiki.
This is the story of the Good Samaritan. Help everyone you can in any way you can, one hurting individual at a time. Open your eyes to the pain around you, my friends. I know that it can be hard to see others when your own pain is so overwhelming. I certainly struggle with this. But Reiki is a journey as much as it is a healing modality. Let’s link arms on this journey and carry the light of the Holy Spirit into the darkest of places.
Photo used freely, courtesy of that guy A on sxc.hu
Reiki is a healing practice, but Reiki is also a lifestyle change. Reiki is an invitation into a healing dance with the Divine, a gentle tango with the Holy Spirit leading each step.
I so often see Reiki advertised as a quick solution to pain, like taking an aspirin, or, even worse, as a weight-loss method. Reiki is not a flippant “New Age” healing modality. Reiki is a powerful divine energy, the ancient practice of the laying on of hands. I believe Yeshua used Reiki as he healed the masses of people. But he didn’t just give them a quick fix; he often preached about the hard road, the lonely road, the trials to enter the kingdom. Reiki brings healing, yes, but Reiki also brings spiritual responsibility.
A Reiki session is just the beginning of the divine journey. If you contact me for a session, I will lead you into the dance with the Holy Spirit and leave you in her loving embrace. Your earthly cares and pain will melt away as you learn to flow in the healing dance.
I am a Reiki master, so I have followed this path for a long time. As a born healer, the Holy Spirit taught me this dance from a young age. As a child, I explored the world in wonder, learning secrets from the buzzing of the bees and the whispering of the trees. I have also felt the pain of others from a young age. I am an empath with a heart wide open to experiencing the pain of others while I lead them on their own path. I also learn new things from my Reiki clients and friends every day. The journey is eternal.
I believe that YHWH created us with a deep need for each other. This is not a popular idea in our individualistic, ego-driven Western culture. Compassion, sacrifice, and empathy bind us together. That is the power of Reiki healing, the Holy Spirit Reiki journey. Competition and ego drive us apart. When Reiki is sold under the spell of this energy, the result is dangerous. There are many people who tell stories of harm from negative Reiki energy. My heart cries for those wounded souls.
I invite you, friends and strangers alike, reading this blog to join me on the healing journey of Holy Spirit Reiki. It is a mystical, wonderful path, full of joy and sometimes heartache. But the end is true healing and true enlightenment.
500 years later, another of the world’s greatest spiritual leaders had an encounter with a fig tree. Yeshua cursed a fig tree on his journey to Jerusalem during the end days of his earthly ministry. Matthew 21 and Mark 11 both tell this story. In both accounts, Yeshua saw a fig tree that was not bearing fruit, and he cursed it. During the same journey, he went to the temple and overturned the money tables.
At least that is the way the story goes in church. I think it was more like this: Yeshua became very angry at the sale of sacrifices going on in the most holy of places. Yeshua could not stand to see the oppression of the poor and the merchants turning the sacred into a sale. Coins flew to the ground like a hail storm, and doves flew overhead, confused at their sudden freedom from smashed cages. Goats ran out of the temple and down the street, somehow intuitively aware that their lives had been spared. People screamed, and the money changers cowered and cursed under their breath. Someone ran to get a priest to come help.
At the same time, something magical happened. According to the gospel of Matthew, the blind and the lame came to the temple and Yeshua healed them. I am sure the religious leaders were very angry at the destruction of their property and the disturbance inside their kingdom. But, somehow, they did not lay hand on the great healer while the sick flocked around.
What does all of this have to do with the fig tree? I believe that Yeshua was making a prophetic sign when he cursed the tree. He was saying that Israel had turned from her spiritual roots and become a fruitless tree. She no longer had the fruits of compassion and spiritual wisdom, the two greatest qualities that the Buddha also taught as the path to enlightenment.
See the connection? There is much debate as to whether Yeshua knew Buddhism or studied in India or any of these other intellectual questions. No doubt Buddhist thought, as well as many other religious and philosophical thoughts, permeated the Judean atmosphere of the time. The writings of Paul as well as world history readily demonstrate this. But whatever physical connection existed, there was certainly a spiritual connection between the ideas of the two great teachers.
So, the Buddha sat under a fig tree, and learned deep spiritual truths on his journey to enlightenment. Later, Yeshua cursed the fig tree on his journey to justice, as a sign to the people to turn back to the spiritual truths, namely the truth of compassion toward the poor and oppressed. On this same journey, Yeshua made the ultimate sacrifice of his life for the sins of the people. Maybe that is partly why he was so upset to see sacrifices both cheapened and made inaccessible by the money system. Money, and the oppression it brings, cannot exist alongside the holy, and caused the fruit of Israel’s tree to die.
Interestingly, Yeshua later told another parable about a fig tree (Matthew 24:32-42). He told his disciples to watch the sign of the fig tree, that when the leaves come out we know that summer is near. In the same way, we should watch out for the coming of the Son of Man, the establishment of true justice, and the end of earth as we know it now. Yeshua preached over and over that the greatest use of a person’s life is to inwardly prepare for the kingdom of heaven. Similarly, the Buddha taught that we must journey inward to the state of nirvana, overcoming ego, desire, want, and pain on the way. Similar teachings, deep spiritual truths. Both framed by a lowly fig tree.
Welcome to the journey of the fig tree, my friends.
Photo used freely, courtesy of adrahon on stock.xchng
The wind howled furiously around her, like a pack of ravenous wolves ready to devour the first living thing who dared to venture out in the bitter cold. She struggled and limped through the piles of snow on the sidewalk. Her husband walked beside her, mightily pushing their three-year-old son in his stroller, wheels catching and bowing to the pressure of the flakes, hardened by wind and footprints into biting balls of ice.
The young family decided to try to walk on the street, where snow plows had helped clear a way. Almost immediately, cars veered dangerously close to the child, and drivers angrily honked their horns. “Why don’t you get a job?” one driver yelled out as he hastily rolled his window down and back up. The woman bowed her head deeper as she thought about the years of schooling, her carefully crafted thesis, her pride when she walked across the stage to receive her master’s diploma. All for what? A low-wage, low-respect job with little opportunity for advancement. But “get a job?” She did work 40 hours a week already!
Indeed, she felt lucky to have any job. On a brighter, warmer day, she had owned a car and a better job. She had just married the love of her life, and the future looked hopeful as the bright morning sun. Soon, too soon, threatening storm clouds crowded out her sun, and the rain of life circumstances stole away her job.
A year after the wedding, she and her husband joyfully welcomed their new son into the world, but the pregnancy had destroyed all of her job interviews, and the bad economy winked at the selective racism discriminating against her dark-skinned husband as he struggled to find work. The mounting bills forced the family out of their heat and then out of their home by the time the infant was only three months old. They found friends to live with for a while, and then their car become their home.
That car was good to them and took them on a journey across the country to finally find a job and pay for housing once again. Life was getting better. But then the car, creaky and cantankerous as any soul who has lived past the fullness of her days, finally breathed her last, sputtering and sighing gently into death on the side of the road.
So here they were now, battling a snowy sidewalk, empty refrigerator mocking the hollow pain in their hearts. They finally made it into the warm air of the grocery store, festively decorated with holiday trees surrounded by the sounds of Salvation Army bells and piped-in songs proclaiming Merry Christmas and peace to all. As she stomped the snow off her boots, she thought about another mother long ago. “No room in the inn or in the hearts of men,” she thought. “Maybe nothing has really changed.”
They walked the aisles of the grocery store, carefully selecting items that fit into the carefully-planned, bursting-at-the-seams budget. They were grateful for the food, though, thanking God that their stomachs would be full tonight. They brought their food to the checkout counter and pulled out their food stamp card. They felt the angry stares bore holes into their backs and burn yet another scar into their hearts. “You are not welcome here. You takers. You just take and take from those who truly work hard.” The unspoken words thickened the air. She was suffocating, drowning in their hatred.
They left the store and turned back home. The cold wind sucked the air out of their lungs, and their small child began to cough. She reached down to pull the blanket up around his face, and a tear escaped from her eye and dropped glistening on her child’s forehead. She bent down and kissed him. “I love you so much.”
A divine voice whispered in her heart, “I love you so much, too.” She stood up and looked at the sky as the sun suddenly appeared from behind a snowy cloud. A beam of warmth landed on her face.
“But, God, life was never supposed to be this way.” She sniffed back tears and struggled hard against the depression, the hopelessness that threatened to engulf her life and snuff out the sunbeams.
“I know, my child. I see the cold hearts of people, I see how they’ve forgotten their oneness and their Creator and have become evil and oppressive to each other. I see it, and I will remember. Have hope. I am coming soon to restore righteousness on the earth. One day all will be well.”
She took a step forward and the air felt a little less cold, the wind a little less strong. She smiled. She thought about how healing begins with the least of these, and, somehow, she had been chosen by the mighty Creator for this journey.
I am a healer. I use natural and Holy Spirit-led healing methods and ideas to bring balance in my own life, my family’s life, and the lives of my clients.My greatest hope as a healer and spiritual seeker is to bring balance, light, and love to my community and the world at large as I am led by YHWH, the Creator and great Healer. I believe that everyone has the right to seek an abundant life full of joy, and to follow a journey of healing from physical and emotional pain.
Sadly, my country is in turmoil right now, following a path of hatred and destruction, the opposite path of healing. I am disgusted by Congress and the constant bickering and posturing of those who supposedly “represent” us. They are willing to shut down the government at the risk of jobs, housing, even food and life itself for Americans everywhere, all in the name of denying universal medical care: The Affordable Care Act, AKA Obamacare.
Uh, last time I checked, every other developed nation, even many undeveloped nations, consider universal access to needed medical care a human right. Yet, some Republicans in the United States are willing to let little children starve just to defund the Affordable Care Act.
What is so bad about Obamacare? The Republicans say that mandating health insurance coverage for everyone is morally wrong, yet they do not blink an eye about mandating automobile insurance coverage. Now for those who say that cars are a luxury, and only people who can afford to get insurance should be allowed to drive, how do you reconcile your beliefs with the need of people to get to work to pay for all the bills of living? Public transportation is a sad thing in this country; outside of some big cities, cars are the only viable form of transportation. Yet, in some of these places, there are police officers who park at highway entrances next to low-wage factories when they know that the shifts change for the day. They write tickets to all of the poor people who have been forced to choose between their auto insurance and their rent. How is this freedom, or even morally permissible?
Yet, somehow, the Republicans forget these stories when they say mandated insurance is a moral wrong. At least with the Affordable Care Act, the poor will receive government subsidies, or even free care under Medicaid expansions, to obtain their insurance. This is not the case with already-mandated auto insurance!
Some people claim that the Affordable Care Act is harming workers by encouraging companies to drop full-time workers to part-time hours. Well, many companies have already been doing this for years due to the slow economy and the long, painful recovery. Blaming Obamacare just gives them a way to take the spotlight off their own immoral actions which they would have committed with or without the new medical law. At least all of these part-time workers will now have free or low-cost medical care through the state insurance exchanges.
Also, the Affordable Care Act is life-giving in so many ways. For example, it prevents abortion! This issue, more than any other, is the heart throb of the Republican party. Some Republicans have spread fear that abortions are covered under the Affordable Care Act, yet this is not true. There are provisions to cover birth control, but not to cover abortion. Conversely, Obamacare prevents abortion, not only by providing birth control to help prevent unintended pregnancies, but also by helping women cover the costs associated with pregnancy and delivery. Some women obtain abortions because they cannot afford these costs. Without insurance, an unexpected pregnancy can easily bankrupt a struggling family, with hospital birth alone costing $10,000 to $20,000. Even many private insurances do not cover maternity care, so many insured women have faced these same heart-breaking decisions. Yet, here too, the Affordable Care Act helps, because it mandates that starting in 2014, all private insurance must cover maternity care.
Beside politics, I also personally support the Affordable Care Act because I believe it is my spiritual responsibility to support and care for my struggling neighbor and my country. It is absolutely appalling to me that million of people lack basic medical care in a developed nation like the United States. This certainly shows that we do not truly care about human rights, which is the foremost teaching of every religion. “As you have done unto the least of these, you have done unto me,” Yeshua said. If only one person dies because we do not support health care as a society, then we have rejected Yeshua completely as a society. By a Harvard study, it is estimated that at least 45,000 people die every year in the United States simply becuase they lack insurance. Millions more do not die, but struggle with pain and ill health due to lack of insurance. All in a society that hypocritically proclaims itself as a “Godly nation” that “loves Jesus”.
As a natural healer, I use Reiki, sound healing, and other spiritual modalities that are not often practiced in mainstream Western medicine, although even this is changing. The Mayo Clinic has done some promising work with Reiki and accupuncture in cancer treatments. Still, it is rare that insurance will cover “alternative” medicine, and the Affordable Care Act does not change that, unfortunately.
Still, Western medicine has its place in bringing health, especially in cases of traumatic injury or acute disease. I believe that in this wealthy, developed nation where resources are abundant, the least we can do is offer our Western, mainstream medicine to all, including the “least of these.” Maybe someday we will wake up and learn to value spiritual medicine as well and offer universal access to that as well.
I am a healer, a dreamer, and a follower of Yeshua, therefore I support Obamacare!
I recently enjoyed a day at the Renaissance Festival. I had fun watching the performers and meeting people who are living out the fullness of their dreams and imaginations.
A fire dance show caught my attention and my imagination. A man and a woman danced on the stage, moving gracefully in sync, full of energy and power. The beads on the woman’s dress glimmered brightly in the light of the fire and the cloudy sun. Her long, dark hair fell down her curvaceous back in a cascading braid. She swung her flaming whip dangerously in time to the music, loud, cracking streaks of orange and yellow splitting the atmosphere.
Her partner kept perfect time with her, swaying and moving his body in a bold tango. His neatly trimmed beard and smooth green costume contrasted with the sharp edges of the fire on his whip. He cracked circle eights through the air, exciting the crowd by defying the familiarity of safety.
The whole dance radiated passion and raw sexual energy. Raw Reiki.
Spiritual life is like the fire dance, full of passion, excitement, and danger. The spirit realm radiates the energy of pure love, a bright and treacherous fire of holiness. We approach this flame on earth when we step out of our comfort zone and bravely love another, taking their pain and despair upon ourselves as if it is our own. We risk getting burned by the whip of the flame, but the trade-off is the passion inherent in compassion.
Just like the passion of the fire dance, we also approach the flame of the Holy Spirit when we climb the heights of sexual ecstasy. This is why the Bible warns against casual, commitment-less sex. When two people join together in the passionate fire dance of love, it is as dangerous as it is beautiful. When we deeply love another to the point of becoming two in one flesh, we transcend physical and spiritual barriers and touch the realm of the Divine.
The realm of the Divine, the realm of fiery love, is the perfect marriage of the masculine and feminine. Much is spoken of the divine masculine, but we too often forget the other side, the divine feminine. The Hebrews called her Ashera, and the Greeks Sophia, but either way she calls out her wisdom in the streets, wooing mystic seekers to follow her to the tree of life. Some understand the divine feminine as the second person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom) in the Orthodox tradition. She is the completion of the perfect union and perfect love.
Reiki energy is her medicine, Holy Spirit medicine. It is a pure fire that burns away our pains and earthly woundings in the love of the Divine. Pure sexual passion and ecstasy are also forms of Reiki.
Love deeply, friends, pursue the mysteries of the Spirit, and participate boldly in the fire dance and the healing journey.
I am a healer in need of healing.
I am in good company. Hildegard von Bingen, a vibrant Catholic mystic, struggled with migraine headaches, violent, painful auras in which she learned deep spiritual truths. Two of my favorite authors struggled with pain and despite this, or more likely, because of their pain, they wrote deeply and brilliantly about the human condition. Fyodor Dostoyevsky, had epilepsy, perhaps due to his violent encounters with a government who tried to kill him and silence his work. Ernest Hemingway struggled with chronic pain, emotional and physical, so severe that he eventually committed suicide. Even Jesus often went away to silent places to pray, and I imagine he had great emotional and even physical pain. He was certainly an empath, and the Bible says that he bore the weight of humanity on his body.
I have been meditating on the source of my pain, and the Holy Spirit whispers to me that I need to find Joy. The Joy of Life. Even as I look at the ugly parts of human society which put people in bondage and oppression, there is another side of human love. I am reminded of this when all the children in my preschool class, which I teach, run up and gleefully yell my name as they hug me every morning when I enter the classroom. If I leave and come back only ten minutes later, they do it again, the joy of their boundless child love shared through their smiles and arms.
I am reminded of the joy of life when I see another person give change to a homeless man on the street or give a place to stay for an orphaned teenager. I know joy when I see a group of Christians embrace a group of homosexuals in a show, or even an attempt, of love and understanding. I know joy when I see a mother kiss the head of her wide-eyed newborn.
I see joy when I look at the trees and flowers on a sunny day or marvel at the cloud formations in a coming storm. Joy is all around me, a gift of nature and the Universe to help me through this earthly journey. Today, I will purpose to let go of my pain and pursue the joy of life.