Often people will ask what my Reiki certification has to do with grief support work. Since I use it similar to a mantra or meditation practice, it is a tool I'm using daily for both self and community care.
At times I have a specific list of folks who have asked for support, and other times, I'm thinking of the stories of all the families and caregivers who have touched my life over the years. It is easy to find myself thinking that there just can never be enough SUPPORTIVE energy in the world. Everyone is so vulnerable. On all kinds of levels. Some fight it and come off "detached" or "professional" or "defensive." Others are so strongly feeling the effects of brokenness that they are walking expressions of the vulnerability combined with a sad wondering about how they will ever find a way. Even those who have done quite a lot of self exploration and re-creating are vulnerable because they know what it means to lose it all and come back. No matter the details of their grief experiences nor where they are with things now, it just seems there can never be enough SUPPORT for us all.
So I often find myself starting my day in the studio OR if travelling, maybe sitting in the hotel lobby or in the airport terminal, sending Reiki Reiki Reiki. Sending to all who pass by, physically or in my mind. Sending it to the floor so it vibes out for everyone who walks over it. Sending out via the world wide root system of the trees so it vibes out for anyone walking anywhere.
I'm not sure how we create "real" community in the sprawling lives we now lead. I'm not sure how we keep our eye on the nurturing and beauty of inclusive diversity when the sprawl seems to be filled with the realities of white supremacist, hetro-normative, cis-gendered, imperialist, colonialist, capitalist patriarchy. I'm keenly aware of how much resource it takes for people to be exposed to something other than the sprawl, to be outside the dominant narratives. And I know there are lots of actions I can take. Awareness of the reality for so many. Analysis of how these things affect every single day stuff for each of us. Action to make space for and amplify those who are experiencing marginalization precisely because we know their grief experiences are compounded by marginalization. And while it may seem silly, one of the actions I take regularly is sending Reiki to any and all who need it.
I sit, quietly in my studio, hearing the drone of the ferry traffic out on the street. Or with the murmur of conversation playing out around me at the cafe. Or when travelling, staying present in the beeps, clicks, tv stream, chatter, fear, laughter and bubbling of humankind displayed at airports, hotels, restaurants. And I send Reiki out as one way to offer ... ??? ... kindness in thought and heart from me out to the world. It seems like a better practice than the stomping rants I'm very good at when seeing all the hurt on so many levels for so many.
How about you? If you are a Reiki practitioner, how do you use it? If you also do grief support work, how does Reiki intersect with that work for you?
[Previous version published in Radical Creativity 2008]