June 24, 2013
In his classic book, The Hero With a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell outlines the journey of the hero. Campbell teaches us that a hero is that person who answers a call to adventure, embraces a quest, and undergoes a transformation of consciousness. This means that a hero goes into an endeavor thinking one way, and comes out of thinking in a totally new, and different, way.
Is it possible that for many Reiki practitioners there is an element of the hero’s journey? I think so. How many times have you, or a Reiki colleague you know, said these words, “Well, before Reiki, I…; but after Reiki I…” If we are conceptualizing parts of how we are living as having a “before Reiki” quality, and other parts as having an “after Reiki” quality, then we are, in fact, speaking about transformation, and not a simple one either. A bona-fide heroic transformation of consciousness!
The transformation of consciousness we experience is facilitated by Reiki practice itself. We know that as we connect to our inner stillness with our practice of self-Reiki, we are allowing the potential for transformation to emerge. We know that as we contemplate the Reiki Principles and put them into practice, we are stirring the best parts of ourselves to come to the fore. We know that as we engage with Reiki meditations, we open new doors for renewing our thoughts, our speech, and our interactions with others. We know, too, from our own personal experiences that these are all endeavors that deserve the label ‘heroic.’
Before we become our hero-selves, we must first descend into some dark and frightening places, according to Joseph Campbell. Reiki supports us as we meet head-on the truths about some of our innermost thoughts and emotions that may be harming ourselves and others. We confront and shed light on distressing feelings of shame, judgment, anger, worry, resentment, fear. With courage, and the sustaining strength of Reiki, we delve into that inner space, and are abundantly rewarded with the unburdening and freeing of our true soul energy. This is the ultimate in transformation of consciousness. In fact, we may find that it takes time for our cognitive, intellectual self to catch up with the changes emerging in our consciousness.
Although it may seem like a solitary journey for the hero to actualize this transformation of consciousness, the hero, according to Campbell, is actually accompanied by helpers and teachers along the way. Let us all reach out to our Reiki colleagues… to our local Reiki community, and to our world-wide, virtual Reiki community, in the spirit of mutuality and reciprocity. Your helpers are right there! They are your Reiki classmates; the men and women you stand next to at your Reiki Share; the Reiki volunteers at your hospital, hospice, and veterinarian clinic; and, of course, your Reiki teachers. Allow these helpers to nurture you and, in return, nurture them, on your respective heroic journeys.
In the end, according to Joseph Campbell, the hero, having undergone a transformation of consciousness, brings a beneficial gift back to the larger society. As true Reiki heroes, you bring the great and precious gift of your loving, healing presence.
Elise Brenner, Ph.D, Reiki Master Teacher, is a strong advocate for Reiki outreach, education, and empowerment. The owner of Brenner Reiki Healing in Newton, Massachusetts, Elise teaches Reiki classes, provides in-depth mentoring for Reiki professionals, operates a monthly low-cost Reiki Clinic, and is Chair of the annual Celebration of Reiki Conference in Massachusetts. Elise considers herself a Reiki community builder, providing Reiki at veterans retreats, community wellness fairs, in hospitals and hospice. As an anthropologist, Elise Brenner has researched cross-cultural healing practices, thereby enriching the scope and depth of her Reiki practice. Reach Elise at www.BrennerReikiHealing.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, and at Brenner Reiki Healing on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Brenner-Reiki-Healing/234700054121?fref=ts).