Article by Phillip Hawkins
Back in 1999 when I started my Reiki training the subject of psychic ability came up in a conversation with a group of students who were on the same two day course. It was during this general discussion on all things Reiki that I was informed that studying Reiki can also help develop any latent psychic ability the person may have, and although I didn’t give a great deal of thought at the time I can now say without fear of contradiction in my case this was certainly true. A few childhood experiences with the paranormal were dismissed out of hand by my mother, who when asked for an explanation told me that I was ‘thinking too much’ and the subject was closed.
I believe my mother’s less than satisfactory answer was out of fear and ignorance; fear of the unknown and ignorance in the lack of knowledge and understanding of anything to do with spirit or the spirit world which I have to say based on what I now know is as real if not more so than the one we occupy at the present time.
At the time I found the comment about Reiki and psychic development nothing more than an interesting aside but it wasn’t long before my intuition began to work overtime, but human nature being what it is I put this down to an over active imagination brought on as my mother had assured me by thinking too much, so I just tried to concentrate on my Reiki studies and get on with everyday life the best way that I could. It’s fair to say that this development during the early days of my Reiki training was slow and low key, what I didn’t realise was that was all about to change in a big way when I took a major step forward by deciding to teach Reiki and set up my own Reiki training programme. It was if by making the commitment to teach I was saying in some way ‘I’m ready to receive more whatever that more is’, whatever the catalyst was my intuition and psychic development stepped up a gear. Some of it was subtle if no less intense while other experiences were clear for everyone to see. Over the years this development has continued unabated to such an extent that I now accept it as second nature, and only question it if a new experience falls outside of the established pattern or norm, if there is such a thing.
To a certain extent psychic ability can be said to be subjective and there are those who dismiss it out of hand as they say it flies in the face of common sense and logic and accepted scientific laws of how the universe works and our place within it. One of the most often quoted arguments against it is that we live within a universe that is governed by the law of cause and effect. First comes the cause which then creates an effect and so the argument goes that it’s impossible for the effect to be known before the cause can exists so the ability to foretell the future before it has happened is scientifically impossible. Instead of dismissing it out of hand maybe we should adopt the mindset chosen by those who have challenged the status quo in order to move mankind forward kicking and screaming out of the dark ages and into the light.
‘What if’ is far more liberating than ‘it’s not possible’ and if my experiences can’t be attributed to psychic ability then I am open minded enough to want to find out what yet unknown law scientific or otherwise, exists that allows me to do what I do. Validation comes from the integrity of the experience and not by the name or reputation it carries. It is said that science and religion are powerful because they are right, but just for a moment let us ask ‘what if’ they are accepted as right only because they are so powerful. The technological advances we readily take for granted today had to fight for their existence and run the gauntlet of those who said it couldn’t or shouldn’t be done before eventually being accepted by even its harshest critics. All progress is fashioned out of resistance, resentment rejection and finally begrudging acceptance.
Challenge the person’s deep seated beliefs whatever they may be and you undermine the foundations upon which they and their beliefs sit. Beliefs provide us with structure, meaning and purpose and in some cases power and control which is addictive and corruptive and very difficult to give up once we have acquired a taste for it.
With a catalogue of experiences gained over a period of years it’s easier and far less tedious to detail the ones that standout in my mind as the most interesting for your consideration and discussion that can be validated by those present at the time. My grandmother used to say ‘self praise is no recommendation and just because it’s true doesn’t mean you have to tell the world about it’ and normally I would agree but I have to provide you the reader with some hopefully interesting examples to give meaning and purpose to this particular article. The psychic experiences that I want to relate to you are training room based psychic phenomena that can be defined as transformation that were witnessed on numerous by my students, secondly something I call picture profiling which could come under the heading of psychometry, and finally what can be described as generalised clairvoyance, all of which come under the general heading of psychic ability.
I was asked to deliver the classes as part of the Durham County Council Adult Education in the Community and achieve Reiki accreditation status with the Open College Network which I was more than happy to do. This meant that each of the Reiki first and second degree classes were ten week courses, as was the Reiki level three course. Initially the Master classes were over thirty six weeks but were eventually reduced to thirty for the sake of uniformity and funding requirements. This meant that a student entering the programme would achieve their Master certificate after fourteen months of continuous study during which they may be attending two or even three classes a week as they progressed through the programme. Part of the level three and the Masters class syllabus was to assist in the teaching and mentoring the first and second degree students. Once the training programme had become established with the first and second degree classes feeding into the level three and Master classes spirit made a habit of popping in and out on a regular basis, sometimes to help me with the classes and sometimes to make a connection with a student in the class.
Before we get into the details of these visits I should explain that I don’t see spirit with my eyes as in normal vision, I sense them to such an extent that I am able to describe what they look like and give details as to who they are, why they are there and any messages they may have for someone in the group.
On one such occasion the energy of a tall rugged man came through and stood next to a student in one of the Master classes. The reason for his visit was one of interest and that one of the class was related to him in some way. He had dark wavy hair with a ruddy complexion from spending time outside in the sunshine and fresh air, he wore an open necked white shirt underneath a dark waistcoat and dark trousers were held in place with a thick leather belt. The thing that confused me was that his right hand appeared to be distorted and covered in some way that I couldn’t make sense of. After I had relayed all of this information the student explained that the person was an uncle who had passed into spirit, many years previous. He was a traveller who dressed exactly as I had described him, the distortion of his right hand was due to an accident he had when he was younger. His hand had been badly damaged and he wore a glove on that hand to cover the scars.
This kind experience would be repeated time and time again, sometimes students would ask who the spirit figures were that they could see or sense standing beside me as I delivered the class, if I asked them to describe what they could see they were able to do so, and on more than one occasion several of the students were able to verify the information being provided as they had obviously witnessed the same thing from their position in the room.
Sometimes the effects of their presence were strange to say the least. On one occasion I was taking a senior group through a guided meditation which went off without a hitch and it was only after the session some of the students asked for an explanation to what they had heard and seen during the meditation. They described how at one point during the meditation my voice had changed completely and when they had opened their eyes to see who had taken over the class they were surprised to see that it wasn’t only my voice that was different, my features had changed completely from the crown of my head and down to my shoulders. Instead of my normal features there was the face of a much older person with white shoulder length hair and a beard. This was later verified by other students who had witnessed the same transformation. To me what is interesting is not that it happened, for I had reached a point where I accepted their involvement as a part of my own development, the really interesting thing to me is that I was totally unaware of any changes taking place, either in my voice or my features which returned to normal once the meditation practice came to an end.
If one experience stands out in my mind above all others it was the day spirit let me know just how close they were and that one of them at least had a well developed sense of humour. I was leading the group through a guided meditation/visualisation which required the student to come to a door which represented a place or point of transition on their visualised journey. The exercise completed we had a discussion on any problems that may have arisen with the visualisation process. We are all different and some students find it much easier to think in pictures than others do and it’s important to me as a teacher that the student recognises and values their own development rather than make comparisons with another person’s progress. One student asked about the nature or design of the door they were asked to visualise, did it have to be a certain size or design, could it be any where they wanted it to be. They wanted me to provide the details that they could then use to construct their own mental images.
I explained that it was their visualisation and that they should take ownership of it and create it in a way that has meaning and value to them. The doorway was symbolic and as such could be whatever they wanted it to be in shape size or construction, it could follow accepted rules of where you would normally find a door or if they wanted to they could allow their imagination free rain and place it in the most unexpected of places. The examples I gave were on the ground like a trapdoor, in the base of a tree, floating on the water or in mid air, it was theirs to design in whichever way they wished and it was more about the process than the end result. To underline this point I stood in the centre of the group and using my hand described a large oval shape in midair and explained that if it was my intention that this was my doorway then that was my reality in the visualisation and I would then be able to move through it, at which point I moved my hand forward to represent movement through the space I had created for the purpose of the teaching point being discussed.
What happened next was totally unexpected. There was a distinct temperature difference between one side and the other of the invisible ‘doorway’ I had described in mid air. On one side you had the warm but comfortable air temperature of the training room we were working in, and on the other side it was cooler and had a much lighter feel to it. Even though I’m a psychic I’m also a dyed in the wool sceptic and to make sure I wasn’t imagining it I slowly moved my hand backwards and forward time and again, but the temperature difference was real and clearly defined in what felt like an invisible link between the two worlds. If that was surprise enough what happened next literally lifted me off my feet. As I have already said for my own peace of mind I needed to make absolutely sure that this wasn’t just my imagination working overtime so while I continued to talk to the class explaining what I was experiencing I was making a mental note of the physical sensations I was feeling as I moved my hand slowly to and fro.
As if to answer my own doubts, it was at that point that someone in spirit gently but firmly took hold of my hand. To say I was a shocked would be the mother of all understatements, I was told later that my face was an absolute picture of surprise and disbelief and I jumped so much that both of my feet left the ground. As a teacher I’m normally not lost for words but the best I could manage to say at that moment in time was ‘Holy Shit’.
Away from the classes the way in which my psychic ability continued to express itself was no less interesting and on many occasion challenged my own perceptions of what it was and how it worked. Joe and Lin are two lovely people; they are friends, Reiki students and are Goths who visit the seaside town of Whitby in North Yorkshire every year during Goth week, they love the place so much they bought a static caravan not far from the ruins of Whitby Abbey so that they could spend as much time there as possible. During a telephone conversation when we were just taking the time to catch up with one another Lin mentioned that they were going to spend time at their caravan and almost as a throw away remark she said ‘I’m drawn to the place but I can’t explain why’ at which point spirit decided to butt in on the conversation and help me provide the answer to her rhetorical question. I explained that she was drawn to Whitby because she had been born and died there in a previous life. I gave her full name with her exact date of birth and the date she died and I was able to describe in detail the graveyard where ‘she’ was buried and the style and location of the headstone that would if found, verify all of the information I had just provided her with.
Being a sceptic I later asked my wife if she thought I might have drawn the information from my own over active imagination. Her answer was a definite no, but I still needed to satisfy my own curiosity so I researched various census data and was able to verify all of the information as correct. Lin and Joe knowing Whitby well were able to locate the graveyard and following the directions I provided them with were able to find the headstone and read the inscription that linked Lin to a past life hundreds of years ago.
Reading Tarot cards became more of an interest and it was Joe and Lin who gave me the Tarot cards I still use today, but years later I still haven’t mastered the ability to condense the information into the standardised card reading session. I averaged about two hours per reading with one noted session lasting three hours and this is one reason I rarely agree to group sittings, the other reason being that card readings to me are a shared personal experience and I feel that if I adopted a conveyer belt approach with a ‘times up’ mentality I would be devaluing the gift I have been given in order to help people through the sharing knowledge and understanding with them.
I discovered what I call picture profiling by accident; my wife Denise handed me a photograph one day of a married couple expecting me to look at it and say something along the lines of ‘that’s nice’ or ‘what a lovely couple’, as you do. Instead what she got was me looking at the photograph for several minutes in silence before providing a detailed character analysis of one of them based on nothing more than the look in their eyes. I had never met either of them and I didn’t know who they were until after I had provided Denise with what I would come to call the persons picture profile. As the ability developed I was able to not only provide information on the persons character but also pick up on details from their past, and of things yet to happen. When I think I have finally got a handle on a particular ability something usually comes along to let me know that psychic development like personal development of any kind is neither pre-determined nor predictable.
All I require is a photograph where I can clearly see the person’s eyes which are the focal point of my attention but on one occasion my psychic ability left me feeling totally confused and more than a little deflated. I was provided with a photograph and I set about typing up the reading which I felt was both detailed and precise, what I didn’t know at the time was the person in the photograph had a son who was literally his double. The reading I typed up was correct but not for the person I was looking at, it was correct for the son who wasn’t in the photograph. On one hand the reading was completely wrong because it wasn’t for the person identified, but on the other hand I had been able to somehow connect to the son’s personality and energy through his father’s likeness.
A failure and a success all rolled into one experience. At the time I was totally confused and more than a little dejected. Later I would come to understand what happened if not necessarily how it happened and it provided me with a very important lesson. It taught me that psychic ability is part of who we are as a species and as an innate skill it can be developed like any other with dedication commitment and a down to earth common sense approach. Psychic ability in its many forms is never one dimensional or rigid in its approach to the task at hand, it’s fluid and responsive and If I am to grow as a teacher and as an individual who has embraced the skills and abilities I was born with I must let go of the limiting beliefs of what is and what’s possible, how it works and most importantly what the outcome should be.
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A Reiki practitioner since 1999, Phillip started teaching Reiki in 2000 and using those skills and abilities he has spent the majority of the last seventeen years working with a wide range of social and educational needs including Autism and ADHD. Working with addicts dependent on alcohol and drugs, people whose lives were extremely violent and abusive, and others who had to deal with severe mental health issues. This has enabled him to work extensively in the private sector, schools, colleges, education and care in the community, the prison service and psychiatric units.
In 2016, Phillip decided to semi-retire from full-time employment to concentrate on developing his career as a published author and the setting up of his Reiki personal development programme at the Chilton Community College.