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Misunderstandings between Master and Students – Case Study

Article by Tammy Hatherill, Reiki Master

For me, I use writing to process events, things and situations. It’s a way for me to put everything into perspective and perhaps it’s because I have Asperger’s, or maybe not? Maybe others write also to help clarify in their minds events that have taken place. I much prefer written communication over verbal communication any day! I have time to think and process. I never write to embarrass, intimidate or humiliate anyone – I write to gain perspective and understanding.

So it was through written communication I asked a group of students if they were ready for the next level in Reiki? I asked if they were ready for the Master’s level. Some were and some were not. Some indicated they had signed up to other courses. I respect immensely if students want to learn from any teacher they so choose. I understand and accept that we all learn what we need from different people and so I’m not necessarily going to be a student’s teacher throughout their entire Reiki experience. I had different teachers on my journey and so I accept this as a given.

Asking for clarification, I requested if the student had signed up for another Master course, and if so would she prefer to be taken off any future master course requests from me. She responded with “yes please remove me from future notifications”. Words to that effect. I interpreted this as yes, she was doing her course elsewhere and to remove her from my notifications. I have no issue whatsoever with this, as long as I know.

What I also do is when students move on and continue their learning elsewhere is release them with light and love and take them out of my support group. This frees them up to move on with the next person and gain more information. I liken it to, when people change schools, all their records go with them.

At the same time I released another student who I had been informed that she was doing a master course elsewhere and I could see on facebook she was attending the course. There had been no communication with me at all about this other course, and again it’s no issue for me as people can learn through whomever they like. What I did have concern with was the lack of informing me. To me that is common courtesy and respect, however not everyone is the same and not everyone places the same emphasis on communication. Was it ego on my behalf to be concerned over the lack of letting me know? I don’t think so; however others may view it as such.

I wrote a lovely note to both these ladies and I did this in a group message as they are very close friends and it was the same message so rather than write it twice I did it together, I wished them well, and that I had removed them from the support group, which was there for my lineage, and I also mentioned I was saddened about their lack of respect as I perceived it.

Misunderstandings between Master and Students

Image by vargazs

Goodness gracious… this caused an almighty emotional response from one who launched an attack on my character like I’ve never read before. Apparently I come from ego and was nothing but self-centred and a horrible horrible person. According to her if people don’t agree with me I rip them apart and bring them down and all sorts of emotional stuff was written.

Finally the other woman also responded and hers was also full of emotion. She turned up unannounced on my doorstep, a few minutes before a client was due and was sent away by me. This was an act of intimidation and lack of respect again because my practice is set up at home and my home is my sanctuary. All visits are by appointment only as clearly displayed on my brochures and website. I was not pleased. I would have much preferred a phone call asking for a meeting.

What I’m saying is that no matter what our intentions are, sometimes people can always misinterpret and muddle up what we are doing and take on a negative slant. I wrote about these events on facebook without naming names, so I could work through exactly what was happening, without being mean and vicious and sticking with the facts, because I was amazed at the response and could not understand the reactions at all to being removed from my support group. Neither lady ever interacted in the group anyway, and had their own little get togethers and meditations that they engaged in with no invites to any other student or me. So I could not understand their reaction. For all intents and purposes their behaviour was all about them and they were not interested in mixing or involving anyone else from our lineage. So why the big reaction????

Finally a third student (and their good friend making up the trio) got involved and wrote the most horrible things about me that she felt in her heart were true. It was all emotion and very sad to read she felt this way. I didn’t take on board her stuff but found it very sad she was venting like this. What I have found most disheartening is these three ladies were level two students of mine. These three ladies are mentioned in my booklet of the Reiki Chakra Cards. I considered these ladies, not only students but friends, and through a potential misunderstanding they have launched an attack on me that was quite horrific to read. If they felt all these things about me, why on earth would they care that I had removed them from my group? If they truly felt I was so horrendous why did earlier they mention they wanted to do Masters with me?

I wonder where I have gone wrong in my teaching about Reiki to have three students at a level 2, respond in the most emotional and vicious way???

I truly know in my heart I have nothing to defend and nothing to justify. Whenever I write, I write from the heart and maintain confidentiality. When I write I write to process and to clear things in my head. It’s never to hurt, harm or embarrass anyone. So to be so misunderstood, misjudged and misconstrued by these three students, I can only conclude spirit is protecting me. Maybe I haven’t done my job right with these three? Perhaps spirit is saying they need someone else to really appreciate and learn the art of Reiki as I perceive it to be. Whatever the reason, I again know I have nothing to justify and nothing to defend. I have also shaken off their emotional abuse, because quite frankly if you could read their messages they are abusive. I have kept my neutral and wished them well and told them to keep shining their lights, because I feel everyone has a light to shine brightly in the world.

The third woman at 1.30am in the morning write a great big long long long winded email, with such a strange subject line, I decided to delete it without even reading it. I had to scroll and scroll and scroll to the bottom to reach the delete button and so I can only imagine what emotions it contained for her. I didn’t read because I have no desire to take on board her emotions. I am comfortable with who I am, what I do and how I process things. It seems they don’t’ like how I process things and how I write and share with the world my experiences. Truly this is their stuff and not mine.reikirays.zendesk.com

So through a miscommunication three level two students have become very vocal in their hatred of me, and so all I do is send them love, love, love. When people are emotional and irrational, all I do is send them love love love.

My intentions and heart was pure during this entire situation, and thus why I have nothing to defend and nothing to justify. I only wish the best for everyone, however it has shown me that these three truly do need another teacher. I am not getting the message through about Reiki for a reaction such as theirs to be directed at me.

I’m not sad or even disheartened.. These things occur all the time and right around the world there are students who turn on their teachers and even teachers who turn on their students. I just accept what is and move on with love and understanding in my heart.

For all things that occur I try to learn the bigger lesson and come from a space of heightened awareness.. what is actually going on here? Is it me or is it their reactions/stuff?

With love, light and harmony.

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Tammy Hatherill

Tammy Hatherill

Tammy Hatherill is the owner/operator of Tammy’s Tarot and Healing. She is a well known Tarot and and Reiki Master/Teacher, and shared her love of tarot for over 12 months with a regular radio segment on 104.1 Territory FM. Tammy is the author of two books: Trapped Behind Bars and The Diary of a Fallen Angel, and is a journalist for numerous organisation: Reiki Rays, Tiny Buddha, Personal Growth and Hypnotherapy Journal Australia. You can find her website at www.tammystarotandhealing.com
and facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tammystarotandhealing/

{ 7 comments… add one }
  • Diana Halsey June 9, 2016, 4:31 pm

    Hi Tammy Hatherhill. This is a valid and deep article. We, too have experienced awkwardness between ourselves and our teachers, and also between our students/ clients and ourselves. We learn where each others values lies, what misunderstandings may be twisted into something else. We, everyone is always growing and changing perspectives as we experience new things. Our best way is detachment and forgiveness for both our student/clients and teachers. Forgiveness. Thank you for sharing. ~ Bear And Rainbow Shamanic Healers

  • Tammy Hatherill Reiki Master/Teacher June 15, 2016, 11:41 am

    Hi Diana, yes I absolutely agree with you. We are continuously growing and learning and forgiveness is a big part of things. Thank you for taking the time to write your comment. Tammy xxx

  • anukampa June 23, 2016, 8:10 am


  • Jc July 14, 2016, 7:29 pm

    When I started learning reiki I made it very clear I wanted wide spread instructors and experiences so I could learn and understand the differences between styles and paths.
    I’ve had comments and some of them quite heated over “true” paths and experiences where their other modalities or beliefs have clearly “tainted” reiki teachings. I appreciated them clarifying this is how they work but this is….mention.
    The fact I was not going to stay with one teacher to master was helpful as was taking a level over to experience “formal” lineage helped as well.
    People are people, let them have issue but online attack simply isn’t professional behaviour. So does that action example a readiness to live the reiki way.

    • Tammy Hatherill Reiki Master/Teacher August 27, 2016, 12:23 pm

      Hey JC, i just send these ladies love and light and forgive them for not seeing things as they were intended. They jumped to conclusions I was being nasty, without taking into consideration how i process things and so they put a nasty/negative slant on things and this actually says more about them and what is going on inside of their minds. Many people do not understand asperger’s/autism and because many of us who have this condition ‘look’ normal and function quite well, and people automatically think we function exactly like everyone else. This is not so. For these ex-students, feelings of rejection must be so sad to carry around and having ones own family disown you and not want anything to do with you, speaks volumes as does needing to be ‘right’ when it becomes more important than being compassionate and understanding or at least stepping outside your own hurt to see the truth. I feel so much compassion for these ex students and so much sorrow for each of them especially when I found out they had lodged a complaint (which didn’t get them far.) One can only send love love and reiki out to those that misconstrue and allow their own stuff to get the better of them. I am blessed i have so many lovely and understanding and compassionate souls in my life. I don’t give these ladies a second thought, only now it’s come up as i found this post and once i finish writing, who they are, what they do and how they think about life and about me, is none of my concern. Their opinion of me is not important as mine about them is not important to them. I really give them no thought at all as that would not be counterproductive to my beautiful and glorious life. They need to live with trying to destroy a life, which is more difficult at the best of times because the exhaustion on getting through each day ‘acting’ normal and fitting in. Having Aspeger’s is so exhausting, however I don’t complain or winge because my life is magical and everyone faces spirit at some point in their lives/transition to the next life. I am at peace and i trust they are at peace with their actions.

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