Reiki, one of the most popular energy healing practices in the world, is a Japanese technique that focuses on stress reduction and relaxation to help promote healing. Teachers from diverse lineages came together at the Wisdom of Reiki Conference at Omega to share their skills and insights with students from throughout the country.
Ilse Jimenez, Ifetayo White, and Pamela DeNardo all received scholarships to attend the conference in 2019. Here’s what they learned and how they are impacting their communities with the practice.
Reiki In Albany
Jimenez, originally from Costa Rica, is a psychotherapist who runs a small holistic practice in Albany, New York. She sees about 16 to 20 clients per week, where she offers mind-body based psychotherapy that utilizes everything from traditional talk therapy to mindfulness and Reiki.
She says most of her clients are Latino and don’t have access or exposure to holistic services.
“I am one of only two Spanish-speaking providers in my area that offers Reiki,” she said. “Many of my clients report that Reiki is healing them from their trauma and helping them with struggles in their lives.”
While at Omega, she was inspired by other Reiki therapists to start teaching Reiki in her community as well. She started this year with Reiki level 1 and is also offering more workshops for couples and groups in the community.
She also learned more specific questions that she is implementing for herself and her practice. For example: Where in the body do you sense that energy? What color is it? How heavy is it?
During this session at the workshop, these questions helped her deepen her awareness and it gave her the opportunity to see more clearly how emotions can reside in the body.
“I didn’t realize how my heart was pumping, until I was prompted with these questions,” she said. “I know it can help people who have a lot of triggers or flashbacks to access what’s really going on in their bodies.”
South Carolina Healing
White was the first Reiki Master in Beaufort, South Carolina. Since 2000, her practice has grown steadily and she continues to teach more students in her area, and especially students of color.
“There has been no one in my community who is as passionate about Reiki and teaching as I have been,” she said. “Many people of color come to me for attunements in South Carolina and I also teach many of these students in the Washington, DC area.”
She came to the conference hoping to meet other practitioners and teachers who were passionate and love Reiki as much as she does.
“This was my first visit to Omega and I was so surprised at how beautiful it is there,” White said. “I experienced a deep peace and tranquility on the grounds and the meals were so delicious and beautifully prepared.
A highlight of the conference was meeting Frans Stiene whose book, The Inner Heart of Reiki, is one her great Reiki inspirations. She invited him to teach a class in her rural, coastal town and he agreed. Together, they hosted a Reiki III Shipenden class in February 2020.
Since the conference, White practices many of the chants that Frans taught to help her embody Reiki even more deeply.
“Learning Reiju has been such a blessing to share,” she said. “I now share Reiju at any group activity that I am invited to facilitate. I also share the precepts as a daily practice with non-practitioners who I mentor to support their transformations.”
She also resonated with the conccept of “true self,” as Steine teaches, working to connect and live this idea more fully.
“I love that Reiki offers a way to heal and transform ourselves in addition to offering hands-on healing to others,” White said. “This conference offers Reiki practitioners and teachers precious time to focus on ourselves and our practice.”
A Blooming Pennsylvania Practice
DeNardo is relative newcomer to Reiki. She completed Level I, Shoden, in 2018 and Level II, Okuden, just prior to attending the Reiki Conference.
I felt remarkably blessed to be at the conference and to be able to learn from current Reiki leaders as I become a Reiki practitioner,” she said. “It gave me confidence that I’m on the right path and a feeling of deep connection to the universal flow. I learned not only from the generous and talented teachers, but from fellow attendees as we gave and received Reiki. It was a total immersion in beautiful Reiki light. I never wanted to leave.”
Some of the highlights for of the conference for her included Frans Stiene’s powerful chanting and William Lee Rand’s keen insights. Additionally, she said Brett Bevell’s gift of Mikao Usui's Reiki Crystal of Awakening has transformed her personal Reiki practice, calling it "more internal, meditative, deep, and soulful.”
She also had a full-circle experience during an afternoon session of Shamanic Reiki.
“As a younger woman, pre-marriage and family, I made a long study of Native American spirituality, including shamanism," she explained. "While no longer on my active radar, Native American spirituality remains a part of my bearing in life. The Shamanic Reiki journeyed me back and ahead. That moment in time was restorative, healing and complete. The hoop is whole.”
For others thinking about attending the conference, she said don't hesitate.
"Immerse yourself in the totality—the food, the fun, the friendship, and absorb the deep spirituality that is Omega. Let your love light shine for all to see!"
DeNardo, who is also a yoga teacher, will be completing Level III, Shinpiden in the fall of 2020 and continues to build her professional practice in Pennsylvania.