I’ve never been a good meditator but I have a helper on my side called Reiki and today I saw what Reiki can bring to meditation in a very clear way. We’ve all heard doctors, scientists and gurus espousing the numerous benefits of meditation for mind, body and spirit. Years ago, I turned their evidence into “shoulds” and, as a result, I tried, I really tried to incorporate a regular meditation practice into my life. After all, isn’t that what a spiritual person is supposed to do? Add to that, my “label” of Reiki Master and the fact that I teach Reiki. So, who was I NOT to be a great meditator, right? I used to use that question in an attempt to guilt me into meditating. But let’s be real. If Oprah and Deepak couldn’t lure me into a regular practice then that negative guilt approach wasn't going to work either. However, I did study many types of meditation over the years with spotty success but a regular practice was just not a priority for me.
My latest attempt at establishing a more disciplined meditation practice involves a local weekly mindfulness group I attend when my schedule allows. I've attended perhaps 7 times in the last few months. I certainly enjoy the lovely people attending and sitting with me but I haven’t felt as though I was really following the plan, so to speak. Usually, I allow Reiki to flow and quietly do my own thing. I’m sure I don’t have the mindfulness idea "right" but I show up and that’s a positive step. Besides, no one knows how empty or full my mind is (except me) and I enjoy my time there with these people and their input when we have time to share.
Today was so grand and unexpected, however. The truth and depth of my practice washed over me this morning and my awareness opened in a surprising way. For the whole sitting time, I couldn’t stop smiling and my head seemed to move around a lot as if it was dancing to a soft flow of music that even I couldn't hear. At least everyone had their eyes closed but even if they didn’t, it wouldn’t have bothered me one bit. Not in the least. I was so in the flow of Reiki and so tuned in, the joy and stillness and awareness was palpable and all I knew.
Until a baby outside the room screamed.
As the observer, I noticed how I winced very mildly at the sudden and uncomfortable sound. I found my reaction interesting and then let it go. Silence. In the flow...
This time, however, I was so serene as the sound pierced the room and my awareness was clear. In that moment, I did not hear a baby scream. Instead, I heard pure emotion being fully expressed. The baby held nothing back and had no worry what anyone thought about her or her behavior. She was simply allowing the emotion to release and express without limitation.
It was beautiful. Really beautiful. For as long as it continued, I had no thoughts about it, just simple and powerful feelings of joy as I witnessed her pure expression.
Of course, in my thinking mind, I could have had many thoughts and judgements and labels for the situation and the child but I simply did not. I was present to something much higher.
After the exercise, as we tuned into each other to share our reflections, I recalled a favorite quote by Rumi.
I realized I had been there…in the field…and it was pure wonder and brilliance and joy. I kept that smile for some time after the meditation and realized that indeed, I do meditate. I just seem to do it my way and with Reiki flowing, the experience is truly like a gift. For like a gift, it is unexpected and it stirs gratitude within me. I am thankful.
Andrea Kennedy began practicing Reiki in 1995. She sees clients and teaches all levels of Reiki in Saline, Michigan. Visit www.MainstreamReiki.com for more information or to contact her.