Tuesday, March 25, 2008


On my way home from spending Easter in Palm Springs, I drove on the toll road this past Sunday and noticed the explosion of new growth everywhere. Well, duh, it’s springtime. Thing is, I live in southern California, the area that was devastated by all those canyon fires. Both sides of the toll road were scarred with blackened hulks of trees and scorched brush. The landscape resembled the moon rather than the lush wilderness where signs are regularly posted to watch out for crossing deer.

I smiled as I whizzed by burnt out tree trunks sporting shrouds of brilliant green leaves and fresh carpets of new grass. It made me think about how life offers hope and surprises. Those of us who live here thought the land had been too badly burned to ever sustain new life. But here it is, springing forth in an effortless manner, unconcerned about what everyone thought. Life found a way. It always does.

It made me think of the times I’ve felt energy pouring from my hands, urging new growth on a scorched soul. It’s amazing what we pick up with the simple act of touch. “What’s it feel like?” I’m often asked.

Well, for me, it’s a series of sensations. First thing that happens is that the palms of my hands grow warm. It spreads throughout my body with a warm glow and goes clear down to my feet. The energy ebbs and flows when I touch someone. After about a minute or so, I feel as though I’m being pulled inward into a gentle trance. I’m still aware of everything going on around me but it's a few layers removed. Sort of like being draped in Saran Wrap. Once I reach that level, the energy gets really ramped up, and I just sit back and enjoy the ride.

How can I enjoy the ride while touching someone who’s physically or mentally broken? It’s fairly simple, actually, because I know that the energy offers that person something they will never receive from a prescription bottle – a sense of peace and relaxation that has no side effects. And just like breaking the dry and brittle branches off a tree, I can feel the energy gliding through the canyons of a person’s spirit. Sometimes it feels like a pop or a wheeze, and other times it feels like a breath of wind.

And the picture is always the same when I finish working on someone. Their eyes are slow to open, and they almost always have a sloppy grin on their face. “So how do you feel?” I ask.

“Grrrreat,” is the usual slurred reply.

I smile because my first reply to that same questions was, “I feel like my insides were scrubbed clean with Ajax.” And Reiki does feel great because, just like the once-burnt landscape, life always finds a way.

It feels like renewal.

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