Blog posts - scroll down to see the different subjects...

A New Reiki book

Masaki Nishina has written a fascinating book entitled:
Reiki and Japan: A Cultural View of Western and Japanese Reiki

I was honoured to be asked to edit this book and subsequently wrote the foreword. I highly recommend it to all who are interested in Reiki. I'm posting the foreword for you to read below...

by Amanda Jayne

I first learned Reiki in 2002 with Chiyoko Yamaguchi in her small Kyoto home. She was very welcoming and open to teaching me, a Westerner, the precious Reiki she had learned so long ago. As I attended more classes, I met other Westerners who had flown to Japan to learn from Chiyoko Yamaguchi and her son Tadao. I began to see just how differently Westerners were looking at Reiki and noticed how often Chiyoko Yamaguchi was surprised or confused by the questions they asked. “You think too much,” she would say to us with a smile. It’s true, I did. I probably still do. The cultures she and I came from are oceans apart in so many ways. I spent five years living in Japan and the longer I lived there, the less I understood the culture. I had imagined that after one or two years, I’d really have it down and ‘get’ the Japanese and their way of life. Little did I know! By the time I left in 2006, I had learned a great deal and begun to understand a little about the different ways Japanese and Westerners approach life, but it wasn’t until I came across Masaki Nishina’s work that I started to understand why it was so difficult to understand.

The truth is, the Japanese culture has been remarkably flexible in allowing aspects of other cultures to join it quite harmoniously, like tributaries flowing into a main stem river. It makes for a wonderful cacophony of old and new, East and West, that is delightful to visiting tourists and highly confusing to non-Japanese who live there and try to understand what’s really going on. What Masaki is so clear on, is how vitally important it is that the unique aspects of the ancient Japanese culture are not lost. Modern Japanese, he says, are losing connection with their ancient roots and what those roots have to teach us about life and living are essential to all our futures.

What does this have to do with Reiki? Everything. As Masaki explains in this book, understanding the original Japanese culture is the only way to truly understand what Reiki really is. He takes us on a journey to help us all comprehend not only the truth about the natural simplicity of Reiki energy, but also the fascinating historical, social and political climate into which Reiki therapy emerged.

Masaki’s research is valuable to anyone interested in Reiki. As I have worked with him, I have come to respect him greatly and admire his integrity when dealing with historical information. I have come to see he is not just interested in finding information to fit in with what he believes, he wants to provide facts and present what really happened to the best of his ability. Likewise, he does not take sides when looking at different types of Reiki. There are things he is critical of, but only in terms of finding the truth and helping people to see more of themselves. He sees the good in both Eastern and Western cultures.

I have found that reading and editing this book has brought me valuable insight into what happened to Reiki and why it changed so much as it travelled across the world. It has given me a new depth of appreciation of those who carried this incredible natural healing therapy through difficult times, doing all they could to make sure it was not lost. It has also brought me back to nature, to the roots of life itself, to Reiki.

I hope it does the same for you.
With love
Amanda Jayne

You can buy Masaki's book on Amazon in the UK, USA, Europe and Canada.



Reiki and Autism

Q&A with Connie Lambrecht from Canada about her experience with Reiki and Autism.

What was the situation?
"In 2012 I had the privilege of hosting a seminar with Amanda Jayne in my home. I was retaking the seminar, and on the last day Amanda told a story of how she had used Reiki to help a boy with Autism who had been having terrible nightmares every evening and not slept well for years. The story struck a cord with me as I have a friend whose son has Autism and was having major problems with violent behaviour. He had started attacking his mother. His parents were told the only treatment available was to put him on strong pharmaceuticals that would significantly alter his personality and have serious physical side affects. He was 9 years old at the time."

How often did you treat him?
"I had a strong sense that Jikiden Reiki would help Sylas and began to treat him every day because Amanda taught me that the more frequently you treat someone, the better the results. I used distant Reiki and sent for about 3 hours in total each day over a period of 3 months. I did it whenever I had the opportunity, sometimes sitting quietly but also when I was sitting for dinner or watching a movie. I sent for such a long time because his situation was so serious and time was of the essence."

What kind of Reiki did you send him?
"I did physical treatments in the first 2 weeks and then moved onto psychological (the sei heki treatments)."

When using sei heki, what issue did you focus on?
"When first doing sei heki the issue I used was 'attacking your mother'. Over a few weeks, he gradually stopped attacking her but began to attack his father instead. I realised that I needed to be more general in what I was saying and changed the issue to 'attacking people'. After discussing this with his mother and learning that with the Autism he had been speaking less and less I wondered whether perhaps not speaking was connected to his increase in aggression. I started to send for two issues, alternating between 'attacking others' and 'not using your words'. "

What happened?
"The first change they noticed was that Sylas began to say he was sorry whenever he was violent. Then, gradually he stopped attacking anyone at all. Instead, if he felt over-stimulated he would go to his room of his own accord to calm down. Once this became consistent, I felt it was time to stop sending Reiki and see how he did."

Did the effect last long?
"He is 14 now, and is a very gentle, sweet boy with lots of personality!! He has gone on to become high functioning, very loving and is continuing to learn life skills. The violent behaviour did not return, and he is one of the loveliest people I know. To know him is to love him. He has brought so much love into his family system and we are all so grateful for the amazing healing powers of Jikiden Reiki."

C. Lambrecht, Canada.

Reiki can help people with Autism. It is not there to 'cure' Autism, but can help with challenging situations and behaviours like this, as well as with generally calming and soothing people.

The frequency of treatments is important, the more Reiki you can give, the better the results will be. This is why we often recommend that parents or family members learn Reiki themselves. This way they can give regular or daily treatments.

There is something important to note here... In Jikiden Reiki we teach not to give psychological/sei heki to children unless the circumstances are extreme or the child is in danger. It is usually left up to them whether they want to receive sei heki later in life, when they can make their own decisions. Physical treatment is fine of course anytime. However, in this situation, you can see that this young boy was going to be put on strong, potentially damaging medication if his situation did not change. This is why the practitioner made the decision - with his mother - to send sei heki to help him.

If you are interested in learning Reiki to help someone with Autism, please contact me here.


A question of Reiju (attunements)

This is a translation of Masaki Nishina, a Jikiden Reiki Dai Shihan in Japan, talking about Reiju in relation to a question he was asked. The question was about our 'energy pipe' and why it is closed, why it doesn't stay closed forever and how it is that someone giving an attunement can open the energy pipe up.
Thanks to Mari Okazaki for the translation.

Masaki Nishina says....
"First of all, the wording “open the energy pipe” is a misleading description and creates a big misunderstanding in Western Reiki teaching. I would like everyone to be clear that we are NOT opening up the energy pipe, nor the energy network! Everyone is born with an energy network and the pipe is already open! We are not creating something new where nothing exists by doing an attunement. We are born with our energy network open... let’s call it an energy pipe. 

Everyone should be able to do Reiki from birth, though, as our life goes on, we create strain on our hearts and bodies, and the pipe starts to be polluted or narrowed. It’s just like our blood vessels. Thus, if you don’t do anything to maintain it, there will be some difference between maintained and non-maintained energy pipes. 
The attunement is a ritual to let Reiki flow through and clean the energy pipe. Just like pouring a large amount of water through a drainpipe to clean it. By doing so, Reiki starts to flow better. Reiki flows through our physical body and brings this cleansing effect directly, but also, any anger and worries will be diminished by Reiki which helps to maintain the quality of our soul. This also helps to clean the energy pipe, indirectly. 
This pipe will not close up completely, although, it can get polluted and narrowed if your heart is in a negative condition, storing anger and worries, physically unhealthy, etc. If you can use Reiki on a daily basis, the pipe will stay open wider. Thus I would highly suggest you to use Reiki everyday to maintain the quality of your pipe! If you can use Reiki everyday, less or more, the energy pipe will maintain itself each time.

It would be a big influence if one would be given a brand new energy pipe through attunement after living with absolutely no energy pipe. It would be as shocking as being given an extra finger, or making a hole in a middle of your palm, something that would never happen. If that were the case, perhaps complications like side effects or losing your balance would occur.
However, attunements do not work like that. It is not unusual to hear the comment right after an attunement, “I don’t really feel any difference.” Because there is already an energy pipe, and the attunement worked to improve the existing function better, comments like “I didn’t feel anything after attunements” simply confirm the fact that an attunement doesn’t provide something brand-new to our body."


Chiyoko Yamaguchi and Byosen

My memories of Chiyoko sensei’s enthusiasm and gratitude for Reiki continue to inspire me as I give treatments and pass on the wonderful things she taught. One thing that has stuck with me so strongly is her clarity around the importance of byosen and I’d like to explain a little about it here and how she learned that it was a vital part of giving Reiki treatments.

The word ‘byosen’ comes from two Japanese kanji characters Usui sensei used to describe the build up of toxins in the body. ‘Byo’ can mean several things depending on the context. Usui used it because it can mean ‘ill’ or ‘toxic’. He used ‘sen’ because it means ‘lump’ or ‘gland’. In creating the word, ‘byosen’, he wanted to describe the toxins or stiffness that can gather in any part of the body creating blockages. Byosen blocks flow in the body - this can be blood flow, lymphatic flow and of course as a result, energetic flow.

I remember Chiyoko sensei describing her first Reiki seminar with Dr Chujiro Hayashi in 1938. Her eyes would shine with awe when she spoke about it. She recounted how humble she felt and how inexperienced she was compared to the others, who were all much older than her. Some had already taken the seminar once or twice before, so they were much more confident than her but she had some family members there which helped her feel a little more comfortable. Her aunt was one of the helpers giving instructions to the participants and her sister was there repeating the seminars. She spoke of Hayashi sensei giving lectures in the mornings and then having treatment practice with him in the afternoons. During these sessions with people, who had health issues, she and the other participants would concentrate intently in an effort to feel the byosen sensations that Hayashi sensei had described.

Hayashi sensei taught that when a Reiki practitioner puts their hand on a part of the body that has byosen, they feel certain sensations in their hands. These sensations - for example, tingling or fizzing, throbbing and even aches and pains that can stay in the hand or be felt further up the arm - are a vitally important source of information for the Reiki practitioner. They indicate where the blockages are and their peaks and troughs tell us how quickly these toxins or blocks are breaking down, thereby letting the practitioner know where to place their hands and how long to keep them there. If the level of byosen remained high for the whole treatment, the practitioner knew he or she must come back to that area again straight away in the following treatment.
Chujiro Hayashi had a Reiki centre in Tokyo where people could often receive treatments from two practitioners at a time and they worked according to the byosen sensations they felt in their hands. Chiyoko sensei learned that when two people worked together one person would have their hands on the head throughout the treatment because it is such an important area (most people have a lot of byosen in the head) while the other person found the most prevalent areas of byosen in the body and worked there.

Hayashi sensei was very clear about the importance of learning to feel the sensations associated with byosen. His students were encouraged to practice until they could feel byosen with confidence. Chiyoko sensei was strict with us when she taught too. She stressed that it was difficult to give a proper treatment without using the information byosen sensations give us because they are such a strong indication of how quickly an illness or problem is moving from the body. Once the levels of byosen have gone right down and stay down, the body is coming back into balance and returning to a healthful state.
I found it difficult to feel the sensations at first, I wasn’t tuned into my body and I certainly wasn’t used to being still enough to focus on subtle sensations in my hands. Nevertheless, she calmly encouraged me as I struggled and sweated over the fact that I couldn’t feel anything other than a little heat and slight tingling sometimes. Most people can feel the byosen sensations a little after their first workshop, then with practice, they get more confidence and it eventually it becomes second nature. Some people I have taught find they feel it easily even after the first day! However, a few of us - I’m in this group - take longer. It was a good few months before I got what Chiyoko sensei was trying to help me understand. I had to stop trying so hard, struggling to make something happen. Finally, something changed in me. I relaxed, lay my hands on and ‘listened’ to them - and there it was. The subtle sensations fizzing in my palms that over time, became more obvious to me until I could easily tell if an area needed more treatment or not.

A woman from Kent, UK who recently came to learn Jikiden Reiki with me, wrote about her experience with byosen just one week after learning:

“I had lots of tingling and heat over her kidneys for nearly the whole hour and then at the bottom of her spine my hand felt so numb with pins and needles that went up my arm to my elbow! When I said this to her, she said she had been born with a hole in the bottom of her spine that has never closed up. Its quite rare and causes spasms sometimes! How weird that I could feel that.”

It does feel weird to start with, yet after just a short while, it becomes the mainstay of Reiki practice. Chiyoko Yamaguchi treated people with Reiki for more than 60 years, she had a wealth of experience and nothing seemed to phase her. It can feel quite strange treating someone with a serious condition and feeling pain that reaches up your arm, but she knew that it wasn’t a problem and taught, as Hayashi sensei did, that you are not receiving anything bad, it is simply a sensation. And a valuable source of information!


Memories of Chiyoko Yamaguchi

I was honoured to be asked by Tadao Yamaguchi to speak at the Jikiden Reiki World Congress this past August. He asked me to talk about his mother, Chiyoko Yamaguchi and my memories of learning Jikiden Reiki with her.
As I prepared the speech I realised that the memories most important to me are not only those that come from sitting in Jikiden Reiki workshops with her. Neither were they only from giving treatments alongside her and receiving her calm encouragement as I struggled to get to grips with feeling byosen clearly. What had the biggest impact on me and the way I see Reiki today, the way I teach Reiki, was her approach, both to Reiki and to life in general.

At the congress, I spoke at length about the many workshops I was lucky enough to attend with her and about her attitude towards Reiki. This will be released on DVD sometime in the near future, so I will not repeat it all here. I do want to say a few things now though because the response I received during the congress was that learning more about Chiyoko sensei was valuable to people.

Chiyoko sensei didn’t ‘do’ Reiki, it wasn’t something extra and outside of her, it was simply an everyday part of her life. She had a way of being with it that was fascinating to me. It was ordinary, yet extraordinary and she loved it with all her heart.

The gratitude she had for Reiki was palpable and after more than 60 years of using it to help people from all walks of life, she was still delighted by its effects and glowed when she spoke about it.
   When she spoke at Jikiden Reiki events and everything was in Japanese, I couldn’t always understand everything she was saying until it was translated for me. Yet still I could feel her love for it. She spoke with such humility, such joy and wonder that I always felt inspired.

I never once felt any sense of self-importance from Chiyoko sensei, even when she was talking about some quite incredible experiences she had had. I remember her telling us about the time her son, Tadao Yamaguchi had arrived home after a car accident when he was younger. The way I remember the story, she said, “His aura was all wonky, one-sided, so I knew something bad had happened as soon as he walked through the door. After Reiki though, it came right again.” She shared her tales with happiness and wonder. Her approach taught me so much and allowed me to see that the wonderful life-giving Reiki energy that runs through us all is extraordinary and to be deeply appreciated, yet it is also just a natural part of life - it’s there for all of us, not only a special few with a gift. It can be an everyday part of all our lives. Reiki was not Chiyoko sensei’s way of being special or spiritual, it was simply her way of being her.

Chiyoko Yamaguchi grew up without any sense of hierarchy in Reiki. There were teachers and students, but there wasn’t any competitiveness like we can sometimes have in the West. She stressed so strongly that no one was better or more important than anyone else, it was about practice and the amount of time anyone was willing to give. There was simply encouragement and the calm knowing that everyone who practiced would get it.
  I've heard people talking about wanting to take teacher levels to increase their energy but in Japan in the 30s, when Chiyoko sensei was learning, there was no sense of people taking teacher levels in order for their energy to become stronger. The only reason people became teachers was so that they could help make Reiki available to more people, and in the last few years of her life, when Chiyoko sensei saw that there were Westerners willing to study and practice to become good teachers she was delighted to help.

Since leaving Japan in 2006 I have come across people who have said to me that we need more symbols and should add to the original way of doing Reiki in order to access the magic and become more powerful. My time with Chiyoko sensei taught me that this is not true. She never aspired to make herself either magic or powerful, yet she was both. We don’t need to find new and complicated ways make things happen or improve upon Reiki, instead, we will benefit from having the patience to allow what is already there to emerge.

Tadao Yamaguchi will be releasing a DVD of the first Jikiden Reiki World Congress in the near future.

Click here to see a compilation of photos from the congress in Barcelona, August 2014

Jikiden Reiki Training with Amanda Jayne

7 Tips for Treating Injuries with Reiki

1. Give the injured area Reiki immediately or as soon as possible after the injury occurs - this makes a huge difference to the healing time and quality of healing
2. If the injury is serious enough to need hospital treatment, give Reiki on the way to the hospital and while waiting to see the doctor, it does make a difference!
3. Treat the injured area daily if possible. Any treatment you can give helps, but if you really want to see the wonderful results the Yamaguchi family have experienced all their lives then daily treatment or at least five days a week is important to begin with
4. 10 or 20 minute treatments for a serious injury are not enough! You cannot give too much Reiki so the longer you can treat the injury the better. Give as long as you have but preferably at least an hour for each treatment at first
5. Giving Reiki directly to the injured area can be painful to the recipient. This simply means it is working! If the person can bear it, continue to treat on the area, but if it is too uncomfortable for them move your hands to the areas either side of the injury and gradually work your way in over time (it may take several treatments for the pain to ease)
6. The most important thing is that the injury gets treated, so if the recipient doesn’t want to lie down and enjoy a session on a treatment bed it’s fine to treat the site of the injury while they are watching TV or reading or book or doing something else that allows you to sit with them and give Reiki for as long as possible
7. If it’s a long-term injury, it’s a good idea for the injured person to learn Reiki too so that they can treat themselves throughout the day


Is Reiki Physical or Spiritual?

People often ask if Jikiden Reiki is a physical or a spiritual treatment.
My answer is that it is primarily a physical treatment, used on the body to enrich and empower the body’s innate natural healing wisdom. However, as with all things in life, it cannot be separated from the whole. When practicing Jikiden Reiki, each person places his or her hands on and energy flows into the body, enhancing healing by helping the body to eliminate the build up of toxins - usually quite fast. The primary emphasis is on practical physical treatment, though there is also an effective psychological treatment - Sei Heki - used to help with fears, habits or anxieties that people want to let go.

To treat someone using Jikiden Reiki, there are no specific meditations, prayers, symbols, angels or energies that need be called upon. As Chiyoko Yamaguchi said, “You just put your hands on and people feel better.” Usui sensei, the founder, put it this way:
“It is incredibly simple......When there is a problem in the head area, treat the head, if there is a problem or disease in someone’s stomach, lay your hands on his or her stomach, likewise with any problem area on the body.”

It is simple and practical - but how is it spiritual?

Perhaps it helps to appreciate the way Japanese see the spiritual through the ancient Shinto wisdom teaching them to see the divine energy in everything and everyone - from tree and waterfall to friend and foe - which still lies at the foundation of Japanese life. This philosophy points to the fact that the spiritual is not part of life, not even something inside us - in fact, the spiritual is life.
I am reminded of something I read years ago in the book, “Mutant Message Down Under” by Marlo Morgan. In conversation with an aboriginal tribe, she says, “how absurd it appeared to them when the missionaries insisted they teach their children to fold hands and give two minutes of grace before meals. They {the aboriginal tribe} wake up being grateful! They spend the entire day never taking anything for granted.” In the West, we are still re-learning this forgotten knowledge. Rather than finding a way to get into our hearts or finding the spiritual in things around us, the good news is that we need only relax and let go to discover that we are already there.

In the same way our everyday lives are a spiritual practice, Reiki is also a spiritual practice. It uses the highest vibration of of life to assist us in coming into the highest vibration available to us - physically, mentally and emotionally. Whether giving or receiving Reiki, this will naturally bring us to a better-feeling place and one in which our over-active minds are not so domineering. While we are busy asking so many questions and needing to know all the answers; while we are concerned with deciding what is right and wrong or whether the energy is strong enough, we miss the opportunities available to us in every moment to stop, feel, let go and love. It is in that space that we realize the answers are already there, waiting for us.

Reiki works no matter where you are, who you are and whether you are thinking about the spiritual or not. You do not need to be silent or meditative for it to work. However, when you want to, giving or receiving Reiki can also be a time you can practice slipping into that wonderful empty space - that turns out to be filled with love!