by Reiki Master Teacher Anne Aden
Yesterday I finally got together with my friend Pat. The last time we chatted was at the retreat in September. We exchanged Christmas presents. I gave her a mug I’d made and she gave me a magnifying makeup mirror. With a light. 15 times magnification. Jim said, “She must have seen something you couldn’t.” I can now see every wrinkle, errant eyebrow hair, and clump of mascara. This morning I got to work pulling, tweezing, and wrestling with every brow hair and whisker that heretofore I was blessedly unaware of.
As I finished up, I mentally listed where else I’d recently spent such concentrated time. It’s the start of a new year and I’ve already devoted hours, if not days, to organizing piles of bills and papers for our accountant and sorting through excess clothes in preparation for a big donation run.
This is the stuff of life and certainly necessary, but nourishing? Not so much. As I move more deeply into January, which tends to be a darker time for me emotionally, I’ve found more lightness in what is simplest – my meditation practice. The choices are minimal. I either sit on the cushion or I don’t. I either work at staying focused or I entertain myself with whatever thought wants attention. I either sit up straight or I lose attention and slouch. These are moment-to-moment choices. They are simple to make.
We are always practicing something. Each moment that I practice awareness of this moment, even as it effortlessly melts into the next, helps me recognize and accept impermanence and change, and leads to choice. This year I choose to sit on my cushion; choose to work at focus; choose to lengthen my spine.
Simple. And oh so much less painful then plucking wayward hairs, making sense of old receipts, or wondering why I still have tags on clothes that have been in my closet for years.
For a list of practices that include meditation and qi gong, visit the Tree of Contemplative Practices from the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society.
by Reiki Master Keith Webb
10th Annual Reiki Retreat 2015
If you missed the 10th annual RJKD retreat last year, you missed one of the best.
In celebration of the 10th Retreat, Angela and Karl Robb created a slide show from retreats past. All 20+ of us there ooh’ed and ahh’ed seeing friends from over the years. Many were there this year, some were unable to make it, and others are sorely missed. If you haven’t had a chance to view it, or would like to see it again, here’s the link. It’s well worth your time.
Pat Fogle led us in the art of story-telling – a practice that was the primary focus of the retreat. We were all asked to bring an object to the retreat that held meaning for us. When it was time for story-telling we had the opportunity to share the story behind the object. There were many poignant stories and many humorous stories. Each and every story revealed the heart of the story-teller. Nico DeJong shared the story of a dear friend who mysteriously disappeared from his life. Angela Robb shared the story of how she and Karl met and fell in love. Jessica Gallahan shared the story behind her son. As each story unfolded and hearts opened, the bonds between us all grew closer and closer. By the end of the retreat on Sunday afternoon, not one of us wanted to break the magical spell that engulfed us all.
As each person shared, we all listened. We listened intently. We were fully engaged with the narrator, and we were fully engaged with each other. During breaks, we touched one another. We hugged. We held hands. We looked into each other’s eyes. We communicated non-verbally, as there were times when words were superfluous.
The personal sharing brought us all closer together than I have ever seen this group. There has always been an unusual trust amongst us, but with this retreat, I would venture to say that it would take hurricanes and tornadoes, earthquakes and volcanoes, and meteors smashing into the earth to break this trust.
The 2016 Retreat will be held again at the Roslyn Retreat Center near Richmond. VA. The dates are September 30th -October 2nd. They are in ink on my calendar. I sincerely hope to see you there.