When I first learned Reiki, I thought that I was given magical hands to heal the world. But the more I learned about Reiki and delved deeper into the practice and its Japanese roots, I came to realize that Reiki is so much more than just hands-on healing. It’s a system of natural healing, with the precepts at its core and as its guiding light.

While I have experienced and love the soothing relief of hands-on healing, what keeps me sane is the Reiki precepts.

Just for today,

Do not anger.

Do not worry.

Be grateful.

Be true to your way and your being.

Be compassionate to yourself and others.

These words anchor and strengthen me. Increasingly, I am finding that my practice is making me more resilient. Each day, I start with my hands-on self-treatment and Joshin Kokyu Ho breathing. During the day, when my mind wonders into the realm of worries, reciting the precepts over and over again, brings me back to center.

In my life, I have experienced pain, physical pain and emotional pain. Just like everybody else. Sometimes I thought this pain would break me. Today was one of these days. I arrived in Munich, Germany, yesterday to visit my father. In July 2017, he had his eight stroke, which paralyzed his complete left side. It was so bad that he couldn’t even swallow. But the human body and mind are strong. After three months, he learned to swallow again. Now he can eat and drink, without suffocating.

The lesson for me last year was acceptance. Acceptance that he is who he is. He is alive. Every day is a gift. Slowly, as we settled him into a nursing home, we began to bring quality of life back to him. Today, I learned that he has dementia. After I heard the diagnosis, I couldn’t stop crying. But then I turned to the precepts again.

Just for today, I will not anger, because getting angry only depletes me. I will not worry, because I can’t control the progression of his disease. But I am grateful. Very, very grateful for how well he is now and that I can be here with him. I am true to my way and my being, because I can be myself and we enjoy each other’s presence. I am kind to myself, because I am not beating myself up with guilt of all the things I should or could have done. I am kind to others, because I can see and feel their pain. Thanks to my Reiki practice, I don’t fall apart by my own pain. Instead, I can share my presence, listening ear and smiles with others I encounter.

Early in my Reiki journey, I would have thought that the only way I could share Reiki with my father was by placing my hands on him. Now I know better. By staying in the present moment, by being myself, is enough. If he wants to drink coffee and eat cake, that’s what we do. Just for today, we are present with each other – and that’s a beautiful gift.

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