Reiki shares are healing communities

Last month I hosted my first Reiki share here in Glastonbury, my adopted home. It was actually the first I’ve hosted in years – those of you who knew me before my years in the wilderness will know I hosted them for many years in London, and I always loved them. Strange as it is to be starting a new share after all these years, I am really excited about building a Reiki community here in the magical land of Avalon.

A healing community is essential to healers

Eliade’s Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy is filled with accounts of shamans of different cultures calling back the soul…Looking at some of these simple ceremonies shows us the the integral place of community and the importance of having someone “waiting” for the return of the patient’s soul.

Soul Retrieval: Mending the Fragmented Self – by Sandra Ingerman

I am a shamanic healer as well as a Reiki master, and I always remember that point from Eliade’s writing (it is a chunkier and less quotable read than Sandra, but essential reading for healers and I recommend seeking it out). It has been repeated to me many times over the years by amazing shamanic teachers, and has certainly influenced the community healing circles I offer. But this idea doesn’t apply only to shamanism. Community is an integral part of all healing and, even more than that, community is essential for the wellbeing of those of us that work as healers. Healers hold space for other people a great deal of the time.

Healing is rewarding and beautiful, but those who do it also need to be held. After melting into the magnificent flow of the work we must go back, whole-heartedly, into the flow of our lives. Who is waiting to call us home?

Unlike some other kinds of therapists, energy healers don’t have a requirement to receive supervision – and it’s something I think would be wonderful for us to have, especially in the early years of our work. I’ve been a Reiki and shamanic practitioner for 18 years and had many amazing teachers but in many ways my greatest teacher has been my experience of doing the work. We learn from every session we do and every workshop we teach. What more could we have learned in our early years if we were regularly talking those experiences through with someone who already had hundreds of hours of the work under their belts? This work, so reliant on deep human connection and empathy, has the potential to be isolating.

In the absence of that structured support, one of the best tools I’ve found to offer for healers is to host Reiki shares. Most energy healers have done some Reiki along the way. It’s an excellent gateway into powerful energy work, the most perfect training for a healer’s hands and energy flow. Which means that as well as amazing Reiki people, a lot of people who show up to the shares are also sound healers, body workers, shamanic practitioners, story tellers. We are all healers and spiritual seekers in that room, and we connect through all our experiences.

Community is essential for our healing too

Reiki shares can take many forms, and mine only have a couple of rules. Everyone who attends has to be a Reiki person – I don’t open them to members of the public who have come for a healing without contributing healing in return. These are strictly community events. My doors are open to Reiki people of at any level and from any lineage; the source is the same for us all.

I usually spend the first part of the evening on a shared exercise – a Reiju empowerment, a distant healing, some Kotodama chanting – something appropriate to the experience levels in the room.

Then we practice Shuchu Reiki, a Japanese technique suitable for Reiki 1 and above, that translates roughly as concentrated spiritual energy. Each person takes a turn lying on the treatment table while the whole group gathers around to lay (or hover) hands for a healing session. With so many healing hands, it only takes a few minutes to receive a full and blissful healing! And that’s it, that’s the most important rule. Everyone, yes everyone (including me – practising what I preach!) gets a healing. We don’t just need to connect and talk about the work. We also need to let others be in service to us; we need to receive.

Local Reiki people, it would be great to see you there. Elsewhere in the world… where do you find your community, your supervision, or your safe space to receive? I’d love to hear about your own healing communities…

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