Monday, January 17, 2011

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

This morning I was greeted by some hostile posts on my Facebook page. They were made by another Reiki practitioner who disagreed with the fact that I charge for distance healing. Despite my telling her that I balance my professional practice with volunteer service as a Group Leader with the Distance Healing Network, weekly giving Reiki at The Cleveland Clinic, and twice monthly at a cancer support center, The Gathering Place, and that I accept exchanges and will reduce or eliminate entirely fees for those who are unable to contribute, she continued to berate me and tell me that I dishonor the practice of Reiki by charging for distance healing. I told her that I offer the same time and mindful attention to my clients, whether distance or local, she retorted that it only takes a few minutes to send distance Reiki. I deleted the posts, realizing that nothing I could say would prevent her from saying I was wrong.

My husband said not to blog about it, because that would add more energy and attention to the issue. I understand the philosophy of whatever we give attention to increases, and that which we ignore goes away (eventually). I see his point.

But this was staying with me, and I felt the need to address it.

The point is not whether or not I choose to accept an exchange for distance Reiki. The point is how Reiki practitioners treat one another. I advocate for respect. If she doesn't like that I charge for Reiki, she can go to another Reiki practitioner who does not. She doesn't need to attack my choices, and also my integrity. I bear no hostility towards her because her opinion is different from mine.

As people sharing healing energy with others, I would like to suggest that we all see each other as sharing the same goal of helping the world be a better place. That's it. Anyone who is trying to help others, educate about healing, and share energy with those who need it deserves to be seen as such. We should not turn on each other for using a different Reiki modality, trying to support our family so we can dedicate our time fully to a healing practice, or for disagreeing over how Reiki is shared or learned. I believe that in this work we are held to a higher standard. That isn't to say that we can't be human. I'm extremely human. I sometimes swear. I enjoy drinking wine or beer on occasion. I make mistakes. I sometimes worry, despite my efforts not to. But I also have internalized the Reiki precept, "Just for today, I will treat all living things with kindness" to the best of my ability. I honestly try to live that way.

The Reiki precepts are a beautifully written simple and yet complex set of values that anyone working with life force energy is encouraged to attempt to live by. They are:

Just for today...
I will avoid anger.
I will avoid worry.
I will do my work honestly.
I will be grateful for all I have.
I will treat all living things with kindness.

I honestly try to live by these, and hope that others, especially those who embrace Reiki as part of their path, will do also. They are not laws, commandments, and we are not bound by them. They are just suggestions, good ones, for how one may choose to elevate his or her life.

So I put out there: Please, all of you who are involved in this practice of sharing energy healing, respect the basics of our practice. Respect those who are on the same journey. Make your choices and let others make theirs. Walk your talk.

Thank you.

14 comments:

Square-Peg Karen said...

Amen! I'd only like to add - how about EVERYONE pay attention to this (not just Reiki practitioners)!!

Glad you wrote about this, since it was bothering you - and also because it's always good to be reminded to be respectful (so easy, sometimes, to fall into the opposite).

Healing Heart Reiki said...

As a fellow Reiki practitioner (and someone who purchased a distance session from you via Groupon last night) who has to coach herself on the payment for services front with frequency, I have great r-e-s-p-e-c-t for your position, Alice. Like you, I offer a lot of volunteer services through Reiki. I don't feel that I (we) need to quantify what and how I (we) charge in any way. It has been suggested to me more than once that part of accepting payment for services is respecting ourselves and another part is engendering respect from potential clients; what we do and offer is of value and there is, along the way, a you-get-what-you-pay-for mentality. Namasté, beautiful Alice!

Divine Lotus Healing said...

I charge for my distance Reiki sessions too for several reasons. And, if someone doesn't like that well there are lots of Reiki practitioners out there and they can find one who matches their needs. Lauelle Shanti Gaia, practitioner & writer for Reiki News Magazine, did a study in the Southwest that bonded together all the Reiki practitioners in that area and all their sales increased by creating a positive energy flow, just like you spoke about! The other thing I keep thinking about this person who was so angry at you is: often anger that we express outward is a mirror for something personal and the anger is a signal for us to look at our own lives. The trick for those of us who were berrated with the anger is to remain centered in our own strength and conviction and not be swayed. It sounds like you are doing that :) I wish you lots of Reiki blessings and I wish them on the angry person as well! :)

Frannie said...

Great post, Alice. I'm always baffled at how people sometimes think they can tell us what's right/wrong and what we should do about it.
I'm a reiki "newbie" and just had my 2nd attunement 2 weeks ago. I do volunteer my services at my church 2-3 times a month. I'm not offering paid services now because I'm practicing still and want to get better at it. But if I were at the level you are at, I would absolutely charge because ultimately it's an exchange of energy...you can't give out too much and not have some sort of return, that's ridiculous.

Anyway, kudos to you for standing your ground!

beadhack said...

Couple of things - I kept trying to remember the precepts and all I could get was, "Just for today I will not judge". Boy was I off. I think I'll keep it tho, and start adding from the REAL list.

I had an odd 'dog turning its head sideways at funny sound' moment on the logic of not charging for distant reiki vs. reiki in person. Personally I don't see the difference. If you're going to a distance reiki session, if you normally do a 60 min session in person, I would expect a 60 minute distance session.

The concept of compensation for energy work. I had to work through that one myself, and discovered I had(am still gratefully working thru) issues of self worth. Also, issues of discounting the value of work and goods provided by others, which I absorbed as my own take on things. Becoming aware of these tendencies, I try to monitor my thoughts/feelings when dealing with compensation/value/worth.

Thank you for writing about it. Thank you for sending the post off to the digital compost pile. Thank you for continuing your work.

Peace.

Scott Harness said...

I'm not a Reiki practitioner but a follower of Christ, and I consider Alice a friend of mine. I further enjoy her friendship and her view of life. She and I differ on a few things, but we always do it with a great conversation and respect.

Just want to add one observation. The world will always examine your motives no matter what if you charge for what you do when it falls in the area of spiritual things (wide brush here). The question they are asking is: "Are you doing this for the money or for the greater good?" As a pastor I am expected to care more, love more, do more, sacrifice more and go further than anyone and at no point should I look for my personnel gain. Scripture says to stay away from even "the perception of evil". Who's perception? Those around me...That's the rub. Truth is that is what it takes to earn trust and keep it. All who are in highly visible positions have to work under these presuppositions.

I want to make it clear I am making no judgments here, just an observation.

I enjoyed the blog.
-Scott

Victoria said...

As a fellow Reiki practitioner I would simply like to say that my thought has always been that if someone is happy to pay you for distant healing, and they receive the necessary benefits that they expected, there is no problem. People will assign their own value to things and if they are happy to pay then great and I feel that the only ones able to comment are the people who do actually pay. If they feel it is unfair or morally wrong at least they have a valid point of view. Every practitioner works towards the same end result, we are all different, but as long as the work to be done, is done, that's what is important, not another fellow practitioners marketing plan or method of work! Live and Let Live xxx

Lynda Lippin said...

Alice, you are awesome! And why we shouldn't charge for sending distance reiki is beyond me, since we are trying to make a living.

But respect is the key. For someone to come off publicly so angry, when anger is directly addressed in the precepts, is just interesting ;)

Alice Langholt said...

Karen,

Thank you, and I'm glad that I wrote this post too. I didn't want to engage in another debate over the merits of money for Reiki, but instead just to put out there the need for practitioners to respect each other. Thank you for understanding that and supporting my efforts.

Healing Heart Reiki,
Ah, it was you! Just email me with your Groupon number over the barcode when you're ready to redeem your voucher and schedule your distance session!
Thank you for your support in this issue in all ways, too. I agree about the idea that an aspect of respect means being willing to offer payment for services, as a recognition of value received. Much love to you.

Divine Lotus Healing,
How wonderful about that study you mentioned, and the insightful view that anger may well be coming from the need for the person who expressed it to reexamine her own viewpoint instead of attacking mine. Agreed. xo and thanks for your comment!

Frannie,
I appreciate your comment and commend you on your own journey and the way you're already offering healing energy to others. If I can ever be of support to you please email me. Love and light in all you do.

Beadhack,
Self healing and self reflection are a part of mindful practice, and you are exemplifying that process in your post. If everyone did as much, things would be better all 'round, wouldn't ya say? Thank you for your insights and thank you for taking the time to lend a supportive comment.

Scott,
You are so right that we have much in common here. Being out there offering something of a spiritual nature does put us in the spotlight in that way. I am glad you brought your energy here today and always welcome our discussions. Blessings to you and may your motives always be understood in the positive light that they are intended.

Victoria,
I completely agree and thanks for responding as such. There are many of us out there, and I know that what I offer those who exchange money for a healing is my complete mindful attention and a full report of my observations during my time sending them energy. It is of value in many ways and I know that the reflections as well as the energy are useful to the client. Accepting payment for services is what allows me to devote the maximum of my time to teaching and offering Reiki. Otherwise I'd need to get another unrelated job that would take away time from my ability to help others in this way. I need to feed my family. So thanks for allowing me the space to reflect on this and thanks for commenting. Love and light to you!

Lynda,
Thanks for your support today and always! Yes on the comment about the precepts too. If the person who accosted me was so into doing things the traditional way, I wonder if she paid $10K for her Reiki education, or charges it to her students. Things have changed, evolved, and grown. Thankfully so.
Love and blessings,

Alice

Susan Martinez said...

It can be a tough balance for some to receive or to pay for the gift of reiki- my Reiki Master always shared that there should always be some kind of energy exchange, it can but does not have to take the for of money.

but she also cautoned against doing too much "work" for free. She counseled aginst this because one can very easily develop a feeling of anger, resentment or feeling undervalued( for your time).

You must also take in to account the time and money you paid for your training to become a reiki practitioner, that was and is valuable.

It sounds like you really do donate a lot of your time. I do not thik that you should feel bad for charging for distant healings, or secnd guess your inner Truth.

I asm sorry that you had that experience with antoher reiki practitioner.

Yes we are all human and we all make mistakes. Thank you for posting the reiki Principas.

Susan Marintez
Reiki Master/ Teacher
Healing Lotus Yoga & Reiki
Central NJ

chudexs said...

wowow ... discussion is very impressive. what is meant here to share energy?
but I caught there is a power to do good to all. and I guess all we can share even just a smile that makes others follow more spirit. thanks

Alice Langholt said...

Susan,

Thank you for contributing more for us to think about, and your own experiences and advice you were given. I appreciate you.

Chudexs,

To share energy is, in this context, offering Reiki energy, which is a healing essence of life force energy for the recipient to absorb where he or she is ready to receive it. I'm glad you liked the post and thank you for your comment.

Blessings, Alice

Gorleston Reiki said...

Hello Alice
Would you like to link blogs. I have already added you as a frend on Face book.
the link to my blog is
http://gorlestonreiki.blogspot.com
As soon as you add me i will add you back asap
Love and Light
GorlsetonReiki <3

Seth Hymes said...

The notion that healing work should be done for free has set the field back hundreds of years. That woman sounds like she was in the grip of some very self destructive thoughts and feelings. People never question a car mechanic for fixing a car. I find it hilarious that Reiki, or other healing work, which can often produce life changing results, is bizarrely written off as a give away. In fact, most practitioners should be charging more, as it provides for a respectful exchange of energy. After all, if people are willing to drop $200 on a handbag without a second thought, why nitpick about something that brings about peace, happiness, and health?

One last thought: why does the Reiki precept say to avoid anger? Anger should be embraced as part of our natural human emotions and let go. A lot of healers do themselves harm by trying to avoid the natural "negative" emotions, then they get repressed, or we carry them subconsciously and have other people (i.e. angry woman on facebook) throw them out at us.

I personally love getting angry, and stomping around! It's fun! And in this world there is a lot to get angry about!

Just a thought :) Thanks for writing a great blog!