Community Reiki Clinics

by Barbara McDaniel

In the far northeast corner of the United States, New England is known for its rugged coastline and harsh winters. It’s a [Read more…]


Not Sick. Reaction

Most of you probably know of Hawayo Takata. She was the woman who brought Reiki to the West from Japan. I had the good fortune to learn First and Second Degree Reiki from her in San Francisco in 1978 and 1979.   [Read more…]


Does Reiki Really Work?

I bet virtually every one of you has asked yourself that question at some point. I know I have.

Within a span of two days, two students stopped by my office. The first one had been treating her nephew. She   [Read more…]


A Poignant Reminder

The names in this story have been changed.

My Reiki practice is primarily hands-on. My viewpoint is that physical treatment is always preferable if it’s possible. But sometimes, distant treatment is the only way we have to offer Reiki.   [Read more…]


Why Get Treatment?

I was recently teaching a First Degree class. On the second day, one of the students asked, “If we can treat ourselves with Reiki, why would we have someone else treat us?”   [Read more…]


Reiki Me!

Some months ago I was teaching a First Degree Reiki class. That very first evening, I said it would be fine for students to start putting their hands on friends or family members if they had the opportunity. Among the participants was a mom   [Read more…]


From Now On

Thursday I was carrying a batch of freshly picked raspberries to the garage freezer when a wasp flew up my sleeve and bit me twice. It hurt like heck and I immediately put my hand on the spot and reiki-ed it. Of course, this made it hurt all the more, but after about ten minutes the pain was gone and that was the end of that. This is a pretty common response among people who’ve learned Reiki. Once you experience the way Reiki takes away acute pain, it makes an impression, and you know this is the best first-aid you’ve got. But I know a lot of people whose use of Reiki stops with first-aid.

Why is that? In every First Degree class, the teacher explains that self-treatment is the foundation and starting point for the practice. You report on your self-treatment experience each day of class, and you’re encouraged to make self-treatment a part of your daily routine “from this moment forward.”

So what happens? If you can take away a burn, a bite, or a sprain within minutes, something pretty potent and unusual must be at work here, right? I’d venture to guess that the “something” is so potent that you and I have a hard time comprehending what we’re working with.

You’re using the very essence of life, the “something” that animates every single living thing, when you do Reiki. Just think about it. This is infinite, unlimited, life-giving power flowing through you whenever you put your hands on yourself or somebody else.

No wonder we don’t get it. This is hard to get. This is mind-boggling. This is true. This really deserves thinking about.

And you’re not “doing” anything to make it happen. You don’t need to be born smart, or spend years studying and training, or be highly spiritual and intuitive. You just have to use it. That’s how the light, the understanding, grows brighter inside you. That’s how you learn what’s going on–with practice, with familiarity, with watching what you feel when you treat yourself.

But it takes time. And most of us are busy–sometimes crazy busy–so the fact that we know how to directly access the very essence of life kind of falls off our radar. We just forget. It helps if we stop and reflect on what we’ve been told about Reiki.

As Takata said, “This power is unfathomable, immeasurable, and being a

universal life force, it is incomprehensible to man. Yet, every single living being is receiving its blessings daily . . . It is an unseen spiritual power that vibrates and all other powers fade into insignificance beside it.”

That’s what you’ve got. Who wouldn’t want to put their hands on themselves? Right now. Tonight. Tomorrow morning. Every day from now on.

Be well and happy,

Susan for Reiki Healing Arts


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Reiki Healing Arts
Barbara McDaniel and Susan Mitchell
1042 W. Mill Ave #103
Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814 USA



Prayers of Aspiration

“For as long as space endures,
and as long as sentient beings remain,
until then, may I too abide
to dispel the misery of the world.” – Shantideva

Do you know this prayer?

It goes, in part: “Make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon . . . Where there is despair, hope. Where there is darkness, light. Where there is sadness, joy.”

It is one of the best loved prayers in the English-speaking world. It goes by the name of “Peace Prayer of St. Francis,” its radical aspiration attributed to the beloved saint, Francis of Assisi. But St. Francis did not write this.

No one knows who the author is. It apparently appeared in Europe around 1915, written in French on the back of a St. Francis prayer card, hence its name and the inaccurate attribution. A few months ago, I started to write a column based on St. Francis and his prayer, but the premise collapsed when I learned the truth about the authorship. I wrote about something else.

As you may know by now, I am leaving my work—including my role as editor of this magazine—to live, work, study, and practice in a new Tibetan Buddhist monastery, established for Western students, in eastern Washington. Many people ask, why?

Well, this is why. I believe Usui’s torch burns in each of us, and that the practice he gave us calls us to cultivate our spiritual capabilities. I believe that his Reiki Principles outline our goals in developing those capabilities. The human mind/heart has infinite potential for good—wisdom, love, compassion, generosity. But I know a mind like mine must be trained before that inner light can burn its brightest. I aspire to develop a heart/mind that is kind and strong enough to enact St. Francis’s prayer, not just admire it. For me, personally, Buddha’s teachings offer a way to realize Usui’s principles—if not in this lifetime, then in a future one. And I have been offered the equivalent of a full work-study scholarship to pursue this training.

While I’m there, I’ll continue to practice Reiki, especially treating myself, but also treating others. I probably won’t teach or write about Reiki. After nineteen years as a Reiki Master, I treasure the opportunity to sink deeply into my student practice again, re-acquainting myself with Reiki on a very personal, hands-on level.

The broad worldwide Reiki Magazine community of writers and readers—especially Rolf and Li-Li Holm and the magazine team—has occupied a huge place in my heart for eight years. I now commend my role in it to good hands.

Now that I’m used to it, I love the idea that an anonymous priest or parishioner from a small village penned that prayer. It’s a relief. You don’t have to be a saint to make big prayers. It suggests that an ordinary person like me—or you—can pursue a huge aspiration to make herself an instrument of peace.

Barbara McDaniel



Vast Mission

“It may prove true that a single collective directed thought is all it takes to change the world.”
– Lynne McTaggart

Trust me, I am no scientist, but I am fascinated by the work Lynne McTaggart is bringing to light in her books The Field and now The Intention Experiment. As McTaggart details, science is validating the mystical, metaphysical knowings of saints and sages, and like many who practice Reiki, I am drawn to spiritual pursuits.

Here’s one experiment I can’t get out of my head. Dr. William A. Tiller is a Fellow to the American Academy for the Advancement of Science and Professor Emeritus of Stanford University’s Department of Materials Science. According to Spirit of Ma’at magazine, Dr. Tiller wanted to know if human consciousness could affect physical matter in a measurable way. Could a thought, for example, raise (or lower) the pH of water?

In chemistry, pH is the measure of the strength of an acid or a base. Generally, the pH of a solution changes with the addition of more acidity or alkalinity.

Dr. Tiller commissioned the creation of a simple electronic box and asked four experienced meditators to mentally “program” the device with an intention to raise the pH of water. He wrapped the box in aluminum and shipped it to a laboratory in California, where scientists turned it on and placed it near a container of water. Sure enough, the water’s pH went up one to one and a half points. On the pH scale, that’s a lot.

Like any good scientist, Dr. Tiller repeated this experiment many times, and here’s the most interesting thing. He discovered that, “When they kept running the same experiment over and over again, the laboratory began to become ‘conditioned,’ so that the same result would happen more strongly or more quickly. And eventually, it would happen even after the device was no longer in the room.” In other words, Tiller proved that “when intent is repeated in the same space, eventually it becomes permanent.”

Holy moly! Think about what this says about the power of our thoughts!

In the school of Buddhism I have practiced for many years, we learn to set an expansive motivation for our actions, endeavoring to cultivate love, compassion, and wisdom with all that we do, while working to diminish anger, craving, and ignorance. It’s a vast mission, but incredibly worthwhile. As I contemplate Dr. Tiller’s discovery, I see how vital it is for our world that we get very clear about our positive intentions and set our minds to them.

We do that in Reiki, of course, but I have an opportunity to take this further, to spend time in a Buddhist monastic community where I can focus fully on developing a clear intent—and a greater capacity—to benefit others. So I’m going. This summer, I will leave the magazine, leave my Reiki practice, and go study. I don’t know the result of this action, but it’s an opportunity I must take. I’ll be on this page for one issue more. As I meditate, I will especially hold you and all Reiki students in mind, for we are especially blessed to have this healing energy ally to help us clarify our intentions and to help others.

-Barbara McDaniel



What Should I Be Thinking?

by Barbara McDaniel

“What should I be thinking?” is a universal question of first-time Reiki clients and First Degree students.
“Do I have to hold a healing intention? Do I need to concentrate on anything in particular? Could I block the energy from having its healing effect?”

The answer to all of these is the same: you don’t need to think about anything in particular. In fact, holding a very concentrated thought could distract you from feeling or sensing what might be happening. How is it possible that something so effective can “work” without you having to think about it?

The truth is, every time someone lays her hands down to begin a Reiki treatment, intentionality is at work.

“Huh? I thought you said we didn’t have to think about anything.”

You don’t.

Think about it. Why did you offer the treatment in the first place? Maybe you saw someone suffering in some way, inspiring your compassion. Or maybe you just wanted to connect. The thought arose, “I would like to share Reiki with this person.” So you offer . . . and that’s your intention–to help, to heal (if you will), to connect with this being before you.

Same thing when you ask for a treatment. Usually people turn to Reiki when something is not comfortable, mentally, emotionally, or physically. You think, “I wonder if this could help me.” Once you agree to receive Reiki, intentionality is in motion.

From the giver’s point of view, the thought, “I’d like to offer this person some Reiki,” sets your intention. When you ask permission and the receiver assents, she joins you in the intention. When you begin the treatment–any type, any length–the intention becomes manifest action that both people are engaged in. From that moment, there’s nothing to do but allow Reiki–universal life energy–to fulfill its mission of bringing healing and wholeness to the recipient.

Can Reiki help even if the receiver doesn’t believe in it?

Yes, definitely. Many a skeptic has experienced remarkable results from Reiki treatment, and these people often become Reiki’s heartiest proponents. The catch is, they must be willing to receive the treatment, whether they “believe in it” or not. Once they agree, they have joined in the intention.

I once was having tea with a Buddhist nun who mentioned her sciatic pain. She was teaching that evening and would be sitting for a long time, so the pain was a cause for concern. I knew from previous conversations that this wonderful woman was extremely skeptical of Reiki, but I offered a treatment anyway. I knew it would help if she would let me treat her. This person didn’t believe for a second that Reiki would do anything for her, but she did know that it would be good for my mind to make an offering to her, so she accepted. “But only for ten minutes!” she almost grumbled. OK. I would take what I could get.

She lay on her stomach, and I placed my hands on the painful area to give a spot treatment. My hands were on fire. I could feel a specific line of pain cross her backside. It was also clear to my hands that her body was receptive to the Reiki. I pushed our agreement a little, treating for fifteen minutes. Then she had many things to do, so I left without asking after her condition.

Two hours later, I stood in the meditation hall with other Dharma students awaiting her arrival. She bustled in energetically, as is her nature. As she came down the aisle, her head turned side to side. As she got closer, I heard her saying, “Where’s Barbara?” I raised my hand and she flashed me the most gratifying smile. “It worked,” she said. I still don’t know if you could classify her as “a believer,” but she willingly receives and even asks for treatment when I see her.

–Intentionality is only a part of the many factors at work in Reiki treatment, but it is significant.

Soon, perhaps, we’ll know more about the power of thoughts.

In a recent London experiment, 400 people focused their attention on a geranium leaf in an Arizona laboratory. They wanted to see if the leaf would respond to their strong intention to make it glow. Literally. Just from the strength of their thought.

There was plenty of expensive equipment to measure any subtle change in the leaf’s biophoton emission, but it was hardly necessary. Within minutes of the group sending their intention, the leaf began to glow so brightly, scientists could see it with the naked eye!

This experiment will have to be repeated many times to validate the results, but doesn’t it make you think? (You can learn more at the