My Reiki Journey
By Prenisha Arumugam
I find myself back home in SA, back to living with my parents, back to being unemployed, back to being single, back to being nothing. Why is this happening to me? Why is it always me? Is this what life is meant to be for me? Am I destined to be a loser? Am I destined to be a failure? Is this all there is? Nothing more, always less? Surely there is more? This can’t be it? Please! Help me! Show me that there is more! Tell me what to do! Guide me! Help me! I can’t do this any more!!
Days seem to be melting into each other. I cant tell what today is and don’t care what tomorrow will be. Life is a blur. I remember that I begged and pleaded with the Gods, the angels, my late grandmother to please help me or take me away. I didn’t want to be here any more. If all I’m ever going to be is broke and isolated then I don’t want to be here. Even with thinking these thoughts, something in the back of my mind, deep down in my gut, told me that this can’t be it. ‘There is more out there’. ‘You are destined for greater things’. ‘Hang in there!’
It was a day like any other. I woke up late just like I always do because there was no reason for me to be up early. I see a message on my phone, on one of the Whatsapp groups, about doing a Reiki course for free. Could this be meant for me? Could this be the answer I was looking for? Was this the guidance I asked for? I looked down at the phone and saw that the message was sent early in the morning. Thinking to myself that its too late now someone must’ve already taken the spot….but…what if this was the sign, what if this was what I have been asking for, I must try. I always say to myself “If it is meant, it is meant”.
I sent a private message to Renier (the man offering the Reiki course) not knowing whether this was for me but I took my chance. He replied and called me to have a quick chat. At the time, talking to him, little did I know or realise how much this man would be a part of my life moving forward. I explained to him about me surviving a bomb attack in Sri Lanka and that was the last straw for me – having to live through multiple unfortunate events and not knowing why. It felt like no matter what I did or how much I tried to push through, I always ended up in the same situation. I just needed answers but I wasn’t sure that Reiki would give me those answers. I didn’t know much about Reiki to be honest. I knew it to be some hocus pocus thing people do with their hands to try and heal others of their physical ailments. Nevertheless I was willing to ask for this opportunity and see if this really was the answer to my prayers. After me going on about how unfair my life seemed to be and my endless search for answers…I was pleasantly surprised when Renier said I got the spot and then proceeded to tell me what I needed to prepare for the course. The conversation ended and I was in a bit of a daze. ‘I guess this is happening now’, I thought. I was in shock that I actually secured the spot, this WAS meant for me then, I AM supposed to do this course. I had faith in the guidance I received and I fully trusted that ‘They'(my angels, guides, ancestors etc.) were sending me to exactly where I needed to be. Still very much unaware of what lied ahead I was ready to get the process going – the process of learning and understanding “why me?”
To be honest I wasn’t sure that I was the right candidate for it. People always told my sister to do Reiki because she had ‘nice hands’. I wasn’t sure as to why Renier accepted me to do the course. I was depressed, angry, frustrated and nowhere near a sound mind let alone being ready to be a healer to someone else. There was a lot of uncertainty around whether I was right for the course or not but I knew there was a definite purpose around me doing this. Even when one of the preparation tasks before the course was to abstain from sugar (an absolute nightmare for a constant candy eater like myself) I knew I had to do it and do my very best. The day finally came for my course. Excited and nervous, not getting hardly enough sleep the night before, I was ready to get things started.
Upon reaching the venue in which the course was being held I met some members of the Reiki clan. It was nice to put a face behind the contact, having only interacted with the members over social media. The vibe was warm and welcoming and it made me feel at ease. My classmates were pleasant and so was Renier. The day went on quite smoothly and the training was easy enough to digest. One thing that stood out for me was the fact that I couldn’t feel a single thing when it came to the hands on healing. My classmates were describing such wondrous things and feelings but I could not feel any heat, cold, tingling, no visions of any sort….nothing! I took it quite hard/personally that I wasn’t able to do what the others could. It was only the next day during class when I could feel how blocked I was. I could feel how many walls I had built up through all the years of hardship and trauma. Layer upon layer of thick, impenetrable blocks.
At that very same moment when I felt the blockages, Renier received guidance to change the music that was currently playing, to a Devi mantra. I noticed him move across the room and felt like he was about to do something under the influence of a higher power. Once I heard that song – something happened, something clicked, something changed and I broke down in tears. It was at this point that I realised that this man was my Sensei. He knew exactly what I needed and when I needed it. A wall came crashing down that day and many realisations were made. It never occurred to me that I was still holding on to many hurts from my childhood. Some hurts I had even forgotten about or at very least, thought I had dealt with them by burying them deep down in a place never to be opened or revisited again. It was only then that I really understood the meaning of working through your problems and really dealing with them.
Reiki (Shoden) Level 1 was like a porthole for me. I didn’t realise at the time what I was getting myself into but I was so pleased that I took that step, that chance, that leap into the unknown. Many questions I had were answered in just those two days of training. I got answers to questions I didn’t even think of asking. Meeting more of the clan during the training was so inspiring as well, it catapulted me through the porthole. I could relate to all of the clan members. Some could also see and communicate with the dead and that felt so comforting to me. I didn’t feel like a freak any more, an outcast…I had found my soul tribe. I could talk to them freely without fear of judgement or having to explain myself. They all understood in some way, shape or form what its like to be different. The porthole lead me to a whole new world for me. A world full of love, understanding, magic, power, dimensions, beings and immense light.
For a long time I saw my gifts as a curse and Shoden was the shift I needed to look at what I had and to be grateful for it – to see my gifts as a blessing and not a curse. My journey over the next month was not easy and I looked to my Sensei for guidance almost daily. He honoured me with his wisdom and never left my side, solidifying my respect and admiration for him. I then received my Shoden level certificate at the next Reiki circle which was when
I had started my Reiki (Okuden) level 2 training.
Reiki 2 was vastly different from Shoden but just as powerful and life changing. Going into this training I thought the experience would be similar where I’d break down even more walls and would be covered in snot and tears. It wasn’t too long when the training started I found myself lying outside on the ground with 6 people surrounding me, praying, singing and sending healing my way. It was a far cry from what I was expecting but that is the very essence of Reiki – healing goes to where ever it is needed, not necessarily where it is wanted. I got what I needed. Turned out I received something known as a ‘download’ or messages from Spirit…a levelling up. I used to get these downloads as a child but always tried to stop them out of fear and not knowing what was really happening to me. It was a life changing experience to go through. For the first time I wasn’t running away from it I was embracing it and all because I felt safe being surrounded by my reiki family. I can’t say much about the rest of the training because quite honestly I can’t remember it. Everything just seems a blur, I was still very much between worlds.
Sensei said to me that Shoden was all about the masculine aspect, healing the physical and Okuden was about the feminine aspect, going internal. I didn’t get what he was saying but when the download happened I instantly understood. It was just beautiful for me to witness and go through, healing both the masculine and feminine. What was also very cool to see was that each person that did the training also had similar realisations but those epiphanies came about in very different ways. I could literally feel myself level up. I could feel things I couldn’t feel in the first training. I could tell exactly where someone needed healing. I could not believe the amount of power and magic I was experiencing. It fascinated me that I could tune in with anyone effortlessly. The distance healing was just as mind blowing. We all say that we are one, we are connected, we are all children of God but this just put it into practice. The feeling of connecting with someone over a distance and literally feel them send healing was truly amazing….kind of freaky but amazing nevertheless.
Over the next couple of months working on my Okuden portfolio my alignment with my angels and guides just got stronger. I could communicate more easily with them using my tarot card. I could feel them, sense them but most importantly listen to them and their wisdom. Many epiphanies happened much like Shoden but more on an emotional level. I was tossed into this (what seemed like) a never ending pit of my own darkness. I had to face my deepest emotions and those were centred around how I saw myself. Do I respect myself as a women? Do I feel worthy? Do I love myself unconditionally? Do I know my worth? How was my relationship with my mother? How was her relationship with hers? Not too long after I started asking these questions I not only healed my emotional state but of those around me as well. The women in my immediate family had been through quite a bit and we all needed healing.
Little did I know how deep the pit actually was. I then went on a incredible journey healing generational wounds and blockages of my ancestors. I never understood when people said time and space doesn’t exist but I started to get a better understanding of it. I was honoured to meet many of my ancestors and help them heal and finish off whatever karmas they had left. If that wasn’t crazy enough, I then went on to heal trauma from my own past lives. This was extremely eye opening because I never understood why I am the way that I am in certain aspects of my life. So after loads of healing and even more self realisations I had finally finished and handed in my 2nd portfolio, making me a Okuden Reiki Practitioner. I should have been excited about this at the time but I wasn’t. Over the period from arriving back from Sri Lanka till the completion of Okuden I felt switched off. I wasn’t excited, I wasn’t passionate, I wasn’t joyful….I had lost my zest for life…I had lost my spark. I was okay with it during my healing stages though, thinking that maybe I’m meant to be numb to the world so as to allow space for self reflection and healing.
It became frustrating over time. I felt dead inside and it was the worse feeling. I tried to ignite a spark by doing things that made me happy before – cooking, eating, dancing, singing, drawing, colouring, travelling…anything to try and jolt a glimpse of happiness. Nothing seemed to work. Some days were better than others. I’d feel grateful to be alive, to have my family and friends, to have pets, to have food and shelter and to have this gift but other days I’d feel like I was wasting my life away. It felt like I was bi polar, for lack of a better term. I never felt so many emotions at the same time, ever. It was so over whelming for me and difficult to handle. I was accustomed to feeling one emotion at a time; happy, sad, excited etc. But now I opened myself up so much I could feel multiple emotions all at the same time. How can someone feel grateful and hopeful but be hurt bout the injustices in the world and angry about not being able to do anything about it, all at the same time. I struggled with the amplification of my emotions. I struggled with feeling other peoples emotions as well. I had to learn not to take on other peoples’ energy or emotions. I had to learn to put up boundaries and cut chords/emotional ties. I had to learn to say no and that saying no wasn’t being disrespectful. I was forced to look after myself and my energy, I was forced to put myself first. It was difficult for me but it was too consuming and draining for me not to do so. Eventually I got the hang of saying no (almost too well) and I learnt to do things because I wanted to do them and not out of obligation.
Feeling that I had grown so much and learnt loads over the past couple months surely it would be time for me to get back into the world. I was so wrong! The Gods obviously had other plans. Corona hits the world and we all go into lockdown. ‘Just Great!’ I finally decided that I was ready to make things happen and be the success I know I should be, I get stuck at home. Why is this happening? Am I meant to do or learn more? I was still unable to feel passionate or motivated about life even though I worked diligently to change that. I thought at the time maybe if I go on a new adventure it might spark the flame that had been put out a year ago. Everyday seemed to be on repeat. No change in the 3D but I was blowing up in the 5D. I could do things I never thought possible and it was amazing. But if things are so good in the spiritual realm why are things not moving in the earthly realm? Why am I still
stagnant? What more do I need to do?
The answer, yet again, came through on a Whatsapp message when my Sensei said he is starting to do online Reiki courses. I thought to myself that this was it. I need to do Reiki 3 (Shinpiden). I never wanted to do the course because I thought that level 1 and 2 was good enough for me and level 3 is more for people who wanted to pursue Reiki as a daily thing, a source of income, people who are serious about it. So with a bit of uncertainty I message Sensei saying I would like to do Shinpiden. We proceeded to have a lengthy conversation resulting in me becoming a level 3 student. After recapping level 1 and 2 manuals I started on the Reiki guide book and it did not go down well. A large part of the book says that a Shinpiden student has to practice Reiki on people daily. This knocked me down hard, as I started my Reiki journey purely on my own self development, it was never my intention to help other people. Has Sensei made a mistake by accepting me as a Shinpiden student? Did I make a mistake by asking to be one? Maybe this isn’t for me? These questions and anxiety around them were amplified when we had our online group lesson. Listening to everyone being so happy and positive about helping others and finding their calling….I just felt so awful. Surely I’ve made a huge mistake but I did write a letter of commitment and I ain’t no quitter (like I usually say), reluctantly I push forward.
I then come to the in depth history of Reiki and of Usui Sensei ( the brilliant man who discovered Reiki). It was a strange yet awesome experience reading his life story – it felt as though I were reading my life story. He too, a very intelligent man, studied and worked hard. Went travelling and exploring multiple practices and religions. He had loads of different occupations throughout his lifetime (his CV would probably be just as messy as mine) and he had two businesses which both failed miserably. Probably feeling like a failure and disgracing his family no doubt, he set off on a path asking the question I found myself asking at the beginning of my journey “Why me?” He then went on to meditate on a mountain for 21 days and became self realised. He then stumbled across the healing benefits of self realisation and that was how Reiki came about. Healing was only a by product! Reading all of this I felt my head explode into tiny fireworks, bright and colourful. It blew my mind that I could relate so closely to a man that lived a hundred years ago who was Japanese and a martial artist of the highest ranking. We are so different and yet so similar. I realised that I am supposed to be here. I am supposed to do Shinpiden. I had no idea that I was practising the purest form of Reiki – self realisation. Finding the purpose of life is the essence of Reiki, it seemed to be forgotten or not really marketed that way. Nevertheless, I was so excited to find out this information…I guess Sensei did know what he was doing.
I felt amazing, I felt at ease and I felt way more confident in myself. Going through the rest of the Shinpiden manual was a breeze. The perfect ending to my level 3 journey was a visit to Sensei’s house for a weekend. This too was a fated event for me because Reiki was first taught in this manner. The students would go stay with their Sensei to learn Reiki through observation. I felt like I was honouring tradition, I was honouring Usui Sensei. A man whom I have come to love and respect. It was so special to share that time with my Sensei and his family. The experience was beautiful, it was personal and I will never forget it.
Looking back at the beginning of my journey I feel so grateful to the Gods for steering me in the right direction and to my Sensei for taking a chance on me. Finally, everything makes sense. All my questions have been answered. Why me? Because I am chosen, we all are. Why did all those bad things happen to me? Because it moulded and shaped me to be this kind yet confident being. I had to go through those things to learn and to grow. I realised that life is full of ups and downs, sometimes there seems to be more downs than ups but both need to be equally appreciated. Everything that has happened in my life has lead me towards Reiki, towards Anshin Ritsumei (Life Purpose). I am destined for greater things. There is so much more out there for me to experience. Reiki has taught me to trust myself, to love myself. It has taught me that I can trust others as well. It showed me the bigger picture which I failed to see on countless occasions. Reiki has allowed me to find me, so that I can be truly and authentically myself no matter what judgements people may pass. It taught me to have faith. It taught me that magic does exist and it is all around us, within us and we are all connected.
As my time being a Reiki student comes to an end, my time as a life student still continues. I head towards a new life cycle. I can feel a brand new adventure awaits me. Do I know what that is or where I’m going? No I don’t. But I trust my metaphysical family (angels, guides, ancestors) fully and wholeheartedly. They have always guided me and will continue to do so without a single doubt in my mind. I might not know what lies ahead but what I do know is this – I am now much wiser, much stronger and that much more intuitive.
I am ready!