I was in a secondhand bookstore in Amsterdam. I was just browsing, but I couldn’t really find anything I liked, so I was heading for the door. Just as I was leaving, I saw an orange paperback on the counter which caught my eye.

“Is this for sale?” I asked.

“Of course,” said the store owner.

This book opened my eyes like no other book had done. It was Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda. If you know, you know. The book reads like a fairy tale as it takes the reader on an incredible journey first in India, in the Himalayan foothills, where Yogananda meets his sage-like teacher. He experiences cosmic consciousness and union with God, and later we travel with him to America, where he establishes schools and ashrams. Truly awe-inspiring stuff.

I now had a new understanding of our potential. Now, I wanted to become enlightened; “how hard can it be?” I told myself.

I meditated daily and set my intention to find a teacher who could get me there. Crazy as it may sound, in the end, it happened. I spent almost 14 years with a real enlightenment teacher. Unfortunately, not a sweet, kind Himalayan sage, but a small, mustachioed New Yorker – he was tough, but in many ways, he was the real deal. I learned a lot; truly, I became a totally new person.

So, what’s all this got to do with Reiki, I hear you ask?

Fair question. I’ll try to explain. When I understood my (our) true potential, life finally began to make sense. I had a context large enough to explain the hardships and challenges to life and how we could evolve through them to our highest potential. When you have a context big enough, where everything fits, you can begin to see the connection between all things. Self-development, the evolution of consciousness, and healing are all part of the same matrix of human experience.

With my teacher, I studied Evolutionary Enlightenment. He didn’t really like Reiki much or anything in the New Age realm, but I began to see how it all fitted. I saw that Reiki itself, when taught in a context big enough, could be a real path to Self-Realization.

Audacious stuff, I know. But this is how I approach Reiki, as a powerful tool for growth and deep self-acceptance. Reiki illuminates the energetic aspects of healing and helps us develop our intuition and subtle awareness, allowing us to directly access higher knowledge. Taught in this way, Reiki is a vehicle for our spiritual sovereignty – you are reconnecting directly with the source without the need for third-party approval or permission. This is very powerful.

Knowing this through my direct experience, truly, it is impossible for me to ever put Reiki in a smaller or more limited context. When you know what is possible for each of us, you are morally obligated to give no less than that to your students.

At least that’s how I see it.

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