May the Force Be with You

Under the night sky

On the cusp between twilight and night the fireflies began to rise. The heavy heat of an Ohio summer day had compressed the air inside the house. Inside my head a claustrophobic resistance to the threat of bedtime in the sweltering dormitory I shared with my sisters drove me out onto the lawn. Cool grass. Darkening sky. Quiet heightened by the distance from the noisy family circle inside. At the great age of 8, the eldest of five, I savored the privilege of solitude on the cusp of night. But I was not alone. As I sat under the full cold moon, first one, then another and a third tiny golden lantern flickered in the grass.

Lightning bugs, we called them; and, like lightning, their flashing signals struck me as some sort of message. The fireflies winked on and off, “Look here!” “Now here!” I sat very still. The grass beneath my ankles prickled, “Pay attention!” The earth spread itself out and down all around me, held me up as the night sky dizzied me with its sheer immensity. Awake now, alert even though it was past my bedtime, I waited for what I did not know.

From somewhere far below I felt a force rising. As if threading pearls on a golden string, the force shot up through the ground, through my body, through the moon, beyond and was gone. My scalp tingled as though my head had been brushed by mighty wings. A sentence fully formed flashed through my mind, “I am too little to know what I know.” But before those words, my heart had received the message.

What the heart knows

When people ask me “What is Reiki?” that message from childhood comes back to me. We are all too little, in our limited linear minds, to know what Reiki is. Yet there is a knowing that even a child can grasp: a force connects us all, every living thing, even things we think of as inert like the earth, moon and stars; and we are made to interact with it.

Understanding the force is not just for children, mystics, and Jedi knights. Even the most skeptical or rational person has felt its effects. Ever been to a basketball game when a team finds its momentum, or heard musicians when they’re in the pocket? It’s as if all the practice and teamwork magically comes together, electrifying everybody. What is that? Science, the prevailing religion of our age, may give us the answers our miraculous human minds desire. I’ll celebrate that day. In the meantime, the force is already with us.

During Reiki treatment we slow down and listen up, getting in touch—literally—with the universal energy that we are. Taking Reiki classes allows us to cultivate a conversation with the energy that surrounds, sustains, and salutes us. We align ourselves with this force through daily practice, as easy as “wax on, wax off”, as precise as a lay-up drill, and as potent as light saber training.

Since that night lit by fireflies, Life has continued to pulse its message to and through and beyond me. Every moment is an invitation to look, pay attention, and share the ongoing adventure of co-creating the world. The force of universal life energy beckons all of us, from tiny illuminations in our own back yard, to waves of collective celebration at the Rose Garden, to the simple touch of a loving hand. I look forward to a time when you choose to interact with Reiki to celebrate the gift of your life. May the force be with you!