Reiki Diary: Day 22

So securing VIP front row seats at a Slayer gig would obviously get anyone who is into the darker side of music excited. I did, therefore I was, as were my comrades “N” and “M”. What we were not expecting was to witness the thrash behemoths performing an acoustic set (not even of their own recordings). Furthermore, we totally not expecting the band to appear on stage through trap doors in the floor, dressed in glam gear, with the attention drawn to a young Tom Araya who was dressed in a tight light-grey all-in-one plastic spandex suit, cropped at the buttocks like hot pants, and with more foundation on than the entire audience at SistersofMercyCon. It was hardly any wonder that I woke up ashamed of my subversive subconscious, although thankfully the site of the lead singer in such garb didn’t stare any morning risers.

Once fully awake, it was time to assess my state of mind. It was calm. It was really calm. In times gone by, it would have been a lot different. Those Monday morning post holiday blues kicking in, awaiting the series of singing pings from colleagues not able to get in touch for a week, watching the Microsoft Outlook totaliser increasing as the emails cascade into my inbox. No. Not today. I was calm. Maybe it was the reiki session last night. Maybe it was the fact that I knew I would be in reactive mode for a time, awaiting responses to the key document I sent before my leave which are not due in for 4 weeks. Maybe it was my new peaceful and positive approach to life. Maybe it was all of these things.

So by 7.14, I was logged on, reading though the emails I needed to catch up on. Realising that I hadn’t ‘downloaded’ everything I needed, I toddled off to the bathroom and did the needful, and with some (not a lot) of trepidation, I manoeuvred the scales into position and took a deep breath, knowing the toll that 9 days away can have on the body. To my surprise, I have only gained 1kg during our time away. As predicted, my running shoes stayed on walking mode, but on reflection, I ate a lot of salads, a lot of yoghurt, a lot of omelettes and walked a fair bit. My positive mood just got a whole lot more positive.

I carried on catching up with emails for the remainder of the morning and had some time to update my continuing Spotify project to come up with a definitive playlist of sitar based contemporary songs. To gain entry to this elite club, the sitar/table has to be the main instrument used and not just an intro riff, for example the start up to Wherever I May Roam by Metallica did not get in. There is one exception however, I just had to include Indian Summer by The Doors, on which the acoustic guitar is as close to a sitar as you will hear (with the tenuous link to India in the title too). I was surprised that by midday, I was up to 17, with entries from the likes of The Beatles, Kula Shaker, Jah Wobble, The Moody Blues and Richie Havens. I’ll keep searching and hopefully will get to about 30. If I get to 29, I may just have to include Om by Smeg and the Heads…

During my search for reiki space yesterday and post-living-room-reorganisation, I remembered that “L” had a collection of bean bag chairs from The Famous Bankrupt Store in Birkenhead in her therapy room. As I was contemplating my feng’s and my shui’s on the sofa at 4:01pm yesterday, this came to me and in a flash I was in the car tear arsing (safely of course) to Borough Road to purchase two. As with all things I got stuck behind an aged driver who would not go above 24 mph all the way to Hamilton Square. I got to the store at 4:24pm just but the final door shutter went up, only to find that they had sold out. The lady behind the counter said that tomorrow morning she would ring around the other shops to see if they had any in stock. To my delight, I got a call around 2pm today to say that 2 had been delivered from the Crosby store and they were ready to be collected, albeit slightly more expensive today (which I was happy to pay on the basis of speed and delivery charge). So picked up they were and ferried back to the house along with the dog who we picked up from the kennels. Looking forward to my next meditation session on them when I get back from London this week.

Following a super pasta based dinner from the missus, I picked up my yoga bag for the last time for a month and headed on. “P” was in the reception area when I got there and we chatted for a while about Tai Chi which I had read up on whilst I was in Brighton. Her version of this martial art were pretty much the same as I’d read, and I asked if Tai Chi course ran at Unique Body Solutions, which sadly to my disappointment did not. They did have a course at one point, but due to dwindling numbers it had to be cancelled. Yoga is paused for “P”s imminent trip to China, which reminded me of my recent trip to Copenhagen. As the wife and I were out and about one day, there was a Tai Chi style demonstration in the main square near the town hall. I recall there being three participants doing the manoeuvres/postures whilst 2 others handed out leaflets to passersby, which talked about this activity being suppressed in China, its followers being imprisoned or worse. I for the life of me could not remember what it was called, and “P” didn’t know (and hoped that her yoga mission over there would not be frowned upon by the China Communist Party).

Before we started, I talked to a girl there and she asked what I was going to do for a month, which I replied I will probably start running again and may try the Yoga Rooms in Moreton, which do the hot yoga. “P” went on to explain that Bikram as it known, has certain benefits but a fair amount of risk associated to it too. She said that for young and fitness freaks, then it is a good supplement to extreme training and the body beautiful, but there have been instances where people have had epileptic fits and strokes due to exercise at 100f + temperatures. She also said that in many places, they did not wash the mats sufficiently and bacterial infections can also set in, the worst case scenario being meningitis. All of that, with the added fact that the ‘yoga instructor’ has only just started this from her previous profession as a personal trainer, I think I’ll give it a miss, so I may seek out a Tai Chi taster session somewhere else.

It was a tough yoga session, I guess it had to be for the last one in a while, lots of floor work and angled stretching which my oddly angled Lovercraftian frame doesn’t cope too well with. When we got to the meditation section, I adopted the position I was in last time, but could not ‘reiki on’ as “P” was talking to the group the whole way through (instructions on tensing and relaxing) which is not really conducive to me ‘zoning out’. That said, I felt very peaceful walking home down the promenade way to our house.

We took “C” for a late walk down on the beach, he looked very calm and in a happy place (which is rather unique for a Springer Spaniel), he always seems to be when we pick him up from the kennels. Whilst walking the wife said that she had read that there are such things as foldable massage beds which may be good for our reiki sessions, so may check that out on the train tomorrow morning.

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Reiki Diary: Days 18 – 21

Day 18
Our trip around the closed stores in The Laines had certainly whetted our appetites to duck and dive in and out of the esoteric establishment of Brighton. So armed with a belly full of omelette, we headed over to Brighton, to first meet up with an old friend. Our paths crossed as recently as Sunday with the swapping of some ASCII code through the ethereal-net of Facebook, but we had not met in physical form in over 4 years.

Meeting in the far less esoteric Churchill shopping mall on the sea front, we were on the lookout for a 4’11 Geordie and her daughter, so it was more hunting low and low to be fair. Some people change in either their looks and/or their environment over time, but a couple of hours spent with our former friend proved that is not always the case. It was a strange place for me Malaysia, forced down the cul-de-sac of friendship with strangers and folks who under normal circumstances one would never dream of connecting with. In this instance and as we chatted and laughed about our time the and what we had been up to since our returns, there was a tinge of regret on my part as although we had spent some time with our present guest and her family in Kuala Lumpur, on reflection it was not enough compared to a lot of time with folks with hindsight would have been better spent either elsewhere or alone.

If I had my time again in Malaysia it would be completely different. Time for one of my new mantras:

“I don’t regret my past, I just regret the time I’ve wasted with the wrong people”.

With the cordial invite to her new place, we waved them farewell and made our way to The Laines. Awesome place. The shops, bars, street merchants and emporia were very ‘Glasto’. As we sat off with our Halloumi wraps and Veggie Sausage and Chips, we watched as all manner of folks, from all manner of backgrounds, with all manner of clothing on, walked on by. Right next door to the organic cafe, was a native American trinket store. I guess the reason I was drawn to it was back 19 days ago. During the reiki day with “L”, the sounds of the native American chanting and the cry of the wolf really did it for me. As much as I have come to love the sitar and the tabla, deep mediation and energy flow for me comes from the native American playlists I have installed on Spotify, I’m not sure why it resonates with me so much, maybe I’ll understand why at some point. As “K” and “L” were pawing their way through the various crystals and shiny stones, I made my way to the back of the shop where there was a fountain and some native antiquities on show. As an ideal opportunity to ‘tune in’ I closed my eyes and zoned in on the reiki and soundtrack coming through the speakers close by. Safe to say that it worked, and very well at that. I guess it was not to dissimilar to when “M” goes into the book stores and pagan shops in Glastonbury. I have often observed him coming out of the shops with paper wrapped goodies as temporary travelling companions with a certain glaze/peace about him.

In all, we spent a good few hours there, and the kids didn’t get too bored, in fact the final store saw “L” acquire a Magic: The Gathering 14th Edition Core Pack so he was happy. It’s safe to say the boy “M” would love it there, a potential lads weekend location it is.

All shopped out, we headed back to the house for some serious sofa therapy, after the mandatory ration run from Asda. It was a nap that the second I turned the key in the lock, the gauntlet of several games of MTG would be cast across my vision. True to form, “L” duly asked and I duly accepted, playing out the rest of the evening to the sound of ‘tapping cards’ the relocation of the ‘dragon poo’ back into the holster.

With energy at an all time low, we all collapsed into separate beds and dreamt of far off places…

Day 19
What holiday in the UK would be complete without a day trip to a castle. As we were driving to West Wittering earlier in the week, we had noticed a quaint village called Arundel (the exact name I was threatening to call my first child…), and that plastered over several advertisement boards was the fact that this week was mediaeval week, with crafts, mêlées, jousting and the like on show for all to enjoy.

Armed once again with tummys full of eggs and back packs full of sandwiches, we set of to discover ancient Arundel. The village itself is very picturesque, straddling a river, whose houses look as if they could fall over at any time.

We arrived just as the first joust had finished, but were heartened to find out that we were sitting in front of the mêlée area and there would be two further chances to see the jousting. The mêlée section was good, the men at arms being in light armour, able to move about relatively quickly. It was great to see that “K” got into it with a passion, and was very animated in cheering on the Holy Roman Empire (who were fighting against the French).

Following up was a quick sprint up the hill to were the bards were gathering folks. We perched ourselves under a tree and began to watch the show, which was a collection of kids selected from the audience to take up various roles for Robin Hood. I guess there was a certain inevitability about my selection to take part. It always seems to happen to me, but I’m always keen to take part, must be that positive vibe I seem to exude at times. I was a peasant. I was a thieving peasant. I was waiting for the inevitable Scouse dig (which normally comes from me before anyone else gets the chance), but our role as peasants (three of us in total) was to each wear a hat made from potato sacks, and to steal the others, last hat standing type thing. Of course I won the warm up having the element of surprise (being a Scouser), but once it was game on for real, my height disadvantage being downhill of the others took its toll and I was first out.

Shortly after my defeat “K” was up, dressed as one of Robin Hoods outlaws and took part in a rather aggressive rumble with highly competitive kids with sponge tubing. All things turned out well in the end, Robin Hood was not killed, he married the Maid Marian, and there was much rejoicing.

The rest of the day we spent castle creeping and watched with interest the jousting session cheering especially loudly when the English were up against the French. “L” also managed to get a quick three arrows in the archery test, with the third attempt being bang on in the centre of gold.

After cooking dinner, I settled down to start my new bookstore acquisition, and got quite a way in, but stopped at the exercises section, too pooped to carry on…

Day 20
No dreams. Too tired to dream. Today being the last day was to be spent in a small town on the outskirts of Brighton called Lewes, a place highly recommended by my good friend “K” who was there recently. I don’t think he will win any contracts as a trip advisor now that Alan Wicker has passed away. The big selling point from him, was that it like Glastonbury, only cleaner. I was obviously looking forward to this immensely after such praise, and was totally and utterly despondent when we got there. It was in fact a town full of antique shops, whose trinkets were being bought by even older ‘antiques’.

I guess a single bloke wandering in and out of pubs and cafes with a girl for company will be very different than when a family turn up en masse for the day. In his defence, he said that when he was there, there were buskers, street artists the lot. Sadly it must have been either a festival on at the time, or Keith lied to me just to obtain 3 bottles of Spanish wine from Harveys the Brewery which just so happened to be in Lewes.

Slightly disappointed, we headed for the nearest cafe in search of sustenance and then moved on to spend an hour in the local lido, the oldest open air swimming pool in England so they say. “K” made friends instantly and had a great time, but as the storm closed gathered, we packed up our gear and headed back to the house where we ended our holidays with a mammoth film and snack session.

Day 21
The drive back was good, better than good. Managed to get back in just over four hours which included a pit-stop at Keele Services for KFC. During my passenger leg, I read a little more of the Reiki bible and discovered another thing that I may well look into in the near future. Unique Body Solutions in New Brighton every Thursday offer a Tai Chi course, which from what I can understand is a veritable tombola of yoga, meditation and reiki and run a session each Thursday, but what caught my was that they were doing a full Tai Chi course in September. I may well look into that.

With the wife out with the girls from school for end of year drinks and tapas, I decided to do some room rearranging. Ideally we would have a dedicated room for yoga and reiki, but with three kids and a dog at home it’s not realistic. Late afternoon, I had all of these grand ideas to completely redo the dining room ditching a load of furniture, but the sage words of advice from the significant other rightly put me on the right track. Instead I de-cluttered the living room getting rid of everything superfluous and giving that real minimalist feel, and pooled all of my various carvings and bas-reliefs from around the globe on to the bookshelf (along with me mood candles).

After the kids had settled down upstairs, I did yoga for 20 minutes via the Samsung app on my Smart TV which was a bit crap (nothing like the real thing), so instead launched Spotify and hit play on the native American playlist. It wasn’t too long before the reiki kicked in. The key point from last night’s session was my legs. It was quite surreal actually. Deep in mediation, the energy was flowing around my legs and seemed to settle on my right knee which began to pulse and heat up. After a short time the pulsing stopped and a ‘force’ seemed to encompass both of my legs, like a feather quilt had been wrapped tightly around them or sea of marshmallows were cushioning them. If that was odd, my legs seemingly levitating felt even odder. They were on the ground still, but they didn’t fell associated with the body for a short while. I can imagine that if the whole of one’s body felt like that, that really would be some sort of transcendental experience of some description. I will continue to reach out for that state, It may take time, but I will keep trying…

Reiki Diary: Days 13 – 17

So I certainly had the best intentions of updating Infinity Beckons at the end of each day during my holidays, even packing the wireless Apple keyboard to make my iPad updates that much easier. The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft a-gley…

Day 13
So as the dawn broke, I awoke from my slumber after dreaming about a guy in work who I have had some serious run-ins with in the past. He is passionate about his work that much is not in question, but his aggression has made working with him in the past, rather difficult. The dream I had was serene to say the least. We were in work and talking project work and went for a meal with others afterwards. The banter I don’t recall, but it felt like a sign, a sign to say that you can now forget about work for 9 days, and focus on your priority, the family.

By the time I got out of bed, I was feeling great, ready to tackle the unchartered and impossibly timed journey down to Brighton. By the book it should be around 5 hours, but it took “R” my friend 6 hours to get to Wallasey from Nottingham last weekend. Looking at the BBC Motorway incident page rarely does any good, so it was just a cursory glance to see that there were some issues hours ahead on the M25 Car Park.

We stopped off at the ancient town of Warwick for a leg stretch and toilet stop, and took on some valuable sustenance for the rest of the journey, basking in the glorious sunshine before making our way further south. With some minor delays we reached our destination without too much incident and found our host home thankfully to welcome us. After dispatching our many cases and bags, we headed on into town for a impromptu tour, resulting in time spent on Brighton Pier (the usual tea cups, dodgems, helter skelter). We were advised by our guide during the course of the walkthrough, that there was a place for hippy types known locally as The Laines, a bit little bit Glasto a little bit Kingston, and that we should spend some time there during the week.

After settling down for dinner, we then settled down for some serious boozing and some serious catching up with our redoubtable host. The topic of conversation inevitably steered to a pivotal point in my marriage to the wife last year, where for a small amount of time, we were disconnected, at that point in time, most likely permanently.

I will always refer to that day as Year Zero. The day we restarted at nought. Things changed that day, they had to. For the first time in many, many years, we sat down and talked. And talked. And talked. Every last recess of our collective closets were searched. All emotions, all transgressions, all negativity was brought to the collective worktop and duly diced and sliced and put into the pot. That’s not an easy thing to do, in fact of all the challenges I’ve ever had, it was easily the toughest things I’ve ever had to do, but done it was and we are better for it.

Yoga and reiki came at the right time for me. After Year Zero, for a time there were peaks and troughs in terms of emotion and reflection. The start of the new year, I realised that I had to do something for the long haul. What I had found over the previous months, was that deep down, I am a good person. I am a person who can be trusted, but under certain circumstances (alcohol and peer pressure) my priorities can be altered which can lead to potentially catastrophic conclusions. So when the opportunity to take up yoga arose, I took it, and although the first session was a little pressured, I’ve not looked back. 6 months on and my body feels stronger. 6 months on and my mind feels stronger. Reiki was the missing link. I need to find my true self so that my soul also feels stronger. It is starting to work, but realise that it is a long journey. I had this strange feeling that 42 (which has always been one of those numbers which resonated with me for some reason (whether it be Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy, the works of Mark King or that it is my highest break in snooker – it could be 45 actually I can’t remember, but I’m willing to lose for continuity purposes). That number will become more significant later in this post…

All of this was shared with our host, who offered kind words of comfort and support to the two of us. Following another sojourn to the fridge for further alcoholic inspiration, I went out into the garden (which is all very Zen) accompanied by my iPhone and beery friend. The sky was almost cloudless. The house sits away from the bright lights of Brighton atop a hill, so there was little/no light pollution. On went my meditation playlist and self reiki ensued. I’d like to say that I floated off into outer (or inner) space and connected with the universe in a way I have never done before, but the reality was that I was just too potted, felt a little sick and went in to join the others.

We talked for hours and hours and I recall bleary eyed that the clock on my wrist read 03:04am by the time we climbed the stairs.

Day 14
So with a system full with traces of beer, cider, malt whiskey and bourbon, the two inevitabilities of no dreams and a hangover occurred, although in my case not too bad, which is more that could be said for my partners in crime. Omelettes are now a staple part of my diet. A typical day for me would be yoghurt and fruit for breakfast, an omelette for lunch and a Slimmers World dinner, with the day proliferated throughout with caffeine free coffee and plenty of water. I cooked a perfect one and delivered it up to the two ladies, which one which ate with aplomb (the guest) one ate about 6 hours later after the nausea had disappeared (the host).

Today saw the 39th birthday of the wife. She was 29 for at least 5 years (hence the reason why her personalised number plate reads X29 NKY), I wonder how long she will be 39 for. The weather was truly beautiful and ripe for a barbeque and the inevitable golden liquid accompaniment.

The afternoon saw the return from London of our hosts partner with friend who was over from New Zealand, and later by some more friends, all of which offered us sage advice on how we could spend the coming 8 days in Sussex. One thing that can be said (and we would find this out over the remaining time we spent in Brighton) is that it is quite unique, in terms of diversity. I guess with the exception of Glastonbury, life in this south coast town sure is different than anywhere else on this island. Brighton has a big gay and lesbian community as most of us know, and two partnered female guests at the barbeque had come with their one year old child. I’ve not actually been in the company of a gay couple with a child. What was immediately evident was the love they had for the little one. True unconditional love. If only the many people of this land could see what I could see. Leave behind the prejudices of unnatural unions and blasphemy, and look at the evidence, a couple in love, adoring a child.

It was clear that today was going to be a yoga/reiki free day and that’s exactly how it turned out.

Day 15
So to the first of our highly recommended trips for the week. The weather was superb so we took it upon ourselves to drive out to West Wittering beach, about 40 miles from camp. Rather coincidentally, during the barbeque, one of our friends from Malaysia had posted up photographs on Facebook from that exact place, where she and her family were camping at the weekend. Sadly an immediate meet and greet was not possible as they were leaving as we were driving there.

Enjoying Value Low Fat Yoghurt from Asda is rarely heard, now I know why. Trying to save a few nuggets for the coffers has its limits, and I’d wished I’d splashed out on an Onken, as it tasted more like Sarsons. That said, it was made slightly better with some natural honey. As the kids were still in bed, I picked up the printed reiki manual sheets from “L” and began to read over them. Looking for some nuggets, some interesting notes from the print outs:

Reiki is a method of drawing concentrated life force energy and radiating it. Reiki (pronounced ray-key), is a Japanese word made up of two syllables:

Rei – Spiritual wisdom, mysterious power, essence. Ki (Chi in Chinese) – Vital life force, light.

Reiki means ‘Universal life energy’, and can also mean ‘soul energy’, ‘aura’, ‘spiritually guided life force energy’ and ‘a system that has been arrived at through a moment of enlightenment’. Reiki energy is the non-physical force that flows through all living things, and animates all living things. Life force plays an important role in everything we do. It enlivens the body as well as the emotions, thoughts and spiritual life. Reiki reaches all levels of existence and strives to bring these differing levels into balance. It seems to have a way of knowing what is needed for a person, as it naturally drawn by the recipient in a treatment.

The knowledge that unseen life energy flows through all living things and is connected directly to the quality of health has been part of the wisdom of many cultures since ancient times. Since the last century, this energy was partly measured and seen by Kirilian photography, and is also the ground and inspiration for such theories as Quantum Physics. Modern science gives us new understandings of this life energy.

The Reiki healer is a channel through which this energy flows, and while the healer directs the flow of Reiki to a person’s body, the healer is charged with it at the same time. Reiki is simple and natural method for transferring Universal life energy. One of the most wonderful benefits of Reiki is that it is one of the only few integrated therapies where you can work on your own body. Once a person is open to Reiki, the energy will flow through their hands for the rest of their life. The ability to channel Reiki is an ever-present ability, even if the energy is dormant for a length of time. Reiki is there whenever one wishes to use it.Before our trip out, I took some early morning photos on the Nikon, as the garden lends itself for some good quality snaps. Sadly though, the settings I was used delivered totally crappy results, so I just deleted the lot.

The drive was an arduous one, the road between Brighton and Portsmouth dropping to a single lane at many points resulting in several car park scenarios. That said, once we got there, the beach was nice. Pebbly at the top, sandy at the waters edge. Spent most of the day pottering around, nibbling at food and building a replica of Fort Perch Rock (fortification in New Brighton) which took about 2 hours.

Although there are times that he makes me incredibly proud, there are also times when “L” operates totally in the negative space which has a direct result on my being. Traits like selfishness, lack of respect and antagonism all too present. I can’t even recall the incident, but it left me feeling melancholy. Trying to reason with a teenager is quite difficult I’ve found and I guess that’s a challenge I also need to overcome. We always have these deep chats where I explain to him that communication is a two way thing and without respect, communication is difficult if not impossible. It’s fair to say it’s a cyclical conversation, and one we have every 4 weeks or so. I think I may record it when I get back to Wallasey and just press play next time. My delivery is always the same, no deviance.

Day 16
With a full on day yesterday, my sleep was deep and fruitful. It consisted of playing football with my old school friends “S”, “D” and “D”, which resulted in a post-kick around party in Wilsons, a biker pub in Liverpool. Then there was the storm, more specifically the tornadoes. Ever since I can remember, my most reoccurring dream has always been about lightning storms and twisters. I did research at one point the meaning behind this, and according to those that read into such matters, lightning strikes are a sign of long lasting good fortune, and if a strike hits something like a tree or a house, then something planned will come to fruition in the near future, whereas storms in general are portentous and one should beware. Tripe…

The garden felt a lot fresher in the morning, and there were clouds on the horizon, but the predicted storms in Brighton did not materialise today (maybe that was the true meaning behind last night’s dreams). After filling up the empty tanks, we headed off to Brighton Marina, in search of Monsters University. We had some time to kill first, and discovered that the small outlet shopping mall type place had a The Works store, a cheap book store, in which I found two volumes of note and subsequent drain on my account (albeit a small one): Good Pub Guide 2012 (£1.99) and The Reiki Healing Bible (£2.99).

Following on from a quick salty Subway snack, we watched the film which the kids enjoyed, myself less so, and headed back to the ranch for a chill out in the garden and tea on the lawn. That night we watched An Officer and a Gentlemen with Richard Gere which I had not seen before. A Top Gun rip off or the other way around most likely. As predicted, no energy left for yoga/reiki, just a light reading / snippets from the reiki manual before bed time:

How does Reiki work?

We are alive thanks to a life force, which flows through us and from us. This life force flows within the physical body through pathways called Chakras and Meridians. It also flows around us in a field of energy called the Aura. Life force nourishes the organs and the cells of the body, supporting them in their vital functions. When this flow of life force is disrupted, it disturbs the functions in one or more of the organs and tissues of the physical body. The life force is responsive to thoughts and feelings. It becomes disrupted when we accept, either consciously or unconsciously, negative thoughts or feelings about ourselves or others. Negative thoughts and feelings are not something that disappears into thin air; rather they attach themselves to the energy field and cause blockages. According to Quantum Physics, thoughts affect the arrangement of the atoms that make up the physical bodies.

Negative thoughts can, if allowed, diminish the vital functions of the organs of the physical body. Reiki heals by flowing through the affected parts of the energy field and charging them with positive energy. It raises the vibrations of the energy field in and around the physical body where negative thoughts and feelings are attached. This causes the negative energy to break apart. In so doing, Reiki clears, straightens, heals and balances the energy pathways, thus allowing the life force to flow in a healthy and natural way. While giving a Reiki treatment, the brain wave patterns of the practitioner and the receiver become synchronized in the alpha state, characteristic of deep relaxation and meditation, and pulsing in unison with the universe magnetic field.

During these moments, the bio-magnetic field of the practitioners’ hands is at least 1000 times greater than normal. The linking of energy fields allows the practitioner to draw on the universal energy field. Since life force is guided by a Higher Intelligence (Ed – not sure about that bit), it is drawn to where the body needs it most, sometimes not where one would expect it to go. The healer is only a channel for this gentle and loving energy. The healer or the healer’s mind, cannot guide it, therefore it cannot be misused.

Day 17
As per usual, I’m first up and set myself down on the kitchen sofa with a bottle of water and my reiki papers. With the door in to the garden open next to me and the ice cold water, the after-burn of last night’s dream was drowned, sunk and forgotten. The dream was violence extreme. I recall a person from the wife’s last place of employment, not a particularly pleasant chap on this plane of existence, sitting on the back of an Arriva bus. I was drinking pure vodka from a bottle and upon seeing him, smashed the bottle on the seat next to me and then proceeded in ripping his face apart with the broken bottle, my final actions burying the bottle deep within his jugular until a stream of blood flowed from his neck through the bottle neck all over him, all to no response from him.

Finishing of the set of reiki notes before I move on to my new book, I gleaned the following before the kids descended into the fray :

Reiki treatment can feel like a wonderful glowing radiance that flows through you and surrounds you. As the hands are placed systematically on the body, and the 22 positions are held for anything from 3-10 minutes in any one place, the recipient can feel heat, ranging from hot to warm to cool. Some people feel gentle tingling in the hands or feet, while others feel strong waves of energy surging through the body. The stomach often rumbles as the energy flows through the system.

Sometimes a release of emotions can occur and tears will flow, irritation might appear or there may be a laugh of relief, or the recipient may fall asleep. Reiki will work in whatever way the recipient needs it most, and this explains why students report differing experiences during the attunement process. Some students experience visions, or receive messages, healing, or past-life images (“L” mentioned this during the day, that all in the room appeared to have had past lives – yet to agree to that one…) during this very special time. The majority of people find that it is an extremely relaxing experience.

To practice Reiki you need no special faith or belief system. While Reiki is spiritual in nature, it is not a religion. It has no dogma, and there is nothing you must believe in to learn and use it. Reiki is used by many faiths and religions as well as free thinkers and followers of many differing philosophies. While it has nothing to do with any religion it can enhance a person’s religious beliefs by giving them a greater feeling of connectedness to the source.

A ‘healing response’ can occur in days or weeks following healing. It is traditional within Reiki to think in terms of a 21-day period of clearing out or cleansing, as the energy starts to work on you. Each person is different and so Reiki can have different effects. A healing response is healthy sign that the toxins in the body are being released. With the release of toxics there may be slight side effects, which usually last for about three days. It is quite important to drink plenty of water. Sometimes there is an acceleration of the condition following a treatment, and this is a positive sign that the energy is working through the system. During a treatment or shortly afterwards, it is possible that ‘old’ conditions may re-emerge. This is because the moving energy is breaking down toxins, which will normally disappear quite quickly. It is important to remember that Reiki can never harm. Each person draws exactly what he or she needs at that time. Remember that we cannot direct Reiki to specific conditions and that it may work in a way that is unexpected.

The client may not be relieved of the condition, something that they expected or hoped for, but may find that other benefits may have occurred, such as an emotional release or improvement in a condition that they have had for a long time and have become used to. Whatever healing occurs will be for the person’s highest good. People often ask how many treatments they should have. Ideally, three treatments close together, on consecutive days. As the wife entered the kitchen, I explained my rather odd dream of last night, all with a look of surprise on her face. She went on to say that she had dreamt of the exact same person. We are both in a restaurant dining, when he saw us from a table opposite and laughed uncontrollably at the pair of us until Nicky woke.

Today was park day, Preston Park to be exact. An old Victorian park, with plenty of amenities for the kids. Large expanses of grass, adventure playground, football and basketball pens, and cafes for those must have Cornettos at the end of the day.

A quick stop at the local for a pint of Erdinger and it was back to the ranch to drop the kids off. Our most hospitable hosts had given us a pass out for the evening. After kindly dropping us off in town before heading back for an evening of chocolate, charades and children, we had a quick walk around The Laines (where we would spend most of the following day) and headed for The Dorset Cafe, where we ate wine-infused mussels, paella and steak. A fine start, which took a little nose dive as we went down to the seafront and took a drink with the folks who had looked like they had been there all day and a particularly wired individual who perched herself near to us.

A quick departure for the Fishbowl which was a little more like it before the main event. Our hosts had advised that the was a place called The Mesmerist and if we had the chance we should go in. I spotted it and in we went, whereby we had to swerve trough the dance floor to the bar. No ordinary dance floor, no sir. Well technically, yes it was made of weed, but the band where playing 20s and 30’s music and the dancers where doing the Charleston and others of that era. The cocktail menu was interesting, the last dink on the menu citing ‘Ginger Biscuit Brew’. I’m not sure what went in it, but it was one of the best things I’ve ever tasted. After a few more of them, we headed towards the taxi rank but heard some serious rocking beats coming from the open door of the Black Lion. I can’t recall what song dragged us in there, but once at the bar, we spied a ‘Devils Cocktail Menu’, and I personally could not resist the urge of purchasing the second hottest Bloody Mary on the menu, labelled ‘Satan’s Breath’, which had Tabasco, hot chilli sauce and 2 drops of some concoction called Dragons Tears. It was hot.

So back to base in a taxi and time for a Baileys Biscotti and bed.

Reiki Diary: Day 12

Day 12

At 4.28, I hear a sound from downstairs. It’s a familiar sound in our house, but I feared that the slight deviation from the norm spelt (or in this case smelt) danger, albeit in morse code. “C” had been a bit off for the last few days. He is a good dog, very well trained by the wife. Irrespective of what time of the day or night it is, in true Pavlov’s dog fashion, if he needs water, he will nudge the keys in the back door. Same applies for toilet stops.

However, last night before I went to bed, I took the keys out of the back door and put them on the side (I guess in preparation for our imminent departure from New to Old Brighton). Without the signal, what else could he do. It was the intermittent pauses in Fred Astaire type footsteps which sold the notion that he was in fact emptying every recess of his unsettled bowels on the (thankfully) the laminate flooring.

I didn’t count, but in a fashion similar to one of his now infamous ‘protest poo sessions’ there were many more than 10 deposits, a few less than triple digits.

Instead of shouting, I quietly put him away in his cage (with a bit of calming reiki on his noggin) and got on with the job of tidying up, mopping the entire ground floor level of the house, which saved me the job of doing it before my vacation.

As for my dream that night, it must have been cheese induced. Who in their right minds would dream of having illicit relations with Mariella Frostrup in a virtual reality roller coaster, with the disembarkation point being the living room of their nan’s house.

And so back to the land of the living. The utter lack of sleep and the lack of overnight feedback from the Big Man resulted in some serious temple pain. I guess it mat have been borne of the fact that I had not had much sleep, and dinner last night was instead replaced with a handful of Mis-shapes from Cheshire Oaks which were still taunting me every time I opened the fridge door.

It was around 2pm that I got a ping off the boss stating that with the exception of a few points we were good to go and he was really happy with the end result. After frantically typing away his updates for 45 minutes, it was quite literally ‘The End Complete’ around 3pm. There was a sense of euphoria. There was a sense of relief. Knowing that I could vacate the office space for nine days with this chapter closed would mean that I could focus on what really matters to me.

The force of me shutting the lid of the laptop at 5pm may well have resulted in a broken screen, but that is something I will deal with on the 29th July. My next mission (which I chose to accept) was to tear-arse over to Liverpool One to purchase some goodies for the missus for her birthday this weekend. Goods acquired, I felt the slow release of positivity as I settled down with a frozen Starbucks watching the sun starting to set across the Albert Dock. Its times like these that one can reflect not only on the history of the place, but to take in the energy of the sun and become more at peace (but for the lagered up ‘exiters’ from the Bierkeller behind me atop the Chevasse park steps).

Once back at the ranch, it was time to start packing for the trip. Mood candles (which may never get used), check. Running gear (which may never get used), check. Reiki manual (which may never get used), check. Roller blades (which may never get used), check.

Looking back over the last few days, I could be disappointed in the lack of consolidation of reiki, as too much of life has got in the way. That said, in the reiki manual, there is a snippet which reminds us:

The secret art of inviting happiness.
The miraculous medicine of all diseases.
Just for today, do not anger.
Do not worry and be filled with gratitude.
Devote yourself to your work and be kind to people.


So I was not angry about work, I was I guess, slightly frustrated with progress, but appreciative that people have other priorities. In days gone by, I would have been slagging people off left right and centre calling them fit to burn, but not now. I have devoted myself to my work, and the fruit of my loins has now been distributed to those that need it.

In short, this has probably been the most important piece of work I’ve ever done at Shell. The previous me would have been lying awake at night, worrying constantly about whether my outputs were good enough, the consequences if they were not and most importantly what people would think of me. Not this time. With a different mindset, a different attitude, the levels of stress and anxiety were just not there. Yoga helps. Reiki helps. It may be my fact, but it’s fact…

Reiki Diary: Day 11

Smokey scenes of distant vistas, of Istanbul, Kuala Lumpur and Manila. The most bizarre recollection was the journey to the top of the lift shaft in the Petronas Towers, with me sitting atop an ascending lift. Upon my arrival at the 88th floor, there was a dusty tome full of ancient and unspeakable horrors to the side which I grasped with both hands, after which I lowered myself through the hatch and descended at great speed, which woke me with a churning stomach.

Can’t seem to sleep in past 5.30am these days. It’s either “K” awake early because of either the light or the heat (or perhaps both) in her room, or it’s the tap dancing dog, who’s overgrown nails pitter-patter upon the laminate.

My tinnitus was quite bad this morning, I could not quite work out whether it was the lack of sleep or something else. Will monitor the situation over the next few days.

After dropping “K” off at school, I made my way down the hill and flicked through the morning news feed, to find new musical recommendations from Vinnie Cavanagh from Anathema. Spotification immediately took place back at the ranch and playlists from Blackfield, Mothlite, North Atlantic Oscillation and Engineers were installed with haste. From my initial cycle through each of their selected albums, Blackfield seem to be the one that stuck out the most, most likely because they are fronted by the redoubtable Steven Wilson.

The rest of the day pretty much resembled the last, with frantic updates to my core document set which are still to be signed off, as my annual leave looms ominously closer.

Not that the day was overwhelmingly negative, but I’ve not been my usual positive self today. Not sure whether it’s the lack of sleep, lack of focus or lack of sign offs which has dictated my personal weather forecast of ‘overcast with the slight chance of drizzle’.

My late night work didn’t materialise, so looks like I’ll be flat out in the morning, trying to get everything done before I close my lid for nine days.

On a positive note, I’ve been all over the place on my bike today, with two trips to St Marys College ferry “K” to and from her dance lessons. For the second trip to pick her up, I was accompanied by Anoushka Shankar (daughter of Ravi Shankar and sister of Nora Jones), which had the desired effect. As I was sloping down Sandy Lane at speed, the wind parting my hair, the sun cut a hole through the houses and the sounds of sitar and tabla reminded me that a little music and a nod to the elements can make everything alright again.

I guess today was the first reiki-free day. Got to get back on it tomorrow, for sure…

Reiki Diary: Day 10

Did I dream last night yes. Can I recall it, not at all. So there were very vague images of faces, a miasma of mixed memories. Like a child’s ball of Playdoh, several individual colours mashed into one singularity, quite impossible to unravel so I won’t attempt to.

So to reiki last night before bed. My turn to be the practitioner. As the wife went through her nightly ablutions in the bathroom, I set two of the smallest of mood candles to colour rotation, set up the bed as a make shift therapists bed and hit play on the Native American meditation playlist.

This may seem a bit crazy, that’s because it probably is. Whilst she was in there, I started to get into the trance and began to ground myself before the session commenced, as “L” told us to do, always. I started my pre-reiki ritual by sitting on the side of the bed, and started to feel the energy flow. Instead of the raw power of surges I’ve felt on a few occasions, this felt different, much more controlled. For the first time, I felt the energy in my hands. The energy was gently circulating around me, but, and this was the crazy part, I felt as if I had a ball of invisible energy in my left hand and moved it to the right hand (like a cup and ball), then back again, repeating it a few times before the bedroom door began to open.

I didn’t tell the wife about this until tonight, when we discussed the whole placebo / mind game thing over a Wagamama salad. We concurrered that really we don’t care what it is, it is putting us both in a really happy place, and that has been the key, and what has changed in me of late. Previously, I would have tried to convince myself that it was my mind creating all of these things, wanting to believe in something, but eventually debunking it like Agent Skully. So as long as these things continue to give me that inner serenity and all me continues to operate in the positive space, then I will continue to believe that it is real.

I went into the atunement with an open mind, with the hope that if I did get it, then I would only self-heal through deep meditation and reiki, rather than doing it on others. I’m a little undecided now though. I cannot see it replacing what I do for a living just yet thats for sure (perhaps my vocation in life after I retire at 55), but I think I will try to branch out from the self and the wife and try it out on others. If others are willing to participate then I’d be more than happy to try. That said, I think I’ll keep it close for now, go to one or two reiki shares (where kindred novice practitioners get together to practice on each other) and then see how I go.

My morning brew gave me a pleasant surprise. Gazing to my caffeine-free Douwe Egberts, the two Sweetex dropped into the steaming brew and I stirred it up into a frenzy. As I withdrew the spoon, the swirling vortex in the middle of the cup looked remarkably like the image on Infinity Beckons, the sugared froth resembling the light, the galactic core of my mug.

The flu has gone. The sceptic (aka the wife) told me that I obviously never had the flu. The logician would say that my strain of flu was milder than that of the sceptic (aka the wife). The post-modern man would say that ignoring it existed in the first place, operating in the positive plane and doing reiki was the contributing factor.

Read with interest that The Yoga Rooms in Moreton are starting ‘Hot Yoga’ sessions, which is basically yoga in a sauna. Pam my yoga teacher said it was a gimmick and can actually be quite dangerous, not to mention unhealthy as some of these places do not wash the mats down which could lead to bacterial infections. That said, I’ll try everything once, so may book myself in for a taster session when I get back from my holidays next week.

Was incredibly busy for the rest of the day updating the final drafts of my documents before they get sent out, as well as kick starting my new project, so there was little time for much more. That is, with the exception of creating a The Doors playlist on Spotify, of the slower, resonating songs. I have not heard Indian Summer for quite some time, and is already my favourite song on the list, including at this point The End (which is one of my favourite tracks of all time). I guess the Indian and Red Indian music I’m listening to this summer is testament to that…

Reiki Diary: Day 9

I recall being somewhere in the Welsh mountains, where the cliff sides were almost vertical. I’m not sure what I was doing there but it appeared that I was in search of something, on the hunt for clues. I remember going through what resembled multi-tiered university halls of residence, searching many levels and feeling satisfied after finally finding what I was looking for. An old public house, which was rather strangely underground. Resembling the inside of the Philharmonic Pub on Hope Street, Liverpool, I snaked through the anti-chambers and snugs, until I came a across a wider cavern, and on the main wall of the lair was a carving of several creatures from the Cthulhu Mythos, my attention being drawn to the tentacled beasty in the middle. After attempting to take picture of this stone-based tapestry on my phone, I heard a loud rumbling and awoke from my slumber just as it was getting interesting.

Still felt the flu symptoms a little, but like I told myself yesterday, I’m choosing to ignore it. Still maintained my rehydration therapy (drinking 4 x 75cl bottles a day) and weight loss, although the weight had crept up a pound with all of the socialising at the weekend to 81.9kg which wasn’t bad considering what was consumed.

Sitting down with my morning coffee, I had a quick flick through Facebook, and noted with interest that a new page has been created (similar to the one set up in Liverpool) called “Wallasey – Days Gone By”. I’ve been researching a whole lot over the past few weeks about Wallasey for my up and coming gothic horror novel, and it’s quite fascinating the things that you find out about a place when you start to dig a little deeper into the past. The reason why today’s update was of particular interest was down to the series of photos the page owner had uploaded. New Brighton (previously known as Black Rock) is built on yellow and red sandstone, and underneath hidden from view (and most likely 80% of the populace) are a series of tunnels and caverns, used by wreckers and smugglers back in the 16th century. Dubbed ‘”The Wormhole”, they will form the epicentre of my subterranean horribleness.

And so to lunch, and a mundane trip to the store for some bits turned out to be an interesting one. The wife and I bumped into “P” my yoga teacher who was accompanied by her husband and daughter. I instantly recognised her daughter as the off-duty nurse who helped me tend for a middle aged deaf lady not so long ago who had taken a fall outside Morrisons early one morning (sadly the victim of her own inebriation). I introduced her to the wife and we got talking about reiki as I’d told “P” that the wife had also been on the course recently. We also go talking about her family’s imminent trip to China, and her daughter started to talk about her daughter who had won the Taekwondo World Championships last week against members of the Russian Olympic Team at the ripe old age of 11. We mentioned that Jamie was a 1st Dan in Taekwondo and won the British Championship in his category last year, but has now moved over to Muay Thai (the more aggressive form of Kick Boxing). So it turns out that we have been mixing in the same martial arts circles for a number of years, just without that reason to connect, now we do. Oddly the wife and I were only talking about “L” and “K” joining Taekwondo as there is one now open in the cadet building directly opposite our house. “P”s daughter said that it was a satellite club of the one her daughter goes to, and its very well run, unlike some other clubs on the Wirral I could mention. So I will look into that as well in the near future.

So digging out the materials with my mid-afternoon cuppa, I started to read the printed materials from “L”. Again rather coincidentally, it is the exact same document I picked from the many on the internet about a month ago, and converted to my Kindle for convenience. So to sum up what reiki is on the most basic of levels, the following is an extract from that text which explain it rather well I think:

“Reiki is a simple, gentle, hands-on (or hands hovering) energy technique that is used for stress reduction and relaxation. Reiki practitioners do not diagnose conditions nor do they prescribe or perform medical treatment, prescribe substances, nor interfere with the treatment of a licensed medical professional. Reiki does not take the place of medical care. It is recommended that a recipient of Reiki should consult a licensed physician or licensed health care professional for any physical or psychological aliments. Reiki can complement any medical or psychological care currently being received. The body has the ability to heal itself and to do so, complete relaxation is often beneficial. Long term imbalances in the body sometimes require multiple Reiki sessions in order to facilitate the level of relaxation needed by the body to heal itself”.

Managed to do some LIPA research this evening for “L” as promised, but it appears there is a 12 month waiting list to get in and the fees are double WAPA (mmmm Double Whopper…). There is a satellite site in Eastham affiliated to LIPA which is quite reasonable cost wise, but the logistics of a Saturday afternoon travel every week, mixed in with the new director of drama will probably mean that he sticks it out for another year which is not a bad thing.

Was due to do reiki on the wife tonight, but she took herself off upstairs are sorted herself out. She said it was ace (nearly falling asleep) and said she must do it every day which she hasn’t done thus far.

So with the kids fed, showered and in bed, it’s time for a bit of Cox on the Box. Tonight’s learning’s:

“In order to understand where we came from, we have to understand the events that happened in the first few minutes of the life of the universe. When it began, the universe was unimaginably hot and dense. There was no structure, no matter, it was exactly the same, whichever way you looked at it.

The universe as it cooled it went through a series of events which brought structure. A billionth of a second after the big bang, an important part of the symmetry of the universe was broken. This was the moment where sub-atomic particles acquired mass. Amongst them were the quarks, as the universe began to cool, the quarks joined together to form more complex structures called protons and neutrons. Before the universe was yet a minute old, the quarks were locked away inside the protons and neutrons, which are the building blocks of all atomic nuclei, the building blocks of the elements, the building blocks of life. The next phase was to assemble those blocks into more complex things. Adding more and more protons and neutrons together under the conditions of nuclear fusion (within the death of a large star – the supernova) allows for the creation of all 92 elements in the universe.

It’s from the universal process of death and rebirth, that we emerged, from a nebula, from a star which went supernova over 5 billion years ago, that our sun was formed, and around it a network of planets, including earth. Everything on earth, originated from that nebula. It’s not just the individual elements which were formed during the death throes of stars. There is evidence from meteorites to suggest that complex carbon molecules containing amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, were forged in the depths of space 4.5 billion years ago, and it’s from them that life on earth may have began.

When we look out into space, we are looking at our own origins. We are truly children of the stars, because written into every molecule of our body, is the entire history of the universe, from the Big Bang to the present day.

When we die, those elements will be returned back in to the universe in the endless cycle of death and rebirth. What a wonderful thing it is to be part of that universe. What a story. What a majestic story”I’ve had this box set for some time. Maybe there was a reason why only now am I giving it the justice it deserves. It is a thing of beauty, delivered by someone who I think truly believes what he says, delivered by someone who shares the facts and sentiment with passion and emotion.

The obvious disconnect I have just now is that although we may be able to scientifically prove what elements makes up every single thing in the known universe, I am yet to discover the true elements that make up the mind and the soul. That journey continues.

What I do now know, is that there is an energy source which can be tapped into for our benefit, I’ve done it. What connection that has to the actual universe, the mind or the spirit is yet to be determined…

Reiki Diary: Day 8

As dreams go, dreaming that one of your cousins develops a German accent, dresses as some sort of Gestapo leader, and dictates what goes on in the world we live in, all from within the four walls of your parents home, is certainly one of the stranger ones I’ve had of late. I don’t remember much more than that, except that I was against his despotic tendencies and managed to escape from his evil clutches.

I was tired this morning, really tired. Had a feeling that I was starting to come down with the wife’s flu. But no. Not having it. It’s really easy to say oh I don’t feel well, curl back under the duvet (or light sheet as the temperature dictates just now) and phone in sick. Instead, and under the New World Order (no not the dystopian future as painted out by my malevolent cousin in my subconscious last night), I will try to attack this flu, blast it with positive energy and not let it get me down.

So today, I got shed loads of work done before my midday catch up, which was followed up by a well earned Frappacino slushy from Starbucks. An easier afternoon allowed me to create some playlists on Spotify, in the main a sitar based playlist which includes such bands like The Beatles, Madonna, Kula Shaker and Ofra Haza.

Even though I was feeling a bit under the weather, I was looking forward to Yoga this evening. I mistakenly thought that it was my last one until September as “P” is going to China to spend 3 weeks at a Shaolin monastery (now that is something I’d love to do one day), but was informed that there was one last session on the last Monday in July. I may get “P” a card or a little gift as my way of saying thanks for the last 6 months of yoga, if it wasn’t for her and yoga, I’m not sure where I would be just now.

It was a hard session with no rest for an hour solid. Each posture manoeuvring and morphing into the next one. With it being all floor work, it was constant contortion of the core, quite difficult to keep it up for an hour, but again like last week, and found it relatively easy with the exception of the stretching to the toes from the sitting down position. I don’t think my back will ever stretch that far, looking at it, there is a definite arch. That mixed with long legs and shortish arms puts the notion of tickling ones toes without bending the knees quite literally out of reach.

If last weeks meditation at the end of yoga did little or nothing from a reiki perspective, today more than made up for it. Again the background music was moody, but as she does every week and rightly so for yoga, “P” starts to talk the group through releasing the thoughts of the day, to focus on the breathing, and relax each part of the body until complete relaxation is attained.

Instead of lying prostate with my hands by my side in usual position, I decided to lay my hands in the reiki positions to find that deeper relaxation and to see if I could bring in “P”s energy. I’ve never felt conscious about going to yoga and what the other group members or anyone else for that matter think of me. I guess in yoga you have to be like that if you are a male. I recall the trepidation of the first session, not helped by the wife saying I’d be farting all over the place and stinking the room out (which for the record I never did – ok perhaps one little Tommy Squeaker towards the end). So during mediation, I know that everyone closes their eyes, probably with the exception of “P”, so no real likelihood from embarrassment (not that there would be anyway). After about 10 minutes, I felt the light from the window hitting my closed eyelids and “P”s instructions seemed to fade away like a secret whisper, and then I felt a huge surge of energy coursing through my body. Unlike the episodes at “L”s the previous Sunday, I was more in control of what was going on, and my mind was flowing the energy around to other parts of my body, rather than focusing on the intensity of the core like before. I recall a focus for a while in my left hip, followed by a movement towards my solar plexus again. The whole thing lasted for about 3 minutes much longer than the previous episodes, and when I came out if it, I was at peace, very relaxed. Thinking back, “P” was trying to get us to feel the Prana energy within the room, trying to get us to bring it in. It certainly worked tonight thats for sure. So as she beckoned us back into consciousness, I sat up and crossed my legs then opened my eyes, and there was “P” looking at me smiling, as if to subliminally say “I was watching you and and you get it now”. Of all sessions I’ve had to date, that was the best one by a country mile. I quite literally floated home.

And so with the wife at her mums for a brew, I turned to the sofa for ‘come down time’ and pressed play once again on the Wonders of the Universe box set, Episode 2 Stardust. Prof Brian Cox explains:

“To understand our own origins, means having to understand the lives of stars, and how their catastrophic deaths brings new life into the universe. It means that every living piece of you and me and the earth was forged in the furnaces of space.

Those who follow Shiva – the god of destruction, believe that everything has to be destroyed so that new things can be created. The Hindu believe in reincarnation and the eternal sequence of death and rebirth, in that the cremation of the physical form helps to free the soul so that it is ready for the next life. They also believe that the physical elements of the body are released back into the world so that they can be recycled into the next stage of creation.

Every religion and civilisation has its own creation story, it tells of where we came from of how we came to be here and of what will happen when we die.

Science can tell us what we are made of and where we came from (so says the Scientist). It answers the most basic of human needs which is to be part of something bigger, and to tell an alternative creation story, you have to understand the how the universe is made, and the path to enlightenment is not an understanding of our own lives and deaths, but from the lives and deaths of the stars.

Every atom in our bodies was not created on earth, but from the depths of space, through the epic lifecycle of the stars. Everything is made of the same ingredients – the chemical elements”. I will continue the episode tomorrow night when the wife is in work, but I’m really focusing on what he is saying (not that his word is the law) as he says it all in such basic terms which are easy to relate to, and what I hope to achieve in my quest for the answer to the ultimate question. Not whether or not there is a god or an afterlife, but who in fact I actually am…

Reiki Diary: Day 7

It was no surprise, that even in my less than advanced state of inebriation, that my sleep was not proliferated with image or vision. Nothing at all.

There was no hangover, which was good because on reflection today was a rather busy one. The day started reasonably early (thankfully in my case post 9am but sadly not for the flu-bearing wife who was in work at 8am) as I was duty bound to get on with cooking (the second B in Bed and Breakfast) for the redoubtable Mr Fisher. If yesterdays Quorn Half Pounder Burger with Extra Fiery Mexican Chili Cheese and salad was satisfying, the look on the man’s face was practically orgasmic as his taste buds went to Def Con One after eating Parsley, Rocket, Extra Fiery Mexican Chili Cheese omelette with extra chilli flakes, served up with Quorn Sausages, toast and tropical crush.

Over breakfast, I mentioned reiki to Rich and recalled that his mum had a ‘holistic hut’ once in her garden, and I recall her getting a bit of grief over it from some irritating neighbours at the time before they had moved into the countryside. It was my understanding that she did aroma therapy and Indian head massages (though I have no recollection of ever talking to him about the treatments she used to give), so was quite surprised when he told me that she was in fact a reiki master herself. A subsequent text from him following a subsequent chat with her revealed that she said that if I ever wanted to get in touch or need any advice in my own journey (or Nicky for that matter), that she would be more than happy to oblige.

Rich also regaled me about his Glastonbury 2013 experience, which included gong therapy which he and the Fisher folks all took part in (I instantly thought of Mick in a deep trance, being surround by Daevid Allen and Co as they chant about cups of tea).

He said that it had the potential of being rather noisy and altogether unpleasant, but instead of Dave Lombardo type thrashing, the gongs that surrounded the body were gently ‘crescendoed’ so to create a wall or room of sound. According to Ma Fisher who was quizzing the hippies, the guys answers were rather wishy-washy, leaving her with the impression that it could have been a business opportunity with mild exploitation of those wishing to immerse themselves in the roots of Glastonbury.

All that being said, Rich enjoyed the gong experience, and like a great many things, having an open mind to such things can lead the mind or the body into better places, so even if it is somewhat placebo at least if it has a positive effect then there are no reasons to mock it.

One thing this diary will give me, is a head start in writing my novel. Following on from the ‘An evening with Ramsey Campbell’, I have started to resurrect my old horror story, which was tucked away in the dark and dusty recesses of the attic. Finding time during early morning, lunch break or evening will be a challenge in itself, but at present writing a couple of thousand words each day, reviewing the previous days entries will hopefully stand me in good stead for the long haul.

On that note, Mark sent me two of his short stories via email today, so I’ll set some time aside this week and review them. Luke said he would do the same so I’ll likely convert them over to .mobi files and flash them on to the Kindle.

Whilst losing weight and having a leaner look is good for the ego, its forcing me down the road of thinking of buying new clothes, as everything I have is starting to look like post-SlimFast Barry Bethel pants.

Due to the cancellation of a visit to see the folks (for reasons I won’t go into here) we were at a loss of things to do with the kids today. In another strange coincidence (surely the more and more things like this happen, the less and less chance it is of coincidence and more of something else surely…), we received a text message from one of Nicky’s friends sent out en masse stating that a friend of hers had free tickets to go see Babe – The Pig at Ness Gardens that evening. We instantly replied and to our joy the tickets were ours.

We collected the tickets from under an old rock on the driveway (slipping a contribution to the tickets previous owners through the letterbox before we left) and headed back to base camp to make the picnic. I’ve never been Ness Garden before, but the whole evening was wonderful. Idyllic setting overlook the marshes of the River Dee with the Welsh Mountain rising up like a stage back drop. The sun shone down in a cloudless sky as the performers go on with it, as we tucked in to our food, wine and cheeses.

As the performance went on and the sun made its descent behind the copse of trees, out came the blankets and we all snuggled closer on our deck chairs. Straight to the land of nod when we got in. No yoga. No reiki. No coincidences. No energy left…

Reiki Diary: Day 6

I was the recipient of reiki last night, and not the practitioner. “L” had give me a CD last week (which I loaded into iTunes on the various devices we have) which has a single track on it that last about forty minutes, which gives the practitioner a walkthrough of each hand position so they get used to placing or hovering hands over the correct chakra points. There is a meditation type track which runs a background constant throughout, but just as during atunement 2 last week, the spoken word in these things meant that I could not really get into the deep-zone. Indian or Native American really does it for me and allows me to drift off to places of stillness and utter peace. The Void…

The session itself was just nice really, a general feeling of well being and warmth, my very own Mrs Miyage. However, the wife stated that the experience left her feeling a little nauseas, especially when on the heart chakra point, her pulse racing and her legs feeling heavy. I recall “L” last week stating the importance of grounding before starting reiki and I don’t recall the wife doing that part yet. She needs to start doing that for sure.

After she had finished, she went straight to sleep and left her phone playing the practitioner tutorial on loop, and at about 3am, I reached over and turned it off. I don’t remember dreaming about anything, but I felt good and at peace, I guess my subconscious was listening in all along.

In the morning the wife said that she was going to give reiki a miss for the weekend as she was unwell with the flu and last nights session was a little draining. “L” did say that reiki is not just a one way street like a traditional massage is, it’s a connection, an energy flow between two people both one way and the other, so when the practitioner feels something in certain areas, then it could be a sign for them rather than the other way around. I need to start reading in to the chakras this week. “L” gave us all a wallet with some printed materials on last Sunday, I will start to wade through them when I have the time this week.

Wading though the plethora of Facebook status updates (as is her and most of Christendom’s pre-get-out-of-bed-ritual), the wife came across an image of a several feet, and depending on your foot shape, allegedly you can trace your ancient linage from the chart. Sadly her feet were not on there (not any scale known to man – Atlantis was not on there either), but I was interested to note that my feet are of Greek heritage according to the chart, so it was only right that as a former Spartan, I got my runners on and went for a 5km run down on the beach.

The idylls of a 7am run on a Saturday morning. With the sun starting its ascent and only the odd car passing by to disturb the peace, there is nothing more satisfying than easing yourself into the weekend with sweat and sea breeze. One thing of note in modern society (especially in London but the same in most urbanised areas) is the fact there we are a nation of zombies at times. 7am strolls or runs down on the beach really does breakdown the invisible communication barrier that exists between fellow man at times. 7am is that time where joggers, bikers and ramblers occupy the pavements and promenades, and acknowledge the existence of life at every opportunity. That all changes as the morning progresses and by 9am we once again revert to 6 foot remedial sloths. Still it is pleasant whilst it lasts, even if it is oh so brief.

So after shower and breakfast (still weighing it at 81.5kg which is always a result after the gravitational pull of the fridge/larder on Friday nights), its swimming lessons time with “K”, so off we trooped leaving Nicky to chill (if that’s possible in this heat) as 45 mins at indoor poolside is not an ideal environment for a lurgy sufferer. Whilst there I bumped into “M” who I met recently at the ‘An evening with Ramsey Campbell’. Mark seems like a really nice chap. I had previously thought that he was an admirer of the dark arts as he has turned up at the pool before today in an Old Corpse Road t-shirt (black metal band from the UK) as well as a Miskatonic Univesity hoodie during the Spring.

We got chatting and he introduced me to his chum and eclectic confidante “D”, who was as I was to find out the same age as me and went to the likes of Planet X to witness the likes of Carcass, Electro Hippies, Napalm Death, ENT and Doom. After swapping musical pleasantries for a while, “M” asked me if I would review some of his short stories which I duly obliged to do, a good way of seeing how other people write, especially the novice (although I gather he’s been doing this for quite some time so it may well turn out that the stuff he sends me is far superior than the initial framework I have pulled together for my would-be novel).

On a negative point, I was quite disappointed in myself when chatting to “M”, in discussing ‘An evening with’. We got to talking with a guy on the night in his 20’s and my ‘clearly quite mental’ description of him to “M” was left ringing in my ears for a while later when “M” declared and rightly so, that he most likely had Asbergers or something similar. Quite shameful really, even if the intent wasn’t there. It does go to show that the law attraction really is in force in pretty much everything we do. One negative comment can have quite a profound effect on one’s psyche for a time, and I felt guilty throughout the day for bringing it up.

And as a reminder to that statement, “K” and I went down to Home Bargains and Morrisons to hunt for some birthday treats for “M” (doing rather well with One Direction lollipops, some ‘hippy sticks’ and selection pack of real ale, together with a card which blows all ZippleGangers and RuddoGangers out of the water, and saw “M” again for the second time across the road with his youngling.

After getting back home, we waited quite some time for my good friend “R” to arrive from Nottingham. We had found out that the M6 was closed in both directions in Staffordshire due to a fatality, so he’d had to snake around the back roads of Cheshire instead. When he did arrive there was an ice cold Mojito waiting for him, so once again his world was a good place to be.

As we ate dinner in the garden, we talked a while and I recalled the conversation we had at the Download festival recently, in that in terms of inner peace and happiness, it is all too evident that what we do for a living has a profound effect on our well being. I recall having to leave the civil service much in the same way “R” left teaching last year. Deeply unhappy, I decided to take a leap of faith and go contracting, although offering as it where no security whatsoever, I felt at the time I was at the bottom of the DWP rabbit hole with no visible means of escape. As it turns out, that bold move was to change my life forever and led me to the path I now found myself on (albeit after several serious pot hole escapes, including the Harry Houdini / Marianne Trench escape of 2012 which I’m in no doubt this blog will reveal before the sunsets on the thirtieth day).

As a yet further reminder to that statement from earlier, the wife and I bumped into “M” again for the third time in the day at the Floral Pavilion, unbeknownst to me, he also has a daughter who attends WAPA (Wirral Academy of Performing Arts), doing her first stage performance. We settled into our seats to watch “L” tread the boards again, this time however it was just singing and dancing, as the senior drama was two weeks ago, one of his proudest ‘moments of truth’ to date. The arena was unbearably hot, but all of the kids (including the pee-wees) kept us entertained in Act One with some popular hits of today (including Thrift, much to the amusement of Mr “P” when I told him), as well as some songs from Les Miserables (much to my mild annoyance, not with the kids on stage, but with the ‘young father’ behind me, who had decided to join in as an impromptu addition to the wind section by whistling and humming rather loudly through each). During “L”s slot, he impressed us no end with his street dancing, not sure where he got the talent for that. I looked over to the wife who responded with a ‘need that DNA test now?’

Act Two was far too long (over ninety minutes) in the searing heat and “L” did not even take part. By this time, it’s fair to say I was clock watching as I had a ‘date with mates’ waiting for me in The Swinging Arm’ for “M”s birthday celebrations. After the show had finished, it was awards time, and in all reality, “L” was definitely not going to win an award for singing and probably not for dancing either (just yet). We waited in anticipation for the director to make a referral to him as he had won the most prestigious of awards 2 weeks ago, namely the WAPA Young Actor of the Year 2013. To our utter disgust, she mentioned many of the seniors who did well on that day and left his name out completely.

After we collected him afterwards, he was visibly upset. He was not expecting an award on the night. He was expecting at least an acknowledgement of his personal achievement, at least a word of well done. He said in that instant that he wanted to leave. It’s clear the director favour two out of the 5 centres she runs on the Wirral, it doesn’t take a genius to see that based on the song and scene selection distribution.

The main reason why we so proud of him two weeks ago was that the award was not selected by director herself, but instead it was selected by an independent (David Hellor), who himself has directed four Hollywood films over the last few years, his most recent effort with Stephen Dorff tabled for 2014 release (he of Blade / Immortals / Zoolander / Backbeat fame). This award was not presented out of favouritism, but out of talent (as all things in life should be). A later check on IMDB on Stephen Dorff revealed that he was in a rather strangely title film in 1999. Oh yeah, the name of the film, that would be Entropy of course…

To our surprise, “L” revealed that David would be directing the drama arm next year (I guess as he has now returned to the UK from LA following the birth of his child, he is keeping his arm in with local projects as it were). As a result, we did our best to convince young “L” not to get upset with her antics, advising if she wants to retain her favourites, then that’s just the way she is. I did offer to intervene, but he rather gracefully and nobly declined. I did state that if David thinks that he has a talent (via his own star pupil selection 2013) and is doing drama next year, then “L” may be best to stick it out another year at WAPA. As a back up, I promised “L” that I would look into the logistics and costs for LIPA (Liverpool Academy of Performing Arts), as there have been many students from there who have gone on to do great things. That institute also has more of a global reach than WAPA, as you would expect with Sir Paul McCartney being the main patron / sponsor. I advised “L” that I would endeavour to research LIPA in the week to come, and said to him that this may be a sign and that things may just happen for a reason, and maybe he is bigger and / or better than WAPA, to whit he responded ‘Are you being a hippy again dad?’

Finally at 11.14pm I got to The Swinging Arm to meet up with my rowdy rabble or rebels, who were not in such a bad state considering they had been at the beers since 6pm. After a beer or two, we headed on over to the Revolver, which was quite quiet for a Saturday evening, but was good as everyone there was in high spirits (with the exception all the pool players having to pit themselves against “N” and I who retired undefeated as ‘Prince of the Planet Potters’, leaving the green stuff 6 – 0 (LOVE), a rather fitting tribute to the heroics Andy Murray last weekend.

On departing, the birthday boy pulled me aside and said that as predicted, we didn’t get the chance to have ‘that talk’, that talk referring to topics and conversations relating to the contents of this very diary blog. I said that if I could manage to squeeze in an hour or so, I would try to get out to see him this week after work and have a Diet Coke down at The Tap.

So it was a day bereft of yoga and reiki, yet days like today, if one has a deeper analysis of what most would see as just a normal Saturday, one can reflect still on the law of attraction and how it operates. It surrounds us. It penetrates. It also counteracts Newtons’ theory somewhat though (although to be fair to him that law was apropos motion), in that he stated that every action has a positive and negative reaction. If one does something in the positive extreme, there is not necessarily a down side, a negative. As long as we operate in that space as much as we can, the mind will stay focused, and we will find peace.

As I was drifting off into blackness, I had an itch just below my rib cage, dead centre, and was reminded yet again that forces are at work, even if only inside my head. It is a family curse (of sorts) that members of our stock are prone to getting ‘superficial subcutaneous lipomas’ (benign tumours composed of adipose tissue – or body fat). I have several of these blighters around my person as well as a scar from one rather unsightly one I had removed last year. The reason why this moment of semi-drunken enlightenment came to me was because of its exact location. Geographically, it is dead centre of, right in the middle of, the solar plexus, the exact same chakra point that the wife and I had agreed only 24 hours earlier to be the design of our next tattoos…