Reiki Diary Level 2 Cleansing: Day 17

The universe and all of its infinite and unknown mystery can be experienced during moments of abject calmness. Listen carefully and you can hear the faint and low hum of energy. Feel carefully and you can experience the pulsing and throbbing of energy. All of this is free, free to all who are willing to spend just a few minutes each day out of their busy schedule to meditate, to contemplate.

Today heralded the return of my morning meds, a not-so welcomed break from a 2 day half-lotus ritual, as the sun climbed its way over the hill of New Brighton, as the zombies start to make their way onto the train platform nearby. I am starting to like my methodical approach to the day, noting with interest that on the days that I do not do my meds in the morning, there appears to be a difference, sometimes minor, sometimes quite significant, mostly negative. Thankfully over the last almost three weeks, meds has taken president over my previous morning ritual which is to stay in bed for as long as humanly possible without having to tear-arse up the hill to drop the little one off at school.

So with meds out of the way and feeling almost back to normal after my trip way, it was sadly “back to work we go” for most of the morning, broken up by a decaffeinated Starbucks coffee down by the beach, the sun blazing down giving it all it could during the first real days of Spring.

Whilst sat happily supping ours brews, perched on our favourite people-watching stools (not people watching stools, that would be disgusting), we discussed yoga and the cost of me having both a gym pass and a yoga pass. Now that my mind body and soul has told me that I am not taking part in a triathlon this year, the need for my gym pass has lessened greatly but I do enjoy going for a Tuesday swim with the dad-in-law and getting a sweat on with the significant other as often as we can (which has not been that often recently). We came to the conclusion that if I missed yoga so much, and my dodgy knee was up for it, then I should go back and restart where I left it four months ago (if there was space for me of course). I miss it a lot, and my back twinges have returned ever so slightly so it would be a welcome return.

So after agreeing that we had the finances to do it (on the basis that I rarely go out socialising these days due to my clean living) then the monies saved could go towards my yoga ticket. Hurrah!

As the clock tick-tocked its way towards the end of the school day, so did the preparations for the chat with my son, going over the mental notes I had taken on the late train. Literally as he was walking through the front door, the sexy female voice on my iPhone alerted to me that “I had mail”, and in slow motion I stepped towards him with feet motion like Armstrong/Aldrin whilst reading the note from the casting agency advising that despite stiff competition, “L” had been selected to join the ranks of one of the top twenty casting agencies in the UK. I guess my face looked to him like Harvey Dent (Johhny Two Faces from Batman), one side grimacing the other smiling.

So we had the stern chat and the congratulations chat all in one, with him on the strict instructions that if he didn’t toe the line, we would unequivocally withdraw his application. He also told his drama director later on who was also very happy that he had made it in, kudos for the performing arts school if he gets seen on TV at some point soon.

All in all, a good day. Retiring, I looked at the weather reports five day forecast, with one eye firmly on the graphic for Tuesday, the last day of my reiki cleansing period, the day I face myself from the past head on…

Reiki Diary Level 2 Cleansing: Day 16

So my plan to hydrate myself paid off, almost. Last night was a good one, even if a little quieter than I had predicted. With a belly still full of Malaysian munchies, I decided rather wisely to skip the “all-you-can-eat” breakfast buffet at the hotel. Malaysian food is nice, but totally calorific, hence the reason I put on over a stone during the first three months I landed in the East.

I was feeling a little rough from the four beers plus one pint of cider the night before, probably down to the fact I had not drank for four weeks. The morning workshop flew by and soon it was time to get busy on a gourmet burger and fries, soaking up the last remnants of C8H8O3. After lunch it was time to pen “Ns ”leaving email, customary for line managers to do, but as that was no longer my role but I had been managing/mentoring her for the last eighteen months anyway, I though what the hell so I did it, much to the annoyance of the present incumbant. It was well met by our colleagues and tearfully “N” too, as was her leaving speech was also very heart-felt and touching. As everything she owned was now on a ship heading for the east coast of America, we decided to get her Amazon vouchers so she could buy herself something nice when she gets to Seattle (Soundgarden back catalogue or Singles DVD perhaps)…

As I wasn’t down in London for a time, it was time to say goodbye to “N”. It’s been great to know her and nurture her for the last three years and I’m almost certain our paths will cross again at some point. Before leaving I gave her a gift wrapped book, the “Reiki Bible for Beginners”. I told her not to open it in front of the others as they would not understand it’s meaning and she didn’t. It led to them all saying that I was distributing hard core pornography in the work place. As it I’d do that. Again…

It was a rather solemn tube journey over to Euston, tired after the late-ish night and the two day workshop. One thing that time would allow for during the 200 mile journey north was the issue last night, was time for reflection. And on reflection, the wife was totally right. Our son who is a very talented and promising young actor considering his age, but is taking us both for a ride in terms of demands and attitude. My mental notebook was making an ever-growing list of the things I was going to say to him when I got home, fully aware that the angry dad routine simply was going to work on hormonal teenage angst.

As I approached the end of my journey and end of my day, it was already past bedtime o’clock so our little chat would have to come another day.

Sadly no time for an evening meds session, but I would have been surprised if there had have been, given the hecticness of the last forty-eight hours, sleep being preferred as my modus operandi tonight…

Reiki Diary Level 2 Cleansing: Day 15

Getting the red eye train from Liverpool, I had no intentions whatsoever at getting up at 4 something for my early morning meds, instead the plan was to adopt my successful plan of action last time I was in London, namely an on-the-go session between Watford and Euston. After seeing the Ovaltine sign just outside Watford, on went the sitar soundtrack and out came the cosmic mudra, closed went the eyes, and on went the reiki, oblivious and not caring whether any on-lookers were watching.

Feeling calm and at peace, I got off the train and headed across town on the tube to Canary Wharf, home base for the next 36 hours. My good friend from Norway “P” was over to discuss project matters so we had a great catch up for the first 2 hours of the working day (in between work of course) and lunch time saw “N” and I go for our last supper, our now traditional falafel box salad with extra chilli from a street stall underneath the now second tallest building in the capital. We talked about old projects, shared a few laughs and caught up on her up-and-coming wedding in Malaysia and subsequent relocation to the good ole US of A.

After lunch, we got our heads down for four hours solid and delivered some good results, agreeing that face to face collaboration and connections really does beat virtualisation every time.

Back home the kids were off school due to the National Union of Teachers strike, so the wife had taken our daughter off to a local indoor play centre. I got a phone call early afternoon from my son saying that mum was out and that he needed cash to go to the cinema with his friends, so as I was short of time and otherwise engaged in the workshop, I told him to try find some money in his brothers room and that I would square it with him later on.

About 4:15pm, I received a call from my wife who was raging as “L” had not come home and she was already late for college. She asked what had gone on and I told her that he had called me earlier and that he said he was going to the cinema. She advised that she would have to wait until her mum came home from work and drop our daughter off there, potentially missing a client who was coming in for therapy. Once she had got in college, she called me back livid, livid at the fact that we do everything for “L” and get nothing in return, little / no respect, never picking up after himself, always demanding and getting what he wants. Things got very personal and very heated very quickly, it was a good job there was not a swear jar at either end of the phone else we would be skint already, only being paid 18 hours earlier.

Sadly, it put a real downer on me for the rest of the evening which was “Ns” leaving party, a party that I had spent ages arranging (drink provisions/travel itineraries/meal requirements etc), so that was a shame. We did share in a few laughs and stories of her global travels with work, but after the meal ended and with a full tummy, I decided to go back to the hotel early and get my head down, not really in the mood for partying and also mindful that I had another workshop the next day…

Reiki Diary Level 2 Cleansing: Day 14

I do love my morning meds. I would encourage absolutely everyone to do it. Sure it takes patience to get into it at first, sure it takes resolve to do it daily, but the benefits of just 30 minutes of meditation at the start and/or the end of the day really is a small price to pay.

Taking on board what the wife said at the weekend about my external forces, I focused in on these today and used the power and harmony symbols accordingly. Mindful I need to exude peace as well as imbibe it, the rest of the day was spent working really hard, but at times when outer peace was required, I managed to stay in control, acknowledging certain situations and reacting to them positively.

Towards the end of my morning meds, I heard a little voice outside the living room door, followed by a pretty if a little sleepy face peering into the darkened room. “Are you doing reiki dad?” she asked politely. I told her I was doing meditation and would she like to join me. Glowingly she said yes, so I took another pillow from the sofa and we sat there next to each other, listening to my solfreggio frequencies, eyes closed in a half-lotus position, adopting the gyan mudra with each hand.

After a few minutes, we opened our eyes and I asked her how she was feeling. She said she was ok but that her leg hurt a little. I placed the three large cushions on the floor and told her to lie down on them and relax. I laid my hands on her thighs, then knees, shins, ankles and then feet. When I get to her feet I also end up doing the “This little piggy went to market” routine and the whole things descends into a tickling frenzy, the both of us sharing some early morning laughs before school.

For some reason, as I was preparing the breakfast when she came into the kitchen with a glum look on her face. I asked her what was the matter and she said she was worried about school that day. She said that her teacher had told her to try and focus better as the tasks she was getting were not being completed in time. I teased it out of her that in certain classes, she sits next to her friends and gets distracted. I sat her down and told her not to worry, if she needed to take her time to do things right first time then that was good, and that I would go and see teacher to see of for such lessons she could move her to a quieter table so she could concentrate more to get things done in time, and that playtime was time for play and catch up with her chums.

Off she went upstairs to brush her teeth. A few minutes later the wife came into the kitchen smiling asking me what I had just said to her. As “K” was brushing her teeth, she was nattering to herself (like she always does) “My dad is my hero. I love him. He fixes all of my problems”. Made my day and it wasn’t even 8:00am.

Mid-morning I had a message from my friend who was going to see “L” for her first reiki session in the evening. I was hoping that she wasn’t going to put it off as I think it would be great for her. The message read that she was really looking forward to it and could I give her the postcode and directions on how to get there, which I dutifully did.

“If I seem a little strange, that’s because I am” Morrissey once penned. This sounds crazy because it is, and maybe that’s because I am. I “reikied” my laptop. Around 11:30 my laptop started to do odd things. So I rebooted it. No change. Rule number one in the IT Support Manual. Didn’t work. So I summoned up some inner static and did my best Mr Miyage impression over the keyboard (hope no one was looking in through the dining room window at the time) and followed it up by another reboot. Success! Everything was back to normal, besides me most likely.

Feeling good that I now had powers over inanimate objects, off we popped to pick up dad-in-law for our weekly swim, which we all enjoyed a lot. Busy afternoon ahead, which involved me packing a bag for my trip to London in the morning, either side of a meeting sandwich. The evening saw my sons first audition for a TV and Film casting agency over the water near Southport. I asked him if he was nervous and he said that he wasn’t. He is a supremely confident youngling, nothing like me when I was his age. He had been asked to read out or recite a poem from memory, but as he is not a poem person, instead he prepared and delivered (not that we were allowed to see) a monologue from the Shawshank Redemption, the scene where Morgan Freeman has his parole board hearing and the panel ask him about redemption.

We also listened carefully to a lady who gave a small presentation about the agency, giving us some pearls of wisdom about how it operates and some key themes like time management and preparing the kids for rejection as there will be a lot of it. What she was saying was really good, just what he was looking for. The lady also shared that their key success was Emma Rigby, a girl who had been with them for years, went through the ranks of Hollyoaks (UK drama series) and came out the other side a Hollywood star (starring in a film with Michael Fassbender, Penelope Cruz and Cameron Diaz which is out on the silver screen soon).

After the audition we drove back to base and swapped notes about how things went in both rooms. He said that he got asked a few questions before his monologue which threw him a bit, but he said that in his opinion he did really well, the director gave him some instant feedback that what he had done was quite unique (he even put on a Tennessee accent), not confirming whether unique was good or not so good. We will know within the next seven days whether he has got in or not and that’s when the hard work begins, acting exams in June, plenty of car journeys / auditions / rejections and jubilations to follow no doubt.

My final action before retiring was to put a personal note in “Ns” book from the wife and I, gift wrap it and pop it in the overnight bag before I forgot.

One week of cleansing left…

Reiki Diary Level 2 Cleansing: Day 13

And so to my planned day off, well sort of. I had to get up the crack of dawn (lucky her) to finish off some questions I had been preparing, suffering from writers block last thing on Friday after a long, long week, so no time for meds. By 7:30am I was finished and got the kids up early for school, making sure everything was done in time for our little day trip to Chester, an old Roman town in the north west of England, nicely and stylishly modernised.

Although it was rather blustery, there were no clouds in the sky, so we winded and winded our way through narrow streets and across cobbled roads, partaking in a spot of retail therapy. A theme quickly developed. As we were devoid of sprogglings for a few hours, we decided to look for a wedding ring for the soon to be Mrs “B” for the second time in ten years. We visited many high street chains (affordable tat) and back street boutiques (unaffordable beauty). Although she already has a wedding ring on, it is a plain band. I had mistakenly bought her an eternity ring for our engagement so a ring with a single rock on it will go very nicely with the other two.

Sadly our jaunt around Chester bore no fruit on the ring front, but I did get myself a new tee from Gap as well as a lovely Mexican lunch. I also tried to get “N” my colleague in work a healing crystal to accompany her soon to be leaving gift from the wife and I (Reiki Bible book), but sadly we were out of luck on that front too.

After some final window shopping, we headed back down the motorway and dropped off our daughter’s golden zimmer frame at the hospital, no longer required. Picking the princess up we headed out again to a holistic therapy store / spa in search of that elusive crystal. It was Monday. Closed all day. Bummer. It wasn’t meant to be. Not upset by our wasted trip, we then decided to look in the pawnbrokers shops for rings whilst we were in the neighbourhood. It was the last shop on the road which quite literally came up gold.

The type of ring we had been looking for all day was a gold band with a diamond/zircon in the middle. The last shop on our route had a ring which had a topaz stone in the centre. We asked the shop keeper if she had anything in aquamarine to match the nuggets in the eternity ring, and although she said she didn’t presently, the jeweller would be down directly to have a chat with us.

It turns out that he can make a bespoke ring for her based on the one we saw, with the aquamarine stone in place of the topaz, to the design and budget that suited. After taking our details, in went the order and we departed the store smiling, our willingness to hold out on buying tat or something extravagant being overtaken easily at the finishing line by something personal, something bespoke, something special.

Returning to base there was an immediate knock on the door, it was “Js” uncle to fixed the boarded up pain of glass in the back door. I have met some crazy cats in my time but “O” must rank as one of the top loons. He’s such a character, the words esoteric and hippy created by Collins’s Dictionary just so he could be described to others. I like him a lot. After the window went in and the thirsts quenched with a good cup of English tea (not from a flying teapot), the wife told him of her experience in the bedroom two nights ago. He surprisingly told us that he knew, well sort of. He said that many any moons ago he had either been in our house or our neighbour’s house and experienced the spirit she talked of. To calm her (I think) he said there was nothing to be worried about, the presence was not malign or anything. Glad to hear it…

Pooped from our monster trek, we retired early, my alarm set early morning to recommence with my morning mantras and mudras.

Reiki Diary Level 2 Cleansing: Day 12

I guess the problem with getting up at 6:30am every day is your body clock gets used to waking at that time of the day. Every day. Including Sundays. So wide awake, I grabbed my phone and decided to take a deeper dive into zen meditation, with the idea that if I would try to look for additional pearls of wisdom to help me (postures, poses, mudras etc), rather than getting up and doing my daily meds.

I’m a big fan of wiki, but until Sunday morning was not aware of such a thing called WkikHow, which based on the subject entered, gives you the low down on how to do stuff. I found loads of cool stuff and learned of a few tricks that I would look to adopt during my next morning ritual. Here for my future reference (and others should anyone read this post) are links to such cool stuff:

http://www.wikihow.com/Begin-Zen-Meditation-(Zazen)

http://www.wikihow.com/Meditate

http://www.wikihow.com/Sit-During-Zen-Meditation

http://www.wikihow.com/Open-Your-Spiritual-Chakras

http://www.wikihow.com/Become-Enlightened

http://www.wikihow.com/Perform-Self-Hypnosis

Sated with new nuggets, up I got prepared breakfast and waited for the other to rise. The wife and I went shopping for some provisions for Sunday roast, but before we got out of the car she talked a while, stating that she was seeing some of my old ways creeping back in, with me being really short with her, biting. My initial reaction was of complete shock. Since my Level Two started and my new early morning ritual had began, I’ve felt that start of the feelings I had last summer. She advised that for work purposes and internal stress levels that was fine, but externally I was submitting a negative vibe. Granted there had been a few instances where I had reacted over the last few weeks, but I was simply not aware. I listened to what she had to say and took it on board as something I would look at immediately. I think I understand women to some extent, I also know that certain lunar cycles also have their impacts, but if I was sending out bad karma, I would look to cease that immediately.

After shopping we both took the dog for a walk and I was quite quiet, reflecting an what was said earlier. I like constructive criticism, I don’t like it when people bottle things up or don’t say anything, it’s a recipe for disaster further down the line. The good thing we have now is communication. Connection. We have the ability now to present things in a logical and rational way now, whereas before we did not. Everything I am doing under the bracket of “hippyness” has to be internal and external. There’s no point in having inner peace and a oneness with the universe if to others you are a complete and utter ****.

The inlaws came around for a the Sunday roast, and a fine British Roast Beef, Yorkshire Pudding and peppercorn gravy it was too…

Retiring for the evening, I again decided not to do my meds, instead finding solace under the sheets.

Reiki Diary Level 2 Cleansing: Day 11

The weekend starts here. After working rather hard this week, I decided that it was in my best interests to have a lie in and park my morning meds until later in the day, perhaps later on in the weekend. So at 9:00am (which is a monster lie in, in our house), I decided to once again pick up my paint brush, a bold and brave move after last weekend’s debacle. Today’s task was to paint the radiator cover in the dining room which had remained in its original rickety MDF form for the last four and a half years. There’s procrastination and there’s me. Before we moved to Malaysia, I was very handy in the house, rebuilding the kitchen twice, tiling the bathroom, decorating and redecorating the house several times over. After our return, I found it really difficult getting certain connections again, certain friends, the UK in general and sadly our home by the sea. Working away in London every week, home at weekends was a killer and I almost paid the ultimate price for putting the corporatation before my wife.

Still, that’s all well and truly in the past, and instead of extreme obstacle racing or marathons, I now have a new challenge, a difficult challenge. Repaint the whole house by the time we fly to the US in late May. So between now and then, I will be spending one day every weekend doing exactly that. I’ll need / demand a medal at the end as I cross the Dulux finishing line. By 11:00am it was done, just 2 hours to complete a task that took me 40,000 hours to get around to doing. The wife was very happy with the outcome. Nice.

Feeling good about my deed, I jump-started the Jeep and headed over to the inlaws house and loaded up the boot with an old mattress and deposited it at the local tip. Feeling good about my second deed of the day, I was all done by midday, noting that meds and doing things for others really does give you that feel good factor. Buoyed by my mood, we headed off for a spot of retail therapy and a trip to “Ms” and “Ds” house to see how the extension on their house was looking (as well as a long overdue catch up betwixt our little daughters). My word, incredible. They have opened up their living space and kitchen and extended out into the garden, a really great space for parties I added, and when was the first one. Spoke to “D” for a while and asked her about her return to yoga post-delivery of sproggling number two, and she said that she went back after seven weeks, fitting it in when she could. She was loving it and I commented that the open space they now had overlooking the garden was an awesome way of starting the day, Ra beaming down his (or her) UV goodness through the new Velux windows. I told her about my morning ritual and that I was going through my Level Two Reiki at the moment, she said she would be interested in having a session at some point in the future, no doubt when the time is right I’ll do just that.

We also talked about mudras and that for her, meditation was difficult (her mind unable to focus on nothingness, kids and shopping lists invariably nipping in there for a focus meeting), but she has found that if she wakes up in the night and struggles to get back to sleep immediately, she focuses her thoughts on the third eye / anja chakra, zones and resumes her kip pronto.

After bidding our friends a fond farewell we headed back down the motorway to home base, the wife and I talking rather randomly about reincarnation. Our eldest “J” is mature for his age, very mature. I hear stories about others kids his age drinking, getting wasted, loosing focus (just like I did at that age), but our “J” is the polar opposite. Here we have a 17 year old, doesn’t smoke, doesn’t drink, up for Student of the Year award in the first year of his engineering apprenticeship, going for a world title shot at this years Mauy Thai Kickboxing Championships in Italy and now learning how to drive at his earliest convenience. Awesome, two very proud parents. The wife is convinced that he has been here before. Before my mind was opened to such possibilities, I would have probably ripped her for such a ridiculousness, but more recently and with many more reading hours under my belt, I have a different point of view. I commented that maybe he has, in that taking the teachings and preachings of Siddhatha Gautama (Buddha) as an example, the soul is engaged in an eternal return, until such time as the soul reaches true enlightenment and Nirvana, the point at which it no longer has to return to human form. New age guru Anthony Peake also backs this up to some extent by his ITLAD theory, which states that there is a virgin birth (i.e the first time a soul is incarnated into human form) and from then on, at the point at which we die, there is a panoramic life review and we live our lives over and over again, and it is in this state that we have the ability to change decisions of our previous experience (an explanation – albeit a far out one – for phenomenon like déjà vu, synchronicities and breadcrumbs) and evolve spiritually and consciously/sub-consciously/super-consciously.

We also went on to discuss the likes of Peter Sutcliffe (The Yorkshire Ripper) and Ian Brady (The Moors Murderer) and agreed that if there is some sort of eternal return, maybe they are at the start of their journey, menaced souls way off the true path to enlightenment, learning what it takes to be a virtuous soul the hard way, experiencing universal rights and wrongs sadly in the most extreme ways possible. If we are all souls that exist in a different place or plane of existence (experiencing ourselves subjectively through human form) then some of us have a long way to go, many future incarnations. On closing I said that the more we approach and try to understand our super-conscious state / higher self, the more we possibly expedite our journey to Nirvana and eternal peace (whether that “human” form is different from a Buddhist perspective, or the same form from an “ITLADian” perspective).

The focus stayed on “J” for the rest of the day, sadly not all positive. After so much discussion about him earlier in the day, I received a phone call from him whilst dining at another friends house many miles away saying that he had left the one and only key in the house (after losing 2 keys earlier in the week) and that him and the dog were outside in the wind and rain. Only half way through our meal, we submitted our sincere apologies to our host and made our way back home to work out how we were going to get in. All windows were closed, but thankfully our backdoor is made of wood with many glass panels (everything else being uPVC and double glazed), so I popped a pane and in we went.

I was quite irate at the time of the phone call and said some “not very Buddhist” things into the mouthpiece, but after I had calmed down a bit and we were in the house and drying off, I told him that these things happen, and the he would have to pay for the repair of the window and replacement keys, giving him a lesson in accountability where it hurts the most, his wallet…

Throughout the day before, I had a strange sensation in my ears, it was a bubbling / popping sound. Every 30 minutes or so, I would hear invisible imps playing the bongos on my eardrums. After 10 hours of it I was getting a little concerned but hoping that all was required was sleep and today I did not experience any reoccurrence which was good.

To top an eventful day off, my wife was convinced that there was a presence in our bedroom. She has experienced things in the past, witnessed things before. She is very spiritual, and her grandmother was as much. She has been to see small mediums, largely over the last 10 years. There is one in particular who has it has to be said, been very accurate in the past and shared things many years before I had even met her (she told my wife that she would live in South East Asia, she would have three children, and she would be married three times [technically twice to me with our up and coming vows renewal]). As I tidied up the shards of glass downstairs, she had retired for the evening, and with closed eyes lying on the bed, she felt a presence right next to her face, thinking it was me sneaking up on her. She opened her eyes and to her surprise saw nothing, but felt that something was not right, something less than nice, almost malign was in the room. She has always said that one should be more afraid of the living than the dead. Turning the lights off we were both hoping she was right…

Reiki Diary Level 2 Cleansing: Day 10

I was trapped and could not get out. I had a vivid dream about being imprisoned in an endless, cyclical dream. My “primary problem” kept coming into focus again and again, from room to room, beckoning anger, aggression and negativity towards me. Eventually the vision lifted and I came out of my subconscious state and back into the desert of the real.

I looked at my watch and it was exactly 5:20am. And at that exact point, my daughter opened the door of my bedroom and climbed into our bed for a snuggle, something she had not done for quite some time. Why though? Was it that I was talking or shouting in my sleep? Was it that we have a connected consciousness (sub or super consciousness) and she knew that something wasn’t right? Was it that she just a part of my projected subjective human experience and does not even exist in the first place, other than to be a reminder, a breadcrumb to keep me on my path to enlightenment.

I tell you what was real though, “K” being the filling of a parent sandwich, kicking and nudging her way back to sleep. As a result, I lay there and started to think about something I had read about recently in terms being resilient in social occasions. It was a step-by-step run down of how to kick start conversations, how to stay hydrated, how best avoid people of negativity (energy vampires) and how not to end up with a hangover in work the next day. The reason for this I guess was that I was the self-elected party organiser for next week, my colleague “N” leaving the company to go get married back in her motherland before she emigrates to the US. The plan is quite good, time for social drinking, time for eating without alcohol (halal restaurant) and time for cocktails. I have decided to allow myself alcohol for the first time in a month, on the principle that if I stick to one drink an hour, have plenty of food and even more water, then even if it does mean me losing the “Bladder Stakes” early, I’ll be able to function almost properly the next day (“The best-laid schemes o’ mice an men, gang aft agley”).

All of this plan was mentally noted, but at 5:50am and no sign of sleep near, I decided to go downstairs for my daily dose of dharma. After reading up a little about zazen meditation yesterday, I decided to adopt some postures and practices, sitting in the half lotus position, my mudras deployed into cosmic mode. I started off by doing the yoga breath of fire twice and then brought my focus upon the rise and fall of the breath. When I was again calm, I hit play on a Spotify playlist I have had for a while now and not given any attention to. Titled Solfeggio Frequencies, they are tunes / compositions which resonate at certain frequencies. I’m not sure what each frequency is meant to signify, but I’ll find out over the coming days. One thing is for sure, I found it helped me to get deep, get with the rhythm, seemingly it entered my core and sang a merry duet with my tinnitus.

All of a sudden I felt a significant intensity of energy, surging around, lifting me up almost. It was then I “saw” something, a something as before, not by way of a vision but a feeling, a presence (but not spirit), an experience. I had the feeling I was in like a tunnel-type environment. It sounds very cheesy and clichéd but that was what presented itself. It wasn’t how others have experienced though, a shining light at the end full of “peace, love and understanding” (to quote Elvis Costello), it was just a tube. Maybe it was because I had a solitary mood candle on, and my hypnogogic state under closed eyelids had given me a false experience, I wasn’t quite sure. Either way, it was quite something. The experience then drew back and fell away back into the void, replacing itself with total blackness, almost as if to say there is something here matey, stick around, stick to what you are doing and all will be revealed.

After the vision had subsided, I decided to trace the Level Two symbols and put myself in a calm place mentally and emotionally for the day. Two Cho Ku Rei either side of the Sei He Ki symbol. In an instant I realised something, the reason why I was doing all of this. Like a great many things in life, if you do things by the book, then that is not really empowering one to make their own decisions, find their own way. In that brief instant, I had decided that even if I attain Level Three Reiki at some point in the future, I’ll only be doing it for myself. From my understanding so far, Level One is all about self-treatment. Level Two is about “powering up” and treating others. Level 3 is about the final stage and training others. But. And it’s a big but. I’m not doing this for others (just now). I’m doing it for myself (just now). Me (just now). And only me (just now). If as a bi-product, I become wiser, calmer, more spiritual, more approachable to others, then that is how they will benefit from my practices in this thing. I will continue to read the “Reiki for Life” manual, but I will adopt my own practices, I will create my own approach, my own “book”, a book which draws on yoga and meditation and zen and reiki and holistic therapies and self-hypnosis and new age theories and quantum mechanics and of course skateboarding. There may come a time where I offer up services (paid or otherwise) to others, but that will present itself when and if it is ready. That time is not now.

The final thing I realised before my meditation was over, was how I dealt with and continue to deal with my “primary problem”. That, now, is very clear to me. When it was a waking problem for me, it manifested itself in the conscious state. It manifested itself into physical ailments. It manifested itself into dark clouds of rage – hurting those close to me. What I have done now is compartmentalised my “primary problem” and filed it away at the back of my subconscious, super-conscious even. There it will lie dormant. I acknowledge that it exists only during the hours of sleep and every now and again it will be unleashed from Pandoras Box in the dream-state, only for me to round it up again with my virtual sheepdog, putting it back in its pen. I have tried to deal with it in many ways over many attempts in the waking reality, but I have failed every time. Some things are just not meant to be and are what they are. I do know that some day (sooner or later) that it will re-present itself, and I will have to deal with that, but not yet. I will wait until it is pushed to me and deal with it then, safe in the knowledge that what I do know is preparing me, giving me techniques and an angle to deal with such matters as they arise, with minimal impact on my kin.

Quite a log to cram in at 5:50am in the morning, but I felt good about things, the momentum I have just now is great. The rest of the day was spent busying myself with tying all my loose ends up at work as I had a long weekend coming up, planned day off Monday with wifey…

Reiki Diary Level 2 Cleansing: Day 9

Not every day is the same as the last I recall blogging yesterday, I guess life would be very boring if it was. Every day brings its own challenges. Every day brings its own hurdles. It’s how we approach or choose to tackle such challenges and hurdles that makes us what we are.

Today I had early morning calls, combined with feeling quite sleepy due to my early morning rises (not “risers” – that jokes getting old now), I decided to postpone my dawn-tide meditation session until the evening. I didn’t faze me though which is the good thing. The old me would have been really negative about it, thinking to myself “oh here we go, three days in and the rot is already starting to set in”. Not this time. The momentum I have had since starting my Level 2 journey is gaining pace (although it was a bit turbulent for the first few days), I’m in a really good place right now, everything in the universe appearing at present to be operating in perfect synchronicity. Fully confident that my present state of mind would get me through the day, on went the clobber and away I went.

The good thing about being busy on a project is “Tempus Fugit”. Looking at my wrist-clock, in the blink of an eye it was already 11:20am, almost lunchtime which today involved a haircut. It has been said that I change my look more frequently than I change my underpants (which isn’t that far from the truth to be fair), but looking in the mirror this morning made my mind up. It has also been said that I am quite vain, which I guess I have been in the past but as I have (*ahem*) matured somewhat over the last 18 months, the way I look has had a much less importance than the previous primadonna me. That said, my reflection today told me to get my locks off, my fine hair lank and having the look of two badly drawn curtains.

Coming back refreshed and cropped the afternoon session at work also flew by fast, and I’ve finished what I had needed to do by 4:30pm, so time to scribe the daily entry for the day before. Upon entering the ASCII code into the Google-box for “seated meditation” images, I stumbled across a picture of the British comedian Russel Brand, who I have long thought was a bit of a **** to be honest. That was until about three months ago when I saw him being interviewed on the BBC (by the oaf Jeremy Paxman) regarding the state of global politics/economics. The interview was absolutely superb, and probably the most thought provoking and real political/economic debate I had heard for a long time. So my respect for Brand grew in an instant, no longer a narcissistic tosspot (well no longer a tosspot).

Brand is a practitioner of meditation, a self-confessed former heroin addict who now operates on the positive plain and he is (although quite crude at times) good to watch in stand-up, much better when he taunts interviewers and politicians.

The image when clicked in the Google-box took me through to an interesting page on Zazen Meditation. So it appears that my morning meditation ritual was in fact Zazen or Zen meditation in practice. As wiki explains:

“In Zen Buddhism, zazen (literally “seated meditation”) is a meditative discipline practitioners perform to calm the body and the mind, and be able to concentrate enough to experience insight into the nature of existence and thereby gain enlightenment

Zazen is considered the heart of Zen Buddhist practice. The aim of zazen is just sitting, that is, suspending all judgmental thinking and letting words, ideas, images and thoughts pass by without getting involved in them.

The posture of zazen is seated, with folded legs and hands, and an erect but settled spine. The hands are folded together into a simple mudra over the belly. In many practices, the practitioner breathes from the hara (the centre of gravity in the belly) and the eyelids are half-lowered, the eyes being neither fully open nor shut so that the practitioner is neither distracted by, nor turning away from, external stimuli.

The initial stages of training in zazen usually emphasize concentration, by focusing on the breath at the hara, often aided by counting. This counting meditation is called susokukan, and has several variations. Through this practice one builds up the power of concentration, or joriki. At some Zen centers, the practice of mentally repeating a mantra with the breath is used in place of counting breaths for beginners. In some communities, or sanghas, the practice is continued in this way until there is some initial experience of samadhi or “one-pointedness” of mind. At this point the practitioner moves to one of the other two methods of zazen”.

Ok I had my own slant / spin on zazen by incorporating reiki, but I think I have hit on something, even if that something is personal only to me.

Further insights into the methods for zazen can be found on wikihow.

After work it was time for celebration. My eldest is now seventeen, making me feel momentarily more mature than I would have liked. We had a nice meal, a few laughs, an amazing cake from his girlfriend and it was back to base to slob out in front of TV for an hour before bed. After taking his girlfriend back home, I collapsed into bed, mindful that I had not kept to my promise of an even-tide meditation session, but even more enthusiastic about tomorrow mornings session…

Reiki Diary Level 2 Cleansing: Day 8

Not every day has to be magical. Not every day has to be enlightening. Sometimes just being a human with spiritual feelings or in fact a spirit experiencing itself subjectively through human form is enough.

I have just recognised that fact, and just because I don’t have intense moments or other worldly revelations does not make this day any less special than the last.

For the second day running, I woke early and went downstairs to do my morning meditation / self-reiki-treatment. I really like the feeling it gives me during that 30 minutes, but moreover the feeling it gives throughout the rest of the day.

I see it as a mix between meditation, reiki and tai chi (not that I have ever practised the latter). Sitting in a semi-lotus position on my bean bag chair, moving my hands in, out and around the central chakra, all to some deep and meditation sounds coming from the magic-music-box, is quite magical in itself.

I’m reaching an intense period in my project but I am coping rather sublimely / resiliently with the stresses of it all due to my new dawn-time regime.

Even when the wife gets up out of the wrong side of the bed and lets rip with vitriol and a volley of verbal abuse, the negativity bounces off me right now which is ace.

As wifey was in college tonight, watched a film on the sofa with the kids after work, all snuggled up with those that matter most to me, in harmony with my sprogglings.

Late on, I opened my mail to find a flyer from the Liverpool Empire which included the latest shows to be released. Normally I only have a look at the overview of such things to see if there is anything specific that catches my eye. For the whole of 2014, there was only one that did. Lord of the Flies, the only book I read in school which kept me interested.

I decided to flick to the Lord of the Flies page and found with interest that they were looking for kids aged 10-25 to apply to be in the show, so instantly applied for my son who is looking to tread the boards later in life.

Our subconscious / super-conscious states do guide us to do things in life, we just need to be attuned to them and listen carefully, then act on our instincts / invisible directors. Right now I am in tune (unlike my vocal abilities on the kareoke)…