After I had received my teacher training in Usui Tibetan Reiki (Jan 2005), in addition to the daily energetic meditations I was doing (I was practicing chi gong meditations, because the Usui Tibetan system didn’t teach any traditional Japanese meditations), I began searching out Reiki practice groups so I could continue to develop my skills.
I found an open group and showed up for one of their meetings. There were about eight or ten people there with one massage table set up in a small room in the back of a metaphysical store. I might have gone first or towards the beginning. I got up on the table, lying face down as instructed. An old woman in a wheelchair was at the head of the table. She put her twisted fingers on my head and I was blown away with the amount of energy coming through those pain-riddled hands. Meanwhile, I was aware of a very unusual and mostly uncomfortable energy manipulation on my back—this large group of people was crowded around me, chatting away about anything that popped into their minds, and pulling what they referred to as energetic strings off my back. Whatever it was, it was not any Reiki that I had ever learned or experienced. When the session was over I looked up at the old woman, the only one actually practicing Reiki, and said, Thank you. I got off the table and stood uncertainly, not sure what to do, while the incessant noise of the chatting continued. I was not used to such casual conversation during Reiki—I always found Reiki sessions to be a time of quiet contemplation and turning my awareness toward the flow of energy. Also, so many people packed around the table left practically no room—I knew wherever I ended up I would be stuck. I decided to grab a spot at the foot of the table and just work on people’s feet, providing grounding energy. I stayed at this spot for the remainder of the evening. At the end of the night, a woman came up to me and announced that I should review my Levels 1 and 2 with her. I admit what flashed through my mind was that maybe she should review her Levels 1 and 2 with me! But I just said thank you and left.
Luckily I didn’t give up and continued searching until I found a group that considered Reiki to be a spiritual practice and meditative modality. I began practicing with them at their monthly meetings—a small group that met in someone’s home. This was probably in 2006 or early 2007. I taught my first Reiki student in Usui Tibetan Reiki in Sept 2007. I continued to meet with the practice group for over a year. Eventually the host needed a break. Before the group fizzled out, I held a couple meetings at my home, sharing some of my new ideas that integrated the healing modality I had learned with my own spiritual practices.
Around this time, I shared some of my ideas with one of my Usui Tibetan teachers. She was excited by what I was doing and told me that I would really like the more traditional style of Reiki that she had recently learned. She offered me a spot in the new class she was teaching. She also invited me to do a presentation for her Reiki Meetup group. I received the teacher training in this more traditional system, Usui Reiki Ryôhô/IHR style and offered my first public Reiki talk not held in my guest bedroom. This was in May, 2008.
A little earlier that year I joined a new Reiki Meetup started in Denver by Scott Everson. The group took a while to get off the ground, but finally in August 2009 we started having monthly meetings. A little over a year later, Scott got his dream job and moved out of state. He handed over the reins of the group to me in September 2010 and I have been leading the group ever since. I started teaching again, this time the traditional Usui Reiki Ryôhô style, in 2011.
As I continued to deepen my Reiki practice, I sought out additional training which led to my studying with Japanese Buddhist monk and founder of Komyo Reiki Kai, Hyakuten Inamoto. I studied in California with him in October 2011 and October 2013.
As you can see, even before learning Traditional Japanese Reiki, my interests were in practicing Reiki as a meditative modality, performing energetic meditations to raise my energy level, practicing hands-on healing with others, and finding a deeper connection to Spirit to support my practice. This is what drew me to Reiki in the first place and this is what I stress when I teach.
Joy Vernon specializes in Traditional Japanese Reiki and is a certified Komyo Reiki Shihan (Teacher). She studied with Komyo Reiki Kai Founder Hyakuten Inamoto in 2011 and 2013. She is also a Reiki Practitioner and Teacher in the Usui Reiki Ryôhô lineage through IHR. Joy was first trained in Usui Shiki Ryôhô/Usui Tibetan Reiki in 2003 and started teaching Western Reiki in 2007, but has been teaching the more spiritually focused traditional Japanese Reiki since 2008. She is the Organizer of the Denver Traditional Reiki Meetup and is a member of Shibumi International Reiki Association and the Healing Touch Professional Association. Learn more at JoyVernon.com.
© 2014 by Joy Vernon. All rights reserved.
Joy Vernon is widely recognized by tarot professionals as an expert tarot teacher and respected community leader. With over twenty years’ experience teaching energetic and esoteric modalities, Joy brings expertise and practiced familiarity to her specialty of esoteric tarot, which layers astrological and qabalistic symbolism onto the traditional tarot structure. Under her leadership, the Denver Tarot Meetup has grown into one of the largest and most active tarot-specific meetups in the world. Joy works as a tarot reader, astrologer, and teacher at Isis Books. To learn more, please visit JoyVernon.com.