Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

I used to wear a red windbreaker style jacket with the Constantine High School band insignia on it. I pinned all my festival medals on the front left breast—they mostly just blended in with the coat. Red for receiving a “second”—I didn’t inherit my father’s musical talent. There were a few blues for receiving a “first,” but mostly the jangling left side of my jacket was a field of red.

three red and one blue music festival medals

One of my parents’ friends asked one time what all the medals were for. “Solo/Ensemble Festival,” I replied. “Isn’t that contradictory?” he asked. I had to think for a second. “Solo-slash-ensemble,” I explained.

Despite or perhaps because of a childhood spent avoiding practicing, I frequently find metaphors for my spiritual growth in the images of music. Earlier this month I taught a Hatsurei Hô meditation class. Hatsurei Hô means the method of generating spirit and consists of a series of short techniques (including jôshin kokyû hô) that can be combined together into a longer practice (International House of Reiki describes it here). I’ve been leading a monthly meditation group for Hatsurei Hô practice most months for the past two years. It’s seen its ups and downs with sometimes ten or more people coming together to practice and sometimes as few as myself and one other person. Regardless, it’s still a powerful experience to meditate as a group.

Like music, spiritual practices can be done solo or in an ensemble. The Golden Dawn is an excellent example in that it equally stresses personal meditation and ritual work as well as regular group work in the Temple. Someone explained it to me once quite clearly: “We each have our energetic and personal strengths and weaknesses. When we work together my strengths fill in a place where you might be less developed and your strengths fill in areas I need. By working together we each balance and strengthen our personal energy.”

Reiki also stresses both personal and group work. Daily meditation and self-healing are integral parts of Traditional Japanese Reiki, and so are group meditations and healing circles. Perhaps the most important tenet of Reiki is connection to your true self. That is the result of your daily practice. But to grow and discover more about yourself and what you can become, energetically sharing the strengths of your teacher and other students in a group is powerful healing. And ultimately our knowledge of self leads us to the Divine where the ensemble resolves back into the solo of Divine unity.

Joy Vernon specializes in Traditional Japanese Reiki and is a Reiki Teacher in the Usui Reiki Ryôhô lineage. She is also a certified Komyo Reiki Shihan (Teacher) and studied under Komyo Reiki Kai Founder Hyakuten Inamoto.  She leads the Denver Traditional Reiki Meetup. Joy is also a Certified Professional Tarot Reader. To schedule an appointment or for information on upcoming classes, please visit

© 2012 by Joy Vernon. All rights reserved.

Joy Vernon
Joy Vernon

Joy Vernon is widely recognized as an expert tarot teacher and respected community leader. With over twenty-five 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 grew into one of the largest and most active tarot-specific meetups in the world. Now Joy runs the Greater Seattle Tarot Meetup. Joy works as a tarot reader, astrologer, and teacher in Burien, Washington. To learn more, please visit

Articles: 472

Newsletter Updates

Enter your email address below and subscribe to our newsletter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *