Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Reiki Master Training: Finding the Right Teacher

Bill and I both loved learning Reiki I and booked in at once to do Reiki II on Beth's return to Australia six months later, in December 1988. This was a smaller group; only about a dozen of our original Reiki I class had chosen to continue so soon.  Some probably never would. Most people who learn Reiki are not thinking of setting up as practitioners; they're simply seeking to help themselves and their families, pets and friends. The basic hands-on technique is adequate in most circumstances. 

We weren't thinking of becoming professional practitioners either, but we were captivated by the idea of distant healing, and we had fallen in love with the Reiki energy. We weren't the only ones. One of the assistants at our Level II class was one of our classmates from Level I. 

'I couldn't wait,' she told us with a big grin. 'I went to Beth in America and did it there.' She looked as if she was about to start dancing with delight. 'You'll love it. It's magic — real, fair dinkum magic.' 

We thought so too by the time we finished the two-day class and learned all the amazing things we could do with the energy. As well as being able to bring about verifiable healings for people at a distance, we could gain deeper insights into what ailed them, enabling them to change any thinking or behaviour that contributed to their illness. 

I was so enraptured that I decided to become a Reiki Master myself, to share this wonderful gift with as many people as possible. Beth presented each of us with a certificate and a long-stemmed red rose. I told her my decision. 

'Oh good,' she said. 'I'll see you at all my seminars, working your little butt off.'

'If that's what it takes,' I said.

'That's what it takes,' she said with a grin.

She was the picture of warm encouragement, yet in that moment I knew she had no intention of ever training me as a Reiki Master. I didn't realise then that I was psychic, so I tried to dismiss this knowing, but I was certain of it despite having no rational reason. A short time later, Beth announced her retirement. We would not be seeing each other at all her seminars; there wouldn't be any more. Well, at least her undeclared refusal to train me wasn't personal.

She had trained three Australian Reiki Masters by then, one of whom was Denise Crundall in Melbourne. I asked Denise if I could assist on her seminars with a view to Master training when I'd served my apprenticeship. To qualify for Master training, you had to have been doing Reiki for five years and be seen as a person of the highest integrity. After two years of further training, you had to demonstrate that you not only knew your stuff but could teach it. Denise welcomed me, and I did assist on a couple of her seminars. I respected her greatly and learned valuable things from her, but I knew she would not train me to Mastery either — not that she lacked the intention like Beth; simply that it wouldn't happen that way.

At this point I heard on the grapevine that Ann Adcock had become a Reiki Master. To everyone's surprise, it wasn't with Beth but someone in Adelaide whom at that time we had not heard of — though we later came to know her and greatly respect her —Trisha Ellis.

Ann had been Beth's chief assistant in the State of Victoria, and the organiser of all her seminars there. Bill and I had got quite pally with her, but this was news to us.

Soon afterwards Ann phoned and said, 'Guess what?'

'Ha ha, I know,' I said. We arranged for her to visit us at Three Bridges and tell us all about it.

She told us that she and Trisha Ellis had been best friends for decades, since Trish had been Matron of Sandringham Hospital in Melbourne. After moving to Adelaide, Trish became the coordinator for Beth's South Australian Reiki seminars. She and Ann had a standing joke that whoever attained Mastery first would give it to the other. Both expected to train with Beth.

Trish was also a crystal healer. She was doing a lecture tour of the United States in that capacity when she met a woman who was a Reiki Master, who immediately assumed that Trish was too. When she learned otherwise, she said, 

'I'd be very happy to initiate you'. 

But Trish needed to continue her tour, and declined. On her travels she met up with a young Reiki Master she knew, Rev. Glen Dunning, who took one look at her and said, 

'Trish, when are you going to take Mastery?'

Obviously the Master energy was already shining out of her, which is the way it happens when one is ready for initiation. And so she received Mastery from Glen. He already knew that she had been working with Reiki for eight years, was well able to teach, and her integrity was beyond doubt. 

When she got home, she phoned Ann. Trish, in turn, knew that Ann had also worked with Reiki eight years and was well qualified for Mastery, so, according to their old, half-joking agreement, she offered it to her. Ann went to Trisha's home in the Adelaide hills for the final training and initiation. 

Naturally I thought Ann might be the Master to train me. Meanwhile Ann looked at our Three Bridges property with its beautiful gardens and huge lounge room built for big parties, and thought of running seminars there. A few days later she phoned. 

'Rosemary, I keep seeing your energy. It's as if I can't turn around without falling over you. What is it you want to say to me?' I'd been in a fever with it, so I took a deep breath and told her I was hoping she'd accept me into Master training. She said,

'When I received Mastery, I thought, "There'll be people who will want it from me," and I decided there were three I'd be very happy to train — Sue, Tony and you.' She added that she felt I wasn't quite ready, and would talk to me more in about nine months. That was the same timing I'd been getting!

As it happened, her friend Sue never did train. Tony van Lambaart was the first Master to train with Ann; I was the second. She held a number of classes at Three Bridges, with some students coming from Melbourne and staying overnight, as we had room to accommodate them. I assisted on Ann's seminars there and in Melbourne, even before I entered formal training. That began late in 1991. Ann waived the five year requirement as she knew of other healing and teaching I'd been engaged in, and let me start only four years after I learned Reiki I.

I immediately went straight into ego, becoming self-conscious and inept. For a while I must have been her clumsiest student ever. If people were sitting in meditation prior to fine tuning, my chair would squeak. If there was so much as a tissue on the floor, I'd trip over it. But gradually I got a grip and realised it wasn't about me but being of service to the students.

The training also involved private sessions with Ann, helping me clear anything that might hinder my progress, and giving me exercises to develop my non-physical abilities. To reach a point where I could transmit Reiki for life to students during the fine turnings, my energy had to be raised considerably. 

Eventually she initiated me — a profound and beautiful experience taking place over three days. But that did not complete my training; it enabled me to begin fine-tuning people under her close supervision.

I've already recounted how Master training cost me my marriage to Bill — which, obviously, was already very shaky for that to have happened. Also, some little time later, a cousin invested some money for me and managed to lose it, so I was left destitute and went on the dole.

It was a surprise to me, in March 1992, when, after a special gathering of Reiki people, Ann presented me with my Master certificate in completion of my training. She gave a speech in which she praised the way I remained focused on service through Reiki even in the face of such catastrophic events in my personal life. 

Later she told me that, all through that two-day gathering, people were nudging each other and whispering, 

'Look at Rosemary. She's radiant!' 

I was unaware of that, fully immersed in looking after people and facilitating the purpose of the gathering, but apparently I was the only one oblivious. 

'It was the Master energy shining from you,' said Ann. 


  1. What a beautiful, fascinating, amazing journey. I had no idea that Reiki training involved so much and depended so much on circumstances being aligned!

    1. That is the old way of training. It is not always done that way any more, which I think is a great pity. I was so well looked after by my initiating Master!


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