reiki, when spirit meets science

Of Magical Hands & Magical Lands

Once upon a time, there existed a land of immense beauty and magic.

The land was abundant with a variety of plants and trees.

The air was pure, the water pristine and the earth rich.

The humans who lived there co-existed in harmony with plants, animals and all of nature.

They knew they were dependent on plants and animals for their survival and had a deep reverence for them. They cared well for them and received nourishment from them with utmost gratitude.

These humans also knew that they were the more intelligent among all the species they co-existed with. They knew they could put their intelligence to use in constructive or destructive ways.

They were conscious of the ‘Web Of Energy’ that runs through all of existence. They knew they were connected to everything in creation – mineral, plant, insect, bird, animal, air, water, earth, sun, star, planet and galaxy.  

They were very in tune with the life force energy flowing through their beings. They viewed their hands as ‘Healing Hands’ and used them as instruments to offer comfort to those in distress.

Their connection to the warm pulse of the life force flowing through their palms served their growth and evolution in more ways than one – it brought wellness and energy to their physical bodies and made their minds more productive. It also opened their hearts and brought joy to their souls. These humans learnt to put their intelligence to best use and the vibration of their land rose higher and higher. Anyone coming there felt an instant sense of peace, ease and calm.

It’s not that darkness didn’t exist on this beautiful land. It did. However, these humans had mastered the art of alchemy. They accepted darkness when it showed up. They knew how to transform darkness – both within and around them – into something higher.

As a result, the vibration of the land was always on the higher side. Life flourished. Boundaries dissolved. Peace prevailed. Love ruled.

Dear Reiki Healers, does this story ring a bell deep within your heart?

This is the power of the energy you feel flowing through your palms each day!

We each have the power to choose how we wish to use this energy in the current time.

If we wish to weave realities like the one that existed on that magical land far far away, we must make the most constructive use of this energy!

reiki, when spirit meets science

The Gift Of Reiki For Plants

One of the best things about being a Reiki practitioner is that you get to share the gift of Reiki not just with humans but also with plants and animals.

The practice of offering Reiki to plants has shifted my relationship with them.

The plants in my little garden are no more just a slice of nature adorning my space. They are living beings that I feel a lot of love for.

I feel so very grateful for their healing presence in my space. Looking at them and being amidst them gives me comfort and peace.

I express my gratitude for their presence by offering Reiki and love to them!

Connecting to another living being purely through love, without having to say a word, is a soul-stirring experience indeed!

reiki, when spirit meets science

Reiki: Magic Minus The Flamboyance

Oh, beautiful Reiki

Of rainbow colours bright.

What a wonder you are,

Though nowhere in sight!

This little poem is from the first chapter of our book ‘When Spirit Meets Science.’

My first encounter with Reiki happened when I was a child. I was playing with a friend at her home when I saw her mother standing beside a plant, with her palms over it, eyes closed and keenly focused.

When I asked my friend what was going on, she told me her mother was practicing something called ‘Reiki’ and sending good energy to the plants.

This scene struck a chord deep within me. It felt very natural to me that someone should be doing this.

“Wow! How nice to be able to send good energy to a plant,” I thought to myself.

I believe a Reiki seed was gently planted in my consciousness that day.

Little did I know back then that this act of sending and sharing ‘good energy’ would become my purpose in life one day.

Around a decade later, in the year 2007, Reiki came into my life.

And this time around, it came in like a whirlwind.

I developed a strong calling to experience Reiki.

I was in a difficult phase in life and each day was a struggle. My soul pushed me to expand and to connect to something much larger than the ‘human struggling me.’

And Reiki training helped me achieve this connection successfully.

Soon after the training, life began to flow – whatever wasn’t working well for me made its way out of my life and positive new circumstances took birth, almost as if by magic.

Synchronicity kicked in and re-arranged my life, one step at a time.

I just took whatever practical action I had to take at each step and thereafter surrendered to an ‘Intelligence’ much bigger than me, trusting that everything I needed would come to me.

And it did. Even beyond my wildest expectations.

And if someone asks what the logic behind this magic is, I cannot answer – for Reiki is not concrete.

It cannot be seen or measured.

Its many possible effects are best experienced.

To me, Reiki is a subtle sweet force that works silently, offers support on different levels, and pushes you to become more of who you are.

Reiki is magical, without appearing flamboyant.

And this magic, which has been the very foundation of my growth and success, inspired me to begin the book with a poem dedicated to Reiki.

Thank you Reiki for everything you do for me and for everyone whose lives you touch!

energy medicine, reiki

Energy Healing Is A Two Way Process

“Let me tune in to your energy before I can say anything.”

“Can you tell me how you are feeling?”

“Let’s just go with the flow and see what shows up for you.”

“Let’s not go against the flow for now. Difficult as it may be, let everything be as it is. Let’s revisit this problem after some time.”

“Whatever is for your highest good is what you can expect from this session.”

“Can we let go and surrender completely to the energy? Let’s allow it to do its work.”

“Breathe energy into every cell in your body.”

“Something doesn’t feel right. The energy feels off. Let’s go deeper and see what comes up.”

“Looks like you’ve absorbed some negative energy. Can you work on clearing it?”

“You’re all high vibe today!”

Most healers are familiar with this kind of ‘Energy Talk.’ After a point in time, it begins to feel natural to talk like this!

I have been offering Reiki sessions for the last 14 years and have worked with a variety of clients. The most memorable sessions amongst these have been the ones I’ve done for other experienced energy healers and also for people who may not be trained energy healers but have had a fair amount of exposure to energy-based healing therapies.

The reasons being-

  1. It is an absolute joy to converse freely with them in ‘Energy Language’ and not have them look at you like – “Have you gone nuts?!”
  2. It is also easier to give them feedback because they know and understand the subtleties of energy work and are well aware of its potential as well as limitations. They don’t expect miracles and magic from the healer, and are ready to do their part to find solutions.

Energy healing, like all other forms of healing, is a two-way process. It’s not about the healer doing something to make a client’s problems disappear. Healers can only offer support by facilitating the process of healing and showing the light.

Barring a few exceptions, recipients of healing are not meant to be passive. They are expected to open their eyes, recognise the light, be in charge and make every effort possible to move in the direction of light. Only then is true healing possible.

This image depicts a cancer surgeon's experience of Reiki in an article by Suraj Manjunath on When Spirit Meets Science
energy medicine, reiki, when spirit meets science

Energy, Vibration & Reiki: A Cancer Surgeon’s Perspective

Energy, frequency, and vibration.

For me, these were words associated with physics and conventional science.

In 2007, I learned that these words also carry a completely different meaning for other people.

They seemed to be an integral part of Haripriya’s vocabulary and she used them frequently in the context of day-to-day life.

Initially, I found myself baffled by the context in which she used these words! It took me quite some time to get used to them and to know exactly what they mean in non-scientific terms.

Be it choosing a home to move into after our marriage or finding a new workplace for her, Haripriya had to first tune in to the place’s ‘vibe.’ If the ‘vibration’ of a place felt right, she would pick it. If not, she wouldn’t. She did this exercise not only for herself but also for me. Thankfully, she pronounced that the vibe of the hospital I was working at when we first met was excellent!

Now, whenever I need to take big decisions, she shares her inputs on how various options ‘feel.’ And I have come to realize that I value her inputs. I weigh her intuitive insights alongside my own logic and base my decisions on the best of both.

Haripriya also introduced me to Reiki. Way back in 2007, she explained to me that Reiki is a form of ‘energy healing’ that helps to bring body, mind, emotions, and spirit into a state of balance. She said this is done through the laying on of hands over different ‘chakras or energy centers’ associated with the body. These concepts flew over my head as I had a hard time relating to energy in this manner. I told her I would prefer to experience Reiki rather than attempt to understand it with my logical mind.

I have been receiving Reiki from her for years now. I have to say it is a very relaxing experience. I love the soft ambiance that is created with candles and soothing music. I cherish the gentle presence of Haripriya while she works on ‘balancing my chakras!’ I appreciate being encouraged to not think of anything else for a good forty minutes and to just allow myself to relax. I often drift into a peaceful slumber during these Reiki sessions and wake up feeling refreshed.

Peace and healing comfort – this is what Reiki is to me!

My objective and rational temperament is my strength. I cannot think of a scientific explanation for Reiki. But I do know how it makes me feel.

If someone were to ask me what love feels like, I would tell them to try some Reiki!

energy medicine, modern medicine, reiki, science, Spirit, when spirit meets science

What Happens When Spirit Meets Science?

Science is working wonders in our lives today. Travel back in time to your childhood and compare the role that science played back then to what it does today. Now go back further to when your parents and grandparents were children. What was the role of science during those times?

It is a known fact that scientific advancement has been happening in leaps and bounds. Human intelligence has been working hard to create marvel after marvel. Isn’t that amazing?

The world of Spirit has existed since time immemorial too. Different people resonate with different spiritual paths. Many paths include a quest into realms that lie outside the concrete physical world. This apart, spirituality also includes elements of love, compassion, peace, oneness, service and the like. New age spirituality, often has concepts of energy medicine blended in and places much emphasis on wellness, mindfulness, self-love, emotional well being and a whole range of such concepts.

Is there a need for the world of spirit to meet the world of science?

Not necessarily. They both can exist independently and progress perfectly well.

But….they can also choose to meet.

Let’s explore what could happen if they do choose to meet.

  1. Life could be more well rounded. While science is primarily based on logic and rational thought, spirituality is rooted in philosophy and intuition. When we embrace both these aspects within ourselves, we find a whole new level of strength and wisdom. We know which strength of ours to apply in different scenarios and make the most of both sides of our brain.
  2. Healing sciences may become more holistic and focus on healing body, mind, and soul. For instance, modern medicine is rooted in the science of evidence based practice. This brings structure, strength, and precision to modern medical treatments. Intuitive therapies like Reiki focus more on going with the flow and staying flexible. This brings in subtler elements of softness and self-care to help maintain overall well being. I often recall times when popping paracetamol brought down a viral fever and helped me feel comfortable, while Reiki helped me relax deeply and give myself space and time to heal.
  3. Human intelligence can take on a whole new definition. EQ receives as much importance as IQ. Apart from applying our classical intelligence to create breakthroughs in the outer world, we also nurture our emotional intelligence and create many inner breakthroughs. We may go deeper into our human experience and live life more fully.

Making spirit meet science is not a lofty unattainable goal destined for a future time. Its principles are simple and can be easily practiced in our day-to-day lives. It is all about embracing logic as well as magic and knowing what to choose when!

This is an image of Infant Jesus in a blog post by Haripriya Suraj on spiritual growth in her blog When Spirit Meets Science
personal, Spirit

Light Of Baby Jesus

The Infant Jesus Shrine in Bangalore has been one of my favourite places to visit right from the time that I was fifteen. Thursdays are considered sacred. People from different religions and walks of life visit the shrine every Thursday to light candles and pray.

Candles of varied colours are available to purchase. I have always felt drawn to the yellow ones and pick them without fail!

Over the years, my relationship with this beautiful space has evolved in different ways.

As a teenager, my primary focus was on coping with studies and exams. I mostly went to the shrine to summon divine support for academic accomplishment.

Thereafter, I asked for help with relationship challenges.

In 2007, I bumped into my soul partner Suraj and felt an instant connection with him. On the same day, I visited the shrine and spent time in meditation. I asked to be shown if my gut feeling about Suraj was accurate and requested divine grace to help this relationship go forward if it was for the highest good.

Some years later, I found myself there again, praying for strength to cope with pregnancy loss.

I have to admit that being in that space has helped me find immense strength to overcome different challenges in life. I am so very grateful for this.

Over the last few years though, there has been a shift.

I continue to visit the shrine to this day but find that I have nothing to ask for.

All I want to do now is meditate with yellow candles and bask in the lovely peaceful energy that engulfs the space,

All I want do is connect with the Christ Light of Baby Jesus.

To me, this Light represents joy, innocence, warmth, love and peace, and some other things that I cannot explain logically but feel within me when I meditate there.

When I look back on life, I feel grateful I was supported through my ups and downs, and that even the most challenging moments brought forth some wonderful lessons and gifts.

Since 2007, Reiki and other spiritual practices have helped me build inner strength. I now feel so deeply connected to the Force of Life that I don’t feel the need anymore to ask the Divine for anything.

I trust that when I am in the flow of life, living in accordance with my soul’s purpose and doing all I can to become better each day, everything I need (and not necessarily want) shall come to me.

When I meditate with my yellow candles before Infant Jesus today, I feel an inexplicable sense of peace, contentment and gratitude, to the point that I find myself in tears at times.

I am not sure if my connection with the shrine will evolve further over the years. But no matter what, this gem of a place will always hold a special place in my heart!

This image shows Reiki in a bblog post on Reiki by Haripriya Suraj in the blog When Spirit Meets Science
energy medicine, personal, reiki, Spirit, when spirit meets science

The Many Gifts Of Reiki

I placed my palms on my body and felt them warming up in a way that I had never experienced before.

The warmth transformed into intense heat at times and tingling at other times.

I looked at my hands with a sense of wonder! What had just happened?

Was it magic at work?

Or a miracle?

Or was it something ‘normal’ that felt miraculous because it was new?

I would say it was a bit of all!

November 2007 – A significant time period when I began my Reiki training ; significant because my life since then has been built on this foundation of Reiki practice.

Apart from warm healing hands that bring peace and comfort each day, some other gifts that Reiki brought into my life include-

1. Love and reverence for my physical body and inspiration to take good care of it

2. Deep rest and relaxation

3. Heightened awareness of unhelpful thoughts and mental patterns

4. Ability to let go of or transform aspects of life that weren’t working so new people and opportunities could come in

5. Profound spiritual growth and strength

I am so grateful for all the gifts Reiki practice brings.

To me, Reiki is pure love.

After all these years, I am accustomed to the sensation of my hands warming up. I do miss the ‘wowness’ of how it felt in the beginning!

While that ‘wow’ was like the euphoria brought on by love at first sight, my relationship with Reiki today is like a solid partnership of love that is built with someone over years. And that is so beautiful as well.

What do you love about Reiki?

Wellness vs Illness, Haripriya Suraj, When Spirit Meets Science
energy medicine, modern medicine, reiki, science, when spirit meets science

Wellness vs Illness

Being a wellness practitioner, I am often asked by clients and also by family and friends to cure their physical ailments through Reiki. They hope beyond hope that I can do something to bring their thyroid levels back to normal, to help blood sugar stabilise or even to make cancer dissolve.

When I tell them I can teach them about wellness or support them through Reiki sessions, but not perform medical miracles, some of them look at me like something is wrong with me. I can almost read their mind saying – “What kind of a Reiki practitioner are you if you cannot do any of this?”

I may be a Reiki practitioner but Reiki is not some form of magic! It is not a quick fix for illness or for any problem. And it is certainly not something I can do to make a problem vanish from another person’s life. We are each responsible for our own lives.

Reiki is a way of life that empowers people to create physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.

Reiki takes work. Being well in body, mind and spirit may play a role in helping to prevent certain illnesses and also to cope well if at all illness strikes. But if an illness has already set in, wellness therapy like Reiki alone cannot manage it.

For a long time, I had a hard time telling people that there is a difference between wellness and illness. I often felt judged for recommending that someone must seek medical assistance for illness.

While there are plenty of anecdotal accounts of miraculous medical healings and they are certainly inspiring, they are not the same as ‘evidence.’ Evidence is when a particular therapy is proven to have a specific effect on a specific condition, and is accepted as a fact worldwide.

Being married to a cancer surgeon and co-authoring the book ‘When Spirit Meets Science’ with him has helped me clearly understand the difference between anecdote and evidence. This work has helped me appreciate the amount of effort that goes into conventional medical research before treatments are certified and offered to the world. As explained in the book, the principles of evidence based medicine can be easily applied to ‘alternative’ therapies too. Therefore, until we have a more solid scientific backing, I prefer to call wellness therapies complementary or supportive treatment.

Over the years, I have learned to drop the fear of judgment and to not hesitate to tell someone that they need medical evaluation. They are welcome to ask for Reiki but they must also take medical support if required.

Finally, I believe wellness therapies like Reiki offer enough value in themselves and don’t need a medical tag to certify their worth ( unless someone wants to test its efficacy in treating physical illnesses).

A Reiki session can help to relax the body, still the mind and calm the emotions. It can also help one experience the richness of their inner spiritual world. I believe these aspects are also essential components of any healing process. Reiki is always open to anyone who is interested in adopting a holistic approach to healing.

This image depicts the sacral chakra in an article on wellness by Haripriya Suraj
energy medicine, reiki, when spirit meets science

Sacral Chakra Wisdom

The sacral chakra is an energy centre corresponding to the pelvic region of the physical body.

The health of this chakra is associated primarily with the following-

Emotions

Giving ourselves the permission to feel the wide spectrum of human emotions is vital to living a balanced life. The moment we label an emotion as ‘ unacceptable’ or ‘bad,’ we create a block within our energy system. This holds true for women as well as men. Men are often not given as much liberty as women to feel or reveal their emotional side. In the new paradigm, it is perfectly permissible and normal for men to feel and honour varied emotions and to allow themselves to feel vulnerable.

Sexuality

Sexual energy is a gift of the Universe. It is the force behind creation itself. However, sexuality is often associated with shame and disruption. It is also often a misused resource, as in cases of sexual abuse and assault. Not feeling safe or comfortable about one’s sexuality is a sign of imbalance in the sacral chakra. Feeling a healthy connection to one’s sexuality while respecting and honouring the sexuality and sexual boundaries of others is an indication of a healthy sacral chakra. As wounds related to sexuality are carried by many in the world, this is one chakra that needs significant attention.

Creative potential

The sacral chakra is the ‘womb’ of the energy system. It is associated with creative potential of all kinds, including the potential within the female womb where new life takes form. It is important to know that creation is not restricted to giving birth alone. Any kind of creation is an outcome of creative potential at work.

Place your palm on your sacral chakra and connect to your creative side. How does it feel? Are you utilising your complete potential? What is longing to be birthed through you? Can you channel more of your energy to birth creations unique to you? Each of us is born with unique talents. We can give ourselves the permission to recognise them and share them with the world.

Ability to flow with life

Flowing with life means letting go of the need to control every aspect of life. Is it truly possible to be in control always? Excessive control can begin to feel constricting. Letting go of control doesn’t mean no action must be taken. Action in the right direction must be taken when called for. Letting go means not being too fixated on outcomes. It is the art of taking action and then allowing life to unfold in its own glory.

Blessings!

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