People all over the world have been wearing masks since the first sort of records began, namely, Rock Art. In several countries, once they began drawing human forms, sometimes portrayed them in what appears to be masks.

Cave Art, Utah

Some animals have what looks like eye-masks in their facial fur, birds and reptiles too.

We generally associate masks with the need to hide identity, but they are also worn for other reasons. Back in time, hunters wore them depicting the prey were about to hunt, such as deer. They are sometimes worn for attention in some cases, for fun (as in fancy dress) and in children’s play.

More importantly they are worn for protection, in medical circles for example and for hygiene purposes.

The Fifth Reiki Principle:-

Just for Today I will show love and respect
for every living thing.

One of many ways we can do this in these times is by wearing masks where-ever we go in public whether inside or outside. Instead of thinking of this as a negative thing – a ‘beware, keep your distance’ vibe – think of it as a sign that those wearing a mask not only care about their own safety and well-being, but yours too. ‘Showing love and respect to every living thing’ and showing that we are all in this together and are doing what we can to get through this as quickly and as best we can – together.



This very week in 2016, I was lucky enough to be in Japan. A place I never, ever, thought I would visit in my wildest dreams, but there I was – and I loved it! Although staying in Yokohama for the majority of the time (a place I think of so often now), I fell in love with Kyoto. This probably has a lot to do with the history of Reiki and Dr. Mikao Usui, having read about it so much and studied both in depth, I could now visualise it all so much better. Such a lovey place!

I walked The Philospher’s Path, (Tetsugaku no michi in Japanese) virtually empty as we began, but busier the further along we went, although not so busy as to detract from the peacefulness that allowed my imagination to picture how it may have been in Dr. Usui’s time when he walked that way too.

The Philosopher’s Path

It is a cherry tree lined stone path running through the northern part of the Higashiyama district of Kyoto. It follows a canal in which we saw many carp and ducks, also cats at various places along the Path. At one house there was an old fashioned cart with a canopy on top, full of cats! All ages and colours were there, a notice asked the public not to fed the cats. They were well cared for, but living naturally with the cart as their abode. Clearly doing a good job of keeping the place rodent free.

The Philosopher’s Path begins at The Silver Temple (Ginkakuji in Japanese) and ends in the neighbourhood of Nanzenji.

Ginkakuji – The Silver Temple

The Philosopher’s Path takes its name from one of Japan’s most famous philosophers, Nishida Kitaro, who was said to have practised meditation whilst walking this route on his daily commute to Kyoto University. As did Dr. Mikao Usui.

Entrance to Mount Kurama mountain climb

I climbed Mount Kurama, where Dr. Usui received the Reiki symbols and healed himself of a toe injury. He also healed a villager of toothache when he reached the bottom of the mountain. Dr. Usui’s Reiki journey is one of my favourite stories – read it if you can.

Kurama Temple

About halfway up the mountain is Kurama Temple. This Temple was established in 770 by the monk Gantei after undergoing a deep religious experience there. He was a student of Ganjin and also founded the Tshodaiji Temple in Nara.

View from Kurama Temple
View from Kurama Temple

These views from the Temple over the mountain physically took my breath away, it was magical and spine tingling for me to think that Dr. Usui probably stopped there and took in the same view – I wonder if he felt the same magical energy I did?!

Kurama Temple was connected with Tendai Buddhism until 1949 when it then became connected with the Kurama-Kokyo Sect. Don’t panic! The word Sect in this instant means ‘a small community of faith’. If you register with the Temple in advance of your visit, it is possible to spend a day and a night writing mantras and meditating at the Temple. It is an amazing setting for meditation and self-discovery as the mountain is surrounded by beautiful cedar trees and has a wonderful energy!

There is an inscribed stone to Dr. Mikao Usui and Reiki on the mountain – a picture of which is below, with my hand on it!

Inscribed Usui Stone

Living the Reiki Principle of ‘The Attitude of Gratitude’ was manifold all through my visit to Japan – Mount Kurama and Kurama Temple in particuar. I have so much to be grateful for in memories of that wonderful holiday and my journey with Reiki through Japan!


It occurs to me just how like a game of Scrabble life is! We get given a certain amount of – let’s say ’tiles’ – and have to make of it what we can.

As in Scrabble, our tiles change. We use what we have and make the most of it, to the best of our ability. We are then given more tiles to replace those we have used. Our ‘racks’ are only completely empty when there are no more tiles left to be given.

As we make our way through life (our own Scrabble if you will) we deal with things (tiles) as we are able and then carry on like this until there are no more tiles, marking the end of our life.

Whilst playing this ‘game’ we are constantly learning. In Scrabble, we are not only learning how to spell, but how the various words are used – how we can connect our ‘words’ with those of others on the board.

It has been proven that by playing such games and doing crosswords, sudoku, wordsearch and the like we can retain memory function longer and it helps our general well-being too. We all know that keeping physically active is not only beneficial to our physical health, but our mental health as well. Even those of us who are not as active as others are able to boost our overall health and well-being in these ways. Our mental health and physical health are inextricably connected. Dr. Mikao Usui, founder of the Usui System of Natural Well-being, realised this and used Reiki to balance and heal both the physical and mental aspects of people. The whole needs to be treated, cared for and nurtured, not just a part.

As we go through life, we continually connect with others. When we play Scrabble we have to consider the connections we can make on the board and we put a lot of thought into this in order to get the best outcome we can. If only we could do this with our connections in life, if we gave each one as much time and thought as we do with our tiles in Scrabble, I feel that the world as a whole would be more connected, run more smoothly and be happier overall!


Where do thoughts come from? Yes, the mind/head, but how do they get there? When I think, it is a voice in my head, my inner voice, telling me things, but what is that? I wonder if it is me, subconsciously thinking a few minutes ahead of myself. Who-else could it be?

Thoughts can also be visual. When I think of my childhood home, places I loved, events that come to mind, I can see them rather than hear a narrative of them in my head (or mind). Amazing really – such clarity – and the memories become so vivid. I can remember the heat of the day and my thoughts at the time when one such incident comes to mind. Just as though I was back there again, gazing out of the classroom window high up on the third-floor of the new annex to our school, watching a large Coco-Cola lorry driving past on the dual carriageway below. At that moment, my fifteen year old self had thoughts about what she wanted to do in life – thoughts I did achieve! A very special moment in time. A thought that comes to me often and makes me very happy!

We have so much to think about daily, then, during the night we dream – or what could be called ‘sleep thoughts’ I suppose. Our minds are constantly absorbing and storing without our realising it and then appearing at instances as thoughts.

Thoughts not only affect and influence us, but also those around us. They form our attitudes, which reflect on others. Thoughts can also effect situations. They really are a mystery – to me anyway! Many people have said how they had been thinking of someone and then the telephone has rung and that very person is on the other end of the line. Could their thoughts have prompted that I wonder?

I have heard, and read, of people asking others to send positive thoughts to someone and/or situations, and an effect has been seen or felt.

Most things have a positive and negative balance. In Reiki we are taught to be mindful of how we use our knowledge as it is meant and used positively on the whole, but can be used negatively in the wrong hands! This is why we should be careful as to who we pass this precious knowledge on to, we must get to know our students and work with them for some time to enable us to judge whether they would be true and mindful custodians of this ancient traditional method of healing. Much thought has to go into this before proceeding.

As effective as positive thought can be, so can negative thought, which is why we should be careful as to what we send out – not always easy in the heat of the moment, but if we practice blocking negativity from entering our thoughts (and I’m sure it can be done) we may eliminate a lot of cynicism around us and, indeed, the world!

To me, collective positive thought has a certain power. Imagine what a wonderful world we could bring about by working together, sending positive thoughts around the world!


I had a lovely one at the beginning of this month. My youngest daughter sent me these beautiful flowers.

The reason? A package had been delivered a few days before, addressed to me, but it turned out to be for my eldest daughter. I was saying later that day how excited I had felt on seeing the package as I hadn’t ordered anything and there was no birthday or anniversary in the offing which may have prompted someone to send me something. Then how I had felt a bit disappointed when it had turned out not to be for me. Not real disappointment, but a little ‘Ah well. Never mind.’ and carrying on!

A few days later a box arrived, again addressed to me. It was clearly marked ‘flowers’ on the outside and I was perplexed as to who or why anyone would send me flowers. As I have said, there was no special occasion looming. The card inside with the flowers read ‘Surprise!’ Love – and my daughter’s name. When I asked her why she had sent them, she told me it was because I had been excited about the original package and then disappointed when it wasn’t for me. How kind and thoughtful is that? How blessed am I?!

Surprises, on the whole, are done with thoughtfulness and usually love. They show how much people think of us and how valued we are. Not all surprises come into that category sadly and not all people like surprises. but the majority do. We can feel surprise as well as receiving it. Seeing a plant or flower we hadn’t sown popping up in an unexpected place for instance. This happened to me last week. Due to not being able to go out to purchase any plants, I haven’t planted any tomatoes this year. Imagine my surprise when I went to tend my potato patch and found a very healthy tomato plant, with fruit (admittedly green and small, as it was swamped by the potato leaves, but fruit nonetheless!) smack bang in the middle.

As a Reiki Master, I treat many people with Distant Healing, more since Covid 19 as I can’t treat them in person. They often tell me how surprised they are by the fact that it works, even though we have had no contact. That’s the sort of surprise I like to hear about! Proving Reiki goes where it is needed, no matter what, when sent with love, light and good intentions.

I am surprised when people pooh-pooh Reiki without having tried it, ‘distant’ or ‘hands on’. Give it a go – you may be surprised!


A time for change. Yes, it gets colder and darker, but not all is doom and gloom! Autumn brings with it an amazing colour palette that is breathtaking and not just en masse. A single splash that pops up amidst a tangly overgrowth can be just as awesome.

It is an important time for nature and humans. In nature it’s all going on beneath the ground, making ready for the coming year. Roots grow and secure themselves, many travelling to shoot up some way from the parent plant or tree. Animals burrow, sifting and shifting soil, filtering it and turning it over. Leaves dropping and making way for new buds and providing mulch for the soil and bedding for some animals and insects.

For humans, it is a time of preparation for darker, colder days and nights – and harsher weather. Clearing streams to prevent overflowing during wetter, windier weather and the gathering in of foods grown and fuel for the winter. Time for crafters to make clothing suitable for the coming colder season and decorations to brighten the autumn and winter months. A busy time for both nature and humans, a time of preparation.

Many of us dislike change, but it is a natural progression. We do not always have a choice, but we can look at it and think how it can benefit us, how it can work in our favour. There is usually something to be gained, even if it is not obvious at first. Adjusting is not necessarily a bad thing – although it may be irritating!

We have managed to adapt in recent months – not out of choice I grant you, but we have managed it. Look at the pluses that have come out of it too. Businesses have re-adapted to benefit us and ingenious inventions have surfaced. The leaps in vaccines and the like have been amazing in such a short time. People have realised what really matters to them in life and have made time for them.

The second Reiki Principle ‘Just for Today I will Not Worry’ is an appropriate one to adopt. Don’t worry about things you cannot change, go with the flow and use it to your advantage. Even if it is just sitting back and watching things pan out – chilling is good for your health and can open up the mind too!




Who doesn’t love a story? I can remember being spellbound listening to them when I was young. Storytelling is something we all have within us, but there are those who make it an art and have the ability to ‘fly’ with it.

Stories, whether fact or fiction, read or told, are a way of recording, learning, communicating, teaching and passing things on. They are a way of capturing the imagination, not only of children, but adults too.


History is a list of facts and figures, but put in story form fires the imagination, forms patterns in the mind and helps to retain the information. It makes learning anything easier and even fun!

Reading stories ignites the old grey matter and keeps the mind active – all good for us, keeps us alert. Interest in things, past and present, is good for our mental and physical health and stories are a good start.

The history of Reiki, as I heard it, is one story I love to read time and again. The determination of Dr. Mikao Usui in his pursuit of understanding the art of natural healing, to the point of learning several languages, travelling and studying in different parts of the world to do so, also speaking with many leaders of different faiths and religions, I find so inspirational.  It gives me a boost each time I read it!

If you ever get the chance to hear a Storyteller, do so. Their way of telling the story and their movements whilst doing so, engaging their audience, is captivating, magical, memorable and often inspiring.



Find a Storyteller in your area – libraries may help and often some have regular visiting Storytellers. Then again, most of us know someone who can tell a good tale!


banyan tree logo



This has been made so apparent since Covid 19 appeared. At first we had difficulties in getting a delivery slot from any supermarket. Many would not deliver to us as we were out of their catchment area and those that we were within had no foreseeable slots available.  Then we received a ‘What’s App’ from a young lady who worked in our village, asking if we needed any help with shopping.  This arrived out of the blue and at a crucial time – we were out milk, bread, toilet rolls and pretty much everything-else! We couldn’t go out ourselves as we were self-isolating.  This young lady, we only vaguely knew really, kept us going for the next few months, until we finally got a regular delivery with a local supermarket. To me, she really was an angel, appearing just at the right moment, unbidden.

I believe many people have this inner radar that picks up on when someone needs something, whether it is help with shopping, jobs they can no longer manage, or just needing company, and they respond/appear just at the right time.  I have often sensed when a person has needed help, or just a smile, or a chat when queuing in a shop, or for a bus. Most of us have it in us, but the fear of over-stepping boundaries, invading privacy, or just fear of rejection of our help, stops us from acting on that intuition. I often smile or say hello to people I pass, if eye contact is made. They may think I’m mad or weird, but I may be the only person they get a smile or hello from that day. Lonely people go out and about, often shopping when they don’t need really need to, just for the comfort of seeing and having contact with other people and feeling less alone.

This contact, or connection with others is very much a part of Reiki. The contact between the Practitioner and the recipient during a treatment is important and beneficial to both parties. Even if the Practitioner is not giving a ‘hands on’ treatment, the connection between the two is key. Reiki builds that connection through contact, whether physical or otherwise – healing as well as comforting.

Somehow, somewhere in our lives, we all experience the kindness of ‘Angels Without Wings’, although we may not realise it at the time.


banyan tree logo


‘Just for Today I Will Live The Attitude of Gratitiude’ – the first Reiki Principle. Most people show gratitude almost daily in their lives, but it has become more apparent nationally, even globally, since the Covid 19 pandemic.

Our gratitude to the NHS and all front-line workers risking their own safety for the masses. Car manufacturers and other industries who have stepped out of their normal industrial practices and have come up with ways of producing much needed vital equipment, such as ventilators, vaccines, masks and other protective clothing and mass producing these in record times – not their usual line of work at all. We are all so grateful to them for all they have done and still do.

Gratitude need not be a great ‘showy’ gesture.  A simple ‘thank you’ with a smile – and really meaning it – goes a long way. We may feel gratitude, but showing it and expressing it can multiply it.


Just being grateful every day for the simple things in our lives can enable us to see the beauty in things – try it!


‘Just for Today..’ can easily become every day.


banyan tree logo