On the Challenges of the Unseen


So for the last couple of days since Sunday, I’ve been practicing—or at least trying to practice—reiki on myself.*

The attempt flies in the face of two decades’ worth of well-developed skepticism about my abilities to interact with the unseen. There’s no skepticism about the unseen itself—I’m Filipino enough not to bat an eyelash whenever people talk about seeing or hearing things beyond the customary range of human perception—but personally trafficking with the normally imperceptible is an uncharacteristic undertaking for me. In the same way that I know that it is possible to do what the dancers in Cirque du Soleil do, without ever making any attempt to do what they do (because it’s impossible for me), I’ve never tried to detect auras or read minds or sense ghosts.

And I’ve frankly never cared to, since as far as I’m concerned, there’s enough to deal with on the more mundane dimensions of existence without introducing troubles from the less mundane ones.

But if I’ve decided to try reiki now, it’s mostly because of my experience with yoga. First, nearly five years of yoga has taught me that there’s very little that’s actually impossible given enough time and enough persistence. There was a time when doing something like a headstand was something that I associated exclusively with Cirque du Soleil (or Chinese acrobatic circus) dancers, and now, I can do it (although I wouldn’t charge $5—let alone $100—to have people watch me do it even if I wore sequined spandex and a feather boa).

Second, my teacher’s told me time and again that I need to develop my sensitivity. I’m so used to “feeling” with my brain that I’ve lost much of my ability to listen to my body. The yoga has helped tremendously in helping me recover that ability–and there’s still a long way for me to go.

Which is exactly where reiki enters the picture. Perhaps honing my sensitivity to things “unseen” may end up being an exercise in futility, but along the way, I suppose I’ll learn how to be more receptive to the more readily perceptible.

And who knows, I just may end up seeing people’s auras and sensing their energy fields. But until I get there (and I may never), more practice is necessary.

* For those of you haven’t looked it up on Wikipedia yet, reiki is a Japanese form of energy healing. You can find the rest out on Wikipedia.

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