Healing Religious Wounds with Reiki and the Holy Fire

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Healing Religious Wounds with Reiki and the Holy Fire
By Laurelle Shanti Gaia

This article appears in the Summer 2014 issue of “Reiki News Magazine”
When I found Reiki in 1989, I unknowingly had been searching to fill a spiritual void. I was not consciously aware of the fact that I had a deep longing to feel worthy of love. Did I carry this with me into this life, or did it develop because of experiences in this incarnation? I am not certain, but I do know that Reiki helped me fill that empty space in my heart.
Through my work, I have recognized that many people have similar wounds, and also hold a common vision, and along the path to realizing the vision, we have a longing for love and acceptance. We travel through periods of confusion, disillusionment and spiritual drought. However, we also journey through the many phases of spiritual growth, evolution and love.
As I reflect on these thoughts and revisit experiences from this lifetime, I recognize instances which influenced my sense of disconnection and emptiness.

Seeds of Longing

I was born into a home with a devoutly Lutheran mother, and a father who had no apparent religious beliefs. I learned much from both examples. I learned of the importance of kindness and loving others through experiences with my mother, and the church. Unfortunately, I also learned to fear God through the teachings of the church. However, I had a longing for God to love me, yet I felt I was not worthy of that love. (I am so very grateful for all experiences and lessons I received from the church. I grew from each and every one.)
My father had a very deep connection to nature, and he was a brilliant, very creative man. He expressed his gifts as an architect. He designed award winning homes and buildings that always honored the land upon which they rested. He would do everything in his power to preserve every tree on the property. When a tree could not be saved, I observed him become reverent and grow silent as if to pray for that tree. However, I never heard him utter a word in prayer. He traveled the world and was inclusive of all people, nevertheless he was intolerant of bigotry.
Because I wanted God to love me, I believed that the only place I could achieve this was in church. I believed that I must follow every rule of the church, and then and only then could I possibly be worthy of Divine Love. Then conversely I believed that if I did not follow every rule I would experience the “wrath of God”. As a little girl I tried my very best to comply with the rules, but when I did not, I imagined there was some sort of scoreboard in the sky, where I had just received another mark in the “bad” column. My feelings of unworthiness grew even deeper.

Seeds of Confusion – And Everything you NEED to know, you learned in kindergarten.

I began to question the church at the age of 5. I attended Sunday school and I had a wonderful teacher. I remember learning that a man named Jesus was born as a son of God, and that all he wanted was to teach us to love everyone. I also learned that all children were his brothers and sisters, and they too were children of God. I have only a vague recollection of the teachings that day, but what I do remember is the feeling. I felt as if my heart was glowing with pure love. I was so happy to know that because all I had to do was love everyone, I could be “good enough” for God’s love.
When our class was adjourned on that day, I stepped out into the hallway, and I overheard the first grade Sunday school teacher making disparaging remarks about Jewish people. I was flabbergasted and saddened that she had not learned that God wants her to love everyone. So I carried my little enthusiastic self, with the heart brimming with love, over to where she stood. I stood silently as she finished her conversation with the other woman. She looked down at me with a look of impatience, and said “What do you want?” I replied “In my class we just learned that God just wants us to love everyone. I heard you say you don’t love Jewish people. Maybe it would help you to talk with my teacher.” Oh my! You would have thought I had just done something horrible. She scolded me and stormed off. This experience was the first to cause me to question the teachings of that church.

The Vision is Planted

It may have been that night when I first dreamed of a world with people from all races, cultures and religions joining hands and hearts in love and respect for one another. There was a great light, brighter than any sunlight and it was shining down from above. That brilliant light encompassed all of the people. Even though there seemed to be distinct ribbons of light they all blended into the one magnificent light. The dream was very visual and visceral, and that experience somehow set a “tone” for my life. I have held a vision of unity and peace ever since that time.
I gained further support of this vision when I was 8 years old and I received a bible. I was told that if I ever have any questions in life, all the answers were in this book. I had a big question I wanted an answer to, so I held my new found “magical” book in my little hands and asked the question “God what do you want me to do when I grow up?” I allowed the book to simply fall open in my lap and discovered stories of Jesus performing miraculous healings. Just as I was thinking how much I would love to help people heal; I came upon John 14:12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, He that believes on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to my Father” I experienced a very strong energetic response to those words. I was inspired!
I interpreted the verse to mean that as long as I remained truly loving to everyone, I would be able to help people heal. I was told that only Jesus could do that, yet that did not ring true to me, and the light in my heart burned brighter at the thought of helping people through love.

Period of Drought

I continued to attend classes at the church, yet I gradually began to question more and more of what I was being taught. When I was 12, I learned that there was something called confirmation and that everyone must go through special training, and that at the age of 13, upon successful completion, we would be “confirmed”. One evening our pastor gave us an assignment to find a verse or chapter in the bible that was meaningful to us. We were to study it, and then return to class and explain it to our classmates in our own words. Ecclesiastes 1:4-9 spoke to me of reincarnation. “Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever. The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises. The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course. All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come from, there they return again…What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”
I read the verse to the class and began to explain about reincarnation. As I read “generations come and generations go” and “what has been will be again” I had personal “flashes” of two of my former lives.  I was immediately corrected as the pastor attempted to silence me. I was so convinced of what this verse was teaching me, I continued to attempt to explain. The pastor became very upset, and suspended me from the class for three weeks.
From that point on, I had difficulty trusting the church and any authority that tried to dissuade me from following what my heart tells me is true.
I floundered through my teenage years, shunned religion and anything to do with it. In the early 70s many people were going through similar experiences, while others were moving deeper into the church. Those who shunned organized religion, intolerance, and abuse of authority, were often called “hippies”, and those who embraced religion, were called “Jesus freaks”.  I definitely leaned more toward the hippie side of things, so I gave myself permission to explore other religions and spiritual paths. I ultimately developed an understanding that I could be truly spiritual without giving my power over to someone else’s belief system, or an intermediary such as a church or a guru.
The Vision Sprouts
I was ultimately led to Reiki. When I received my very first Reiki session, I felt Love much like I experienced it that day at church at the age of 5.  Then when I discovered that Reiki is NOT a religion, but could be an independent spiritual practice, I knew it was for me. The very next weekend I was in my first Reiki class and that was 26 years ago. I have practiced Reiki in some form every single day since then. Three years after that first class, I was guided to teach Reiki, and I discovered the book, Reiki the Healing Touch. In it I read about a International Center for Reiki Training (ICRT) in Michigan. As I researched this center, I read their philosophy, it spoke to my heart. I was especially enthused to find these three points among the Center’s philosophy;

  • Trusting completely in the Higher Power regardless of the name one chooses to call it.
  • Placing greater value on learning from experience and inner guidance than on the teachings of an authority.
  • The complete expression of Love as the highest goal.

I began practicing and teaching Usui/Tibetan Reiki immediately after my training with the ICRT. I am so very grateful for all the healing that I have personally received, and all the Love that has moved through me in the form of Reiki to help others.

Nourishing the Vision

I grew very comfortable working with the energy in this familiar form. Then in 1995, a new system named Karuna Reiki® was released by the Center. At first I was resistant to it.  I didn’t think I needed anything else because I already have Reiki. However, it was the Reiki energy itself that guided me to open my heart and mind to explore Karuna Reiki®. I discovered that it was powerful in its own right, and a wonderful enhancement to the Reiki I had been working with for years.
Karuna Reiki® began to awaken me more fully to the spiritual realms and to a deeper awareness of spiritual guides. I invited my “highest spiritual guide” to come forth and help me. To my surprise, Jesus came forward very clearly, and I immediately erected an energetic wall between us. I had chosen to equate Jesus to mean church and I had been so happy to be free of dogma and able to experience Divine Love directly through Reiki. However, with the help of Karuna Reiki®, I began a dialogue with Jesus, and learned of the consciousness he had embodied. He explained that it is the Christed consciousness, and is not limited to a person, a religion, or any belief system. It is a consciousness of love, peace and enlightenment, and is available to all people.
I was then introduced in a new way to angels, and other enlightened energies and beings. I found my creativity blossomed, and my love for teaching Reiki was growing more every day. I was introduced to a spiritual advisor, Janice Jones. I worked with her regularly to strengthen my ability to communicate with Jesus and the Christed consciousness.
I was so thankful for the addition of Karuna Reiki® into my life. I love it so much that in 1999 I actually wrote a book about it (The Book on Karuna Reiki®…advanced healing energy for our evolving world), and since March of 2013 I have been working on an updated version covering much of what Karuna Reiki® has taught me. My plan was to release it in March of 2014, but in December of 2013, I was guided to pause as “more will be revealed.”

The Vision Grows

For the past few years I had been feeling a deep sense of anticipation, and awareness that something new and profoundly healing was happening with Reiki, but I was not sure what it would be. When I attempted to merge with this sensation I would feel warmth and something very sacred, yet I also felt as though there was an energetic veil preventing me from a full experience.
Then in January, I spoke with William Rand and he shared an experience he had that day, where something new had come to him, it was the “Holy Fire”. My entire being responded energetically. Every cell in my body knew, that the veil I had been feeling was lifting and something wonderful was revealing itself to the world.
Holy Fire is a frequency of healing energy that enhances Usui and Karuna Reiki®. Holy Fire Reiki is being introduced by the ICRT. Like Reiki it is powerful and gentle.  Holy Fire also accelerates purification, healing, personal spiritual growth and guidance. Holy Fire comes to us from a very high level of consciousness, or the Source of all creation. The energy is very refined, and brings much purity to healing work. Simultaneously the body, mind and spirit (Holy) are purified (Fire) by the qualities inherent within Holy Fire.
Over the weeks and months that followed, the Holy Fire revealed more of how it could help Reiki. Many people began to be introduced to Holy Fire in sessions and classes. As this was unfolding, terms like Heaven, Holy, Jesus, Holy Spirit began to come forward in the training. Immediately I had a resistance to using these words in our classes. Reiki had brought many people, who had abandoned their churches, and in some cases turned their backs on God, to a new understanding of Divine Love. I began to fear that people would not allow Reiki into their lives because of this “new language” that had become colored by our fears and prejudices.
Words have many meanings and our interpretations of those words are influenced by our life experiences. However, words also have an inherent spirit. For example the spirit of the word Holy is to make one whole on all levels of being. The spirit of the word Heaven presents new frequencies, realms, and dimensions of consciousness.
Persecution, discrimination, subjugation and wars have taken place at the hands of religions, governments, and other forms of authority for centuries. The Inquisition, the Crusades, U.S. religious persecution of Native Americans, condemnation of homosexuality and other abuses in the name of religion by church entities, governments and misguided religious zealots are but a few examples.
I realize that my challenges are very minimal in contrast to what many have endured. I also realize that as we heal our personal issues; the healing of churches, governments, etc. begin from within. As we each heal we affect the healing of all.
I am so grateful that the Holy Fire is emerging now to help us evolve our healing gifts, while honoring free will as well.
I find that the issues behind my resistance to the language, are the same issues that led me to Reiki in the first place. Now these issues are arising in a new way and just as a beautiful new healing tool, Holy Fire, has come forward. The healing is happening on a deeper level than ever before.
Holy Fire offers so many gifts, among them;

  • A stronger awareness of the Love that we each ARE
  • The profound ability that we have to serve as instruments of Divine Will
  • The power that we have to awaken the age of peace, and collectively bring forth the alignment of Heaven and Earth.

Wishing you peace and infinite blessings,
Laurelle Gaia is the Director of Licensed Professional Reiki Master Teacher Training, for the International Center for Reiki Training (ICRT). She can be reached via her websites www.ReikiClasses.com or www.InfiniteLight.com copyright 2014