Introduction Lily Thomson.
When I was asked to go to Brasil with a group of ladies from the Justice and Peace group in my parish I was reluctant to go. I had never imagined doing such a thing.
Our parish had entered into a Covenant of Fellowship with a Parish in Sao Paulo. I was encouraged by their enthusiasm and passion for the solidarity between our two Parishes. As time went on it became apparent that I was going to go. I am always reluctant, surprised, scared, and eventually unable to resist the call I get to move into strange, challenging situations. When our personal CVs were sent so that each of us could see things that would follow our interests, the fact that I was a Chaplain and Reiki Master/ Teacher was of great interest to the priest who had invited the group.
His idea was that some of his pastoral health visiting team could be taught Reiki to use to help the sick. Hospital care was haphazard and not enough staff was an issue.
HIV was at it’s peak with all generations affected.
When the team left after 2 intense weeks of learning about the community, he would take care of me for 2 more weeks, provide the students with interpreters, rooms to teach in and transport if needed and in return I would teach 8 of his team about Reiki and it’s uses.
Simply. They would pay for this by committing to work extra time within the Parish.
Many prayers and checking my inner voice I agreed and accepted.
I did not know what I was doing BUT I knew it was the right thing todo. It was only 2 weeks to give voluntary help to this Community.
I was terrified.
This is my record of some of my Roman Catholic Reiki Journey.
1st. visit. February 1998.
2 weeks. 8 students hand picked by Padre Ticao from his pastoral leaders.
Object : Teach Reiki 1 and practise it so that it can be used to support the Community.
1st. Week Programme : class for 4 morning and 4 afternoon Monday to Thursday.
Am. 9 to 1. Pm.2 to 6
Friday visiting the sick in the parish and introducing Reiki. Allowing students to use and explore the energy in practical terms as well as giving the sick and their family a taster of the uses and appliance of a treatment.
2nd. Week Programme : visiting homes and centres to continue practising and introducing the treatments.
Evenings. In the 3rd Age (older ) or Samaritano ( centre of support for HIV. Patients ).
Assisted by 3 interpreters. Marco, Marcio and Marcelo.
Marco an English Teacher, lived and worked in London, with his own language schools in Sao Paulo.
Marcio a student pleased to practise and improve his English skills.
Marcelo who had for many years spent hours working in the library teaching himself English with tapes and newsreels from America.
The first morning. 4 students came to our meeting place in a room in the church.
We are just about to start when an older lady joined us. She heard what was happening and just turned up. Following a little gentle chat it was decided to let her remain. There was astonishment because she had not left her home for years. She lived with her daughter and son-in -law and had been unable to leave the house. She explained that God told her to come. Who can argue with that ?
The lesson went well as did Tuesday. On Wednesday I awoke to find that for various reasons I had no interpreter. Do I carry on or cancel for the day? The message was clear. Go ahead. As I walked up the hill from the priest’s house to the church I had a serious talk with my God and Reiki. YOU got me here – YOU sort this out.
When I arrived Fatima (Marcio’s mum) was there to tell me she understood English but was not good at speaking it. Using my childish drawings, hand gestures and demonstrations we got through the day. As I finished the 3rd initiation on our additional student she started to speak. BOOM BOOM . She became very vocal. Everyone was listening intently. I had not got a clue what was going on and Fatima could not explain. Just shrugged her shoulders saying *Espiritu Sancto *.
Marco was with us on the Thursday so we arrived early to do a debrief with Fatima. The teaching the day before was perfect as we checked it and she said she was not worried because the Dove of Peace hovering above us all the time !!!
When I was doing Ermelinda her ears went POP and she heard a great BOOM BOOM.
She could now hear. I had not even known she could not hear. She had looked as if she was listening intently throughout. She was so excited- a miracle. Her family arrived with her for her last day to thank me for giving them their mother back, in tears. All I could say was “Gracas a Deus”.(thanks to God) It was a phrase I was to repeat often when no words were appropriate. It was always the right thing to say.
She was to be my oldest and dearest student and will always be a sweet sweet memory.
The afternoon sessions went well and easily.
2nd. Week. A great teaching week going from street to street, home to home visiting, called in at the hospital or using the various parish centres for whoever turned up. The pastoral teams were interested, some cautious, most just curious. Ermelinda was a Star, everyone delighted with her newfound enthusiasm. We shared together and really became a team. All a bit random as each of the ladies wanted their area of interest covered. A joyful time, hard work and great fun.
On the last day when I went to the 3Rd Age centre I was greeted by 30 people who wanted Reiki before I left. Typical Brasil. I made them all sit in a circle holding hands and gave each of them Reiki on their shoulders for about a minute so everyone was happy.
At the final Mass when saying goodbye Padre Ticao said “ Lily will be back in September”.
News to me. I laughed at him saying NO,NO, NO.
No intention to do such a thing and no finances anyway so not possible.
I was to learn Reiki had other plans.
My interpreters were truly amazing, so supportive even though the concept was new to them and mysterious. Marco was with me most of the time. Marcio and Marcello filled the gaps. I can never thank them enough.
I am only telling The Reiki Story. For me it was a great challenge. Times I was terrified of the task I was blindly going about and the responsibility involved. Padre Ticao and the Ladies trusted me for no reason except instinct and I was awed by that. I was constantly checking in to get guidance to keep going. The greatest joy for me was sharing Reiki with women of deep deep faith and I learned so much from them about being together, accepting each other, working towards a community that shares, loves and supports each other with total commitment to a priest who deserves so much respect.
September 1998 2nd visit.
Intention : 1month to continue training Reiki 1 students and expand the knowledge of Reiki usage and practise in the community.
I arrived and set up a meeting time for my 8 Reiki 1 ladies. (+1)
We had a lovely reunion and set a programme for the visit.
There was some resistance to their use of Reiki even though the benefits were obvious and these ladies were respected members of the community. Because of my own experience I tried to answer their questions and reassure them as best I could. 6 of them wished to proceed to Reiki 11.
A group came from another district (Project Hope) and while I was teaching them Reiki 1, the number 2, 2 2 was clanging in my brain. Marco, my interpreter asked me at the end what was 2, 2, 2 about. He kept hearing it in his head. I felt I was being told to teach them Reiki 11 soon.
This was to happen often. Reiki in my head. When I discussed it with them they were committed and ecstatic. By the end of that month 12 ladies had become Reiki 11.
In that month we worked together getting to know more about our lives, hopes and faith.
Their lives were totally entwined in their faith, their work and their families.
God was ever present and prayer and communion in community was their passion. I was introduced to the Youth Group, the Young Mums Group, visited Creches and centres for the Handicapped and HIV, Homes for the elderly and alone. Spent a lot of time in The 3rd Age centre where meals were provided daily for older ladies and gents. We were allowed to use an upstairs room in the 3rd Age centre for our time together.
In that community If there was a problem, a group was set up to do something about it. I was taken on a protest walk with the children ( after they had drawn, coloured in and created them) carrying their Giant pencils to ask for education for all.
Also went to a rally to ask for a police presence on streets to reduce crime.
Attended a polling day where the queue to vote was all down the street. It is illegal not to vote and a fine is given.
September 15th was my daughter Jacqueline’s birthday. Everywhere we went
It was celebrated. Even the poorest of the community had a little glass of water to join with me to say Happy Birthday. Some had a little cake, others had food. So very touching. Most of the day missing her but feeling so much love.
They celebrated every good thing. And comforted in bad times. It was a time to get to know more about the parish of 50,000 families; split into different smaller communities with their own organisations but coming together often for joint gatherings. Padre Ticao was the leader, always forging ahead with ideas to make progress towards a better life for all.
We had a private celebratory Mass for the Reiki students , family and interested parties where we gave out certificates and our Reiki ministry was given the blessing of Padre Ticao. After Mass we had a beautiful meal prepared by one of the parish communities full of laughter, jokes, and fellowship
It was in that month that I realised I had more to do and more that I could do.
As I left I knew I would return. Ermelino Matarazzo had stolen my heart with the help of Reiki.
Page 6 3rd. visit
Intention : to visit for 3 months to continue the process in faith and see where it led.
At my first Mass on Sunday when I arrived I was greeted like a long lost friend. During this mass a gentleman rushed up to the altar and started talking to Ticao. At the end of Mass I was surrounded and was rescued to speak with the man. His wife had cancer and he wanted me to go see her. This meeting was to change everything. Lourdes was very ill, confined to bed. As soon as we met I knew I was in the presence of an angel. I visited her almost every day of my stay. When I say that I mean I went to visit. That is not all that happened. As I walked to her house, myself and 1 or more of my group, people joined us.
By the time we got there we were no longer 2/3, there could be 5 or 6. As we knelt by the bed to give a treatment everyone, family too, knelt with us and joined in, putting hands on her. This happened naturally and was accepted. Each day we had a little community sharing Reiki. When the treatment was finished she told us what she experienced. How she was held gently in the BIG hands of God and felt as if she was floating, the peace she was gifted with and the love that surrounded her. I decided to teach her family how to give her Reiki for the times we were not available and her husband told me she would wake him in the night and ask him to “give me Reiki” when she was in pain. She told everybody who came to see her. She was so brave. I became part of the family as she taught me so much about trust and goodwill.
The result of this was that the interest in what was happening became intense and requests to me to be taught had to be directed through Padre Ticao.
The first meeting : I got to the 3rd age centre to find 52 people waiting for me and my little group.
What to do ?? we were in a dining room with the tables stacked up and had only set up a few chairs for my group. No preparation for this. Can we send them away ? NO.
The tables were white garden tables and there were about 50 of them.
The response was that the group set up the tables by making sets of 6,
3 on top of 3 , together and putting thin mattresses that were in a cupboard for emergencies( a bit like sunbeds) and set up a clinic.
Each of the ladies took a table and split the people into groups for each table.
It took ages but who cares, no one was going home. We proceeded to do a Reiki share with 1 practitioner on each table, everyone else placing hands on and moving round so all got a turn on the makeshift bed. Definitely not the regulated way but all joined in in good humour. What DR. Usui would have said I do not know. It was silly, funny, crazy and was just that community and we had a very profound evening.
This “on the hoof “ response to things was part and parcel of the community, you do not turn people who need help away- just deal with it, accept it as God’s will and do it.
Reiki just took off. The way it helped ease, support, heal, and comfort the sick and their families was so powerful and dynamic that it moved me into a place where anything was possible. Groups from several communities were taught Reiki 1.
At that time a lady came from a district 1 hour away. She was a passionate lady with a mission to help HIV sufferers and their families. She had been gifted Reiki 1 and 11 by a sponsor and wanted to become a teacher/master.
What do I have to do for you to teach me ? she asked. On reflection I told her she would have to accompany me everywhere during my stay ,helping me and learning what it meant to be a Master/Teacher the way I was taught. She went home told her family and they agreed that they would support her so she began her apprenticeship. Given that she could not speak English and my Brasilian Portuguese was minimal I could only be amazed by her dedication. Others heard of this and began too.
Teaching, training, visiting the sick, having clinics in the centres, living Reiki every day became the ministry of the group.
By the end of my visit in 2000 the total of 77 wonderful people now using Reiki daily to help, heal and inspire was broken down as follows:
39 Reiki Level I; 29 Reiki Level II; 9 Master Teacher Level.