Sarah Gregg - The Reiki Drum Technique

The OmAbout twenty five years ago I sat in a yoga class and chanted my first Aum (Om) repeatedly with a group of yogis until my whole body was pulsing with the powerful vibration of the Om sound.    The profound effect it had on me at the time was such that I have been drawn to mantra, chanting, toning and sacred songs ever since.   Working with the voice in this way has numerous benefits.  When we make vocal sounds in this fashion we can incorporate breath control and as we deepen the breath, we start to relax and relieve tension.  Using the voice as a self-healing practise in any of the above methods is good for relieving stress, can heal at a deep cellular level, clear the energy body of accrued negativity, raise our own vibrational frequency and that of our environment, connect with higher spiritual powers, help focus the mind and put us into a meditative state.  It can bring about certain desired energetic states through intention, elevate our moods, open up, align and balance the throat chakra primarily, but all of the energy centres in reality and is a wonderful mode of self-expression.  When we do voice work in a group situation, the effects are amplified. 

Japanese Buddhist Monks ChantingngSo when I discovered during my Reiki training that the traditional system of Reiki incorporated sacred chants as part of its healing methods, I was overjoyed!  I was introduced to the Usui Reiki Kotodama meaning “words carrying spirit” by one of my teachers during a Reiju empowerment in a Master Teacher class.    I had received Reiju before in a group situation, but found that the whole experience was so much deeper and again, quite profound as she toned the Kotodama into my energy field.

It is more usual for the Kotodama to be taught in traditional Eastern/Japanese Reiki teachings and not so much in the classes which originate from a Western lineage, although some teaching Masters have incorporated them into their classes.  As with many things “Reiki” there are many different stories of why and how the Kotodama came to be introduced into the system, but most Reiki scholars agree they were introduced by Mikao Usui as a way of working with and differentiating the different vibrations of the energies used in the system of Reiki.

Hidden-Messages-WaterOriginally a Shinto discipline, the term Kotodama refers both to the spiritual power of a word and also to the fact that spiritual power can be manifested by intonation of certain words.  The Japanese people believe that positive and beautiful sounding words can create a positive effect on something, whereas negative sounding words would have a negative effect.  The late Masuro Emoto  demonstrated this effectively in his research with water and ice crystals.  In his work he subjected different samples of water from a single  source to a variety of different vibrations in terms of words and music.  Freezing the water, he then photographed the ice crystals which resulted.  His findings showed that the water exposed to lighter, purer vibrations created more beautiful ice crystals than those subjected to heavier, denser vibrations.

When attuned to the traditional Reiki symbols or energies, all Reiki students are taught the unique mantras or names of the associated energies they have been attuned to and how to pronounce them.   These mantra are known as Jumon which means “magical spell or mystical incantation” and each of the four traditional Usui Reiki Shirushi (symbols) have their own unique Jumon or mantra which differ to the Reiki Kotodama.    All of the Reiki symbols have had different characteristics assigned to them over time, but the most important aspect pertaining to each one is their own particular vibration.  Using the Kotodama, the practitioner works with the vibration of the energy in a slightly different way.

The Usui Reiki Kotodama practise use both vowel sounds and primary consonant sounds and can be used in a variety of ways.  I have chanted, toned and sung the Kotodama, as well as working with them silently.  Following the ethos of Reiki as a system of self-healing primarily, I personally like to work with the Kododama for my own spiritual well-being, incorporating them as part of my own personal practise by working with them for around 20 minutes. I have also used them whilst giving Reiki treatments, distant healing, Reiki drumming and creating sacred space.

Buddhist Healing ChantsWhen I started teaching Reiki Drumming and Karuna Reiki, and began to meet more and more people from other lineages, I realised that the Kotodama were barely touched upon during the Usui Reiki training and certainly not afforded a large portion of time.  I was guided to develop a day’s workshop which allowed students of Reiki to come together to work with these sacred chants in a group situation. Working with the Kotodama for personal spiritual use is amazing, but working in a group energy makes for a very deep and powerful experience.  During the day we work practically and experientially with the Kotodama for deep and insightful personal healing.  We work with the sacred chants in a variety of ways and I have incorporated other healing Buddhist chants which are introduced throughout the day and which can be used for one’s own healing or for the healing of others.  Working in the group in this way is hugely transformational.

Please visit the Usui Reiki Kotodama Workshop Page for further information.  This year the workshop is being held on Sunday June 7th and I have started to take bookings.  Because of the benefits of working in a group energy in this way, it is not uncommon for students to come back and repeat the workshop.  Because we work with the Level Two/Okuden energies, students need to have at least trained to this level.   For those Masters who join the training, we will also be working with the Kotodama of the Master energy.    If you would like to learn more about the sacred chants of the System of Reiki, then please come and immerse yourself in this beautiful group energy.

Here are some comments from recent workshops: 

“Thank you for arranging a wonderful day yesterday. I feel cleansed and cleared in some places and enlightened in others!  Would happily do another.”

“Heartfelt thanks for creating such a lovely space in which to deepen my connection to Reiki and express myself yesterday.  Pure joy and lots of fun.    I shifted some old and more recent “stuff” and cleared several layers”.

“Thank you for an amazing Kotodama day yesterday. The sacred sounds and the vibrational energy relieved tension I had been carrying around. I will try to do more chanting at home for my well-being.”

“Thank you so much for a great day!  It’s very helpful for us to revise and learn new techniques and to have a fun day with such a great group of Reiki people from far and wide!”

© Sarah Gregg 2015

Forthcoming Highlighted Events

  • 31 January/1 February – Reiki One (Shoden) – Sawbridgeworth
  • 5 February – Monthly Reiki Share (no booking required) Sawbridgeworth Memorial Hall 7-10 pm £5
  • 7 & 8 February  – Reiki Two (Okuden) – Sawbridgeworth
  • 21 & 22 February – Holy Fire Karuna Reiki  I & II Practitioner – Sawbridgeworth
  • 5 March –  Monthly Reiki Share (no booking required) Sawbridgeworth Memorial Hall 7-10 pm £5
  • 7 & 8 March – Reiki Drum Practitioner Training – Sawbridgeworth
  • 13-15 March – Holy Fire Karuna Reiki Master Teacher Training – Sawbridgeworth
  • 22nd March – Annual Spring Equinox Reiki Drum Share, Sheering, Essex 10:00-16:30 pm £20
  • 2 April – Monthly Reiki Share (no booking required) Sawbridgeworth Memorial Hall 7-10 pm £5
  • 11 & 12 April  – Reiki One (Shoden) – Sawbridgeworth
  • 18 & 19 April -Sacred Sound & Light Immersion Training – Sawbridgeworth
  • 7th June – Usui Reiki Kotodama Workshop – Sawbridgeworth
  • 13th-17th July – Annual Reiki Retreat, Glastonbury, Somerset

 

 

A winter sceneWell year of the Horse has certainly lived up to its name here at Reiki Drum.  I’ve travelled extensively both here and overseas with this fabulous work in 2014  and am looking forward to resting in the bosom of Winter as the wheel of the year slows to its end before it picks up speed again with the coming Spring. 

We started a new Reiki Share in East Herts this year, the Herts & Essex Reiki Share.  Having completed its first year I can wholeheartedly say it’s been a success. We’ve always had a great turn out, thank you to those of you who have come along and supported it, there has been a lot of beautiful Reiki shared, but also camaraderie and stories from those who have come along.   We have had amazing community healings, beautiful distant healing, deep Reiju empowerments and lots of different types of meditative techniques, both Reiki and other.  If you haven’t yet managed to join us for our monthly event, it would be great to see you in 2015 to add your beautiful energy to the mix.

Reiki Drum ShareMarch 2014 saw probably the best of our annual Reiki Drum Shares to date with the addition of our beautiful gathering drum which has been played by many of you by now and created some fabulous energy.  See our fun and happy smudging ceremony here Reiki Drum Share Smudging Ceremony  Next year’s event on March 22nd looks like it is going to be just as much a high energy day as ever.  At the time of writing there are around 15 places remaining for those of you who would like to come and enjoy some Reiki and drumming with sixty other Reiki attuned practitioners.  We always leave on a high after sharing Reiki drumming, sacred ceremony, group drumming, journeying and much more.  The love in the room is tangible!  It is an event to come to if you want to leave behind any worries for the day and just focus on being present and joyful as well as meet up with old friends and of course make some new ones.  You don’t have to have completed your Reiki Drum practitioner training, but you do need to be Reiki attuned to join us. 

In April I facilitated the fifth Sacred Sound & Light Immersion, which again seemed to be the best yet in terms of high energy.  This weekend is a fabulous opportunity to dip your toe in the water for many different sound healing techniques.  From here students often go on to explore different aspects of sound healing at a deeper level.  We tone and chant mantra, chant ancient sacred chants, use rattles, drums and many other forms of percussion,  partake in crystal and Tibetan bowl meditations, and possibly the piece de resistance, each participant gets to play the gong and give those attending a gong bath.  Some students have said this is one of the best two day workshops they have attended.  It’s certainly fun, insightful and deeply healing.  I am taking bookings for next year’s event which is taking place April 18th & 19th in East Herts.

Due to the effects of last year’s Usui Reiki Kotodama day which is the first time I had run the event, and the positive feedback from many of the people who attended, we held it again in 2014.  Gathering a large group of Usui Reiki practitioners in one space to chant the sacred Usui Reiki chants is quite phenomenal.  Again this event is running again in June 2015 and is attracting many who have already completed the day as the energy we create is truly beautiful.  It also gives students the opportunity to learn and work with different sacred Buddhist Chants which can be used for a variety of healing purposes. I would invite any practitioners who have completed Level II or Okuden and above to join us in this powerful day because not only will you experience great shifts during the event but you will have a new tool to incorporate for your clients, but principally for your own spiritual practise.  Chanting the Kotodama for 20 minutes a day can be a deeply healing experience.

Cornwall Retreat Coastal WalkAlso in June we returned to Cornwall and Tintagel for the special Reiki Retreat, Exploring our Divine Potential.  Not only did we spend time amongst the beautiful Cornish scenery exploring sacred sites, beaches, caves and coastal paths, but we also explored what made us tick, what skills we had, what our passions were and how these were propelling us into our future paths.  The group of people this year were such a lovely group of old souls and strong bonds were made by those who attended. There was a lot of love and a lot of laughter!  The weather was absolutely stunning, and because of the incredible temperatures it almost felt Mediterranean.  We had such talent amongst us and one of the highlights was the poetry that one of our participants  graced us with each day themed and based around our day’s activities.  Next year we are returning to Glastonbury for our annual retreat July 13th – 17th and at this current time there are five places remaining for what is always an incredible week.  I will write more about next year’s retreat over the coming weeks as I am going to showcase various events which are coming up with their own blog write up which they are all worthy of.

In July I took a sabbatical and spent time overseas following some beautiful teachings and connecting with incredible souls, part of my soul family I feel, making friendships that I feel will last for ever.  How important it is for us as teachers and practitioners to take time out for ourselves at least once a year to work on our own development.  The experience did indeed feed my soul and gave me the energy boost I needed to meet the demands of the latter part of the year.  I try and undertake some form of retreat myself at least annually.  I am always grateful when experienced and practised Reiki and metaphysical teachers find their way to my events.  Sometimes it’s not necessarily to learn a host of new things, but to immerse oneself in old and familiar teachings to gain the practise from them rather than learn them as new.  Our Reiki retreats are one event in particular where participants with a wealth of teaching and healing experience mix with students who have just been attuned to Reiki and make for a really interesting blend of lovely people.

In August due to many different synchronicities and prompts from the Universe I revisited my Karuna Reiki Master training to complete Holy Fire Karuna Mastership which appears to have opened up my world even further.  This will be the first of the courses I am going to dedicate a piece to in the next few weeks, needless to say the new energy channelled is I feel an ancient energy, revisiting us to impart its love, wisdom and power.    I ran the first of the Master courses in September and will be rolling out both a practitioner training in February and August and Master course in March and September for any Usui Reiki Masters who are interested in taking their training to the next level or for Karuna practitioners and Masters who would like to incorporate the new Holy Fire energy.

Autumn Equinox EventIn September our Autumnal Equinox Celebration of Gratitude Event was an incredibly beautiful affair.  Many of us met to celebrate the many blessings this lifetime has graced us through sacred chant, gong baths, dance and drumming.  We all left with open hearts full of gratitude and joy.

October was the icing on the cake for the trainings I had delivered.  From spiritual guidance and channellings in 2013 I had put together a new system of healing called The Ancestral Resonance Process™ which was rolled out for the first time during the Celtic New Year Honouring the Ancestors Retreat in Suffolk.  Again, a more in depth piece will be dedicated to this amazing retreat.  It attracted hugely gifted individuals and the healings that took place were profound, supported by our ancestors through the medium of sound.  I am looking forward to running this again October 30th through to November 2nd in 2015 and have started to take bookings.  If you feel you may have inherited not only family personality traits and characteristics that sabotage your life but also see yourself repeating circumstances which have occurred in the family lineage time and time again, this process sheds light on the original source of the issue along with creating a space for deep healing.

Not forgetting our regular offerings of Reiki Drum practitioner workshops, and Usui Reiki workshops, all of which were well attended in 2014.  Reiki Drumming is practised so widely now throughout the UK and draws such interest nowadays that I decided to offer only two trainings in 2015, in March and September, so if you have not yet added this fabulous healing modality to your Reiki toolbag, take the marvellous opportunity to do so in 2015.

I have been guided to introduce several new projects for 2015, news of which will be coming out in due course, needless to say they are all very exciting and will include several new events and a powerful life changing workshop which I’m hugely excited about, which I have been working on for a few years and is now looking like it finally near fruition.  Many of the offerings I now teach and facilitate are purely sound healing based, and as such I have set up a sister organisation to reflect these teachings called Sacred Sound Inspirations which works in tandem with Reiki Drum for many of the events.  If our paths have not crossed in 2014 I hope it was a great one for you and if we haven’t yet met, perhaps some of the offerings coming up in 2015 will appeal to you.

In terms of the global reality.  2014 seemed to be a year of cleansing, chaos and conflict.  Many of the global conflicts  I felt deeply and had to do a lot of personal practise to release emotional attachment to some of the things that were happening around the world, which appear so senseless and violent originating from fear as opposed to love and which touch Sensitives like us so profoundly.  But cleansing it was and through the pain and misery that many souls suffered through the global shadow, growth and hope will always endure.  When we work with the Reiki consciousness, it is hard to witness the heartless ego driven actions of others and some of us may find it difficult to understand these actions. There is a need like never before to continue to raise consciousness on the planet through the work we do through our healing and teaching, stay strong in knowing that the work we do matters and contributes to facilitating great change for people and protect ourselves from those lower vibrational energies who would try and sabotage our endeavours  through continuing our own personal practise and also through the joy we find in our communities of like-minded.

Just writing this has made me realise what a full year it was for the teachings shared with so many wonderful people.  I often wonder if things will slow down but 2015 looks like it holds many more beautiful opportunities to connect with like-minded adventurous souls on their spiritual quests and I believe when one holds passion for what one does, the Universe will keep providing fantastic opportunities to explore that.

I would like to thank so many of you who made 2014 such an incredible year of joy for me.  At a recent Master class I was asked what drove me and I can honestly say seeing the transformations that this work I have been blessed to be part of, creates for individuals, has to be my driving force.  Seeing people come to Reiki shares and workshops or sound events looking slightly grey around the gills and world weary when they arrive, often weighed down with the burdens of life, but leaving so much lighter and with radiant smiles on their faces having experienced the healing effects of the Reiki energy or the profound shifts sound healing can create.    This is something that cannot be taken away or destroyed in my mind or memory and inspires me to continue this work.

Solstice Blessings beautiful ones, may the end of the year draw to a gentle close for all of you giving you time to reflect on your 2014, the dark and the light, and may 2015 bring you new growth in all areas of your life.

With love, Sarah xxx

Forthcoming Highlighted Events

  • 31 January/1 February – Reiki One (Shoden) – Sawbridgeworth
  • 5 February – Monthly Reiki Share (no booking required) Sawbridgeworth Memorial Hall 7-10 pm £5
  • 7 & 8 February  – Reiki Two (Okuden) – Sawbridgeworth
  • 21 & 22 February – Holy Fire Karuna Reiki  I & II Practitioner – Sawbridgeworth
  • 5 March –  Monthly Reiki Share (no booking required) Sawbridgeworth Memorial Hall 7-10 pm £5
  • 7 & 8 March – Reiki Drum Practitioner Training – Sawbridgeworth
  • 13-15 March – Holy Fire Karuna Reiki Master Teacher Training – Sawbridgeworth
  • 22nd March – Annual Spring Equinox Reiki Drum Share, Sheering, Essex 10:00-16:30 pm £20
  • 2 April – Monthly Reiki Share (no booking required) Sawbridgeworth Memorial Hall 7-10 pm £5
  • 11 & 12 April  – Reiki One (Shoden) – Sawbridgeworth
  • 18 & 19 April -Sacred Sound & Light Immersion Training – Sawbridgeworth

 

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