I've got a women's spirituality place nearby. I had two, at one point, but the one in Attleboro closed due to rent problems, which is sad because it was more neo-pagany, and this one (in Easton itself) is more Angels And Mediumship And Stuff, which I'm less of a fan of. This is the very purple Women of Wisdom
, which I keep calling Women of Wonder because of the 70s-era feminist SFF anthology series
. (Actually, there's a store in Abington, too, come to think. They're more Wiccan-y, and among other things, they sell animal skulls.)
Women of Wisdom, however much I may eye the Angel stuff warily, does teach Reiki levels I & II (I hope to eventually take the Reiki L1 class, anyway), and also has a bi-monthly (that is, twice a month) Reiki Healing Circle, which I translate as Reiki Circle Of Energy and occasionally go to. Well, more accurately, went to once a couple months ago and then kept having things happen on Tuesday nights.
So I went tonight. There were a pantsload more circle members than practitioners there, but it worked anyway. What they do is they stick people in a circle of chairs, introduce the general idea of Reiki, and put on a (longish) meditation tape. (The group leader lady said, basically, "Things will come up, emotionally or otherwise. Just go with it.") This one focused on chakra visualization and a white ball of light going to hang out with your various chakra points; as we meditated, the practitioners went around and did Reiki on us.
(I'm not a particular fan of the chakra worldview, and feel many uses of it are appropriationist, so I try not to deliberately go to things involving them outside of a Hindi and/or Yoga context, but will certainly meditate to it if presented with a guided meditation tape using the framework.)
Being as I am me, I sometimes don't visualize too well, but gestures help with it when that happens, plus which when I get into a circle/location/sacred space where there is energy going on (which there certainly was here), I quite often will open my hands to the energy. So, since the lady *said* "just go with it," I was doing a bunch of hand and arm movements along with the "visualize the white light merging with the X light of X chakra point" background voice.
Apparently, this flummoxed one of the practitioners (the only guy practitioner), who, he said afterwards, stood behind me and tried to work within my movements, but completely failed to. (I knew he was there, but felt no energy off him at all; I do think this was in part because he's got some back and knee problems and was in pain today, but also just I wasn't acting like he was expecting me to. One of the practitioners talking with him and me afterwards said, "You should have just put your hand on her head," which I do think would have probably stopped my movements, at least; not sure how his energy would have done with mine, even so, but it would have, at least, helped him. I'm assuming he's not very experienced even though he's all white haired.)
He muttered something to one of the women about having failed with someone (presumably me, but I was in meditation-space and wasn't fully listening), and could she try; soon after, she came over, put her hand above my head, which I could feel quite well, and lo and behold, there was energy a-plenty. She and I did some extremely effective Reiki together; her hands were quite warm and I could feel her even when she wasn't touching me, and she was effectively directive without using words, which was a relief given the guy previously, and she worked the energy well, and I had some blockages I wasn't even aware of, and ommm, and so yeah, that was nice.
(I don't believe half of that paragraph, incidentally. Energy isn't tangible, says my skeptic brain, and Reiki has no measureable, scientific benefits. A lot of things don't, though, and I've long ago basically figured, I don't have to believe in it to be able to work with it and/or within it, and meditation and a kindly person being kind to me are good things in and of themselves, even if nothing else happened. But I mean, I don't believe in ghosts either, or predictive Tarot, or all kinds of things. But that doesn't mean I'll reject community warmth.)
After things broke up (they get everyone up, have them hold hands and do three Oms and a couple dance steps, at the end, to get people more back into their bodies), the guy and one of the women practitioners asked me what I'd been doing, and I explained, and the woman said it was very Tai Chi-esque, and I really *do* want to learn Tai Chi sometime...
Anyway. So, just for the record, if you don't want people to move around, don't tell them to "just go with it." And I'm sorry I messed with my practitioner's head. But I enjoyed the evening anyway.