Friday, April 17, 2015

2015 San Francisco - Day 2 - Evening

(Link to all 2015-April San Francisco / Berkeley trip blog posts)

Back to Berkeley, then I skipped a proper dinner before the Reiki clinic. All I had was the sourdough cap left over from lunch and some tea and mandarin oranges. The plan was Reiki clinic, then a late snack at the Long Branch Saloon.

The free Reiki clinic at the Persian Centre turned out to be one of the best experiences I had in Berkeley. It's probably more accurate to divorce the experience from the city because it wasn't about Berkeley at all -- it was all about the people. In the calming house with a soothing fountain out front and far enough away from the bustle of nearby Shattuck Avenue, Moonlit Soul Healing offers a free monthly Reiki clinic.
(I was visiting from Vancouver -- so why a free clinic in Berkeley? I guess I wanted to not just connect with some locals but it was interesting and free and something to do that was very different from what tourists were doing.)

The evening started with a brief introduction to Reiki and the practitioners present. Not all are Reiki Masters (some are in training) but they all shared a calm and genuine care for the well-being of others that felt loving and spiritual. Synergizing with the quiet space of the Persian Centre, this contributed to a welcoming and safe ambiance, and a sort of reverence that inspires people to speak softly.
The organizer, Tamara, had her own first introduction to Reiki from a free clinic, which inspired her to become a Reiki practitioner herself and give back by offering free Reiki clinics.

After a brief question and answer period, they proceeded with the free sessions. Instead of trying to explain what Reiki is and does, why not experience it and what it might do for you? Instead of talking about the honey, why not taste the honey? Each potential client receives a 15 minute Reiki healing experience.
I happened to speak with another attendee who'd been there before and walked out of his short session with a profound change in how he felt. He struggled to explain it to me: Feelings of peace, clarity, heightened perception. Clearly for some people Reiki can be an extremely powerful experience. He was at the moment in difficult financial straits so could not afford a full session, but nevertheless still welcomed back by the kind practitioners of the clinic.

For the session, they asked us to set an intention for our "highest good", to be kept in mind as we underwent the Reiki healing. Inspired by what happened when I tried to get a cellphone for use during my time in San Francisco, I went with trying to be open to and recognize serendipity or any sort of benevolent guidance from the universe. During my session, I felt tremendous warmth, bordering on heat, emanating from the hands of the Reiki practitioner as he worked around my head and shoulders -- much more than from someone simply holding their hands to your skin. Only once did it cool down, near my chest. After the session, I have to admit I didn't fully understand his explanation or recommendations, but that the heat represented a lot of healing I needed in those areas, and that in a full session, he'd probably have spent a lot of time just focussed on those chakras.

Anyway, there was something to it, even if you count just the heat from the hands. Something is going on is probably the least you can admit to. If you are not sure about Reiki, just come to one of their events and try it.
Afterwards, unlike the other attendee I had spoken with, I didn't feel very different myself but yet I felt I didn't want to just walk away from their kindness and generosity. I tried to give a small cash donation toward whatever costs they incurred in setting up these clinics (, for example, charges a monthly fee to have a "club" on Meetup). However, Tamara gently but absolutely refused any cash. She thanked me for the gesture and instead said she would welcome something as simple as a thank you note or kind review about the Berkeley Free Monthly Reiki Clinic Meetup. So free really is $-free here.

I wandered into the LongBranch Saloon I had spotted on Wednesday, then went back to the Inn and turned in for the night.

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