Healing Hands: A Reiki Story

Phil Morgan, who initiated me into Mastership, sat on a chair in front of us in Breitenbush in the Northwest Reiki Gathering this summer and spoke about storytelling. He skillfully encouraged us to reflect on some of our own Reiki Stories as he first shared one of his own. Over the years Phil has been a great catalyst for me to do some of my "father work." The following story is one of many pearls Reiki has gifted me.

For more than five years, on my trips back home to Belgium, I would offer Reiki sessions in Flanders in a friendly little town called Tremelo. It was the place of residence of my organizer Kalyani (Ann Matthe). Finally her time had come to be initiated herself as a Master and we had done some very intense work together that had left both of us quite open.

The next day I went to the nearby town of Leuven to visit some other Reiki students and in the early evening took the bus back to Tremelo. It happened to be a Belgian holiday I had forgotten about and therefore the bus was running on a different schedule. It dropped me off a few miles outside of Tremelo. I asked for directions to Kalyani's neighborhood and proceeded to walk in the foggy, already quite chilly November weather.

Pretty soon I found myself lost in a woodsy area and was quite relieved to meet a passerby who recommended I take a different direction. It was not too long before I felt even more lost; and yet another person who claimed to know the area put me on a different trail altogether. I was starting to sense very distinctly that all this was happening for some purpose yet to be revealed.

As I continued to walk, paying close attention to my surroundings, I fell into a reverie about my childhood. I remember reading passionately a small Flemish booklet called The Hero of Tremelo. It was part of a popular series called Vlaamsche Filmpjes (Flemish Movies). Even though I tried my hardest, I was unable to remember who this hero might be.

As I was working on this riddle I saw arising out of the distance a magnificent, tall golden sculpture consisting of two human hands reaching toward the sky. As I came closer I realized that this artwork was standing right in front of the Damian Institute. The puzzle is solved. Of course, Damian is the hero of Tremelo. He is the Flemish priest who served with lepers in Molokai and ended up contracting leprosy himself. One can find statues of him in several places in Hawaii. I obviously needed to retrieve this piece of my own biography. Even as a little boy, the story of this healer had a strong impact on me.

More than two years later, on Father's Day. I was back in Belgium teaching a Second Degree Class very close to where my parents live. Some of the men in the class shared deeply about their fathers and I was profoundly affected by it myself.

As I went home to celebrate my Dad, I brought him a nice bouquet of flowers, an unusual present for a man in my family. He seemed touched by it. Then I attempted to engage him in some meaningful conversation. I talked about Larry Dossey's fascinating research about cancer patients getting significantly better when people prayed for them. The patients in this study are not told they are being prayed for. My father was not very impressed by this and questioned the motives of people carrying out research like this. I found his remark quite clever but his tone somewhat cynical.

Usually I would have given up at this point but not this night. Still in the energy of my Reiki class I opened myself a bit more than usual and proceeded to share my Damian story with him. He seemed interested but at the same time did not want to buy into the meaningful synchronicity of it. Also, he said with a glint in his eye, "You get lost anyway, so what else is new?" Still he offered to climb to his loft where all the books of my youth and some of my later years are stored.

Soon enough he returned with the little trophy about Damian and he mentioned, by the way, that it was lying on the very top of twenty or so booklets from the same series that he had saved. Even at this point he did not grasp that I found it meaningful that this book was lying on top of the stack. When I looked in the booklet I discovered to my astonishment that not I but he was the owner. Obviously we both shared an interest in the figure of Damian.

Then, to my utter surprise, my attention was drawn to the next booklet on the stack. It was called How I Found My Father and it was the psychological tale of a young boy trying to get through to his Dad. This one had my signature in it. Even as a kid, this groping for connection had started. This time the grace of the synchronicity in all this was not lost on my Dad. In that instant there was no need for words. Father and son, intimately bonded, out of time, briefly and profoundly.