I very much enjoyed Francis Flisiuk’s story on hippies this week ("The modern hippie: Has counterculture gone full-blown pop culture?", Sept. 22). On the younger end of the Baby Boom, I had hippie sympathies but my preference for a regular paycheck kept me from fully joining the movement.
The article mentions Reiki as if it were a widespread hippie practice of the '60s. Although yoga and Zen were well known in the West during that era, Reiki was practiced only by a very small group and was little known to the general public. Reiki’s teaching and practice were quite pricey in the beginning — in fact, to become a Reiki Master was far more expensive than it is today on average, and there were only 22 Reiki Masters in the Western world by the late '70s. It is unlikely that most hippies could have afforded the training.
With dramatic growth starting in the '80s, now millions of people around the world practice Reiki, including doctors, nurses, paramedics, executives, bus drivers, accountants, teachers, students, counselors, computer programmers, priests, ministers, rabbis and imams, and yes, hippies.
Although fees for Reiki treatment are similar to massage therapy (the $40 quoted in the article is on the low end of the scale), it costs much less now to learn this art of hands-on healing. As well, there are many practitioners around the state of Maine and beyond who volunteer our time giving Reiki treatment to a wide variety of vulnerable populations, such as: patients in hospitals, clients in addiction recovery, rescued animals, high school students facing tragic life stresses, homeless veterans, cancer patients, elders and jail inmates, to name a few.
Experienced Reiki practitioners invest great amounts of our time and money perfecting our skills so that we can serve the public well and responsibly. The return on that investment is mostly not financial, but rather comes as a greatly enhanced ability to care for ourselves and others.
The fees charged to people who can afford full treatment or training often help to support practitioners in our volunteering. Very few Reiki practitioners or teachers make a full-time living from it — we do it because we love to help people relax and feel better, and we love the inner peace it brings to us.
Jeffrey H. HotchkissPortland
Last modified onWednesday, 28 September 2016 13:34