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Continuing our topic "Reiki and LIfe" I`d like to introduce Cori Wilke. Cori has joined to volunteer in our Reiki Community Clinic last year and soon become an essential part of our team. She is a compassionate Reiki soul and I hope you will find some essentials from our conversation.

*How did you find Reiki or might be Reiki found you?

I have always felt a connection with energy around and within me and never really fully understood what it was until I discovered Reiki. I moved to London in 2017 and at that time was thinking of opening a retreat in the South of France and starting thinking about qualifications I may need to offer customers a professional experience. I applied to do yoga teacher training and then after much googling heard about Reiki. I signed up for level 1 and 2, to be honest not knowing what to expect but being excited and motivated. I remember my first day and hearing everyone's stories, what energy meant to them, how they discovered reiki and why they were on this journey. At that moment I understood, all the energy I had been feeling and that I had trusted to guide me in my life, was Reiki.

So in many ways, Reiki found me and I had a connection with energy all my life. I went on to complete my Master training and have been privileged enough to be able to practice as a Reiki Practitioner and teach others to practice Reiki since then.

*What are your changes brought by Reiki?

Reiki has taught me to trust how I feel, belief in the power of energy and has given me the gift of being able to share the light with others. I have used Reiki on myself many many times and find it calms me, allows me to feel supported, loved and for me has been a comfort in challenging times.

The values or principles of reiki set out by Mikao Usui also are very important to me: Just for today: I will not worry, I not be angry, I will do my work honestly, I will give thanks for my many blessings, I will be kind to my neighbour and every living thing. Practising yoga and being a Reiki Practitioner, the two go hand in hand. I see so many connections with Patanjali’s 8 Limbs of Yoga and the Reiki principles and this allows me to daily reflect and make efforts to consider how my behaviour impacts others and to be true to myself.

Practising Reiki on individuals I have seen how for many it is an opportunity to prioritise their self-care, manage feelings of anxiety, stress and distress. I have been privileged to be part of the Community Reiki Clinic here in Edinburgh alongside Maija and until COVID-19 we offered monthly reiki sessions to the public. During these sessions I was constantly reminded of the power of Reiki, I saw individuals come in feeling tired, overwhelmed, stressed and leaving looking calm, balance and loved. That is Reiki for me, seeing the love and light flow in others.

*As I know recently you moved to Edinburgh from London. Is there a difference in the spiritual environment in London and here in Edinburgh?

I found that in London Reiki is certainly very popular and there are so many schools offering training as well as practitioners. However, when I think of the natural environment, I feel much more connected with nature here in Edinburgh. In London life is busy and it is a fast-paced lifestyle, here in Edinburgh I have learnt to slow down and breathe. I am surrounded by the most amazing nature and this allows me to connect to the earth and feel rooted.

*A new online challenge Reiki&Yoga. What helps you to be confident?

I have a brand called KOA and offer Reiki, Systemic Coaching and Yoga. Before these unsettling times, I offered all services in person and loved the contact I had with customers, the connection I feel to them and being able to build relationships with them. Since COVID-19 emerged I have been, like many others forced to consider new creative opportunities to offer Reiki and Yoga.

My journey in the online, virtual world has been something new for me and certainly to begin with it was quite scary, I doubted my ability and I feared judgement. However, with practice and a wonderful following of people, I have become more confident in front of the camera and embraced this new way of sharing reiki and teaching yoga.

I now teach 3 Rainbow yoga classes per week with Giada Gaslini from Invisible Caims and we have some loyal and committed students who attend the classes. I have been blessed to find Giada, who inspires me and motivates me to try new things, offer my style of classes and shares this journey with me. My classes are very mindful and focus on energy flow in the body, staying true to myself and linking with my passion for Reiki.

With regards to Reiki, I offer an online reiki share each Sunday morning and on each full moon via my KOA Community Online Reiki Share Group. This is a free live, online Reiki share and again the first time was daunting but at the same time, I have had so much lovely feedback from listeners that this motivated me to continue offering sessions online. I have discovered that I cannot offer a traditional Reiki share, I have to add a guided meditation, talk a lot more than I normally would and also encourage attendees to embrace the energy around and within them. It has been amazing to see how many people feel the power of Reiki physically, and some even say they felt like they had hands placed on them. I never practised as much distant Reiki as I do now and I have been inspired by the impact it has on others who let Reiki into their hearts and bodies.

*What is the main key to be successfully walking by the spiritual path, as some Reiki students expect life changes straight after the training?

For me, it is listening to your heart and being true to yourself. Just because you undertake training, does not mean you suddenly are enlightened and fully connected with Reiki. For me, connection with Reiki is a process, a process of surrendering to the love and light within and around you. Reiki offers us the chance to look inward and acknowledge the power of energy. The Reiki industry is competitive and I am a firm believer that you should not do Reiki training only to work as a Reiki Practitioner, it should be the first step on your journey finding yourself. I have met many students who after the training feel very little and then suddenly one day, feel ‘different’ and ‘connected’, this is Reiki, not something you just expect, but something that materialises at the right time for you.

*Is there a difference between to be trained in Reiki or to be Reiki?

For me, I felt energy in and around me from a young age, and would now say this was Reiki, energy flowing within me. In my view, you can train in Reiki but may not instantly truly and fully connect with the light, this is a process. Reiki to me means ongoing personal growth as a person and continuing practice of Reiki. very much like yoga, I am working towards finding enlightenment in whatever form that is, this means reflecting on how I feel, my values, my behaviour and how it affects others, managing my energy as well as conserving it and always sharing the light unconditionally with others.

* Does everyone have to learn Reiki?

Reiki is not for everyone and individuals should do what is right for them. Not everyone has to study Reiki and many can just enjoy Reiki sessions to promote their well being and never undertake training. I believe energy is all around us if we believe it or not, it is within us if we believe it or not and it is the love and light we share with others. To be a Reiki Practitioner is an honour but also carries responsibility. The most important thing I say to students and clients is, as long as you are true to yourself then that is all that matters.

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