Connecting with Reiki during a Sweat Lodge Experience

The following article was submitted for publication – but it did not get published.

Connecting with Reiki during a Sweat Lodge Experience

By Gina M. Gafford

No matter how much we experience the mysteries of life and consciousness, we will always find there is more, a next step, another doorway, a deeper level. – William Lee Rand

When I travel alone, I call on Reiki to guide me and protect me. In August 2021, I connected to Reiki during a sweat lodge experience at the Traveling Shamans Camp in Hotchkiss, Colorado. The Traveling Shamans Camp is an annual festival for healers, visionaries, artists, and storytellers. While I was at the Traveling Shamans Camp, I attended many workshops and events.

I was a little nervous about doing a sweat at the festival because I was a solo traveler. I decided to go, but I permitted myself to back out at any time. Please note that I was not allowed to take any photos during the sweat lodge experience. Also, I was aware of the risk of getting the Coronavirus. Even though I was in a small group, I took as many precautions as possible.

The sweat was on a Saturday evening. To prepare for the sweat lodge, I only ate a small breakfast and drank a lot of water. I followed the map to the sweat lodge site. When I got there, the man at the house said the map was wrong. He drew a new map for me to follow. However, if I didn’t find the sweat lodge, I would go back to my hotel. But I did find the sweat lodge site at a farm out in the country.

When I got to the farm, people were waiting around for the rocks to heat up. For most of the attendees, this was their first sweat lodge experience (a total of 14 people). For me, it was my fourth sweat. My last sweat lodge experience was 25 years ago.

While I was waiting, I befriended a young woman in her early twenties, whom I will call Sunny. She was feeling scared about the sweat. She said she didn’t like the heat – she was fair-skinned with strawberry blond hair. I told her everything that I knew about the sweat lodge, and I said I would be there for her during the sweat. I found new confidence as a mentor. I couldn’t give up now!

Sunny and I joined a small group of women standing near the sweat lodge. A Native American woman, whom I’ll call Wolf Woman, was a shaman in New Mexico. She asked us if we were on our period. Wolf Woman said that women on their menstrual flow shouldn’t join the sweat lodge. She said that women are already in a purification process – they don’t need to do a sweat. Also, during a woman’s period, she is suffering for the people. If she joins the sweat lodge, people may feel sick or get pain in their abdomen. Sunny and I reassured her that we were not on our moon cycle.

As the sun began to set, we lined up to go into the dark dome. I asked Reiki to guide and protect all of us. In my mind, I activated the Reiki symbols by thinking of their names, and I envisioned a blue light of protection around the sweat lodge. I told myself, “Here we go,” as I followed the line around the sweat lodge, and then at the door, I put my head to the Earth and said, “All my relations.”

As I settled on the blanket, I could feel the heat of the glowing rocks. The rocks are “grandfather rocks” because they are so old – older than human beings. During the sweat, the assistant who stayed outside helped bring in the rocks. The Cherokee shaman who was leading the sweat lodge asked the attendant to close the door.

It was dark. I closed my eyes to settle my nerves, and I took three deep breaths. Several fears flashed before me. I was afraid that I might faint, have to go to the hospital, or even die. I had to work through those fears. To come back to the present moment and refocus, I told Sunny, who sat next to me, to only breathe through her nose. Also, if she got too hot, she could curl into a fetal position or put her face close to the ground.

The Cherokee shaman poured water on the rocks and the rocks steamed. Wolf Woman sprinkled sage on the rocks. I could feel myself start to sweat as the smell of sage filled the lodge. The sweat lodge is like a womb – it’s dark, warm, and wet. Once inside, everyone prays, sings, and chants. The shaman uses a drum or a rattle to kick the brain into an altered state.

To start this sweat, the shaman shook his rattle and sang in Cherokee. Everyone sang with him – even if we didn’t know the words. Then the shaman passed the rattle around so everyone could have a chance to pray. When it was my turn to pray and sing, I sang the Gayatri Mantra three times. I expressed the need for people to have hope, even amid chaos – just like I saw in India. I said we need hope in our hearts, even when things get tough. Other people sang, prayed for their loved ones, and prayed for the world – especially for world peace. We passed the rattle to seven people, and then the door opened.

The door is lifted four times during the two to three-hour sweat (along with adding more hot rocks). The number four is important because it represents the four directions (North, South, West, and East). The sweat lodge is for purification. It is to let go of things we don’t need and to have a fresh start.

After the door was closed, the shaman poured more water on the rocks. It started to get very hot. The rattle was passed to seven more people to pray. I stayed in the present moment and listened to each person sing or pray. I could handle the heat if I just stayed focused.

The shaman poured more water on the hot rocks, and it was hard to breathe. I went inward to meditate. Many of the participants put their faces closer to the ground. At one point, a young man shouted out to open the door. The shaman listened to the man and opened the door. The assistant gave each of us a bottle of water.

I drank my water and chatted with Sunny, who was doing well. I thought the sweat was over. I felt so relieved! Well, the shaman ordered more hot rocks, and the assistant closed the door. Oh, man! It was already too hot! I went back into my meditation and added a mantra. I was at my edge – where things were getting tough. I told myself I could do it.

Finally, the shaman did the closing ritual, and we each crawled out of the lodge. We were wet and warm like a newborn. The air felt refreshing, and I could feel the weight of my soaked dress. I felt calm, light, and clear-headed.

Before we all departed, everyone stood in a semi-half circle as each person took their turn to shake hands (like a wedding reception line). When it was my turn to shake hands, I gave each person a message. When I saw Sunny, I told her that she was glowing like an angel. I was so proud of her for finishing her first sweat! She told me that I was a blessing, and she thanked me for helping her.

I learned from my past sweat lodge experiences to give the shaman a gift. So, I gave the shaman tobacco and money for his travels. I thanked him for leading the sweat.

When I connect with Reiki, I get a key (Ki) to open the door to self-realization – just like the door to the sweat lodge. Then I need to ask myself, “Am I brave enough to step into the dark and the unknown?” I know Reiki keeps me safe and helps me connect to the unified field of energy. William Lee Rands says, “Over time, you will learn from experience that the guidance of Reiki is worthy of your trust. Once you have surrendered completely, you will have entered The Way of Reiki.”

I am grateful to Reiki and for the sweat lodge experience. Participating in sweats encourages me to stay on my spiritual path. I also realize how brave I am! Even though the unknown is scary sometimes, it also holds an opportunity for spiritual growth. Now I can’t wait to open another door!

Namaste world!

Soul Star Chakra

Whoever departs from this world without having realized his own inner world, to him life has been of no service: it remains unlived, like an undone deed. - Brhad-aranyaka Upanishad

When you reach your arms and hands straight above your head, you will touch your Soul Star Chakra. This chakra connects you to the heavens. The Earth Star Chakra connects you to Mother Earth.

When we connect with our Soul Star Chakra, we see our potential to ascend into higher consciousness. When we walk on the Earth (Middleworld), we are presented with a psychological “Hall of Mirrors.” It is maze-like and confusing at times. However, we can learn to master the mind and have order instead of chaos. It is a fact that Mother Earth prefers order. We can also be the Master of Mirrors.

To master the mind, we need to touch the eternal part of who we are. Do not get trapped in the Hall of Mirrors. See yourself clearly, and have compassion for yourself. Look into the mirror and see your greatness.

Caitlin Matthews, in her book, Singing the Soul Back Home, says, “Each part of our soul needs to be with us, to enable us to pay proper attention to the different dimensions of our lives: to be emotionally aware, to give love, to appreciate what is true and beautiful, to respect boundaries of others and ourselves, to discern danger. If one or more soul-part is missing, we begin to find some of these things difficult or impossible.”

To heal ourselves, we need to go inward. The outside world is only a distraction – to pull us away from our true work. We can heal ourselves by looking straight into the eyes of fear. Matthews continues in her book, Singing the Soul Back Home, “Dealing with fear requires courage. Many people feel it is easier to live with the self-imposed controls of fear than to experience the liberation of the power that lies beneath the fear.”

To work with fear, you must realize your power. It is time to polish your mirror. Who are you?

You can ascend into higher consciousness with grace and gratitude. Meditate every day, practice mindfulness, and learn to balance all of your chakras.

Namaste world.

Einstein’s Formula

Einstein’s Formula

There’s a lot of transition in the world on all levels. It’s easy to feel stressed. However, we can take action to improve the energy in our bodies.

Yesterday I took a workshop with Omar (Omar’s Touch Therapy Inc), who is an Einstein Energy Healer. He has a fascinating way to look at stress in the body. He combines several modalities in his healing sessions.

The basic Einstein formula that he works with is E=mc2. The “E” is energy flowing (like water), lower case “m” is for stagnant energy, lower case “c” represents higher power (constant speed of light and access to infinite sources), and the square of “2” means power is infinite.

There are many portals in the human energetic system. We can open up the portals with acupressure, acupuncture, Reiki, yoga, qigong, Tai Chi, etc. The portals run along the meridians and chakras.

When we feel stressed, all the systems in the body become tense. However, if we can learn to relax, then we release what Omar calls “stress-energy units.” Our energy is like a battery – it can become depleted and we can charge it.

We can increase or “charge” our energy and our cells by eating from Mother Earth, sleeping, resting, and charging up by the sun (light energy). We also need supplements of multiple digestive enzymes (found in raw fruits and vegetables), vitamins, and minerals. Omar says, “We are not what we eat. We are what we assimilate.”

The good news is we live in a multidimensional world. We can create and maintain the light (energy) within us. Let go and flow!

Namaste world!

Halloween Story: Lessons from the Haunted Room

The Haunted Room

I have a ghost story – perfect for Halloween. This past summer in August, I went on a solo trip to Colorado to attend a festival. While I was there, I bought a small chocolate bar with 10 mg of THC (cannabis/marijuana). My intention with the plant medicine was to relax and maybe receive spiritual transformation or insight.

For the last two nights of my trip, I decided to stay in a hotel (instead of camping). I looked on Expedia and chose the closest one to the festival. According to information online, I found out the hotel was haunted (especially Room #2).

The hotel dates back to 1905. The owner and his wife ran the hotel but never lived there. However, their son died in Room #2. Online it said that the wife probably haunts that room because she’s looking out for her son.

When I got to the hotel, the man at the desk handed me the key – to Room #2. I had a feeling that I would get that room! So, I make my way up the wooden staircase to the room. I silently said hello to the spirits that might be there.

The room was beautifully decorated with some of the original furniture from 1905 (see the photo above). I didn’t feel any spirits or ghosts. However, I couldn’t get the fact that the room was haunted out of my mind.

On the last night of my stay in Colorado, I realized that I still had that “special” chocolate bar. I thought I better try it before I leave. So, I ate half (5 mg) of the bar, and then I got ready for bed. I didn’t feel anything until about 9:00 PM. The room started to spin. Then I became anxious. I knew that if I didn’t get control of myself that I would panic!

Different feelings and thoughts started to come to my mind. I had this feeling that I wanted to get in my car and drive or knock on the neighbors door. I told myself, “You are not going anywhere!” Then I wanted to call my husband to tell him how I was feeling. I told myself, “No. Just meditate.” So, I laid down and meditated. I connected with Reiki too.

As I meditated with a mantra, I realized that I was in a haunted room. I thought I was crazy to eat that THC candy bar in a haunted hotel! And I was alone!

During my meditation, I lost track of time, and I started to hear voices in the distance and noise at the foot of the bed. I closed my eyes and didn’t dare to look!

Thankfully, after a few hours, I started to feel better. I didn’t get much sleep, and I had a plane to catch in the morning!

Now that I look back at the experience, I can see how much meditation helped me remain calm. I know I can use meditation during scary or stressful times.

I also learned that I need to have more respect and gratitude towards medicinal plants. Each plant has lessons and wisdom to share. It’s not a good idea to take any medicinal plant without guidance. I learned my lesson – do not try things just for the sake of trying them.

Many cultures around the world use psychotropic plants to achieve ecstatic and transformative states of mind. However, one must use strong intention and caution.

Here are several ways to protect (and calm your mind) from strange energy and phenomena:

  • Ask God or your higher power to protect you.
  • Connect with Reiki to guide you and protect you.
  • Call on your master teacher or spirit guides to protect you (ancestors, angels, saints, power animals, etc.).
  • Use meditation to focus your mind and call on protection. Understand the spiritual concepts of internal vs external.
  • Imagine a white or blue light of protection around your body (you can extend the light to your room or the place you are staying).
  • Ask the spirits of crystals to protect you. For example, Native Americans use crystal quartz and turquoise stones for protection.
  • Connect with the power of love to protect you. Feel your heart chakra radiate with love.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Namaste, world.

Treasure Chest

There will be a worldwide disclosure coming soon. I can feel it. What can we do to prepare? First of all, we must not be afraid. Go inward to find strength and courage. The ancient texts tell us that we have a powerful mind, so we need to find ways to train our minds to tap into that power.

We also have a treasure within us – The Chakras. Why is it called “Treasure Chest?” Inside the human chest is the heart.

Our Treasure – The Heart Chakra

You are a powerful being. Nothing can take that away. Use your time wisely – train your mind through meditation, work with your chakras, and help other people.

We are ready to face anything! We are born in this lifetime to see the “Great Awakening.” Let’s count our blessings!

Here are seven quotes about treasure:

Wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will be also be. - Luke 12:34

If your profits are in heaven, your heart will be there too. - Matthew 6:21

The cave you enter holds the treasure you seek. - Joseph Campbell

Knowledge is a treasure, but practice is the key to it. - Lao Tzu

If you come here, you will find a hidden treasure. - Paulo Coelho

The greatest treasures are those invisible to the eye but found by the heart. - Judy Garland

Your heart will challenge you, but also reward you beyond your wildest dreams. - Stefan Emunds


Namaste, world.

Fantasy World

Understanding is a kind of ecstasy. – Carl Sagan

It is no longer about outside appearances. The journey is within. How can I create the world that I want?

It starts with my mind – using imagination and creativity. I see my world expanding to understand the secrets of humanity and obtaining self-realization in this lifetime. I want to travel – physically and astrologically. I want to surround myself with books, pets, loved ones, nature, and music.

The fantasy world starts within me. If I believe that I can create my world, the wheel of possibility starts to spin. The world can open up to where I am right now.

When I was in India in 2015, my colleagues and I visited a Tibetan temple. Inside the temple was a large prayer wheel (see the photo below). The wheel has mantras inscribed on the inside and the outside. Turning a prayer wheel with millions of mantras inside is the equivalent of saying those millions of mantras but within a few seconds. The action of spinning the wheel sends out the prayers.

Large Prayer Wheel, Tibetan Refugee Camp, Delhi, India

Sometimes the mind is referred to as a wheel. What you think (the spinning) is put into action. Intention can get energy moving too.

God is within you.

Remember to be gentle with yourself. Relax into the wheel of life. Trust the Universe. Be who you are, where ever you are.

Namaste, world.

What needs Healing in your Life?

I joined an online pranayama class this weekend. During the discussion, this morning, another participant and I talked about grieving and healing. After our discussion, I realized that I have to do more healing in my life.

My oldest daughter struggles with alcoholism. “One is addicted…many are affected.” Lately, I’ve been thinking about her childhood. Part of me blames myself for her alcoholism. I feel like I was not a very good parent. My daughter reassures me that I was a wonderful mom, but part of me thinks I could have done better. I was a young mom – only twenty years old when she was born. I was immature in so many ways, and I was clueless about raising a child.

I need to heal this wound inside me and stop blaming myself. I have tremendous hope for my daughter to become sober. She has so many good qualities and talents. Most people that meet her say she is so charming and kind. She’s an artist who paints amazing flowers and scenery (see one of my favorite paintings above).

For me to heal, I need to have a heart-to-heart conversation with my daughter. It won’t be easy. I want to use the Five Healing Phrases (see below). I want to tell her that I am sorry. I’m sorry for not helping her increase her self-esteem when she was in her teens and early twenties. Then I will say, please forgive me for any time I was not there to support her. Next, I will tell her “thank you” for bringing joy and beauty into my life. I will end with telling her that I love her and I bless her. I know I will say more when I am in my daughter’s presence.

Here are the Five Healing Phrases:

  • I’m sorry
  • Please forgive me
  • Thank you
  • I love you
  • I bless you

Do you need healing in your life? Can you be open and honest with yourself? It takes courage to face your wounds.

My goal is to reach self-realization and enlightenment. To do this, I have to face my wounds, shadows, and negative energy. I am grateful to have yin and yang elements (darkness and lightness). I can grow with the balance of these energies.

I am also growing through my daughter’s alcoholism. Yes, it hurts, and I feel helpless at times. But I also see the light and hope in my daughter’s eyes. I know loving her is the greatest gift that I can give her.

Namaste, world.

Thankful for Change

I feel thankful for the possibilities on the horizon. If we didn’t have change, there would be no growth. Change can be scary, but it is also an opportunity for creativity and exploration.

In a few weeks, I may not have my hospice job. I work for a hospital that will eventually mandate the COVID-19 vaccines. I heard from nurses that doctors are not allowing medical exemptions. So, I’m out! I plan to go back to my old job working for a wellness center or find a different job.

I also want to take at least one month off of work. I want to dive deeper into my spirituality and travel. I need to take this opportunity because it may never come around again.

I had one hospice patient that told me to travel and explore now. He said the body breaks down with old age. He said not to wait until retirement – the future is unknown, and life may be cut short.

I am thankful for change because I can let myself be who I am. I am finding out who is truly a friend and who is not. Also, I know which relatives are supportive and which ones are not. There are two sides to the coin. I need to be a good friend and support the people in my life too.

I take nothing for granted. There are so many possibilities! It’s like there’s a Pandora’s box inside me waiting to open up! Am I brave enough to look inside?

Namaste, world.

Reiki Vision II

Updated on 9/28/2021.

Here is the link to Reiki Vision I: https://tunnelvision8.com/2021/05/16/reiki-vision/

Here is an older blog post on Flat Earth vs Globe Earth: https://tunnelvision8.com/2016/11/30/flat-earth-vs-globe-earth/

I hope you have an open mind. This discloser will change your life forever.

I attended Echo Bodine’s Aurapalooza in Minneapolis in May 2021. Aurapalooza is an all-day psychic and healing fair. I had a 50-minute Reiki session with one of the practitioners, and toward the end of the session, I received a vision. Now, a few months later, I’m connecting the dots.

The vision formed quickly, and I understood the meaning instantly. In my mind, I saw a three-dimensional triangle (pyramid) formed from my heart chakra to my third-eye chakra and then out in front of me. The apex (tip) pointed outward in front of me. The next vision was the pyramid on the dollar bill.

The “eye” reveals the truth.

The message that I received is that you need to connect your heart chakra and third-eye chakra to “see the truth.” But then I realized that if I move the “H” of HEART, I get EARTH. So, it’s a message about the Earth and the eye.

The bottom of the pyramid is a “diamond” shape.
As above, so below. The “eye” of truth.
We are part of Mother Earth. The eye “disk” is the clue.

We are Earth citizens, but we’ve been fed lies about our planet.

The Earth is a flat plane within a celestial oblate spheroid.

The ancient Native Americans knew the Earth was flat.
OUR EARTH – The sun and the moon rotate 3,300 miles above the Earth’s surface. The central sun (black sun) is in the middle. We can’t see the central sun because it sits deeper into the hole.

Let there be Peace on Earth.

Namaste, world.

Bring out the BEST in Yourself!

Feel your power! Never give up!

Update 9/23/2021.

The issues of today are challenging me in new ways. There is so much going on! Many parts of myself are being activated – like a new awareness of the world and potential creativity. And yet, I have mixed feelings of uncertainty and hope. Change can be exciting and scary!

One thing that I do know is that I am an eternal being. I will leave this ordinary reality at some point. But while I am here, I plan to live with wisdom in my heart and mind. Remember everything is impermeant.

If you are alive today, you have an opportunity to make a difference in the lives around you. Show people how much you love them and forgive them – even if they don’t show you their love or forgiveness. For example, last weekend, I went out to lunch with my aunt and other family members. I haven’t seen my aunt in over three years. I gave my aunt a big hug and told her that I loved her. However, she did not say that she loved me back. That stung – hurt my heart. But, during lunch, I remained calm and happy toward her.

I’m not sure why my aunt did not express her love toward me. Was it my vaccination status? Or because I am Buddhist? Toward the end of lunch, my aunt asked me if I was a Christian. At first, I wasn’t sure what to say. But then I reassured her that I was a Christian. I consider myself a Catholic-Buddhist. I will always have my roots in Christianity. My response appeared to make her happy – so that makes me happy.

I still love my aunt whether she tells me she loves me or not. However, I cannot deny the human part of me that still is sensitive to words. Words are powerful and carry an energetic charge.

Also, I am not going to change myself for my aunt or anyone else. My intention for the lunch gathering was to have a pleasant time. I didn’t want to get into a debate about religion.

Right now, we need to bring out the best in ourselves! It’s going to be challenging with everything that is going on. But we can do it!

I’m sending you lots and lots of love.

Namaste, world.