In 2001 I was looking for adventure. Although I had learnt reiki 1 & 2 from three different teachers from the UK, I was still searching for more knowledge on reiki. Whilst in deep relaxation during yoga, I had a clear vision of a white mountain.
I felt guided to Nepal to see the Himalayas. Soon after I had booked my trip, an old friend took me to his Buddhist temple one evening, where I met some practicing Buddhists who were also reiki masters. Although reiki’s roots are in Buddhism, this was the first time I had made a practical connection with the two. The Lama who was leading the “service” had attuned most of the masters there. After the rituals were over I received a hug from the lama, which was a very moving experience. Later, one of the masters asked me about my trip to Nepal and told me to visit Pokhara. He told me about a Buddhist centre there, that was part of the same global network. He encouraged me to go…
On arriving in Kathmandu I was given a leaflet about reiki workshops run in Pokhara, in a Buddhist centre. It took me two weeks to reach the town, a place backpackers visit because of the outdoor activities, the beautiful lakes and of course an amazing view of the Himalayas. My journey to Pokhara took me to the ancient city of Bhakapur, on an elephant safari in Chitwan National Park and many other amazing places. By the time I reached Pokhara I was so in love with Nepal, I had almost forgotten about the Buddhist centre.
One day, I was riding around a glorious lake outside the town, when I realised the horse had stopped at the foot of a low hill.
The sign pointed to The Ganden Yiga Chözin Buddhist Meditation Centre. This retreat is linked to centres all over the world and had been my original destination, yet I found it by accident. When I reached the centre, I was presented to Venerable Stephano Brunori, an Italian journalist who had converted to Buddhism. He administered the centre on behalf of Lama Zopa Rinpoche for the Dalai Lama himself.
We clicked immediately. We spent time talking about Buddhism and reiki, then Ven. Brunori invited me to return to the centre to work full time. I would maintain their website, run reiki workshops and generally help with the running of the place. In exchange for my marketing experience he would make me a Reiki Master.
During the time I spent there, I was fortunate to meet another Lama, visit the Tibetan working monasteries in Pokhara and Kathmandu, witness a Tibetan medicine doctor at work and see a ceremony of hundreds of “dancing” monks, which is only performed once a year. I found the Tibetan people to be the most friendly and generous and gentle. I gave reiki to a monk in a temple with pictures of all the Dalai Lamas around me, which was awe-inspiring.
The day I was leaving for UK, expecting to return a month later, Ven. Stephano gave me a healing attunement – the most powerful I have ever felt. I floated to the airport, where, at the last minute, I was upgraded to first class. I met various interesting people on the trip home and returned feeling lighter, more confident of my reiki abilities and ready for new challenges. A truly life-changing experience.
Sadly, that part of Nepal quickly became dangerous, caught up in the battle between Maoist separatists and the government. I have been unable to return but one day I will go back.