Learning Reiki the Anna Dorian Way in San Francisco

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Even if you’ve heard of Reiki or have tried it personally, you may not have thought about actually learning Reiki. The truth is that it’s not difficult to learn how to perform Reiki, whether its for your own healing and those in your close circle, as a side gig or if you choose to do it as a profession.

reiki stone

Recently, Anthony and I had the opportunity to experience what it’s like to receive and gives hands on Reiki in an introductory class run and designed by Anna Dorian, a long time Reiki and Shamanism practitioner in the San Francisco Bay Area. Thanks to Anna for opening up her doors to us, we were surrounded by other light “beings” and souls also interested in this fascinating practice called REIKI.

learning reiki anna dorian

Anna Dorian

The truth is that I didn’t quite know what I was getting into when we embarked on this journey. But, how complex could it be learning Reiki, I asked myself? Isn’t Reiki energy healing and after all, aren’t we all energy? Isn’t everything all energy?

Having been told by mediums, psychics and healers during past life readings that I was a hands-on healer in countless life times, I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that I felt so drawn to learning Reiki.

I feel that any healing and spiritual practice we arm ourselves with not only expands our ability to love, serve and give, but the trickle affect of what our own learning can do for others can be profound.

This couldn’t be truer with Reiki. Why? Learning Reiki is an intimate and soulful experience for anyone who goes down this path. While the initial training is short (it can be done in a very full weekend, although other practitioners’ courses may be longer), the emotional roller coaster rides you may go through in the process may be far beyond what you expected.

Then again, you may feel very little at all. How the Reiki process affects you (receiving and giving) differs for everyone, some of which has to do with how open you are to breathing it all in, embracing what comes your way and where you are in your spiritual path.

Being open is key. Ready for a journey? This one is obviously based on our own experience learning Reiki, but it will hopefully give you some insight into the process and make it more approachable, whether or not its your calling or merely a curiosity.

Learning Reiki

So, what is Reiki for those of you new to it and what is it like to learn Reiki?

The Japanese word ‘rei’ means something mysterious or sacred, and the word ‘ki’ can be translated as energy of the universe. In this context, Reiki gets translated into the sacred energy of the universe. Anna likes to describe it as intelligent, divine qi. And, after doing the course, I can see why.

In practice, Reiki is the laying on of hands to heal. If you’ve ever had it done, you know that when hands are laid upon your body, you feel the energy of those hands, sometimes through tingling or as warm and calming.

learning reiki

Credit: paarvathy

So, what does Reiki heal you might be thinking? I‘ve heard countless stories of people having Reiki done for a myriad of issues, from physical ailments to emotional wounds.

Reiki is Healing Energy!

Reiki helps to reduce stress, can speed up recovery after a illness or surgery (a friend‘s mom has been doing this in a hospital with repeated success for years), depression, anxiety, grieving, insomnia, and for clearing energies that aren’t yours — read my experience with Tanya Corona who focuses on the latter. It is also very grounding and relaxing for people who feel drained and exhausted from the day-to-day grind.

And so, Reiki has incredible restorative and therapeutic effects but is it the Reiki practitioner who is doing all this magical healing?

One of the most important things in the learning Reiki process was that as a practitioner, you merely serve as a hollow hose or bamboo’ for Reiki energy. In other words, you serve as the conduit, but Reiki does its work its own divine way. In other words, Reiki is intelligent and knows what “it” needs to do to heal.

We had practice “hands-on” sessions with others in the group over the course of the two days. We had breaks where we had an opportunity to connect with others, ask questions and process it all. There were treats along the way as well, like delicious dark chocolate. Gotta love it!

learning reiki

At the end of the weekend, in migrating from student to practitioner, we received what is known as a sacred initiation called ‘Reiju’ (attunement) that essentially opened us to act as a ‘hollow for Reiki energy. Once attuned, a Reiki practitioner taps into Reiki itself, and is able to heal without depleting their own ki. Whether we give Reiki or receive it, everyone benefits. This magical and wondrous discipline is a win-win, regardless of what side you’re on.

That said, if you are constantly giving Reiki (or giving in any way, whether its physical or emotional healing), your energy can get depleted.  Over time, it is important as practitioners, to continuously stay grounded and to receive Reiki as well. You can do self treatment (yes, you can do Reiki on yourself). The balance of giving and receiving is very important.

The Importance of Grounding & Clearing

The other thing we learned is the art of stepping out of the way and not trying to guide Reiki, or using your own chi to heal.

learning reikiThe job as a practitioner is to apply the Reiki and then let healing happen for others in their own unique way.

This is the practice in reality and the idea behind you acting as a bamboo or hollow bone if you will and essentially being the conduit or channel for that Reiki energy to flow through.

The last bit of advice and insight I took away with me from learning Reiki was the importance of clearing your own field. BTW, this doesn’t just apply to Reiki as all healing practitioners know.

Clearing your own field after giving a Reiki session is done much the same way as clearing your field for other spiritual activities you might do.

learning reiki

For example, you can use smudge or white sage (we love white sage) around your body, take a long shower or bath with Epson salts, get your paws in the Earth (dirt is so grounding — I love time in my garden), cleanse your chakras, say clearing mantras that work for you or ground yourself with gemstones and crystals. I’m a big fan of the latter and have plenty of black tourmaline, black onyx, obsidian and hematite around!! You can get them easily in their raw form or also as jewelry, such as necklaces and bracelets you can wear.

Learning Reiki with Anna

Whatever comes up for you in the learning Reiki process will be an eye and heart opening journey. The great news is that Anna Dorian’s heart is big, her humor dry and witty and her capacity to adapt with each person’s unique situation, second to none. In other words, she plays full out and you feel every part of her soul woven into your learning and healing process.

In her world view, she feels that we all came here to fulfill three goals: to be happy, to feel love, and to know our purpose.

“The practices that have helped me achieve happiness, feeling loved and knowing my calling, in the midst of a path marked heavily with peak experiences and intense challenge, are Reiki and Shamanism. I love both modalities with all my heart.”

It was Reiki that saved her cat’s life (Mufasa was his name for the cat lovers out there) and since then, her life has been forever changed.  Much has evolved in Anna’s life, from teaching Reiki to those thirsty and hungry for this unique healing modality and those who wish to embark upon a 16 month long Shamanism journey, which we hope to cover down the road.

Since meeting Reiki, Anna has received 20 different levels of Reiki attunements, including master levels in: Western-style Usui reiki (via the Takata lineage), Komyo or Japanese reiki (via the Yamaguchi lineage), Lightarian Reiki and Karuna Reiki.

annaAnd, it doesn’t stop there. Anna has taught Reiki to homeless youth, provided Reiki volunteers for veterans and cancer patients, lectured at CIIS, City College, and UCSF on healing arts and shared Reiki with young women in recovery as a clinical practitioner in San Diego.

She has provided Reiki for organizations doing important work like the Rainforest Action Network, created the annual Bay Area Reiki Retreat, co-founded the first collaborative Bay Area Reiki Share with 5 Reiki schools, worked with Reiki and hospice patients and served as a volunteer countless times.

In other words, this bright light has experience and plenty of it. And, she’s also a real giver.

Additionally, Anna is quirky and funny, so when things get emotionally turbulent (they may or may not — we will all have a different journey with Reiki), she’s there for you.  Anna Dorian

You feel so connected and loved, that regardless of what is going on with you, you feel safe and know you’ll get through it safely on the other side, and in kind and gentle hands. And, I’d argue, better off for going through the journey. In the process, you will grow, trust me.

At least this was our experience with this wonderful soul who calls herself  Anna Dorian.

So, whether you’re working with an energetic tune-up, calling in a dream, or walking peacefully into what scares you most, Anna’s got your back.

You truly feel that she’s here to be of service, not just on your own personal journey (although I respect that YOU are the most vital piece to this experience), but for humanity and the ripple effect of you blossoming in her course, will have down the road. For whatever we create of spiritual value in our own lives gives spiritual value to others. When our vibrational energy goes up, so does everything around us.

I personally think the effect that your own Reiki journey has down the road is a biggest part of the magic, but for Anna, it’s all magic. Each…and….every….time…

“Every Time I Connect with Reiki is Magic.”    

Anna notes that every practitioner and teacher has a different approach, so the style and thought process that Anna subscribes to is different than others — in other words, if you do two Reiki courses, their styles could differ greatly. And, that’s okay. Intent, she says is such a big component of any healing modality and art and I couldn’t agree more.

Intent on the part of the practitioner (healer) and intent on the receiver. Both are vital to recovery, sustainability, a balanced mind and a healthy body. Be committed to whatever you show up for, this Reiki course, or anything else you dive into. That full commitment when done with love, purpose and positive intent, could just transform your life.

For more information on her courses, her world and her approach, visit Anna Dorian’s website Vibrant Reiki, which includes links of how to sign up for any of her classes and how to have a private session with her.

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