Hi! Jerry here. Please welcome Brenda Kissane as she shares her Reiki journey story. Brenda is a lovely and gentle light that I met close to 2 years ago at a Reiki Social hosted at Sat Nam Yoga in Chicago. I’ve been touched by her reflections on various Reiki and spiritual principles. In her Reiki 1 class, I was sharing the principles of Ho’oponopono, which is a form of Hawaiian Shamanism and has been very profound in my own spiritual and healing journey along with Reiki as well as understanding that we are connected to everyone else. They are 4 simple phrases: I love you, please forgive me, I’m sorry, and thank you. Brenda, who is studying to be a social worker, then told me and the class that these are the same phrases that are shared with family members of those in hospice, especially when there is a tense or estranged relationship, that they are powerful words that transcend stuck and negative energies.

And without further ado, here is Brenda’s story!


As an ardent receiver and practitioner of Reiki, I find myself attempting to explain the practice to those in my life who have not yet experienced it in a way that captures its essence and power without scaring off those adverse to “new age” or mystical practices.  I have heard Jerry describe Reiki as a massage for the soul, other friends and colleagues describe Reiki as the channeling of a healing energy, a practice that activates the receiver’s  inner healing powers that have been deactivated by adverse experiences and states such as trauma or injury, and others speak to the balancing of the chakras and cultivation of life force – prana, qi, barakah.  All of these things resonate with me.  When someone asks me what Reiki is I generally mention various pieces of these explanations, emphasizing that it is a gentle, noninvasive practice, and offer them a Reiki session.  People are always amazed at how relaxing, comforting, and healing a Reiki session is.  

I feel as though the universe has brought Reiki into my life as I have grown and become ready and open.  Reiki has been popping up in my consciousness and community in various ways over the past ten years since I began my journey in healing, yoga, and bodywork.  Initially my exposure was minimal, I would meet teachers who practiced Reiki while teaching yoga, or friends would receive Reiki and tell me about it.  Then about two years ago, I met a Reiki master in a friend’s kitchen who must have seen my simultaneous need and openness, and offered me an impromptu session.  I am not sure how long the session lasted, but I distinctly remember how transformative it was for me.  An ineffable sense of calm and safety overcame me.  As someone who generally goes through the world with a sense of trepidation and guardedness, the feeling of serenity and safety that overcame me brought me a sense of bliss.  From that moment I knew I had to pursue Reiki in my own healing practices.  

After the experience, I sought out ways to receive Reiki and a primary attunement/training.  I did my initial attunement with someone who is a wonderful healer.  However, something in me told me that either they were not the teacher for me, or it was not the time for me.  About six months later after I had moved to Chicago I met Jerry and immediately I knew that she was the person who I wanted to experience the Reiki attunement and training with.  I went through the primary attunement again and then the secondary.  Working with Jerry has been amazing, she truly makes herself a channel for pure positivity and healing, not allowing ego or anything happening in the outside world into the healing space – something I aim to cultivate in my own practice.  

In my personal and clinical life I see how pervasive trauma is in our society.  Bodywork, hypnosis, and movement therapies are all wonderful practices that I embrace, and I also see how triggering and scary they can be.  Reiki is a beautifully safe practice that can be done without any touching at all.  Since being attuned I have been able to offer Reiki to various people in my life, a way to offer the serenity, safety, and healing I feel during Reiki to others.