July 12, 2008

I taught Reiki 1 today. The experience was less that fantastic.

One of my students was a talented energy worker who had taken Reiki 1 online and received distant attunements (look to tomorrow’s post for some thoughts on that). She had learned a tremendous amount of information in various places online. (My knowledge is limited to the instruction I got, books I have read, and my experience.) We saw energy similarly, yet differently. There were points that she mentioned feeling like she should be co-teaching. Now, I am open to other voices being heard, and other ideas being brought out, but I am not looking for a co-teacher.

At one point, our conversation brought up some negative things (like the state of healthcare), and we had to change what we were talking about. My student mentioned that she could feel the negative energy and that it needed to be cleansed. Now, yes, I feel negative energy, but I keep shields up so it affects me less.

She mentioned at one point that she keeps a positive viewpoint so the negativity does not exist. Now, I know that one needs to keep a positive outlook in the face of problems, but one still needs to acknowledge that there are problems.

There used to be a saying years ago about looking at the world through rose colored glasses. If one did this, it would make things look pink and rosy. Basically, it said that we don’t notice problems. The issue with that is that there are problems. If we just ignore them, or not see them, they don’t go away. Centuries ago, the Christians felt that Pagans were a problem, so they started executing them for witchcraft. Even though their commandments said “Thou shall not kill”, people of the church did so while most Christians turned a blind eye. The Nazis had the same solution to the “Jewish problem” while most Germans pretended not to notice.

We have to stay positive, but we also have to see what our problems are so that we can take this positive energy and use it to fix those problems. And if we as individuals don’t have a solution, then we as a group of individuals can come up with something. Oh well, back to the class.

When she got her attunements, she was not happy as she felt nothing. When she had gotten her distant attunement, the world shook. Now, I know that attunements affect people differently. I have had people get these same attunements and see colors and magic and all sorts of things. At the same time, I have had people feel nothing (this was the way I felt when I first was attuned). It is up to the individual and up to how open they are or want to be.

Some of the comments this student made (on the comment form) were interesting, and for the most part goes to her preferences. She mentioned that there should be more hands-on exercises. I do what I can in the time limit I have. The basic energy exercises are set. The only other thing one could increase would be the self Reiki which would simply be to add more time to it. There is not anything else I could add.

The other comment was that there should be little or no talking while doing Reiki. Now when I do Reiki in a session, it is usually quiet. If the client wants to talk or ask questions, I can (especially since I do better at Reiki when I am distracted). But other than that, it is just silence and the music. I talk during the Reiki practice in class so that the student is not concentrating on the Reiki. When one concentrates, they try to control the Reiki energy. The idea is to be open and just let the energy through and not be concentrating on it. That way, the energy comes through at the level it is needed. By talking throughout the practice, I distract the student from concentrating, allowing them to allow the energy through.

As part of each class, I have the students fill out an evaluation of the class. Most of my students feel that the classes are extraordinary. Some don’t, and that’s all right. But this was by far the worst review I had ever gotten. I ask six questions and ask that the students rate me on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest. Usually, I get scores of 10. Now and then, I get some nines, and occasionally some eights. Once in a blue moon, I get a seven.

When asked how valuable the concepts of the class were, she did not answer, I score that as a zero. (Even people wanting to learn this greatly choose their own values on the concepts themselves.) My presentation rated a six. My knowledge rated an eight. How I responded to questions was an eight. As far as recommending the class to others, I rated a four. At the same time, the overall rating she gave it was a seven. Now seven is not wonderful (especially when I want to teach at my best at all times), but seven is still in most places a passing grade.

Over the 80 students that I have taught Reiki 1 (at least since I have been asking for feedback) I have averaged a 9.8 and 9.9 for the same questions. So when I get a lower rating in a class, it bothers me even though I know that every opinion is based on things that are subjective to the student.

Every time I teach a class, it is like taking a test, only there are no right or wrong answers that can be qualified cleanly against an answer key. Here, the grade is based on opinion.

I looked back at the last 10 students I taught (including these two today). My scores average to 7.8 for concepts, 8.5 for presentation, 9.5 for knowledge, 9.7 for responses to questions, 8.8 for recommending class, and 9.3 for overall rating. I had initially looked at them as bad scores. But looking at it as I type this up tells me these are not al that bad. But these do have me starting to think that I might need to look at what I am doing and make some changes. At the same time, you can’t please all of the people all of the time. And to do so leads to failure.

I guess the bottom line is that I teach classes the way I feel they should be taught. That does not always work with some people, and intellectually I understand that. Emotionally, that is a different matter especially when one has been on the roller coaster ride I have been.

One of the things that I claimed is that if the rating got too low, I would stop teaching. The rating of a seven is not low enough to do that. Oh well, I guess the key is to keep plugging away. Yes, it would not hurt to look at how I am working, and make changes if necessary. That is called growing.