Sunday, November 10, 2013

Learning Reiki in Beit Jala

It was bad enough that I was taking Reiki. It was even worse that it was in a Palestinian neighborhood, although legally allowable for Israelis to enter. I had wanted to take this course for quite some time. I sometimes "lay hands" on my kids and they either feel heat, or electric shocks or some other vibration, but it does zap my energy. My friend, a Reiki Master, told me that without Reiki training, I lose my energy, but the attunements will let me give treatments to whoever needs it without losing any of my own energy . That did sound tempting as my 8 month old granddaughter is chronically congested, and 2 pregnant and very uncomfortable daughters - and wouldn't it be amazing if I could treat them all with the energy of the universe!

My family, especially Hubby, wouldn't let up that entire week before though. My hubby was muttering to everyone the entire time at Friday night dinner that Beit Jala was where the second intifada started. My daughter, who was staying over for the weekend, said to me as I was leaving the next morning, "Why are you going there? You know they hate us." I sighed. I had been going to dialogue groups for 11 years now and nothing....absolutely nothing had rubbed off on any of my kids. I had even taken them when they were younger to some enjoyable events, like parties, weekends and joint Tu-B'shvat tree planting. They enjoyed it at the moment, but then whatever it is that takes over their minds, took over and I was just left sighing at her statement.

I decided to nix the plan of hitchhiking on Saturday morning to Jerusalem, as buses don't run on Saturday, and then take a bus that services Palestinians and that does run on Saturdays - to Beit Jala. But that apparently aggravated Hubby even more so I had to splurge on a taxi to take me directly there. No shortage of Arab drivers on the Sabbath. My driver happened to be a cousin of my friend Ibrahim who lived on the Mt. of Olives and was probably amused that I was traipsing off to Beit Jala. I told him he could turn up the lively Arabic music, which was barely audible when I got into the car. He told me it was Lebanese music he was getting from an Israeli station. I was happy to hear Israeli stations that play Lebanese music and wondered to myself whether Lebanese stations played Israeli artists at all - perhaps Zehava Ben or Sarit Hadad?

I got to the private home and quickly called Hubby so he should know I was safe. The Reiki instructor, much to Hubby's horror was taking away our cellphones for the duration of the 10 hour course, so he would be out of touch with me until the evening. The Facebook/Candy Crush addict in me pined a bit for my phone during the day, but it really was ok to be without it.

There were 6 students - 2 Jews - me and an English guy who now lives in Israel and 3 Palestinian women and 1 guy from Bethlehem, Hebron area and Ramallah. There was a nice immediate bond between us all and it was especially nice to meet someone from Ramallah since meeting is not so easy to come by.

The first stage of the course went by quite quickly. We brought food to share for lunch. I was amazed that I didn't freak out during my attunements and felt trippy as I saw - with eyes closed - energy in various colors, especially purple, during the attunements.

During the last bit, while practicing Reiki treatments on ourselves, and the two of us - a Palestinian young woman and myself - lying there on the beds chatting about life. And the water shortages. She told me she based renting this home on the fact that it had an underground water cistern. Because if it didn't there would be severe water shortages. Most villages do not get enough water - even big places with thousands of residents like this one. They could be 3 days without enough water to bathe and wash dishes. This was awful. I live 1/2 hour drive from her and never experienced anything like this. Once in a few years, when the building is fixing something, we go without water for 6 hours, but never for days on end. But she seemed resigned to this - it is a way of life and it's been a way of life for years.

So besides learning about Reiki, I had learned that something as simple as water, which I take for granted, is not taken for granted by my neighbors and wished that I could "heal" as well the inequal standard of living that not everyone knows about....

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