The Second Annual Gathering of Reiki Jin Kei Do UK 14th & 15th July 2012

The following article was published on the Reiki Jin Kei Do UK website in August 2012

The 2nd annual Gathering of Reiki Jin Kei Do UK took place over the weekend of the 14th/15th July in Chester-le-Street in northern England and what a great weekend it was too! It is hard to believe that a year has passed since a small group of practitioners and teachers got together in Rugby in Warwickshire and decided to establish a new national Reiki organisation. Hard to believe that we made it! But make it we did even if we had to drag ourselves the last few steps of the way.

Nine months on from the decision to create Reiki Jin Kei Do UK, we launched on the 9th March 2012. 9th March as it happens and totally coincidentally by the way, is the anniversary of the death of Mikao Usui; the founder of the Reiki system. It seemed very fitting that the fledgling Reiki organisation should come into being on that day in honour of Usui and with just enough time to spare to begin building our membership ahead of our second annual Gathering, which was at that point, only four months away.

Of course, the original members of Reiki Jin Kei Do UK were all on tenterhooks over how many people would ultimately attend the Gathering. Had we done enough to create an event that a paying membership would want to come along too? As it turned out, our numbers were significantly up on the previous year, and although still small in number, it was generally felt that a huge step forward had been made. Things were looking up!

Julie, our Gathering Coordinator had done a wonderful job of not only finding a great venue but also in arranging our now-traditional Saturday evening meal at a local restaurant – and what a great evening that was!  Suitable accommodation had been found for those traveling from afar, lifts arranged from stations and airports and Bev, our hard-working Membership Secretary spent the weekend busying herself with paperwork and forms and labels and agendas of one kind or another.  Of course, in the end, it was the whole Development Group of Reiki Jin Kei Do that made the Gathering the success that it was.

Our chairman, Gordon Bell gave a fascinating talk on Oriental Physiognomy and Tony Birdfield, our Treasurer guided us through some lovely Qi Gong sets that everyone enjoyed enormously. Plenty of Reiki treatments took place and there was also some time given over to meditation. Monica and I found some time to work up the new Members Forum and I annoyed everyone with the shutter-click of my camera while I made a photographic record of the event. New friends were made, old ones re-acquainted and year-old enthusiasms for getting on with the job of building Reiki Jin Kei Do UK were renewed.

It was lovely to see Sarah Varela in attendance as she was unable to come to the first Gathering. She talked about her first encounter with Ranga Premaratna; the lineage head of Reiki Jin Kei Do, as a part of a newspaper assignment she was working on during a visit to Australia and how that  ultimately lead to her organising his upcoming visit to the UK. She then read out a message to the Gathering from Ranga (which you can find at the end of this piece), which was followed a little later by the announcement that Ranga had confirmed his acceptance as an honorary member of Reiki Jin Kei Do UK.

­­Once more the weekend went far too quickly. Somehow it all seemed both relaxed and leisurely and fast-paced at the same time. So much seemed to take place but within a Reiki-bubble of calmness and meditative tranquillity. The Development Group expanded with new talent volunteering their skills to help drive the organisation forward in the coming months and of course the question arose: ‘So where should we hold next year’s Gathering?’ Wanting to continue, and establish further our tradition of moving the Gathering from one part of the country to another each year, Ian Pordon volunteered his services in taking over the Development Group position from Julie of Gathering Coordinator and to take the Gathering 2013 to Birmingham in the heart of the Midlands.

It was truly wonderful to see so many Reiki Jin Kei Do people coming together once more in the UK and we are fully expecting a much greater number at next year’s Birmingham Gathering. If you live in the UK, have trained in Reiki Jin Kei Do and would like to connect with others in the lineage, then why not join us?

A Message of Greeting from the Lineage Head, Ranga Premaratna to the 2012 Gathering of Reiki Jin Kei Do UK:

Dearest Reiki friends

When I heard that Reiki Jin Kei Do UK was holding its second annual conference this weekend, I wanted to send a message of support and good wishes. I hope that you enjoy coming together to share the special gift of Jin Kei Do and that spending time in the vibration of our lineage will lift your spirits and fill your hearts with love.

As I make the preparations for my visit to the UK in January 2013, I’ve been thinking about England quite a lot recently. I have so many wonderful memories of my last trip to the UK in 1992 – can it really be 20 years ago? I’m really looking forward to returning to your beautiful country. And most of all, I’m looking forward to meeting so many Reiki Jin Kei Do friends – old and new. Some of you may be wondering why I’m going to leave behind a scorching Sydney summer to come to England in winter. My business and family schedule has dictated the timings of this trip, but also I like the idea of coming at the start of a new year. A new year symbolizes a new beginning and that’s what I hope will be set in motion in a few months’ time – a new beginning, a new era where the Reiki Jin Kei Do family from all corners of the globe will feel connected, a togetherness and a strong communality.

My thoughts are with you in spirit this weekend. I very much look forward to meeting you in person next year.

Blessings,

Ranga

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About Steve Gooch

Steve Gooch was born in March 1962 in Rugby, Warwickshire in England and grew up there with his two brothers and sister. He moved to Corsham in Wiltshire and attended Bath Academy of Art, where he studied sculpture and printmaking, before going on to work on projects for the artists Joe Tilson and Nick Pope. He also helped with the publication of a limited edition folio of Paul Eluard’s poetry. Steve moved to London to study for a postgraduate teaching certificate and then worked as a teacher of art in the UK. He gained his MA in Education with the Open University and also studied the discipline of Reiki with his Reiki teachers in Newcastle upon Tyne. His daughter Marianne was born in 1994. For a period of time, Steve devoted himself to teaching Reiki in his hometown of Rugby, before moving to Egypt, where he resumed his career as an art teacher, becoming the Head of Art in a prestigious British International School in Cairo. He continued to teach Reiki, introducing the discipline for the first time to Egypt. He also wrote extensively on the subject for various Egyptian English-language magazines. Returning to the UK, Steve’s son Sam was born in 2004. Not wanting to go back into the teaching profession, Steve took a job as a chef in a vegetarian restaurant and wrote his first book ‘Reiki Jin Kei Do: The Way of Compassion & Wisdom’. It was the world’s first book on that particular tradition of Reiki and is still considered to be the standard reference work on the subject. Steve them moved to Sudan, where he was again Head of Art at the prestigious Unity High School, and built an online living history for the school, called 'The Unity High School Archive'. It was in the process of building this archive that Steve uncovered a major scandal involving senior members of the Anglican Church, local dignitaries, and members of the faith communities. As a consequence, he got to know the head of the Secret Police in Khartoum quite well and then promptly left the country. Steve moved back to Egypt and took up a post as Head of Art in a school in Alexandria. Very much involved in the Reiki community in the UK, however, he founded the national organisation ‘Reiki Jin Kei Do UK’ and became the editor of ‘Focus: The Journal of Reiki Jin Kei Do UK’, and then set up the global ‘Reiki Jin Kei Do International’. He also set up the global video-arts project '12seconds for Peace'. The concept grabbed the attention of a number of big names in the peace movement, including Nobel Peace Prize nominees, and threatened to go viral. Circumstances (revolutions and social unrest) put it on the back-burner. Likewise, a major peace initiative called the 'Global Concert for Peace', scheduled for the summer of 2013, which would have been the world's biggest musical event, also went on the back-burner. Steve moved to Saudi Arabia for a little over a year in 2014, before returning to Egypt to take up a senior management position in another British International School in Cairo. Finally, after a year of professional purgatory in which he realised that there is no such thing as a good British International School in Egypt, he decided ‘enough is enough’ and quit the teaching profession for good to focus on his writing, art and Reiki classes. He is currently living in Cairo and writing ‘The Temple of the Djinn’, which is loosely based on the events that he uncovered during his time in Sudan. He is also teaching Reiki and working freelance for a variety of Egyptian magazines. He misses the UK and is looking forward to spending more time in his home country with his children. He'd also like to find time to paint and make sculpture.
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