How we started
The Celebration of Reiki Conference organically emerged after two years of informal gatherings at Brenner Reiki Healing in Newton, Massachusetts.
Four years ago, Elise Brenner started inviting Reiki students and colleagues into her living room for ‘Practitioner Information-Sharing Gatherings’. Elise had been having the nagging sense that Reiki practitioners and professionals were hungry for a different kind of interaction beyond the joy of sharing Reiki sessions with one another at Reiki Shares.
Each gathering featured a topic where practitioners shared insights, experiences, and of course, snacks. Topics ranged from ‘how we deal with inner doubts about Reiki’ and ‘how we use the Reiki precepts,’ to ‘how Reiki has benefited us’ and ‘how Reiki has benefited our recipients.’
At one meeting, a participant said to Elise, “So many people interested in this kind of gathering. Why don’t you organize a Reiki Conference?”
Elise answered, “I am going to do that. Who is with me?” The seeds of the Celebration of Reiki Conference were planted and the gardeners (the Conference Planning Committee) were mobilized.
Reaching out to the Reiki community generated a buzz that then took on a life of its own. The project gathered momentum and the first Celebration of Reiki Conference was scheduled for April 20, 2013 in Watertown, MA. However, the 2013 Celebration of Reiki Conference was forced to reschedule to May 4 in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings and subsequent events in Watertown. The tragedy underscored for us the message of peace and healing we embody and offer the world through our Reiki practice.
On May 4, Elise Brenner welcomed the 2013 Celebration of Reiki Conference participants with these words:
“Kurt Vonnegut once said, ‘We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.’ A year and a half ago, building on the foundation of reiki practitioner gatherings in my living room, I decided to take the leap to create this Celebration of Reiki Conference. But I did not have to develop wings on the way down. My wings came in the form of all of your support and encouragement, and the dedication, devotion, and drive of my Conference Planning Committee. Not only are all of you my wings, you have also been my teachers. You have taught me the deep value of connection and of the sacred collaboration in which we have all engaged to be here at this moment.”