Reiki for the Heart and Soul underscores the core principles of Reiki healing.  It is an advanced book and if you are inexperienced in Reiki, like I am, you might find this book somewhat daunting.  However, for the intermediate practitioner, or even the advanced practitioner, this book is for you. 

In the first chapter, Rowland gives us a glimpse of herself in the capacity of Reiki healer.  She talks briefly about how to access Reiki energy and how to trust in the energy.  The author encourages the reader to practice and notice the results.  She also goes into a brief discussion of the symbols, only one or two actually, and not in complete detail.  Rowland does not provide illustrations for the symbols. 

Chapter Two outlines the basic principles of Reiki by briefly discussing the basic concepts, such as going for one day without anger, for example.  Rowland uses stories and anecdotes as well as utilizes historical examples to strengthen her discussion of the core principles.  In the back of each chapter the reader can find exercises as well as a list of suggestions for practice.  These are quite helpful in accessing the energy and working with it.

Chapter Three focuses on the first principle: that of peace.  Here the author goes into greater depth by explaining this first precept: going just for today without anger.  Rowland explains how to listen to the flow of energy, how to focus the mind and become a channel for peace. She teaches the reader how to dissolve anger, how to reject anger both within ones self and others.  She follows up on these instructions by relating stories, offering exercises and providing guided meditation practices.

Chapter Four emphasizes the concept of serenity. Just for today, Rowland advises us not to worry. This chapter gives techniques on how to attain serenity in our daily lives by using Reiki energy, meditation practices and the use of prayer backed by Reiki energy.  Rowland suggests the use of both meditation and prayer to attain a state of calmness, for easing stressors, such as problems at home or work. She also gives instructions on how to do Hado breathing. This chapter provides a wide variety of techniques in how to use serenity for all of life’s issues, both large and small.

The fifth chapter discusses the precept of gratitude and how to use it in our daily lives.  Rowland advises us to be grateful, and to show appreciation for all our blessings, no matter how small or trivial they may seem.  The author explores how to apply Reiki and its teachings in order to access gratitude and use it effectively.  Rowland states that gratitude is the cornerstone of good Reiki practice.

Chapter Six:  this chapter explores how integrity is a vital precept in the core teachings of Reiki.  Rowland tells us that integrity is not simply the concept of adhering to a higher moral standard, but also includes the concepts of wholeness and personal well being.  “Practice of Reiki assists in healing past hurts both physical and mental and maintains good health throughout one’s life,” Rowland advises.

Chapter Seven encourages the practitioner to use kindness, to care and not only for others, but also for themselves. This kind of kindness involves compassion for the self, not to be mistaken for narcissism.  The author encourages practicing kindness, and considers it a revolutionary act, knowing that it will generate compassion in others that will also be passed onto others as well, right down to healing the earth itself.

Chapter Eight is a summary of the book, as a whole, includes stories, anecdotes, etc. And it reminds the reader to take these principles to heart, to incorporate them into one’s daily life.

Reiki for the Heart and Soul is a good intermediate practice text; useful to those who know something about Reiki and wants to deepen their practice, and a great review text for the advanced practitioner. For the beginner, however, I would recommend reading one of Rowland’s earlier works and taking a class or two in Reiki healing before reading this book. 

~Review by Patricia Snodgrass

Author: Amy Z. Rowland

Healing Arts Press, 2009

pp. 244