Sound Reiki: Reiki at Standing Rock

Knowing Reiki would support his chosen work in myriad ways, Jonathan Hanneman completed Reiki Master Training prior to entering seminary. At Standing Rock, his Reiki skills provided an opportunity to be of service and a means of giving comfort in a traumatic situation.

Jonathan’s story:

Thanksgiving was less than a week away, and I was tucked into the back of a cramped minivan, riding to Standing Rock with six of my fellow students from the Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas. We arrived at the low, grassy hills of Cannon Ball, North Dakota, well after dark, the icy wind creeping through our clothes. Fr. John Floberg had invited our group to stay in the warmth of St. James Episcopal Church.

After joining their service Sunday morning, we drove the 10 miles north to the Water Protectors’ camp to explore opportunities to assist and to attend a required session on nonviolent activism. The camp was markedly peaceful, with people of every color, spirituality, and nationality working together to care for one another and protect the Sioux’s main water supply.

As soon as we arrived back at the church that evening, I fell fast asleep, still exhausted from our overnight drive. Around 10:00 p.m. I woke up to discover a note saying my classmates had returned to the camp. An incident was developing near the police barricade at the highway bridge about a half mile north of the main encampment. The police, wearing military armor and standing in a line behind at least two rolls of razor wire, had fired on the Water Protectors with gas canisters, rubber and beanbag bullets, concussion grenades, and fire hoses—in 20° weather. Each of my friends breathed the burning chemicals. Several endured the barrage of icy water while trying to help other people on the bridge. One, a nurse, ended up with a large chemical burn on her leg. Though my classmates were at the scene for only two hours, the assault continued for a full ten.

Tension was still high the next morning, but at least the violence had ceased by the time we returned to the site. We prayed near the bridge for several hours before the tribal elders told everyone to return to the camp.

Wellness Tent

Wellness Tent at Standing Rock

My friends had shown their bravery—and had the burns and bruises to prove it. But I had missed the previous night’s events. We were heading back to Austin the next morning. As we walked back to the camp, I wondered if there was anything, I could still do at this point, apart from being a witness to the aftermath and continuing threats.
Wandering through camp I suddenly stumbled upon a cluster of wellness tents, a small group of shelters where Water Protectors could see trained medics and holistic practitioners. Now I knew what to do!

I walked into a large yurt and offered my skills in Reiki. Working alongside a variety of alternative medicine and energy practitioners all afternoon, I served people who had experienced the trauma of the previous night. Since tables were at a premium, I treated recipients either in chairs or on floor mats. Hours flew by. Reiki blends with meditation for me, so despite the odd angles and a good bit of work while kneeling, I left more refreshed that evening than when I had arrived.

As Reiki practitioners, we are often deeply affected by suffering in our world. Few of us can actually travel to the site of a conflict or natural disaster, as Jonathan did; however, we always have the option of sending Reiki distantly. Watch for a future post on how this can be done effectively, no matter the circumstance.

©2017 Marianne Streich, Reiki for Living, All Rights Reserved. For re-posting permission, contact Marianne.


Marianne is a Puget Sound-based Reiki teacher and practitioner located in Lynnwood, Washington. She is the author of Reiki, A Guide for the Practice of Levels I and II and a former editor, contributor, and columnist for Reiki News Magazine (2004-2010).


Sound Reiki: A Practice for the Whole Family

For Reiki Master Karin Cross, family Reiki grows as her family grows. Her son Thomas was one when Karin received her Levels I & II Reiki training and began giving him Reiki as she cuddled him or sometimes beamed Reiki to him in his crib. This became a daily practice as she realized how quickly Reiki soothed Thomas when he was sick, hurt, or upset. By the time he was three, he was asking for “Reiki hands” and would place her hands on his body wherever Reiki was needed.

Karin shares her family’s story:

Thomas was six when I completed my Master training in 2013. “Will you teach me?” he asked, ecstatic with the realization his mother could now teach Reiki. How perfect to have my son as my first student!

The teacher in me loved planning fun and colorful lessons, intending the lessons be as appealing as reading a good children’s book. Short sessions over a period of several weeks each included an introduction to an exercise, 10-15 minutes of practice, and then sharing, which might continue for 30 minutes as Thomas expressed his amazement at what he had experienced. He asked questions and couldn’t wait to learn more. He learned to feel energy and to see energy. He learned his lineage, the Gokai (The Five Precepts), how the chakras function, how to meditate, and how to give himself Reiki.  I have found that children learn these arts much more quickly than adults. They are not so caught up in the material world, and they don’t second-guess their experiences as we adults often do.

Tommy and Karin

Reiki Master Karin Cross and son Tommy

Thomas is 10 now; his sisters Adamae and Aquila are six and one. Thomas practices Reiki with me regularly and often participates in treatments I give other family members. His treatments are effortless and pure, and the positive feedback he receives builds his confidence. Adamae is ready to become a practitioner, and Aquila happily embraces Reiki. We practice Reiki during a weekly family meditation, and before we step out of the house each day, we recite the Gokai to center ourselves and establish our intentions for entering the outside world. This also releases any stress that may have accumulated from trying to get out of the house on time. We take turns leading, and my children greet this practice willingly.

I don’t force, plead with or bribe my kids to participate in Reiki. I simply invite them to join me and make myself available to assist them with their own explorations. Although Thomas doesn’t always want Reiki when he is hurting and sometimes declines my offer, I believe I have passed on to my children a powerful tool that will support them as they move through adolescence and into adulthood, and throughout their entire lives.

Please leave a comment. You are also welcome to contact Karin directly through email:

Schedule a hands-on or distant Reiki session.

©2017 Marianne Streich, Reiki for Living, All Rights Reserved. For re-posting permission, contact Marianne.


Marianne is a Puget Sound-based Reiki teacher and practitioner located in Lynnwood, Washington. She is the author of Reiki, A Guide for the Practice of Levels I and II and a former editor, contributor, and columnist for Reiki News Magazine (2004-2010).

Sound Reiki: My Personal Definition of Reiki


Reiki is Divine Love directed through the intention of the practitioner for the purpose of healing.

To explain:

Divine Love — unconditional love; love without agenda, expectation, or demand (the Higher Power, God, Universal Energy, Universal Law, Spirit—whatever you consider to be the force that encompasses all of creation)


A force that encompasses all

Directed — the energy is directed when you place your hands on yourself, on another person or living being, or when you initiate the protocol for sending Reiki distantly

Intention — the intention of the practitioner to be an instrument of healing grace by allowing Reiki to flow and by being as open a channel as possible, placing ego, attachment to outcome, and judgment aside

Healing — the healing that takes place is determined by the recipient and Divine Love, not by the practitioner

Healing always takes place in some form. It may be dramatic or subtle. It may show up as complete relief from pain, or it may happen that neither the recipient nor the practitioner is aware of anything having taken place beyond a deep sense of relaxation. Because it is directed by the HIgher Power, whatever the outcome, it is the healing the recipient needs at that time.

Marianne is a Puget Sound-based Reiki teacher and practitioner. She is a former editor, contributor, and columnist for Reiki News Magazine (2004-2010) and the author of Reiki, A Guide for the Practice of Levels I and II, which other Reiki teachers have called “one of the best Reiki books out there.” See her current class schedule. To make an appointment for a distant or hands-on Reiki session, click here.


© 2009-2013 Marianne Streich, Reiki for Living, all rights reserved. For re-posting permission, please contact Marianne.