Contact the President



This is the text of the welcome speech delivered by Barbados Reiki Association President, Kathleen Hurley, for the 2009 Reiki Gathering in Barbados:

Ms Michelle Hustler, Project Officer, Trade in Services, Barbados Coalition of Service Industries

Featured Speaker, Dr Winthrop Wiltshire, Specially Invited Guests, Gathering Participants, Ladies and Gentlemen

On behalf of the Barbados Reiki Association it is my pleasure to welcome each and every one of you to this, the Opening Ceremony of the very first Reiki Gathering ever to be held in Barbados and indeed, I believe, in the Caribbean.

You know that the modern trend is to check everything out on the internet, so when I knew I had to give this talk, I thought ‘Let me look up welcome speeches on the web and see what I find – see if I can learn something new about welcomes’. And what I learned is that a welcome speech should be between three and five minutes long. Well, that suited me (and I’m sure it suits you too)! And while I cannot guarantee you just three minutes, I can promise that my talk will be relatively short.

We at the Barbados Reiki Association are particularly pleased to be hosting this Gathering because it represents a dream that has taken many years to come to fruition. but you will hear more about that later in the programme. This idea started when a few of us, way back in 1995, attended the North-East Reiki Gathering held in the Catskill mountains in upstate New York. That experience was so enriching that we all felt that one day a similar event must be held in Barbados. For many years it remained a dream, a thought, and finally in 2007 we began to make plans. Eventually we started to see what it would look like and what was needed to make that happen.

The journey from then to today, though extremely rewarding, has not been without its challenges, but with the help of the Reiki energy and support from many people, some of them not even Reiki initiates, we have been able to overcome those challenges and still keep our sanity – and remain friends. And so here we are today – the dream is about to become a reality.

We are honoured to have here today a representative from the Barbados Coalition of Service Industries (BCSI) – Ms Michelle Hustler. The BCSI has been working with our Association and has given its full support to helping us develop into a recognised organisation with a set of internationally-recognised standards. We very much appreciate that you have been able to make time in your busy schedule to be with us on this occasion. We welcome you and thank you for coming.

Next I would like to acknowledge our overseas participants – from the Caribbean region and even further afield. In particular I would like to welcome Dr. Winthrop Wiltshire from Trinidad and Tobago and Rev. Lynn Armor from Vancouver, Canada. Both Dr. Wiltshire and Rev. Armor have played major roles, together with our own Verity Dawson, in the introduction of Reiki to Barbados and Rev. Armor has been the initiating Reiki Master of many of our participants.

And our invited guests, some of whom have had to reschedule their activities and many, if not all, of whom have had to battle the after work traffic in order to join us – we are happy that you have thought the occasion sufficiently important for you to want to make the effort to be here and to share this special time with us.

Let me not leave out the participants – just under 50 people who have been wise (smart) enough to choose to be here for this weekend of relaxation and renewal and, I hope, enjoyment. Without you this event could not take place. We are happy that you have made the decision to attend.

Let me now share with you a little information about the Barbados Reiki Association.

The Barbados Reiki Association is an umbrella body for all the different lineages of Reiki represented in the island. We have two main aims: one is to be a support group for Reiki initiates and practitioners and the second is to spread the message of Reiki as widely as possible.

The Association meets on the first Thursday of every month to conduct its business and to share healing sessions with its members. Apart from these meetings, there are two main events in our annual calendar: the first is an Open Day which takes place on the last Sunday in June to which the general public is invited and in which we include practitioners of many other complementary modalities. The second event is a one-day Retreat for Reiki initiates only. During this time we take a look at ourselves and our relationship with this energy that we call Reiki, each time from some different perspective, The Retreat usually takes place on the last Sunday in October. However, this year, we decided to extend ourselves a bit and hold this four-day Reiki Gathering in place of the Retreat.

As an additional event one year we hosted a public Panel Discussion on Reiki featuring representatives of the medical profession and the church on the panel.

Apart from the activities I’ve mentioned, as an Association we also participate in public events such as BMEX, the Nation Healthy Lifestyles Fair, the United States Embassy fair, the recent Body Mind Spirit Expo and other such events, while individual members give Reiki treatments at other Health Fairs and the Spa Days or Appreciation Days offered by different private companies and Government Departments to their members of staff. So we do take every opportunity that is offered to spread the word that Reiki can help with healing.

About the Gathering itself: here are some of the highlights. Greeting the morning – early morning sessions of yoga, tai chi or meditation are being offered to help participants to start the day free of stress; there will also be daily group healing sessions and daily feature addresses on some aspect of “Unity”, which is the theme that has been chosen for the Gathering.

On Saturday the group will be taking an afternoon excursion into the world of dowsing. The setting is at Farley Hill where we can test our skills at sensing energy and have a blissful meditation on one of the most powerful energy points in Barbados. Barbados is blessed with many of these vortices where an accumulation of earth energy lines, known as ley lines, meet.

There will also be a cultural evening and this should be very enjoyable. We hope that many of our participants will volunteer to showcase their talents on that occasion.

We chose “Unity” as the theme for our Gathering because it represents an aim that we in the Barbados Reiki Association hold dear to our hearts and that is to see stronger ties develop between all people who practise Reiki. Our hope is that by the end of the Gathering, if not before, we will all experience a profound sense of togetherness, regardless of our Reiki lineage or country of origin or any of the other issues which tend to keep us apart – a sense of unity that will remain with us all for years to come.

I hope that you will all enjoy this short ceremony. For those of us who are staying on for the weekend I look forward to a time of great renewal, to a further commitment on the part of each of us to this Reiki path that we have chosen, to a determination to strengthen the bonds that we will make here this weekend and to a fuller understanding of the concept of “Unity” as it relates to our relationships with each other and the Source.

Once again, a warm welcome to everyone—and let the energy flow.

Thank you

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