|The Reiki Lights Festival and TRA AGM|
|To cheer us in the dark mid winter period, nearly all religions and cultures celebrate warmth and light. Whether it's Yule, Christmas, Diwali, Hanukkah, St Lucy's day, the many Asian lantern festivals or other less known versions, it's great to come together to remember the light and joy in our life and how even the light of a simple candle or a Reiki hand can dispel darkness.|
|As part of expanding the Reiki events the Association holds, we created 'Reiki Lights', a one day festival in central Birmingham where we came together in the season of goodwill, enjoying the warmth, fun and light we share through Reiki.|
This was intended as a community-building day (incorporating the Annual General Meeting) where we got together to know one another better, learn what Council had been doing and planning, and take part in discussions where everyone could share experiences and ideas and really participate in the evolvement of The Reiki Association.
We hoped to make it a fun event, with interesting things happening, opportunities to share Reiki and browse a Reiki market for pressies.
In winter, with its shorter, darker days and fewer hours in which to hunt and gather or less to do in the fields, communities would come together to celebrate, share stories, give thanks for all they had received in the past year and plan for the next.
They would also carry out sacred rituals to ensure that the sun and its precious life-giving light, which seemed to be dying, would be reborn. Whilst we no longer fear the sun will disappear, many religions and cultures still have festivities around this time (e.g. Hannukkah, Diwali, Yule, Lucia Fest, Christmas), with candles, fires or coloured lights brightening the dark days and also reminding people of that other light which Reiki so often brings to our awareness.
This year we had our own Reiki Lights Festival on the 1st December in Birmingham. This was an extra opportunity to come together as a community, to meet new and old friends, share hugs, hands-on Reiki, festive food and drink, tell Reiki stories, buy presents from one another at a market, have fun, and above all remind ourselves what Reiki itself and being part of the Reiki Association brings to our lives plus explore our next stage as a group.
The AGM was an integral part of this. If this sounds less than appealing, let me reassure you. The Annual General Meeting might be a legal necessity, but in a membership organisation like ours it can be a lot more.
It is the occasion each year when members can meet with our elected Council and other key volunteers to hear what they have been doing and are planning, raise questions, put forward suggestions for changes, share new ideas, participate in discussions which will shape how TRA develops in the future and, if they wish, discover how they can be more fully involved in community activities.
For me, incorporating the AGM into the Annual Gathering as we have done in the past was not conducive to this kind of lively exchange of views, including an honest exploration of differences and sharing of members varied knowledge, skills and Reiki experience. For a start, attending a weekend Gathering at Buckland Hall was not an option for many members and was too far to travel there just for the Saturday afternoon AGM.
For those who were there, coming to the meeting meant a change of focus and mood and for some at least a clash between what was seen as boring duty versus the chance to relax and enjoy the pleasures offered by Buckland Hall and its surrounding countryside.
The result was that the Council and many attendees aimed to get through it as quickly as possible and there was little of the open discussion we need if we are to develop into a truly participative cooperative community helping one another to go deeper with Reiki and working together on more joint projects, which is my vision of TRA.