Transcript Interview Episode with Bronwen Logan

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[00:00:00] Laurin: Welcome to the Curiously Wise podcast. I'm your host Laurin Wittig. This podcast is all about honoring, sharing and celebrating the natural and experiential wisdom of my guests, through curiosity provoking conversations, shared stories and tips we've all gathered along this journey. And from time to time, I'll be sharing my own stories and my own wisdom in solo episodes.

Oh, and we'll be laughing. A lot. I invite you to join in the fun as we uncover the unique wisdom we each carry within us. Ready? Let's get curious.

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Hello, friends and welcome to Curiously Wise. I'm Laurin Wittig your host. And I have a wonderful guest here with me today. Bronwen Logan. I'm gonna just give you a little bit of an introduction to her, and then we're gonna dive into conversation.

So Bronwen is a Reiki author, a senior Reiki teacher, and co-founder of the International House of Reiki and Shibumi International Reiki Association. She's based near Sydney, Australia near the blue mountains, and Bronwen teaches internationally. Due to her research into the Japanese aspects of the system of Reiki since the early two thousands along with her writings and teachings, Bronwen has been a major influence on how the system is taught and practiced globally today.

Her down to earth manner and natural curiosity ensure that her teachings are also experientially based. Bronwen has co-authored with Frans Stiene, the critically acclaimed books, the Reiki Source Book, The Japanese Art of Reiki, A to Z of Reiki pocketbook, Reiki Techniques Card Deck, and Your Reiki Treatment, as well as recording their audio books. Bronwen has also recorded the double CD Reiki Meditations for Self-Healing and Reiki Relaxation with Sounds True in Boulder, Colorado.

And I had fun visiting Bronwen's website and listening to her voice actor clips, and she's got a beautiful voice. So I'm also looking forward to that.

So welcome Bronwen. So let's start with what is Reiki? How do you explain Reiki?

I have been trained in Reiki, so I use it, but I'm not good at explaining it to people. So if you would do that, cuz you are an expert

[00:02:27]Bronwen: Well, there's different ways of seeing it. And it also depends who you're talking to, who you're trying to describe it to, I guess. The actual word Reiki it can be translated in different ways cuz it's a Japanese word. The actual word Reiki can be translated as spiritual energy if you like.

I mean, over the years, it's had lots of different incarnations, I guess, of popularity, but that's one of them. It used to be called more in the west universal life force energy. I mean, really what they're talking about, is really we see it as I guess the energy of everything.

It is sort of like this big energy that we are all a part of. And it's something that we are born with. So it is a birthright, it's something totally natural. And so that's what Reiki is, but the system of Reiki is something else. So the system of Reiki is actually a system that we worked with, where we work with Reiki.

So we work with spiritual energy and the idea is to generate more of this energy so that we in doing so in the practices that we learn, we start to clear the energy in the body and really get back into a state of wholeness and you know, the word heal means to be whole.

Those two things go hand in hand. We are trying to get back into balance if you like. And as you know, we are always every day, going through different things that different things hit us. And sometimes we can fall over and say, oh my goodness. The more that we work on ourselves, the more that we practice. The idea is that we have more resilience, more inner strength to actually cope with life and everything that it hands us, and really have a very balanced harmonious experience with life's experiences, things that we go through.

[00:04:14] Laurin: Yeah. Yeah. That balance is something that I really love about Reiki is that it's really all about bringing balance back to the energy, as far as I've learned it so far.

[00:04:24] Bronwen: Yeah, and it's, it's so natural, you know. The thing about the system of Reiki is that it's trying to tap into something which is entirely natural for us. And that is to be in this beautiful, just whole complete state. That's sort of where we're at, what we're doing.

[00:04:41] Laurin: I read a little bit of your more extended bio on your website, and you had gone to India at one point.

[00:04:46] Bronwen: Yeah.

[00:04:47] Laurin: Is that where you encountered Reiki or?

[00:04:50] Bronwen: Sort of, and sort of not. I mean, I already knew about it. I'm from Australia obviously. And I had heard about it in Australia. And had tried to actually connect with it when I was really young in my early twenties. But it was in, in the early days in the west that the system of Reiki was here.

And so it was a little confusing for people. I think I, I don't really know what I encountered, but it wasn't really what I know as the system of Reiki today. So anyway, I went to Holland, I lived in Holland for seven years and a friend of mine came over and visited me and she'd studied in that time.

She'd studied the system of Reiki. That was lovely, you know. She was sort of like, oh, can I do some Reiki on your feet? And, and I was like, okay. It was an enjoyable experience. And I was very interested. I was interested in meditation and things like that at that point. And really couldn't find a direction to take.

And it wasn't until I left there, went to India for two years that I came across books actually about the system of Reiki. And I was like, oh, very interesting. And then, and the first sort of teacher that I came across studied with then.

[00:05:57] Laurin: okay.

[00:05:58] Bronwen: That was in Nepal,

[00:05:58] Laurin: Wow. You've been all over wow. That's the energy of that place has got to be amazing. Yeah. Yeah. There's a lot of myths about working with energy. I get a lot of eye rolling when I tell people that I'm an intuitive energy healer or that I do Reiki they kind of go, oh yeah, hippy dippy, you know?

[00:06:16] Bronwen: You know, in that little bio at the beginning, it said, what was the word down to earth? I, I am quite down to earth. So for me, when I first, I mean, like I said, I was always interested in meditation and I mean, if you look at the scientific research into meditation, it is phenomenal, right?

And, it's helping us to control our thoughts. It's helping us to be able to reign in what's going on up here, but then that's just the beginning. Because if we feel like we have a little more control over what's going on, we certainly do feel more balanced.

Yeah. But then there's even more to that, it's that thing of learning to let go and, really be in the flow of your life rather than always butting up against obstacles and doing things that aren't gonna work. And really sensing, knowing, you talk about intuition, you know, knowing what is the right thing for you to do.

And when, and, and that is really being in that, that flow of life. And for me, that's something that we can actually work at and we can do practices, to help us be more aware of that in our lives. So for me, that really is what the system of Reiki is helping me with.

And I find that in the very beginning, when people learn the thing of letting go is almost contra to what they think they're meant to be doing. Right. But if you can learn to sort of let go of so much stuff that we, whether it be expectations or, judgements.

Letting go of things is really what is going to allow us to strip back a lot of the veneer that we have added on in our lives and that we can really show our beautiful selves and, that beautiful, bright light that we are. For me, that's very important. Trying to get back to that can be really difficult.

And I think that in the beginning, when I first started, that was very interesting to me, but I did get taught all this stuff that didn't make sense to me. And I was really interested in trying to find out why, why do we do that? Why are we doing that? What's that from? Where's this from? And it was it was in the late nineties.

And since the system of Reiki had sort of become, I think from the, well, the eighties and nineties, it had sort of started growing in the west. But it didn't really have any infrastructure. And, the woman who had brought it across in the late 1930s from Japan to Hawaii, she had died in 1980.

And so when she died, I think a lot of that sort of she sort of had some control over what was happening. And after that in the west, it just sort of it exploded, but it exploded in all sorts of weird and wonderful ways. And, and yeah, and in that, when that happened, then it was very difficult for people to understand they had no one to go to, to say, oh, what is this?

Why is this like this? So for me, it was interesting to them. So let's skip that, go back to Japan and see actually what happened in Japan. Who's teaching? Was anyone teaching what might the founder of the system have taught? What actually was the idea behind this originally? And, really trying to trace things back to that. And that's been the subject of any of the books that I have written has really been about that. And, trying to just find a really grounded sense of understanding of, what the system of a Reiki, you know, really is.

And for me, it is quite a simple practice and I think that's difficult for people sometimes too, because they want it to be really complicated.

[00:09:50] Laurin: Right, right. Yeah, it's one of my favorite things about it. I've begun to really integrate it into any healing session that I do. Cuz I have lots of different ways that I work, but I love it as a starting place because it does sort of just calm things out, and does a lot of the balancing already.

So it makes it easier to, release other things as we work together. I'm coming to really love it, cuz it's very powerful, gentle and simple, which is I think the best things in life are powerful, gentle, and simple. So…

[00:10:25] Bronwen: That's it, you know, we make such a fuss about things sometimes, don't we? We love stories. We love drama. And but that's all that veneer that I was talking about. It's sort of like feeding the little me, but not the big me.

[00:10:39] Laurin: Right. Right. It's getting below the stories, it's getting beneath the fears, the belief systems, all of those things that we create as we become adult people.

[00:10:50] Bronwen: That's a really good point, cuz as you do know, we have in the system of Reiki we have precepts and the way that I see it is that they are the thing that we are trying to do. They're actually the most important part of the whole system of Reiki and they are incredibly simple, right?

So for today only do not anger, do not worry, be grateful, be honest in your work and be compassionate to yourself and others. That's it. And it's like these simple little things, but they're so difficult to do. So what we are doing when we are practicing is actually the aim of our practice. The intention is to be the precepts.

[00:11:29] Laurin: Mm-hmm

[00:11:29] Bronwen: If we can be those precepts, then we have that beautiful state of balance, and calm and healing wholeness.

[00:11:38] Laurin: I also love, and this is not true only of Reiki, but whenever I work with clients and I'm working with energy, I get as much healing as they do.

[00:11:47] Bronwen: Hundred percent.

[00:11:48] Laurin: I love that aspect too, because there's always something that needs a little, a little work, you know,

[00:11:55] Bronwen: Yeah, absolutely everything that we are doing, you know? And I love to write. I was just I just got a comment from someone the other day and I've heard it before and, it's a real compliment. But it's when, someone was reading The Japanese Art of Reiki and they said, just reading it, I felt like I was going through a healing.

At that time, like I could feel things shifting and moving. And so, when I write, this is like all the things that we do in our lives. But for me, like when I write, I can really go into that space into that really calm, balanced whole space and allow that to flow and really that's what we want in everything that we do.

[00:12:35] Laurin: Yeah, if we could find that flow state all the time, I'm a novelist. So I have,

[00:12:41] Bronwen: Ah,

[00:12:42] Laurin: I love love when I hit that flow state when I'm writing and it just pours out of me. It's always better than what I struggle with. If I'm struggling to get the right word, it's no, it's much better when I just work with the flow.

[00:12:56] Bronwen: Yeah. So beautiful. And I do love that it can be felt at the other end of that. You know? I think that's really so special too.

[00:13:02] Laurin: Yeah. And, it's another one of those things I love about working with energy when you're writing with that intention of being according to the precepts, that energy flows into your words, your words flow into whoever picks them up, even just holding a book sometimes can infuse you.

And if you're reading it, it's as close as we get to telepathy, to mind-to-mind connection. I believe you can feel the energy of the author in their words. Cuz I've experienced that a lot. So it doesn't surprise me that your books create healing and…

[00:13:35] Bronwen: Yeah. So beautiful.

[00:13:36] Laurin: Yeah, that's beautiful. One of the things that you suggested as something we could talk about is the urban myths about Reiki.

[00:13:43] Bronwen: I mean, they still exist today. And I know when I began, there was a lot of them. Right. That was one of the main reasons that I was like, I need to have a deeper truth to this. And I did feel that if I had a really clear understanding of what the system of Reiki was then I would find that truth.

Yeah. Someone could say something like, oh, you can't wear red and do and practice the system at Reiki. And, I could use my common sense. I actually, I did say common sense is like the sixth Reiki precept, you know, so I could use my common sense to look at the Reiki precepts as well.

Go into that and think, does that make sense? One of the things that sits behind do not anger, do not worry. The thing that sits behind that is fear. And you mentioned fear before. Fear is a difficult one for all of us because we have fears. We are working with our fears, but we need to be aware of them and, bring consciousness to that.

And I think a lot of these rules or urban myths, they are based in fear.

[00:14:52] Laurin: Mm-hmm.

[00:14:52] Bronwen: For whatever reason, maybe it's I don't know. I mean, it could be a fear of, for example, a teacher might teach something like that because they're fearful that what they're teaching is too simple and that people might think that not, you know.

[00:15:08] Laurin: Not gonna get your money’s worth. I hadn't thought about that one, but yeah.

[00:15:13] Bronwen: You know, there's lots of reasons why we make stuff up, why we add more rules? Yeah. I mean, of course ritual is a different thing, right? So, that's another thing. There is a lot of ritual that I find that's been added into the system of Reiki for people which is fine, I think on an individual level, but, whether we need to pass that down.

It can also once again become quite complicated and confusing for people if too much ritual. If we need it for ourselves, that's fine. I mean, that's what rituals about it is a support it's to help us move into something, bring us to something

[00:15:47] Laurin: Mm-hmm

[00:15:48] Bronwen: But, the urban myths I mean, there's just so many of them. A lot of them don't exist, but a lot of them still do, like you can't wear jewelry. I had someone the other day and I thought, oh, they're still teaching that. You know? And you can see where that might come from because the thing is that if you're doing a Reiki treatment, for example on someone, so a Reiki treatment is like a noninvasive massage.

Non-intrusive we place hands on or above the body. And the intention is that the person's body takes whatever it is that they need at that time energetically. So if we're working in that way, something like jewelry really has nothing to do with it.

Except if I'm hanging some necklace in someone's face and it's distracting them, or, I mean, that makes sense. It's like something like that's been taken and then a larger story has been made of, you know. But yes, lots of people I think that there is this sort of desire to make things a little more complicated.

So really we need to ask ourselves, does that make sense? For example, you hear things like you can't do treatments on people who have pacemaker. Now, if I could change a light bulb from working or the power of a pacemaker, I'd be famous.

[00:16:55] Laurin: Yes.

[00:16:57] Bronwen: We'd all be famous.

[00:16:58] Laurin: Right, right, right.

[00:17:00] Bronwen: It's not possible, and also things like, oh, don't do it on someone. If they're pregnant, it's the most beautiful thing to do on someone who's pregnant. I was pregnant when, as a Reiki practitioner, you know, as a teacher and that facilitate to be able to feel that deeper sense of connection, you know, with your child when they're not already born and was just spectacular and wonderful and amazing.

Diabetes, you know, now if I could affect someone with diabetes once again. It's a misunderstanding. That's the way I see it.

[00:17:32] Laurin: Yeah.

[00:17:33] Bronwen: Because what it is is that it's not about me really. I mean, it is about me in the fact that the more that I work on myself, the more that I can be that beautiful, great, bright light. And if others are in that space with me, then they're gonna feel that. Yeah. So, they share in that space. I always say like a regular treatment is like sharing,

And so the more that I work on myself definitely, there is more to share because I'm not holding myself back with fears, but on the other hand, it's about that person and what they're open to. I do a little affirmation, intention and or intention thing before I do a treatment.

And I ask the client to repeat these words, I'm open to receive whatever it is that I may need at this exact moment in time.

[00:18:20] Laurin: mm-hmm

[00:18:20] Bronwen: So it's a really simple thing. It's like, whatever I need right now, I'm open to it. I'm not gonna judge. I'm not gonna say, oh, I need this. I have to do this.

[00:18:28] Laurin: Yeah,

[00:18:29] Bronwen: Let go.

[00:18:30] Laurin: yeah. Don't put limitations on it.

[00:18:32] Bronwen: No.

[00:18:33] Laurin: Yeah.

[00:18:34] Bronwen: you know, the energy is boundless. It's us that make it limited.

[00:18:38] Laurin: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:18:39] Bronwen: So just allow your body to do whatever it needs right now to find its way back into balance

[00:18:48] Laurin: And that's what I really love about Reiki as opposed to some of the more complex systems that I'm also learning is that you just intention that it go where it needs to go. And it does what it needs to do. It does what the person is ready for, essentially. Yeah. And

[00:19:06] Bronwen: Well, yeah. I mean, if someone doesn't really wanna Reiki treatment, then doing a treatment on someone like that would be pointless because they're not open to that, you know? So it's really, yes, totally about letting go, allowing whatever needs to happen. We work with the Japanese energetic system which is working with the horror, which is that sort of core point below the belly button inside the belly inside the body.

So that's sort of like our earthing, grounding point, if you like. And then we work with the heavens, which is the mind intuition, and then we bring them together at the center, which is heart or breath. This Japanese system of working with these three elements really works well for me. And I can really see it as creating a whole us.

So if we are talking about letting go. Then I see us as letting go and we can see it as the physical, so working with the earth, that physical sense, letting go, letting go of the mind and then just releasing. So if you like breath, I love talking about it as breath from here, because if we release that, when we are really calm and relaxed, the breath moves freely, flows beautifully and energy moves on the breath. So everything just flows beautifully and freely without hitches, you know, when we're upset and we're like, know, whatever it is, we do these crazy breathing bits and that that's not really healthy and it's not body.

We're not letting that breath and energy move freely through the body. So.

[00:20:44] Laurin: mm-hmm So one of the questions I get a lot is about doing Reiki from a distance,

[00:20:51] Bronwen: Oh, yeah.

[00:20:52] Laurin: Of course in the last couple of years has been pretty much the only way I've worked with anybody. But do you have any easy way to explain that to somebody who doesn't understand how that works?

[00:21:02] Bronwen: If someone's had a Reiki treatment before. Okay. So they come an in person one. Yeah. They come to you and they lie on a massage table and have a blanket over them, cozy, relaxed. I'll place my hands on the body or just off the body. So if we think about that, that we can work off the body as much as on the body.

And often people actually will feel more if off the body because they, well, not always, but it's just that we don't have the distraction of physical touch, if you like. So I can be this far off the body, or I could be that far off the body, or I could actually step back from the table and just be there with the body.

It's all the same intention, all the same practice. It doesn't make any difference. I could walk into the next room and if my intention is clear and my clients lying there open for the treatment, then we are still doing the same thing. I could leave. I could be outside.

I could be in another town. I could be across the world. I could be at the end of a phone line. I could be on zoom. I could be.

[00:22:09] Laurin: Mm-hmm mm-hmm

[00:22:11] Bronwen: It's the same thing. And it's just that we are just physically a little further. But the intention is the same, the energy, the flow of energy is the same.

[00:22:25] Laurin: Yeah. I actually really love working at a distance. Sometimes I feel like I'm more connected to the person.

[00:22:31] Bronwen: Yeah. Right.

[00:22:32] Laurin: Yeah. So it's just that's one of the things that I get questions about, so how does that work? It's like, well, it's energy. I said to you before we got started, I'm very intuitive. So I can't always explain things well to people who are left-brained, you know,

[00:22:48] Bronwen: All right.

[00:22:48] Laurin: That's a lovely sort of overview of what Reiki is and how it works. And I appreciate you explaining it cuz you're better at that than I am for sure. I think what we'll do now is we'll turn to the rapid fire questions and these are just for fun.

So whatever is the first thing that comes to mind is, the best answer. So you don't have to work too hard at it. So I just like to ask everybody this and I I'm collecting a lot of great memes, I think is what they'll turn out to be. But who is, or was the wisest person in your life?

[00:23:20] Bronwen: Are we limiting it to people?

[00:23:22] Laurin: No.

[00:23:23] Bronwen: I just always think that I learn so much from animals. When I was a kid, I had a dog called Humphrey and he was an Australian cattle dog. And I saw him being born as a little baby and he grew up with me and he was my friend, my confidant. We played together. We cried together.

And I think the effect that, that closeness had, I had a turbulent childhood and having that closeness and that stability, he taught me how to love unconditionally and yeah, I think he would be the one that I'd first go to as a big influence on me.

[00:24:05] Laurin: Lovely. Yeah. We got a new dog during the pandemic. Our old one died a few years ago and it's the first time either one of us has raised a puppy since we've been adults. We grew up with dogs. And so it's been a bit of an experience, but I've been kind of shocked at the bonding that I've had with this dog, which is different than the last one we had we got when she was six.

And so it's a lovely relationship. And I haven't experienced that since I was a kid. So it's been, I, I see where that's coming from exactly. What's your favorite self-care practice?

[00:24:37] Bronwen: I would say I have to revert to the system of Reiki here. Sorry guys. But I would say when I wake up in the morning and I just put my hands on myself and that first moment of connection love with myself is something that I can take into my day. And I feel really relaxed.

I feel like I've spent if only moments just acknowledging me and preparing myself just giving myself that space.

[00:25:10] Laurin: Nice. Nice. Okay. I'm gonna have to do that too. That's that's a good one.

[00:25:16] Bronwen: You don't even have to open your eyes. The first thing you do, just bring your hands to yourself and it's just like, it's self-love.

[00:25:21] Laurin: Yeah. Yeah. Beautiful. What lights you up when you're feeling down?

[00:25:27] Bronwen: I don't know, probably a lot of things I could say chocolate, but…

[00:25:33] Laurin: That's a good one.