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A Master's Path


She thought it was a calling. Her family thought she joined a cult. She thought she found her life's work. They thought she had lost her mind. Finally she cashed in her existing life, sold her business, left her home, family and friends, and gave up everything she had to follow a dream that would take her around the world "teaching people one at a time how to heal themselves and each other."

A Master's Path is the true story of Penelope Jewell, one of the first Teaching Masters on the East Coast of a Japanese Healing art called Reiki. A Master's Path chronicles Jewell's three-year apprenticeship and fifteen years of teaching this ancient healing art in homes. clinics, hospitals and hospices - across the United States, through Europe to the rooftops of leper communities in Bali and Nepal. Come along as her world-view shatters and she learns that Mastery is a journey in itself, an ever-evolving path not a place, a way of life and being that anyone can have if they are willing.

From the Author

Society and family culture so often teaches us to confine ourselves to the safe route and the acknowledged pathways. But somewhere in the concerns of daily living, between the commute to work and the dinner dishes, there comes an aching knowledge that something vital is missing. I am Penelope Jewell. I found what was missing for me, and it changed everything in my world: everything I thought I knew, and everything I thought I would do with my life. At my first Reiki training, the thought occurred, "This is the most comforting thing I have ever felt in my life." And the next thought began the journey, "I couldn't do anything better with my life than to share this with other people - that you can feel such love and comfort with the touch of a hand."

With a life long interest in alternative and complementary healing modalities, I found that Reiki was the simplest, and most profound healing practice I had ever encountered. And it was practical: anyone could learn and practice this healing art for themselves or others. Reiki could not be done "wrong," and would catalyze the body's natural ability to heal itself and support any other healing process, such as medication or even surgery.

The book shows the changes in Jewell's life as she practices Reiki. Jewell's best friend has a massive stroke the day she finishes her first course, and Jewell begins a thrity-day treatment series in the local hospital. The friend recovers enough to be sent to a rehabilitation hospital instead of into long-term care. Jewell continues working with stroke patients, then cancer patients where she enters the world of invasive therapy: chemotherapy and surgery, and finally terminal care.

Feeling the call to teach, Jewell enters into another unfamiliar world: apprenticeship in an oral tradition. When Jewell discovers the financial cost of the training and realizes this is something she cannot manifest by herself, she re-enters a realm she set aside years before: communion with God. "I found I was way too fertile to remain Catholic under their terms…so I left the Church. In the church's eyes, God was now angry with me, so I had stopped my daily conversations, feeling God must not want to hear from me anymore."

The book follows the chronological changes in Jewell's life and world-view as she comprehends the true costs of following the Master's Path: "There were so many things I had not consciously considered -- all consequences in the "real" world of the decisions I had been making in the esoteric realms. The accounts were coming due." Difficult and life-changing decisions follow -- she resigns from her marriage, sells her business, gives up her long held dream of putting her sons through college and informs her children that she is giving them a very difficult gift by her own example: the freedom to follow their own path in life.

The book's structure is a spiritual journey told within a physical journey around the world: the practice and teaching of Reiki; meeting and studying with other Masters and teachers; comprehending the true oneness of all things from seemingly disparate points of view, including the Pythagorean Philosophy and the Native American Peace Pipe ceremony.

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