learning reiki with julie heskins cairns

Deepening Your Practice: taking the step to Reiki 2

Why is taking the next step to Reiki 2 (or even Reiki 3) so important? The simple answer is, our journey to self awareness and rediscovering our true self never ends.

It is the most important thing we will ever do. ❤️

Beginning the Reiki journey

In Reiki 1 Shoden you learned the foundational practices to start connecting deeply within.  

Over the initial weekend most students experience deep peace, connection and an inner knowing that there is so much potential within each of us.  We don’t have to reach for the stars.  We are already there!  We’ve just forgotten. By working with the principles of reiki we can start to shed those self limiting beliefs and judgements that prevent us from living our truth.

With new found awareness we understand that only we can make the changes that will make a difference. We can’t blame others for our situation and, if we’re in a negative relationship or job, it’s up to us to develop the strength and confidence to move on.

practicing reiki in cairns with julie heskins

Through practicing the  mindfulness techniques reiki offers, we start to be in the moment with life, not living in the past or dwelling in the future. Staying curious and alert we enjoy precious moments that present themselves. We start to catch ourselves when we experience worry or anger.  

Things that once triggered us can be recognised in the moment and we can stop being reactive. We are not our thoughts.. when we see this, freedom awaits. 

We become more compassionate to others.  All people are struggling in different ways.  The more we can be kind and listen to others attentively, the more we will attract likeminded, grounded and grateful people into our lives.  

Reiki 1 offers a gateway to rediscovering your true self.  By starting on the journey you plant the seeds of a happy life.  You start to see the challenges as opportunities.  It may not happen instantly but you’ll be able to look back and see ‘Wow! I handled that situation so much better than I did a year ago’. 😀

learning reiki in a group with julie heskins cairns

Taking the next step

Coming to Reiki 2 Okuden is a natural progression for most.  If your practice has dropped away after Reiki 1, then it offers an opportunity to reconnect.  

The techniques and meditations taught at this level enhance and expand the reiki toolbox.  Using the symbols and associated mantras we connect to the innate wisdom that resides within and flows through us.  We see that every action and decision we make is interrelated to the whole.  As clear intuition arises from a place of being, you trust your gut feelings and make decisions based in reality! 

When you attend Reiki 2, you receive 3 more attunements and gain further experience in hands on/off healing practising with a partner.  We create intimacy with ourselves and cultivate the limitless energy that lies within. Developing self love and empowerment are valuable tools in a fast paced society based in consumerism and dependency.

Whether you come to Reiki 2 for your own self-care or to start practicing professionally, the second level teaches valuable practices to gain clarity into living simply and meaningfully.

This doesn’t mean we have to become a reiki practitioner of course!  We can ‘be reiki’ at any moment on any day in any situation. Practicing kindness, compassion and humility in any environment is wonderful. You’re family and work mates will also be grateful 🥲.

learning reiki with julie heskins cairns

Making Reiki a profession

Reiki 3 Shinpiden offers the opportunity to learn the final symbol and mantra.  We grow, we take responsibility for our actions and realise that to navigate a dualistic world we need to embody the qualities of reiki within ourselves.  

You will receive the final attunement and learn to facilitate reiju and attunements on others.  You may want to become a teacher yourself and, with practice, that is possible. Teaching others reiki is a blessing and a privilege. ❤️🙏

group of ladies on retreat wtih julie heskins Cairns

The Importance of going on Retreat

As twenty-first century life becomes more complex, stressful, and challenging many people are allowing themselves time out for retreat. A retreat is an opportunity to get away from the stress and demands of our everyday lives and do something positive for ourselves.

In this short blog I’ll be unpacking some of the key benefits of retreat and a few guidelines to help you find a suitable retreat in your area. I run regular retreats here in Cairns and Far-north Queensland but you might need something a little closer to home.


Studies show that meditating even for as little as 10 minutes increases the brain’s alpha waves (associated with relaxation) and decreases anxiety and depression.

Psychology Today

Often retreats offer a chance to practice new things like yoga, meditation and Reiki.  It’s fun to try new things and also build or reconnect to existing knowledge.

Go on retreat with an open mind and be willing to try meditation and other spiritual practices. You will be amazed at how peaceful and rejuvenated you will feel by the end.

Even better, you might learn new meditation practices which you can bring into your daily life once you get back home.


Social engagement is associated with a stronger immune system, especially for older adults. This means that you are better able to fight off colds, the flu, and even some types of cancer.

Psychology Today

A retreat should be a good balance of personal time, exercise, doing practices which focus on your wellbeing and a chance to socialise with others.

Connecting with like minded people is also something that’s very beneficial.  We can all learn from each other.

group of ladies on retreat wtih julie heskins Cairns
Connecting with like-minded people is one of the best things about retreat.

Great Food

Nutrient deficiencies are implicated in many mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder.

Psychology Today

A lot of people think that retreat is about extreme dieting and denial, but this isn’t true. Retreat is always about wellbeing and should include good healthy food options that inspire you.

Ask your retreat host when booking about the type of foods you’ll be eating and the availability of different dietary options.

2021 meditation retreat with julie heskins
A retreat is never about denial, it’s about experiencing new and delicious foods that promote good health and long-term wellbeing.


Scientists are finding exercise boosts neuron development and reduces anxiety.

Psychology Today

Exercise is great tonic for mental health and a well-run retreat will include a nice selection of physical activities. Gentle yoga, tai-chi, Reiki, swimming, and walks in nature are all lovely on retreat.

It’s wonderful to try new exercises that improve your strength and flexibility. And in a group setting under the guidance of an experienced teacher you just might surprise yourself.

Practicing yoga and other physical activities in a group is a joyful experience.


Being in nature lowers cortisol, reduces heart rate, bolsters immunity, improves mood, among other gains.

Psychology Today

Look for a retreat that is set in nature where you can experience grounding and find peace and quiet.

On retreat it’s important to minimise distractions.  Leave the phone in your room during sessions or even for the whole retreat!  

yoga student meditating at Rainforest Reiki in Cairns QLD
Meditating in nature has so many benefits like lowering cortisol and reducing heart rate.

Final thoughts

Odd as it may seem, taking real, quality time to “escape” from your everyday routine and reflect on your own life is actually one of the best things you can do for the people who matter in your life.

Psychology Today

I hope I’ve been able to convince you that Retreat is a healthy act of self-care that can have a big impact on your overall wellbeing. Programming regular time out for yourself, learning meditation and other spiritual practices, will not only reduce your stress levels but better enable you to support the people in your life.

Of course I’d love to see you at one of my retreats in the tropical rainforest of Far-north Queensland, but no matter where you are in world do take some time to experience the benefits of a meditation retreat in the place that’s best for you.

Upcoming Retreats in Far-north Queensland

Julie hosts regular retreats in Cairns, Mission Beach and the Atherton Tablelands. For more information call +61 438 537365 or email Cairns has daily flights from all major cities in Australia.

Julie Heskins instructing a group of Reiki students in hand positions

Traditional Japanese Reiki vs Western Reiki: the differences unpacked and explained

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Last week on the blog we took a look at Reiki lineages and explained why it’s so important to understand the lineage of your Reiki teacher. In this week’s article we’d like to dive a little deeper into the topic and unpack the critical differences between Traditional Japanese Reiki vs Western Reiki. Let’s take a look.

Continue reading “Traditional Japanese Reiki vs Western Reiki: the differences unpacked and explained”
lady on meditation stool in a quiet garden

5 Ways to Avoid Distractions While You Meditate

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The quickest way to end a beautiful meditation 3 minutes in, is to a hungry kid, stressed housemate, or boisterous pet. It’s hard to build a regular meditation practice when you are constantly getting interrupted, so here’s a few tips for enjoying the whole experience.

Continue reading “5 Ways to Avoid Distractions While You Meditate”
yoga student meditating at Rainforest Reiki in Cairns QLD

Why Learn to Meditate?

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Good question!  In my backpacker days I’d seen Tibetan monks chant as I travelled through China.  It left me with a sense of awe and inner peace.  Earlier during the same trip we had visited a monastery where monks kindly invited us to join them for yak butter tea (definitely an acquired taste!).  We spoke no Tibetan & they spoke no English.  It didn’t matter, we laughed together & they were warm & welcoming hosts.  Their natural joy seemed misplaced as their native homeland was being invaded by the Chinese.

Time passed, I emigrated to Australia & friends who were travelling around the world arrived in Cairns & shared their experiences of a Vipassana meditation retreat in New Zealand.

For 10 days they had done seated meditations which seemed very brave considering they had never meditated before.  It was physically challenging for them but they came away feeling a deep sense of connection.
They inspired me to book a 10 day silent retreat in Thailand. A mixture of walking, working & seated meditation.

An Initial Experience

I realised how busy and distracted my mind was. As I practiced being present everything became clear. Meals were simple but when you ate mindfully you were aware of flavours, texture, & colours. A feeling of gratitude & appreciation for the food, the nuns preparing it and our hosts naturally arose.
After lunch we would walk up a hill in the grounds that overlooked Koh Phangan. I noticed the lizards would come and sit with us.  In my garden at home now I appreciate that when we slow down, listen & focus you see the beauty of what’s around you & the wildlife comes closer.

What Meditation Gives You

We are not our thoughts, our emotions or our fantasies and when you meditate regularly you realise this. Instead of clinging & identifying with them you recognise them for what they are, events that are passing through our minds. We remember the past & get anxious about the future but that is not our truth.  As we become more present, letting go of our worries and anger, we also have more energy.
Living so externally in this material world you realise that when you go within so much is revealed. Life becomes happier when you are calm and balanced.

Coming Home

After the retreat I returned home, life got busy and my intentions of having a regular meditation practice disappeared! Determined to reconnect to meditation I went to the local Buddhist Centre & started practicing once more.
Learning traditional Japanese Reiki in 2010 I discovered a system of Reiki that included a variety of different meditations & techniques. Practicing these over the years has deepened my practice considerably.

Why learn to meditate?

When you practice daily you see the benefits. It effects everyone around you – your kids, family & work colleagues.  You become calmer & more patient and this state of mind is reflected back to you.

The other wonderful thing about meditation is you can do it anywhere, on a chair, a cushion or even seated on a bed, whatever is comfortable for you.  Of course it’s wonderful to do it at retreat, but really all you need is you.

My goal is to inspire others to find their light within & for me, meditation is the key that unlocks that door.