I have just posted my Fall Newsletter for Wisechoices. There is a special message from Arjava for you. Enjoy it!

Love and Blessings,




The closing of the Usui Retreat for 2010. You can still access the meditations that are on this Thank You.

Love and Blessings,




'Welcome to the third week of the Usui Retreat'

Dear Friends and Family. Here is the third Week's meditation of the Usui 21 Day Virtual Retreat.

'Welcome to the third week of the Usui Retreat'

Love and Blessings,



'A Note from Wisechoices'

New Whispers of Wisdom are up on the Wisechoices pages. Follow the link and choose the image you like to receive a special message.

Love and Blessings,

'A Note from Wisechoices'


Welcome to the first week of the Usui Retreat via @constantcontact

The first week of the Usui 21 day Virtual Retreat starts today. Please join us.

Blessings and Love,


Welcome to the first week of the Usui Retreat via @constantcontact


'Responsibility and Risk'

I have just posted my newsletter with an introduction to this years facilitators for the 21 day Usui Virtual Retreat that starts on August 15th. This is the 15th year of the retreat and I hope you will be joining us.

Love and Blessings,


'Responsibility and Risk'


Planting Seeds of Potiential for Spring

We take flight when we rise above our habitual ways of thinking about things and experience new insights.

As earthbound beings, humans have always had a fascination with winged creatures of all kinds. The idea of being able to spontaneously lift off from the earth and fly is so compelling to us that we invented airplanes and helicopters and myriad other flying machines in order to provide ourselves with the many gifts of being airborne. Flying high in the sky, we look down on the earth that is our home and see things from an entirely different perspective. We can see more, and we can see farther than we can when we're on the ground. As if all this weren't enough, the out-of-this-world feeling of freedom that comes with groundlessness inspires us to want to take flight again and again.

Metaphorically, we take flight whenever we break free of the gravity that holds us to a particular way of thinking or feeling or being. We take flight mentally when we rise above our habitual ways of thinking about things and experience new insights. This is what it means to open our minds. Emotionally, we take flight when the strength of our passion exceeds the strength of our blockages; the floodgates open and we are free to feel fully. Spiritually we take flight when we locate that part of ourselves that is beyond the constraint of linear time and the world of form. It is in this place that we experience the essential boundlessness that defines the experience of flight.

Taking flight is always about freeing ourselves from form, if only temporarily. When we literally fly, in a plane or on a hang glider, we free ourselves from the strength of gravity's pull. As we open our minds and our hearts, we free ourselves from habitual patterns of thought and emotional blockages. As we remember our true nature, we free ourselves from identification with the temporary state of our physical forms. The more we stretch our wings, the clearer it becomes that taking flight is a state of grace that simply reminds us of who we really are.

Always be FOR something, not AGAINST.
Being FOR something takes less energy as it is already in a lighter form.

As human beings, we cannot help but be subject to our preferences. However, we do have control over the manner in which these manifest themselves in our lives. Every value we hold dear is an expression of either support or opposition, and it is our perspective that determines whether we are for something or against it. As an example of a situation we are all familiar with at this time: We can direct our energy and intentions into activities that promote peace rather than using our resources to speak out in opposition of war. On the surface, these appear to be two interchangeable methods of expressing one virtue, yet being for something is a vastly more potent means of inspiring change because it carries with it the power of constructive intent.

When you support a cause, whether your support is active or passive, you contribute to the optimism that fuels all affirmative change. Optimistic thoughts energize people, giving them hope and inspiring them to work diligently on behalf of what they believe in. Being for something creates a positive shift
in the universe, which means that neither you nor those who share your vision will have any trouble believing that transformation on a grand scale is indeed possible. To be against something is typically easy, as you need only speak out in opposition to it. Standing up for something is often more challenging, because you may be introducing an idea to people that may scare them on a soul level.

Throughout your life, you have likely been told that the actions of one person will seldom have a measurable impact on the world. Yet your willingness to stand up for what you believe in instead of decrying what you oppose can turn the tides of fate. The thoughts you project when you choose to adopt a positive perspective will provide you with a means to actively promote your values and, eventually, foster lasting change.

Seeing the Beauty and Goodness Right in Front of Us
Henri Nouwen Society

We don't have to go very far to find the treasure we are seeking. There is beauty and goodness and peace right where we are. And only when we can see the beauty and goodness and peace that are close by, amid the storm of life, can we recognize beauty and goodness and peace on our travels far and wide to get away from the storm. There are trees and seas and flowers and birds to enjoy, dazzling paintings and beautiful sculptures to admire; most of all there are people who smile, play, and show true kindness and gentleness. They are all around us, to be recognized as free gifts to receive in gratitude.

Our temptation is to go off to collect all the beauty and goodness surrounding us in some other place, as helpful information we can use for our projects here. But then we cannot truly enjoy it, and we soon find that we need a vacation (from our vacation) to restore ourselves once again. Let's try to see the beauty and goodness right in front of us before we go elsewhere to search for it. Then we can really enjoy our trip to wherever we might choose to go, knowing that "we are seeing things correctly," fully prepared to see truth.

Serenity is not freedom from the storm but peace amid the storm...Anomymous


Update On Reiki Master's Course in Tuscany

We now have participants from Ireland and the USA that are joining us on the course. There is a limited number of places available for the course so book early. We do have the flexibility to have other people join us but not to take the course. I have heard from several people who are already Reiki Masters that they want to take the course to gain some more insight and depth in their teaching. This is an excellent way to do that and have a lovely holiday as well. We are here to support you in whatever your next step is.

In the next few updates about Tuscany I will also be giving you additional information about the areas we will be seeing when we are there.

The Venue is Pian del Colombaio. It is a traditional, stone farm building where the refurbishment has been executed to maintain the original style but with modern, efficient interiors. Arched, cotta ceilings and wooden beams have been lovingly restored to keep the character intact.

The owners, Angela and Jimmy McCracken who live on site, obviously have a keen eye for design which is also displayed in their very pretty garden - a rarity in these rural parts of Tuscany. Lush green lawns are dressed with flower beds, trees and shrubs. An 8mt diameter swimming pool has been placed to the far front of the garden and the entirety is surrounded by amazing vistas reaching to a back drop of Monte Amiata where there are some very well planned walking itineraries.

Less than 30 minutes away is the charming walled town of San Quirico d'Orcia. It is located on the northern edge of the Val d'Orcia of southern Tuscany and often unjustly overlooked by visitors to Pienza, Montalcino and Montepulciano, in this agricultural hinterland of Sienna. The distinctive landscape of the Val d'Orcia, flat chalk plains interspersed by almost conical hills topped by fortified settlements, inspired many Siennese artists, and their paintings have come to exemplify the beauty of well-managed Renaissance agricultural landscapes, where the inhabitants are depicted as living in harmony with Nature. Today, the Val D'Orcia is a destination in itself, and its expansive, sweeping landscape is tremendously attractive. The Rome-Florence railway line and most of the road traffic passes well to the east, down the Val di Chiana, leaving the Val d'Orcia to walkers, cyclists and those who motor rather than drive.

In the next weeks we will be reading about Sant' Antimo and the Abbey of Monte Uliveto Maggiore where some of Italy's most beautiful frescoes are seen.

Please look at the attached smile box for more photos and all the information about the course. You may also contact me at Mari@wisechoices.com with any questions or to book.

Click to play this Smilebox photobook: Tuscany
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You are Invited to join us in Tuscany

Dream big and then give wings to your dreams...

It started with a dream and it has now taken root, come join us

For more information and beautiful pictures


Dr Oz prescribes Reiki

Watch the segment of his show where he talks about Reiki and also gives you a prescription for it's use.


A New Year to fill with Promise

It is a New Year...a new decade. Beginnings remind us that we hold what is possible in the center of our hearts and hands. We build our lives with each choice we make. Make Wisechoices and allow your heart to lead. May your choices inspire a better place for yourself and for those who share this beautiful earth.

Love, Mari

"We are all longing to go home to a place we feel we've never been - a place half-remembered and half-envisioned, that we can only catch glimpses of from time to time. Community. Somewhere, there are people to whom we can speak with passion without having the words catch in our throats. Somewhere a circle of hands will open to receive us, eyes will light up as we enter, voices will celebrate with us whenever we come into our own unique access to (His) power. Community means strength that joins our strength, to do the work that needs to be done.Arms to hold us when we falter. A circle of acceptance and healing. A circle of true and lasting friends. Someplace where we can be free and learn to take the light of freedom out into the rest of our lives."

-- Starhawk

"Healers do not heal. Love heals. Healers are essentially lovers-those with the courage to live with an open heart-allowing love to work through them."
~Linda White Dove~

Cultivate Heart Centered Presence- Beth Songer

I don't really consider myself a healer, but I am very grateful to be a witness and bridge to what we consider healing.I have studied many forms of healing and energy balancing modalities. It is something that I am interested in and I enjoy learning about. In fact, I have felt immensely blessed to have witnessed and held sacred space for some very profound healings. For me, there is no better gift that I can give myself than to be a bridge, a vessel for balance for another. In truth, that may be why all of us are here, to cultivate heart centered presence, love and total acceptance of who we truly are, by witnessing others and transmuting ourselves. For it is absolute truth, that when we suffer, everyone suffers. When we are joyful we elevate everyone and everything in joy. When a balance is corrected as healing, everyone and everything is positively effected" because we are all connected as One."

Note: I personally found so much wisdom in her words.

When Spiritual Life Really Begins

When your honeymoon with spirituality ends -- and it will end, marked by the arrival of STDs (spiritually-transmitted disappointments) -- and when your affair with being spiritually correct and spiritually in-style runs dry, you may say so long to spirituality, but it is a premature goodbye.

Disillusionment with spirituality is not only inevitable but also necessary, so that spirituality might be thoroughly deglamorized. When that disillusionment has had its say -- cynicism's couch now being no more than a pain in the butt --and when your fear of re-entering the spiritual no longer frightens or disturbs you, your spiritual life really begins.

Most of the books will be gone; the ones that remain will feel like old friends you don't tire of revisiting, even if only a page or two every couple of months. Most of the practices will also be gone; the ones that remain will feel as natural to slip into as your favorite jeans or T-shirt, at ease with both being worn and being worn out. Most of your aspirations to be spiritual will also be gone; the few that remain will feel less like aspirations and more like unforced inhalations...

Whatever disciplines we take on will result not from one aspect of us dominating the rest, but rather from a core recognition of what is needed... Instead of being at war with our weaknesses, we bring them into our heart. Instead of trying to get rid of what we don't like about ourselves, we develop a better relationship to it. Intimacy thus becomes more our path than transcendence.

Seeking will become supplanted by living a deeper life. Questions will still arise, but will ask for something more real than answers. Alignment with the Real will become the ground rather than the goal. Details will cease being just details. Focusing on might be will yield to focusing on what's here now; that is, hope (nostalgia for the future) will be replaced by faith (radical trust in the now)...

Your longing to be fully awakened will still be present, minus the desperation and ambition that once characterized it. Where once you were in a hurry to get it, now you are not rushing or pushing, having accepted the fact that you are in it for the long haul. Then, even when you are off track, you are on track.

Life after spirituality is the beginning of authentic spirituality. No fireworks, no applause, no pats on the back from the Important, no need to present oneself as someone spiritual. This is the beginning of true nobody-ness. It is not annihilation, but revelation. It is at once bare yet sentient openness, and also the beginning of true individuality.

For every question that arises here, Silence is the answer. Put another way, everything supplies the answer. Nothing is explained, everything is revealed. Beyond knowledge, Wisdom; beyond paradox, Truth; beyond self, Being; beyond everything, everything...

Life after Spirituality is committed apprenticeship to What-Really-Matters. All that happens is the practicum. Every situation offers the same fundamental opportunity. The teacher is everywhere. There is no freedom from our Freedom. No escape. The implications of this froth then still the mind, awaken and release the body, ground and expose the soul, unraveling all our dreams, breaking us open to what we were born to do and be...

Life after spirituality is a constant dying. Emerging from our own ashes becomes no big deal, but just the way things are in each new moment....

-- Robert Augustus Masters

Upcoming Events

Reiki One and Two - Houston, February 27 and 28, 2010

Mari speaking at an Int'l Reiki Conference in Bogata, Columbia, April 1-4, 2010

One Energy Therapy and One Plus, Washington, DC, May 29-30, 2010

Reiki Master's Course in Tuscany, Italy, June 12-19th, 2010

Soul Food

"In everyone's life, at one time or another, our inner fire almost goes out. It is then miraculously burst back into flame by a powerful encounter with another human being.We should be thankful for those people who rekindle our inner spirit."
-- Albert Schweitzer

"Deep within each and every one of us glows a smoldering spiritual ember waiting to burst aflame, waiting for the spark to rekindle it, to allow us to fully experience our capacity and to fulfill our spiritual destiny."
-- Joel Padowitz

"Love is our true essence. Love knows no barriers of caste, religion, race and nationality.We are all beads strung on the same thread of love."
--Mata Amritanandamay Amma

"My deepest desire is to discover how to live life as a work of art,
rather than as a chaotic response to external events."
-- Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

We do not see things as they are. We see them as we are.
-- The Talmud

In the middle of a storm, a pilgrim reaches an inn and the owner asks where he is going.
"I'm going to the mountains," he answers.
"Forget it," says the innkeeper,
"it's a risky climb, and the weather is awful."
"But I'm going up," answers the pilgrim, "if my heart gets there first,
it will be easy to follow it with my body."

A Must See, It is a special invitation.

Reiki Masters Course in Tuscany June 12-19, 2010

Love, Mari