Interview with Patricia Korsak, as featured in the March 2012 Issue of SH101

It is a great joy to Patricia Korsak that Reiki clinics will be offered here at Princeton Theological Seminary in the spring. Patricia, who is a Financial Aid Assistant in the Admissions and Financial Aid office, has been practicing Reiki since 2006. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Reiki, Patricia describes it as an ancient Japanese hands-on technique used for healing, stress reduction, and relaxation. In Japanese, the word 'Rei' means universal spiritual wisdom and the word "Ki" means 'life force energy.' According to Patricia, this energy is available to all and Reiki is a way to tap into that energy to promote healing.

 Patricia was first inspired to do Reiki when her boss at the time, Rev. Cathy Cook Davis, (current Interim Dean of Student Life) focused on Reiki and Christian healing for her Doctor of Ministry dissertation while working and completing the writing at PTS. Rev. Davis had used Reiki while serving as a hospital chaplain. After reading Rev. Davis' paper, Patricia became inspired to give Reiki a try. Patricia has volunteered at RWJ Hospital in Hamilton for three years providing Reiki treatments for pre- and post-surgical patients; at RWJ Health Center during health fairs and at Reiki clinics; at the NJ NAMI Mercer Conferences for the past two years; and at PTS during health fairs. She is excited and says "Soon I will be offering Reiki treatments on campus on a more regular basis with my Reiki colleague, MDIV student Lisa Robinson."

On a personal level, Patricia says, "I use Reiki to help me relax and get to sleep; to relieve anxiety and depression; and to relieve pain. I get this benefit whether I use Reiki on myself or on others." Patricia shares several examples where others have reported the benefits of Reiki including a head nurse at Robert Wood Johnson, who commented that she saw improvement in patients with Sickle Cell Anemia, surgical patients who would express thanks for the peace and relaxation that Reiki brought them, her own husband who wanted to know what she had done since he no longer felt pain, and a screaming child who calmed down after a Reiki treatment. She also shares her experience with a "cynical" patient who doubted the potential benefits of Reiki, but after 5 minutes of Reiki treatment had a surprised look on his face and said he could feel tingling in his toes again.

Patricia states that she enjoys helping people achieve a sense of well-being and healing whether that be emotional, spiritual, physical or mental. "I never know what Reiki will do. I just trust that it will go where it is most needed. Sometimes that can be surprising for both me and the client. For instance, they may think they need physical healing but end up having a much needed emotional release". At one Reiki clinic here on campus Patricia says she wasn’t convinced that much was happening. So she internally asked Jesus to be with her and help healing energy flow from the divine to the client and to let her know that she was doing something useful, because as a mere human she felt that she needed reassurance. She felt an incredible, comforting warmth, and such a total sense of peace that she knew her prayer was heard. She comments, "Ask and ye shall receive. It really is that simple once you believe."

Over the years, Reiki has helped Patricia deepen her faith in the divine. At first she says, " I was doubting, even when my teachers told me they felt heat from my hands that I didn’t feel myself. So I decided to let go and let God." Now students, staff and faculty will be able to experience Reiki for themselves when the Reiki clinics begin this spring at PTS. To learn more about Reiki, Patricia and Rev. Davis suggest reading the book “Reiki Healing Touch and the Way of Jesus” by Bruce Epperly. If you have questions about reiki or would like to experience a reiki treatment, please contact Patricia Korsak.