Sean Wade is a big guy. He could use his stature to threaten, but instead, he exudes tranquility to those in his presence. Wade, 32, speaks with clarity and precision, his voice steady and soft. His demeanor is welcoming and inclusive, and he tends to be almost self-effacing. His kindness and gentleness are evident in every move and word.
Wade moved from Norfolk, Va., to Jackson in 2006 to help take care of his grandparents. While here, he is in the process of discovering his Mississippi family, which is proving to be extensive. Both Jackson City Councilman Marshand Crisler and TV news anchor Maggie Wade, among other well-known Jacksonians, have branches on his family tree.
Wade currently works as an office clerk in a halfway house, but his dream is to practice reiki full time.
"I'd love to have a place where people can do reiki, yoga … and practice martial arts," Wade says.
Reiki, he tells me, is all about "being in harmony with yourself." Originally from Japan, reiki is a technique for stress reduction and relaxation that promotes physical healing. It is not a religion, Wade says, but it can be a spiritual practice, as it is for him. He became a reiki master in 2004.
"I've been a sensitive all my life, but I didn't know it," he says. He was a member of a Pentecostal church earlier, but always "thought there was something more." When he began studying reiki, "they thought I was worshipping some other God," he says. Although nothing was further from the truth, he was unable to convince his church otherwise, forcing a split.
It's an ironic twist. The word reiki consists of two Japanese words: rei and ki. In the context of healing, rei means higher power or God, and ki is the energy that flows through all living things. So "reiki" literally means "life energy guided by God."
Practitioners like Wade perform reiki by gently laying hands on a person's body, allowing themselves to feel where someone's energy is blocked or unbalanced. By balancing the energy through minor physical manipulations, often while meditating or chanting to stay grounded, practitioners promote natural physical and emotional healing, even where other types of therapy have proved ineffective. Today, holistic physicians often prescribe reiki to assist or maximize traditional types of therapies. Sometimes, Wade says, patients seek out reiki after they've exhausted other options.
"People usually experience peace and relaxation," he says of reiki treatments. "I feel that the light that I bring is going to help them one way or another."