Guided to Reiki

This is going to be a bit of a coming out for me. Not many people in my life know this side of me. I have been too uncomfortable with it in the past. But practicing Reiki has allowed me to embrace my whole self. So I am striving to learn how to fold this part of me that I have kept hidden for most of life into my regular daily life.

Jason Hungerford as a different and special childI have always been a little bit “different” – a little “special” in some ways. I have always had intuitive abilities of various different types.

Jason Hungerford as toddlerAs a toddler and into my early childhood I was able to see spirits and other beings.

For several years in my teens I was able to see flashes of my near term future.

I have always been able to feel the emotions of others. I thought this was something normal that everyone did. I later learned of the term “empath”.

Jason Hungerford as a teenagerIn my later teenage years I started to experience what I have called “bouts of sudden knowledge”. Out of nowhere, I would just suddenly know something about an event, a person, or myself. It’s not something I would think about – the knowledge would just suddenly be there.

It was in my teenage years that I started to form my faith and discover my spirituality. As I did so, my intuition continued to get stronger, and I would sometimes get these “internal pulls”. A few times the pull was so strong, it felt like I was not in control of my actions. Some other force was directing me. It truly was fate that the Universe brought together Jason Hungerford and Jason Seymour to meet at a conference in Dallas in 1998

But I also learned to trust the internal voice and those internal pulls. It is what led me to meet my soulmate, partner, and husband, who I was with for 19 years, until his death.

Jason Hungerford founded Youth Guardian Services in 1997The internal pull caused me to create a non-profit organization when I was 19 years old. And over a span of about 15 years the organization helped over 10,000 young people, including many who credit me for saving their lives from suicide. It was later intuitively revealed to me that the years I dedicated my life to that organization, I was doing God’s work. I was fulfilling His plan.

In my early 30s I began to hear spirits. The sounds would come through the frequencies of other devices emitting white noise or background noise. Most of the time it would sound like a large restaurant where lots of people are talking, and you aren’t able to make out any one conversation – just hearing all the voices overlapping at once. But then every so often a single word, or a short phrase would come through very clearly. I would also hear music playing randomly. Sometimes it sounded like a stringed instrument someone was playing. Sometimes it sounded like a radio playing in the next room. But it would seem any time I would try to “tune in” to the noise to try to concentrate to try to make out what was being said, the noises would stop. So I learned to just let them come to me as they do, without giving it too much attention.

I would also often randomly smell things – especially cigarette smoke – when there was no explanation for the smell.

Jason Hungerford was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2010 just two weeks after turning 33In 2010 when I was diagnosed with cancer I leaned heavily on my faith to get me through some very tough times. I would scream and yell and cry out to God – “Why is this happening to me?! I am a good person and I do good things in the world! Why would I be put through this?!”

One night I was intuitively told that I had to go through this for a reason. I was told that good things were waiting for me on the other side of cancer, and I just had to get through this tough part.

My intuition continued to grow and these “abilities” or “gifts” or whatever you want to call them, seemed to be strengthening and occurring more frequently.

I tried to make sense of them.

On occasion I would think about perhaps trying to hone the abilities. Because I wanted to learn how to control them and how to access them more. I wanted to learn how to strengthen them in a way that would be helpful to me or others. I would occasionally buy a book or two, but it would sit on my shelf unread.

I think there was a part of me that also was afraid to welcome this part of me to take a full seat in my life. There was a fear of what people would think of me. There was a fear that if I invited more, that maybe I would regret it, or maybe something bad would happen to me. I also wasn’t sure if I was “allowed” to tell people about what I was experiencing. And so I kept most of it to myself. These events would happen, and I just kept it to myself, feeling like I couldn’t reveal them to anyone. I tried to make sense of it, but mostly it just became this part of me that sort of just existed in the background that I didn’t give much attention to.

Over the years I have only revealed to less than a handful of people, only some of my experiences. I might tell one person one thing. But I wouldn’t tell them everything. Not even the people closest to me knew the complete picture. Not even my husband, who knew me better than anyone.

Jason Hungerford and Jason Seymour legally marry in 2013When my husband died by suicide in 2017 my whole world instantly fell apart and changed forever. His physical body was no longer with me, but, especially in those first few weeks and months, his spirit was so strongly connected with me. We were able to communicate quite clearly. He showed me what he was feeling in his final moments, and what he was feeling wherever he was existing now. It was a beautiful calm. This peace and stillness that I can’t even begin to describe. That peace and stillness was something he longed for in the final years of his life, as mental illness, major depression, and anxiety, ravaged his mind and took away the man he once was.

From his plane of existence he actually helped me plan for his funeral, guiding me to boxes of pictures he wanted featured, and selecting the music he wanted to have played.

I would get a weird instant feeling of needing to be in a room of my house, and so I would go there, not knowing why I was being “told” to be there, and then I would get “pulled” into a specific part of the room. I would then be frantically looking for something, even though I had no idea what it was I was supposed to be looking for. It was a strange and very intense feeling, and I hadn’t ever felt those pulls quite like that before.

Twice, he channeled himself through me. The first time happened while I was writing the eulogy for his funeral. There was a section of it that I did not write. I didn’t know this until I was proof reading it the next day. I got to a section that I did not recognize. And then it was intuitively revealed to me that he wrote it. The second time was the day of the funeral, after everything was over. I was talking with his mother, and she asked, “Did Jason think I was a good mom?” – and before I could answer, I had this odd sensation. I was still in my body, and I could hear myself talking – but it wasn’t ME talking – they were not my words. My conscious mind was off to the side. My husband, also named Jason, used my body to talk to his mother one final time. It was brief. A few sentences maybe. And then I was back in control of my own body. I wanted to exclaim to her what had just happened! I wanted to let her know that her son who she loved more than anything in this world was still here with us! But I couldn’t. I kept it to myself.

He also physically appeared to me once, a few months after his death. It was a very brief flash, just to confirm for me that he was with me, and I need not worry about the medical procedure I had coming up, that he would be there for me, just as he always had been.

For about a year or so after he died he would frequently send me signs, at times almost daily. And when I would say out loud or in my mind “well that’s just a coincidence” he would make the signs bigger and louder and much more obvious, much more specific – even once doing exactly what I told him to do to prove to me that it was really him. I finally had to just accept that yes, he really was communicating with me, he really was still with me, and so I learned to say “thank you” instead of asking him to prove himself each time.

Jason Hungerford comes out as a gay teenagerBut asking for that “proof” is something I had always done. As a teenager when I was struggling to accept my sexuality, out of desperation I started to pray, even though I had never independently prayed before then. At the time I wasn’t even sure I completely believed in God. My depression was so bad that I actually would pray every night for my death. I wasn’t sure where my prayers were going, but it did seem to help me feel better about things. And then I started asking God to “prove” His existence. In my prayers I would declare that if such and such would happen then I would never doubt again. And each time whatever I asked for would happen, typically the next day. I kept thinking it was just coincidental, so I continued to demand proof, giving specific events that would need to happen in order for me to believe. Each time, what I asked for would hapen. But still I was not convinced. One day I asked for something that I knew there would be no way would happen on its own. Later that day the very specific thing that I asked for did happen. From that moment on I stopped questioning the existence of a Higher Power, and instead, showed my gratitude for having such a wonderful guide in my life.

Jason Hungerford in 2010 after colon resection surgery in IthacaJason Hungerford became very involved with the Cancer Resource Center of the Finger Lakes in IthacaI only questioned my faith one other time since then. It was a very low point during my cancer treatment. I thought for sure God had left me. Why else would this terrible thing be happening to me? Why was I being made to suffer so much? Why was the life I knew being taken away from me? Through tears, I demanded proof that He was still with me. It was a small, silly thing I asked for, but also something I knew wasn’t going to be possible. About an hour later, the proof I demanded was there. And so I said “thank you” and knew that for whatever reason this was the path I had to take. Even if it meant pain and emotional turmoil. This was my path. It was intentional. Even if I could not know or understand the reason at that time.

Jason Hungerford continues his involvement with Cancer Resource Center of the Finger Lakes, supporting other cancer survivorsAnd though it was rough, I am actually grateful for all the wonderful things that happened as a result of my having cancer. Certainly I wish I wouldn’t have had to have gone through it to receive those wonderful things, but I accept that it was necessary in order to move me into the next part of my journey, and the many lessons I would gain from it.

About a year after my husband’s death my neighbor suggested I see a friend of his who is an intuitive medium. I didn’t really feel the “need” to see a medium, mostly because Jason was already communicating with me quite strongly. But I also wasn’t opposed to seeing someone to perhaps get some validations or maybe some new messages. I had been to mediums before, with varying results, so it certainly was something I was open to doing.

I went to her website and saw that she was a Reiki Master, and has a Reiki practice. Now I must admit, I never believed in Reiki before. I thought it was this silly “woo woo” thing that couldn’t possibly be real. I mean, somehow people are supposed to “heal” you by placing their hands above you, not even touching you? I mean, it just was crazy sounding. Before, whenever I had heard about Reiki periodically through the years, I would often crack jokes or just roll my eyes. I was a firm non-believer.

When I met with Sharyn for my intuitive session with her, I was respectful of the fact that she used Reiki as part of her process. I laid on her table and closed my eyes. She began her work, but within a minute or two, she leaned down next to my ear and softly said, “I’m being told you don’t believe in all the Reiki stuff and I should just sit and have a conversation with you.”

Jason Hungerford and Jason Seymour shared a special kind of love and a deep devoted connection that continues beyond deathI was so embarrassed! I thought she might be offended. She asked me if it were true. I said, “Yes, but I respect your process, so it’s OK, if you need to do Reiki as part of it.” She said no she doesn’t need to, and she’s being told to just skip it and sit and have a conversation, and she asked if that would be alright. I said yes, of course, and for more than an hour she talked about the amazing connection Jason and I had. She even seemed to be overwhelmed at times by the special kind of love and devotion that we had for one another. She told me how beautiful it was and what a gift we had given to each other. I knew this already. It was a gift that not many people get to experience, so I have always been grateful for that.

About four years later in February 2022 I got an email out of the blue from Sharyn. She said that there were some classes coming up that she thought I might be interested in. It had been years since I had the one visit with her, so I thought it was kind of weird that she would contact me out of the blue like that. I wasn’t even totally sure if she remembered me. I responded to her email and told her I would think about it and let her know. Truth be told, I had no intention of thinking about it. I only said that to be polite. I had no interest in Reiki at all.

Coincidentally a couple of weeks later my boyfriend at the time wanted to see a medium to help him understand and hopefully resolve some things that were happening to him. Well I only really knew about Sharyn, and she had just recently sent me that email. So I made an appointment for him to see her. On the day of the appointment I drove him there and I briefly went inside just to say a quick hello and to introduce them to each other. She handed me a piece of paper. While my hand was on one end, and hers was on the other, that internal voice I have spoke up – and it spoke up LOUDLY – louder than I have ever experienced before. It was emphatic.

YES YES YES YES! It yelled at me!

I had been quite depressed for the previous two years because I was no longer feeling happy with my job. For nearly 25 years I had worked as a web developer and IT consultant and I owned a small web hosting company. It had been a very good career for me, but it no longer gave me joy or passion. I was burnt out and ready for a change. My job was becoming this heavier and heavier burden on me. I wanted to do something else. I needed to do something else. But I felt stuck. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. Or what I would even be able to do.

I had to listen to that internal voice. That night I signed up for all four of the classes she was offering, two of which were the Reiki Level 1 and Reiki Level 2 classes.

At the Reiki 1 class, as the class went around and introduced ourselves, I made no secret that I didn’t even believe in Reiki, and I was only here because the internal voice yelled at me to do this. I told the group that I was open, but highly skeptical, and that I was going to need proof. More than other people’s personal anecdotes.

In the class, just before our lunch break Sharyn laid out how the rest of the afternoon was going to go. She mentioned that at the end of today’s class one of us was going to get on the table and the rest of the class would perform Reiki on that person.

I have narcolepsy, and being able to do a full day of anything is difficult for me. It was only lunch time and we had several more hours of the class to go, and I was feeling pretty tired. I thought to myself, “hmm, maybe I should get on the table. I could use a few minutes to just close my eyes and rest.” But I didn’t give it too much further thought.

After lunch there was more instruction and meditation and Reiki exercises. Then Sharyn asked if anyone would like to volunteer to get on the table. I can’t even say I was fully in control of what happened next. My hand shot up so fast and my normally calm and respectful voice shouted out “ME!” I wasn’t so much as volunteering – I was demanding. It was that internal pull again. It wasn’t even fully me.  I later described it like I was at a store on Black Friday competing with the masses to buy the latest craze gift – and I didn’t care who I had to knock down to get it – it was going to be mine.

Up to this point, I still maintained that I was open minded, but skeptical of Reiki. In that moment I would have still classified myself as a non-believer. I got up on the table and closed my eyes. Sharyn placed different crystals on my body as the rest of the class took positions around the table, and for the next 20-30 minutes gave me Reiki.

At first there wasn’t anything too remarkable. I was feeling relaxed and was able to rest my eyes, so even if nothing happened, this was still going to be a win for me.

A few minutes into the session the small crystal that was laying on my chest, that couldn’t have weighed more than a few ounces, if even that, began to feel very heavy. The weight of it was now pushing down on my chest… hard. It got to the point where it started to feel quite uncomfortable. As it got heavier, I debated in my mind whether or not – or at what point – should I open my eyes and let her know about this discomfort. I didn’t want to be disruptive, but at the same time, something wasn’t right. Just as I had convinced myself to say something, the heaviness subsided. Later in the session I felt a minor achiness in my knees that then turned into a tingly sensation, and then that feeling also passed. I then felt something that I couldn’t quite describe in my feet. Throughout the session I thought I could feel people’s hands lightly touching my body at different points, but I wasn’t too sure if they had actually touched me or not.

After the session ended, Sharyn asked me if I felt anything during the session. As I described the feeling I had in my chest, I noticed one of my classmates getting tears in her eyes. She said she wasn’t going to say anything, but that when she was at my heart chakra she had her eyes closed and had a vision of her hands falling into a deep dark hole in my chest. She said that her hands seemed to be stuck and she tried to pull them out of this deep dark hole but she couldn’t. She said she had to open her eyes to make sure she wasn’t actually pushing down into my chest. She of course was not. In fact Sharyn confirmed that no one except for the person at my head had ever physically touched my body. As my classmate described what she was seeing and feeling, I couldn’t help but think of a painting I did on the one year anniversary of my husband’s death. I call the painting, “The Gaping Hole in My Heart”.

I then mentioned my knees. The woman who was at my knees reported having a vision of me on a bobsled. I was at the top of the racetrack and I kept making a lunging motion as if I was going to take off, but I never took off. I told her that sounded like me and my personality. I don’t often like to take big risks, and if I do, it’s only after a long deliberation and much consideration, and developing a reasonable plan of action.

I then mentioned feeling something at my feet. The woman at my feet said she had been cold all day, but when she got to my feet that it was like my feet radiated heat. She said it was like she had her hands in front of a cozy fire.

I got off the table kind of stunned and amazed that the physical feelings and sensations I felt on the receiving end matched up with the visions the people experienced on the giving end of the Reiki session. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it all.

The class day was over and everyone was gathering their things to go home. I debated for a few minutes whether I wanted to make a big deal out of this or not. The rational logical side told me to just let it go. The internal voice in me said do it. The Gaping Hole in My Heart painting by Jason Hungerford one year after the death of Jason SeymourI decided to approach the woman that had been at my heart chakra. I pulled up on my phone a picture of the painting. I told her that as she was describing what she saw, it made me think of this. Her reaction when I showed her the picture: “Oh my God! That is EXACTLY what I saw!” Now both of us have tears in our eyes. We both stood there looking at each other, stunned and amazed and just feeling… wow.

As I left the building and walked to my car, I felt like a zombie. I was so dazed by what I had just experienced. I couldn’t make sense of it. As much as I wanted to try to give some rational explanation for what had happened, I couldn’t come up with any other explanation, except to believe what I felt was real.

The next day was the Reiki 2 class, and I won’t go into as much detail about that, but only to say I continued to share a connection with the woman who had given Reiki to my heart chakra. During our meditations we had some shared experiences. I also got to give Reiki for the first time in the Reiki 2 class. At first I was just sort of going through the motions. But then I actually started to feel stuff. I could feel the differences in the energy field in one person. I could feel where on his body I needed to be. And then when the next person got on the table I was able to feel her energy field – and it felt very different from her husband’s who had just got off the table.

It was another thing for me to think about and try to make sense of. How could I actually be feeling something that is supposedly not there? There was a lot for me to process.

The more I thought about it the more obvious the notion of a bioenergy field became to me. Of course we are made of energy. Nerve conduction tests prove this. And highly sensitive equipment have been able to detect small amounts of energy radiating from human bodies. And just because we can’t see something or can’t quite fully explain something doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. I can’t see micro-waves or radiation or radio waves or gamma rays. But I know they all exist. I don’t know how to fully explain how electricity works or how TV or radio gets broadcasted and delivered into our homes or how Internet data can be transmitted by satellites. I know it’s all possible and that those things are real. But if you think about it, it all seems kind of magical in a way. I know there are scientific explanations, and I’m sure an electrical engineer could make sense of it all. But for a layperson like me, even someone who is intelligent and works in technology, it’s still kind of like magic.

It’s recommended for those who might pursue a Reiki practice as a business to not make any decisions about that for at least three weeks. It is suggested that we perform Reiki on ourselves every day for at least those three weeks. I followed the guidance. I felt like I was led to Reiki. I felt like I had been shown the path I needed to take. I felt like all these things lined up for a reason. And even though I was performing Reiki on myself every day, I still wasn’t quite sure about all of this. My logical side kept wanting to try to explain it away or discount it, or tell myself that this was silly to think that there was something to this.

Jason Hungerford finds his path as he is guided to ReikiI was then provided the opportunity to join other Reiki practitioners at a stress prevention event at SUNY-Cortland. Reiki, along with other things like massage, dog therapy, coloring books, and guided meditations, were being offered to students around exam time to help lower their stress levels. I thought this was a wonderful event that the school was putting on, and I applaud them for wanting to address the stress and health and wellbeing of their students. More universities should do this. SUNY-Cortland puts on the event twice a year, and has been doing so for many years. It is very popular with the students.

I accepted the invitation to be a part of the two-day event. On the first day as I arrived, I was feeling very nervous and out of place. I felt like maybe I shouldn’t even be there. I felt like I was somehow a fraud. I mean I had just taken the Reiki classes a few weeks earlier and had not performed Reiki on anyone other than myself outside of the classroom setting. Did I really know what I was doing? I thought, maybe I should be supervised for a while first to make sure I’m doing it right. I just didn’t feel like I was totally ready to “fly solo”.

The first couple of students who I performed Reiki on, I admit, I sort of was just going through the motions. I wasn’t really feeling anything, and I don’t think they were either. But from the third student on, things changed. I began feeling all kinds of things. Not just the bioenergy field, but I started getting those bursts of “sudden knowledge” about the person sitting in the chair. At the end of each session I would share with them whatever I may have received by intuition, and I was amazed as each student confirmed what I was feeling.

By the end of the day I felt a bit drained, but also quite excited. It had been a great day of confirmation and validation for me. Yes, I was on the right path. Yes, Reiki is my future. Yes, this is what I should be doing. Yes, Yes, Yes!

The second day of the event, I walked in much more confident, and I felt bolder in my intuitive interpretations. It was another day full of confirmations and validations. It felt amazing to be helping these students feel less stressed. I also learned a lot from the other practitioners that were there. It was a great experience for me.

So I embarked on this journey to start my own Reiki practice. And over the next several months I got things in order to make this a reality. A friend donated a very nice unused high end massage table. I renovated the guest room in my house to become my Reiki Room. I built a website. And I continued to practice Reiki on myself and friends. Again, each time I did Reiki on someone I would either get visions or feelings or bursts of sudden knowledge, and each time what I picked up on was confirmed and validated by the person receiving the Reiki. I was just amazed at the power and beauty that was happening. My intuitive abilities were getting stronger and much more finely honed with each Reiki session. And those receiving Reiki were reporting wonderful results, both immediately, and in the days that followed. It was working. It really was working. It really is real. I’m still in awe of it all.

I officially opened my practice in September 2022, and have been seeing clients for Reiki in my home office in Ithaca since then. I have continued to participate in the SUNY-Cortland “Paws for Stress” events each semester, with increasingly amazing outcomes. I love being able to share Reiki with the students.

In October 2023 I took Reiki 3 classes to become a Reiki Master, the highest level Reiki practitioner.

In January 2024 I extended my Reiki practice to offer clients sessions from a second location. Clients can now have their Reiki session with me in Ithaca or in Cortland. I am currently offering Reiki sessions in Cortland two days a week, and at my home office in Ithaca the remaining other days of the week.

Reiki has continued to allow me to expand upon and increase my intuitive abilities. I am incredibly grateful for the time I spend with each of my clients. It is a level of trust they place in me that I do not take lightly. And I’m honored when I am able to share with them the intuitive messages I have received during the session for them. Real healing happens in my Reiki sessions. For my clients, and honestly, for myself as well.

Jason, Greek for HealerI have always considered myself a bit of a “wounded healer”. I have always wanted to do good in the world. Whether it’s been fighting injustices small and large, supporting and advocating for LGBTQ youth, providing support to fellow cancer survivors, or working to end the stigma of mental illness and to bring about awareness of suicide prevention.

It makes sense that I would be guided to Reiki at this perfect time in my life, and that Reiki would be the next chapter in a long history of me bringing healing to people, while at the same time also healing a part of myself. After all, it’s right there in my name. Jason. Greek for healer. And I take that very seriously.

I’m now asking you to be a part of this next chapter with me. I’m asking you to join me on this journey. Especially if you are unsure or skeptical, I’m asking you to give me a chance to be your Reiki practitioner. Let me show you the real power Reiki has. It might just be the best thing you ever do for yourself!

I hope to see you soon!

Thank you,
Jason Hungerford
Jason Hungerford
Intuitive Empath & Reiki Master



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