On the Disappearance of Mary McFadyen … One of the 22 Masters Who Were Initiated by Hawayo Takata …
By Oliver Klatt
When I received the first emails in March 2011 asking whether I knew where Mary McFadyen was since it was not possible to reach her by phone or email, I did not suspect anything at first. But it soon became clear that actually no one who had been in closer contact with her seemed to know where she was. My emails to Mary and calls to her also came to nothing. What had happened? A short time later, the Reiki Masters Kathy Harmony Gaston and Alanna Tarkington summarised the state of affairs in a posting on the website of the Reiki Alliance. According to it, Mary probably left her apartment in Austin, Texas, on a day at the end of February – and none of her friends, relatives, students or acquaintances had heard anything from her since then. She had left her passport and green card in the apartment, as well as the airline ticket for the flight to England and her relatives planned for March.
What to do?
Mary had reached an old age and had suffered from cancer for some time. She had initially told very few people about it. However, starting in autumn 2010, when she was a guest at the Reiki Festival in Gersfeld, she began to deal with it rather openly and mention it to one person or another. After the festival, we drove to Berlin together in the car. We had intensive conversations about what she would do now and where she wanted to live starting next year. She had lost her vitality due to the illness. The medications that she took had weakened her on the physical level. But she was completely there on the mental level – very present and clear.
Now she was faced with the question of whether she could continue to live alone in her apartment in Austin, Texas. Mary had originally come from Great Britain and lived in the USA as a foreigner. Her belongings, which meant much to her, were stored at the various places in the world where she had lived for a respective period of time. She had to pay rent for all of these storage spaces. Otherwise the things that were stored there would become the property of the landlords – an idea that did not at all appeal to her. She had not been to most of these places for a longer period of time.
She had relatives who would be there for her in England. She also had a niece who was apparently wealthy. There was an offer to help when she returned to England. It would be easy to find a flat that was close to the relatives. They said that the medical care would be better in England than in the USA. However, she did not at all like the idea of returning to England with its damp, unpleasant weather after decades. She simply could not reach a decision that made her happy.
In an email that I received in December 2010, she wrote: „I am still in the process of making a decision about my future. It is such a huge decision and will affect the rest of my life. I am working towards a decision to move to England, but the cold weather isn’t too encouraging! My horoscope shows that in January there will be a period that will force me to make a decision, so I guess it will be an interesting time.“
In Austin, Texas, the police was called in shortly after Mary’s disappearance. But the investigations did not result in anything that could have inferred Mary’s possible whereabouts. Because there was a need for action, Mary’s relatives from England had Mary’s apartment cleared out and terminated the rental agreement. Mary’s car was ultimately found in April 2011. It was parked not far from her apartment, close to a supermarket in an inconspicuous place. An employee of the supermarket thought that the car had already stood there for at least one month.
Lady in white
I met Mary for the first time in Berlin. Since 1981, when the first Reiki initiations on European soil took place with her Reiki course in Hamburg, she came to Germany twice a year. She held Reiki courses in a number of cities such as Bremen, Hamburg, Munich, Nuremberg, Ravensburg and Tübingen – and increasingly in Berlin starting in 1990. It must have been 2005 when I met her. My Reiki Systems of the World book had just been published. At an event for the book’s publication, one of Mary’s students asked whether I would like to get in touch with her (which occurred without Mary’s knowledge) and gave me a telephone number.
I had already tried to get in contact with Mary some years before. But it did not work out at that time because she had not wanted it. Now, after a number of conversations on the telephone, she ultimately agreed to have me come by for an interview. The interview took place on 31 October – Halloween and Reformation Day. I met her at the flat where she lived when she was in Berlin; it was quite close to our flat at that time.
This first meeting resulted in other meetings, which occurred on an increasingly regular basis whenever Mary came to Berlin. The flat where she here lived was on the fifth floor and there was no elevator in the building. Mary always travelled with much luggage and this included a giant, heavy suitcase that she could just roll on her own but not carry. So whenever she arrived or left, she always asked whether I could come by to carry the suitcase up or down the five stories – which I was glad to do for her since the meetings with her were inspiring in many ways (and if I did not have the time every once in a while, I could always find someone else to help with the carrying).
Mary was often a guest at our home in the following years. We spent afternoons together, visited the Liebermann Villa on Lake Wannsee or the Neue Museum, where the famous bust of Nefertiti stands (which Mary liked very much!). It was a cold winter day as we entered the museum, and Mary wore a long white coat, a white fur hat and white gloves. Together with her fine-spirited presence, she had such a wondrous aura on this day that many of the museum visitors and employees also noticed it.
On the other days that we spent together, we talked long and extensively about spiritual topics, Reiki or other things that were on the agenda at the moment. When I drove her back to her flat afterwards and we had not yet finished the conversation when we arrived there, we sometimes remained seated in the car for a long time until we had reached a point in the respective topic that seemed adequate to us for a deeper understanding of it.
When it came to Reiki, Mary had very clear ideas that she often was not willing to deviate from in the slightest. She may certainly have been right about this in some points, and this revealed her special quality of being committed to the light despite any adverse circumstances. But in other points, her somewhat intolerant attitude in terms of some more recent developments or even traditional correlations may have been a bit exaggerated. Be that as it may: In any case, she had a firm opinion on every point and people could decide whether they wanted to agree in the individual cases or not.
I had many questions for her in the first years: about the time after Takata’s death, during which she supported Phyllis Furumoto as the successor of Takata – on the late 1990s as she did everything to prevent the licensing of Reiki, which Phyllis advocated at that time (and ultimately did not occur, also because the majority of masters from her own ranks were against it) – and on her current perspective of the Reiki Alliance, the role of the Office of the Grandmaster and the legacy of Ms. Takata. I asked whether she still had the old documents about these topics – and half a year later, she brought me copies of old letters and texts, handed them to me arranged like the „X Files“ but in a way that simultaneously made it clear: Who cares? Old stuff! Take your own path! How right she was about that.
In autumn 2009, Mary was a guest at my Reiki centre for an evening. Twenty-five of my students had come for this occasion, and Mary talked about her life with Reiki. I interpreted from English into German. She must have already known about the severity of her illness at this time. In any case, many of the stories that she told had an ending that was not very encouraging. But the spiritual knowledge that she conveyed between the lines and that was expressed quite naturally in her presence remained completely untouched by this.
In all of the years that we met on a regular basis, she was occupied with the revision of her book on Reiki that was published in 2003 in German. The book had solely appeared in the German language and remained unpublished in the English language area. As I had heard from publishers in the USA, there was an interest in also publishing her book in English. When I told her this, she was interested – and began revising her book extensively for such a publication. Based on everything that I know from our conversations, she had not been able to complete this work. She had always placed the highest priority on her direct work with Reiki: holding courses, giving treatments and spending time with students and friends. The time that remained was apparently not enough to finish the revision to her satisfaction. Perhaps the words became blurred or the insight that there is always something that can still be improved, that this is an endless process, interfered with her attempt to set a clear endpoint.
Dark autumn day
One day, Mary told me that she now had a new email address. She had wanted to get rid of the old one because it was too unwieldy for her. While trying to find a new address, she had still been indecisive about how it should read and had played around a bit online – and she was suddenly given a new address: ReikiMary@yahoo.com. She smiled in amusement and was somewhat resigned to her fate: „That is probably who I am: the Reiki Mary…“
During the two weeks in Berlin, directly after the Reiki Festival in Gersfeld in autumn 2010, she still initiated another female master. This happened in a similar brief period of time, just as Takata had initiated her as a master in summer 1980 – shortly before Takata died in December 1980. Mary still gave one 2nd degree course in Berlin, but no more 1st degree courses. It was a windy autumn day as I drove her to the airport. Leaves spun through the air, the sky was hung with dark clouds and it felt like I would be seeing Mary for the last time on this day. She told me, as already in previous times, of the channellings of the Hathors, published by Tom Kenyon – an author whose own texts and channellings she highly valued. In the meantime, I was making an effort to bring her safely through the rush-hour traffic to the airport in my car.
She spoke of conscious transitions into another dimension, of transitions, initial increases in the vibration. – topics that do not particularly interest me in this form since my focus is primarily on a well-grounded spirituality with an emphasis on being human. As already in earlier conversations, I mentioned my doubts about these topics and that the contents of channelling ultimately support a grounded, human-oriented spirituality… and we put off the further discussion to some point in the future. But this no longer happened.
I brought her to the counter at the airport, where she then checked in for the flight to England. She wanted to spend two weeks with her relatives before she flew back to the USA. The farewell was loving but brief, as usually was the case with Mary. Right at the start, there had sometimes been longer hugs when we parted ways. But then she suddenly became very curt (yet still loving). I could not really interpret this at first, but I quickly noticed that she still meant it in a very heartfelt way and was saying the following between the lines: After all, we are not separated on any level, so why make a drama out of a farewell? Parting and separation are not even real in a certain sense as long as we are close to each other on the level of the soul.
In Austin, Texas, the average daytime temperature in February is around 28 degrees Celsius and it hardly rains. This is warm enough to be outside for a longer period of time in open nature, even at night, without immediately suffering from the weather conditions. It is similar to India, where many wise people live under the open sky for a long time.
In January 2011, one month before Mary left her apartment in Austin, Texas, John Harvey Gray had died at an old age. John was also among the 22 masters who were initiated by Hawayo Takata. Mary had received her initiations into the 1st and 2nd degree from him, shortly before she was given her master initiation by Takata. Sai Baba – the famous Indian master who Mary had felt very close to, as she had related in an interview – died in April 2011. In another interview, she responded as follows to the question of „What person (now alive or deceased) would you like to meet?“: „Babaji, the 4,500-year-old, great illuminated being who looks as if he was 25 years old and lives in the Himalayas.“
As the events in Japan – the tsunami and the nuclear reactor accident in Fukushima – took their course in March 2011, I soon came up with the idea of concentrating the Reiki forces in a major, mutual Distance Reiki and use them for the good of the people in Japan.
I am thankful and overwhelmed by the large scale that this campaign has assumed up to this day – and that it is continued. A short time later, someone told me about Reiki Outreach International (ROI), the organisation founded by Mary in the 1990s that at times had up to 2,000 members. The goal of the association was to focus the Reiki forces in order to change difficult world situations such as war and natural catastrophes per Distance Reiki for the highest good of all. That reminded me that this organisation, which had hardly been active in recent years and just had a few remaining members (apparently due to the lack of an Internet presence) had always been a special cause for Mary. (As I heard later, there is a new internet presence of ROI now, at the website of The Reiki Association.)
In broad daylight
On 15 July 2011, the second Distance Reiki for Japan date, I was at a hut in the mountains. After sending Distance Reiki, I continued to read a book about the world religions. I had almost reached the end when a brief passage in the chapter on Taoism attracted my absolute attention:
„One of the major motifs of Taoist stories is disappearing. An immortal saint, known as the Woman of Greatest Mystery, can make temples and entire cities disappear by just pointing at them.“ It says that she „ascended to heaven in broad daylight and was no longer seen.“
Copyright: Oliver Klatt
Translation: Christine M. Grimm