September 24, 2018

39: Spiritual Appropriation & Oral Histories with Hiroki Keaveney

In this episode, the lovely Hiroki Keaveney and I discuss

  • The lineage and story behind reiki
  • How we can be sensitive and aware about cultural and spiritual appropriation of healing work
  • Spiritual theft and how to respect the lineage of a healing tradition
  • How you impact your ancestors and they influence you
  • How transgender identity is an ongoing and deeply spiritual process for Hiroki
  • The importance of oral histories and where we come from
  • How they support others in healing by learning the ways of their ancestors

Hiroki Keaveney is a 4th generation Japanese American and certified Reiki Master. Their mixed-race background as both East Asian and Irish, informs the work they do and how and why they practice these healing traditions. The founder of Dragonfly Intergenerational Healing Services, Hiroki’s work is based on community and familial love.


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All Show Notes for This Episode


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Shoutout to my Clients

The work I am doing here with the podcast would not be possible if it weren't for my 1-on-1 and couples/relationships clients. I feel incredibly grateful for the trust that is placed in me as a healer by you. You inspire me every day, give me ideas for new topics, and I love working with you.

If you feel drawn to my work, would like to explore the different healing modalities which I offer, or would like to connect in a free consultation, please reach out.

Let's work together:


Show Notes & Timestamps 

0:00 Opening

0:20 Intro

1:54 Shoutout to My Clients

3:05 Jumping Into the Interview

3:25 Who Is Hiroki?

4:09 How Do You Impact the Ancestry and How Does It Impact You?

5:18 Working With Future Generations

6:29 Example: Mainstream Media Knows the Term “Transgender”

7:53 Being the Truest Version of Yourself

9:00 First Generation Japanese-American-Irish-Queer

12:32 Learning in the Asian American Experience

16:09 One of the Life Lessons?

16:53 Learn Your Heritage: Gain Self Worth

17:54 Family History / Restorative for Sense of Worthiness

20:49 Reasons that Family Secrets Exist

21:14 Spiritual vs. Human Experience

25:23 Hiroki’s Spirits and Their Messages

26:59 Spirituality Now Is Connection to Ancestors

28:51 Cultural Appropriation in Healing Work

30:32 Cultural & Spiritual Theft

32:34 How Do We Even Know if We Are Disrespectful?

34:05 Japanese Roots but No Country (Meaning: It’s Been Appropriated to the Point That Even Japanese People Don’t Know Where It’s Coming Form)

36:40 Reiki - How It Came to the Us & Was Used in War

38:39 Reiki - Banned in Japan

39:22 Practice Used for Good & Bad

39:55 How Cultural History Shapes Future Generations (Hiroki Talks About How It Is to Life With a History of a Country That Brutalized but Also Got Imprisoned)

41:04 British Imperialism in Ireland and Irish in the USA

42:02 Reiki - Reborn in the Spiritual Movement

44:51 Reiki - Meaning of the Word

46:20 When We Don’t Know That We Are Appropriating

47:21 Struggles Reclaiming Something Because of Shame

54:40 Anything Else?

56:42 Small T-Truth / the Search for Big-T-Truth

58:01 Getting to Know Your Family Story

59:39 Extra Outside Witness in Family Constellations

1:01:49 Speaking for Others

1:02:55 Outro

1:03:43 The Embody Podcast

1:03:54 The Embody Community


Intro Music by Nick Werber (

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