Welcome to the John David Sparks website and blog dedicated to all who want to share in my meandering thoughts, questions, and comments. I occasionally have what I call, “holy shit” moments, similar, but not usually as profound as a Satori, as well as exclamations of sheer overwhelm that you may find posted in my blog. As you may or may not know, my journey of discovery is largely rooted in the understanding of how the nature of Life’s energy contains the tangible information and inspiration for bringing us closer to our Self.

This nature, in my opinion, is the underlying thread that allows healing and consciousness expansion to take place regardless of the form or technique that surrounds it. I hope you have a thoughtful, enjoyable, and inspiring time here as you browse through these pages. Don’t be shy if you have something to say. I look forward to hearing from you.

Blessings of light and Love,
John Sparks, Co-Owner of Insight Awareness

The Nature of Reiki:

A Path of Inclusion

By John David Sparks

The Book

“The Nature of Reiki: A Path of Inclusion”buy-now-button-amazon

By John David Sparks
(Balboa Press 2011: A division of Hay House Publishing)

A book for holistic seekers and compassionate hearts who are looking for a simple but effective way to approach growth and healing. It is also for the untold number of energy workers, and particularly Reiki practitioners, who have long sensed that there was more to the energy we call Reiki than a hands-on healing technique.

The Nature of Reiki – Book Excerpt

“With a passion for cosmology, I found Sparks’ book, ‘The Nature of Reiki,’  to be a wonderful portal into the world of Reiki, with personal stories, exercises, and step by step instructions for introducing the light and Love of Reiki into your life.”  Darlene Koldenhoven, Grammy Award Winning Vocalist


“’The Nature of Reiki,’ is an amazing look at the power within yourself. John David Sparks has written a masterpiece in guiding you with your spiritual practice and how Reiki can assist you on the path.” Karl Anthony, Master Song Leader, Songwriter, Producer and Humanitarian.


“As a spiritual teacher, I loved the way John expands our understanding beyond the “word” Reiki to include other energy modalities. The book is timely as more people become interested in energy work. I related to his integration of Western and Eastern thinking, personal stories and his ability to shift scripture from dogmatic thinking to a more spiritual, energetic viewpoint. A great staring point – easy to understand – for beginners and excellent refresher for those with some Reiki experience.”  David Hulse,D.D. Author of A Fork In The Road


“As a Reiki Master Teacher, I have purchased and read numerous books about Reiki, many of which contain the same or similar information. What John David Sparks offers in his new book, ‘The Nature of Reiki: A Path of Inclusion,’ is some new and very personal insights about the “being-ness” of Reiki. For John, Reiki is not simply a practice or a technique but much more. Reiki is a way of life; a path to “self-empowerment, self-healing and self-awareness.” I highly recommend adding this book to your library. Share it with your Reiki friends and students. I found ‘The Nature of Reiki’ to be both thought provoking and inspiring.”  Jane Van De Velde, DNP, RN President at The Reiki Share Project

Both Reiki practitioners and all those who are interested in energy based healing will find exercises, inspiration and practical guidance in the user friendly book, “The Nature of Reiki: A Path of Inclusion.”

Based on a very personal journey of 20 years, in which the author, John David Sparks (international speaker, teacher, business owner, and holistic practitioner), grew to understand that the nature of Reiki was more important than the approach or technique used to open to that energy. This nature, he contends, is the common thread and fusion of many ancient healing techniques and leading edge contemporary philosophies designed to heal our lives. By working with, what he calls the foundation of these traditions, rather than the buildings upon which surrounds them, he shows through his life how embracing this energy can bring sanity back to our life and ultimately the world.

People today are exposed to an amazing number of alternative modalities for healing and wholeness. The fact that alternative approaches have become an industry, in itself is proof that the public is hungry for more holistic ways of taking care of themselves. This is good news. Yet, there looms a downside of this movement which has already cast a shadow for a growing number of people. This shadow becomes visible when people, enamored by the vast array of approaches to healing, jump from one modality to another, without taking the time to let the actual healing component of that modality shine through.

Sparks believes that the essence, or nature, of the Reiki energy is that component; regardless of which approach they choose. This book encourages the reader to look past the traditional concept of what Reiki is and embrace the movement of light and Love at its core. In this way, Reiki can become a path to help guide your life, expand your consciousness, and open your heart to heal (in the truest sense of the word) becoming a much needed light in the world.

Adapting principles learned through his own journey of self-exploration, Sparks’ goal is to reach anyone and everyone with his synergistic approach and show that Reiki can work for them no matter what path they are on.

Through simple exercises, affirmations, and stories, Sparks will guide you to a new understanding of what Reiki is and how to let it guide your life. For those who are looking to explore the traditional “hands-on” approach offered by Dr. Usui (the Japanese spiritualist who is responsible for bringing Reiki to the masses in the early 1900s), the book is divided into two parts. The second part is dedicated to a deep understanding of that approach as an honoring to Dr. Usui. After all, without his timely presentation of Reiki to the public, its awareness might still be confined to small groups of esoteric seekers. The first part is devoted to helping the reader understand the vast nature of the energy and release it from the little box of our current understanding.

Overall, the simple, everyday language in the book has been described by some readers as, “being like sitting down with the author over a cup of tea.” In “The Nature of Reiki: A Path of Inclusion, “  Sparks describes a life, and a potential for every reader of continual expansion into the divine, and greater connection to our human family through the foundational nature of a Life force energy that many today call Reiki.

About Me

With an extraordinary passion and love for life, John David Sparks is dedicated to bringing about a lasting peace within himself and sharing his journey of Self-discovery with all. He loves to travel, and he has been a featured speaker locally (in the Chicago area) and internationally, with Power Places Tours in Peru, Egypt, and Bali.

He began his metaphysical studies in 1972, with an insatiable thirst for spirit that led him to many different spiritual teachings including Science of Mind, Self- Realization Fellowship, Transcendental Meditation, The Arica Institute, and more. In recent years, he has studied with, and/or been greatly influenced by: “The Work” of Byron Katie, Sadhguru, Swami Kriyananda, Eckhart Tolle, and Neale Donald Walsh, to name a few.

In 1990, he became a massage therapist, which led him to taking his first Reiki class in 1991. This quickly became his new passion, and in 1994, he completed his training in the Usui system. Shortly after this, with unexpected help, he founded Insight Awareness in the south suburbs of Chicago. Through the many years of working intensely with Reiki energies, he realized that it is much more than just a hands-on healing technique. It is the core and essence of who we are connecting us with the core and essence of all living things. It is, when rightfully embraced, a path leading to a never ending, ever expanding experience of our divinity.

John is not aligned with any particular religion, although his early background was largely Christian. He teaches that Reiki transcends all religions and works at igniting the fire within each individual to inspire them in passionately finding and following their own unique way to peace.

Besides occasional international speaking engagements and local retreats, he is currently teaching Reiki and other classes on a regular basis with co-owner of Insight Awareness, Valerie Reilly.

For information about class schedules,or to sponsor a class in your area, contact:

John David Sparks
Insight Awareness
18110 Martin Avenue
Homewood, IL 60430

It is said that everyone has a book inside of them. Not me, I have quite a few. I think that if I were to gather all of the papers I’ve written with my meandering thoughts along with various research information, I would be considered a prolific writer. Just ask my business partner, Valerie Reilly. She just shakes her head and says I have “paper karma” (lol). As far back as I can remember, I have loved to write. I can remember all the way back to third grade feeling excited about writing stories. So for me, the label of “author” just expresses part of who I am, not what I do. I consistently use writing to express aspects of myself and my thoughts that would otherwise remain bottled up inside. I’m so glad I do. I mean, what a great way to get clear about the questions and views I have on life. And what a great way to share my thoughts and ideas with lots of people at once. Self-growth is perpetuated much faster for me as I receive feedback from many people around a specific idea or a central theme. Believe me, I need all the help I can get (lol).

The only thing I can think of that may be considered a little frustrating about writing, is that it can be a bit time consuming. I must say, that even when I feel the driving need to express something burning inside of me, it often takes a long time to get it right.  With that said, I am very happy that I took the time to express the thoughts that are in my newest book “The Nature of Reiki: A Path of Inclusion.” It is a book whose time has come.

Yet, I knew immediately upon completion that there was more. It is indeed a double-edged sword and a challenge to decide when enough information has been given to call it complete. Hopefully, in the not too distant future, some of my new work will become available. In the meantime, I am looking forward to expressing myself through the blogs available on this site and getting to know about you as well.

The only thing that differentiates you as teacher, from me as teacher, is the cockamamie idea that I had to make my life open to the public. That decision has been a blessing, although there have been times I have felt it more of a curse. Nonetheless, even the roughest times have resulted in tremendous personal growth. Let’s face it, you can’t be a teacher without being a student as well. I’ve often said that the reason I may be able to serve anyone at all is because I’ve done it all “wrong” first. It has been through this path of “taking the long way home,” that I have gained wisdom, empathy, and compassion for those who have come into my life. Now I believe I’m slowly beginning to offer the same to myself.

Not so horribly long ago, the thought of someone coming to me for wisdom or guidance of any sort scared the daylights out of me. Yet, in 1994, I found myself traveling to Denver, Colorado to take Reiki Master training. I had told myself that I was going merely to complete what I had started four years prior. It was an interesting journey from the moment I left, which perhaps I can share at another time, but suffice it to say that my unseen destiny was unfolding fast. Upon my return to the Chicago area, a dear friend of mine with whom I had gone to massage school, asked me if I would teach a Reiki class at her office. Keep in mind that I had never officially taught anything in my life at this point.  With great excitement, and even more fear, I accepted the invitation and began planning.

To say I was a nervous wreck would be a gross understatement. I remember coming home every night from my full-time job, closing the door to my office, and spreading my notes from the last four years over the floor trying to fit them together in a format with which I was comfortable. I detailed every nuance on how I wanted the class to flow: what music to play when, what phrases or words I could use to transition into the next topic, what parts to put in, what parts to leave out, and on and on to such a degree that “teaching” became the tedious task of memorizing.

A little more than three months later, I was completely frazzled as I prepared the classroom for my eight students. One by one they arrived , each one’s presence slowly increasing the tension in my stomach and mind. By the time the eighth student entered the room, I was ready to excuse myself so I could go throw up and then give them their money back. But something strange was happening. It was as if some part of me, a much larger part of me, was moving my body through its fearful objections to the “teacher’s chair.”

I don’t remember the details after that moment. I just know that on my way home, after two days of teaching from 9 to 5, I was watching the autumn leaves fall from the trees in a magical, rhythmical motion that emphasized the great peace I was feeling inside. There is really no way to describe it. I just knew that my life had changed.

Since that time, I have instructed hundreds, perhaps thousands, of spiritually hungry people. I have taught not only the ever evolving awareness available through Reiki, but also I’ve facilitated workshops in various body/mind techniques such as: meditation, aromatherapy, on-site chair massage, and more. I have spoken both nationally and internationally on Reiki and am looking forward to offering much more in the future.

I never knew how much I loved adventure until I left home at age 17. Once I experienced the healing majesty of the Atlantic Ocean, and the exhilaration of the mountain tops in North Carolina, I was hooked. My blood boiled with excitement at the thought of seeing more of this beautiful country in which I lived. Fortunately, I was able to travel freely at that point in my life. My hitchhiking experiences would be a book in themselves, but now is not the time for that. Suffice it to say, that my passion for travel was only increased through experiencing such things as: rafting through the Grand Canyon, canoeing on the fastest river in Michigan, camping on a small island in Maine, and walking endless miles of country roads… all while meeting incredibly kind and fascinating people.

Once Insight Awareness (the holistic/alternative healing center I founded in 1994) was established, my travel radius expanded considerably. I travelled four times to Peru, also to Bali, and to Egypt, as a guest speaker for Power Places Tours. It was in Peru that I learned the true meaning of the term “power place.” It was a term that I had heard before, but like so many other phrases, I had no personal way to relate to it. I clearly remember sitting on the lawn of our lovely hotel nestled in the green and fertile Urubamba Valley, not too far from Machu Picchu. Mountain peaks of 12 to 15 thousand feet looked down upon us as if they had eyes. I had heard that the locals believed that each mountain had a spirit. They were called, “Apus,” and I was beginning to feel their presence more each moment.

The mesmerizing magic of twilight was upon us, and the stark contrast of my surroundings from the flatlands of the Midwest (where I had been only one day before), was a bit overwhelming. I had been to the high mountains of the U.S. before, but never had I felt such a mystical and peaceful presence as I did here. It was as if an ethereal blanket of Love covered the land and wrapped around my shoulders. As I sat staring into the distance, I began to feel my body pulsing with an incredible energy that seemed to be coming from the ground itself. Slowly but surely, this energy entered my every cell until tears began to flow from my eyes. Such an amazing feeling–Pure Love!

In the next moment, I heard a voice which resounded inside of my head and yet seem to come from all around me. It spoke only two words, “Welcome home.”  I intuitively understood that “home” was truly that place in my heart that felt its unbounded Love. Never before had such an ecstatic joy been present within me. That was the beginning of my Love affair with Peru, but it was also the beginning of my quest to find other places on the planet that might contain such an incredible energy. “Power places,” I finally knew what it meant.

Outside of Bali and Egypt, where I have also had incredible experiences, I have read and been told of many more “power places.” Some people, including my business partner, Valerie Reilly, feel the same way about Sedona, Arizona, as I do about Peru. While I love Sedona, my experience was not as powerful as in Peru. I’m guessing that each one of us resonates the strongest with the energy that enhances where we are on our path in that moment. In any case, I am really looking forward to continuing my travels so that I might satisfy my fascination with the incredible energy that this planet holds, learn about the ancient civilizations who lived and perhaps even grounded those energies into the area. I love investigating the diverse cultures that have developed all over the planet that help make this life such an amazing experience.

In my desire to continually deepen my experience with the essence of an ever expanding infinite universe of multiple dimensions, how could I not be a student?

To that end, my earnest training in metaphysics began in 1972. The Baptist church that I was attending had just asked me to leave. They could not understand why I was trying to bridge Eastern and Western spiritual teachings together. Perhaps more importantly, they could not answer the stream of never ending questions I had in my attempt to do so. This was not a bad or hurtful thing to me, for I too was frustrated by their inability to respond to my sincere questions. This was actually the break I needed to go all out and discover my own perception of the truth.

My introduction to meditation was with Transcendental Meditation as taught by Maharishi Mahash Yogi. It was a beautiful experience which served me well for many years, and one whose foundation is still applicable to many facets of my spiritual study. In addition to that, I began taking classes with a teacher who was trained in the Arcane School tradition of Alice Bailey. This was a very esoteric training and opened my eyes to many new possibilities. Next came my ecstatic experience through training with the Arica Institute, where I learned the power of psycho-calisthenics and the beauty of body movement with breath.

I was off to a wonderful start, and fortunately living with a roommate who was completely immersed in metaphysical teachings himself. We spoke of these things almost exclusively from the time we got home from work to the late hours of the night, for almost 2 years. Eventually, the time came to go out into the world and apply all of these teachings to my everyday life. As it turned out, Life seemed to have its own agenda; and without any fanfare, initiations, or verbal instructions, Life became my greatest teacher.

It would take another book to chronicle my journey of weaving in and out, and back and forth, on the road of wanting to live a spiritual life, to finally making a commitment that would keep me consistently on the path I claimed I desired. I attribute this commitment to the cumulative lessons learned, not only from the teachers and classes already mentioned, but also and largely from the teachings of great souls such as: Ernest Holmes in the “Science of Mind,” Paramahansa Yogananda  who founded Self Realization Fellowship, Sadhguru, Byron Katie, the Angels, and last but not least, immersion in the nature of the Life force energy itself.

My joy of learning continues to this day, and hopefully will never end. To paraphrase the teachings of Abraham as channeled by Esther Hicks, “I am happily incomplete.”

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