Board of Directors

The Purpose of the Board:  to hold the highest vision (truth) of TRA as an act of community; to serve as channel or vessel for the tasks of the community and to take these tasks to the next step; to be the voices of the members; to create and support forms for community to emerge. (9/92)

Purpose of the Board of Directors;  implement the purposes of The Reiki Alliance; hold, develop, and direct vision of TRA; set goals; determine and set policy; evaluate policy implementation. (1/95)

The Board of Directors provides leadership and formulates policies for the Alliance based on the precepts of Usui Shiki Ryoho and the statement of identity.  In its goal to reflect the spirit of the Alliance, the Board also seeks information and guidance from Alliance members.

The Board sets the theme of the annual conference, appoints committees and defines their mission, approves the annual budget and often identifies steps needed to achieve community goals.

Term of Office:  members of the Board of Directors are elected by the membership during the Annual General Meeting, at their annual conference.  A Board member holds a position for 3 years.  There are 5 members on the Board, with rotating years.  A Board member is eligible to serve two consecutive terms.

Kalinka Staikova
BULGARIA
2021-2024

Nur (Natalia) Stepanova
RUSSIA
2021-2024

Christopher Tellez
USA
2022-2025

Gilberto Arias
USA
2022-2025

Mariel Garcia
BOLIVIA
2022-2025

Kalinka Staikova

 I was born in 1961 in Bulgaria and have lived here ever since. I’m married, have an adult son and am blessed with two grandchildren.

Education is important in my family, and I went to Russia to study based on American programs and earned a degree in Economics and a PHD in Human Resource Management education.

For almost 30 years I have been General manager of a company, which has domestic and international activities. The company, a representative for Bulgaria, sells, installs and technically supports equipment, specialized software and consumables, produced by the highest quality USA and European companies for the printing industry in Bulgaria. 

I met Reiki by chance - I was training in Aikido and a woman from that group invited me to an “interesting” meeting - only to listen … and I was free to leave …. It was a questions and answers meeting with Leni Erica Gut from Switzerland - before a first-degree course. I listened, felt … and remained - forever. She became my master for my first, second and master’s degrees. I still treasure every moment with her.

Since becoming a Master in 2003, I actively have classes even during the Covid time. I have been involved with the LEPT, By-laws, Mission Statement teams and as a Membership Assistant. In 2017 along with my colleagues and students, we hosted a conference in Bulgaria.

My deep belief is that we communicate not with people only as persons, but with the different aspects of Life Force manifesting itself through them. My whole life experience has been spent testing and getting to know different aspects of respect and gratitude- towards different manifestations of Life Force, including my own.

Nur Stepanova

 I have lived in Moscow for over 20 years. I studied English at school as all children did. I didn’t graduate from university and what helped to me later to start to speak and translate English fluently could be related to “Practice, practice, practice”. So, I know by my own experience that this principle works.

Almost thirty years ago I met Reiki when my initiating master Fokke Brink came to our city. The next time he came, I received Second degree, and then I started the process of preparation for Mastery. I would not say that it was an easy path, though I savor all the lessons I received on it.

At that time, I became an interpreter for Masters, who came to Russia, and this is how I met Phyllis Furumoto. I travelled a lot, and learned, and learned, and learned. Later I met Paul and I interpreted for him too - at “Way to Harmony” workshops held in Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Germany and USA. During his workshops and meetings with other master’s and students I continued my love of learning. I love everything I am doing in my life.

Later, I started to interpret for Phyllis, and saw a small part of her huge inner world. I realized I wanted to learn from her. I asked her to be my Mentor. She eventually agreed and I’m l grateful for everything I received from her. Not all the lessons were pleasant but why would they be? In these trainings I found my really deep understanding of the Reiki Precepts, and vital qualities of honesty, creativity, integrity and other things.

Phyllis convinced me to become a member of TRA – not with words, but with her passion she had for TRA. The way she spoke about it and with the ideas she had for TRA.

I became a member of the Board, in Germany in 2016, and I stayed in this position for one and a half years. At that time, I was not able to hold the difference of opinions within the Board. So, I stepped down. This year I felt the urge to do it once again,

Now as a member of the Board, my intention is strong to serve the Community and our Lineage Bearer Johannes Reindl, using all my knowledge, my skills as a facilitator, translator, teambuilding coach, Reiki Master and my innate abilities.

Compassion is very important for me. – to be softer to the world, to the people around, to things in the world, to words and actions of people. To know who I am and who I am not. With these qualities I steadfastly hold my inner core and commitment to serve the Reiki Alliance community.

Christopher Tellez

“Trust Reiki.” “Let Reiki guide you.” I tend to experience both a push and a pull with these statements. I love them when they line up with my ideas, beliefs, and goals. When they don’t align, there is resistance inside of me, and sometimes I rebel.

During the AGM, I did not feel a personal calling to volunteer myself for a seat on the Board of TRA. Yet Reiki kept showing me through various experiences that I was supposed to raise my hand, trust Reiki, and let it guide me. So, finally, after much resistance, I took a leap of faith and raised my hand.

I have sat with the question of why Reiki called me to be on the Board of TRA. Is it my skills as a community organizer, a social worker, someone who has a Reiki Center in San Francisco, who fosters community with my students? Is it my degrees or the boards I sit on? After some consideration, I doubt that my skills have anything to do with why I was called. No doubt they will be helpful, but when I ask Reiki, it shows me something more.

I ponder the dance I experienced at the AGM - the push and pull that superseded what I thought I wanted, uncomfortably guiding me in a new direction. Was speaking this out loud to the whole group in such a vulnerable and open way something I could contribute to our TRA community?

As I sit with how I envision myself showing up to the TRA Board and community, I want to acknowledge my commitment to you. I will listen deeply with love and compassion for others, I will remain teachable, approachable, and inclusive of all TRA members. It is my hope that my commitment, my personal, interpersonal, with my professional skills will contribute in a positive way as we move towards the next steps in the evolution of TRA.

Gilberto Arias

I started my Reiki journey in 2004, when Phyllis Furumoto visited El Paso, Texas and offered a Reiki Level 1 class. I fell in love with the beauty of Usui Shiki Ryoho and the humbleness and accessibility of Phyllis as a teacher.

In 2005, I was introduced to level 2 and was blown away by the depth of the practice. Eventually I felt a calling and was initiated as a master by Richard Davis in 2011. That same year, I requested and was fortunate to be accepted to be mentored by Phyllis.

I was born and live on the border between El Paso, Texas, United States and Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. Consequently, I’m fluent in Spanish and English and aspire to learn more languages to communicate better. I have a Master of Business Administration degree and my wife and I own and manage a logistics company and a wellness centre.

I have served in leadership positions in various professional and social nonprofit organizations and I’m the proud father of two adult children. I love my two dogs and enjoy all types of music, poetry, theatre, and movies.

I am enthusiastic about meeting people and learning from them. In my role on TRA Board, I am hoping to help the USR community become closer and enjoy more ways of expressing their unique perspectives and supporting each other’s journeys.

Mariel Gaia

A few years ago, I heard the following phrase from Buddha: “Take care of the outside, as well as the inside, because everything is One.” Reiki led me not only to understand it, but to put it into practice.

I was born in La Paz, Bolivia in 1984, lived a few years in Curaçao (Caribbean) with my family and then again in La Paz. At the age of 19, I spent 6 months in the United States, but returned to my birthplace until, at the age of 30, my Reiki path took me to Santa Cruz, Bolivia, where I still live.

I learned German and English at school at the age of 18, in a period of depression and addictions in my life, I found Reiki. I felt like living again after experiencing only a few sessions of this millenary discipline, which caught my attention and my interest to learn more. After the 1st Level, I felt a strong calling to dedicate myself to this healing art for the rest of my life. I felt the desire to share Reiki with others so that they could discover what I had discovered: happiness is born within. I have dedicated myself for almost 20 years to the practice of Reiki, in myself and attending patients almost every day.

With my 2nd level, I traveled to the United States, where I participated in a Reiki volunteer program at the Hartford Connecticut Hospital, experiencing the beautiful union between science and spirituality. After returning to Bolivia in 2011, I trained as a Reiki Master, and began a new stage of teaching and transmitting this practice to every human being who feels the desire in his heart to heal, to help others heal. Alongside my Reiki, I studied psychology for 4 years. However, I left the career because when I began my training as a Master, I felt totally dedicated to that, both personally and professionally.

By becoming part of TRA I discovered a wonderful community where we share the same practice and values of Reiki and life in Reiki. I learned and still learn from the enriching experiences of other masters who have been in this practice longer than I. At the same time, the great similarities in our way of life no matter the language, where we come from, or how long we have been in this practice Reiki unites us to meet from the common within us: the Love, the Self, the Energy.

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