What is Reiki?
I am asked that question
frequently. There is some preconceived notion that Reiki is a
religion or even that it is a cult of some sort. It is neither.
Reiki is not a belief system. It is a healing energy. Reiki
is Universal Life Energy; a balanced energy flowing through the
practitioners’ hands that evokes healing. My clients do not
need to believe nor practice what I might spiritually in order
for Reiki healing energy to be effective. Anyone who is attuned
to Reiki can use Reiki energy for themselves and for others.
When I worked with my Reiki
Master, I was taught that Reiki works on four levels; physical,
mental, emotional and spiritual. I am sure Reiki works on more
levels, but that would only be speculation on my part.
On the physical level, Reiki
helps to bring balance. When the body is in balance it tends to
heal itself. Burns heal faster, breaks mend sooner than
expected, bleeding stops faster, etc. On a mental level, when
one is balanced, focus is better, problems are approached with
greater clarity, learning becomes easier, stress is much easier
to handle. When the emotional level is balanced, one is less
likely to need anti depressant type medication. Walking in
balance it is easier to listen to your inner voice and be guided
well. Reiki sparks what your own body knows it must do, but is
blocked with negative energy and the pressures of the outside
world. Reiki helps your body, mind and heart to remember what
is needed in order to walk in balance.
The ability to flow Reiki
energy is acquired through a process known as attunements, or
alignments and should only be done through a Reiki Master. If
one surfs the internet these days there are all kinds of
websites advertising Reiki attunements in a matter of hours
complete with a downloadable manual; and presto! You are
attuned. You don’t even need to meet the Reiki Master for the
attunement to take effect. And while it is true, that one who
is attuned to Reiki energy can practice long distance healing;
that is vastly different from attuning a student. It is my
opinion that there needs to be a relationship between Master and
student, and the attunements, knowledge and energy are handed
down. In this era of quick fixes and immediate results,
downloading an attunement certificate, paying your fees on Pay
Pal, and receiving a manual that is emailed to you, takes away
from the relationship that can and should be on going between
Master and student. In my opinion, to do Reiki one must first be
initiated by a Reiki Master. There is NO other way. It cannot
be acquired through meditation, or from reading a book, or
paying your fees to pay pal and sitting and waiting for that
long distance attunement to take effect.
Reiki has it’s own sense of
where to go in the body. It senses where it is needed most, in
order to bring the body back in balance.
It is important to realize
that Reiki’s balancing energy comes through the Reiki Channel.
It is not the practitioners energy, but rather, a higher,
Universal Cosmic Energy that enters through the Crown Chakra at
the top of the head, flows down through the body and out through
the hands to the clients’ body. It is drawn in direct
proportion to what the recipient needs, not what the
practitioner thinks is needed.
To become a Reiki Master, one
has been through the process of being initiated into First
Degree and then into Second Degree. After much practice one
knows if becoming a Master is the next step of the journey.
After the Crown Chakra is opened during the First Degree
attunement, whether or not you draw on the Reiki energy, you
will always have it. Many students come back for a ‘refresher’.
That only means that they want that oneness with the Reiki
Master and to bask in the energy that so freely flows. It does
not mean that you have lost the attunement.
Reiki can be felt by both
recipient and practitioner and manifests as heat, cold, tingling
or throbbing. Many recipients report seeing colours during a
healing as well. No two sessions are ever the same. I always
look forward to a session knowing that I, too, will feel the
energy flowing through myself to the recipient.
The gift of Reiki is one that
continues to fill me with peace, joy, wonderment and awe.
History and Origin
There are many variations of
the history and origin of Reiki. Dr. Mikao Usui has become
As told to me by my Reiki
Master, here then is what I know;
In the mid 1800’s, Dr. Usui,
head of a Christian school, was posed a question by one of his
students; asking why they were only learning to heal the soul,
why not the body and soul. Dr. Usui set out to find the answer.
After many years he
discovered a formula for physical healing and balance in holy
writings – but he was still missing the key to getting the power
to start the activation.
His solution was to go up
onto Mount Kurama-yama for 21 days of meditation and prayer and
fasting to see if the answers would come to him. To keep track
of the days, Dr. Usui gathered up 21 stones. He meditated,
prayed and read. Each day he threw away one of the stones to
mark the passage of time.
On the morning of the 21st
day, he prayed and waited for some sign. Over the horizon he
saw a small beam of light. As it moved towards him, it increased
in speed and size. Dr. Usui turned and began to run, but after
thought, resolved to stand his ground, having come to close to
the answers. As he made his decision, the light burst upon him
striking him unconscious. He began to see bubbles, lots of
bubbles, multi coloured bubbles, emerald green, pale ink, deep
red, rich blue. In the center of every white bubble was a gold
figure in Sanskrit. He took in all of these figures before he
En route down from the
mountain, there occurred five Reiki miracles – ways in which Dr.
Usui helped those he came across, heal from various ailments.
He meditated and prayed with the Bishop from the monastery on
how to best use the new found Reiki. It was decided that Dr.
Usui should go to Beggar City and heal the beggars. He believed
that the beggars would go on to create new lives for themselves.
Dr. Usui remained in the Beggar City for seven years, treating
the beggars, healing them. One night while out walking, he came
upon a familiar face. As it turned out, this man was one of the
first beggars Dr. Usui had treated. The beggar had tried a new
life and wailed that it was too difficult. He said that it was
easier to be a beggar. Dr. Usui saw his error at that moment.
There must be some responsibility taken for their own healing.
Reiki must never be just given away. The flow needs to be
completed. There must be an exchange of energy. It was at this
time as Dr. Usui left Beggar City that he formulated "The Five
Principles of Reiki".
At that point he began
lecturing and teaching Reiki until the early 1900’s when he
crossed over. He acquired 18 disciples, young men, who traveled
throughout Japan with him. As so it began; the tradition of
apprenticeship in Reiki. A tradition that continues on to this
The Two Precepts of
I. The Person must
ask - the recipient must ask to be healed and in the asking
open up the Throat Chakra, saying "I want to heal, I want to
change my state of health from what it is now" – in speaking
those words, the recipient is now involved and participating in
their own healing. The request may also come from a soul level.
Though the recipient asks from the Throat Chakra, it is truly
from the soul that the recipient asks.
The Reiki practitioner must
listen and render service to the request of the soul. Likewise,
if during an ‘absentee’ or distant healing the Reiki
practitioner asks permission to heal at a soul level, and does
not receive it, then a Reiki healing is not done.
II. Exchange of Energy
– I’ve heard many differing opinions on payment for Reiki
sessions. Some thinking that they cannot afford it, others
thinking it should be offered free of charge. With Reiki there
must be an exchange of energy between the recipient and
practitioner. Reiki practitioners who offer healing services on
a professional level do establish a fee. Money, after all, is
merely a form of energy; one that is widely understood by
humankind, but the energy exchange does not have to be money.
If the recipient has no money
with which to pay for the session, many Reiki practitioners are
open to accepting other methods of the energy exchange.
Flowers picked from the recipients garden, a collection of favourite meditation music, a plant to add to energy in the
healing room and so on. It should be something that is
meaningful to the recipient and as such, means that the request
for healing comes from the soul and is sincere.
Money is not the only thing
that can be exchanged. It is merely the most widely understood.
If the exchange is with something of ‘value’, it ultimately
reflects the feeling of worthiness and self love of the person
seeking to change their state of health.
Five Principals of
The Five Principals of Reiki
as formulated by Dr. Usui, and handed down to us today are:
Just for today I will give
thanks for my many blessings
Just for today I will not
Just for today I will not be
Just for today I will do my
Just for today I will be kind
to my neighbor and every living thing
Each day I begin "just for
today" and I find that the most difficult principal to live up
to, is ‘not being angry’. I have found that anger is a cover or
a mask for what truly lies beneath. If someone speaks in anger
towards me it usually covers up a host of other emotions; if I
become angry, I am usually covering up what the real heart of
the matter is for me. Therefore, when I become angry or others
towards me, I am forgiving, and for myself, try to get to the
root cause of the anger and move forwards. I make allowances
around me as well for those who have anger towards me. It is all
part of forward motion and being the best person one can be.
These Principals are what is
fondly referred to as "Living Reiki".
Anyone on a spiritual path
will be tempted. There are lessons to be learned as we grow
spiritually. We are all human. If one is on a diet, the
temptation might be hot fudge sundaes or chocolate truffles. If
you have chosen to walk a path of Reiki, temptations will pop up
when you least expect it. Usually these temptations will have
something to do with:
Pride – you might get the
feeling that you alone can heal much better than others. You
might be feeling that you want the title of Reiki Master for
it’s title alone.
Ego – you might forget that
you are merely a conduit for Reiki energy, nothing more.
Greed – you might forget the
essence of energy exchange and choose to accept money as the
only acceptable form of energy.
Power Hungriness – you might
begin to think that you have power over others.
Reiki is humbling. It is
never about power over. You are merely a conduit of Universal Light Source,
nothing more. As we grow and learn Reiki assists
that growth process, providing lessons when we need them to
remind us why we walk this path.