Many people have asked me about the different kinds of Reiki out there and how you can become a Reiki practitioner or how you can learn Reiki. Because Reiki is translated as “Universal Life Force Energy” many people assume that as long as they can move energy, prana or Chi or Qi that they are automatically Reiki practitioners. While the life force is essentially the same, the frequency at which you transmit or effect change is different for different energy modalities.
Many healers have recalls of past energy work they’ve done in other lifetimes and when they rediscover these gifts, they call it Reiki because it manipulates the energy field to release and heal. These healing methods can be perfectly valid on their own and I would venture to say that there are some wonderful powerful healers out there practicing these unique healing modalities. These modalities however would not be called Reiki as it is known and certified in the West. These modalities should be respected for their unique gifts and given their own names rather than placing everything under the Reiki heading. One thing to remember that while a Reiki practitioner may place their hands lightly on you to transmit the Reiki energy, Reiki never includes physical manipulation of the body the way a massage therapist might do. Reiki is just as, if not more, effective hands-off as it is with direct hand contact.
How do you become a Reiki practitioner?
Reiki in the Usui tradition is passed down from Master Practitioner/Teacher to a student or initiate. While Dr. Usui himself received the gift of Reiki during a meditation retreat, it is difficult to say whether anyone else has received the Reiki gift spontaneously. Reiki works well to amplify other healing modalities or to work along side them. If you are already an energy healing practitioner, you might just find that Reiki boosts your healing abilities and provides you with additional guidance during everyday activities as well as healing sessions.
To practice Reiki treatments on yourself or others, you become attuned to the Reiki energy flow by an attunement process through a Reiki Master/Teacher. This person who has received the final level of Reiki attunement is able to pass it onto others. The process involves the Reiki Teacher channeling the Reiki symbols into your aura, energy field and opening chakras so that you are open to receiving and channeling the Reiki energy. The Reiki Teacher is a facilitator for the process which is assisted by spiritual beings of light such as angels and Reiki Masters and guides.
First Degree – Shoden
First degree of Reiki is hands on, you can work on the physical body and its energies. The process is usually relaxing to the recipient. This level helps you become comfortable with Reiki and how it feels as it flows through you. The initiate stage is where we take the first step into becoming an instrument of healing for ourselves and others. This stage allows us to transmit Reiki while learning that we are merely a channel or instrument for the Reiki to flow. We learn the humility that we are not the Doer, Controller, or Healer, but rather facilitate the healing of ourselves and others by connecting to the Universal Source of Life. This level of Reiki helps you to create positive changes in all areas of your life. Reiki at this level can be and should be used daily on yourself and others, plants and pets, the food you eat and prepare, even technology like computers and cars. Reiki flows into your crown, through the heart and out the hands.
Second Degree – Okuden
The second degree of Reiki attunement amplifies the flow of Reiki Life Force Energy through the system of the practitioner. You can learn to channel four times the amount of Reiki energy and target the flow of Reiki through the use of three Reiki symbols. Through this increased energy flow, you can empower positive changes more rapidly in yourself and others. Reiki level II teaches you techniques for healing the mental and emotional bodies as well as the physical body. This level also teaches you how to transmit Reiki at a distance when you or the recipient is not physically present. You can even send Reiki over time distances to the past or future. You learn to use and share Reiki more deeply to better understand its’ flow and alternate methods of transferring the Reiki into recipients. Reiki can be used to activate crystals and empower personal intentions and goals, such as to quit smoking or to build courage.
Third Degree (Master/Teacher) – Shinpiden
At the Master/Teacher level of Reiki we have taken the time to experience giving Reiki treatments to ourselves and others. We have case studies of Reiki sessions recorded for self-treatment and for client sessions. We choose the responsibility of a teacher. We commit to the preservation of the integrity and purity of the Reiki traditions so that future generations of Reiki practitioners can experience it unadulterated. This level is not so much an achievement of having mastered Reiki, but a commitment to master the ego and self. Reiki continues to help your spiritual evolution as you learn the Master symbol and receive the attunement for passing on Reiki to others. Passing Reiki onto others is not a simple task but a commitment as a teacher to provide support and guidance to those you teach. You will learn how to attune others to channel Reiki and teach them the ins and outs of practicing Reiki. This involves commitment to understand and learn to use Reiki more deeply over time and to share its’ gifts with the world.
The attunement clears and opens the crown chakra, heart and hand chakras to allow Reiki energy to flow through you. This process is sometimes called an initiation. The hands are lightly placed on the head, shoulders, hands and feet and you may feel the breath of the teacher as they attune you to channel Reiki. This allows your aura to retain a permanent connection to Reiki even if you choose not to use it for long periods of time. You will be able to reconnect to Reiki by setting the intention and doing Reiki on yourself or others once more. In the second and third level attunements you will also feel the symbols drawn into your palm chakras. After the attunements you may undergo a 21 day energetic cleansing period which I’ll describe later in a follow-up article.
I would love to hear your thoughts and comments on your attunement experiences and if you’ve experienced any changes in your healing practice when adding Reiki to your healing toolbox.