The word Reiki is composed of two Japanese words: “rei” and “ki“. Translating Japanese into English is very difficult, especially if we are seeking a definition from a more spiritual context. In this case, Rei can be defined as the Higher Intelligence that guides the creation and functioning of the universe, both animate and inanimate things. It is available to help us in times of need and to act as a source of guidance in our lives. Ki is the non-physical energy that animates and flows in all living things, including plants, animals and humans. When a person’s Ki is high, they will feel strong, confident, and ready to enjoy life and take on it’s challenges. When it is low, they will feel weak and are more likely to get sick. We receive Ki from the environment and everything around us, like the air, light, etc.
So, Reiki can be defined as a non-physical healing technique made of life force energy that is guided by the Higher Intelligence. The source of health comes from the Ki that flows through and around the individual, rather than from the functional condition of organs and tissues. Reiki is a simple, natural and safe method of spiritual healing and self-improvment that everyone can use. It has been effective in helping virtually every known illness and psychological issue and always creates a beneficial effect, such as a deep relaxation. It also works with all other medical or therapeutic techniques to relieve side effects and promote recovery.
To administer Reiki, a practitioner channels life force energy through his or her hands unto another. The spiritual guidance enables the Reiki to flow through the affected parts of the subject’s energy field and charges them with positive energy. It raises awareness in and around the physical body where negative thoughts and feelings are contained. This causes the negative energy, such as stress, anxiety, physical pain, sadness, confusion, etc. to loosen its grip, allowing the touch of the Reiki healer to swoop in and clarify the energy pathways. A treatment feels like a wonderful glowing radiance that flows through and around you. This healing technique cannot be guided by the mind, therefore it is not limited by the experience or ability of the practitioner. Neither can it be misused as it always creates a healing effect, the worst it can do is nothing.
Reiki is different from almost all other healing modalities. It’s actually transferred to each student from a Reiki master during what is called an “attunement” process. This process opens the crown, heart, and palm chakras and creates a unique connection between the student and the teacher. Once you have received a Reiki attunement, you will have Reiki for the remainder of your life. It does not “wear off” and you can never lose it.
There are actually three or four levels of Reiki, depending on your teacher, for which one must be attuned before becoming a master:
- Reiki Level 1: it is all about learning the history of Reiki, proper hand placements, the basics of how to use Reiki on others, and the practice of self-Reiki. This encourages students to use the technique on themselves in order to work through personal hardships.
- Reiki Level 2: it is often defined by a focus on practicing Reiki on others, as well as an expanded opening of the energy channels. Additionally students receive the Reiki symbols and Level 2 attunement. The Reiki symbols allow the practitioner to connect more deeply to the universal energy, as well as draw on the qualities that the symbols represent. This includes the ability to provide distance in space and time treatments.
- Reiki Level 3/Master: in many courses the Third Degree and Reiki Master are the same designation, because it is traditionally considered the teacher’s level.
Reiki is spiritual in nature, it is not a religion. It has no dogma, and there is nothing you must believe in order to learn and use it. Infact, Reiki is not dependent on belief at all and will work whether you believe in it or not. Many people find that using Reiki puts them more in touch with the experience of their religion rather than having only an intellectual concept of it, but that is only up to you and your beliefs.
Most agree that Reiki has its origins back to the late 19th or early 20th centuries and the teachings of a Japanese monk named Mikao Usui. He had “rediscovered” this ancient concept of an inexhaustible energy source that can be harnessed for healing. Through attunements, a Reiki master (Usui was the first) can teach others to master this healing power as well. In 1937, a Japanese-American named Hawayo Takata brought the practice of Reiki to the West when she returned to her native Hawaii.
The secret art of inviting happiness,
The miraculous medicine of all diseases.
Just for today, do not anger,
Do not worry and be filled with gratitude.
Devote yourself to your work. Be kind to people.
Every morning and evening, join your hands in prayer.
Pray these words to your heart
and chant these words with your mouth.
Usui Mikao, Reiki: Treatment for the improvement of body and mind