I first heard a mention of Reiki in the late 1990’s. It started as a murmur then, in true Reiki fashion, I found myself in 1999 taking firstly Reiki 1 then Reiki 11. In the year 2000 I became a Reiki Master, Usui-Takata Tradition.
The 5 precepts I was taught were:
Just for today, do not anger
Just for today, do not worry
Honour your Parents, Teachers and Elders
Do your work honestly
Be kind to every living creature
Everything was flowing along smoothly. I joined The Reiki Association and obtained my Reiki insurance. I practiced my Reiki healing and started the preparation for Reiki teaching.
This is when the fun started. I discovered the Internet and the great explosion of all the ‘new’ Reiki information coming to light through the likes of William Rand (USA) and, more recently, Taggart King (UK)
By now I had written my Reiki manuals, in true Usui – Takata Tradition (Western style) and had started teaching and attuning to Reiki, again as I was taught. More and more books on the subject of Reiki were appearing on the shelves of bookshops (and I had discovered Amazon), with many of them giving new, almost contradictory information to that which I had been taught. The 5 precepts had changed to:-
The secret art of inviting happiness
The miraculous medicine of all diseases
Just for Today, Don't get angry
Don't worry, Be Grateful
Work hard, be kind to others
Every morning and evening, join your hands in prayer.
Pray these words to your heart
And chant these words with your mouth
This was great but where had ‘Honour your Parents, Teachers and Elders’ gone and what was this gassho that kept being mentioned? More investigations were called for.
My sister Trisha, also a Reiki Master, and I attended a 3-day seminar being facilitated by Phyllis Furumoto on the Public Practice of Reiki. Besides meeting Phyllis, a truly lovely lady, and the subject matter being of great interest, we were both amazed at the diversity amongst the Reiki practitioners attending from the “what do you mean psychic protection?” to “what are Chakras?” to “I received my Reiki Attunements at Stonehenge” I found it a strange, but very interesting experience, having all the different lineages at the conference and was amazed that ‘my’ Reiki appeared to be quite different to that which Phyllis taught. My lineage actually goes back to Iris Ishikusa after Mrs Takata and this brought it home to me that originally Reiki teaching was all verbal communication, nothing written and everyone hears the same information in a different mode putting more importance on some aspects and less on others possibly in total contrast to another person being told the same information.
Our next trip was to a training session with Taggart King. Taggarts’ teaching is at the other end of the spectrum but, again this proved to be a very interesting few days and we learned a great deal more about Reiki and its ‘original’ origins. Whereas I was originally taught the Western style Reiki of Usui-Takata this was very much of the Eastern style, yet still different to that of William Rand.
After a great deal of deliberation I decided my way forward was still as I was taught for my main teaching with my attunements and manuals (honouring the ‘honour your parents, teachers and elders’ bit that continually sticks in my head) but also providing a supplementary manual containing the information on the Eastern Traditions of Reiki, including information on the Chakras, meridians etc, and the ‘new’ Reiki story. Every one of my students has freedom of choice, to choose exactly what they want to take from my teachings. Throughout Reiki it is the pure intent that is the most important feature and all this diversity could cause conflict, conflict that goes against the 5 precepts!
Now the fun has started again. “Regulation” The NHSTA (National Health Service Trusts Association) has compiled a Directory of CAM Practitioners and made it available to all medical centres/institutions in the UK via the web. It also intends for the public to have access to this in the very near future and are promoting CAM within the NHS to the point of requesting that patients write a letter of complaint to PAL (Patients Advise and Liaison) co-coordinator within the Primary Care Trust (NHS) if they are unable to obtain CASM through their local doctors practice, I was invited to join the NHS Directory and am pleased to say that “I am a member of the NHS Directory of Complementary and Alternative Practitioners”. How many other Reiki therapist in the UK are in this directory and how important is it? Well, I advertise in the Yellow Pages telephone directory and I have people contact me because of this accreditation. Complementary and Alternative (CAM) Therapies are becoming more recognised within the National Health Service – by some. CAM has enthusiastic backing from many prominent people, including HRH Prince Charles, and with the many advertised problems with the NHS the Government are looking at ways to modernize the way of thinking in the NHS and are finding that, partially due to public demand, CAM could possibly be part of the answer.
It’s taking time but the approach by the Government seems to be a more integrated medical service incorporating some CAMs alongside orthodox medicine. A great deal of work is being done by many Foundations e.g. The Prince of Wales Foundation for Integrated Health (2003)) and associations e.g. (BMA - British Medical Association) in trying to classify CAM therapies. Classification by the House of Lords here in the UK has the ‘Big Five’ therapies considered as riskier and therefore in urgent need of regulation. Reiki is not included in the Big Five and so is considered less of a risk to the public! In one classification I have seen Reiki is classified under ‘Energy-based medicine’. In the NHS Directory there are 3 classifications, Group 1 (as the Big Five), Group 2 and the lesser Group 3. Reiki is listed in Group 3, and is the last therapy to be recognised, therefore the least invasive and with the least risk of all the therapies to gain recognition in the eyes of the NHS. It’s interesting to note that ‘Healing’ is listed in Group 2.
One very good thing to come out of all of this is that the profile of CAM, especially so it seems – Reiki, has risen dramatically. . This is the first year (2005) that the Open University has included a module on Complementary and alternative Medicines in its degree courses (guess who has enrolled?)
As a total aside to all of this I give all my TRC Reiki Masters a copy of Jackie Chin’s book ‘A light within’ when they have completed their Master Attunements. I have found her book to be a good source of valuable information covering all aspects of Reiki.
So, where is Reiki going in the U.K? And, what will be the final outcome for the humble practitioner?
About the author:Article written by Jeanne Long
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