As a Reiki teacher I have come across many strange views about this Japanese self-healing discipline; from students who have learnt Reiki from a Western perspective, from people who have read dubious books on the subject, and by clients who have previously received Reiki from a Western taught practitioner.
Rumours, superstitions and plain incorrect teachings abound in this 'therapy' - more than most therapies I suspect.
Reiki: an enhancement of a natural process
The practice of Reiki is nothing magical or mystical. It is simply an enhancement of a natural process.
The universe is made of energy, or vibrations. Everything in it is made of energy, from the very rocks we stand on, to our bodies, and to our very thoughts and emotions. At every moment of the day we are passing energy through us in order to stay alive. This is a natural process, something every living thing does Â? as natural as needing and drinking a glass of water.
Those people who have been taught Reiki have been shown ways of increasing the flow of this energy through them. By increasing this flow we are able to heal ourselves on many different levels Â? physical, emotional, spiritual.
We are also able to pass this energy through us and out of our hands (primarily). This, again, is a natural process that everyone does. When we are treating someone else we place our hands near that person's body and that person is then able to use this increased energy flow for their own good.
Reiki practitioners are not healers. Reiki can't be forced onto someone or directed to a particular outcome. Reiki is a natural process, that every living thing does all the time, Reiki can in no way harm anyone or anything. It can only be beneficial to the recipient of it because it is the recipient who is always in control. The recipient's body automatically knows how much of this energy it needs, what particular frequency it needs and where in it is to be used. All of this is done on a subconscious/energy level. We don't need to think about it, Reiki goes where it is needed for our highest good.
Reiki Attunements and Empowerments
Reiki isn't a magical force outside and apart from us, that you need to be attuned to. In Western Reiki the belief is that for someone to be able to use Reiki they first need to be 'attuned' to it. It is believed that Reiki is something apart from us, some magical force outside us. Original Reiki has helped us understand that you do not need 'Attunements' to be able to use Reiki, everyone does it naturally anyway. In Original Reiki we use 'Empowements'.
When a student receives an Empowerment they are not having something done to them, they are doing something for themselves. Empowerments are really self-empowerments.
The Reiki Master has been taught how to get certain frequencies of energy flowing through his/her hands and places them near certain parts of the students' body, but the Reiki Master is not 'putting anything in' to the student. The Reiki Master is simply offering up the right type of energy, in the right places, and it is the student to take the energy and use it for their own purposes.
The Reiki Master is not 'tuning the student in' to some magical force that they would not have been able to use if they had not been 'tuned in'. The Reiki Master is helping the student remember what they are, and enhance and increase their natural Reiki ability Â? something everyone has to a greater of lesser extent. Just like when working with a client, where the client is doing all the work, it is the student doing all the work when being given an Empowerment.
Everyone is on a journey, a journey of discovery and Empowerments give the student a sort of 'turbo boost' to speed up their personal journey. It increases their sensitivity to the natural flow of energy, it strengthens this natural flow, and it makes the student more intuitive.
What Reiki isn't!
Reiki isn't about dealing with spirit guides and it isn't about channelling someone or something else's energy. Reiki isn't about using crystals, tarot cards or secret magical symbols, and it isn't about speaking to the deceased. There are plenty of people who use these methods for healing, and I for one would not dare to dispute their efficacy, but they are not Reiki!
Since Reiki came to the West a lot of 'bells & whistles' have been added to it which is confusing for the student, the practitioner and the client. We are now very fortunate to have recently learnt, from a group of students who trained directly with the founder, what Reiki was really all about and how we can echo the way it was practised.
Original Reiki is simple and uncluttered; it's all about intuition and intention, and as a result it is very powerful. If we accept that we are Reiki, that the universe is Reiki, that we are all one, and that everything is connected, then we should not need to complicate things.
Original Reiki recognises that we all have our own paths to follow. It doesn't indoctrinate its students into a certain religious or spiritual viewpoint. It doesn't restrict its students in their personal development. It doesn't restrict its students to set hand positions or to 'human Reiki' and 'animal Reiki'. Reiki isn't a cult with strange rituals and mystical beliefs. It has no leaders, no rules and no rituals.
Original Reiki is liberating. It is very simple to learn, and it gives everyone a firm base from which to grow in whatever direction they choose.
And finally, Original Reiki is based on living the Reiki Precepts - an affirmation the Reiki student says to himself or herself each day. If we all lived by these principles wouldn't the world be a lovely place to live.
The Reiki Precepts
Just for today
I will be free from anger
I will be free from worry
I will be humble
I will be honest
I will be compassionate to myself and others
About the author:
Jay Macleod is a Reiki Master and Clinical Hypnotherapist. He conducts monthly courses in Original Japanese Reiki from a specially created teaching space in Neston, Wiltshire.
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