Is Reiki "Universal Life Force" or not? The face to face vs online debate


Wading into the online/face to face Reiki teaching debate...


This debate is raging more than ever now that we are faced with Covid-19 and many Reiki teachers find themselves in a quandary - to go virtual or not?

Those teachers who do not believe distance attunements work, there is not much to convince them otherwise - they do work, and the debate is ridiculous. Just ask a student who has received one if their Reiki works, and if they are satisfied with the results - it’s a simple fact that online students feel the distance attunements, get the same results as face to face students, and enjoy their Reiki journey equally. If you want to disrespect them by telling them they are imagining things, you may want to consider this more deeply.

Related to this is the debate that online students cannot be 'prepared' in the same way for the attunement - you cannot see what the student is doing, how they are sitting. Yes, this is true, if it matters to you. What is your own philosophy around Reiki attunements? Is it critical how the student is sitting? Does the attunement not work if they are fidgeting? If their backs are not straight does the Reiki not filter through properly? If you, as the giver of the attunement feel it is primarily a physical process then obviously you have an issue.

But for many teachers this is simply not a concern. My philosophy is that when I attune others I am merging with universal life force, and I am inviting the other to merge too - they merge whatever posture they are in, they can be asleep for all I care. This is my personal philosophy, the attunement happens through the grace of Reiki - both parties are intending this to happen, a spiritual connection happens that transcends posture - if you have ever run a kids class or attuned an animal you will know that a lot of wriggling happens! For those teachers who believe Reiki attunements to be doorways into universal life force, it transcends time and space, and fidgeting.

Another concern is the Reiki treatment itself – you cannot see how the student is self-treating themselves, or others. Again, depending on your philosophy this will guide your level of resistance to online courses. Is Reiki ridged hand postures and correct positioning? Is breathing important, is there a ‘correct’ way and an ‘incorrect’ way? If the answer for you is “yes!” then obviously you need to follow that guidance and stay with your own teaching beliefs. But again, many teachers do not have the same belief. Reiki for me is an inner journey – and inner journeys are unique expressions. My focus when I designed my online course was to give enough guidance to allow the student to feel confident in exploring their inner path for themselves, not the inner path as I decreed it to be.

My foremost objective in all my teaching is to encourage the inward journey towards truth – the students truth, not mine. I have yet to come across any evidence that breathing, posture, correct hand positions, time or space has anything to do with that. The inner journey begins when you stop believing what everyone tells you and begin believing what you are telling yourself.

So whereas I honour and trust every Reiki teacher is on their own inner journey, I would ask them to consider that Reiki itself is all things, it is universal life force, all inclusive and honours and loves all manner of quirky, different, distinct, uptight, loose, face to face, virtual and online ways of disseminating its message – universal life force is just as much “all” as it is “one”.


Trust the student will find the right teacher, just as the teacher will find the right student.


I, for one, will see y’all online.