Reiki’s key benefit is that it is so easy to learn for yourself and can have a profound impact on your life and the lives of those around you. To learn Reiki for yourself is simply a matter of finding a suitable class in your area.
Reiki is Japanese for Universal Life Force or Life Energy. It is a practice of energy healing that requires no prerequisites, no diets, no beliefs, no prayer. Of course the Reiki Master you choose will come with his or her own beliefs and techniques, so just choose the one you resonate with in those aspects.
At its most basic level, a Reiki class should equip you with the ability to leave the class feeling confident that you can a) talk about Reiki sensibly and b) give a decent Reiki Treatment. Of course it should also activate the Reiki in your hands through a series of attunements (also called initiations or activations) which can vary quite substantially.
So how do you ensure your class choice is the best for you? Well, it is similar to choosing a Reiki Master, the chances are, if you like them, you will like their class. However, one problem may arise if the Reiki Master you choose has been taught in a way that conflicts with your beliefs, or your comfort zone. The nicest Reiki Master in the world may still teach Reiki ineffectively if they themselves have been taught ineffectively. That said, Reiki in itself is not ‘taught’ – it is ‘activated’, so in that respect the Reiki will come out your hands no matter which Reiki Master you choose.
However, what is taught is all the other stuff – how to use Reiki, how to treat yourself, how to treat others, the background and history of Reiki, some tips and pointers as to how to extend your Reiki practice, and other techniques that may be useful to your overall experience of Reiki. For some Masters, this means adding crystals, chakra cleansing, bells, prayer, coaching modules, additional rituals, and so on. This is totally fine and no doubt will enhance the teaching; however, for the layman, it is sometimes useful to know what is Reiki and what is ‘packaging’.
Here are a few home truths about Reiki to bear in mind when interviewing prospective Masters:
1. Reiki acts as a harmonic.
This means that when Reiki enters the body the ‘disharmony’ within the body becomes balanced. There is nothing to release from the body and as a result there is no ‘bad’ energy to get rid of – it is simply neutral, no need for protection or other forms of cleansing rituals.
2. Reiki switches on automatically
No need to consciously alert Reiki to start or to request it to start – Reiki just flows when it is needed and doesn’t when it is not.
3. Reiki does not run out.
No need to re-attune yourself or meditate or strengthen chi or any other rejuvenation techniques. There is no need to do anything to keep your Reiki levels ‘up’. It will not ‘deactivate’ if you do anything ‘bad’ like drink, smoke, eat cake or have bad thoughts.
4. Anyone can be initiated to Reiki.
Old, young, children, animals, plants. Reiki is not dependent on you at all and once activated will flow through any living thing.
5. Reiki is not a belief system.
You do not need to believe Reiki works or have a certain faith. Reiki is energy, not religion.
6. There are no harmful side effects from Reiki.
You cannot do any harm with Reiki, you cannot trigger anything that the body is not ready for. Of course there is a code of conduct as it can trigger a healing curve or detoxification which may be uncomfortable for a time. Hence from that viewpoint it is important to use Reiki with respect and to follow certain guidelines when treating others.
Most Reiki Masters thrive through word of mouth, so as long as the Master has been in practice for some time, can introduce you to happy students, and seems to have a ‘good vibe’ about them, we think you can rest assured they are the real deal.
In summary, the Reiki Master needs to be someone you connect with, and their course structure and philosophy needs to be something you connect with. It is not crucial of course, as Reiki will come out of your hands regardless of the teaching around it, but it will definitely ensure an enjoyable and enlightening class.