I have been offering online workshops since 2014 and experimented and tested distance attunements for an entire year before that as I was very aware of the intense resistance to this form of teaching. I wanted to be 100% sure in my own authentic self that this form of educational delivery both worked, and was effective. Since then, although online workshops still form only a small percentage of my work, I am so pleased I offer this service.
I have had the pleasure of connecting with people from all over the world and helped people who are bedridden, or caring for people and unable to get away for a weekend workshop. I have students living in remote places where Reiki teachers are non-existent, and students who find workshop interactions difficult. I have trained women who are not allowed to educate themselves, and women who would otherwise not have Reiki because they are housebound with young children, and shift workers who cannot manage a daytime class. I am so happy to be able to offer Reiki to those who want it, this is my mission, and what I feel called to do.
Now for many of you you are being called to look at online options not for all the reasons I mention above, but because your usual students just can't get to class.
But what you may find as you expand into this method of delivery is it opens your teaching up to much much more. When you can offer classes to anyone in the world, it opens up horizons and connections that you can't really imagine right now. It opens up new opportunities both for you and your students.
In terms of the content, if it is not viable for you to produce hours of video content and a comprehensive manual then I recommend you begin with zoom or a similar video call service. The advantage of these services is they offer a high quality recording function so you can record your online class content and begin to build your video library for use in future classes. The professional monthly packages are well worth it if you are also moving online for your healing and Reiki shares.
Then you just have to set your times and off you go! The content is essentially the same as your face to face classes, you can email the manuals to your students before hand and with some extra care to stop frequently to see if there are questions, or utilise the chat function which allows students to ask questions or wave if they have questions, it is very easy to achieve the same level of interactivity as a face to face experience.
For the experiential portions of your class you can either set the self-treatment as homework for them to report back to you, or you can ask them to bring loved ones into the room for treatments which you can observe. There are really so many ways to set up a class with a little imagination.
Timings can be modified and you can still take breaks, or extend out the class over more days for shorter durations. You can also set students a task of doing their self-treatment practice while you take a break. Instead of a 2 day weekend you could do the class over 4 or 5 days in shorter bursts. The flexibility is endless!
Onto the sticky subject of attunements. Many Reiki teachers believe that attunements need to be done face to face. I really have no idea why. Distance healing is a well accepted idea, yet distance attunements are not. I have yet to find a reasonable explanation for this. Takata has already been documented as giving distance attunements, and the online Reiki community - both teachers and students attest to the attunements as working very well. My online students get the same benefits as my face to face students. I know this because I get regular feedback and updates, and several of my online students have gone on to do my face to face Master training. I see no difference in quality of understanding, or Reiki flowing from their hands.
I am not going to wade into the politics of this, but all I can say is if you do the attunements with the same reverence and sacred intention (and why wouldn't you just because it's online?) then an attunement is an attunement, and it is not limited by time and space.
When you do the attunement over a distance you carry it out exactly the same way as you would a face to face attunement - but instead of the person sitting in the chair, you use a photo of the person instead. I have tried having the person on skype and the computer on the chair - but it tends to drop connection or make your computer go a bit loopy - so a photo is more stable! But depending on what feels right to you, I would experiment and get feedback from your students.
To be clear, you are not experimenting with or changing the sacred ritual you have been taught, you are simply carrying out the ritual without the physical presence of the student. Symbols carry over distance as we know full well when we send Reiki. Energy and intent carries over the internet, just as talking to someone online can be as powerful and intimate as a face to face conversation, or a distance Reiki healing can be as beautiful and profound as a hands on one.
As you play with this medium you may begin to build up a series of recordings, and expand your manual so that it is robust enough to stand as an online course. Or you may enjoy staying in real time with your students through the online conferencing medium. Either way, I hope it opens your heart and mind to the wonderful flexibility and power of our internet age.
Enjoy the expansion of your Reiki outreach, you can be sure Reiki is grateful for this expansion too!