Healing Articles

Beginner's Guide to Reiki & Reiki Healing

By Barbara Gilles

What is Reiki Healing?
Reiki (pronounced ray-kee) is a Japanese term usually translated as "Universal Life Force". It is made up of two ideograms; Rei meaning "Universal" and Ki meaning "Life Force". However the Bhuddists refer to it differently - "The Indomitable Power of Being".

Reiki is based on the premise that there is a higher power (unlike religions, it does not then attempt to identify it) of which we are all part. We can access this life force, channel and then direct it in healing.

What is the History of Reiki?
Well, this is now being unravelled a bit more accurately. It was originally believed in the West that reiki had died out in Japan along with the death of Sensei Hayashi. He had trained Mrs Takata as a reiki Master and she, in turn, brought reiki to the west by moving to Hawaii. We were taught that Mikao Usui (who rediscovered reiki) was Christian and an elaborate description of the manifestation of symbols was given.

Understanding all of this in its historical perspective is vital. Post 2nd World War America was hardly likely to embrace Japanese culture, let alone that of Bhuddist origin. It is true that Dr Usui taught in a Christian boys school but it was in his study of Sanskrit text that he rediscovered reiki and his time in Bhuddist Monasteries allowed him to perfect the techniques.

Reiki is alive and well in Japan - and has been all along. There are some differences in its practice in the East which will come as no surprise to any reader familiar with martial arts training.

How Does it Work?
Pretty simply really - the practitioner tunes into the reiki energy, channels it and then directs it to the client in need. This is normally done by resting the hands upon (or above) the client and allowing the energy to flow from the palms of the hand to the client. However at Reiki II level and beyond, distant and absent healing may also take place.

Can Anyone do it?
Yes !! And this is the great thing about reiki. It is accessible to everyone, no experience is necessary, and you don’t have to be a member of a particular religion or sect. A belief in a higher power and your own ability and willingness to access it is the starting point.

So How do I Train?
Just get in touch with a reiki Master (teacher) in your chosen locality and ask when their next teaching session is for Reiki I. A full list of practitioners and teachers is available at the UK Reiki Federation web site www.reikifed.co.uk.

Reiki I, II, III.......what’s the difference?
Reiki I is, as you would expect, the entry level. The student is attuned to reiki energy for the healing of themselves, others, plants and animals.

At Reiki II, the student is shown symbols and may be shown meditation techniques to allow them to access the higher energies and direct them in a more focussed manner. Absent and distant healing is also taught at this level.

Reiki III, is the Reiki Master Teacher level where more symbols and meditation techniques are covered to allow the student to access the highest energies, develop themselves and their use of the life force. The student is also taught the attunement processes for all 3 levels of reiki and the principles of reiki teaching.

You’ll notice that I tend to steer clear of the term "Master" but prefer the title "Teacher" or better still "Sensei" (pronounced Sen-say) the Japanese term of respect for teacher. I feel the term Master comes from an ego space and is one I find it hard to justify as having been achieved from a few weekends training. I do however aspire to mastering reiki and fully respect the wishes of others who are more comfortable in the use of this term.

If it’s all so Natural, Why do I need to Train?
It is believed that when we are born we all have access to this energy but we loose it with our society conditioning us to believe only what we can see. Many of you may have noticed how intuitive children are, how they feel as well as hear what is being said. Somewhere along the way, we loose that, and so it is with reiki.

The attunements at each level of training reconnect you with your birthright.

So if it’s my Birth Right, how come it Costs so Much?
Good question..........and I’m not sure I can justify the pricing policy of all teachers, but I can of my own. Unfortunately, teaching and practising reiki does not necessarily make you a "good" person and there are some who are only in it for the money. I do not judge them, but I do set myself apart from them as they are different and come from a different heart space than do I.

There is nothing wrong in making a living (and a good one, if your skills are good) out of reiki or any other therapy. However, when it becomes the only reason for doing it, some tell tail signs will show so lets have a look at how to choose a teacher.

How do I choose a Teacher or Master?
First off, you need to be clear about what you expect to get from your training so I will list some pointers for you here to consider. Not all of them will be of importance to all of you, but the ones that are important, make sure you get clarification from your teacher before you sign up or part with any hard earned cash.

  • How much is the training course and how many days or hours does it last?
  • Is lunch or accommodation provided?
  • Will I get a certificate upon successful completion?
  • Will I be assessed during the course?
  • Is the teacher qualified and insured as such?
  • Is the teacher a member of a related professional body (therefore governed by their code of conduct)?
  • Do I get course notes or am I to commit all that I learn to memory.
  • Is the teacher aware of the differences East and West in the teaching and practice of reiki?
  • Is ongoing support available to the student outside of the course (perhaps via email or phone)?
  • Does the teacher hold regular reiki sharing groups (in which other reiki practitioners meet to share and discuss their experiences and concerns and to give and receive reiki with each other)?
  • Do you feel you connect with the reiki teacher - do you feel you could work with, and learn from them?
  • If some of these points seem a bit direct, just ask yourself what else you would purchase without asking some direct questions. And remember, any teacher or practitioner who has an issue answering any of these is less prepared than you are !

So What can Reiki Healing Do for Me?
It will enrich your life, it will allow you to make a difference both to yourself and to others. It will aid your spiritual growth leading you away from judgementalism and towards inner peace. It will help you come to terms with who you are, and with how you react to those around you. It will allow you to see how precious life is and how interconnected. There is no such thing as coincidence - things happen for a reason - the trick is keeping an open mind as to what that reason might be.

If this article has inspired at least one soul to embrace reiki, it has succeeded.

Go on..................Surprise yourself !

© holisticshop 2002. All rights reserved

About the author / more information

Barbara Gilles is a Reiki Master teacher who lives and works in Scotland where she runs her own complementary medicine practice.


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