Originally developed in Tibet, and later rediscovered by a Japanese priest and teacher, Reiki is one of the oldest healing methods still in use. It is based on the existence of a force called Universal Life Energy, which is both around us and within us. By tapping into this force, it is believed, we can heal ourselves and others, and anyone, from small children to the elderly, can be trained to access this energy.
More than just a system for physical healing, Reiki is also a tool for spiritual growth. Reiki practitioners are instructed to concentrate not just on the body, but also on the mind. They are taught to let go of anger and worry, and to develop love, kindness, and honesty. At its core, Reiki is a way of life designed to bring about both physical and spiritual healing for individuals and the entire world.
The practice of Reiki is a widely known form of energy healing. Reiki is a therapy technique that transfers energy from the Universal source to a patient through a practitioner. Hands are areas of the body with great sensitivity and the ability to sense energy flows within the body. The word Reiki is Japanese in origin with Rei meaning spiritually guided and Ki referring to the life force.
A man named Mr. Mikao Usui of Kyoto, Japan brought it back into practice after a twenty-one meditation. One of Usui’s students was Dr. Chujiro Hayashi. He opened the first Reiki clinic and created a staff of trained practitioners. As others were receiving the training, they were also taught the Reiki Ideals. “Just for today, do not worry.
Just for today, do not anger. Honor your teachers, your parents, your neighbors, your friends. Give thanks for all living things. Earn your living honestly.” Reiki was brought to America by Mrs. Hawayo Takata, who was born in Hawaii. Dr. Hayashi at first did not want to instruct Mrs. Takata because she was a foreigner but eventually relented.
Reiki is not taught like other methods. Almost anyone can learn Reiki if they are willing. The student must first have his energy ‘tuned in’ by the master in order to channel it. These steps are called attunements. Symbols are sealed into your energy field and several chakras are opened to the energies.
The numbers of attunements vary depending on the style of Reiki being taught. Different teachers have their own methods of instruction and timelines for the attunements. Find a teacher that draws you and remember you may have several teachers as you develop.
A typical Reiki treatment takes around one hour. It is also referred to as a ‘laying on of the hands’. You leave your clothes on, as they are not a barrier to the treatment. The practitioner places his hands in various positions on the body. Most areas used for general treatment are the head, shoulders, stomach, and feet. Each placement of hands is held for two-five minutes. Additional placements may be used in treating a particular illness or injury.
Reiki energy is felt differently by individual people. Some refer to it as warmth where others describe it as a tingling sensation. Almost everyone will experience calmness and mental or emotional changes. The effectiveness of the treatment is also influenced by the patient. If the person is open to the experience, they will feel the treatment. Other people who may have doubts about the validity of it may not feel anything. The person needs to be willing to accept the changes and the healing.
Reiki can be used by healthy people as preventative medicine. It is a great way to reduce stress, which improves the body’s health. Many people have used it to break bad or negative habits. Over the years, Reiki has been used to treat almost every known ailment and many injury types. Some Reiki practitioners have even found that plants and animals respond to the treatments. As a person achieves mastery of Reiki, they are able to send energy treatments over long distances with the physical touch.
The History of Reiki
Reiki in its modern incarnation began with a student’s curiosity and a teacher’s desire to provide answers. Dr. Mikao Usui, who developed the contemporary version of Reiki, was the director of a small Japanese university at the end of the nineteenth century. He was also a Christian priest.
One day, a student asked him if he believed in the healing miracles of Christ, and whether he could demonstrate such a miracle. His students also wondered why, if these healing miracles were indeed a fact, there were not more healers in the world. Unable to provide an answer, Dr. Usui was bound by Japanese custom to resign his position. But the question had sparked his own curiosity, and he devoted the rest of his life to unraveling the mystery.
Dr. Usui traveled the world in his search for answers. Coming first to the United States, Dr. Usui studied the reported healing miracles of Christ and obtained his doctorate in theology. Despite this intensive study, he still had not found a satisfying answer, and so traveled to northern India and Tibet, because it had been reported that Christ had also studied there.
He then returned to Japan and studied the teachings of the Buddha, who was said to have performed the same kinds of healing miracles as Christ. Dr. Usui eventually entered a Zen monastery, where he meditated and studied the writings of the Buddha. Through his meditations, he had several visions that guided him in his quest. One such message instructed him to go to a holy mountain near Kyoto and meditate for 21 days.
During his time of meditation, Dr. Usui had a vision of four Sanskrit symbols, and a voice proclaimed to him that these symbols were the secret to healing. These symbols were the basis of Dr. Usui’s Reiki teachings, which he spent the rest of his life developing and sharing with others. When he awakened from his meditations, he also discovered he had acquired healing powers, which he developed in himself and taught others how to access as well.
The Five Spiritual Principles of Reiki
Reiki involves much more than just physical healing and is also designed to be a tool for spiritual transformation. Reiki’s founder, Dr. Usui, realized after several years of teaching Reiki that both physical and spiritual healing was necessary to a person’s well-being. He wanted something to help people cultivate spiritual and emotional maturity, in addition to healing the physical body. To this end, he developed the Five Spiritual Principles, which are still followed today.
Principle 1: Just for today, I will let go of anger
In the view of Reiki practitioners, anger is an unnecessary emotion that isolates us from Universal Consciousness. When we allow disappointment, resentment, envy, and hurt to govern our thoughts and actions, we only do ourselves harm. Anger impedes our spiritual growth, interferes with our ability to do good in the world, and separates us from the rest of society. While we cannot eliminate anger, we can learn to accept it and let it go, so that we can connect with the Universal Consciousness and with the people around us.
Principle 2: Just for today, I will let go of worry
Worry, like anger, is thought to be futile. According to the teachings of Reiki, there is a divine plan guiding everything, and this plan should be trusted and accepted. Our responsibility is to live each day to the best of our ability, allowing the universe to take care of the rest. Worry only causes limitations in our lives, and separates us from the unifying effect of the Universal Consciousness. In order to grow spiritually, we must learn to surrender to the divine plan.
Principle 3: Today, I will count my many blessings
According to this principle, being thankful for what we have actually brings us even greater blessings. It is believed that being afraid of going without prevents us from accepting into our lives what is rightfully ours according to the divine plan. By subconsciously feeling undeserving of good fortune, we block the flow of blessings into our lives.
Principle 4: Today, I will do my work honestly
To create harmony within ourselves and in our world, we must live our lives honestly and according to our higher self’s purpose. This harmony helps makes our work easier, which increases our self-esteem. It is believed that the contentedness that results from living an ethical and honest life has the power to transform.
Principle 5: Today, I will be kind to every living creature
According to Reiki principles, every living creature is connected. By being kind to others, we promote unity and harmony. And because we create our own worlds through our thoughts and actions, by being loving and kind to others, we foster a loving environment for ourselves.
Attunement and the Three Degrees of Reiki
The premise behind Reiki is that practitioners act as channels for Universal Life Energy. Through them, healing energy can enter the bodies of other people. But to act as a channel, they must first become â€śattunedâ€ť to the Reiki power. This is a process through which they reconnect with Universal Life Energy and gain access to its healing potential.
Attunement, also called initiation, is conducted by a Reiki master, who transmits energy to the students and opens their inner healing channels. It is usually a simple ceremony in which the master attunes each student individually. After this, the students can use the Universal Life Energy to heal themselves and other people.
This stage is known as First Degree, in which four of the body’s energy centers, or chakras, are opened. To attain First Degree status, participants usually attend a weekend seminar, in which they learn the history of Reiki and the hand positions for treating various conditions. With the attunement, they also activate four chakras: the heart chakra, throat chakra, third eye, and crown chakra. This helps the student develop unconditional love, trust and communication, intuition, and spiritual consciousness, respectively.
The next level is called Second Degree Reiki and can be attained after several weeks, months, or even years of working at the First Degree level. There are no specific requirements or guidelines for progressing to Second Degree; it is up to the individual to decide when they are ready to move on. Second Degree Reiki takes the healing process a step further, allowing practitioners to conduct distant healing and to work with emotional and mental conditions.
With the Second Degree attunement, the third eye chakra is stimulated, enabling students to further develop their intuitive abilities. With Second Degree status comes to access to Reiki’s confidential symbols and mantras, which are only given to advanced Reiki practitioners. These symbols and mantras activate the body’s inner healing channels and allow practitioners to tap into an even deeper level of healing ability.
With the attainment of Third Degree status, the highest level, a practitioner becomes a Reiki Master. Third Degree candidates must have worked at the First and Second degree levels for one to three years, and must be committed to dedicating their entire lives to Reiki. Reiki Masters not only heal, they also teach others to heal. Because being a Reiki Master brings with it a great deal of responsibility, candidates need to be willing to structure their lives around their Reiki practice. They also need to reach a high level of spiritual maturity.
How Reiki Works
Reiki practitioners are considered channels for Universal Life Energy. Once they become attuned to Reiki, they have the power to transmit that energy to others simply by using their hands. By lightly touching the person’s body, practitioners can direct healing energy into them to help remedy mental, emotional, and physical ailments.
There are a prescribed set of hand positions for various conditions, and practitioners may give a full body treatment, or concentrate on certain chakras based on a person’s symptoms. By acting as a conduit for the Universal Life Energy, Reiki practitioners help activate the body’s own self-healing capabilities. Reiki treatment can provide balance throughout the body, from organs to glands to chakras.
How Reiki Can Be Used
Reiki can be used for self-healing and for healing others and can be used to treat both physical and mental illnesses. However, only practitioners at the Second- or Third-Degree levels can conduct mental healing. Advanced practitioners can also conduct distant healing, both for individuals and for society as a whole.
Reiki should never be used in place of traditional medical treatment. Rather, it should serve as a supplementary form of healing, which enables the body to better heal itself. It is especially helpful before and after surgical procedures because it helps calm the receiver and also speeds the healing process.
It can be used for both chronic and acute ailments, including everything from asthma to the infection to trauma. It is also beneficial for mental and emotional problems, as well as for enhancing learning and memory. It can also be used to heal plants and animals, as well as for sending out healing energy to aid in healing the planet in times of crisis.
Final Notes About Reiki
While Reiki has great healing potential, it is not meant to diagnose illness or replace traditional medical treatment. It is a valuable way to stimulate the body’s own healing abilities and can help heal both the body and mind. Through Reiki treatments, a person can heal specific conditions, attain greater physical and emotional balance and achieve spiritual growth and transformation.