Reiki Level 1, Beginner’s Course
People decide to learn Reiki for a variety of reasons. Some experience it for themselves and want to learn more. Some are drawn to it on a spiritual level. Some have an interest in complementary healing.
Whatever the reason, they are looking for a good teacher.
I offer Reiki training to Master Teacher level in the area around London Borough of Bromley. I am willing to discuss long-distance teaching for those people who have prior experience with energy healing who do not live locally.
What is Reiki?
The word Reiki has been translated to mean “Universal Life Force Energy”.
Reiki itself is the moving or channelling of energy for use in healing. The Reiki Practitioner does not heal, he merely provides the means through which energy can be harnessed and used for healing purposes.
History of Reiki
From Japan to the USA to the World
Reiki was introduced to Japan by Mikao Usui in the early 20th century.
Mikao Usui was probably a Buddhist monk. While meditating for 21 days at the top of Mount Kurama near Kyoto he received a vision which opened him to the healing powers of Reiki.
Usui established a clinic in Tokyo in 1921 and began offering Reiki treatments and training students in Reiki.
One of his students was Dr. Chujiro Hayashi, a naval officer. Dr Hayashi opened a new clinic in Tokyo prior to 1936.
Mrs. Hawayo Takata
Mrs. Hawayo Takata was born in Hawaii, on Kauai, on Christmas Eve 1900, of Japanese descent. In the 1930’s she went to Japan to visit her family there, and inform them of the death of her sister. While there she became very sick and was in the hospital. The doctors were going to operate, and as she was being prepared she kept hearing a voice saying “Operation not necessary”. Eventually she jumped off the table asking “Is there another way?”. The doctor had a sister who had been cured of dysentery at Dr. Hayashi’s clinic and suggested to Mrs. Takata she talk with his sister. The sister brought Mrs. Takata to the clinic and her treatments there began.
After Mrs. Takata became well she wanted to learn this for herself. However Dr. Hayashi was not willing to teach her because she was a foreigner. Through the good graces of her doctor, Mrs. Takata was able to pursuade Dr. Hayashi to train her in Reiki. This training took a year and brought her to what we would now call Reiki Level II (she could do everything but train other practitioners).
In November 1936 Dr. Hayashi came to Hawaii for a speaking tour to promote Reiki. During this time he trained Mrs. Takata to teach Reiki, thus making her what we now would call a Reiki Master.
The Story is Told
According to Dr Hayashi and Mrs Takata, Mikao Usui was a Christian lecturer at a university in Japan. He was asked by his students to duplicate the healing miracles performed by Jesus and when he could not, sought to gain knowledge of how the miracles were performed. This search took him to America to Loyola University, where he studied for a time. (Mikao Usui was never registered as a student here or at any other university in America.) Later, he returned to Japan where he continued his studies in a Buddhist temple and then at Mount Kurama.
He went to the mountain and gathered 21 stones with which to count the days. Each day he would throw away a stone and in this way count the time. On the 20th day nothing had come as yet and he threw away the last stone saying “Well, this is it, either I get the answer tonight or I do not”. In the night on the horizon he could see a ball of light coming towards him.
The first instinct was to get out of the way, but he realized this might just be what he was waiting for, so allowed it to hit him right in the forehead. As it struck him he was taken on a journey and shown bubbles of all the colors of the rainbow in which were the symbols of Reiki, the very same symbols in the Tibetan writings he was studying but had been unable to understand. Now as he looked at them again, there was total understanding.
After returning from this experience he began back down the mountain and was, from this moment on, able to heal. This first day alone he healed a broken toe-nail, his own starvation, an ailing tooth and the Abbot’s sickness which was keeping him bedridden. These are known as the first four miracles.
He wanted to use these abilities to help others, he spent the next seven years in the beggar’s section of Tokyo healing the poor and sick people there, sending them to a priest to assist finding them employment, and elevating them out of poverty. After the seven years he noticed familiar faces, those of people whom he’d healed long ago who were back again.
Asking them, they complained that life outside beggartown was too hard and that it was much simpler to beg for a living. They had thrown away the gift of health, as if it had no value, to return to the supposed comfort of the life they knew.
This threw Usui into a quandary and he returned to the monastery. From this he realized he hadn’t taught gratitude along with the healing. That he’d focussed on the physical ailments without dealing with the spiritual matters. The people did not understand the value of the gift he gave them.
And so began the tradition of charging for Reiki healing and training, as a way of giving worth and value to the Reiki.
What is known
Mikao Usui was probably Buddhist, he certainly wasn’t Christian. Mount Kurama is a meditation site, but there is no official record of anyone ever having fasted there for 21 days. There is no record of him ever having studied at any American university.
Dr Hayashi was a student of Mikao Usui, however Usui did not designate Mr Hayashi has his successor, and did not give any student the title of “Grand Master” as Mrs Takata designated herself.
What needs to be understood is that these discrepancies in the Reiki story do not negate the healing benefits Reiki has provided. We will never fully know why Mrs Takata chose to alter the history when she brought Reiki to America. Perhaps it had to do with the prevailing attitudes at the time, or it was done as has been suggested as a way of making a Buddhist belief system more palatable to a predominantly Christian audience. Whatever the reasons, it was done.
What does Reiki do?
The practitioner does not heal. It is very important that you understand this. You, as a practitioner do not heal. You provide the energy that another can use for healing. You direct the energy, you send the energy. The recipient uses the energy for healing to whatever their optimal level may be. Keep your ego out of it.
Reiki = the energy of the universe. It is us, it surrounds us.
Unlike many other types of energy healing, the practitioner does not use personal energy. Because the practitioner does not use personal energy he can give himself a Reiki treatment as well as others. Reiki can also be given to plants, animals, food, stones and crystals, rooms, buildings, anything at all that needs healing.
Reiki heals. There are many factors at work here. Reiki helps people to achieve optimal wellness, for them. For someone at the end of their life, optimal wellness may mean death.
Sometimes, when Reiki is used for healing the illness may seem to get worse and things may come to a head before they get better. I’ve seen this especially when one is seeking emotional or mental healing. This is a normal part of the healing process.
Traditional Hand Positions
A Reiki treatment consists of the practitioner placing his hands on the recipient’s body having only the intent for the energy to flow. There are no complicated rituals to perform, only the simple exchange of energy between two or more people.
Some people start with a request that the energy be used for good or they call upon the ‘ascended reiki Masters’ to assist them. I don’t know these guys. I don’t call them. I will make a general statement to the universe of what I am doing and intending. And if I am doing a bit of work that appears to be more difficult, I will ask my patron Gods to assist me.
Reiki energy is smart. It knows where to go and what to do. The Reiki practitioner does not need to direct the energy nor is it necessary to study arcane theories of the universe in order to use it. It is simply intent which causes the Reiki energy to flow and intent which directs it. The best thing for the practitioner to do is nothing, but to get out of the way and allow the energy to do its work.
There is a treatment protocol traditionally taught to Reiki practitioners which involves a series of hand positions. These positions are well spaced along the clients body and together they provide good coverage of the clients entire body. While the energy does go where it is most needed, it is frequently observed that it stays near where the practitioner has placed his hands.
By covering all parts of the body evenly the patient will, by default, get the best treatment possible. These hand positions are a good place for a practitioner to begin practicing Reiki. With experience he or she should feel free to experiment based on the needs of the moment. In addition to the positions shown for the front of the body, there is a matching set of positions for the back. Behind the neck, behind the heart, behind the kidneys, and on the sacrum (tailbone).
The back hand positions are good to know, but I don’t advocate using them during a full body treatment. If you were all nice and relaxed would you want someone getting you up to make you roll over? No. If you feel the person needs energy directly on a place on the back, slip your hand underneath the back gently at that area or ask them to roll up slightly before slipping your hand underneath. All other areas of the body can be reached without having the person roll over.
Any set of hand positions is only a guideline. Use these as guidelines, then follow your own intuition.
1. Forehead and eyes
3 Back of head
4 Lower jaw
7 Upper abdomen (holding hands in a line across the belly)
8 Lower Abdomen (holding hands in a line across the belly)
In a one hour treatment, I will spend about 5 minutes at each place, and then I will finish off by balancing and smoothing the chakras.
To do this, I hold one hand about 6 inches over the 7th Chakra and one over the 1st Chakra until I can feel the movement of the chakra. I then send energy into those two chakras while moving my hands in a circle following the natural movement of those two chakras. Chakras do not necessarily move in a clockwise rotation.
Move the hands in to the 2nd and 6th Chakras and do the same. Move the hands in to the 3rd and 5th chakras. Then move both hands to the 4th chakra.
Once you have finished that, move up to the head and sweep the hands from head to toe and back up again to the head to smooth out any ruffles and sweep away any excess energy.
Some people will tell you that you have to close the chakras once you have opened them to work with the energy, but I have never found that to be true. And in any case, I think sweeping an area tends to do the job.
Reiki Principles and ethics
Just for today
- Do not be irate
- Do not be worried
- Be grateful
- Work hard
- Be kind to others.
I have discussed the Reiki Principles in detail at my lens, Reiki Principles
Before giving Reiki ask and receive the recipient’s permission.
What Mikao Usui found was that people did not appreciate and value Reiki healing if they didn’t have to give something in return for it. In the Western culture this translates into money. However, I have found that as long as there is some sort of exchange, this is satisfied. This exchange can be an exchange of energy, an exchange of money, or an exchange of teaching or services. I have even given Reiki with the understanding that a good deed be paid forward.
When things don’t go as planned
Look at your own involvement. Reiki is given with no expectations. Did you keep your ego out of the results?
And remember, just because the Reiki didn’t go as you had planned does not mean it didn’t go as it needed to go.
If the energy isn’t sending
Even though you asked for and received permission, it could be that the energy itself knows that it is not needed and so doesn’t flow. Or, while the person has given conscious permission, at a subconscious level they do not want to receive the energy. Do not try to force it. Let the energy go where it needs to go.
Trust that the energy is doing what it is supposed to be doing. Also, even if you cannot feel the energy moving, trust that it is somehow. Many times the Reiki practitioner doesn’t feel the energy moving, especially when doing self- healing.
Music to play while doing Reiki
Some like a gently, soothing background music while giving or receiving Reiki. It helps both sender and receiver to relax and let the Reiki flow.