Reiki (pronounced Ray-Key) is a popular form of spiritual healing, originally developed by Japanese Buddhist Mikao Usui in 1922. Reiki practitioners use their hands to manipulate the universal life force and channel it to patients. Reiki energy is believed to go where it is needed and stimulate the body’s natural healing processes.
Students of Reiki must go through three levels or degrees of training and initiation in order to become reiki master practitioners. A basic outline of the levels of Reiki is given below, although the teaching content will vary depending on the instructor and particular tradition.
The first level of Reiki training is open to anyone and no previous experience with healing is required. Courses are usually taught over two to four days. Students study the history and principles of Reiki, learn how to channel Reiki, and are attuned to Reiki energy.
The level one attunement joins the student with the universal life force. The initiation opens the central energy channel running from the crown chakra at the top of the head down to the root chakra at the base of the spine. Blocked energy is released and the chakras are balanced and harmonized.
The attunement allows the student to channel the universal energy at will. Its effects are permanent, connecting the initiate to Reiki energy for life. After being attuned by a Reiki Master, students can often feel the energy flowing through their hands. It may be perceived as a sensation of coolness, warmth, tingling or pulsating waves.
Practical lessons in level one tend to begin with using Reiki for self-healing. Students learn self-Reiki hand positions and use the energy to work through their own blockages. This allows them to experience the benefits of Reiki first-hand and gives them practice in sensing the flow of energy. In most level 1 courses, students then go on to practice Reiki on each other, which provides them with the level of proficiency necessary to give Reiki healing to family and friends.
Students can progress to the second level of Reiki training after completing a level 1 course and working with the energy for a period of time. The amount of energy channeled can vary considerably at first but becomes more consistent the more the student uses Reiki. For this reason, many Reiki Master require students to practice for up to three months before receiving the level 2 attunement. The level two course teaches students how to use Reiki symbols and how to perform Reiki at a distance.
Students are taught to draw and use three symbols that help them to connect more deeply to the universal energy. The Power symbol increases the amount of energy that can be channeled. It can be used to cleanse, purify and protect. The Emotional Balance symbol allows the student to work with energy on the mental and emotional levels. It can be used to bring harmony and emotional healing to someone with a troubled mind.
The Distance symbol brings about connection. It allows students to send Reiki energy across space and time. The recipient of healing can be anywhere in the world. Reiki can also be sent into the past to deal with the cause of a problem or into the future to give energy to planned actions.
The level 2 attunement empowers students to use the symbols. It expands the central energy channel to further increase the flow of Reiki. Practical work in the level 2 course centers on what can be achieved with each symbol. Students learn to use Reiki for protection, to heal emotional issues and to send healing at a distance. They also practice sending Reiki to address the root cause of a condition.
Level 3 prepares the student to become a Reiki Master. It represents a deep personal commitment to Reiki practice. Students must have achieved level 2 initiation and should have spent some time using Reiki healing both in person and at a distance. Level 3 classes vary considerably depending on the instructor. Course length can range from one full day to five weeks. Level 3 courses may also be separated into two parts:
Reiki Master and Reiki Master Teacher. Reiki Master Teacher training prepares students to teach Reiki classes at all three levels.
The level 3 attunement opens up the gateway to the Universal Consciousness and aligns the central energy channel with the Source Energy. Students are introduced to the reiki master symbol which brings empowerment. This symbol enables students to work with Reiki energy on a spiritual level. It can also be used during meditation to help them contact their own inner truth and understand their path in life.
During level 3 classes, students are taught to give attunements to others at levels 1, 2 and 3. This elaborate ritual involves actions such as tracing Reiki symbols on the novice’s forehead and visualizing the attunement symbol while blowing on the novice’s chest. Students practice the attunement ceremony on each other to ensure that they can correctly perform each step. Level 3 students also spend time sharing stories and comparing experiences to deepen their understanding of Reiki.
Level 1, 2 and 3 reiki masterclasses are widely available both locally and online. Courses are organized in different ways and some cover material not mentioned above. If you are interested in learning Reiki healing, do some research to find a course that will meet your needs and a reiki master who seems right for you.