What is Reiki?
Reiki is a Japanese alternative medicine called energy healing. Reiki practitioners use a technique called palm healing or hands-on healing through which a “universal energy” is said to be transferred through the palms of the practitioner to the patient in order to encourage emotional or physical healing.
Reiki is very good for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. If one’s “life force energy” is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy. The word Reiki is made of two Japanese words – Rei which means “God’s Wisdom or the Higher Power” and Ki which is “life force energy”. So Reiki is actually “spiritually guided life force energy.”
An amazingly simple technique to learn, the ability to use Reiki is not taught in the usual sense, but is transferred to the student during a Reiki class. This ability is passed on during an “attunement” given by a Reiki master and allows the student to tap into an unlimited supply of “life force energy” to improve one’s health and enhance the quality of life.
While Reiki is spiritual in nature, it is not a religion. It has no dogma, and there is nothing you must believe in order to learn and use Reiki. In fact, Reiki is not dependent on belief at all and will work whether you believe in it or not.
The Origins of Reiki
Mikao Usui is considered the founder of Reiki. He was born August 15, 1865 in Japan. In February 1922 he went to Kurama yama, a sacred mountain north of Kyoto to fast and meditate. As time passed, he became weaker and weaker. It was now March 1922 and at midnight of the twenty-first day, a powerful light suddenly entered his mind through the top of his head and he felt as if he had been struck by lightning; this caused him to fall unconscious.
As the sun rose, he awoke and realized that whereas before he had felt very weak and near death from his fasting, he was now filled with an extremely enjoyable state of vitality that he had never experienced before; a miraculous type of high frequency spiritual energy had displaced his normal consciousness and replaced it with an amazingly new level of awareness. He experienced himself as being the energy and consciousness of the Universe and that the special state of enlightenment he had sought had been given to him as a gift. He was overjoyed by this realization.
When this happened, he was filled with excitement and went running down the mountain to tell his Zen master of his great good fortune. On his way down he stubbed his toe on a rock and fell down. And in the same way anyone would do, he placed his hands over the toe, which was in pain. As he did this, healing energy began flowing from his hands all by itself. The pain in his toe went away and the toe was healed. Usui Sensei was amazed by this. He realized that in addition to the illuminating experience he had undergone, he had also received the gift of healing. He also understood that this was his life purpose; to be a healer and to train others.
In April 1922, he moved to Tokyo and started a healing society that he named Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai (Usui Reiki Healing Method Society). He also opened a Reiki clinic in Harajuku, Aoyama, Tokyo. He taught many students until the end of his life.
5 Reiki Principles
“Just for today, I will not anger.Just for today, I will not worry.Just for today, I will be grateful for all my blessings.Just for today, I will work with honesty and integrity.Just for today, I will be kind to all living beings.”– Mikao Usui
The Five Reiki Precepts are often ignored – unfortunatelly. And yet in reality, these precepts are an integral part of Reiki practice and Reiki cannot be really used successfully without integrating these precepts into the life of the practitioner.
They are like guidelines, showing you the best way to heal your life, by making changes in five great fields of life –emotions, thoughts, gratitude, self-growth and compassion to all that exists. Usui suggested that the precepts should be repeated (meditated and contemplated upon) each day and each morning, preferable with your hands in a Gassho mudra.
Reiki Level I: Also called Shoden in Japanese. This is entry-level Reiki training where you study Reiki history, learn how to perform self-Reiki, and how to give Reiki to someone else, and are initiated (attuned) for life to the Reiki energy.
Reiki Level II: Also called Okuden in Japanese. You learn how to use the first three Reiki symbols and how to perform distant Reiki techniques. You receive further attunements to the Reiki energy. After this class, you are considered a Reiki practitioner.
Reiki Level III: Also called Shinpiden in Japanese. This is the Master Teacher level of Reiki, and the class may be separated into two parts. You receive the Master Reiki attunement and learn the Master Reiki symbol and how to give the Reiki attunements to others.