A guide to Reiki



You may or may not have heard of ‘Reiki’, you may have no idea what it is nor even have any idea of how to pronounce it (Ray-kee). This may be the first time you have ever encountered Reiki. On the other hand, you may be familiar with Reiki, you may have received Reiki, or perhaps you may even be a Reiki Healer.

There are many things in existence that we as individuals and we collectively, as the human race, have yet to experience or discover, but they exist nonetheless. Reiki serves as just one example of this. It was in existence before you started to read this piece just as it will continue to exist when you have finished reading, regardless of whether you ever think about it again again. The funny thing about Reiki is that it touches your life on many levels after reading this piece, your life may quite possibly never be the same again.

Put very simply, ‘Reiki’ is widely understood as universal life force energy. That is the energy that runs through all things and that includes us! ‘Rei’ may be understood as ‘the Higher Intelligence that guides the creation and functioning of the universe’ whilst ‘Ki’ refers to the ‘life-force energy that flows through every living thing – plants, animals and people – and that is present in some form in everything around us, even rocks and inanimate objects’ (Penelope Quest 2007). It is simple, safe, wonderfully effective and it is beautiful.

Whilst ‘Reiki’ describes the universal energy, ‘Reiki healing’ refers to the practice of the age old simple technique of ‘the laying on of hands’ to facilitate healing. There is much literature available on the origins of Reiki, its growth and on the different types of Reiki. I urge you to go and have a look at some of these works if you feel that you are interested. There are three equally important reasons for me not wishing to get caught up with discussion on the different types of Reiki. Firstly, energy is energy and this is sufficient for the purposes of this tale. Secondly, the purpose of this article is to stimulate your mind and your senses a little, so you may feel intrigued and want to find out a little more. This is merely a ‘taster’.

Finally, I want to raise questions rather than start providing answers to questions that you may not have even thought about yet, let alone asked. Your path may be different to mine and I do not wish to influence which path you choose. I do however wish to help you put your walking boots on and assist you in setting off on your journey with a little sense of intrigue and excitement. In fact I’m more than happy to shove you out through the door but from there on, it’s up to you. If everything in the universe is made up of energy and if Reiki is quite simply energy, then it follows that everything is connected and Reiki as a healing tool can be used for universal good as well as for the smaller things closer to home. That is all and everything. Think of healing yourself (physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally – remember all these aspects constitute the ‘self’), your friends and family, your home, your plants, your garden, people you’ve yet to meet, situations, the past, the present, the future, work, the planet, the galaxy and then think even bigger, keep going…

As with any subject matter, there is some excellent material and some not quite so good. May I suggest that you perhaps begin with Bronwen and Frans Stiene. May I also suggest that you have a look at Cygnus Books website. They have an enormous range of spiritual and self-help books (and many others) for sale at discounted prices. They are not a book club and there is no requirement to purchase any books. Just let yourself go wherever you feel drawn, try not to think about it too much. Instead ‘feel’ where you may be interested and go explore! I have been attuned to ‘Master’ level but prefer to refer to myself as a ‘Reiki Healer’. I am uncomfortable with the word ‘Master’ for I have far too much respect for this energy to profess to be any kind of master of it and I have much, much more to learn. I am perfectly comfortable in calling myself a ‘healer’. Unfortunately, it seems that it is very easy to go and get attuned and label oneself a ‘Reiki Master’ in a week-end or even a day. Should you choose to go and find out what Reiki is all about, I urge you to take great care in choosing a suitable Master/Teacher/Healer. Again, the Stiene’s offer some great advice on how to do this in ‘Your Reiki Treatment; How to get the Most out of it’.

Five years ago I fell upon a wonderful Master/Teacher and got myself attuned to Level I. I’ve always thought about the bigger questions, the meaning of life, that kind of thing and in the weeks leading up to my attunement, I kept coming across Reiki. Reiki would appear everywhere I went. People were talking about it; it kept appearing in magazines that I picked up, there were features on the television about it. Everywhere I looked, there was ‘Reiki’. It really did seem as though there was something bigger at work, trying to draw my attention to it. This of course, was synchronicity weaving its wonderful magic and having always taken my lead from the ‘signs’ or ‘signals’ that life is always willing to offer, I didn’t hesitate in taking the hint!

A friend happened to give me the phone number of a Reiki Master (word of mouth being a fabulous way to find a healer), I gave her a call and it turned out that she was doing a level I workshop the following week-end. I got a wonderful feeling whilst I was talking to her and knew that this was the teacher for me. Unfortunately I was working that week-end but life intervened on my behalf and an intriguing turn of events freed my week-end up so that I was able to take myself to the workshop effortlessly. I am so happy and grateful for these events, for my life took a turn for the better from the very moment that I decided Reiki was for me. Energy follows intention and as soon as we decide to do something or set our intention, the universe gets right behind us and powers our thoughts right up!

Strangely for me, I set off for the week-end full of excitement but with no nerves whatsoever. I say strangely, because this is the sort of thing that would normally scare me to death. I would usually find the prospect of a workshop with a bunch of people that I had never met before incredibly daunting. I was right not to worry, it was simply wonderful. The group gelled straightaway and it was fascinating. We all had interesting stories to share and it was an absolute joy to meet these people, many of whom have remained very good friends. We received four attunements that week-end which involves the teacher placing sacred symbols into your energy field during meditation. My first attunement left me wanting to burst out laughing. It was an absolute battle to keep this laughter contained until everybody had been attuned and we opened our eyes. Then I had to let it out! I couldn’t tell you where this laughter came from but the process had definitely got started on shifting some energy around.

The second one had the opposite effect and I cried and cried. Again, I’ve no idea why but I just let it all out. I was feeling quite exhausted by now but this serves as a prime example of how important it is to find a Master that you trust and have faith in. I was full of questions. What was all this heat I could feel? What was all the tingling, the pulsing, and the spinning? Where on earth were all these emotions coming from? However, some of the questions had to remain unanswered for the moment and I was able to accept this because I trusted my teacher and felt perfectly safe. This is so important and can have such an impact on your experience. The third and fourth attunements were a little less eventful and I left the workshop feeling very different, very peaceful, very tired and very excited about the prospect that my life was now going to change. And it certainly did.

There is a 21 day cleansing period that follows attunement to Level I. This is basically a period when your body is adjusting to the new vibration of the Reiki energy. Negative energy is being shifted, healing is taking place. It is perfectly normal to feel utterly rubbish during this period and to come down with various maladies while your body adjusts. However, this may not always be the case and some people feel great, it depends on the individual.

I felt great for a few days and then started to feel something akin to ‘hormonal’, in other words, bad tempered and grumpy. However, as instructed, I was giving myself and my family Reiki and was having some amazing experiences. I came home that same week-end and practiced on my partner. The experience was astounding. He had a bad back and as he lay face down, I placed my hands on his back and was amazed at how hot they suddenly became. Moments later I had the sensation that my hands were actually inside his back, moving up and down. As I sat silently he looked at me suspiciously and asked me what I was doing. He understood that there was no manipulation involved and wanted to know why I was massaging his back! I wasn’t massaging his back, my hands were still but that is energy for you. Suffice to say that we both sat for a long tired with ‘Whoa, that is way too weird’ expressions on our faces!

My horse was my next victim. I fetched her up from the field, stood her on the yard and proceeded to give her Reiki. I could feel the energy flowing through my hands straightaway and after fidgeting for a few moments she soon settled, dropped her head and dozed off! It was hilarious. There was plenty of activity on the yard yet she went to sleep (don’t panic, she didn’t fall over, horses can sleep standing up!) and I had to drag her back to the field, yawning and tripping over her own feet. Well after these experiences I was hooked and I’ve never looked back.

Reiki has changed everything for me. It has healed me and therefore enabled me to heal my life (still got plenty of work to do though!) and begin to help others to start their healing journey too. I split up with my partner (the relationship hadn’t been right for a long time), got to know myself, then got to really like myself and now I’m happy. I have faith in the process of life and strive to live in the moment as that is all we ever truly have. The moment.

One of the greatest benefits of Reiki for me and countless others is the breakdown of the ego, the dissolution of any sense of separateness and the abandonment of selfish traits. Instead, an unerring sense of total connectedness to everybody and everything starts to creep in. The implications of this are staggering. Reiki heals. It helps us to release negative energy, negative traits, bitterness and judgement to name but a few. From this place is born real love, compassion, forgiveness and peace and perhaps most importantly a sense of humour. Joy and happiness flow from here effortlessly regardless of how much money you have, what the weather is doing, how your husband/wife/partner is treating you (look at The Laws of Attraction here if you’d like a little insight), how much time you don’t seem to have, whether you managed to go on holiday this year, ad infinitum. The point is that if you choose to begin the Reiki journey, it can take you to a place within yourself where you can find the answers to all your questions. It is here that you can find lasting happiness independently of any external circumstances.

To finish I leave you with the five Reiki principles as listed by Penelope Quest,

* Just for today, do not anger.
* Just for today, do not worry.
* Honour your parents, teachers and elders.
* Do your work honestly.
* Show gratitude to every living thing.

Try it, Reiki is inspiring.

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