About Reiki

What Does a Reiki Lifestyle Look Like?

The Reiki lifestyle is rooted in a set of precepts passed down from Mikao Usui, and blossoms according to the individual healer’s sense of self.

Reiki energy offers harmony and balance to its practitioners and its patients. Therefore, living a Reiki lifestyle is an effort to live in balance and harmony with the world; conscious that at times it is a struggle to do so.

To live a Reiki lifestyle is to be open to the potential for growth while living a human life.

One of the greatest joys I have found in Reiki is its potential for application from a wide range of perspectives. You do not have to be of the Japanese culture to appreciate or understand it. You might be Catholic, Hindu or Muslim; the precepts and nature of Reiki healing stretch to fit your worldview just as well, without compromising the integrity of the healing.

The precepts are generally presented to Reiki students in two forms. As a quote from Mikao Usui and a list of guiding principles or affirmations.

The quote, translated from the original Japanese text, is as follows: “The secret art of inviting happiness/The spiritual medicine of all diseases (of body and mind)/Just for today, do not be angry/Do not be worried and be filled with gratitude/Devote yourself to your work and be kind to people/Every morning and evening sit in the Gassho position,/Pray these words to your heart/And chant these words with your mouth/Usui Reiki treatment for the improvement of body and mind” (Quest 40).

Penelope Quest points out in her book The Reiki Manual: A Training Guide for Reiki Students, Practitioners and Masters (2010) that these words echo sentiments expressed by emperor Mutsuhito, “whose reign”, she points out, “coincided with much of Usui’s life” (41). Perhaps this plays a part in the modality’s universal nature: its founder’s willingness to see himself as a part of a whole rather than a whole in and of himself. But that’s a subject for another post.

The precepts as principles are listed as follows:

  1. Just for today, do not anger or Just for today I will let go of anger
  2. Just for today, do not worry or Just for today I will let go of worry
  3. Honour your parents, teachers and elders or Today I will count my many blessings
  4. Earn your living honestly or Today I will do my work honestly
  5. Show gratitude to every living thing or Today I will be kind to every living creature

These five ideals lie at the heart of living a Reiki lifestyle, and are intended to assist healers in maximizing their power as channels for the Reiki energy. They are not dogma, but ideals to be strived for.

They highlight the need to live in the physical world, not just reside in meditation or a state of spiritual enlightenment. After all, we are all only human. No matter how often or deeply we connect with Spirit, we still live within the dimensions of earth.

About Reiki

What Are the Degrees of Reiki Attunement?

In the Usui Reiki tradition there are three degrees of training and attunement. Each has a western and an eastern title by which they may be referred. Not all students of Reiki choose to be attuned to the Shinpiden or Master level. There are those who feel most comfortable at the Shoden or Introductory level and never move beyond it. It is important to recognise that there is no best or correct way beyond finding what feels best for the individual. This applies to the time between attunements as well. Some students take years while others take weeks and months between the levels. To each their own.

The first level of Reiki is referred to as Shoden in the Japanese tradition (translates to “Beginner Teachings”) or the First Degree/Introductory in the Western tradition. This level introduces the student to Reiki energy and the ways they can connect with it to aid self-discovery and healing, as well as to help and support others. Whether the student learns about the chakras or the three diamonds will depend upon the lineage of their teacher, though it is important to note that neither is wrong.

The second level of Reiki is referred to as Okuden in the Japanese tradition (translates to “Hidden or Inner Teachings”) or the Second Degree/Practitioner in the Western tradition. This stage of training introduces names and mantras of three of the Usui Reiki symbols. Students are taught the how and why of using each of these symbols and their resonant energies to further their range as a healer for self and others. Depending on the teacher, students are further encouraged to work intuitively with the energies they are channeling when offering healing. Students are supported in practicing as therapists at this stage, learning about insuring their practice and how to keep appropriate records of their patients’ visits, etc.

The third level of Reiki is referred to as Shinpiden in the Japanese tradition (translates to “Mystery Teachings”) or the Third Degree/Master in the Western tradition. Students at this level of training are taught the names and mantras of the Master symbols. The western tradition further distinguishes between Master-Practitioner and Master-Teacher. Those training for the latter are taught the attunement process, and are often given ideas of how they may organise courses for passing on the teachings.

It is important to note that while Reiki is often viewed as a therapy, most individuals who receive training in Reiki find that it inevitably takes on a spiritual aspect. Those who go on to the final degree of training consistently describe it as a lifestyle, not just a degree of certification.

About Reiki

What can Reiki do?

Reiki healing is not, nor has it ever been a cure. It is not meant as a replacement for consultation with a medical professional, but rather a support to them.

Reiki is a method of holistic healing that helps maintain spiritual, psychological, emotional, and physical balance. True to the definition of the term “holistic”, this healing modality helps its recipients to attain, and maintain wholeness across all levels. It is a way of creating harmony within the human body from the inside out.

It is therefore a wonderful tool for all species in all walks of life around the world. It is gentle and noninvasive, and works to release rather than induce stress or pain.

Reiki can:

  • Maintain health and well-being across physical, psychological & emotional systems
  • Facilitate deep relaxation and letting go of stress
  • Facilitate and accelerate healing from illness or after surgery
  • Aid in reducing pain and inflammation
  • Aid in correcting behavioural problems like aggression
  • Help victims of all forms of abuse to recover from the effects of trauma
  • Support other therapies to affect healing
  • Lessen side-effects of treatments i.e. chemo therapy
  • Support the dying process

Reiki healing is also wonderful in that healer and patient do not necessarily need to be in the same space for the transfer of energy to occur. Distance does not alter the quality of the healing session because Reiki is governed by intention. If the practitioner has engaged with its spiritual aspects, it is governed by faith.

About Reiki

What is Reiki?

Reiki is a little word that encapsulates a host of meanings. While frequently treated as a therapy akin to massage or acupuncture, its spiritual aspect is often overlooked. However, many of its practitioners find that it takes on a meaning unique to themselves the longer they work with Reiki energy.

As a result, Reiki is extremely difficult to define with consistent clarity. Adding to this, there are dozens of different styles and lineages to choose from when looking to learn about and become attuned to give Reiki. While many are founded in or require the original Usui methods be taught first, not all of them do. This is frequently cause for debate within the community as, while each style has its pros and cons, they ultimately all come from the same source.

The term Reiki translates in two parts: rei meaning “universal” or “spiritual” and “ki” which means “energy”. In other words, Reiki is Japanese for the universal God/dess energy for which the healer acts as a channel into the physical world, i.e. their client/patient.

It is a holistic healing system that works to balance all systems of the body: the physical, the psychological, and the spiritual. It is not a cure, but rather a system of maintaining balance to help prevent illness/dis-ease as so many physical health problems are born out of imbalance.

Reiki is therefore best viewed as a lifestyle rather than a therapy, and those who become attuned to the third degree (referred to as Master in the West and Shinpiden, or Mystery Teachings in the Japanese tradition) often do so for themselves, not necessarily with the intention of teaching or giving healing to others.