what is reiki?
Reiki (‘ray-kee‘) receives reactions of curiosity and joy as well as mistrust. My own relationship with reiki began about fifteen years ago when I was going through ‘something’, I cannot remember the details, it had an emotional element to it. I was working in a therapy clinic in Redland and had become friends with Nixie James-Scott. I became intrigued when she introduced me to reiki. I was also a little dubious – of the therapy not Nixie! I was dubious of its simplicity.
A client and neighbour I was working with at the time asked me if I practiced reiki? When he received reflexology, he said I worked as though I did. More intrigue.
I began a 6 week course of receiving reiki with Nixie. It was delicious. An hour of stillness and being held – not just by Nix but by something I couldn’t put a name to. I felt reconnected to myself and to my life. Reassured and grounded.
And that is what reiki is. The Japanese word Rei translates as universal energy; ki is your personal energy (as chi is in Chinese medicine and prana is in Ayurvedic practice). Reiki is a reconnection to yourself and something beyond yourself. Being in and part of the Universe.
It is a formalised method of hands on healing. We all have the ability to heal and be healed. We do it naturally. We rub parts of our body that hurt; we offer comfort to someone who is sad; we feel the pain in a situation and try to offer help in any way we can.
Reiki courses are different to some modalities of healing. They include an attunement process which I would describe as a guided meditative ceremony to bring clarity and a sacredness to your role as healer. There are different levels which describe the amount of time you choose to spend learning about reiki. Some people feel the first level is enough; it focuses on your own healing and development. You can give reiki to others but this level is primarily about your own healing.
How much teaching you receive depends on your needs and intention. Some people enjoy teaching days for personal development only, while others want to practice professionally
- Reiki II: Professional practitioner
- Reiki III Teacher/Master
My experience of learning were short courses for Reiki I and II (2 days) and Reiki III in the form of an apprenticeship (10 days over 2 years). (I already had an anatomy and physiology qualification.) One of the reasons for mistrust is the variation in teaching styles and course content. You can study Reiki I, II and III over a long weekend. Personally I wouldn’t have wanted to learn in this way. I like time to sit and develop. Two years allowed time for coffee, chocolate and excursions!
There are practitioners who are clairvoyant and/or clairaudient; some who see auras and others who are prophetic. I am none of these. And it has taken me a long time to know that that is ok! I was told by a prospective student that perhaps I wasn’t the real deal. It makes me laugh now but at the time it filled me with self-doubt. We all experience touch and relationship differently. That’s what makes life so amazing. We all have learning and qualities to share. To limit our development to a perceived expectation is not helpful or necessary.
For my own reiki practice, I am in touch with my own experience. When I give reiki to another being, my experience is interesting but it is not the focus. It is the experience of the being receiving the reiki that is important. I know from years of giving that the present moment of that being is often very different to mine.
And then there are the reiki gatherings or healing circles. These spaces are an opportunity to come together and share sacred space. You can be reiki attuned but the most important thing to be is open hearted and present. This is a moment where we are all able to receive and give a nurturing touch. I also include a distance healing circle. As a group we sit together and offer healing to those who are not with us, known and unknown.
Reiki means different things to different people. Most agree it is love and connection. For some it is God, for others Gaia. As with yoga, reiki will clarify your relationship to life, yourself and others. There are questions and some go unanswered but I am learning that just because I don’t have an answer, it doesn’t mean there isn’t one. When I think of reiki I feel trust.
Finally, to completely describe what reiki is, here are the principles as given to me by my teacher:
Just for today:
- I will release the need for anger
- I will release all worry
- I will honour my teachers, my elders and every living thing
- I will work with integrity
- I will give thanks and feel gratitude for all my blessings
I hope that has given an insight into reiki. Questions on a postcard please … not really …
Blessings Yvonne x