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Reiki (part two) – a beginner’s guide

August 6, 2009

reiki symbol

For those of you who have never heard of Reiki, or who have heard of it but are not quite sure what’s involved, I’m going to share some of the knowledge I’ve gained during my recent training. The Reiki 1st degree course I studied with York Reiki Plus supplies a comprehensive manual written by Taggart King of Reiki Evolution (who also runs this course online, if you are not in the York area), plus two CDs to guide you through the daily energy exercises and self healing mentioned below.

  • There are a number of translations of the term ‘Reiki’ but the one which resonates with me most is probably the most frequently used and is a term which I already use in my work – ‘Universal Life Energy’. The Japanese characters which make up the word ‘Reiki’ can be seen in the image above.

  • Reiki practice is about channelling this universal life energy to bring about a state of balance in the body’s natural energy, fostering holistic healing and well-being.

  • Reiki originated in Japan and was developed by Mikao Usui (1865-1926). Reiki combines the spiritual teachings of Tendai Buddhism with the energy work of Shentoism and Usui originally intended it to be a simple system for self-healing, personal development and spiritual growth. He saw Reiki as a path to enlightenment and a way to ‘achieve personal perfection’.

  • Reiki evolved into a system used to treat others when it was adopted by the Japanese military as a healing tool. The standard hand positions taught to Reiki practitioners today were developed by one of the imperial officers, Dr Hayashi.  (Usui’s original practice simply used intuition to direct the energy rather than following a series of prescribed positions.)

  • The Reiki system I practise is rooted in the original Japanese system developed by Usui. The more complex Western system which many practitioners learn was developed by Mrs Takata in the post-war years, when the West were less kindly disposed towards anything Japanese.

  • To become a competent Reiki practitioner, it is recommended that you follow the Reiki teachings outlined below:

1) Focus on and live the five Reiki precepts. Precepts can be defined as ‘rules to live by’ and Usui’s precepts are central to his Reiki system:

Just for today

Do not anger

Do not worry

Be humble

Be honest (in your dealings with other people)

Be compassionate towards yourself and others

2) Practise mindfulness (in other words, ‘living in the moment’)

3) Receive Reiju empowerments regularly. Empowerments are a series of rituals which open you up to Reiki (the universal life energy), allowing you to channel that energy for the benefit of yourself and others.

4) Practise Hatsurei Ho – the daily energy exercises which enhance your ability to channel Reiki energy, through clearing and balancing your system, and helping to develop your intuition and your sensitivity to the energy flow.

5) Practise self-healing by giving yourself regular self-treatments with Reiki. You can do this through meditations or through placing your hands on yourself in the prescribed positions.

Finally, of course, you can share the relaxing and healing benefits of this energy by practising on other people. Once you have undertaken your Reiki 1st degree course, then as well as practising the above teachings, you will strengthen your connection to Reiki through regular work with others.

More in part three

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One comment

  1. […] I mentioned in my previous Reiki blogs (you can find part one here and part two here), I trained for my 1st degree with York Reiki Plus and would recommend this course to anyone from […]



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