In March, I tought my first Reiki 1 class. I tought my first Reiki class at any time, anywhere.
Sometimes the Universe gives you clues. The Universe began giving me clues in the form of questions by my patients, friends, and colleagues about the nature of Reiki.
There is a lot of misinformation floating about the Internet and the world about its nature, and its process. In truth, I didn’t understand the nature of Reiki until I was introduced to it.
Knowledge vs attunement
I was attuned in 2005 and 2006 by two separate Reiki masters. The first was a younger, Western teacher who gave me little to no introduction. The second was a Grand Master of the original lineage, who was fiercely strict about the seriousness of the training and who came from an Eastern point of view (Indian).
Both tought me a lot. Neither tought me what I needed to experience on my own. And that’s the thing. Because we are each a different energy signature, Reiki is going to be different in each of us.
Reiki 1 is your Reiki
Reiki 1 is “my” Reiki, as much as my silent oberver is me. So Reiki 1 is the attunement to your Reiki, that which your silent observer understands and with which it can commune.
I am a Western-trained chiropractor. My education is rigorous and physical, and requires a keen and astute knowledge of the human body and its processes.
Reiki does not require this, per se. But for a Westerner, understanding the energetic nature of life is. And this is often difficult for Western minds to wrap their heads around.
The good thing about Reiki is that you don’t need 4-5 years of anatomy, physiology, neurology, chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, biomechanis, kinesiology, and chiropractic training and internship to use it to help improve your life.
Reiki 1 It is something that people can, and likely should, use every day for themselves. One needn’t go further than Reiki 1 to improve their lives, and by extension of the self, the lives around them.
Not cheaply achieved
It took me many years to understand and use the power of Reiki 1-3 to its best benefits. During this period, I did not feel ready to share my trials and errors.
Until the questions started coming last winter, I just quietly used it and learned from it.
Then that little voice in my head, the one with the good ideas that are also uncomfortable ideas, started poking me. “It’s time.”
My two students
When recruiting students, I often recruit through discouragement. I find that, if you make something less romantic, and reveal that it will actually take some work and will shift you as a person, one weeds out those who are not really interested in the product of study.
So after a discouraging introductory process, two people remained who wanted to know more.
So I tought my experience and my perspective of Reiki 1, and I had the blessing of attuning them. It was a very moving experience for us all.
Misha, one of my students, wrote about the experience in a candid manner that I would not have been able to express in 2005. I thought it was important to share, for prospective Reiki students and Reiki teachers alike. So I asked if It would be all right to post here, and Misha graciously accepted.
The following is a blog post that you can find on Misha’s blog:
A few weeks ago I received my Reiki level one attunement. From conversations I had later, I learned that most people are vaguely aware of it as “some kind of laying on of hands” at best. I’ll first give a short explanation, and then tell you about the experience.
So, what is Reiki, without going into as much detail as the two days of class I had? First, what’s energy work? If you’re into meditation at all, you’ve probably encountered some guided meditations that asked you to move your breath into parts of your body where your airways don’t go. What you’re moving around isn’t literal air but a type of energy. There are many types of energy other than “breath”, which all feel different from each other. Reiki is one of those, and comes from an outside source. There is a methodology to use it to assist healing in the broadest sense of the word. A set of principles to live by is part of the methodology (order and wording vary):
- Just for today, I will live the attitude of gratitude.
- Just for today, I will not worry.
- Just for today, I will not anger.
- Just for today, I will do my work honestly.
- Just for today, I will show love and respect for every living thing.
I like the “just for today” part a lot, it’s very… mindful actually. It also means a bad day isn’t a complete disaster, one can always try again tomorrow.
I was curious about Reiki because I learned some energy work as a child (and figured things out on my own from there), but don’t remember who or where from. I wanted to know if that perhaps was Reiki, and now I know the answer to that is “no”. I also want to learn energy work and meditation methods that are known to be safe, because I will be able to help others with those. Of what I figured out on my own, I know for sure that some practices are unsafe, but not what is actually definitely safe for everyone’s mental health.
What was it like?
I decided to go into it with a clear and open mind, in other words I did not try to learn everything in advance on the web. This did mean I didn’t know about the three weeks of daily one hour and a half practice on oneself after attunement. If you want to learn Reiki too, you have now been warned of that 🙂 .
Lots of coincidences!
The first day was my birthday. A friend wrote to me in her birthday card that she hoped there would be many attractive women for me to practice on. I later told her I would be practicing on someone extremely sexy for the next three weeks.The second day was new moon, to be more precise the day on which the (invisible) moon sets after the sun again. I try to celebrate that day every month, something about new beginnings, I’ll write about that another time.When I found out my now-teacher is a Reiki master and asked if she was planning to teach soon, I didn’t know she had not done so before. She did have lessons planned because someone else had asked her! If I understood correctly she rejected a few potential students for not being serious enough, leaving just me and the other.Learning anything together with one other student is a special, intimate experience, especially when it’s someone you instantly like and quickly develop a feeling of understanding for. I hope we become friends.
Can’t avoid that spirit work
I try not to talk about spirit work. I really do, because I don’t want to encourage anyone to try it. Yes, I learned very much from it, but it has also been incredibly upsetting at times. Unfortunately, it’s so interwoven with energy work that I had to come out of that closet, because I couldn’t predict if anything weird might happen (it didn’t).This got me the question “why do you do that?” twice, which is difficult to answer in the moment. Imagine you find a puppy with a broken leg and take it to the vet. Nobody claims the puppy, so you pay the bill and adopt it. You now have a dog. If someone asks you “why did you get a dog?”, well, why did you? One can make up explanations after the fact with words like “compassion”, “kindness”, “sense of justice”, “sense of responsibility”, but I think it’s healthier to leave those words for other people to describe me than to make them part of a self image I use to reason from to decide what to do in any situation. When I find a task, no matter how odd, that clearly needs doing in front of me, I do it.
We were taught a lot connecting Reiki to western science and mysticism (not sure if I’m using the right word there). It felt like being back at university. If one is not an energy worker yet, all this would help to accept Reiki as something that could be real. For me, it was still very interesting.
This was a day of showing the method (hand positions), personal conversations, meditation, and the attunement! Also, dinner 🙂 . Reiki feels wonderful and warm, and intense when first getting to know it.
The next days
Life can become wild after Reiki attunement, I certainly had a few rough days in which things changed for the better in friendships. It’s hard to say if there’s a cause and effect, because things weren’t calm in the week before either.I can say with certainty that I feel better. Meditation is a bit easier, and my preferred posture is now one that fits feeling comfortable in my environment. Straight back, low shoulders, small steps, exactly what I remember being corrected into and being unable to keep up. Posture, body language, can be caused by how one feels. It’s useless to try to correct the symptom without addressing the cause.
Reiki level 2, for sure, sometime. First, I think I found a reasonably short track for going from informally knowing about mindfulness to being a mindfulness trainer. It’s on a different end of a spectrum, but again it’s a known safe practice to learn so I can help others.