Reiki 101, Everything Basic That You Need To Know About Reiki

I’ve mentioned Reiki few times on A State of Mind already, but I’ve never made an entire article dedicated to this subject. Today, I wish to fix that problem, and provide you with every basic information that you need in order to start your own adventure with Reiki. To start, I have to say, that Reiki is something that I recommend to everyone, no matter of his or hers religion, beliefs, and social status.


What Is Reiki

Let’s start with the simplest thing – what is Reiki?

Reiki is a method of working with spiritual energy. Sometimes, this energy is called Reiki, but it is misleading, as the energy itself does not have name, only the method can be called Reiki. But, we used to say that “I channel Reiki”, and this is correct. Because this way, we know what kind of energy we’re working with. The word Reiki itself can be translated as “universal spiritual energy”.

Reiki is a system, to which you need to be initiated. You can become self-attuned, but remember, that Mikao Usui, the creator of the system, lived in XIX/XX-century Japan, and he was a Buddhist. And that he spend give or take 20 years until he achieved his Satori, and learned Reiki on his own. Initiation, so called attunement, is much faster way of becoming a Reiki practitioner.

You may find a lot of self-attunement CD’s and books and instructions. Please, do not be mislead. 99.9% people living modern lives in modern civilization cannot attune themselves. They need someone else to attune them, really. But it’s worth it, definitely.

The Short History Of Reiki

Reiki was re-discovered by Mikao Usui (1864-1926), in Japan, at the beginning of the XX century. Usui was a Buddhist practitioner, and after 21 days of meditation on Mount Kurama (or Kuri Yama), he self-attuned himself to Reiki energy, and he begin sharing his knowledge with others. His knowledge was passed to hundreds if not thousands of people, and few dozens of Reiki teachers. One of these teachers, Hayashi, passed his knowledge to Takata, and she brought Reiki to United States.

From United States, Reiki expanded into almost every corner of the world, and today, it’s very easy to find a Reiki teacher that can initiate you into this practice. Of course, this is a very short version of Reiki history, but basically, that’s all that you need to know. Reiki is a system that originates from Qigong and Buddhist practices, and it has something in common with Shinto religion, too. But you don’t need to be a Buddhist to become a Reiki practitioner.

As for the energy itself, it existed from the very beginning. And it was often used in Buddhist medicine practices, in Taoist practices, in Qigong, and in other parts of the world. The names are different, but the energy is the same.

There is a version of Reiki history that says Usui was a Christian priest on Christian university in Japan. And that he studies in United States and that he traveled all across the world, searching for his Satori. This story is not true. It was, probably, made up by Takata, in order to persuade Americans to Reiki. Takata brought Reiki to USA after the 2nd World War, so you can imagine how could people react for the Japan healing method.

What Is Reiki Initiation

Reiki is a universal energy. It doesn’t matter who you are, what do you believe in etc. If you wish to become a Reiki practitioner, all you have to do is to find a teacher that will give you attunements. You may find a teacher that is willing to initiate you for free, but most of the time, it costs money. There must be this energy exchange going on – and giving something money in exchange for a service, is an energy exchange.

Reiki initiation, or attunement, is quite simple. The teacher expands your energetic channels (called Meridians in China, or Nadi in India, or just energy channels), and prepares your chakras for channeling Reiki. Each initiation takes up to 20, maximum 30 minutes. So it’s not long. Oh, and during initiation, you can keep your clothes on, you don’t need to pray to any entity or deity, there are no additional attributes. You just sit, relax, and the teacher initiates you. So, it’s very normal, very safe, and not very extraordinary.

Rates vary from teacher to teacher. You can become initiated for $100, for $250 if it’s first degree, similar price applies to second degree, and third degree’s price can be anything from $400 to $2000.

I recommend individual courses, because this way, you can ask more questions to your teacher, and get more detailed answers. A course takes from one to two days, yet some teachers expand it for a whole week, too. And of course, your attunement should take place face-to-face. Most advanced Reiki teachers agree, that distant attunements are not full attunements, and they’re just a waste of money. Therefore, distant initiation is not recommended.

During my own initiation, there were no fireworks, no deities, no spirits. Actually, I felt quite relaxed and nicely grounded. Yet I’ve heard stories of teachers who initiate in the name of Jesus Christ. Well, remember that Reiki is not connected to any religion. It’s a technique that uses universal spiritual energy. It can be associated with Holy Spirit, or Chi, or God, but it’s energy, and it’s a method. It’s not related to any religion.

Three Degrees

I’ve mentioned that there are three degrees in Reiki practice. First, Second, Third (some teachers divide the third degree into 3a and 3b, first for 3rd degree, second type for teacher training). Now, let’s discuss these degrees a bit.

  • First degree is meant to introduce you to Reiki energy, and start your physical healing process. From first degree on, you can channel Reiki to others, and perform this form of psychic healing. You can give Reiki to food, objects, plants, animals and so on. This is the degree that I recommend to everyone.
  • Second degree gives you three Reiki signs to work with. They act as additional tools that support your focus, intention and energy flow. Your energy channels are expanded, and Reiki beings your emotional and spiritual cleansing. From now on, you’re on the good path of spiritual growth.
  • Third degree gives you the fourth symbol, sometimes called master symbol, and with enough training, you can initiate others into the practice after the third degree. Third degree is focusing on your spiritual growth, and the fourth sign is meant mainly for your personal meditation and growth.

With each degree, the energy within you flows better, and you channel Reiki easier. It is a gentle process of Reiki development. I do not advise taking all three degrees at once, even if the teacher advises that. Wait 3 months between first and second degree, and wait at least a year between second and third degree. This way, you make sure that you won’t be hit hard by the cleansing period.

Reiki flows better with time. From my own practice, I can say there’s a huge difference in the energy flow, and your entire life after few months of work. The more you work with Reiki, the more changes you see and the better the energy flows. Therefore, do not be disappointed if nothing extra-ordinary happens after few months after your first degree. The fun part begins later :).

What Reiki Gives You

Reiki is a healing practice – but it heals not just your physical body, but also your mind, your soul, your emotions. It helps you work out your negative mind patterns and core images. What can it gives you? A lot of things, I would say:

  • It can heal physical illnesses that doctors thought to be impossible to heal. I’ve heard stories of females being unable to give a birth, yet becoming pregnant after few Reiki sessions.
  • It can solve problems. If you suffer from family problems, or job problems, or any other kind of problems, Reiki can bring balance. It helps finish the unfinished business, solve life problems, and bring harmony back to your life.
  • It’s a way to develop psychic abilities. With Reiki, you can cleanse your chakras, and remove blockages, and become attuned to your psychic intuition again. And I don’t have to remind you that this is a path towards psychic awakening, right?
  • Reiki can speed up your spiritual growth, because it helps you clear your blockages, and focus on your own spiritual development more. Get rid of negative habits, improve your life, deal with blockages, find your true passion, enjoy life more. This is a path of becoming a better person.
  • Reiki gives you a way to help others, too. You can channel Reiki to people, animals and plants. To food and electronic devices. To places and events. To past and future. Reiki is an energy that can heal, yes. But this healing is not limited to the physical body. Reiki can heal everything!

And this list is just a short selection of things that Reiki gives you. It can literally change your life – for better, if you allow it. If you have more questions about Reiki, ask them in the comments, and I will be happy to answer them. If you would like to try Reiki on your own, I offer a distant Reiki sessionfirst session is always free.

I’ve wrote a short article about changes in my life after Reiki initiation. It was written a couple of months ago, and a lot more changes occurred later on, but you can get the basic idea of things that can happen to you after Reiki attunement.

If you wish to know more, here are three books that are a mandatory reading for those who wish to start their Reiki path.

Should You Become Reiki Practitioner?

Definitely yes! In my opinion, everyone should receive attunement to first degree, at least. Second and third degree are paths for more advanced spiritual growth, but first degree is meant for you, and those close to you. You can heal yourself, and heal others, and begin your life anew – with, or without spirituality. Some things may change, and some things may remain the same, but growth is the reason why we are here.

There is an argument among certain people, that they wish not to try Reiki, or that they don’t want to be initiated, because it won’t be a learning experience. But know this, believe that you need to learn everything on your own is false, and true at the same time.. Because you’re never alone, there are people here, who can help you get this “flash” first, so you can learn things later. Reiki initiation and general Reiki practice is such flash – you get the seed, and you can watch it grow as you like it. Reiki is very individual practice – you start it with teacher’s help, but everything else is your own, personal Reiki gnosis.

The more people receive Reiki, the better this world will be. That’s all. Now, is there anything more that you wish to know about Reiki? Ask your questions in the comments below this article, and I’ll be happy to answer them.

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Are you a Reiki practitioner? Or maybe you plan to be? Share your Reiki experiences with other readers, please, and write other basic things if I’ve missed them. Thank you!

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Comments and Discussion

Be sure to add your own comment, feedback, opinion and/or suggestion :).

  1. I’ve been told any number of times that Reiki would be perfect for me – thanks for writing his, it gives me some impetus to look into it.

    by Julie | A Clear Sign / August 13th 2011

  2. Nathan this is so thorough and awesome! Thank you. I’m a Reiki Practitioner too and I try to incorporate it into my every day life. :)

    by Lindsay / August 15th 2011

  3. Hey Nathan! I was attuned to Reiki and love the fact that it helped me to become more aware spiritually. I now practice energy healing, but have found out in my journey that I am more a natural healer of energy…so I do not utilize the Reiki techniques or symbols as much anymore after realizing this, but any type of energy healing is such a wonderful thing to be opened up to in regards to receiving and giving…

    by Kenya / August 15th 2011

  4. Julie, as I say, the first degree is for everyone :).

    Lindsay, great! After all, Reiki is something that should be incorporated into every single life aspect – personally, I use it for room cleansing, and for cooking, beside healing, of course. Can you please give some examples of your own use?

    Kenya, often, Reiki is just a way to start a new journey into spiritual real, no wonder it can lead you to different paths, too.

    by Nathaniel / August 16th 2011

  5. Thank you for the informative article. I have long been curious about Reiki but this is the most in-depth I’ve learned about it.

    by Anne / August 22nd 2011

  6. Interesting.
    The issue I have is that “practitioners” are charging for initiation, which I see as a bit shady. When I encounter someone with the natural talent for the arts, and a willing interest; I feel bound to open their eyes as long as I am not giving a stick of dynamite to a toddler; free of charge. Now if someone wants to donate to my personal well being after the fact then that is cool of them; but like I said it would be like the fireman charging before he saves you from a burning building…kinda shady.
    Not to mention, nothing gets the reductionist science crowd more up in arms than charging for spiritual services. Houdini spent a greater portion of his later life exposing spiritual frauds who were bilking lonely little old ladies out of their life savings.

    again, just my opinion for what it is worth.
    Rev. Matthew

    by Reverend Matthew / August 22nd 2011

  7. We all have our opinions. For me, I would be unable to provide any psychic or spiritual service if I wouldn’t charge money for this. Simple because then I would have to focus on other ways of making money and there would be no time to do anything for free.

    It’s a job, it’s a service, like tons of others services. You don’t need a talent for anything spiritual, you get the tools, you get the books, you get the courses, and after spending some money, you learn how to do stuff. Then, you can start doing stuff, and charge money for this.

    Simple :).

    by Nathaniel / August 22nd 2011

  8. Hey, you have gotten me interested in getting the first degree of initiation :). However i live in Melbourne Australia and have no idea of where to go to get it done… Most of the places i have looked offer the healing but not the initiation. Any help?

    by Michael / September 7th 2011

  9. I agree with Rev Matthew on the charging for Reiki. I prefer to charge for traveling expenses, as these days gas is expensive and if you have limited funds and are asked to do energy healing or reiki, you need to have gas to get there. So a small fee is not a bad thing. It also helps the client appreciate you and the energy more. It also helps on the wear and tear of your vehicle, if you are driving great distances to help people in need.

    May the Spirit of our brother Wolf walk with you in the life and the beyond, always! Aho!

    by Kim / October 7th 2011

  10. @Michael,
    Google :). Maybe you’ll have to travel across the country, but there are Reiki teachers in Australia, just find them.

    by Nathaniel / October 7th 2011

  11. Heya Nathaniel,
    Just catching up on some of your posts. Glad to see that you’re still writing. Always been quite interested in Reiki as an area, very limited experience with it though. Interesting article :) @ Michael- there are definitely Reiki practitioners in Australia if you go looking. I can’t recommend any personally but if you’re in the Melbourne area I’d suggest looking at some of the mid to outer suburbs with a greater “new age” or “tree change” section of the community but I suspect there’s places in the city also.

    by Jaci / October 8th 2011

  12. @Jaci,
    Yep, I still write, it’s hard to get rid of me :). And it’s good to see you back, Jaci!

    by Nathaniel / October 8th 2011