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Threshold Notes -- Questionable Reiki Teachings

Last Updated: May 2, 2013         RETURN TO THRESHOLD NOTES iNDEX
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This Note is one of a series where I give my ideas on aspects of Reiki and/or energy work. The pages are intended to give some "food for thought" and some are only my viewpoint. While a number of facts may be included, you should decide for yourself how much (if any) of the content feels right to you.

Often when I teach a new student who has had previous Reiki training from another teacher, I end up having to suggest changes to some of their beliefs about Reiki.  Even new students who have read up on Reiki before their first class sometimes pick up questionable ideas from other web sites or Reiki books.  Granted some of the books and teachings may have originated in a time before my friends and I began sharing the discoveries in Japan of people like Dave King or Hiroshi Doi.  Before the days of the public internet in the mid 1990’s there were few resources a person could call on for more accurate info or verification of someone else’s beliefs. In addition, since then many Reiki practitioners’ own shared experiences have also dispelled some old ideas on applying Reiki.

Here are some of the questionable topics that can come up in class:

  • Distant Reiki requires Reiki 2 training:  for years I’ve taught distant Reiki in my level 1 classes, without the use of symbols or photos.  An easy way to prove this works for you is to use an energy sensitive person (clairvoyant, psychic) as the intended recipient.
  • Permission from the recipient is required to send Reiki:  This is not taught in traditional Reiki. It is strange that the same teacher dictating this will often send Reiki to group events like war or disaster victims but not ask each of the target person’s permission in advance.  In any case whether Reiki is requested or not, I feel a higher spiritual part of the person will decide if Reiki or any healing support is appropriate, even if consciously asked for. Sometimes life lessons are involved and may need to be dealt with first.
  • Mrs. TakataThe time between Reiki 1 and 2 must be 3 months:   This seems to be a mid 1980’s idea since Mrs. Takata is known to have previously taught at least 9 students (sponsored by Wanja Twan) Reiki 1 and 2 in the same week.  Also, Mrs. Yamaguchi explained at the URRI 2000 conference that Dr. Hayashi would often teach Reiki 1 and 2 together in his 5 day workshop (2 hours a day).  In my own first Reiki 3 / Master weekend, the other 4 students had all learned Reiki 1 and 2 the previous weekend.  Each went on to be a very effective healer and teacher.
  • 3 or 4 attunements must be given for Reiki 1:  in the URR Gakkai and in Dr. Hayashi’s classes, an attunement or reiju was given once per 2 hour class day, as well as during monthly meetings or Reiju Kai gatherings.  This allowed greater integration of the energy each time the student met with the teacher.  Each attunement ceremony was the same and in the Gakkai no symbols are used.  This began to change with Mrs. Takata’s students.
  • A special ritual is required to begin giving Reiki:   while many practitioners might have their own preferred way of beginning a treatment, I am sure everyone can discover that Reiki will begin flowing whether you do this or not. Try working on someone with a very serious illness and you will see.
  • Attunements or Reiju can be intended to be temporary:  this is an area like many others in Reiki where I find that people accept a belief without testing this thoroughly.  I always ask the teachers who suggest this whether they have tried this on a number of people and whether they have followed up on the recipient to see if the person still had Reiki ability.  In my experience an attunement or proper reiju is like teaching someone a song.  Once learned and used they are unlikely to forget it, especially if they work with it daily.
  • A practitioner’s hands must be cupped to apply Reiki properly:  in URR Gakkai Master Fumio Ogawa’s book “Everyone Can Do Reiki” he explains a standard treatment and describes how only one finger of one hand (middle finger) need be applied to the healing subject. Two hands (one finger each) might be used when 2 similar organs are being worked on (like the lungs).
  • Continued focus and concentration are required to keep Reiki flowing:   I have witnessed my own children when young as they gave very effective treatments while their mind was glued to the TV set. It’s as if they turned on a light and trusted that the hydro would keep electricity flowing.  Also, anyone receiving Reiki from several people during a Reiki share would notice that the energy remains constant even as the givers chat amongst themselves over you.
  • Mikao Usui was a doctor:  Usui Sensei was a Tendai Buddhist lay monk, meaning he was allowed to live and work outside of the temple.  He was not a medical practitioner although he did develop strong natural energies that could assist in healing others.  His brother Sanya Usui however, was a medical doctor living in Tokyo, and he was familiar with Usui’s teachings (as was their other brother, Kunichi.)
  • Reiki should not be sent to a person being anesthetized:   the concern here is that Reiki will nullify the anesthetic during an operation. I have never had this experience with anyone nor has every Reiki practitioner I asked about this.  In fact Reiki practitioners are now invited into a number of operating rooms to give Reiki during the procedures.
There are other questionable beliefs that come up but these seem to be the more frequent ones. smile

Richard (Rick) Rivard

If you have comments or suggestions, Contact Me.   I will try to answer them all.

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