What is Reiki, by Frank Arjava Petter

Sharing this wonderful article which answers the big question, What is Reiki!  Lisa xxx

What is Reiki

At the end of a long day I’m sitting in front of the computer trying to begin this article on Reiki- my head is empty, my body tired, no words emerge and instead of writing I give myself a mini self healing session. Immediately upon starting I feel the energy flowing out of my warming hands into my head- flooding me with instant relaxation and wellbeing. I realize that I haven’t felt my own body all day long …ridiculous but probably true for most of us: we have become so disconnected from our own physical form, that we don’t know what is good or bad for our health (including our psyche) anymore.

This brings us right to the point of what Reiki is: It is one of many ancient healing and relaxation methods used to utilize the all-pervading life energy. According to Indian, Tibetan and Chinese philosophy and now also modern science, we are surrounded by an incredibly lively universe that is made up of energy. What used to be known to us as ‘solid’ matter has recently been discovered by science to be just another form of very fast moving energy.  Solidity is an illusion caused by the limitation of our perception. That means that everything is energy, therefore alive and receptive to energy.

Even though we are floating in this pool of refreshing, life giving energy 24 hours a day, we have forgotten its presence and so lost contact with its positive affects on our health and psychological sanity. Except for the little accidents that happen to us here and there. What is the first thing you do after you have hit your head? You touch it! The soothing feeling generated by the touch of your hand often escapes your attention.

You can practice Reiki anywhere, at the office, in nature, at home – it is not attached to any religion or philosophy, doesn’t require any spiritual or esoteric background, degree or even a therapist. You can do it yourself. The techniques to work on yourself and others are very, very easy to learn and I have not come across a single person who failed to feel the energy flow in his own body after the Reiki initiation. Reiki is safe to use in any situation, but it is no substitute for medical treatment. Alternative medicine and school medicine should go hand in hand and compliment instead of fight each other.

There are several different Reiki schools worldwide which I will mention below. I guess that it is practiced by over one million people worldwide. The different schools teach systems with minor variations in theory and practice, however the energy transferred is the same – if the practitioner has received a proper Reiki initiation.

All systems originate from Mr. Mikao Usui of Kyoto, who rediscovered Reiki in the beginning of this century. Reiki has its roots in ancient Buddhism and Shintoism. It is part of the large family of the Chinese Quigong. Mr. Usui passed on his knowledge to many others. In Japan, the ‘Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai’ has been teaching his system ever since, but it did not spread widely.

One of Mr. Usui’s students, Mr. C. Hayashi brought Reiki to Hawaii just before the second world war. His head student, Ms. H. Takata helped to spread Reiki throughout the USA and then onwards to Europe. It is said that before Ms. Takata’s death she passed on the responsibilities to her granddaughter Phyllis L. Furumoto who founded the “Reiki Alliance” . In the West, Mr. Hayashi, Ms. Takata and Ms. Furumoto are called Reiki Grand Master, but no such title was ever given to them. The actual successor of Dr. Usui was not C. Hayashi, but one of Usui’s close associates, a Mr. Ushida. He was then succeeded by a Mr.Taketomi, a Mr. Watanabe, a Mr. Wanami, a Mrs. Koyama and the current president of the Usui Ryoho Gakkai is a Mr. Kondo.

Out of the Reiki Alliance many other streams, like Osho Reiki and our line, the free Reiki teachers, emerged in the late 80’s on .

Another student of Ms.Takata, Ms. Barbara Ray founded “The Radiance Technique” after Ms. Takata’s death.

The Reiki system teaches us different ways to tap into and use the ever present life- energy. The ability to make use of Reiki energy is passed on to the student by initiation, not by practice. However by daily practicing Reiki one becomes a clear channel for it and with less resistance in its way it becomes stronger and stronger. The Reiki system is usually divided into three or four degrees. The first degree has four initiations and the next two degrees have one initiation each. In each initiation the subtle bodies and chakras of the student are tuned to higher frequencies. The personal experience of this is very different for everybody so writing about it would just create confusion. Each initiation, or attunement takes 10 – 15 minutes. Some Reiki teachers and Reiki schools diminish the time they spend for the initiations or even omit them all together. From my experience and experimentation I know that the initiations are vital to the transmission of Reiki energy and that a certain process needs to be followed. And this process takes a certain amount of time.

In the first degree workshop you learn 12 or more hand positions that help you energize and balance your own or someone else’s body. The goal of the initiation is to bring the student closer to their own body – the thing nearest to ourselves which most of us disregard and mistreat constantly. Obviously it is the base of the system: before you can understand someone else’s body you need to understand your own. A full hands on Reiki session takes just about one hour, but in emergencies it can be condensed. You also learn how to treat animals, plants and things. Usually it is also taught how to charge crystals and other semi precious or precious stones. After the first degree workshop you are advised to give yourself a full session for the next 21 days to deepen your understanding of the Reiki energy and at the same time go through a period of cleansing. During this time of cleansing we usually advise our students to drink lots of water to cleanse the body, to write a diary to cleanse the mind and to open and welcoming to all sorts of changes.

In general first degree Reiki is limited to the here and now, which means that you can only work on people and things who are physically present.

Prices for the first degree workshops vary greatly from place to place and country to country . We charge Yen 30.000, about US $ 250 for it . Our first degree workshop takes about eight hours and we accept at the most four students .

It is a good idea to keep at least twenty one days between the first and the second degree initiation, and between the second and third degree initiation, to give the student enough time to digest what they have learned.

In the second degree workshop you are taught ancient symbols to help you relax and heal body and mind. You also learn how to do distant healing and how to fix your own or someone else’s incomplete past (with their consent, of course). Again start with yourself – understand your own psyche, your own psychological make up before working on others.

You are now able to combine the hand positions that you learned in the first degree workshop with the second degree symbols to increase effectively. Our second degree workshop takes eight to ten hours. Our fee is Yen 60.000 .

In the third degree you are shown how to go beyond body and mind. The third degree is mostly used for ones own meditation.With it the Reiki system as such is complete. Our fee is Yen 90.000 and the workshop takes six to seven hours.

In the fourth degree or ( some schools also call it 3b ) one learns how to open the Reiki channel in others. This is strictly for people who want to share Reiki with their fellow travelers. We offer the Reiki teacher’s degree to anyone for Yen 150.000.

After you have received your first Reiki initiation, you become a channel for the universal life energy as long as you live – even if you don’t use it. You can also expect changes in your inner world to happen, like growing of your intuition, self-confidence and trust in existence to mention only a few. Anytime during the first degree workshop the energy starts to flow out of your hands as soon as you touch your own or someone else’s body and from that point on the energy flows to where it is needed by itself. It always adjusts itself to the needs of the receiver. There is no doing involved, no dissolving or drawing out of bad energy, just the laying on of ones hands in certain positions does the trick. Everybody can become a Reiki channel in the matter of a day or two (depending on workshop timings).

Reiki energy is not owned by you, it is not your personal achievement, it just flows through you when initiated – no need to turn it into an ego trip. It is never YOU who heals or helps to relax, the less YOU are in the way the easier it is for Reiki to flow through you. When laying hands on somebody else, not only the receiver relaxes and heals but the ‘giver’ too is energized and showered upon.

The way I see Reiki, it is a perfect self help tool and a wonderful skill for every health practitioner, physician, nurse, chiropractor, acupuncturist or physiotherapist. Reiki has been extremely helpful in the hospice and the hospital and I hope that one day it will become part of the curriculum at medical school.

In mysterious ways Reiki intensifies ones abilities in all dimensions, helps one to see areas in ones life that have been neglected. In short it can help you to be yourself and that is what we are all here for.

Many people from all over the world have taken only the first or the first two Reiki degrees – there is no need to complete the whole system, each degree is complete in itself. One does have to follow the sequence of degrees, without the ground under your feet there is no sky.

I hope I’ve been able to give you a little taste of Reiki in this article and you’ll be able to decide for yourself whether or not it is something that you’d like to try out .

Written by Frank Arjava Petter

Frank Arjava Petter has been living in Japan for the past seven years, where his Japanese wife and himself are operating a language school and a healing center. He is the author of the books “Reiki Fire” and “Reiki, the legacy of Dr. Usui” both published Lotus Light Publications and is currently traveling all over the world teaching Japanese Reiki techniques.

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