A Traditional Holistic Healing Art
Reiki is an ancient art of healing. It is often referred to as a Zen art of hands on holistic healing, where the healer is a channel for the Divine Universal Life Force Energy.
I have been a practicing Reiki Healer since 1989. Over the past two decades of practice I have learned a few things and changed my view of some aspects of Reiki. As with everything in life, the more you learn and expand your knowledge, so too should your views and perspectives also change and grow.
In 1999 I wrote a section about Reiki on my original educational website. I outlined the general information about what Reiki is, its practices, the general information about the Reiki I and II levels of training. All from the perspective of a traditionally trained Reiki Master. I even included a page on the controversies surrounding the history, attunements and pricing of Reiki training.
I tried to make the section as unbiased as possible. With one exception, the cost of Reiki training. Back then I agreed with the critics and saw the pricing as an old practice that wasn’t needed in the world any longer. It was out of touch and out-dated. It was kept because of greed and not spiritual value. I’ve changed my view on that concept. But I’ll get to that in a minute.
The world around us has changed a great deal since then. The evolution of Reiki around the world has also changed, some for the better and some not so good. Spotting Reiki fakes isn’t as easy as it would seem. We live in a throw away society, more so today than any other time in our history. People want instant answers and instant knowledge. They want instant gratification and if they can’t get it, they look for ways to cut the corners and get there faster.
But that type of approach to spirituality doesn’t work out so well. It takes time to read, research and practice. It takes effort and work to understand the self and the inner spirit. Not to mention understanding your place in the Divine Universe and how you relate to the greater world around you, seen and unseen.
After 20 years of practice, my views on the traditional teachings have changed and I overhauled the section of Reiki Healing on Spring’s Haven this month (January 2013) as a result. So check it out.
The biggest change in thought hits the biggest controversy of the practice, the fee structure. If you don’t know about the traditional price structure and level requirements, they look like this:
Reiki I – 1st Degree Channel
Basic I training in the Usui method of channeling Universal Life-force energies. Learn the history and legend of Reiki, the basic hands on healing procedures, and the methods for focusing divine energy to situations or illness. – Classes include instruction and workshop.
3 day class – 6 hours each. $250.00 per person.
No Prerequisites Required.
Reiki II – 2nd Degree Channel
Level II training in the Usui method of channeling Universal Life-force energies. Concentrating on distance healing, and connecting with the spiritual consciousness of the patient. – Classes include instruction and workshop.
3 day class – 6 hours each. $500.00 per person.
Prerequisites Required – Reiki I and 1 year or more of practical experience.
Reiki III – Master’s Degree
Level III Master’s Degree training in the Usui method of channeling Universal Life-force energies. Concentrating on Reiki Attunements, the masters symbology, tapping into divine energies for guided healings, and teaching Reiki to others. – Classes include instruction and workshop.
3 day class – 6 hours each, plus 2 years of verifiable practice. $10,000.00 per person.
Prerequisites Required – Reiki I & II and 1 year or more of practical experience.
If you’ve visited Springwolf Reflections for a while you may know that I’m a retired Information Technology (IT) professional. In my 20+ year career of IT I was required to continue my education and attain certifications for the position of the time. Many of these certifications are typically paid for by the company you’re employed at. And that’s a good thing, because they can be rather expensive.
These fees for Level I and II Reiki training, compared to certification classes in other professions, are pretty reasonable. Ask any certified IT Security Analyst how much they paid for their certification. Trust me $500 is cheap in comparison.
The level that gets the greatest controversy is the Master’s fee. At $10k it’s a pretty hefty sum. But consider the fee charged for similar training and certification. This is a certification for a Master, who will teach others, and who will be teaching others to teach. So compare it to similar professionals.
My best example is a Minister who will teach, guide and counsel others. Who will teach others to be Ministers. Take a look at the fee structure for Baylor University Seminary degrees. At the time of this writing, the 2012-2013 tuition is $10,006.00 minimum. Add to that additional fees for auditing a course, changing a degree program, or optional fees for meals and dorms and you can reach way over $10k for a similar academic standing.
You get what you pay for, that’s true. But you also receive a valued and prestigious degree for a life long profession. If you look at the Master’s program in this context, the fee for the highest level of training is commiserate with other institutions for similar practices. I have certainly put in the financial effort over my adult life to get where I am today. Much more than this one certification fee. So should we be surprised about the amount? I’ve changed my opinion from yes to no. It’s actually a pretty good deal in the long run.
Now if you say a Reiki Master isn’t going to perform weddings or counseling services. I say no, they provide healing sessions and they most certainly do provide counseling from a spiritual healing perspective. If you are visiting a Reiki Master and they’re not doing that in some way, that might be a red flag to question their credentials.
If you’d like to understand more about what’s expected of a Reiki Master, I suggest reading my series on What is a Spiritual Expert. As a perceived expert, we are expected to listen, show compassion and answer questions and concerns of clients. We make suggestions, give explanations and encouragement in nearly every healing session, whether it be Reiki or not.
If you do not hold yourself up to the ethical standard of what a certified spiritual expert should be, then you’re setting yourself up to fail. I value my traditional certifications and doctorate degrees a great deal. Not for the cost involved, but for the effort and hard work that went into attaining them. I achieved that academic acknowledgement for me and my own self-worth. So I proudly place those letters after my name and display the certificates with pride.
The traditional Reiki certification holds the same value. Not for the cost, but for the hard work and knowledge that went behind achieving it. As well as, for where they came from and who “bestowed” them upon me. I’m honored to be part of the Traditional Usui Lineage. I received my Reiki I and II level training from Rev. Beth Gray, one of the original Hawayo Takata Masters. With 8 years of Reiki experience under my belt, I reached the desire to take the next step and commitment in the Reiki path to becoming a traditional Master. After working in service with another traditionally trained Master, Rev. Wilma Donald, I went through the final process required and achieved my Reiki Master certification in 1996.
Looking over the current state of Reiki around the world, I’m proud to have the lineage I do. Many of today’s evolutions of Reiki are watered down because self-proclaimed masters didn’t take the time or effort to learn from a traditional master. There are many books in the world about this method of healing, but they hold the basic knowledge and not the intricate details and spiritual understanding that goes into the practice. Details that can only be taught in person. It’s great to have some of these written resources, but they are missing a lot in retrospect. And others sadly hold misinformation and misconceptions about the Usui tradition and practice.
As an example, there is a form of Crystal Reiki that claims it teaches a method of using crystals during healing sessions to enhance the Reiki energy and make it more “powerful and effective”. Really? Reiki healing taps into Divine healing energy. In true traditional Reiki, YOU are the crystal. The Divine energy by its very nature is the most “powerful” energy there is. It is the “All” the “Everything” the very essence of the Divine Universe. It doesn’t need a crystal to make more than it already is, because it IS already everything.
New healing methods that attach the word “Reiki” onto the end of their practice signify to me that they don’t understand what traditional Reiki really is. Someone has read a book, hung up a shingle and started charging money for the idea of financial success, power or ego. None of these things are what Reiki is about.
It’s because of this evolution of Reiki and my own progression through academic achievement that I’ve changed my view of some of the aspects of traditional Usui Reiki. I’m not expecting others to change their views simply because I did. Nor do I expect others to agree with all my assertions. I merely put the perspective out there for others to consider in the process of making up their own minds and perceptions.
If you’re interested in the Usui Reiki methods and practice, I suggest checking out the official website for the traditional teachings at the Reiki Alliance.
You may also want to visit the website for the Office of the Grand Master at UsuiShikiRyoho.com where you will find information and articles by the Lineage Barer Phyllis Lei Furumoto and the Head of Discipline of Usui Shiki Ryoho Paul Mitchell.