With my recent second degree attunement in Usui reiki, a common question that's coming up is:
What is reiki and how did you first learn about reiki?
I'm going to give you the TLDR version right here, right now, and share some credible resources on the topic in more detail below.
What is reiki?
Japanese words (Rei) which means “Universal Life” and (Ki) which means “Energy” = Reiki or universal life energy.
This energy can be shifted and moved and released in order to achieve alignment or tune the energy field, auric field, and, in some practices, the chakra system. An aligned energy field and chakra system is at the core of internal wellness in the Japanese tradition.
Here in the West, reiki is not meant to replace or substitute "modern medicine", doctors, therapists, or other modes healing or recovery management. Rather, reiki is a traditional "complementary" practice best served in addition to other modes of healing and wellness. Reiki is offered with respect to the highest good of the client, practitioner, and all beings. Shifting energy and releasing stuck, stagnant, or repressed emotions can be a deeply cathartic and transformative experience.
Different practitioners may use additional techniques and tools alongside the traditional reiki work. These include candles, aromatherapy, crystals, herbs, or crystal sound bowl work.
How did I first learn about reiki? I worked for an internet company that offered a day of free reiki for interested employees. The experience was short, around 15 minutes, but the connection and clarity received from this brief interaction between me and another person- a complete stranger- was enough to engage my interest in the practice of energy work.
I spoke with several colleagues afterwards. The people who got the most from the session were those who were open to what reiki may offer. This means the reiki practitioner was able to "tap in" quickly and the people were able to feel the energy shifting. Those who have practice meditating or focusing on drawing, art, guided visualizations, and creating of any kind may have an easier time experiencing a larger spectrum of potential benefits.
I went to several more sessions in-person with this reiki master and even a few distant sessions with her after I moved and before she went back to school. Distance reiki works. I can attest to it, she can attest to it, and the tradition, which pre-exists today's virtual reality, can attest to it.
Near or far the reiki energy can be tapped into and shifted, filtered, or aligned (all different ways of explaining the rather unexplainable things that happen during a session!) Fast forward to about six months ago, when I had the distinct desire to bring reiki into my life again... and I found out my yoga teacher who I see multiple times a week is attuned as a reiki master in the Usui tradition.
I asked her for a few sessions, which were illuminating, releasing, and transformative in deeply defining ways (as I allowed them to be) and it was obvious to us both that the next step would be for me to become attuned.
It was in the stars, if you will.
Resources to Learn More Here are some resources for you to learn more about what is reiki from credible sources:
Cleveland Clinic. What is Reiki and Does it Really Work?
Healthline. Reiki Principles to Boost Well-Being.
Healthline. Benefits and What to Expect.