Reiki: How It Works & My Experience with the Masters
Most people have at least heard of Reiki. Some of you may have even taken a course or gone on to become a Reiki Master. But many of you may be wondering, what is Reiki? How hard is Reiki to learn? Could you do Reiki? I have been attuned to Masters in Usui, Seikim, and Karuna practices. Though my Karuna Master never sent in my paperwork, I have been using those magnificent symbols which are metaphorically etched into my hands for over 18 years.
I got my first level Reiki Certification at the Hilo Adult Education Extension program back in ’93. I remember it very clearly for two different reasons. The Reiki Master wore a hip holster for his double terminated crystals, explaining he figured that this would protect his auric field. My second lasting impression formed because one of my fellow students timidly approached me before class and asked if she could ask a personal question. How does one really answer that anyway? Doing what most people do, I braced myself for the worst and said with a quiet smile, “Sure, what do you want to know?” Well it turns out that when the students took turns on working on each other for group Reiki, they all noticed when working on me that I gave off a very distinctive odor. Not just once, but every time. She interjected that it wasn’t a bad smell; on the contrary it was much like incense. They wondered what foods I ate to be able to infuse the very air with my aroma. I had to laugh. I do follow a food combined diet but it doesn’t prohibit nor demand particular food consumption. However, I am an aromatherapist and at that time was manufacturing a line of holistic oil formulas. One of my bad habits was, when an essential oil spilled or overflowed onto my hands, I wouldn’t stop and clean up, but in a ‘waste not want not’ fashion, would simply wipe the excess oil somewhere on my body. When making 30 vials of love oil or arthritis oil for stock, this would add up to a considerable amount of accumulated essential oils in my body. Reiki is energy which often produces heat, and this activated the residual essences in my body and allowed them to float up off of me and waft around the noses of my peers.
Reiki, as I said, is just energy. It is all around us for all of us to use. I believe Reiki has been around for as long as people have had hands or even just intention, because it simply involves using your hands to garner and amplify already existing energy into a focused direction. Throughout the ages, wise women, sages, shamans, prophets, and physicians have applied the use of “laying on of hands” to assist others in their healing paths. Reiki can be used for any condition, illness, discomfort, or emotional turmoil, or even just for relaxing and feeling good. I often use Reiki to enhance my hypnotherapy sessions when the person becomes upset or stuck.
I am fortunate to live in the town of Hilo, Hawaii where the person some call the last living Reiki Master lived — Ms. Takata. It is now a chiropractic office with a totem pole out front, go figure. I have certified every woman who has passed through our Aloha Healing Women retreats in Level One and Two Reiki so that they could use this amazing energy tool for themselves and others. I have done quite a few public classes as well here in Hawaii, and have been privileged to be able to introduce more than a few hundred women to the magic of Reiki. I also include in every week of retreat a Reiki session with crystals. Plus there is always the Reiki I do on myself, my friends, and (quite less than I should) on my partner. If you can’t tell by now, Reiki is a big part of my teaching and my personal life.
In a nutshell, Reiki involves imagining light which is infinite and all powerful from the universe entering your body through the top of your head and filling your body, mind, and soul with radiant white energy – light that diminishes all darkness and negative energy in any form. One usually uses their hands to direct the Reiki light onto themselves or others. You may also direct this Fierce White Light, as Dr. Usui calls it, long distances to others so that they may receive it anywhere in the universe. Reiki light is like universal consciousness and though we speak of it as light, it is really energy that has no form or “matter.” Thus you can “send” Reiki, as I have many times, to people in Switzerland, New Zealand, Toronto, or even to the great beyond and they will receive it at some level.
I love to teach succinctly without a lot of mumbo jumbo and I can pretty much hit on all the basics and highlights in a single afternoon. Having trained many types of people, from novice to Master, and sat in on other training programs, I can tell you, it isn’t rocket science. In fact the people who are the most naturally adept at Reiki are the ones who just feel the Reiki energy working. Some people are simply born channelers of light and take to it easily. For others, the concept of Reiki gets in the way because people try too hard, like it’s kung fu or something you have to do a certain way. Some people may have low energy so the Reiki often is just filling their deep well until the void is filled and then the Reiki can overflow. But everybody can do Reiki; like everything else, it just takes practice.
I often describe Reiki light like a tuning fork of energy. It naturally goes where it is needed, like water flowing into an ice tray, continuing to fill the emptiness until complete. Reiki sessions will vibrate throughout your body for up to a week, just from one short session. Dr. Usui also says that Reiki, being the Fierce White Light, works instantaneously. Though some people need a little time to relax to accept and receive the Reiki, spending thirty minutes on one spot is not more advantageous than just a few.
Not everyone who receives Reiki will have the same experience. It is energy, and sometimes the energy is warm or hot and sometimes it is cool. When I do massage work, I always explain to clients that I also do Reiki and accordingly they may feel my hands get warm, or surges of “electricity,” or maybe nothing at all. Once when I was doing a massage/Reiki session and I had done the Reiki head positions and worked myself down to the leg, the person jumped off the table and nearly shouted, “I don’t know how you are getting your hands to be so hot, but it’s freaking me out, there is just no way your hands can be that hot, please stop!” Of course I did.
I know my hands get hot because I feel the flow of energy going through them, but I can only feel the heat created if I hold the back of my hand against the person’s skin like you would when feeling for a temperature. I also use crystals in my work and one lady, after I had finished her session, grabbed up the gems and exclaimed, ‘They were hot, just a second ago they were HOT! Now they’re not, what happened?” Well, I was doing Reiki and then I stopped doing Reiki. That’s how Reiki works. Other people’s hands may be cold to the touch but emit a definite flow of energy. The hot/warm feeling is very soothing but can be disturbing to the more rational thinkers.
Reiki takes no special tools and once you get the hang of it you take it everywhere you go and can spike it over the ocean if you care. It is one of the many amazing tools that I use but is precious as it is perfect for anything that ails you.
One of the great things that I do with my hypnotherapy is, when I do the Reiki Masters program, I do a session whereby the new Reiki Master can meet their personal Reiki guide through a guided visualization. This is a delight for me, as I get to ask whomever has shown up questions about Reiki. One thing I will tell you now is that Dr. Usui, Master Hayashi, and Ms. Takata don’t really care about how you become a Reiki person or what level you achieve or are certified for. They just want people to do the Reiki and live the Reiki. Dr. Usui once said to me, “The Reiki just is, put your ego aside, you are not the Reiki. You will only block the Reiki by thinking about the Reiki, let the Reiki be.” And so it is.