- Shoden: The first degree of Reiki study
- Okuden: The second degree of Reiki study
- Self-healing and the 21-day cleanse
- How to conduct a healing session on others
- The five Reiki principles and further degrees
- Chakras and channels
- Angels and spirit guides in Reiki
The In Focus series applies a modern approach to teaching the classic body, mind, and spirit subjects. Authored by experts in their respective fields, these beginner's guides feature smartly designed visual material that clearly illustrates key topics within each subject. As a bonus, each book includes reference cards or a poster, held in an envelope inside the back cover, that give you a quick, go-to guide containing the most important information on the subject.
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COMMON CAUSES OF ILLNESS
We become sick when there is an imbalance in our physical or mental state. The cause of this imbalance may be environmental, psychological, or a combination of these. Most books on Reiki focus on the healing, but I believe that knowing the cause of the illness is just as important as the cure.
The places in which we live and work can influence our health. It is obvious that the air in the country or by the sea is healthier than the air quality in the city. It is not only the exhaust fumes from the traffic that are a problem in the city, but the "electronic smog" from a concentrated amount of electrical equipment may also be troublesome. When I was a child, the only electronic equipment in the house was the radio, or the wireless as it was known. Today most homes are packed with devices, and there will be many more in the future. Now even our vehicles are full of electronic equipment, and in cities, this abundance of technology is incredibly concentrated.
Having said that, considered medical investigation has shown that smoking, alcoholism, and obesity also contribute to the prevalence of cancer and many other serious health conditions.
I believe health comes down to an individual's immune system, which means that some people have better resistance to illness, while others are more vulnerable. It is a good idea to allow yourself some "me time" so that you can relax, and if you live in a city, be sure to get away from time to time and spend a day in the countryside or at the beach where you can breathe fresh, unpolluted air. Exercise is also important for building up resistance to illness.
The Psychological Causes of Illness
One of the biggest contributors to bad health is stress. What causes stress? Two of the main sources are anger and worry.
Anger + Worry = Stress = Illness
As part of the Reiki practitioner's code, there are five principles that we recite at least once a day, normally first thing in the morning. One of these principles is "Just for today, I will let go of anger." Notice that we say "Just for today." We are only promising ourselves that we will let go of anger today, because there are two days that we have no control over — yesterday and tomorrow — but the here and now is real.
We can get angry when people or things don't meet our expectations. Sometimes we get angry with ourselves if we don't meet the standards we set ourselves, and it is also common for us to get angry with those we care about the most. Anger is a very destructive emotion that can create serious blockages in one's energy field. It is the most complex inner enemy. We mistakenly think of being angry as giving us power over others, but the reverse is true, because anger clouds our judgment and makes us weak. Anger is a conscious choice, a habitual response, so everyone responds differently to similar situations.
I once treated a man whose hands shook uncontrollably, and the condition was getting worse. He'd had all the tests and his doctor could find no medical reason why this should have started, so as a last resort he came to me for a Reiki session. During the healing I noticed a blockage in his solar plexus chakra, so at the end of the treatment, I asked him if he was worried or got angry often, and he confirmed that he was under medication for anger issues.
To me, the best way to break a habitual response of anger is by practicing meditation and receiving Reiki healing. An angry person should also spend some time in nature, as a walk in the woods or a stroll along the beach helps him reconnect with the energy of nature that is so important for well-being.
Some will say, "My life is so busy that I never have time to do these things." It is up to all of us to make time. If we don't make time now, there may be plenty of time to reflect on where we went wrong when we are in the hospital.
Another Reiki principle is "Just for today I will let go of worry." While anger is about events that are happening or that have already happened, worry deals with future ones. Although worry is not always a negative phenomenon, endless worrying can take over one's thoughts, while each worry bores a small hole in the body and soul. And for what? Can you even remember what you were worried about this time last year or five years ago?
Worry is the fear of what if. What if I lose my Job? What if I get ill? What if the car breaks down? What if the roof leaks?
Worry can be emotional rather than practical: What if I marry the wrong person? What if my partner isn't being true to me? What if my partner doesn't really love me and approve of me? Worrying will not change an outcome, and nine out of ten things that we worry about never happen, so it is merely a habit that we get into, and like any bad habit, we can get rid of it.
We worry about our loved ones, but worrying about the problems of others is a waste of our time and energy. We can advise and support people, but we must accept that each one of us is a free spirit, and we all have the free will to choose for ourselves.
Everything that puts pressure on us causes stress. To some extent, stress is an inevitable part of being alive, and in many cases it has a positive purpose, in that it encourages us to make an effort rather than just lie around doing nothing. Depending on our personality type, the stress inherent in work or in working toward a goal is useful, beneficial, and even enjoyable. However, there can be too much emphasis on deadlines, and if a person then has to come home to an unloving and difficult family, life becomes miserable. Eventually, this kind of stress piles up in the body and makes a person ill.
It is best to know yourself and avoid unnecessary pressure and stress where possible. When you are stressed, as we all are sometimes, Reiki healing can help you relax and bring down the level of tension that you are carrying around in your body.CHAPTER 2
THE FIRST STEPS TO BECOMING A REIKI HEALER
Why Do You Want to Become a Reiki Healer?
This is a question I have asked many Reiki students, and two answers stand out. The first came from a middle-aged man named Ben. He had got my details from the UK Reiki Federation and told me he wanted to learn Reiki so that he could give healing to his dog, because it was getting old and suffering from arthritis. Ben had no desire to be a Reiki practitioner; he only wanted to ease the suffering of his dog.
On another occasion two girls came to me, and when I asked them why they wanted to learn Reiki, they said that they were hairdressers who worked in a beauty salon. Their boss had come up with the idea so that she could offer Reiki as an extra service to the clientele.
These stories demonstrate the two extremes: Ben wanted to be a healer to help a pet he loved, while the girls' boss was interested only in money. If the boss herself had wanted to be a Reiki healer, I would not have minded, but I thought that it disrespected Reiki to see it as just another form of beauty treatment.
The Need for a Teacher
There are healing methods that are physical in nature, such as reflexology, aromatherapy, and acupuncture, but when it comes to energy healing, it is hard for someone who is new to the idea to learn to channel and control the healing energies without help. Where Reiki is concerned, students really do need a teacher to guide them and show them what is real and what is not.
Reiki has four levels:
Level one takes students to a point where they can give themselves Reiki healing.
Level two is the one most people aim for, as it takes students to a stage where they can give Reiki to others, even on a professional basis.
Level three takes students further and it introduces them to additional methods that they can adapt to work alongside the Reiki energy.
Level four enables students to become Reiki Masters, which enables them to teach others.
There are special attunements (initiations) that can be carried out only by a Reiki Master, and at each level there are secrets that students learn, but these are of no use unless allied to proper attunements given by a Reiki Master. So even with the information that is now freely available on the internet, you still need to train in a hands-on manner if you are to become a Reiki healer.
We all have the ability to be healers because love and compassion reside in the divine spark within all our souls. Most people who become Reiki healers have themselves received Reiki, or they know someone who has had Reiki healing, so they have seen the benefits. Over the years I have taught and attuned many Reiki students, and I've noticed that there are certain types of people who are drawn to become Reiki healers. They are normally compassionate and caring people who have a strong desire to help others.
Finding a Teacher
Reiki is taught in the oral tradition with much of the knowledge passed down from Master to student, so it cannot be learned from books alone. There are many Reiki Masters out there, so it is important to find the one that you are drawn to. The International Center for Reiki Training and the UK Reiki Federation have lists of Reiki teachers all around the world, and all of these Reiki Masters and healers have a "Reiki lineage" that they can trace back to Reiki's founder, Mikao Usui. A person who teaches Reiki will not be offended if you ask to see their Reiki lineage.
It might also be beneficial to receive a Reiki treatment yourself so that you can experience the healing energy of Reiki on a personal basis prior to becoming a Reiki healer. You do not need to be ill to receive Reiki healing; for instance, I have a client who is an active elderly lady who comes to me on a monthly basis, purely to have her energy level topped up.
Degrees of Reiki
The four levels of Reiki, known as degrees, serve different purposes and have their own classes, attunements, and focuses.
First Degree: Shoden
The first degree centers on personal development, removing blockages you might have, and learning about the history of Reiki. You will also receive an attunement, hear about the twenty-one-day cleansing period, and discover how to give yourself a Reiki shower. This is also known as "byosen scanning," and it involves using the palm of the hand to detect imbalances in the body and chakras, weaknesses in the aura, and areas of the body that aren't functioning as they should.
Second Degree: Okuden
Once you have completed level one, you can stay where we are and use your Reiki on yourself or your family, friends, pets, and plants, but many want to move to the next level so they can widen the circle of people they can help and maybe even become a professional Reiki practitioner. There is normally a gap of at least three months between level one and level two.
Third Degree: Junshihan
The third degree is the advanced training for a potential Reiki Master practitioner. It is normally a one-day training course, during which you will receive the Usui Master symbol and the Usui Master attunement. This will increase the strength of your Reiki energy, and you will also then be able to use the Master symbol in healing.
Fourth Degree: Shihan
This is the three-day Master/Teacher course for advanced Reiki training. This is an intensive course that covers all you have learned in your previous training courses and teaches you ways of giving Reiki attunements for all levels of Reiki. You will also receive the Reiki training manuals that cover your courses.CHAPTER 3
SHODEN: THE FIRST DEGREE OF REIKI STUDY
There are set syllabuses for each of the degrees of Reiki study, so there is a uniformity of knowledge. The ideal size of the class depends on the teacher, but I feel that six to eight people is best. Remember that each person will be generating energy, and a comfortable atmosphere needs to be maintained during the class. A first-degree course can be held over one or two days. Traditional Usui Reiki is spread over two days because there are four attunements, with one before lunch and one after lunch each day. Usui Holy Fire Reiki, a refined form of Reiki that is both powerful and gentle, is normally taught in one day, with one attunement and various deep meditations.
Shoden starts the process by enhancing your own personal development. It is designed to remove any emotional or physical blockages that you may have. You will also learn the history of Reiki, the different levels of Reiki, and the way the Reiki attunement works. Reiki is not just a method of healing; it is a way of life, so you will also learn the Reiki principles, which you will find later in this book.
Every Reiki teacher has a different way of doing the attunements, but the following should give you a fair idea of what to expect. Normally, students sit in a circle or form an arc with the chairs facing outward. The teacher might give the attunement to the group as a whole, or he might deal with each student in turn. A Reiki Master friend of mine learned Reiki in England and then moved to Japan to study further. He was surprised to find large rooms filled to capacity, in which the Reiki teacher attuned all the students in one go! Mikao Usui himself attuned students by looking at them and sending them the Reiki "intent" in the form of directed energy.
A Reiki teacher will tell the students beforehand what he or she is going to do. Meanwhile, the students sit in a meditation posture called Gasshô, which means holding the hands together in a prayer position with the thumbs pointing toward the heart area. Students are asked to close their eyes and to be very quiet and still, as the attunement is carried out in silence.
The Reiki Master connects with the Reiki energy and acts as a channel that links the Reiki energy to the student. The method of visualization, intention, mental and spiritual energy, and the method of connection with the Reiki that each Master uses is a very personal and secret matter. This may vary from one type of Reiki to the next and from one teacher to the next. For instance, some modern teachers like to tap into angelic forces, whereas the more traditional ones link themselves directly to the Japanese Reiki lineage.
Typically, the teacher stands behind each student, then comes to the front of each student and then stands at the back again. He or she may lightly touch the head, shoulders, arms, and hands of each student while focusing on the Reiki energy and bringing it down. Each student is asked to raise his or her hands above the head and hold them there for a few minutes. This ensures the channel stays open in order to link the student to the Reiki energy.
The energy pours into the student through the crown chakra and it flows down from the head to the base of the body. If you aren't familiar with the chakra system, you can find out about it in chapter 8. Other centers that are opened are the spiritual (third) eye, the spiritual heart, and the channel that runs from the heart through the arms to hands. Every time the student gives healing or meditates while linking to Reiki, the energy channels become stronger and allow a greater amount of Reiki to flow through them.
Having said the above, when a friend of mine was attuned for the first time, she found that it was her base chakra that became active first, as she spent days experiencing a weird sensation of heat in her feet and ankles. (The base chakra is often involved in foot and leg matters.) Eventually the Reiki worked its way upward. When she looked into this, she discovered that her experience wasn't unusual. Remember, though, each individual receives and perceives Reiki in his or her own way.
Some students report seeing and feeling colors, lights, or some other strange phenomena, such as feeling heavier than usual. Some will see angels, while others will feel hot, cold, tingly, or even achy. Some will feel very happy and find themselves laughing a little and others will cry a little. Some will get mild cold symptoms for a few days. There are some who won't feel anything at all, but that only means they are on the first steps to spirituality and that it will take a bit of time for their auras to wake up to it all.
The Reiki Master finishes the attunement by sealing the channel of Reiki, and depending upon his or her personal preference, this can be done by using visualization, intention, or Reiki symbols. While waiting for the Reiki Master to deal with other students or while waiting for the session to finish, the students rest their hands on their thighs, palms down, to circulate the Reiki through their bodies.
The Reiki Master may bow to each student or to the group as a whole, perhaps saying namaste, which means "I bow to the divine within."
The best approach is to have four attunements over a two-day period, as this allows time for the Reiki to settle in. The attunement has a purifying effect, so any lingering karma or spiritual damage that is within a person will soon go.
Excerpted from "In Focus Reiki"
Copyright © 2019 Zambezi Publishing Ltd..
Excerpted by permission of The Quarto Group.
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Table of Contents
An Introduction to Reiki,
CHAPTER ONE Common Causes of Illness,
CHAPTER TWO The First Steps to Becoming a Reiki Healer,
CHAPTER THREE Shoden: The First Degree of Reiki Study,
CHAPTER FOUR Self-Healing and the Twenty-One-Day Gleanse,
CHAPTER FIVE Okuden: The Second Degree,
CHAPTER SIX Healing Others,
CHAPTER SEVEN The Five Reiki Principles and Further Degrees,
CHAPTER EIGHT Chakras and Channels,
CHAPTER NINE The Aura,
CHAPTER TEN Angels and Guides,
CHAPTER ELEVEN Healing across Space and Time,
CHAPTER TWELVE Reiki and Crystals,
CHAPTER THIRTEEN Aura Clearing and Shamanic Healing,
CHAPTER FOURTEEN Your Own Reiki Practice,
ABOUT THE AUTHOR,