These days we want everything fast. Fast Food. Fast cars. Fast degrees - fast Enlightenment.
Reiki is no different.
Look on the Internet and you will find dozens of websites offering ‘Master Training’ – not just in 24hrs, but online to boot.
It’s all gain and no pain – the most perfect of worlds.
Of course, few people – I hope! – actually believe that they can pay a few dollars and have someone transfer Reiki Mastery on them from afar without any practice or work.
Where things are less clear, however, is with regular – in the flesh – Reiki degrees. These days there seems to be no clear consensus on how long someone should wait before attending the next level.
Traditionally in Western Reiki, Level 1 students were advised to wait at least one month – preferably two – before taking Level 2, and then 1 year – preferably two – before taking their Master Level.
Nowadays, the timeframes given by Reiki teachers are so inconsistent they are of little help. As a result, students are often uncertain when to take the next step.
The question we all want to know, therefore, is this: Is there an optimum time to wait before taking the next Reiki level? Or does it actually make little difference?
It would probably come as a surprise to many Reiki traditionalists to find out that William Lee Rand, one of the world’s most well known Reiki teachers, often teaches level 1 and level 2 together.
To explain why he does so, he uses the analogy of a rocket blasting off from Earth into outer space. When it does so it uses a huge part of its fuel just after take-off and much less after that. Indeed, once it has broken clear of the Earth’s gravitational pull it will hardly need any fuel to shoot immense distances through space.
According to Rand, the Level 1 attunements can do a great deal of work in helping you break free from old energetic structures and behavioural patterns; but to experience really deep change you will often need an extra ‘boost’ .
In his opinion, second Level attunements - if done immediately following the level one attunements - will provide you with this boost. They are like the booster rockets that get you out of the Earth’s gravitational pull. Without them you would never quite be free.
In theory, this sounds great. An extra boost and away you go. New energetic lands; transformational change; what more could you ask for? But is the analogy accurate? Can we really compare Reiki attunements to a rocket blasting off into outer space?
The problem is that in practice, level 2 builds on level 1. In other words, to get maximum benefit from level 2 you need to practice what you have been taught in level 1. And to get a good feel for what you have been taught you need to practice over a period of time. You have to increase your ‘energetic capacity’ until you can fully appreciate the intricacies of what you have learned. Otherwise you may well ride an energetic high for a brief time after the second level attunements, but it is unlikely you will get any longstanding benefits.
Think of it like constructing a building: one storey goes on the next which goes on the next. In particular, you need a solid foundation before the rest of the building can go up. You can have all the materials for the mainframe of the building, sure, but if the foundations are dodgy everything will still collapse.
What’s more, the attunements are actually a two-way energetic connection between the Reiki Master and the student. How powerful they are depends on both people. The student will gain little benefit if the master is low on energy; just as the amount of energy the student can absorb will depend on his very own ‘energetic capacity’.
As a result, students should find that second and third level attunements are more powerful, not so much because there is anything intrinsically more special about them, but rather because the student has grown energetically. This means that he or she can more deeply experience communion with the teacher (or, to be more precise, Reiki energy).
It’s instructive to examine how the levels were taught by the founder of Reiki, Mikao Usui. If we do, we will soon realize that his method of teaching Reiki differs considerably from the way it is taught today.
The most significant difference is that Reiki for him was not nearly as rigidly structured as it is today. Instead, he taught it bit by bit - students only been shown new things when they were deemed energetically ready.
In other words, a student would be given a technique to practice and he would practice that technique for as long as it took to master it. When mastery was achieved he would be given another technique and so on all the way up the Reiki ladder.
The method was a patient one, because it was understood that you could only benefit from latter techniques if you had already mastered the earlier ones.
Of course, this style of teaching depended very much on continued contact between teacher and student and is less practical in today’s busy world. But while we may not be able to replicate it, we should nevertheless learn from it. In particular we might learn that it does not matter so much what ‘level’ you are said to be, but rather how deeply you connect to Reiki.
Your practice is what it is, regardless of the label you put on yourself. You can call yourself a Level 3 Reiki Master because you got an instant attunement on the Net; but if your Reiki stinks, it still stinks. Far better to be a Reiki 1 who has practiced and developed her skills than a ‘cyber’ Level 3 without substance.
As such, we need to stop being greedy. We need to put the ego aside and stop worrying about how we will appear in the eyes of the world. Because when we come to heal either ourselves or another, the only thing that matters is the quality of our Reiki, not the quality of our Reiki tag.
That said, it is not always bad to progress quickly. If you are ready, there is no point dogmatically holding back because a rulebook somewhere tells you to do so.
Take Mrs Takata, the founder of Western Reiki, for example. She was attuned to Level 1 in 1936, Level 2 in 1937 and went on to get her Master Level in 1938. In other words, she did it all in approximately two years. And she could do that successfully - despite not having done any energy work beforehand - because for those two years Reiki became the centre of her life. She practiced it. She lived it. She embodied it.
Timeframes will therefore vary from person to person. How quickly you can take the next level will depend on how much practice you do; what innate talent you have; how energetically evolved you were before learning Reiki – and many other such things.
If you had practiced meditation for ten years before encountering Reiki, for instance, you will most likely be ready to progress more quickly than someone who spent the majority of his last ten years downing pints in a pub.
If I had to give a general guideline, I would say that a student should wait anywhere from 1-6 months before taking Level 2 and a further year before doing Master Level. In most cases, progressing more quickly will not accelerate your Reiki development.
If we wish to find the optimum time to do the next Reiki level, however, we need to throw away theory and trust our intuition. If we are honest; if we get rid of the ego, silence the mind and look within, we will almost certainly know whether we are ready or not.
The trick is simply to do what we are told.
Some people grow tired after giving Reiki to another person. If this ever happens to you, then you are most probably doing one of two things:
If you are straining, relax and remember that you don't need to work hard as a Reiki healer. Your job is simply to be a channel. So empty yourself of thoughts and effort and let the Reiki flow through you.
The less you - as a healer - are present, the more the Reiki energy will be able to flow.
If you have somehow picked up the belief that you can lose energy when giving Reiki, replace that idea or thought - every time it comes into your mind - with another: Reiki can only fill me with energy, not deplete my energy when I heal another.
What we believe has a habit of manifesting, so if your negative beliefs are coming true, change them for positive ones.
If you are practicing Reiki then you are not using your own energy. Rather, you are 'channeling' universal energy. That means that if anything you should end a Reiki session with more energy than when you started it. This happens because during a session you receive the benefit of Reiki flowing through you before it goes into the recipient. This is definitely uplifting.
So don't strain and keep your mind focused on a positive result. If you do this you will find that your work as a Reiki healer is deeply invigorating.
Practising Reiki can be a bit like going to the gym: you start off full of energy, you go three times a week for the first month, and then something happens to break your routine, you can’t go for a week, and after that you just find one good reason after the next not to go.
This happens, even though you know that going to the gym is not only good for you, but that you feel great when you do it, too!
Likewise with Reiki: a lot of people do Level 1, blast off into new energetic worlds, practise hard for a few weeks and then, for one reason or another, let things go.
After that they end up just telling themselves that they are too busy to practise, or that Reiki isn’t for them.
All that after experiencing just how much good Reiki did them!
If this sounds like you, then don’t worry. The good thing about Reiki is that it isn’t like the gym membership: it will never expire.
That means that once you have been attuned, you can never lose your power.
At worst it dims and requires a bit of practice to get it back into full swing.
Think of it like lifting weights after a time off: you can't lift as many of them and you can’t do as many repetitions.
After a few weeks back in training, however, your muscles recondition and things become easier. The weights seem lighter. Your muscles grow more powerful.
The same with Reiki. Spend some time each day for a week or two and you’ll find that your Reiki jumps right back to the level it once was.
Just be patient and don’t panic if at first you can’t feel much. Believe me, the energy will be bubbling under surface just waiting to burst forth.
If you have done the Om Reiki Level 1 course, a good idea might be to redo the 21 day e-programme. By the end of that your Reiki should be flying again at full strength.
If you can remember the secret page details, just enter them again, put your name and email address into the form box and away you go.
If you can’t remember the details, just email Om Reiki for the info.
If you haven’t done our course, you might like to just invent your own 21 day programme, or at least commit to practising consistently for a set period of time.
That should get the Reiki fires burning again.
Whatever you do, don’t give up. Don’t let negative thinking overcome you. Reiki is a gift for life. Use it and you will be happier and healthier.
Imagine you are visiting a foreign city.
Now imagine that this foreign city has something you want, something magical that could fulfil your every need.
So you catch a bus to the CBD and start walking around hoping you’ll bump into this ‘magic’ thing.
You walk and walk, you cross over roads, you go up hills, you pass by 25 McDonald’s; but you still can’t find it.
After a couple of hours your feet hurt so you sit down on a park bench. In an ideal world you’d have a map that could lead you where you wanted to go, but unfortunately you don’t actually know what you’re meant to be looking for, so a map can’t help.
All you know are two things: 1) this magical thing is going to make a big difference to your life and 2) you will recognise it when you see it.
So after regaining your strength you get up from the bench and keep walking around the city: up and down streets, along alleyways, through the lunchtime crowds, past spruikers, all the while checking out every person, building and thing to see if it is the magic item you’re looking for.
But you can’t find it.
Without a clear idea what you’re looking for you just end up going around in circles.
But imagine that you knew that this magic item was a Microsoft Cyber Apple (yes, I know this is an unlikely example!).
If you knew that it would simply be a matter of doing some research, asking someone, maybe checking out the Net and no doubt you’d soon know where you could purchase the all fulfilling Microsoft Cyber-apple.
So what, then, does all this have to do with ‘intent’, i.e. the theme of this article?
Simply that it’s not enough to want something abstract – something ‘good’. If that’s the best you can do you’re like the person wandering about searching for a ‘magic item’ without having any idea what it is.
What you need instead is something concrete to head towards – the Microsoft Cyber Apple or its equivalent.
Now, its equivalent might be anything. It could be a new boyfriend, a new car, a great connection to your seven chakras, the solution to a health problem – whatever.
But you need to be able to articulate what it is in concrete terms. Because if you can do that then you’re much more like to get it than if you just start searching for something ‘good’.
Unfortunately, however, most people never do this. They leave their life to chance. They hope the ‘universe’ will give them what they want, but they never tell the universe what it is they want! Not surprisingly they usually don’t get the results they are looking for.
Of course, if you really want something you need to do more than just articulate what it is you want.
You need to ‘intend’ it.
‘Intention’, to keep things simple, is using your willpower to help you manifest a certain result.
Think of what you want. Imagine having it. Visualize having it. Will yourself to have it - and do so for a period of time. If you can do this consistently then you’ll probably find you end up having it.
Of course, all this talk of the ‘universe’, ‘intention’ and articulating what you want might sound a bit New Age.
If so, get scientific and do a test.
Spend a moment intending a concrete result, then analyse the outcome. Is it better than average? Can you spot a noticeable improvement? If so, keep it up. If not, either try harder or try something different.
Because that’s what it’s all about – doing field research. Never simply believe because Mr Guru Swami tells you something is the case. Believe because you’ve tested a technique and liked the results.
Finally, remember that although this technique works for material things (like getting a job with a bigger pay cheque); it just as well for so-called ‘spiritual’ work like Reiki and meditation.
So if you want have more powerful Reiki, set your intent that this will be the case. Better still, don’t just say, ‘I’d like to be great at Reiki’ (although this will help); say: ‘I’d like a stronger flow of Reiki energy every time I practice Reiki’.
Be concrete, not vague.
Because vague thinking produces vague results while concrete thinking concrete ones.
Naturally we have just scratched the surface of intention here. But the thing to remember is that it is hard to find something if you don’t know what you’re looking for.
So work out what you want (whatever it may be) and then intend that you will get there.
Surely that is better than leaving things to chance?
In life you can achieve a lot by working hard. We've all heard the saying that 'success is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration', and no doubt there is a lot of truth to that.
In Reiki this means that if we practice consistently, if we set our intent to improve, if we surround ourselves with teachers and friends who are travelling a similar journey, then we will no doubt make progress.
Problems arise, however, when we take this 'work ethic' to the healing table.
Because the more we strain to give 'great Reiki', the more we are likely to get in our own way.
Imagine it like this: you are a large pipeline through which the Reiki energy can flow.
If you get your mind and desires out of the way the pipe is empty - a perfect conduit for the Reiki energy.
If, however, your mind is full of desires and techniques, if it can't quieten down and needs to tell you how to do everything, then the pipeline is only going to get clogged and cluttered.
And a cluttered pipeline means that less energy gets through to your 'client'.
So if you really want to give 'great Reiki', then get out of the way and be very Zen.
Empty your mind. Don't try to achieve anything. Forget results, techniques and everything else.
Just let go and let flow.
That way you remove all the effort and stress from giving a healing and allow the 'spiritually guided energy' that is Reiki to flow freely through you.
That way you get maximum result, for least work.
Most people have heard of the chakras (the major energy centres in our body). Many have even had moments where they have felt the seven main ones, distributed from the base of the spine up to the crown of the head.
What most people don't know, however, is that we also have chakras that are outside of our physical body, but inside our 'energy system'.
While the exact number of these chakras varies depending on who you talk to, many people in the know suggest we have as many as 12 chakras - and possibly even more.
For the majority of us this might seem farfetched and impossible to verify - but if you put in some practice you should soon be able to connect to at least two additional chakras: the Earth Star chakra (found about 10-12 inches below the feet) and 8th chakra (found about 2 feet above the crown).
To do so, simply place your awareness on these chakra points and hold it there. If you don't connect after a minute or so, move your awareness around the general area to locate the exact spot the chakra is on.
If you do this, you should soon start to connect energetically to both chakras.
When you connect to the 8th chakra you will find it easier to channel energy in through your 7th chakra - and thus into your body.
When you connect to the Earth Star chakra you will feel more grounded and connected to the Earth.
In both cases, you should find the power of your Reiki increases.
Health warning: Reiki is a complementary health method. It should not be used in place of traditional medical care. Information on this site is given according to our best knowledge and experience. Each person uses this information at his or her own risk. We will not be held responsible for any alleged negative results that supposedly follow from the use of this information.
Copyright © 2008 www.om-reiki.com.au