I have worked with Reiki energy for almost two decades now. I first got involved when I had started to explore my spirituality and was looking into different techniques in the alternative health field. After reading a few articles and doing a bit of research I found it appealed to me. I decided to go on a couple of courses where I received attunements for Reiki I and II over the course of a few months.
Since then I have taught members of my family how to channel energy and I have sent long distance treatments to those who have needed them. I am a great believer in sending this universal energy anywhere it needs to go. If I can’t ask permission to do so due to circumstances (like not being able to contact the person concerned or needing to send it to a situation not an individual) then I send it anyway with the intention it goes back into the Earth to heal the planet itself if not needed or wanted.
When we are attuned to Reiki we are taught that there must be an exchange in payment. This was based on the teachings of the monk, Mikao Usui, who is considered to be the founder of the Reiki system I learnt. When he came down from the mountain having been given the symbols for Reiki he went straight away to help the poor and sick but found a lack of appreciation for his efforts because he wasn’t asking for payment. He felt it wasn’t valued by those who received it. We were also taught if there wasn’t an exchange then this would drain us or there would be an imbalance. I have paraphrased all that quite a bit but the message is there. I don’t subscribe to this. I feel the universal energy (which is what Reiki is in effect) is there for all of us to benefit from. I believe Usui found what we had lost and brought it back for us all to use.
What I know now after all these years of working with the universal energy is that anybody can do it. There is no need for special training if your intent is to use it on yourself. Of course if you intend to go into business or make money from it then there is a further responsibility to make sure you know exactly what you are doing as other people’s well-being is involved as well as your own. You will need insurance to protect yourself, become a member of a recognised association etc etc but I am talking here about working with the energy for your own well-being and self-improvement.
There are books you can buy to help you with this. Diane Stein’s Essential Reiki: A Complete Guide To An Ancient Healing Art is a good ‘go to’ for beginners as she clearly explains what it is all about. In it you will find the symbols you need to activate Reiki at the various levels and for specific reasons (such as distance healing, mental wellbeing and attunements). This book will also show you traditional hand positions to start you off and will give useful, detailed explanations which I don’t have space for here. Also try this website for more information on hand positions. These days I let my intuition guide me on where I need to place my hands but we all have to start somewhere and it is always easier to have a plan 😉
When I say the symbols ‘activate’ the Reiki I simply mean they are ‘focusing your intention’ because that is what symbols do on the whole whatever discipline they are being used in. They focus our intent on a goal we wish to achieve, in this case activating healing energy, and we use symbols which millions (possibly so, over the ages) of human consciousnesses have used for the same purpose before us, giving those symbols their form and a specific purpose all of their own.
If you wish to give this a try then I suggest the following –
Get into a comfortable and suitable position and ground yourself by visualising roots coming out of your feet and into the Earth. Then meditate on the Cho-Ku-Rei symbol above. See it in your mind’s eye and be with it for a while. Then place one hand on your Sacral Chakra and the other hand on your Solar Plexus Chakra. Paying attention to your breath (but breathing in a natural rhythm) envisage a white, healing light travelling from the Earth beneath your feet, up through your spine and out the top of your head and down again through your arms to your hands. Feel your whole body filled and surrounded by this wonderful white light and breathe it in and out of your lungs, embracing and feeling the positive, protecting emotion. Envisage the Cho-Ku-Rei symbol and draw it from the top to the bottom three times in your mind, saying the words Cho-Ku-Rei with each completion. Ask for the Reiki energy to begin. Now see and feel the white, healing energy go through your hands and fingertips and into your chakras. Feel it soothing your soul and filling you with peace as it bathes you. Your hands may get warmer or cooler, it is an individual experience. My own become noticeably hotter and I can feel the energy around and between my hands but it may be different for you and your experiences may grow and change over time. All this is perfectly okay and normal. After a few minutes you can envisage the light going back into the Earth through your feet and roots. Give gratitude for what you have received with words of thanks. When you are ready you can open your eyes, stretch your body and see how you feel.
The above exercise is just to give you a starting point. Once you have mastered this you will be able to use your hands to direct the energy to the place where it is most needed.You will instinctively know the duration needed or you may find you simply no longer feel the energy flowing when the task is done. You can channel this energy to soothe a headache or a pain in your body, to calm you down in a crisis or when you are unable to sleep or to just have some ‘me’ time with yourself, giving yourself self-love by nurturing and comforting yourself. Again this is really just about focusing the intention, using your hands as tools to help with concentration and the purpose of what you are doing. The Reiki energy will go where it is needed regardless. This is why distance healing is so effective when done correctly because, with practice, one can direct the energy to wherever it needs to go by focusing pure thought and intention and concentrating on the task and desired outcome. It is a useful skill and one which links in with meditation as a way to train your mind and sharpen your instincts.
Hands on healing has been used since way back in human history. Touch is a great healer in itself. Reiki energy or the Universal Energy (whatever you wish to call it!) can’t hurt you or be used to harm another but, as always these days, I have to remind you that trying this will be at your own risk and that if you have a specific ailment then it is always wise to get the opinion of a qualified medical practitioner first before attempting the above as a supplement measure. Other than that, enjoy!