Personal Introduction to Usui Reiki Level I & II Initiation
Reiki is a Japanese word used to describe any form of healing based upon the idea of moving life-force energies through a human being so as to propagate a healing effect. The exact meaning of the word can be broken down into two parts, the first syllable, Rei, can be translated as spirit or subtle energy. The second syllable, Ki, can be translated as energy or power. This gives us the common interpretation of Reiki to mean healing by means of a spiritual energy. In much of the world today Reiki has become a term applied specifically to just a few forms of healing, among many that could actually be covered by that singular name should we be living in Japan.
I first encountered Reiki healing whilst located in Thailand, this was back in the year 2004. I was a few months into a planned one year sabbatical, this trip had followed my finishing a series of long contracts with the French investment bank BNP Paribas SA. As I recall I had visited a local Spa resort to use their beach facilities, this was very near to my rented beach bungalow, and whilst there I had noticed they offered Usui Reiki initiation. This possibility of gaining practical knowledge of Reiki healing interested me greatly, I was already somewhat familiar with holistic healing practices and keen to know more. I could certainly think of no place I would rather go to learn Reiki, than at a luxury spa on the tropical paradise island of Koh Samui.
Before my leaving England for my planned time away in Thailand I had gone through a period of great shift in my life, probably we could rightly call this a spiritual awakening. One of the activities I had already become involved with was a form of crystal therapy, though I had no professional training in that area I had become quite adept with working with crystals as part of a hands-off energy healing method (hands being kept a few inches from the body). The style of crystal therapy that I had been using was one I had created myself, those persons I had used it on expressed strong tangible effects. This limited past experience with directing subtle energies through the human body had convinced me that this type of healing was the future of health work, especially in respect to psychological treating conditions not easily treated by physical methodologies.
I made arrangements to be initiated into both level I and level II Usui Reiki. My teacher was a charming young lady named Kanjini Devi, a master level practitioner of several years experience. I know that there are those persons very concerned with the purity of the Reiki lineage, that is how many teachers stand between the practitioner and the founders, which I am personally not. For the sake of those interested in my teachers lineage I will just briefly detail it. Due to having taken her initiations with two different master teachers there are actually two lines. Starting always with the founders, Dr. Mikao Usui & Dr. Chujiro Hayashi, one line flows through Iris Ishikuro, Arthur Robertson, Judith Tripp, Derek Coker and Colin Kirsch; whilst the second flows through Mrs Takata, Phyllis Lei Furumoto, Pat Jack, Cheri Prasuhn, William Rand, William Hauw, Anne Johnson and Karen Steele.
Level I Usui Reiki was largely an introduction to the philosophy and history behind that great healing system, though combined with learning the ability to treat oneself with the energies. The first interesting revelation was that Dr. Usui had come to his healing method by means of an intense mystical experience whilst on a 21 day retreat somewhere on Mount Kurama, Japan. During the experience, on the last day of the retreat, Dr. Usui had suddenly felt a strong healing energy coming into him from above his head. After this he ran down the mountain excitedly, only to slip and injure his foot on route. Upon putting his hands onto the injured area he noticed the same energy he had just experienced was now flowing from his hands into the foot, healing the pain. This was the first ever healing done by means of the Usui form of Reiki. He would later add philosophical aspects to his system of healing that included five principles for any therapist using it, these being to refrain from anger or grief, to be thankful, to be kind, and to be diligent in work.
The initiation for level I Usui Reiki involved studying the full text course of the philosophical considerations and also the methodology for good practice in healing work. This explained more on how Reiki works and what it could be used to treat. In short Reiki works by channelling universal energy (divine powers) from the higher levels of existence down through the healer and into the energy system of the recipient. This act of channelling avoids the healer having to use their own personal store of cosmic energy, so no depletion can occur for them when working. The Reiki energy also vibrationally clears the internal system of the one channelling, thus both persons are being healed in the same moment. The energy goes to the place where it is needed most without being directed by the healer, this is because the higher energy is part of a holistic universal consciousness able to direct itself (Great Spirit, God, All-That-Is). For the healer to become able to work with the energy matrix of the Usui system they need to do more than study, activation actually comes by having an attunement to the correct frequency of this subtle energy, essentially by having a form of Reiki treatment from a master level practitioner as well as learning and internalising the images of the first two secret symbols of the system, named Cho Ku Rei and Sei Hei Ki.
During the initial attunements from a Reiki master the new practitioner learns the hand positions for treating themselves. This is important to embed in mind as they need to work upon themselves with the Reiki energy for one complete cycle of 21 days. This period is considered to be the optimal length of time so as to ensure the Reiki energy cleanses the new recipient and also anchors that vibration within their system permanently. This cycle of self practice treatment is advised for each attunement level subsequently received.
The level II attunements work in a similar fashion to the first, again the master works upon the body and energy system of the trainee practitioner at the correct frequency for the task in hand. The difference with the second level is that it involves learning to treat others with Reiki. Included in the material for this level are the hand positions for treating a client and the third secret symbol, Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen, used in sending distant healing. Distant healing is treating a recipient not physically present, as Reiki is omni-present this is not that hard to grasp the principle at work here, at least once the understanding and methods are fully integrated.
My actual experiences of receiving Reiki attunements were quite incredible, there was an immediate sense of peace, tranquillity and relaxation. I would describe the effect as being very much like a deep state of meditation, and it is well known that such states engender health benefits,e specially accelerated physical healing and promotion of positive mental states. I was actually not really expecting to feel much as tangible experience, assuming it would be all very mystical and subtle. The great thing about Reiki then is that it not only works, but we can feel it working. Though I did not have some kind of major mystical experience, which some recipients do indeed report, I was certainly personally very convinced of the reality of the energy flow, I did not have to use any wishful thinking. One part of the initiation was also to give a Reiki treatment to a volunteer, I chose someone I knew and had them come in for the session, they too experienced the same state, in fact though it was the middle of the day they actually fell into a refreshing state of sleep.
Over the 21 days that followed I treated myself daily and found an increase in energy, health and positive mental states. To this day whenever thing get a bit troubling in my personal sphere, whether in respect to health, emotions or other issues, I turn to Reiki for a boost. Have you tried Reiki yet?