The Art of Practicing Reiki – Simple Beauty, Critical Rules

Reiki seems to be a modality in which attuned students never feel the need to follow the rules. And while I do recognize that there are different strokes for different folks, I am mystified why practitioners feel they can take a modality, any modality, and modify the most basic principles of the technique to suit them selves. Over the years I’ve watched endless practitioners quickly drift away from core teachings and stylize them to suit personal preferences. Reiki has become like one of those campfire games where one person starts by whispering a phrase in the ear of their buddy and on it continues down the chain until finally, now 80+ years since its‘ inception it often bares little resemblance to what it actually was when it started.

Just because Reiki is simple should not imply that there is nothing to learn, nothing to practice, or no specific skills to develop. Generally speaking, the education of Reiki and indeed most other systems of energy healing leave a lot to be desired. The simplicity that is the backbone of a Reiki practice has been misleading in our education based ‚do-er‘ society. Our tendency is to take for granted the simple beauty in life and become involved in complicated thinking and ultimately in designing patterns that occupy our time and energy. We feel smarter doing complicated things. Reiki is simple, elegant and flexible. It is also however, dynamic, powerful and structured.

Perfect practice of perfect techniques

It is often said that practice makes perfect. But we know that this is not entirely true. Perfect practice makes perfect. Reiki is a practice based in attunement. Consider that once you have received your attunements from a qualified Reiki Master you continue attuning yourself to the energy that is Reiki through the practice of it. Hands on self, hands on others, distance healing; practice of all of these elements enhance the experience of working with Reiki.

The more you practice it the stronger becomes your relationship with it. Initially, however, it may take some time before a practitioner is aware of what is happening in a Reiki session. In this beginning stage of learning is usually when practitioners make changes in their form in order to feel more. In healing circles we say Reiki will never cause harm. However, we also need to adjust this line of thinking to, Reiki will never cause harm if it is indeed Reiki that is being practiced. If practitioners think that by calling it so they make it so, they are wrong. Reiki has a distinct vibration, intention and protocol. You will never realize this until you have practiced pure Reiki. It is not open to variation just because someone wants to personalize it for their own purposes and sensitivities. Once a technique has been altered by adding components of another form of healing, it becomes impossible to decipher why a treatment works or doesn’t. Reiki will forever remain a folk art if it is accepted as a mutable healing art in this way.

An old proverb states that the same sun is reflected in all the ponds, and common belief among healers is that all energy work stems from the same source and as such is equal in value. But it is important to consider that while the source of all energy may be the same, the work and its‘ practitioner alters the usable energy. Reflections can vary greatly depending on the quality of water and the obstacles within it just as the quality of energy work will change depending on the quality of the practitioner.

Our western way of thinking applauds individual expression and encourages us to live creatively and to manifest our lives as we see fit. But as responsible energy practitioners we have to ask ourselves: Is this also a valid approach when we hold the life force of another soul in our hands? Do we have the right to impose our personal creative preferences onto our clients when they are dealing with often life altering physical and emotional conditions? Healers‘ are not all created equal and in their madness to be unique, they can lose sight of the veracity of their core teachings. As much as we don’t like to be told what to do nor to be controlled we still need to follow the rules of the game, and Reiki does have rules. To play the game of Reiki Healer you have to accept the rules and play by them.