Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. The word Reiki is made of two Japanese words – Rei which means “higher power” and Ki which means “life force energy.” So, Reiki is actually “spiritually guided life force energy,” and strikes to heal the whole being through spiritual growth and physical healing nurtured by the universal life energy.
Reiki is done by laying ones hands on different parts of the body and channeling energy through ones body, out through ones hands, and into the patient. The patient isn’t actually healed by the healer, but by the universal life energy. The healer is only the channel for the Reiki energy. We are all born with Reiki for it is the energy of life itself.
While Reiki is spiritual in nature, it is not a religion. It had no dogma and there is nothing you must believe in order to learn and use it. In fact, Reiki is not dependent on belief at all and will work whether you believe in it or not.
It has been effective in helping virtually every known illness and always creates a beneficial effect. It also works in conjunction with all other medical or therapeutic thechniques to relieve side effects and promote energy.
My own experience with Reiki has been wonderful. I was first introduced to the healing technique from a Reiki healer I met in Varanasi, India. She has been studying the healing technique with a Reiki Master in India for the past eight years. The healing session left me feeling extremely relaxed. I felt light headed as if I were stoned for the rest of the evening. I also felt like I could better analyse my thoughts better and felt overall very well balanced. I also felt a strong feeling of compassion for the Reiki healer although I had only known her for a couple of days.
I decided to learn more about this ancient healing technique and enroled myself in a level one course in Rishikesh, India with a Reiki Master named Shanti. The course was two days long but the student is suggested to practice everyday for twenty-one days following the course to open the energy channel and feel the full benefit. The course began with an initiation to each student. This involved an hour-long Reiki session with Shanti which I found to be very powerful. For myself, I saw many images of nature and deer, which I continuously view when I enter into a deep state of meditation. I could feel heat being penetrated through Shanti’s hands as she placed them on various parts of my body. Along with heat was a pulsation and tingling sensation that spread throughout my entire body.
During the course, we learned and practiced healing ourselves as well as others. When it came time to give Reiki to myself, I had a very emotional experience. I could feel my hand heating up, especially when I placed them on my stomach, head and chest. My hands began to pulsate, and I could feel vibrations throughout my entire body. I saw flashes of light and images of myself peacefully sitting in a field surrounded by trees and animals. Among the animals was a deer. This is the third time that I have visioned a deer when reaching a deep state of consciousness. These images sent a rush of energy throughout my body, and I felt tears rushing down my cheeks for what seemed like ten minutes or so. It was a powerful experience that happened when I had no expectations, but only and open mind and heart. Another student, and my very good friend Alex Pettery, continued on to take level two Reiki and had a unique experience that she would like to share:
I enrolled in a Reiki course soon after injuring my knee, with hopes of healing myself, as well as deepening my knowledge of the mind-body system. I came with a great desire to experience this seemingly elusive and magical energy in a profound and personal way, as well as with a loud inner skeptic who insisted that no such experience would occur. I enjoyed a series of very pleasant and relaxing experiences in my level one course. I came to think of Reiki as a very subtle energy, available to anyone who dedicates themselves to seriously practicing it on a regular basis. While I no longer hoped for my chakras to explode with rainbows or for my knee to miraculously heal through divine grace, I decided to continue and enroll in the level two course.
As Reiki is the universal energy that pervades and animates all of life, it is already flowing through all of us all the time. Rather than becoming a “healer” through one’s individual capacities, intelligence, and effort, the Reiki practitioner simply becomes a channel for this energy to flow. It does not require one do anything, or even to understand what is being healed or how. The courses include a series of ‘attunements’ or ‘initiations,’ in which this universal energy is transferred from teacher to student. We were reminded frequently that each intiation is different for everyone, as we all have various different layers of blockages and imbalances that need to open up.
On the last day of my level two course, I wondered if the swirling shapes and lines of light I saw on the insides of my eyelids were “real”, or just products of my desire to see something. However, I found it possible for my doubting mind to co-exist with my curiosity and intention to remain aware of what I was experiencing and the swirling continued. As burning hot tingling energy began to make its way from the back of my head down my neck, shoulders, and spine, I felt tears welling up. Unlike the last time, I allowed them to come, and experienced the most beautiful feeling of release. As tears poured down my face, I kept my eyes closed and remained curious and present to what was happening inside. Soon I realized that I could not feel my body – at all. I had absolutely no sense of physical size or location; all I felt was the contact between my hands and the tops of my thighs, but it was not a static feeling. Everything was pulsating – I felt everything shrink into a tiny speck at the center of everything and disappear, only to then expand endlessly in all directions. All sense of separation dissolved completely. I asked myself if I was scared and wanted to turn back; the answer was clearly no. I remained in this state until the initiation ended.
I do not have any big conclusions to draw yet, but this was my experience. My life has not changed drastically since then, other than my strengthened committment to continue practicing Reiki. And while my doubting, skeptical thoughts have not disappeared, they are slowly fading into the background (possibly because I have stopped trying to make them disappear). I allow them to be there while continuing to focus on my intention to give Reiki, to become an open channel for light and love.