Learning Reiki: A Student Connects to Her Inner Wisdom
Here’s what Lindsay Lee, a recent Reiki I and Reiki II graduate (and mother-to-be), said about learning to give herself a daily 10-minute Reiki treatment and how she felt after taking the class.
Going Within: The Power of Self Care
By the end of the Reiki I class and practicing what I learned, I discovered how deeply profound it is to slow down and connect to my inner being. I have all the tools, wisdom, and knowledge in my body. Self-care is the beginning of everything!
I feel different since the class. There has been a shift, a subtle transformation. I feel open, lighter, and more engaged. It was an intimate class and we covered a lot of material. I can’t wait to further my Reiki studies.
Getting a Reiki Session: The Body Speaks
I noticed the effects of receiving Reiki from a professional Reiki practitioner took place over a couple of days. The treatment felt like a much more communicative session between my body and the practitioner. My body felt so vocal.
I liked the verbal communication during my session as well. It made my mind and body feel more connected to each other and more wholesome.
Giving a Reiki Session: Connecting With Another Person
When I practiced giving Reiki chair sessions to other people, I discovered I need to be more present with the person I am giving the session to, more aware. I found that I was closing my eyes a lot in the beginning, and really I need to be aware of what’s happening with the person receiving the session.
Reiki is very much an energetic give and take. I have noticed that the more I self practice using the Reiki self care protocol, the more in tune I feel, being able to notice other peoples’ energies when I give them a Reiki session.
Reiki Take Away
Although I never had a Reiki session before taking the Reiki Level 1 course, it intuitively felt like the right move for me. The Reiki class was super thorough. I found the Reiki precepts, dry bathing, and gassho techniques incredible ways to ground myself.
I’m excited to continue practicing what I learned! Since the class, I’m beginning to reconnect with myself and with my inner peace and strength.
Caroline Gomez is a yoga teacher, mom of three, and one of my most energetic Reiki students. She’s in the process of completing Reiki III. Here’s her experience taking Reiki I.
The Power of Taking Care of Yourself with Reiki
I learned from the Reiki Self-Care Protocol that I matter. I learned how the power of intention and self-care can change your outlook and energy. The effects of the Reiki self-care protocol are cumulative and become stronger and last longer the more you practice.
I also learned that we all possess the power to self-heal. And before we practice Reiki on others, we must first practice on ourselves.
Receiving Reiki: Getting a Reiki Session
I learned that surrendering and being open to accepting energy healing from someone else is an intimate exchange. There is a level of trust that occurs between you and the practitioner, and not everyone will practice the same protocol that I learned.
When I received Reiki by getting a Reiki session, it was different from practicing the Reiki self-care protocol, not better or worse, but the energy was different. I did feel that I could block or receive from the Reiki practitioner. I felt that I was in control of the process, even though I was receiving Reiki.
I also learned that I have some way to go as a Reiki practitioner, regarding being intuitive and able to sense what is going on with another person. I was amazed at how much information the practitioner was able to learn from me just from one session.
Giving a Reiki Session: Less is More
I learned that less is more when it comes to giving Reiki. I think I was trying too hard to squeeze the energy from myself to another person. I was trying to make something happen, instead of trusting the process. When I experienced this shift, I changed my view of how the Reiki energy flows through me.
I felt so much joy in sharing, and in the exchange of giving and receiving. I was being so careful and I wanted to nurture the person receiving Reiki. I was honored that someone would trust me to give them a Reiki session.
Happy year of the rooster!
Hope you are doing well this cozy time of year in New York. It’s lightly snowing as I write this, with the sun setting as night falls: the quietness of the snow so beautiful and peaceful. Similar to the way Reiki self care feels to me when I place my hands on my body: my mind centers and I feel calm. How about you?
I’m in the middle of teaching Reiki I and it’s such a good group of students—asking deep questions and moving outside their comfort zone as they think about energy, meditation, and self care in new ways.
Read on for simple tips for your Reiki practice.
Learning Reiki online?
I recently wrote a blog post about the pros and cons of learning Reiki online. Technology definitely has a place in learning, but is it the right place to learn Reiki?
A Simple Grounding Technique:
This made me laugh. Reflexology teacher Sue Ricks gives her clients a super quick grounding technique.
Ready, for this? Squeeze your butt for one minute.
It definitely moves your energy from your head down into your lower torso, helping you feel more centered. Try it!
In Japan, shinrin-yoku is the practice of “forest bathing” — immersing yourself in the environment of the forest for relaxation. The Washington Post declared forest bathing the latest stress-reducing trend in the U.S.
A friend and fellow Reiki teacher from Japan told me people in Japan will go to a place in nature like a forest or a park and say, “Oh, there’s so much Reiki here.” They aren’t referring to the Reiki System of Natural Healing, rather they are referring to the meaning of Reiki—spiritual life force energy.
So many of my clients and students who deal with anxiety or depression notice how much better they feel when they spend time in nature. If you live in New York City, you get extra credit because nature is a little harder to find.
A Native American client once told me she connects to nature in the midst of the concrete of the city by looking up at the sky. Isn’t that expansive? How can you incorporate being in nature into your life more?
Year of the Rooster
One of my long-time teachers, Gary Strauss, (who I also interview in my book, Building a Powerful Practice), wrote an article about how to live in these polarized times, figure out what we need to do, and honor the energy of the year of the rooster. Interesting stuff!
Remember it only takes a moment to place your hands on yourself, breathe deeply and get back to your Reiki practice.
Let me start by saying technology can be a wonderful thing. I am a big fan of the ways it allows us to connect across continents, time zones, and cultures, and it definitely has its place for learning—more on this below. However, I think there are huge benefits to learning Reiki at an in-person training, and I discuss the powerful ways this differs from Reiki training online so you can decide for yourself where to learn Reiki.
How does Reiki training in person differ from Reiki training online?
Having the support of a Reiki teacher in person provides more immediacy as the teacher can give you feedback from what she is seeing, hearing, and sensing as you work with energy.
The benefits of experiencing Reiki energy in person through the sessions, meditations, and attunements in class with the supervision and guidance of a teacher really can’t be compared to the disassociation of an online experience. Not to mention, you can’t practice giving someone a full Reiki treatment on a massage table over the internet.
Practicing in person with your fellow students also provides immediate feedback. In my Reiki workshops, I always have students practice with each other more than once and with different students, so you get a sense of working with different people’s energy. Our individual energy is an imprint unique and distinct to each of us (and it’s one of the things I love about my work, noticing the beautiful differences from client to client, student to student.)
Here are more details on the benefits of learning Reiki in person:
- Physical touch: Practicing giving Reiki in a mini-session or full treatment on a massage table within the context of a classroom setting helps you trust the energy is flowing. Trusting that the Reiki you’re sharing with your partner is “working” is something that often takes time and practice for many students.
- Personalization: Reiki classes can be personalized based on the individual needs of the students. We all learn in different ways—people are more or less visual, auditory, or kinesthetic in their learning styles, and having a skilled teacher modify her teaching depending on how you learn can be incredibly helpful.
- Practice: It’s nice to be able to practice doing a mini Reiki session in a chair, or a full session on a massage table, with the supervision and feedback of a teacher and the peer support of fellow students to practice with.
- Receiving attunements/reiju: Students are more or less sensitive to energy, especially as a beginner Reiki student, and will often feel and notice physical, mental, and emotional sensations during the attunement more easily with their Reiki teacher right in front of them performing the attunement. (It also helps their linear mind to trust that something is happening!)
- Learning the Reiki symbols/mantras: In Reiki II and Reiki III (Reiki Master), students learn 4 symbols and mantras to help them work with different kinds of energy. Learning Reiki in person can be helpful in a couple key ways:
1) Accuracy–Having the teacher review your drawings of the symbols to ensure you’re writing them correctly is important.
2) Group dynamic–Chanting the mantra with a group is a more intense experience than chanting it by yourself, as it amplifies and magnifies the energy through sound (this is often a highlight of the class).
- Preparing for professional practice: If you’re considering offering Reiki as a professional practitioner, it’s important to have lots of practice giving Reiki sessions (one of my former teachers said you should give at minimum 100 sessions before you even think about charging and working professionally!). (Want more info on professional practice? I wrote a book, Building a Powerful Practice: Successful Strategies for Your Wellness Business, that can help you.)
Being able to ask your teacher questions as things come up during sessions, as well as get feedback from fellow students who understand Reiki in a way that a friend or family member who hasn’t studied Reiki won’t, offers a solid foundation of support from which to learn.
The Process of Reiki Certification
Reiki certification online (and to be honest, some in-person Reiki classes) often just offer a certificate of completion of the course.
In my Reiki workshops, there are optional Reiki certification requirements at the end of the course including: practicing self care, giving and receiving a certain number of chair and table sessions, and completing a brief written assignment.
The purpose of this outside practicum is to anchor and support students’ learning by practicing. It also gives students time to integrate what they’ve learned and to learn from Reiki through daily practice (hint: it’s your best teacher).
Does Reiki training online have a place in Reiki study?
I find that online training can be ideal for more advanced Reiki students. Once you have a solid foundation and direct experience in place from in-person classes, additional Reiki training online can be a nice supplement and way to connect (and a wonderful use of technology).
For example, you can receive an attunement (otherwise known as reiju) without the teacher physically being present with you. For students new to Reiki and meditation, this can be hard to wrap your mind around.
Being in a state of oneness with someone is something explored through the Distance Reiki technique (otherwise known as the Absentee Healing technique) in Reiki II. Once a student has had the direct experience of working with energy on themselves, their classmates, and friends and family, as well as learning and practicing this technique, they will be better able to understand and experience online attunements.
If you’re someone who already is very comfortable working with energy, then having less guidance and practice opportunities through an online experience might be just fine. Especially if you already have other types of energy or bodywork experience under your belt, or are interested in using Reiki with friends/family and yourself versus starting a professional Reiki practice.
So while learning Reiki at in-person Reiki I, II, and III classes is ideal for all of the reasons I listed above, having access to Reiki training online as you continue your studies can offer a good option for additional support.