Interested in learning Reiki? Here’s a handy beginner’s guide, which includes everything you need to know to be informed and get started:
Can anyone learn Reiki?
I get asked this question a lot and I can relate: I really wasn’t sure when I signed up for my first Reiki class years ago. The short answer is yes, each of us has a natural healing ability. Sometimes people feel overwhelmed or worried by this, while others aren’t sure where to start. Taking classes offers a structure and foundation to build on this ability.
There are 3 levels of Reiki training: beginning, intermediate, and advanced (or Reiki I, II, and III). Learning Reiki is a deeper experience than receiving a Reiki session because it allows you to take your healing into your own hands (literally) with a daily mindfulness practice.
What are the benefits of taking a Reiki class?
When you take a Reiki Level I class, you’ll learn about the 5 Reiki precepts, or principles to live by. These principles offer advice and a path to help us let go of anger and worry, to be true to ourselves, and to show compassion.
We can understand this advice intellectually, but learning Reiki offers us a way to go beyond this and embody the precepts through the hands on healing, meditation techniques, symbols and mantras (learned in Reiki II), and attunements. Imagine the benefits you would experience if you were less angry and fearful, and felt calmer and more centered, no matter what stress you encountered in your life.
But can’t I just learn Reiki online?
While technology has its benefits, learning Reiki at an in-person training offers many things you can’t experience online such as:
• Practicing giving Reiki sessions with the supervision and feedback of the teacher and fellow students.
• Giving Reiki during an in-person class allows for physical touch, which helps you trust that that the energy is flowing. For most students, this trust often develops over time with practice.
• Receiving attunements in person (vs. online) can be reassuring to our linear mind. Students are more or less sensitive to energy, and having the physical presence of the teacher in front of them during this spiritual blessing often sets the mind at ease that something is happening.
Read more about the benefits (especially if you’re considering offering Reiki professionally).
How can I find a qualified Reiki teacher?
There are many different types of Reiki classes available, and you want to find the right one for you. Questions to consider as you’re looking for a qualified teacher include:
- How long was the teacher’s own training and how long has s/he been teaching?
- Do they have a daily Reiki self care and meditation practice?
- How long is the class and is certification available?
- Does the teacher offer ongoing support through practice nights and advanced training?
Read more to find out how to find a qualified teacher and make an informed decision that’s right for you.
How can Reiki impact every aspect of your life?
My daily Reiki practice has improved my life in so many different ways (and it continues to!). Over time here’s what I noticed:
- positive changes in a chronic health condition
- the ability to let go of a negative relationship pattern in my dating life
- more clarity around how to make a career transition
- the ability to better handle my finances
- better time management
- an increase in my creativity as a writer
Read on to find out more about my personal journey with Reiki, as well as one student’s feedback on what she noticed in her own life, and open up to some possibilities of how Reiki can transform your own life in a positive and powerful way.
Want to gain insight from past Reiki students? Here’s more about learning Reiki from the student’s perspective:
A yoga teacher and busy mom of three discovered that less is more when it comes to Reiki.
And another student connected to her own inner wisdom after learning to give herself a daily 10-minute Reiki treatment.
Find out how learning Reiki helped one student deal with a break up.
The practice of Reiki helped another student manage her ego (no easy task!).
Ok, I signed up for my first Reiki class, what should I do to set my expectations?
Here are the elements that are usually covered in a Reiki Level 1 class:
- Discuss what is Reiki and the history of Reiki
- Receive 4 attunements, or spiritual blessings (also known as Reiju)
- Learn a Reiki self-care protocol
- Discuss the Reiki precepts, or principles to live by
- Discover Reiki meditations to focus the mind and center yourself
- Learn a Reiki chair protocol to use with friends and family
To get the most out of your class, have an open mind and commit to practicing the Reiki self care protocol for a minimum of 21 days. Notice any little changes such as how you sleep, how you feel when you wake, your energy levels, and your ability to focus and respond to stressful situations.
Want more? Here’s a bonus:
Here’s a Pinterest board I created all about learning Reiki.
Best of luck as you begin your Reiki journey, and here’s a tip from my first Reiki teacher. She always used to say: “Your hands are smarter than your head!” Wise words….
Fall is a nice time to snuggle up with a good book (ideally with a fire in the fireplace and a cup of tea!) and I’ve been reading a lot lately. Read on for my top 3 picks for books to help you find true health and balance.
1. May Cause Miracles: A 40-Day Guidebook of Subtle Shifts for Radical Change and Unlimited Happiness
by Gabrielle Bernstein
Gabby Bernstein believes that simple, consistent shifts in your thinking and actions can lead to the miraculous in your relationships, finances, body, and self-image. She offers a straight-forward plan to release fear and allow gratitude, forgiveness, and love to flow through you. Gabby makes change manageable, giving bite-sized exercises to do each morning and evening. I loved how the daily exercises built on each other over the course of 40 days, making transformation sustainable (and enjoyable!).
3. The Inner Heart of Reiki: Rediscovering Your True Self
by Frans Stiene
This book is a wonderful companion for the Reiki student and/or teacher who wants to dive deeper into their daily practice and expand their energetic understanding of Reiki. It’s a clear and concise guide to help you integrate the various components of the system of Reiki–the precepts, meditations, symbols/mantras, and hands-on-healing–into your sessions, classes, and most importantly, your life.
Frans Stiene, often referred to as “the Reiki Teacher’s Teacher,” takes his extensive research and grounded personal understanding and practice, and outlines a path of practice you can follow in his gentle, compassionate, and often humorous way. I found this book quite breathtaking. Breathtaking is the perfect word–this book reminds you to connect to your breath and your True Self while reading it. The book was truly wonderful, and something I’ll reread and refer to often as I expand my personal understanding of Reiki.
Bonus: The 5-Minute Journal
I wrote a past post about this but think it bears repeating. I loved hearing feedback from many people who are finding the 5-Minute Journal helpful: you can read more here about an easy way to let go of negative thinking and feel more positive in under 5 minutes a day. I’m so enjoying how it anchors the start and end of my day.
P.S. Want more recommendations? Here’s a previous post with 3 more books!
Recently, I’ve had many clients coming to me asking how to overcome negative thought patterns and create new and healthier ways of thinking and acting.
Earlier this year, a friend of mine recommended the 5-Minute Journal to me. (In fact, she raved about it.) She noticed she was in a much better frame of mind after she started using it. I’ve been using it for a couple months now, and I agree wholeheartedly.
I found journaling incredibly valuable in the past, but was reluctant (ok, actually quite resistant) to getting back to it. I love how the simple format of the 5-Minute Journal helps me stick to journaling, as well as how it anchors my mornings and evenings.
The journal is based on the principles of positive psychology—it’s been proven over and over again that the more you shift your focus on the positive, the happier you’ll feel. (And yes, hypnosis helps you do this, too!)
The journal helps you cultivate gratitude and promotes inner growth and self reflection and overcome negative thought patterns in 5 minutes a day. It also helps you get specific and set small, achievable daily goals. And it includes inspiring quotes and weekly challenges.
The best part is that it only takes 5 minutes a day! (This was the huge selling point for me.) You can order it here.
Here’s to focusing on the good in your life. Let me know what you think and how it helps you. We can compare notes!
P.S. Yes, I took my journal on a morning photo shoot—I love sitting outside in the early morning sun and taking a few minutes to do my daily entry.
P.S.S. Want more books I recommend (these are actually books to read). Read this previous post on 3 Books That Will Change Your Life.
Can Anyone Learn Reiki?
This was a big question for me when I was thinking about taking a Reiki class years ago. I thought maybe only people with a special gift could learn Reiki, and I was more than a little nervous on my first day of class.
The short answer is yes–anyone can learn Reiki. (Reiki is a hands-on healing technique from Japan and means “transcendent life force.” The practice of Reiki guides this “Ki,” or energy, that is a part of every living thing.)
Hands on healing is our natural ability (just think about how you feel better when someone gives you a hug or holds your hand).
Find out more below about the types of Reiki training available and the different levels, if you can you teach yourself Reiki, and what the difference is between getting a Reiki session and learning to use Reiki on yourself.
Type of Reiki Training & Levels
Traditionally, there are 3 levels of Reiki training: beginner, intermediate, and advanced–Reiki I, Reiki II, and Reiki III (Reiki Master) classes–as well as additional teacher training if you want to teach Reiki classes.
Training for each level varies from 1-2 days to spreading out training over a longer period of time. I structure my Reiki trainings over several weeks for each level, so you have time to practice between class and start to make Reiki a daily habit, as well as have the opportunity to ask questions with the support of the teacher, fellow students, and classroom setting.
Can You Teach Yourself Reiki?
Sometimes students tell me they notice they have a healing ability but they feel overwhelmed by it, or they feel worried or unsure about how to use it.
Reiki classes give this natural ability a structure and foundation, allowing you to expand your innate capacity. Additionally, having a teacher’s guidance can be helpful whenever you’re learning something new.
Once you’ve learned some basic techniques, you’ll have the ability to give yourself a mini-Reiki session and practice simple Reiki meditations every day, contributing to your own healing.
What is the Difference Between Receiving a Reiki Session
& Learning Reiki?
A prospective student recently asked me this question, and it’s a good one.
Learning Reiki allows you to take your healing into your own hands (literally) and go deeper with a daily mindfulness practice.
Receiving Reiki sessions is wonderful and a great source of additional support and guidance (I get sessions regularly as well), but having a daily self care practice is empowering and something that will last a life time if you use it regularly.
And here’s a recent article about 5 benefits you’ll notice in your life by learning Reiki.