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Reiki - Personal Journeys in Healing

by Carol Welstand(more info)

listed in reiki, originally published in issue 22 - September 1997

Today, there are probably more than a million people around the world who have Reiki. Perhaps you are wondering, as many people are at the moment, if you would benefit from having Reiki. I would like to take this opportunity to answer some of the questions that many potential Reiki students must be asking.

The author practising Reiki

The author practising Reiki

Reiki, (pronounced Ray-Key) or the Usui System of Reiki Healing to give it its correct title, is based on an ancient system of healing that is probably many thousands of years old, the knowledge lost somewhere deep within history. It was re-discovered in the late 19th century by a Japanese scholar and monk, Dr Mikao Usui, who spent around 28 years searching for the formula within the Buddhist Sutras and ancient records of the monasteries. He was eventually successful in finding the formula and received the understanding of how to use it during a mystical experience whilst meditating and fasting for 21 days, on the Holy Mountain of Kori-Yama. At this time he was given the sacred Symbols and the Attunement for them. These are the same symbols that we use in our Attunements and treatments today. He spent the rest of his life practicing and teaching Reiki throughout Japan.

Today, there are probably more than a million people around the world who have Reiki. Perhaps you are wondering, as many people are at the moment, if you would benefit from having Reiki. I would like to take this opportunity to answer some of the questions that many potential Reiki students must be asking.

The first and most important question is, "What will having Reiki mean to me?"

Reiki is a subtle wavelength of the Universal Life Energy that is in all living things. It is only accessed by Empowerment Attunements given by a properly trained, Reiki Master. Reiki is Golden, Reiki is Love, Love for yourself and Love for others. Love, without Love within, is not Love, therefore we must learn to Love and so heal ourselves. Reiki is healing for one's self and others. Love can be many things, wonderful, joyous, happy, sad, painful, ecstatic, gentle, powerful: life changing. Therefore you will experience Reiki as all of these and more. We are all individuals and everyone who experiences Reiki does so in the way that is right for them.

Whilst Reiki is a personal experience, it also promotes a deep bonding and sharing within your training group, of ideally no more than 6 to 8 people.

For many the hardest person to love and respect is themselves. Having Reiki will give you a sense of self worth and confidence. As you honour the Reiki Energy, so will you honour the beauty within yourself. Once you have received a 1st Degree Attunement, you will always have Reiki, for the rest of your life. As you treat your friends and family, animals and plants, you will feel healthy and energised, for with Reiki, every time you give healing to others you receive healing.

A Reiki treatment is usually given with the recipient lying fully clothed on a treatment bed. All that needs to be removed are the shoes and any heavy jewellery. Reiki works through clothing and even through solid objects. The hands are placed very lightly in a series of non-intrusive positions, most of which are held for about 5 minutes. Reiki is simple to use and because it is given in love, it is completely safe. So, wherever you are in your journey through life: whether you are an experienced healer or a complete beginner; whether you are considering Reiki training in order to help others, or as a self healing, self growth process, or both; be prepared for a very special experience.

The next question is, "Where do I go to learn Reiki and what questions should I, as a potential student be asking?"

It is important that you choose a Reiki Master who is right for you. This is a very individual thing and a matter of personal choice. Firstly, find as many advertisements offering Reiki training as possible. You will find no shortage of these in the wide range of complementary health and alternative lifestyle magazines currently on offer. Contact these Masters: you will find most of them will be friendly and informative and be only too pleased to spend some time talking to you on the phone and answering your questions. They will also send you details with information about the courses. We all have our own way of teaching and the literature you receive will reflect this.

Remember, your Reiki Attunement should be a very special occasion, so be prepared to travel if necessary in order to train with the Master with whom you feel the best rapport.

There are several important questions that you need to ask. Firstly, "How long is the course?" I feel that 1st Degree should take 16–18 hours, spread over 2 days. This ensures that the student gains an adequate understanding of the Reiki process and how it will affect their lives, and the ability and confidence to treat themselves, their family and friends. 1st Degree is not a professional qualification, you will need to train further if you decide you want to work professionally. "How many students maximum will there be in your class?" Will it be a small group of maybe 4–8 people, or a larger group of perhaps 16–20 or more? Which do you feel would benefit you most?

The variety of different types of courses on offer can be completely bewildering to the beginner, so you need to find out if the Reiki Master is teaching traditional Usui Reiki or one of the many new systems that are currently on the market. There is nothing wrong with most of the non-traditional techniques. Many are well researched and documented. Usui Reiki is the original Reiki and represents the beginning, at which point I have found it is usually the best place to start.

Please be aware, that during the Attunements the Reiki Master is the physical channel for the Universal Energy of Light and Love that we call Reiki and that many Masters – whether they choose to advertise it or not – are aware of their direct connection to Pure Beings of Light, Ascended Masters, Angels, etc. The process is a powerful and deeply moving experience for both Master and student.

You will need to know "What is included in the price of the courses?" Although Reiki is traditionally taught as an oral tradition, you will find a course manual very useful for your future reference. "Are lunch and refreshments provided, particularly mineral water?" You will drink a lot of this during the course. "Are treatment beds provided?" Don't assume they are or you could find yourself working on a blanket on the floor.

Course prices vary widely. It is my belief that the content of the course and the quality of the tuition are the most important aspects you should consider.

About a week before your course, you should receive a list of suggestions to help you detoxify your system in preparation for your Attunements. It is up to you as to how many of these you follow. They include: drinking plenty of mineral water; leaving meat, fish and caffeine drinks out of your diet for a few days prior to the Attunement; getting regular exercise and finding time, if possible for some quiet walks; spending some time in meditation or just sitting quietly, listening to gentle relaxing music. This helps to prepare you physically, mentally, emotionally and Spiritually for the Reiki.

After completing any Degree, you will experience what is known as "the clearing process". This usually takes place during the 21 days after 1st Degree. This is a perfectly normal, natural process, so please don't worry about it. The important thing is that you understand what is happening to you and why. Everything in existence has a vibration, including people. Many people, because of the negativity in their lives, stressful living, unhealthy foods, chemicals in the atmosphere, have a fairly low vibrational level. The Reiki Attunement raises our vibrational level to that of the Reiki. This is good, positive and healthy. However, our bodies have to adjust to this higher vibration and some people may have a temporary physical or emotional reaction. Reiki, like any Energy Medicine, works on the cause rather than the symptoms of the illness.

Because the Reiki has begun to heal every aspect of your life, you may have symptoms of any illness you are particularly prone to. You may feel a bit tearful at times for no particular reason and experience mood swings. Don't worry about this, it is purely temporary and will soon pass.

Many people after 1st Degree, experience few if any negative reactions. They report feeling a great calm and peace. Feeling more relaxed, their senses are often sharper, with colours seeming brighter, smells more intense, sounds more distinct. They feel a strong Spiritual connection to nature and they find themselves smiling at everyone. During these 21 days, you are asked to give some time each day to healing yourself with Reiki. You will find this to be a satisfying and beneficial experience. It's a practice that I have continued with, and I still find time to use healing on myself every day.

I would like at this point to share with you something of my own journey with Reiki. If someone had said to me 8 years ago, "one day you'll be running your own Healing Centre", I would have laughed and told them they'd got the wrong person. I'd read lots of books, taught myself basic meditation and attended various classes, but I had no intention of devoting my life to it. I had more important things to do. But before long those important things didn't seem important any longer and I realised that I wanted to do something more satisfying with my life. When I booked for my Reiki 1st Degree, I was nervous and excited, not knowing quite what to expect. It was a fantastic experience. I loved every minute of it. I seemed to spend the whole time floating on a cloud. The night before my first Attunement, I woke and saw a white golden light all around the room. Myself wrapped inside it. I didn't feel frightened at all. I was very comfortable within it and felt completely safe.

I knew then, that one day I would be a Reiki Master and teach others. I enjoyed every moment of my Reiki training, but nothing ever matched that initial experience with Reiki 1.

That is why I feel so strongly that everyone's first Reiki experience should be special and I ensure that, for my students, it always is.

They walk in on that first morning looking just as nervous and excited as I was and I know they're not going to be disappointed.

I like to work with small groups, maximum 8 people and no more than 4 students per Reiki Master. I have an assistant Master to help when necessary. Every group and every person within that group is unique, but someone will always ask the question "What if it doesn't work for me". It always does work for them and I get real pleasure out of seeing their look of delight the first time they feel the Energy flowing through their hands – the radiant smiles and sparkling eyes as they experience the Reiki for themselves. I watch them gaining confidence in their own abilities, taking the first steps on this new Healing Journey that will help them to go positively forward in every aspect of their life.

Finally, the most important thing I know is, that with Reiki, I need never feel alone, because I'm part of a larger Reiki Family, connected to a Universal Energy of Love and Light that is always with me. Reiki is the greatest gift I have been given and I honour and respect it as such. It has given me the freedom to become who I am, the patience to grow slowly, the wisdom to accept that which I do not need to question and the Love which heals all.

"I feel this love, inside, outside, within and around. I feel this Love, this Love is me."

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About Carol Welstand

Carol Welstand teaches regular classes for both residential and day students at all Degrees of Reiki at The Rainbow Centre, Sutton on Sea, Lincolnshire. For details Tel: 01507 441230.

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