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     Reiki        Mikao Usui


Thank you to James Deacon at All Energies-Therapy Web for sharing Mikao Usui's image.

Created: April 11, 1996 - Updated August 31, 2015


Mikao Usui's Reiki Principles

1. Just for today, I will live the attitude of gratitude.
2. Just for today, I will not worry.
3. Just for today, I will not anger.
4. Just for today, I will do my work honestly.
5. Just for today, I will show love and respect for every living thing.


 What does Reiki do?  Does Reiki work for everyone?
 What is a Reiki treatment?  What is a "distance" treatment?
 What is Reiki energy?  How do you learn Reiki?
 The Traditional Reiki Degrees  Traditional Reiki 1
 Traditional Reiki 2  Traditional Reiki Master
 The Non-Traditional Reiki Degrees  Which Reiki practitioner is right?
 Which Reiki Master is right?  What is Saku Reiki?
 The History of Reiki  Usui Affirmations


Introductory Discussion

First, I'm not a doctor and strongly recommend that you get medical care from a doctor for anything major or questionable. We have the finest crisis medical care in the world. Take advantage of it if and when you need it!

Reiki as taught in Japan is similar to carpentry, it is a craft that one can learn the rudiments quickly, but can easily take a lifetime to master. As with many crafts world wide, Reiki is often taught in an apprenticeship mode. The basic agreement is a contract where informally or formally an apprentice agrees to serve or pay a master and the master agrees in exchange that they will teach the craft. Almost all forms of Reiki are identical in that it only takes a few minutes to a few hours to do the initiations. The differences between the different forms of Reiki vary in how formal and long is the process to screen and train candidates before each level of initiation, and what criteria the Reiki Master uses before the student is permitted to advance.

Because of the wide differences in training, costs, and time with all using similar if not identical names to describe the level of their Reiki practitioners, there have been years of intense controversy between the different forms of Reiki. Cost range from free to $10,000 an initiation with most averaging between $200 to $400 per day of class with six to eight days of class needed to reach Teaching Reiki Master status. Most Reiki initiations are similar and only take a few minutes to an hour. However, the work required before and after an initiation before moving on can vary from nothing to years of intense work as an apprentice. Finally, in this country, much of the early Reiki was held in very high secrecy, so nothing was written down. As a result there is a wide variation in the symbols, their names, and their meanings, plus a student may learn as few as four symbol techniques to dozens. Needless to say, these wide differences can make for some lively discussion.

Having grown up in Japan and studied under traditional masters, my perspective is different than what many Westerners think about Reiki and I long ago gave up trying to discuss or argue which Reiki is better. My Reiki Masters were what one might describe as "Reikiholics". They had high success and just kept getting more and more until they became certified in most of the major forms. Years ago they tired of the wide differences in Reiki, so they then went to Japan and studied with Frank A. Petters, author of "Reiki Fire". Their search for more consistency and power in their healing efforts continued with their serving a lengthy a Tibetan apprenticeship. As a result, their Saku Reiki that I studied has a pretty wide overview of all the different forms. I find that each has benefit and that often some techniques are more timely and appropriate than others.

Interestingly, many years after my Reiki Masters studied with Frank A. Petters, he has become to many a touch stone to help resolve the wide variation in differences between the different forms of Reiki. He works closely with William Rand to assist with the Karuna Reiki, plus has shared much of the formal Japanese ways and ritual that so many choose. is a beautiful site that can show much of that sharing. Personally, I think this consistency is great, but am not all that happy about the new breed of Reiki experts who make themselves authority figures because they know many Japanese names and techniques. Long ago when I first started teaching university engineering, I learned that what is important is the ability to teach, not the ability to shroud yourself in formal jargon to make yourself appear as an authority figure. The simple and best test is does the Reiki work consistently and well?

What does Reiki do?

Reiki is not a substitute for appropriate medical or emotional treatment. Reiki is a complementary treatment, and should be used only as an adjunct when other forms of treatment are necessary. Reiki is a very gentle and safe method of bringing in healing energy from the Universal Supply. Reiki uses ancient healing energy techniques to help build more personal energy, more vitality, more resilience, and better health. Its most profound effect is an almost immediate feeling of deep relaxation, resulting in a reduction in stress. Reiki can help you change your mind and body for the better learning more of your inner self and giving more to yourself. You can learn to share Reiki healing energy with others as well as anything else that you can imagine including pets and plants! There are many cases on record of miraculous cures where Reiki has helped with all kinds of physical and mental ailments. Reiki practitioners can even send Reiki over a distance, sometimes thousands of miles, and still achieve beneficial effects. Reiki is being used more and more as an adjunct to help with traditional medical practices.

Does Reiki work for everyone?

Reiki works to the degree that a person is willing and able to use the energy. If a person chooses for whatever reason to not receive a treatment, no energy will be transferred. The effect of a Reiki treatment can vary from so subtle it may not even be felt to fairly profound. The more healthy you are in all respects, the more subtle the effects. Most of us feel some discomfort in our lives and can benefit from Reiki.

Reiki is known as intelligent energy and helps with the highest form of healing possible in a situation. Sometimes, the healing that occurs may not match our own expectations. This is often where the spiritual aspect of Reiki is most obvious. Sometimes, if a person's time has come, being able to feel at peace with death is the highest form of healing possible, even though we personally think a complete cure is preferable. Reiki can only enhance whatever natural healing is taking place; it cannot be used to guarantee outcomes or change fate.

What is a Reiki treatment?

A Reiki treatment is a "laying on of hands" which is an ancient technique common to many spiritual traditions. To ensure the safety of the client as well as the practitioner, Reiki treatments should be administered only by a person fully trained and certified in Reiki techniques. In a typical Reiki treatment, the client lies down (fully clothed) on a padded treatment table. Energy is transferred to the client through the hands of the practitioner. The practitioner moves through a sequence of standard hand positions. Treatment starts with the practitioner's hands lightly resting on or above the client's head for 3-5 minutes, then slowly repeats this process systematically moving down to the feet. A full treatment usually takes about an hour. A Reiki treatment is a spiritual practice because it works directly with energy, or "spirit." A Reiki treatment does not involve any pressure or manipulation of tissues such as with a massage.

What is a "distance" treatment?

Only a Reiki Level 2 or a Reiki Master can give a distance treatment. Reiki distance treatments are learned advanced techniques for transferring Reiki energy to a distant time or location. Although we do not understand either the energy or how it works, there is considerable evidence that Reiki is able to travel independent of time or distance to deliver healing. Most Reiki practitioners use this technique similar to a telephone. They know it works and do not necessarily have a clue as to the underlying mechanisms.

What is Reiki energy?

Reiki is simply the "life force." It is called by various names in different parts of the world. It is called "prana" in India, "qi" or "chi" in China, "spirit" in Western traditions, etc. It is the subtle energy we unconsciously feel when we sense that someone is "intense", "laid back", or that someone is watching us. Each person's pattern of energy is as unique to them as their fingerprints. These patterns are often described as personal vibrations. People have a general energy pattern that is different from the patterns of other species. This energy can be concentrated as taught in the martial arts of T'ai Chi or Qi Gong. When used properly this energy can produce many beneficial effects.

What does Reiki energy feel like?

People feel Reiki in different ways. Most often during a treatment the energy is experienced as warmth. Others feel a mild tingle, as when an arm or leg has "fallen asleep." Still others feel a throbbing or pulsing sensation. Some people don't feel any physical sensation but describe mental or emotional changes, such as a sense of calmness or peacefulness. Nearly everyone experiences a Reiki treatment as deeply relaxing.

How does a Reiki treatment work?

This question is best answered by drawing an analogy. As mentioned before, our natural energy level is affected by our state of health or disease. We can all relate to the feelings of low energy or depletion that occur when we are trying to heal, whether from physical distress (illness or injury) or from mental difficulties (such as grief or anxiety). A Reiki treatment under these circumstances can be compared to jump starting a car. When the car's battery can't quite provide enough energy to start the car, we attach jumper cables from another battery to add more energy. Reiki is a means of adding more energy to our "life force" battery to help "jump start" the healing process. This process does not exhaust the practitioner, because the practitioner is trained to channel energy from the outside environment, not from his or her own personal "battery." Practiced in this manner, the energy available is virtually limitless. The amount of energy transferred depends on the client's ability to use it and willingness to receive it. When no more energy can be used, the transfer ceases to occur. A skillful practitioner can usually sense when this happens.

Why Reiki?

As with the battery analogy, Eastern and Oriental philosophies say there are two major "life force" energies. One kind of energy is that personal individual life energy. When it is used up, that living thing dies. There are ways to tap into this individual energy, but in doing so even the most vital healers rapidly tire and become depleted. Tapping this type of energy is unhealthy. Reiki energy provides a far better alternative. Reiki energy is "Universal Life Force Energy". It is inexhaustible plus is intelligent. It always goes to where it will do the most good and never comes in stronger than can be handled. Reiki provides a simple, easy to learn way to tap into this universal energy to help others and us.

What is the definition of Reiki?

Reiki is a compound Japanese word that has the general case meaning of "healing". Rei means "Universal" or "Spiritual", and Ki is "Life Force Energy". Most westerners take Reiki to mean "Universal Life Force Energy". This universal energy, and not personal energy, is what is used during Reiki Healing. The Usui Natural Healing System (sometimes written as Usui Shiki Ryoho), named for its founder, Mikao Usui, is the basic system used to invoke and use this energy known as Reiki energy.

How is Reiki done?

In a Reiki Healing session, the practitioner places his or her hands onto or just above the patient's body at a number of strategic points. The patient almost always feels the energy begin to flow into them, either as a heat, a coldness, or a strange "flow" through their body, often in places remote from the point at which the practitioner has their hands.

When is a Reiki treatment appropriate?

Reiki is particularly effective if applied as soon as possible after a trauma happens, whether due to physical injury or mental shock. At these times the body is mobilizing all available energy to stabilize the immediate problem so that long-term healing can occur. Any extra energy available will only enhance the process. Later, when the healing process slows and energy is shared between healing and other bodily functions and activities, Reiki can still be a useful adjunct.

It is important to remember that because Reiki works on an energy level, it can aid physical, emotional, mental, and even spiritual healing. Many people also use Reiki as a preventive practice. Practitioners learn to do self-treatment before they learn how to treat others.

Many of us are increasingly aware of the unique energy patterns that develop between individuals and among people in groups. Psychology includes this in the term "group dynamics." Advanced Reiki practitioners are trained to treat group situations as well, using special distance techniques.

What is a Reiki Attunement?

Reiki practitioners are said to be "attuned" to the Reiki energy. The "attunement" is similar to helping someone tune in a radio station, but in the case of Reiki it allows the student to "tune in" more efficiently to using Reiki energy. Everyone is to some degree attuned to the same energies used within Reiki. Teaching Reiki Masters give initiations to better connect each student with the energy channels and to ensure that energy passed through will not be from the student's own reserves. Teaching Reiki Masters go through considerable training to learn how to make efficient "attunements" as well as how to impart the Reiki teachings. After each attunement students are given a series of exercises for twenty-one days or longer to ensure those students are from then on permanently attached to the Reiki Energy they learn.

How do you learn Reiki?

Unlike many other disciplines, learning how to be an effective Reiki practitioiner is easy and quick (as little as one day). Reiki is easily used from then on simply through intent and a little focus of attention. There are no complicated movements or rituals to learn. Although easily learned and applied, Reiki is so rich mastery can take a lifetime.

The Traditional Reiki Degrees

All Reiki derives from the Usui Natural Healing System (sometimes written as Usui Shiki Ryoho) but most commonly known as traditional Usui Reiki. In traditional Usui Reiki a student goes through a comprehensive many year long learning program to earn Reiki I, Reiki II, and then Reiki Master degrees:

Traditional Reiki 1 - The First Degree

This is the first of the Reiki degrees where students learn how to do self-treatment and to give hands-on treatment to others. Many, particularly people with chronic problems, take the First Degree Reiki training to help with their own personal healing. In this degree a Reiki Teaching Master gives several initiations. These initiations "attune" each student to open the Reiki energy channels and ensure that energy passed through will not be from the person's own reserves. Students are given a series of exercises that they must do after the class for at least three weeks to make attunements permanent and available from then on as needed. This level generally requires two and a half days of training. Many current traditional Teaching Reiki Masters provide this training in an eight to ten hour class with quite a bit of homework. In class the student learns a little of the Reiki history and the simple basic skills to use Reiki. They have an opportunity to work with a Teaching Reiki Master to learn basic hands on healing, grounding, and protection. The student will then continue to work with their Teaching Reiki Master for a few months to refine their skills and technique.

Traditional Reiki 2 - The Second Degree

Second level training is usually only given after a student has been practicing First Degree skills for at least a year, though this can vary somewhat depending on the individual. This second level generally requires two days of training that many current Teaching Reiki Masters teach as an eight hour class plus significant homework. The Second Degree Reiki student learns three special symbols and how to use these symbols to better focus and increase the amounts of Reiki energy transferred. The three symbols loosely represent the trinity present in many belief systems, in this case representing mind, body, and spirit, with one symbol for each concept. Second degree Reiki also teaches students how to give "distance" treatments for individuals, groups, and circumstances. It provides tools to help with emotional and mental problems, physical complaints, past-life and karmic issues, and how to direct healing energy both forward and backward in time and space including over great distances. Students can learn second degree skills in a weekend when the student is ready.

Traditional Reiki Master - The Third Degree

Traditional Teaching Reiki Master training is primarily intended for people who have made Reiki their life's work. The requirements for the Second Reiki degree are stringent. They are even more stringent and difficult for a Reiki Master degree. Depending upon the individual, Reiki Master level training is usually only given after a student has been practicing Second Degree skills for at least two years. After being accepted by a Teaching Reiki Master as an apprentice it takes from one to three additional years of hands on training and experience to master teaching each of the three levels of training. During this training period as a courtesy the student is called a Reiki Master. Soon after starting their Reiki Master program they learn the intellectual knowledge to be a Reiki teacher. Still, they have a long way to go to add the considerable hands-on experience under the careful guidance of a good teacher to become an effective teacher. During this apprenticeship phase, each new Reiki Master is strongly encouraged to heal others and themselves helping each to improve their own physical, spiritual, and mental health.

The Non-Traditional Reiki Degrees

There are more versions and variations of Reiki appearing daily. We unfortunately have a situation where lots of people now teach Reiki for money or ego, so constantly come up with their own spins, variations, and labels to make what they teach appear to be "better", "more powerful", "faster", etc.

Which Reiki practitioner is right?

When looking for a Reiki practitioner, take time to discuss their training with them before you commit to receive treatments. As in many other unregulated professions, there are people who prefer to take shortcuts in their training rather than invest the time and money to become fully skilled. Genuine Reiki training changes a person's life. Whenever a Reiki practitioner gives a treatment, they are receiving Reiki energy themselves and their own healing processes are stimulated. That means any personal issues that require healing will be brought to the surface more quickly than they were before. I have seen some pretty incredible explosive releases on the part of both Reiki students and Reiki Masters during Reiki treatments. I know that during such a release I want to be in the company of someone I trust, who was very nurturing, and would be able to do the right things if there was an emergency. If training and the accompanying initiations are taken too quickly, the challenges for growth can be unsettling to say the least. You will be much happier if you carefully chose qualified experienced Reiki practitioners and teachers.

Which Reiki Master is right?

This question leads me to a dilemma. In my heart I know that there is value to almost every form of Reiki. Still, my blood pressure rises when thinking about the many who for a few dollars have become "expert teaching" Reiki Masters. Looking at how much someone charges for their Reiki training, how many people they have initiated, how long they have been doing initiations, or even getting referrals from others just does not tell you if that Master is right for you. Some of the finest Reiki Masters I know have minimal education and could not afford an expensive formal program, but they have always gone that extra mile to learn their skills. At the same time there are some very well liked Reiki Masters that because of my temperament, training as an engineer, and fussiness consistently make me crazy with pure fluff based on little more than nonsense. I can not stand a teacher who is not solidly backed and that will not tell me they just do not know instead of making up some mumbo-jumbo. About the only way I know to make a decision is to get treated a few times and then decide if you want to pick that Reiki Master as you trainer. Any student who does not do this homework may well be in for some disappointment.

What is Saku Reiki?

LINEAGE: Usui - Hayashi - Takata - Ishikuro - Robertson - Rick & Emma Ferguson - Margarette L. Shelton - Kathleen Ann Milner- Derrick - Rand - Frank A. Petters - Hunan & Lino Alelyunas - Eric Bott - Bill Pentz

ORIGIN: Saku Reiki is a comprehensive wellness program built around Reiki, vibrational healing, nutrition, exercise, herbs, crystal healing, and other natural remedies to help heal the body, mind, emotions, and spirit. Saku Reiki is based on the accumulated knowledge and experience gained from running a specialty clinic that focused on physician referral patients that did not respond amply to traditional medicine.

HISTORY: Mr. Eric Bott, a licensed practicing German Electrical Engineer, began an extensive personal quest earning practitioner degrees in Old World European healing techniques including nutrition, exercise, vitamins, herbs, and minerals, homeopathy, Bach Flowers, and muscle testing. His healing interests moved him from an electrical engineer to a registered nurse working in a surgery environment. From there he came to the United States to start a new life living in a commune dedicated to mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual healing. There he earned his registered nurse license and learned more of helping others through use of diet, exercise, herbs, minerals, spices, Shiatsu restorative circulatory massage, accupressure, and reflexology.

At the commune he apprenticed under Hunan and Lino Alelyunas, two very powerful energy workers who had studied with some of the most profound Spiritual Teachers of our age. They had traveled extensively in India, Nepal. Indonesia, Thailand, Europe, Japan, and Australia gathering knowledge of various Spiritual Traditions including Buddhism, Sufism, Hinduism, Advaita Vedanta, Taoism, Shamanism and Reiki. They left that commune to pursue energy and vibrational healing. They went from being early Tera Mai and Karuna Reiki Masters off to study in the Far East under Frank Arjava Petter, author of "Reiki Fire" becoming true Reiki Teaching Masters in the Usui Healing Method (Usui Shiki Ryoho). From there they went on to Nepal and apprenticed under a monk whose life's work was the study and teaching of energy healing. He shared with them many Reiki roots plus some very powerful non-Reiki energy healing techniques.

Frustrated with my own worsening health problems that were not responding to traditional treatment, I went back to one of my physician friends who had been part of Sacramento Medical Preventics Clinics, one of California's earliest and best known preventive medicine clinics. My friend referred me to Eric in his small medical alternative healing facility located above Grass Valley, California high in the Sierra Nevada Mountains where healers have been drawn for generations. I began seeing Eric for life style and nutritional counseling. Eric said many physicians referred patients to him to work on healing both the body and spirit. Eric accepted each new patient as a challenge to find the right healing approach. He kept working on improving his healing abilities adding crystal, light, and energy healing (Barbara Brennan School of Healing). He was drawn back to Reiki because it worked.

Eric began to seriously study with his prior Reiki Teaching Masters and became a Teaching Reiki Master. He added his wealth of knowledge around these Reiki principles creating a formal training program and opened his own healing facility in Sacramento. His program added nutrition, herbs, exercise, crystal and mineral healing, and vibrational healing to Reiki. This intensive program was named the Saku Reiki Healing Method in honor of Reiki and the Saku master energy symbol brought back by Eric's Reiki Masters.

DEGREES: Saku Reiki first and second degrees are traditional Reiki I and II degrees as taught in the Usui Healing Method (Usui Shiki Ryoho). The Saku program adds healing the body through nutrition and other physical means to the Reiki I program and key energy symbols from Tera Mai and Karuna Reiki to the Saku Reiki II degree. The Saku Reiki III degree is an intense multi-day course that includes a full traditional Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki Master degree, plus a series of initiations where the rest of the Tera Mai and Karuna teachings and symbols are shared. Those wishing to go on from there take the Saku Reiki IV and V degrees that focus on additional energy and vibrational healing techniques and symbols to get individually well so as to be able to most efficiently help others. The Saku Reiki VI degree imparts the powerful Tibetan Saku master symbols and energizing techniques and starts the student on the Saku Ascension Program and the Saku Teaching Master Apprenticeship Program. Both are a multiyear program requiring considerable hands-on guidance working with a master to refine healing, teaching, and attunement skills.

Usui Affirmations

Usui created a set of affirmations that were used by his group. These translate as:

The Secret Method Of Inviting Blessings
The Spiritual Medicine of Many Illnesses

For today only, do not anger, do not worry.
Do your work with appreciation.
Be kind to all people.

In the morning and at night, with hands held in prayer,
think this in your mind, chant this with your mouth.


Namaste - FYI

Albert Einstein was fascinated by Mohandas Gandhi. He watched newsreel after newsreel of Ghandi's doings in India. Having seen Gandhi greet people in the street with his hands placed together, as if in prayer, and with a bow, he wondered what Gandhi was saying (newsreels had no sound in those days). Einstein wrote Gandhi. His reply: "Namaste." He wrote again to ask the meaning of this Hindu word, "Namaste" The reply:

"I honour the place in you where the entire universe resides. I honour the place in you of light, love, truth, peace and wisdom. I honour the place in you where, when you are in that place, And I am in that place, we are both one."


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