I recently joined a group on Facebook for “lightworkers” that a friend recommended. The group is full of wonderful people and I began joining in the community. About a week ago, someone asked about Reiki*. She said she felt like it was something she wanted to explore and asked the group about it. My dear friend, shared with her how great of a teacher she thinks I am, having taken Reiki I & II with me, and told this person I had an online class coming up. I stepped in and thanked my friend for her kind words and shared a little about my love for Reiki and that I had taught many classes in person before but the online class was new. I mentioned that I wasn’t sure if it was ok to share links in the group but she could message me privately if she had questions. After this exchange, one of the facilitators of the group, told me to go ahead and share a link so I did.
The early bird pricing I had available was coming to an end so I thought I’d go in and comment on the original post a friendly reminder about the deadline, only to discover my post was gone.
I reached out to the facilitator who had told me to post and she said someone else removed it and they would be contacting me to let me know why. The other facilitator did contact me. She told me that the first facilitator had noticed the post and told her about it. They had a discussion and agreed together to remove it. Not quite the same story. She told me that it was because they follow traditional Reiki and don’t believe in online teaching. They don’t believe that distance attunements** are as effective and have a policy about only allowing links in the group that fit their beliefs. While their group description says they are a supportive network and asks only that you ask yourself if a comment you are posting will help someone shine more brightly or help yourself shine more brightly and does it come from a place of love, they deleted my post because it doesn’t fit with their beliefs.
I am choosing to leave this group because it is important to me to belong to groups, on or offline, that honor our differences as much as they honor our similarities. As a lightworker (which I define as someone with an open mind, a loving heart, and a passion for people to shine brightly), many of us have been subjected to criticism and judgment for our experiences and beliefs. We’ve been told our beliefs are wrong or stupid or even crazy, either by someone’s words or by their actions. Since many of us know what this feels like, whether you consider yourself a lightworker or not, I would like to believe this is something we would not do to one another. That we would be open to the beliefs of others and provide a safe space to share.
Speaking directly to the reason the post was removed, online teaching of Reiki…there are different thoughts on this subject. Reiki at its core is based on intention, self-care first before others and the 5 spiritual principles which focus on self-development. After many years of teaching, research and experience, I decided to engage in an online course offering. I know my intention and I do my best to live the principles of Reiki. If I believe that energy is energy and it withstands time and space, why would I not believe an attunement can be done at a distance as well? Is every distance attunement or online course offering the same? No. Just as an in person class – it depends on the teacher, the student, and the material. I can only speak for myself, as an instructor…I give the same attention and energy to my online courses as I do my in person courses. I have experienced both giving and receiving both in person and distance attunements and have found there to be no difference. Only we can decide what resonates and holds true for us and that is a choice that I want to have in my life.
If you’re considering the exploration of Reiki, know that intention, living a good life and caring for yourself first are the most important aspects of this tradition. Know that the original tradition of Usui Reiki, Reiki Ryoho Gakkai, is only practiced in Japan and is still very secretive. All other Usui Reiki is the western tradition, not original, and is usually known as Reiki Shiki Ryoho.
Chujiro Hayashi brought Reiki to this part of the world and taught Hawayo Takata. Much of what is known here is based on what she shared because of the secretiveness of the original tradition. Hawayo Takata acknowledges “westernizing” the tradition and much of what she shared around its history has been found to be false or embellished. She was a great storyteller. Hayashi also trained another student by the name of Chiyoko Yamaguchi, who took what she was taught and created what’s known as Jikkiden Reiki. Same generation Master…different version of Reiki.
The aspects that remain intact are around intention, the 5 principles (although some say there are more) and self-care first. Some of the 22 Masters, taught by Hawayo Takata, began to call what they were teaching something different. That is why there are so many versions out there and so many conflicting stories about the history. Additionally, we absorb all information through our personal filters so there is no way that a tradition that was never written could have been passed, with complete accuracy in the details, down the line. Have you ever said something to someone and then they repeated it and you couldn’t figure out how they got what they got from what you said? Same thing. Then add in the translation from Japanese to English…
John Gray, one of the 22 Masters and the longest-practicing Reiki Master Teacher, having taught over 900 training classes and trained more than 15,000 students, established the John Harvey Gray Center for Reiki Healing whose mission is to “preserve the Reiki teachings of Mikao Usui, Chujiro Hayashi and Hawayo Takata, and at the same time, to further expand on those teachings.”. Even John Gray believes the original teachings can be expanded on based on his knowledge and vast experience. John Gray, one of the original Masters, taught (and now his daughter teaches) aspects in their classes that were never part of Reiki. They talk about intuition, scanning the body, auras and chakras – none of which were part of the original tradition.
Is this right or wrong? Neither. It just is.
Two Masters, when interviewed together, were asked how someone knows if they are ready to be a Master and to share the gift of Reiki with others. Their reply was that there was no way to confirm if one was ready because life is a journey without a finish line but if one is able to remain calm and at peace throughout their day and “not get attached to this or that” – they were ready. You can also see from this article how both of these Masters, direct descendants, call their Reiki something else. I feel that being open to respecting and honoring all traditions that come from love is a practice in non-attachment.
I love the energy of Reiki and what I’ve been taught of its original structure. I know both of my teachers came from a place of love and a desire for healing themselves and others. Being a processor, a life-long learner, and a strategic thinker; I have spent hours upon hours researching Reiki and sorting out the details of it’s rich tradition. I am a Master in five different traditions, done because of the importance to me to understand the difference between these traditions, based on my own experiences – not what someone else told me. I teach and follow the Usui Shiki Ryoho tradition, the western tradition, because it is the one that resonates the most with me. I don’t question the process or the validity of the others. I simply believe the power of any technique or therapy comes from the intention and resonance for both the giver and the receiver. The tradition I follow is the one I love the most.
I share this because it is possible to get caught up in what someone tells you to be true. What is true for them, may not be true for you. It doesn’t matter what your lineage is, as you can see above, since all descendants of Hawayo Takata have been trained in the western tradition of Reiki, not the original, which she herself acknowledges “westernizing” and, in many cases, have added their own twist to their teachings.
Is this right or wrong? Neither. It just is.
Be mindful of someone who believes their way is the only way. This is the only thing that divides us from finding peace in this world. It is the reason wars are started and blood is shed. Only your heart knows what’s true for you. Listen to it above all else. Know that the Universe wants you to be seen, heard and loved. Do not let someone put out your light because they don’t believe in it’s truth or power. It is not for them to decide. Be open to the ideas of others. And be open to considering that any tradition born out of love and light is a positive one.
Peace and love to you all.
*If you are new to Reiki, Reiki is a Japanese natural healing technique used to balance your energy and reduce stress.
**An attunement is basically where the Master Teacher attunes your energy to Reiki energy. It “awakens” the energy you have inside of you already to do this work.