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      The Online Publication of the Reiki University

Choosing a Reiki Master
by Ellen Louise Kahne,

   While thumbing through a holistic newspaper, "Susan" is struck by the word "Reiki." She is immediately attracted to something about the ad and decides to call the Reiki Master. As she starts to ask questions about "Reiki," she begins to feel calm, relaxed and at peace in the midst of a busy and hassled day. As the Reiki Master listens to her, she hears herself saying, "I feel I was "guided" to call you. I know nothing about Reiki, but I think what you do may be of help to me and I feel very peaceful just speaking to you." Like many students, "Susan" immediately chooses her teacher intuitively from her first impression. Others do research, reading and have experienced Reiki through the hands of the teacher whom they select.

   It takes time, effort, and dedication to become an effective teacher. Each student needs to realize and honor this and to seek out the teacher who is just right for his or her needs. A person teaching Reiki (a Reiki Master) has a special responsibility to students. Reiki is subtle energy healing, it needs to be taught on both spoken and unspoken levels (see, "Teaching To The Unspoken Need") to the underlying needs of each student. Not all teachers comprehend this, yet, the very best do.

   It takes experience to become an excellent teacher. A Reiki Master learns to trust the energy itself when teaching Reiki, a laying on of hands healing method which originated in 19th century Japan through the first Reiki Master, Dr. Mikao Usui. Reiki is practiced fully clothed and most often feels like penetrating heat flowing through the hands of the Reiki healer.

   Here are some questions you may want to ask of a Reiki Master with whom you are considering taking a workshop:

  • How long have you been teaching and how many classes have you taught in that time?
  • What is your Reiki lineage and/or certification?
  • Do you limit class size for quality teaching?
  • In my beginning Reiki class, will you teach us hand positions and allow students to practice these positions?
  • Do you do Reiki in chairs or on massage/Reiki tables (for the full relaxation response, it
  • is advisable to have massage/Reiki tables available to students)?
  • What support do you offer after the class is over?
  • Will you answer questions which arise after the workshop and/or provide a regular Reiki
  • exchange or gathering for students?
  • What is the cost of your workshops?
  • What voluntary (or community service) work do you do using Reiki healing to help very sick people?
  • Will I receive certification for your courses?
  • Do you offer a comprehensive teacher certification program both for those who wish to practice as independent Reiki Masters, and/or to
  • affiliate in your Reiki network?
  • Do you offer a packet of information explaining Reiki and giving your full workshop schedule or a website where I can obtain
  • additional material on Reiki?

   During and after a Reiki class, students are balancing and detoxifying energetically, as they practice self healing techniques. A Reiki Master has special a responsibility to be present for his or her students in the capacity of a Reiki healer. The Master/teacher needs to be grounded, caring, unconditionally loving, and exemplifying integrity. The teacher must radiate "clean" vibrational energy and be well versed, thorough and dedicated in what he/she is doing and teaching.

   Here are Dr. Mikao Usui's five principles which contain the qualities a Reiki Master strives to embody. These are: "Just for today, let go of worry. Just for today, let go of anger. Honor every living thing. Be grateful for your many blessings. Work with integrity."

    It must be noted that there are several branches of Reiki which emerged subsequent to the death of Mrs. Hawayo Takata in 1980. It was Mrs. Takata who brought Reiki from Japan to the western world in the late 1930s. Some branches of Reiki employ enhanced and improved techniques of Reiki healing which have evolved since 1980, others are very traditional and concentrate solely on the original methodology. Some methods of teaching Reiki divide the teaching into many "levels" of study and/or offer additional Master levels in "newer" types of Reiki utilizing powerful karmic clearing and healing techniques, others offer workshops in the traditional three levels of study.

   Reiki I is regarded as a basic course for self healing and for using Reiki to help others. Reiki II teaches the activation of distant healing, and the use of focusing symbols to attain mental and emotional balance and to increase the flow of Reiki energy. Reiki III is the Master level and is geared to teaching how to empower others to do Reiki. Some teachers incorporate additional newly evolved techniques of Reiki including "active" subtle energy healing modalities, +Plus Point of Focus healing (offered exclusively through Reiki Peace Network and Reiki University modalities) and others.

   The cost of Reiki classes varies widely. Some teachers charge exorbitant fees of $10,000 or more for Reiki Master level. This is no guarantee of quality, greater legitimacy of the Reiki energy transmitted from teacher to student or level of skill of the Reiki Master, since all Reiki Masters of a legitimate lineage tracing back to Dr. Usui are empowered to teach Reiki and teaching abilities and experience may vary widely. Many Reiki Masters charge much more reasonable fees which are in keeping with the costs of other metaphysical workshops.

    This article first appeared in New Living Magazine, September, 1999 Ellen Louise Kahne is the president and founder of Reiki Peace Network(TM) and Reiki University(TM). For information call: (toll free: 877-HealNet or email:

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