Choosing a Reiki Teacher

by Jessica Osborn Reiki Master

There is so confusion and misuse of terms when it comes to Reiki. I now see advertisements for Christian Reiki, Buddha Reiki, become a Master in 30 minutes, over Skype. For the uninitiated, it must be like having 45 car dealers all vying for your attention.

It has taken me many years to release some judgmental attachments I have had toward some of these paths. I always remember something Phyllis Fotomoto said at a Reiki conference; “We always get the teacher we need.”

Still, I believe in clarity. So, I will tell you about Traditional Usui Shiki Ryoho.

This is the system handed down from Dr. Usui, to Dr. Hyashi, to Mrs. Takata, and then to all the students throughout the world who follow this practice. It is an oral practice. It is a face to face practice. It is a spiritual, transformational practice. Each student learns from a Master, who learned from a Master. We tell the same story about Usui and the quest he went on because of the question the boys from his Christian school asked of him: “Do you know how Christ healed?”

We tell this story to pass on the knowledge and the energy of that knowledge. We perform 4 initiations, or attunements, to allow more energy to flow through you. This must be done in person. You cannot become attuned via a book or over the internet. At least, you can not experience Usui Shiki Ryoho that way.

Each Master candidate will take around 2 years to complete their journey. From the moment they take 1st degree, they need to wait for at least 30 days for 2nd degree. They must work with the energy of a year, and then begin to apprentice teach for another year. This journey is so that they can begin to understand the energy they carry, and how it will affect others. The price may seem high for a master process– $10,000. However, part of the energy tradition is to give something of value to receive something of value. This monetary gift has not changed one penny since Mrs. Takata first set it in the 1930’s. The reciprocal monies for 1st is always $150 and 2nd is $500. There are reasons for these amounts, and again they have not changed since the 30’s.

Now for the newbies on the block, the congee, or Japanese pictogram of Reiki means Rei, universal life force and Ki, personal life force. Or, as one Japanese man said when he saw my congee, “Oh I know what that means; it means ghostly atmosphere.”

So here is where people who offer Reiki attached to another system may differ from traditional Reiki. They work with their ghostly atmosphere in a manner other than what I have laid out. I do not know the origin of these others. I only know that it took Dr. Usui many years of research and prayer and fasting to reclaim the knowledge he did. I find humans like to put their own stamp on nature. They can aggrandize themselves by creating something out of whole cloth and calling it by a name that belongs to something else. It’s like the branding problem Kleenex has. All tissue gets called Kleenex, even when it’s not.

When looking for a Master to teach you, ask how long they apprenticed, ask if they know their lineage to Mrs. Takata. Avoid something cheap, that seems to be a bargain, but is actually not giving you something real. Find a teacher who can be with you in person. Be a wise consumer. Just as it is with those who are priests or pastors, not everyone with a tile walks a sacred path.

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