Reiki: What happens after 1st Degree in the Traditional Usui system?

by Jessica Osborn

After you have completed 1st degree, your Usui Reiki Master will tell you to practice your Reiki.  It is both hard and easy. Easy, because as Mrs. Takata taught, you put your hands on yourself and say “Reiki on.” When you are finished and remove them, you say “Reiki off.”  That is the easy part. Every time you place your hands on any living thing, the energy is drawn through you. The hard part is to do a full Reiki treatment on yourself. This part of the spiritual practice of Reiki is both necessary, and a for most of us, difficult.  We have no problem being the conduit for the energy to friends, family, pets or plants. Heck, if we knew how, we would do it for the entire world. Most of us find it hard to give to ourselves, but give we must. Each day you practice Reiki on yourself and others, you open up more widely, allowing more energy to flow through you.  The energy will flow through you for your entire life. However, without daily practice, you do not build up a capacity for carrying more.

This capacity for carrying more energy can be seen in first degree.  Did some of the students in your class fall asleep during the telling of Usui’s story or when giving a self-treatment?  This happens when the energy around a person is stronger than the mental energy a person can carry. This “falling asleep” can happen at other times too: for instance, when reading a book that stretches or changes your internal constructs of reality, or that is above your level of understanding.  

The reason for building up the capacity to carry more energy is simple.  You want to have as much energy as possible flowing through you when you begin 2nd degree.  The Usui system asks that a student wait at least 30 days between the first and second level.  Part of what the attunements, or initiations, do is assist us in our ability to carry more energy without hurting our electrical or nervous system.  The more you use the energy the stronger it flows. Wouldn’t you want to be very open to carry more energy?

I know there are Masters who will take a student through 1st and 2nd degree in one or two days.  Some do it for the money, some do it because they do not understand how the body absorbs and carries the universal energy. Some do not even know that they are not traditionally trained Usui Masters and their lineage can not be traced back to Usui.  Whatever the case, the student, and therefore the universe, is short-changed.

So to answer the above question–what next?  There are two answers. Most people do not need to take 2nd Degree.  They carry enough energy to transform their and their loved ones’ lives with 1st Degree.  Those who are energy workers, body workers, or have a strong spiritual desire to go deeper into the universal  life force will choose to go on.

2nd Degree is about gaining the ability to carry more energy so that you can heal throughout time and space.  Learning 2nd Degree can awaken you to the limitlessness of the universe and reality. You learn to send energy to yourself as a child, or the you in the future, or to someone who is far away and you have never met.   With 2nd Degree healing the world can happen! Usually along with the attunement and the teaching of the sacred symbols, a student will get to send energy to a classmate seated elsewhere.

One stunning example of the sending of energy occurred a few years ago.

The young woman who was receiving the energy had been house-sitting for me and had stayed in the room where she was sent to receive.  This information is important to know. The sender was an older woman, and I told the sending class to send a calming, peaceful picture and feeling to their respective receivers.  The young woman, who had received, came out of the room gasping for her inhaler. She is very asthmatic, which is why I put her in a room I knew would not adversely affect her. Once her breathing calmed down, we began to share what was sent and what was received.  The older woman began by saying how she valued her cabin in the woods and felt calm and rejuvenated there, so she sent that feeling, along with a picture and the smell of the woods. The young woman asked, what kind of trees? Pine was the answer. The young woman shrieked, “I am highly allergic to the smell of pine!”   This is probably the most clear example of the power of 2nd Degree that I have ever experienced or heard.

In the 1980’s during the time of President Reagan, Reiki practitioners from around the world would send energy to help bring the Berlin wall down.  Whether the energy worked on Gorbachev or the people of Germany to force the wall down, down it came. I think as a large group of practitioners, we can heal climate change, and so much more.  

So that’s what happens after 1st Degree– a whole other dimension of work and energy can open up for you.

Symbols                                                                                                                                                    A side note in regards to the sacred symbols of Reiki.  Each Usui Master will teach these symbols and ask that they stay secret. Even sharing and discussing the symbols with other Reiki students from other Usui Masters is frowned upon.  I realize that some people feel the symbols need be out there; I am not sure why. They are now everywhere. I even saw these symbols as wall art on a BBC drama! They certainly get around.  With each symbol and it’s name one can direct the energy behind the symbol. Having said that, I have heard one of the justifications for sharing the symbols is that everyone should have them.  In theory I agree, everyone should carry Reiki, the world would be a better place. Should everyone know the symbols? Not necessarily. In point of fact, if the person attempting to use the symbols is not an -initiate of 2nd Degree, they won’t work.  There seems to be a lovely fail-safe built in. It is more a matter of integrity for a student of the Usui system of Reiki, from which the symbols come, to honor the request of their Master and know that the Master has a reason for asking this of their student.

There are only 3 symbols for 2nd degree. Only 3 symbols attached to the Usui system.  Some students who work with symbols and the soul will receive their own symbols either right before during or after their class. There is no set rule.  Some people will not. These personal symbols are not from traditional Usui Reiki. They are the soul heritage of the person receiving them. It is up to them whether they share the symbols. Remember they are not part of Reiki, just brought up by the energy of Reiki.

I call on all Reiki students and Masters to send energy to this intent:

“ I am sending energy to reduce the trend of climate change with this correspondence; every time I start my car or other engine, the emissions are directed to enter the ground safely with no repercussions.”  If each of us can do this, think what a different world we can create.

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