Is it a Reiki Class or Reiki Training? What’s the difference? You have to attend a class to become a Reiki practitioner. You can’t learn it from a book or video. At the same time, ‘class’ makes it seem too routine, something to “get,” to add to your list of accomplishments.

Life trains us from birth. One of the very first things we learn is to use our mouth to receive nourishment and signal distress. From then on it’s constant training. Some of it supportive and enhancing, a lot of it detrimental.

Why would you want to train in Reiki? Not only take a Reiki class, but train.

There are Reiki classes all over the place. You have to look a little more to find a Reiki teacher who offers true Reiki Training. Why? Because a question well worth considering is, “training in what?”

japanese archesSo often the training we come across, both in life and specialty areas, is simply bad for us. It’s disempowering and unhealthy, creating bad habits and thought patterns. It’s important to consider if you’re being trained in shutting down or opening to all possibility. Are you being numbed in fear or waking up to a clear and open heart? Does the training you receive awaken you or keep you asleep?

We don’t start with a clean slate. We have burdened pasts. Even one moment ago colors the activity we’re engaged in the next moment. We’ve spent years being wrongly trained in wanting something other than what the present moment makes available.

Reiki is a contemplative journey. You’ll come across lots of information that it’s energy or hands-on healing, a Japanese method of stress-relief and relaxation, a complementary approach to health, a way to open your chakras, energy or alternative medicine.

While these are applications and benefits of Reiki, as well as mental and physical experiences available through Reiki, the truth of this wonderful teaching is that it’s a contemplative journey.

You can’t embark on a contemplative path merely by taking a class.

Implicit in training is that it’s self-perpetuating and will continue after the class. Well, with a caveat: The practitioner must continue to practice. If that single condition is fulfilled, the training will also continue and gather momentum. Receiving proper Reiki instruction ensures that.

That’s what Reiki Training provides; it becomes lifelong. I meet many people who have taken a Reiki class, but it just hasn’t stuck. The teacher isn’t available to them post-class, the materials and manuals given are insubstantial, there’s no post-class mentoring, even an online resource for continued learning and inspiration (like this blog). The reasons are varied and many. This saddens me.

The most common reason is the contents of the class and how it was conducted.

It makes a world of difference if the approach is that Reiki is learned as training in spiritual, healing and life skills. And the Reiki teacher must be teaching from a lived place of realization within. In other words, choose a teacher who has internalized Reiki in all of its dimensions, not only as a healing application, and is teaching from live experience, not by rote.

Reiki blends wisdom and compassion for spiritual evolution, beyond mere energy-based new ageism. It’s a perennial teaching and practice.

A perennial teaching is also known as a wisdom tradition.

Wisdom traditions represent humanity’s deepest source of knowledge about universal principles that govern harmonious, enlightened, healthy, loving, prosperous, and sustainable living.

These principles are the inner core or mystical aspects of a teaching. Wisdom traditions provide a conceptual framework and practice methods for the evolution of the inner self, living from a spiritual center, and the realization of enlightenment.

Practice methods are extremely important, as without them the conceptual or philosophical aspects of a teaching cannot be integrated. Reiki is a practice-based teaching. When you attend a new-agey Reiki class, the main and often only practice you learn is how to apply Reiki with the hands for healing.

The fact of the matter is that in Usui Sensei’s (Mikao Usui) Japanese Reiki teachings there are several foundational practices:

  • Various meditation methods, both classic and Reiki-specific
  • Personal vibrational cleansing and optimization
  • Gassho and the truth of Oneness
  • The divine qualities inherent in Universal Ki
  • Recitation and contemplation of the Gokai (Reiki precepts)
  • Gratitude
  • Embodying Earth and Celestial Ki (Reiki II)
  • Compassion
  • Right thought, right speech, right action

Upon this foundation, supported, enhanced and empowered by it, hands-on Reiki becomes what it’s truly meant to be: A healing art. Still only one application of Reiki, but as an authentic healing art. So many teach Reiki or learn it as just another modality. This makes Reiki unrecognizable!

As with many wisdom traditions, meditation is the heart and soul of Reiki. It’s in meditation that we can deconstruct how we’ve been trained about reality and self, and get to the truth with compassion and wisdom.

We’re educated and socialized about reality and self within certain constraints. If we’re fortunate we find teachings that lift these constraints. This leads to happiness, wellness, emotional and mental healing, personal growth, and spiritual development.

Reiki is such a teaching. If you find the right teacher, it will do the same for you.

The contemplative journey, because it involves the purification of the unconscious, is not a magic carpet to bliss. It is an exercise of letting go of the false self, a humbling process, because it is the only self we know.

— Fr. Thomas Keating


Wisdom and Compassion as the Path in Reiki

The Trifold Inner Support of Reiki

To learn more about Authentic Japanese Reiki Training classes in South Florida, see this information hub

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