May 28, 2001

What is it about Reiki and mysticism? I guess it is time to sound off again (and I say that like it usually isn't), but I just get tired of some of the things I hear people telling others about Reiki. I guess it comes down to there being no consistency in what is taught from one instructor to another.

In all too many cases, I see so many teachers teaching too many things at too many different prices with too many different scales of belief. OK, where to start?

Since I started my rant on mysticism, let's go there.

Back in ancient times, when someone was being trained as a healer, they were given an initiation (which today is called an attunement) that gave the student the ability to do Reiki. In reality, we all have within us the ability to do energy work, including Reiki.

We all have what I tend to call 'psychic muscles'. These we have at birth. If exercised, they become stronger. If unused, they atrophy.

For example, we all have within us the ability to read (discounting people with certain handicaps), yet we can not until we are trained. The same is true for Reiki. We have the ability. No one needs to give it to us. We only need to be shown how to use it. Just as in learning how to read, we need to learn how to do Reiki.

Also, just as some people can teach themselves to read, it is possible to learn how to tap into the Reiki energies, and do Reiki without any training or attunements. (If you read Dianne Stein's 'Essential Reiki', she tells of her journey into Reiki, and how she was doing Reiki before ever knowing what it was. My path is similar in that from a simple description over the phone, I was able to find the proper energies, and do Reiki. Of course, one can say that I had some training in that description over the phone.)

What bothers me is the people that tell you that they give you the ability to do Reiki. The following is a quote from a flyer that a student sent me. It is someone's attempt to advertise their classes.

‘Reiki is not taught in the traditional classroom sense, but rather through intensive workshops in which the ability to connect directly with the Reiki energy source is transferred to the individual through “attunements” given by a Reiki master.’

'...transferred to the individual... ' BULL-oney! Why do people feel that they have to build their own self-importance by making it seem that only they have some magical means of giving students the ability to do Reiki. This is utter felgercarb. Attunements help align a student to the vibrations of Reiki energy. This makes it easier to do healing, and makes the Reiki energy stronger. The instructors don’t give their students the ability. The student has the ability. It is God given.

Last year, I had some people come down from Atlanta to take Reiki 2. Two of them told me about the Reiki 1 class they had taken. It had been run by three Reiki masters, and had included 45 students. When they were attuned, they were taken (three at a time) into another room, and told to close their eyes so they couldn't see what was done. They were not told what symbols they were attuned with, nor were they told anything about symbols at all. (When I lived in Maryland, about five years ago, I located a Reiki instructor and inquired about classes. Among what little she told me, she mentioned 'attunement'. When I asked what that was, she told me I had to take the class to find out, and nothing more. Hmm, ok, so I should pay for something that can't be described in any way whatsoever.)

Again, why? Are we afraid that in showing people the symbols, we are going to lose power over the students? The symbols can't be passed until one has received the instructor's symbol (the symbol that allows one to pass symbols). And one can't pass a symbol that one hasn’t been attuned to. So why? Should we want to keep power over our students? I don't think so. I think that the more information we can give our students, the better a practitioner they will be. Isn’t that the point of teaching in the first place, to make better practitioners? And, you know, the better a practitioner they become, the better we look as a teacher. It makes one wonder, doesn't it?

My next topic to rant on is consistency of what is taught from one instructor to another. I understand that there are two different breakdowns in how classes are taught. (Some people will teach Reiki 1 to master instructor in four levels, others in three. I teach it in three.) The main problem is not the number of classes, but the information covered. Based on what I have been seeing around the internet, there is a big discrepancy. I guess the best summary from what I have seen is that a full series of Reiki courses involves...

Healing Self
Healing Others
Distance Healing
Giving Attunements

Past that, anything else that they offer is what makes each instructor's class their own. For example, I teach basic energy in my classes because my path to Reiki was different, and that I feel practitioners should know methods of protection and such. Others teach meditation, spirituality, and other things. The Reiki 1 class usually contains self healing (and one of my students told me that they asked another master about classes so they could do self healing, and were told that one can't heal oneself with Reiki) and healing others (of course this is put off to Reiki 2 when there are four classes). The next level usually teaches distant healing. Master's level teaches about the symbols. Instructor's level teaches attunements.

What I do is teach what I was taught, plus some basic energy. But I was taught self healing, healing others, distant healing, beaming, group beaming, group hands on healing, distant group healing, healing animals, Reiki/Polarity positions, the giving of attunements, and the symbols. And I was taught the symbols with each level, not just the last one.

What I fail to see anyone include in their classes (at least those I have run across) is group healing. Why? I understand that it is difficult to teach group healing when you only have one student. I usually try to get former students or friends to help when that happens.

So, I guess the big question is... why the big difference? I recently realized that I teach more in Reiki 1 and 2 then most people do in all their courses. (I had one student that took Reiki 1 and 2 from another master, and come retake them from me. She told, me that she learned more in Reiki 1 from me than she did in two levels from her previous instructor.) So what does this make me? Stupid? I could be teaching a lot less for the same money. So why don't I? I guess I feel I have a responsibility to pass on everything I was taught, and I care enough to want my students to be the best they can.

My final rant (finally, this has really gone longer than I expected) is cost. The disparity in cost of Reiki training is phenomenal. I expect that the upper level of classes will cost more, at least with most instructors. (When they first brought Reiki over from the orient, they figured that westerners didn't value anything unless they paid for it. So, they immediately set a price on Reiki 3, masters class, of $10,000. At that price, you wouldn't be looking at this web site, reading this. Thank goodness for people like Dianne Stein who broke much of the mysticism out of Reiki, thus allowing the prices to be realistic.)

An average cost for Reiki 1 seems to be between $100 an $250. I do however personally know an instructor that teaches it as a retreat over a weekend, and charges $1,500.

Now Reiki 2 seems to cost anywhere from $250 to $600 or more. I imagine that there are higher prices for learning it on a retreat or other special venue. Of course, I believe more than Reiki is being taught, and I will readily admit that taking one's students to a very relaxing place will immensely help their learning experience. Teaching class away from everyone's worries and frustrations can do nothing but help. The students would be more receptive, thus allowing them to give all their attention to the information being taught.

I have seen Reiki 3 prices starting at $600 and going up from there. Now I understand that once a master/instructor promotes someone else to master/instructor, they have created competition. At that point, one is now competing for students. The market share gets smaller.

The following is from a Reiki web site that I happened to come across...

First Degree Reiki: In this class you will learn the history of Reiki, Reiki hand positions, complete treatment for yourself, and using Reiki for specific conditions. It will involve a combination of lecture, discussion, First .Degree Reiki attunement, hands on training and scanning. $150.00

Second Degree Reiki; In the second degree class you will be given the second degree attunement learn Reiki II symbols, and be given complete instructions on how to use them. Other studies will be healing unwanted habits, distant healing, and beaming. $225.00

Third Degree or Master Reiki: With the third class you will receive the Usui Master attunement and the Usui Master symbol which increases the effectiveness of the other symbols and can be used for healing. $300.00

Reiki Master/Teacher: This is a two day, highly concentrated class. Learn how to give a healing attunement which can strengthen the effectiveness of Reiki treatments. Pronounced healing experiences can occur during this class, while practicing and giving attunements to each other . Everyone will receive many attunements. The information of this class will allow anyone to pass Reiki on to others and to teach. Detailed steps will be given for al1 attunements. $800.00

Looking at those listings, I realize that they don’t mention what is taught in Reiki 3, and that all they teach in Reiki 4 is to give attunements (something that can be taught in 15 minutes). All for a total cost of $1,475. (The prices quoted me in Maryland were $250 for Reiki 1, $400 for Reiki 2, and $600 for Reiki 3. As I was out of work at the time, because we were preparing to move to Florida, I declined the offer of instruction.)

Now, I charge $100 for Reiki, period. This price does not change depending on level. This what my instructor charged. I teach each level in four to six hours depending on the number of students, and their learning speed. My teacher currently teaches all three levels in one day, in about eight hours or less. (This is not how it was taught when I took it, and I feel sad for anyone who takes it from her under those conditions. From zero to Reiki master in eight hours. NOT!)

With the exception of someone that teaches Reiki through the local schools here for $30 a student, I have the lowest rate I have seen. At the same time, I realize that I do not make my living off of Reiki. Neither does my teacher. She is a local psychic, which is how she earns her living. Admittedly, someone that makes their living by teaching or healing would need to do a lot of work to survive, or have higher prices. The only concern would be if the increased price is justified based on what is taught.

Lisa, the person that introduced me to Reiki told me a story about her first teacher, and the person she was trained by. This master made Lisa’s teacher sign a contract stating that she would pay him a percentage of her Reiki earnings over some time period. (I am not sure if there was an end specified.) Admittedly, when I promote someone to master, I look at it and say ‘well, this person will teach, and I won’t have as many students because some will go to them.’ At the same time, why do we teach? Is it really for the money? It is very obvious based on some prices that this is exactly why some people are into Reiki.

I guess I look at it like this... if there are more healers around, then healing is more readily available. Now if something should happen, and I wind up destitute, I wonder if that will still be my philosophy. I hope so.

Ok, before I start sounding too much like Dennis Miller, I will stop my rantings. Love and light to all that visit here.