"What do you mean they were slicing and dicing?" I asked my friend, Doris, who was describing the Reiki Master Class she recently completed. She described to me a particular process her teacher had added to her Reiki teaching even though the process itself is not actually found in the Reiki practice. This is not the first time that non-Reiki practices have been added to the Reiki teaching. I have participated in classes incorporating crystals and drumming with Reiki practice, but as long as the teacher is clear about what is part of Reiki and what isn’t, fine.
If I have a pet peeve with the spiritual practice of Reiki, it’s the confusion caused by practitioners and teachers calling something Reiki when it has nothing to do with how the founder and subsequent Japanese teachers practiced. Even Mrs. Takata, the one who brought the practice from Japan to the United States and then across North America, changed the Reiki story after World War II. In 1938, she became a Reiki Master. She was a Hawaiian with a Japanese heritage and she wanted to make the practice of Reiki more appealing to Americans. Given the times in which she lived I can understand her thinking but from all accounts she did not change how Reiki was used and practiced, just the story surrounding the practice.
"Now that you have completed your Reiki master class will you be teaching Reiki?" I asked Doris. "No," she replied, "I have not been taught how to teach Reiki." I wondered then what the point of the class was! Maybe just a moneymaker for the teacher, because after all the whole point in becoming a Reiki master is to teach Reiki. So, if it’s not a ‘how to teach’ course then call it something else.
Even the Reiki Association that I’m a member of is having difficulty with standardization. The Association found over a dozen different Reiki styles that had an added supplemental class, generally called Level 3. For a Usui Reiki practitioner that is considered the Master/Teacher level and is for those who wish to teach.
In my mind this will be the downfall of the Reiki practice as a mainstream healing modality. If it hasn’t already, it will become so confusing for the general public to decide what part of Reiki is quackery and what part is valid. And trying to understand just what is a part of Reiki and what has been added will not be an easy task. Those wishing to learn Reiki will have a hard time with the same issues, with the added bonus of trying to decide which lineage or teacher to start with. Doris felt as though she was in a class of quacks and left wondering just what had happened.
In truth it is not the practice of Reiki that is the problem but the egos of the teachers who feel the need to add, change, and rearrange this simple practice. I was taught that once you took a Level 1 class it was a matter of putting hands on for the Reiki to be turned on. My only job was to passively observe because the dynamic spiritual force that is beyond my comprehension would do all the work bringing balance and harmony. In essence, with Reiki treatments the cause of an ailment would be removed and then there would be no effects or symptoms left, only healing.
I think that my best contribution is to leave the judgment of how others practice out of my mind and send only love to them. I think that those who are serious about the practice of Reiki will be put together with those who are genuinely looking for help. At the end of the day I have to manage my own Reiki practice and do my part for the healing of the world, one person at a time.