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Reiki (Pronounced ray-key) is an ancient form of energy healing that is being practised by many throughout the world and is being promoted as a serious alternative therapy. The essence of the art that is the basis of what is know of as Relki is a laying-on of hands healing technique that is thousands of years old. Reiki is thought to have originated as a Tibetan Buddhist practise that was re-discovered in the late 1800's by a Dr. Mikao Usui, who was a Japanese Buddhist.

Reiki is not magic, a modern scientific discovery, a religion, a philosophical or political ideology, and is no substitute for official medicine. It is "just" an extraordinary means which each single person is capable of receiving and learning how to use. It is a way to establish a direct link between a human being and the primal energy of creation.

The word Reiki comes from two Japanese words-Rei and Ki- Rei is the upper Japanese kanji character and Ki is the lower character. "Rei" as it is used in Reiki is interpreted to mean supernatural knowledge or spiritual consciousness; the wisdom that is perceived to come from a Higher Self. "Ki" is the life force, which is the nonphysical energy that animates all living things, and the primary energy of emotions, thoughts, and spiritual life.

Reiki was "rediscovered" in Japan in the 1800's by a Dr. Mikao Usui. Reiki's origins are believed to be found in Tibetan sutras and ancient records of cosmology and philosophy, though the healing art that is now know of as Reiki actually was brought to Tibet by way of Egypt. The origin of these messages is written to have come from Sanskrit symbols. These messages have been passed on from one Reiki master to another. The Reiki technique or method that is used today is based firmly on the esoteric principles that were represented in Japan in the early part of the 20th century C. E.

Reiki, unlike many forms of "energy medicine", does not involve diagnosing the perceived imbalance in the recipient's energy field. Reiki practitioners will inform the recipient that they are in charge of drawing in the energy required to bring about a balance. This is not really a clear truth. The reiki treatments are the process in which energy flows from the practitioner and into the client.

There are twelve symbols that are now used in the modern system of Reiki. There were only four symbols in the system that Mikao Usui taught. The Reiki system as it is practised today is an incomplete system. The original system that is the basis to the method of reiki had 352 Symbols in the complete system.

Levels of Reiki Practitionership

I Hands on Introductory level.  Gives access to the energy and direct hands on healing as shown in the paper on traditional hand positions.  Requires 4 attunements.
Two Level I plus Healing at a distance This level teaches three of the traditional four symbols used in Reiki.  There is generally an increase in the amount of power.  The practitioner is also capable of preforming healing at a distance.  Requires 2 attunements.
Three (Master) Level II plus the Master Symbol Teaches the fourth symbol, the Master Symbol.  There is generally, again, an increase in power.  Requires 4 attunements.
Master Teacher Level III plus the ability to train Reiki practitioners Many teachers do not see this as a separate level from III, while some do require further training for Master Teacher.  This level does not require further attunements nor further symbols.  Instead it is posession of the confidence and knowledge to conduct a Reiki class.  This generally comes from apprenticeship with an experienced Reiki teacher to see what it's like on the other side of the table.

Reiki is very popular among New Age spiritualists, who are very fond of "attunements," "harmonies," and "balances." Reiki apprentice healers are reported to pay up to $10,000 to their masters to become masters themselves.

In the time when Dr Usui lived, he did not use Reiki Symbols, and they were not used in the Attunement process either. Mrs Takata who was one of the first humans Dr Usui initiated to Reiki energy healing, did not used Reiki Symbols to attune her students either. This was also developed in later years. Usui Sensei's system had been up and running long before the symbols were introduced (which was in about 1923 C.E.), of course the connection ritual that Usui had been using did not involve the use of symbols either.

Information coming from a group of Usui's surviving students in recent years:

  • Symbols do not require to be used when connecting someone to Reiki. Usui Sensei's "Reiju empowerments" did not use symbols however; they do connect you to the energy.
  • You do not require to be attuned to the symbols in order for them to work for you. Once you are connected to the energy - and now we know how to do this without using symbols - then the symbols will focus the energy in a particular way.

Maybe some Reiki Masters wanted to keep the symbols shrouded in such secrecy in order to play on their “mysterious” appeal and somehow "justify" the high costs of this Reiki Level.

It is believed by some that the Reiki symbols are within each human for the simple reason that they are perceived to be light and humans are light. It is believed by some that the Reiki symbols simply guide a human’s first step into the Energy. That they act through love, purpose, direction, power, however, everyone already has all the love, knowledge and strength.

The Reiki Symbols are required to be respected, though this is completely up to you.To respect the symbols does not mean to hide them though to use them what is perceive of as correctly.

The Reiki Symbols

SymbolSymbol namePurposeMeaning
Body Cho-Ku-Rei Increase Power "Put the power here" or "God is here"
Mind Sei-He-Ki Emotional, purification, protection, clearing "Key to the universe" or "Man and God becoming one"
Spirit Hon-Sha-Ze-Sho-Nen Distant healing, Akashic Records, past-present-future "The Buddha in me reaches out to the Buddha in you to promote enlightenment and peace"
Master Dai-Ko-Myo Passing attunements Reiki mastership; "man-woman-universe = whole energy"

First Reiki Symbol

Choku Rei indicates strength, power, action. It represents energy with a direction and purpose. It is used to support all other Reiki instruments (creative visualization, positive verbalization, recall, other symbols – from Usui’s Reiki, Karuna Reiki or one’s own). Choku Rei means: "by the emperor’s command," that is to say "what must be, shall be." A more free interpretation which nonetheless conveys the idea of this Reiki symbol’s meaning is: "all the energy of the universe is focusing on this point."

Second Reiki Symbol

Sei Heki indicates peace, harmony, quiet, serenity, balance. It is a Reiki symbol used to harmonise and balance what has momentarily lost its balance. Sei Heki purifies, detoxicates and purges. Sei Heki is also a mental-emotional key, a door into the subconscious.

Sei Heki means: "I have the key" and is is also capable of meaning "the mindset of those who do not fall apart." It is a Reiki symbol full of love. It is apparently derived from Kiliku, the symbol of Love in the Love, Light and Power trinity of Sonten, the divine source worshipped in the Mount Kurama temple.

Third Reiki Symbol

Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen is the Reiki symbol of unity, origin, connection.
Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen allows to break through the illusion of separation between all things, through both space and time. Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen allows to give Reiki treatments over distances in space and time.
Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen means: "the Human Being and the Spirit are One."
This Reiki symbol consists of 5 condensed Kanji (partially overlapped) where some elements have been taken off in order to give a specific energy connotation.

Fourth Reiki Symbol

Dai Ko Myo indicates light, clarity, intention, understanding, presence, silence. It is the symbol used in initiations to harmonise human beings to the energy of Reiki. Dai Ko Myo opens, enlightens, protects. It is Light which nourishes and fills, leads the way and rests the spirit.

Dai Ko Myo means: "great shining light," "great luminous shining," "great enlightenment" and it represents the beating heart of Reiki.

Dai Ko Myo represents the most authentic, lively and present part of the whole Reiki path. This light is used to enlighten one's path, for understanding one's true self again, to tap into one’s own deepest, inmost soul, to lead the way in the exploration to reach the essence of Being.

Dai Ko Myo is also used for self-treatment and for treating others with great awareness, in a dynamic balance of relaxation and concentration, with its silent and vivifying presence.

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