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The statement has been made that my writings about initiation are very different from the version that is commonly expressed about being tuned into Reiki energy, and channelling it through your body during a healing treatment, to balance the energy of the person receiving the treatment.

My response is that it is indeed different, and also that it’s neither right nor wrong: I accepted that explanation for a time at the very beginnings of my Reiki practice …and then I was no longer able to do that. My experience of being in the Reiki practice, being willing to question everything I believed, healing my places of separation, unravelled the world in which the old beliefs existed.

Mrs Takata is quoted as saying that Reiki was like a radio wave, invisible until you tune into it. She was using the word “like” in the sense of “sort of, like”, an unscientific word picture for people who lived in an era when the idea of invisible radio waves in the air around them was still somewhat novel and magical. For some, it is remains that way even today.

People interpreted her words, a normal human response when the mind has need of an explanation for something unknown. In the groupings that formed around the practice in its early days of rapid growth, “sort of, like” dropped out of the word picture and the concept that Reiki *is* a wave/energy out there, to which you have to be tuned into to have access, gained traction. When added to the sense of a flow of energy felt in the hands, it became an idea with a physical experience as “proof”. Initiation became a “tuning” process.

While I understand the origin of the concept, my personal experience of the practice led to a different model, not surprisingly one that would have been familiar to Mikao Usui, one that is still in use, developed over 2500 years of Buddhist exploration of the nature of mind.

When Mikao Ususi went in search of how the great healers performed their healing works, he began an exploration into the nature of healing, which inevitably becomes an exploration of the nature of mind.

But that’s a story for another day.