The Art of Reiki...



Blog - The Art of Reiki


“The Master gives the student nothing he or she does not already have, nor does the Master take away anything that is not already absent”.

~ Phyllis Lei Furumoto.

The Reiki initiations are of a specialised or functional kind. They differ from the natural kind by nature of intent and purpose, and by nature of the conscious choice to enter into them. But in other aspects they are quite similar, not an end point, only the beginning of a process, the unfolding awareness of the outer and inner dimensions of our lives.

Initiation is not the ceremony (although a ceremony is involved). Initiation is no more and no less than an opening to an experience of the unknown self, the possibility of an awakening to the reality of who and what we really are.

The personal experience of initiation is a variable, dependent on the nature of one’s preparation, commitment and surrender. However phenomenal or ordinary that experience may be in the moment, the process that is initiated requires nurturing for its continuance, hence the precepts as a guide and the hands-on practice to support it long term.

The purpose in this process is to lead into the experience of what it is to become whole, to heal the illusions and separations that keep us from living our human existence to its fullness, to awaken to the beauty and the wonder of our beingness, to be truly present in the natural initiations that grace our lives.

Natural Experience

There are different kinds of initiation.  One kind is natural initiation, the everyday kind that is intrinsic to the experience of being human, a natural unfoldment or opening of awareness with no conscious effort or outward intent required to experience it.

This kind of initiation is held within seemingly ordinary life events, the birth of a child, or the experience of death, serious illness, deep pain, or suffering. Experiences of these kinds hold the possibility of an opening to a larger, perhaps richer perspective on life.

These are moments in which the world may seem to be transformed. But it is not that the world has changed. It is the person that is changed, aware of subtleties in the experience of life in a way that is not possible without the experience. 

More importantly the experience and the awareness is a new beginning. One may begin to think, feel, perceive and act differently. In embracing the experience it can be said that one truly begins to live and to love.

Red Pill

Morpheus: You take the blue pill - the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes. ~ from “The Matrix”.

The Matrix has long been one of my all time favourite movies. My daughter took me to see it for the  first time, a great action movie she said. When it was finished screening, I said to her “Action movie eh? That too, but do you have any idea what you just watched, what was entrained in your mind?” When she replied “No, what do you mean?”, I outlined the metaphysical threads in the story.

It was a light bulb moment for her, and she began taking her friends to watch the movie and “explained” it to them also. My daughter still references Matrix quotes, so it made an impact. But the red pill experience is not something she has chosen …yet!

It’s easy to do the blue pill trip, it’s comfortable, there’s companionship there, the “known”, persons of like thought etc, and there are ways to ease the pain of that existence, or to block it out completely.

Then there’s the “red pill” trip down the rabbit hole. It’s not comfortable, it’s the unknown. You can only do it on your own. You get to meet the red queen and the white queen (different movie now!), the duality constructs that reflect the nature of the ego mind. You get to slay the jabberwocky, the shadowy fearful aspects of your own mind. And eventually you emerge again into the same world that was left behind.

The world is the same, pain can still be found, but you are changed and will never vision it or experience it in the same way again.

Initiation, in its many forms, all through humankind’s existence has been the doorway to changes in awareness, and for some …the entrance to the rabbit hole.

Reality is what we take to be true.
What we take to be true is what we believe.
What we believe is based upon our perceptions.
What we perceive depends upon what we look for.
What we look for depends upon what we think.
What we think depends upon what we perceive.
What we perceive determines what we believe.
What we believe determines what we take to be true.
What we take to be true is our reality.
- Dancing Wu-Li masters ~ Gary Zukav

Hands on Healing

My Reiki master friend Steve ran a ”healing night” every Wednesday night for many years. The night began as a practice night for people who had taken Reiki with him, but attendance was open to anyone wishing to try a Reiki session, and others whether they had taken a Reiki class with Steve or not. Often there were three or more persons at each of the six therapy tables.

The only request that Steve made, was that if anyone was the recipient of a hands on treatment, then they consider taking their place at the table alongside the other practitioners, and give equal hands on treatment time. He asked them to simply follow what the Reiki practitioners were doing, to not try to do anything (nothing to do), to simply place their hands in contact with the body of the person on the table.

I got to share in this experience for over a year while sharing house with Steve. One curious fact was notable every time. There was no way to tell from the physical treatment experience whether the person placing their hands on our bodies had taken Reiki or not. It was not uncommon for the hottest hands (a quite subjective experience) to be those of persons who had not taken Reiki at all, and there was no discernible difference in that short treatment experience from that of the Reiki practitioners.

The common threads I note over many years are all there: doing without doing (being present, being in stillness, unattached to outcome), drawing together in recognition of the common need for healing, the giving and receiving of that most basic of needs, human touch. This can also be viewed as an expression of love (love = acceptance, allowance, forgiveness), and remembering to add “self” in front of each of those words.

A Reiki class is not a required element for this. The hands on healing experience is valid in its many forms outside of the Reiki context. The Reiki class holds an experience that uses and builds on the hands on healing practice as a disciplined foundation practice.

The experience is called initiation. Without it, there is no Reiki practice.


When I took my first degree class 20 years ago I didn’t actually know what I was about to be taught. I had not researched it, had observed only the result of several quick “reiki therapy sessions”, muscle spasms and headaches relieved, simple things, but, I was drawn to “Reiki” like a magnet, just had to do it.

All thoughts of learning a therapy lasted  five minutes into the class. No one had mentioned initiations and I already knew how to do something very like this.

A year before, my father had contracted legionnaires disease, had been placed on life support, had been given the last rites, was not expected to last the night. That was how I first saw him on arriving at the hospital, unconscious and on life support. There was no doubt in my mind that I was watching him die.

I managed to have a ten minute time alone with him in the ICU. I took his hand, told him what I was going to do, and after eight or nine minutes was satisfied that I had done what I could. I told him it was now up to him, that he had to choose what was to happen.

There was no phone call during the night, and we arrived at the hospital next morning to find him off life support, breathing on his own, and asking when he might be able to eat. He walked out of hospital three days later.

The doctors said they could not explain it. It was something of a mystery, a miracle even. I said no word to anyone, but my mother let it be known she knew that I had done “something”.

I didn’t take Reiki to learn how to do that. Everyone is able to do it. Love works miracles …everyone “knows” that. The only confusion is over what love really is.

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