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  • Writer's pictureAndrea Kennedy

No Need for Reiki Rules

I absolutely love Reiki for its simplicity. Reiki is the energy of creation in action on the earth plane. It is as simple as placing hands and intending Reiki to flow. That is all that is required. Reiki does not discriminate and dictate who may channel it or who may benefit from it. In fact, there are no beliefs a person must ascribe to, either. It is so natural and simple that any person and even children can successfully learn and practice the healing art of Reiki.

However, I’ve become aware that more Reiki teachers and practitioners are choosing to complicate the system of Reiki by redefining it with rules. We can see the effect of this in posts and threads on social media and especially in online groups meant for the purpose of educating people about Reiki. Some insist that in order to be a good Reiki practitioner, one must eat a certain way and if one chooses otherwise, their ability to channel effective Reiki is diminished. Therefore, they have created a system to judge Reiki practitioners based on personal beliefs. Of course, the rules of the right diet are highly debated and subjective. I have read very heated and harsh posts stemming from judgement that get quite personal. The message is one of fear from the implication one cannot be an effective Reiki channel if certain foods and drinks are not excluded from the diet. The judgements and criticisms in these posts are written in an effort to be ‘right’ and validate the authors’ own choices, and therefore, fears. When we insist on being right, we condemn every other person to be wrong. This does not sound like Reiki to me.

Some insist we must heal ourselves of chronic illness and not be on any prescription drugs before helping others with Reiki. Therefore, only the healthiest of people are worthy to offer Reiki to others. I recently read a post declaring no one should ever offer Reiki to another if they are tired or stressed and it’s the practitioner’s responsibility to ensure they are at their absolute best for each session, implying that otherwise, they are somehow harming the other person or being irresponsible. If that is true, I’ve been doing it all wrong. And Usui must have as well. After fasting for 21 days, he received Reiki in a weakened physical state, healed and went on to develop the system of Reiki healing—helping countless people. Four years later, he suffered a stroke and died. It is doubtful he could have been in the best physical shape leading up to the stroke and helping people with Reiki. I am certainly very grateful he practiced and taught Reiki regardless. The truth is, if practitioners were required to be healed and without issues prior to offering Reiki to anyone else, we would not be practicing today. Reiki would have died out long ago due to the lack of qualified practitioners and teachers. Furthermore, under these rules, simple aging of our physical bodies would dampen our ability to channel Reiki. Contrary to these ideas, I continue to observe my own relationship and ability to channel Reiki as strengthening over time which, of course, means with increasing age. I know this to be true of fellow practitioners as well. We are human and to expect practitioners to deny this does not feel like Reiki to me.

The judgement in the Reiki community continues with more rules concerning what the client is allowed to wear to ensure a good Reiki treatment. To some, it seems that jewelry, watches and leather items must be removed. In fact, I learned this in my first Reiki class and it is still being taught. Now activity trackers like Fitbits have been added to the list of items a client must remove or just leave at home. From the time I learned Reiki in 1995, technology has grown immensely. Consider the fact that we did not have cell phones in those days but today, wi-fi and bluetooth signals invisibly and continuously bathe our bodies. Many believe these wavelengths of energy negatively influence Reiki. However, my own Reiki practice has only grown stronger and delivered better results over time despite the increase of this type of potential negative influence.

Honestly, through the years, I did worry about following rules and doing Reiki the ‘right’ way. But when I explored my reasons for feeling like this, I discovered that the rules and any desire I felt to follow them stemmed from fear. I feared that I was not worthy of Reiki because of my human nature so I somehow needed to make up for being not good enough by following rules. Having these fears seemed counter to my understanding of Reiki and prompted me to reexamine my understanding of what Reiki is, my relationship with it and also motivated me to investigate the rules and their potential effects on my Reiki experiences. I experimented with my dietary choices and allowing clients to wear whatever they had on including leather belts, jewelry and Fitbits. I offered Reiki when I felt wonderful and also when I did not feel my best—physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. I have not found any correlation between the effectiveness of my Reiki treatments with these personal choices or states of being and have released my fears pertaining to doing Reiki the ‘right’ way.

I also realized that if I truly believed Reiki required rules like these, I would not continue to practice or teach Reiki. Rules downgrade Reiki into being ordinary and it is not ordinary in the least. Buying into rules creates comparisons, competition, separation and judgment within the Reiki community and that does not feel like Reiki to me.

What does feel like Reiki is understanding we are human and Reiki knows this and blesses us not in spite of it but perhaps because of it. Reiki does not judge us. Why would it? Reiki is Source Energy. Is it feasible that Source Energy could be derailed by a diamond ring, a Fitbit or the meat I ate last night? I say no! For that is the Reiki I know and love.

The only limitations of Reiki are those we assign to it. In a world full of hurtful judgements and fears of our unworthiness, Reiki offers us the truth of knowing we are enough and always have been. Reiki accepts us as we are and excludes no one. Ever. In my practice, I remind myself, "I am, therefore, Reiki Is.” Pure and simple. And that feels like Reiki to me.

I invite you to ask yourself what rules define your Reiki practice and why. I invite you to reevaluate them, question them and determine what is appropriate as you trust Reiki and your relationship with it. And if you choose rules that guide you, I invite you to keep them for yourself and refrain from prescribing them for others. Let us remember what works well for one person may not be appropriate or true for another. It is not up to us to decide or judge, and certainly not in the name of Reiki.


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