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Reiki Kanji


(Compiled by Gordon & Dorothy Bell)

A personal view


Reiki means "Universal Life Energy", and is a made up of two Japanese characters "Rei" and "ki". "Rei" means both universal, in the sense of everywhere, and also spiritual wisdom, and "ki" means the same as prana or chi, i.e. the vital life force within every living thing. It can be said to be "spiritually guided life force energy". It creates and sustains everything in existence and can be used to transform and re-create. All healers use chi or energy from the universal energy field, Reiki is but one way of accessing this energy directly. This way of accessing the energy requires a personal activation known as an attunement by a Reiki Master. Reiki cannot be accessed from reading a book or over the internet!


The discipline and practice of Reiki was rediscovered by a Japanese scholar and mystic Dr. Mikao Usui (hence the Japanese name). He set out to discover how the ancient sages, mystics and religious teachers were able to heal. He studied Christian and Buddhist Sanskrit, Chinese and Tibetan scriptures and teachings for many years. In a final intensive meditative retreat near Kyoto, he became empowered through deep realisation.


Reiki training and practice does not require any specific belief or religious following. It is a science of energy. It does not require intellectual understanding, therefore anyone can be attuned to it and use it for themselves or others. It can be a great aid to spiritual practice, and to other forms of healing disciplines.


The study of Reiki is generally graded into 3 levels: REIKI 1, REIKI 2, and MASTER/TEACHERS level. The training consists of a series of energy empowerments or attunements, activating certain energy centres (chakras) to allow "universal life energy" to flow freely.

REIKI 1 - Foundation

Attunements, study and practice using the hands to channel Reiki. At this level everyone is an effective Reiki 'channel' and it is beneficial for oneself, family and friends.

REIKI 2 - Advanced

Further attunements, study and practice, deepening one's level to channel, and strengthening the energy field. The three confidential/sacred symbols are given and their uses; i.e. for cleansing and energising, for calming and protection, for mental and emotional healing, and for personal and distant healing. It is at this point that the journey of development and discovery really begins. Further requirements may need to be met for full practitioner registered level.

REIKI 3 - Masters

This is the teachers' level where one commits to an ongoing dedication to achieve mastery in this discipline. One should have at this point been practising for a few years and be making a life-time commitment to Reiki and spiritual development.


Reiki does not have the monopoly on "universal life energy" in fact it has many aspects in common with other healing methods such as Qi Gong, Tai Chi, Shiatsu, Do-in, Kiatsu, Huna, Jin Shin Acupressure, Shen Do, Acupuncture etc. All these methods involve manipulation of energy in the energy centres and energy channels. The difference with Reiki is that the person receiving the energy draws it from the universe via the Reiki practitioner or channel. It is not manipulated by the practitioner. The uniqueness of Reiki is that unlike many of the above methods involving energy, the ability to transmit can be "taught" very quickly. Methods such as Qi Gong require long periods of practice before one can truly begin to feel the energy and be able to transfer energy to another for healing. Also the transfer of energy requires effort and depletes the energy of the giver. In Reiki, the energy is drawn by the healee when ever 'Reiki hands' are placed on the body or in the energy field. Energy flows through the practitioner and is not of the practitioner.

REIKI an Eastern form of Spiritual Healing

Spiritual healing and commitment to self-development are the same. This process of healing is one of discovering or creating a path that realises, or brings to fruition, the spiritual qualities of each individual. Spiritual healing may not always rid a person of the physical symptoms of inner disorder, but it will support the journey towards 'wholeness' appropriate to the need of the individual.


A Reiki treatment takes place on a "massage table" or a chair, fully clothed. The practitioner works progressively around the body holding points and/or working off the body. The treatment lasts approximately 1 hour. Since it is spiritual healing, no promise of specific results is made, the Reiki energy has its own wisdom, it works and transforms where and when it is needed. No diagnosis is made, (unless the practitioner is familiar with recognised form of diagnosis). Often the recipient enters a state of very deep relaxation as the energy flows and nourishes according to the need. In this state, one can see with detachment one's problems (if they appear). As with other forms of healing, Reiki can instigate a healing process, where the body/mind begins to cleanse itself of toxins in the physical or mental spheres. Known in some modalities as a 'healing crisis' or 'aggravation'.


Initially, the best way to receive Reiki is to look for a Reiki Practitioner (preferably one who has studied to 2nd Degree or Masters Level). Quite often up to 3 treatments are suggested in short succession for first time recipients. Ultimately, one's active involvement in the healing process is most beneficial. Studying Reiki and using it daily can be part of this.

Image of Usui Sensei


  • Reiki is Universal Life Energy.
  • Reiki is Universal Life Energy.
  • Reiki is a spiritual method of healing.
  • Reiki is an oriental science and art of healing through laying on of hands.
  • Reiki is a technique for stress reduction, energy renewal and relaxation.
  • Reiki is always safe, and can be used in any situation.
  • Reiki adjusts to the need of the recipient, promoting balance and wholeness.
  • Reiki is a non-invasive, gentle, yet powerful method of healing.
  • Reiki complements any type of healing whether it is "orthodox" as in Western medicine, or natural therapies such as herbal medicine, homeopathy or nutritional therapy.
  • Reiki attunements last a lifetime and Reiki is always available even if you do not use it for years.
  • Reiki can be used on self and others no matter what the condition of one's own health (it is not one's own energy being used).
  • Reiki helps involvement of the individual's healing process and spiritual development.
  • Reiki helps clarify personal problems and aids in their clearing.
  • Reiki assists all forms of meditation and spiritual search.
  • No depletion of personal energy when treating others. When giving Reiki, the practitioner receives too.
  • No taking on of symptoms from those being treated.
  • One does not become a healer, for Reiki is the healer.


Copyright© Gordon Bell 1998 and 2002

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Last Updated: February 2002