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Chapter Two: REIKI - The universal energy for all! Reiki is a real blessing to our society with it's simplicity and profound healing abilities. Can you imagine what the ideal world would be like if everyone were attuned to only the first level of this energy system. It would be wonderful if we could ask someone for a few minutes of soothing healing work, or to trade with them when we are tired, worried, or stressed out over life's finest moments? People with illness could have a few friends join their transmissions together to help restore balance and bring peace to their health. Maybe one day you get off the phone with a favorite relative who has a headache, then you realize that you can help by sending them energy as a gift.

If we could all double or triple the healing energies channeled through our hands with one easy system of subtle energy, giving the potential for breaking away from heart wounds in order to realize our full emotional potential. Reiki can open up the individual's heart so the potential for loving and living will return. Think back to your childhood, find a moment when you really loved some one and remember how you felt deep in you heart. Do you recall the glow of warmth in the heart, the heady but pleasant high you felt for some time afterward?? When we are in this space we are actually touching our essence. With most people that feeling comes less often as we grow older and more set in the ways of society and we need to regain our hold on that space.

Dramatic events in our upbringing force us to close down many energy centers in body and mind because, socially we are not to show emotions. Traumas from our past can cause us to close away both pain and love in a dark closet, locking them away from access. With Reiki and other systems we can find the key to that closet and open up an expressiveness to allow us to find our true self. When you and follow the path in this book you are seeking your true self, and with few exceptions you will be rewarded with the treasure you find. The best thing about these methods is that we do not have to experience disaster such as the death of a loved one or great shock in life to learn to think again from the heart like a child. We can instill and rekindle the love and emotions that others conspired to take away as we evolved in our childhood.

Forms of subtle energy work have been used around the world for centuries, sometimes lost and relearned again, but always returning in response to the need's of the people. Reiki is from Japan and was brought to the United States in the 1940's, where it has been taught through a set of "Master Teachers". This system has created a wave of use by practitioners in various fields to aid in the massive undertaking of healing the world's wounds. Reiki is most often chosen by massage practitioners who use it to supplement their work by deeply relaxing both muscles and the mind. The body worker can run the energy down the arms while doing massage work or run it separately before or after. Another field that has embraced the Reiki system are nurses, another group who put their hands on people and can apply the energies freely unencumbered. Being Reiki certified at any level is a good addition to a nurse's resume.

Most of those involved in Reiki do not hire a practitioner of the Laying on of Hands work, instead, they become empowered or attuned and run the energy on themselves and loved ones. For you, a tremendous advantage will be getting together with others in exchange groups to trade Reiki with several people working on one person at a time. Group power is exponentially stronger which is how powerful medical healing was used by our ancestors in rituals.

Reiki is called the "universal" life energy because it contains a broad spectrum of frequencies that accomplish a variety of tasks. In general, the subtle energy systems have what is termed "intelligence" or knowledge of where the energy needs to go or what its purpose to do there. This strange concept involves the Angelic or Devic powers acting behind it all. All you need to understand is that when you run the energies down your arms into another persons body, it tends to travel to the part of the body and mind that uses it best . The concept is simple, as with water , you pour energy in and it flows to the low spots until it fills to the top.

Most Reiki systems use one basic activatable energy run on a standard set of hand positions on the head, body and back, with the knees and feet optional. The higher levels use a set of "symbols" that are mostly Japanese symbol combinations to increase power and even run the energy "distant". This transmitting over a distance may not be needed by the average person, however it can be a great help when a relative or client that is a far distance and you wish to actively help them. There are several great books on the techniques but any good class and teacher will supply a book with clear instructions.

Beware of teachers who offer the Reiki attunements for a low cost with little to no instructions. Ask first if the teacher has instructions or book that is included. Getting the attunements without instruction is like being given the keys to a Corvette on your 16th birthday and let loose on Laguna Seca raceway. Just getting the attunements would be recommended only if you have friends who will teach you the proper hand positions, history and ethics. However, you would still need to buy the books for additional hints and you would also not get the hands-on techniques and feedback you would in a class with an experienced teacher. Be aware that some Reiki teachers went in slightly different directions and altered the politics. Some Reiki systems now have seven levels instead of the original levels. Some systems are very expensive, for one to achieve "Master" ($10,000) which is the third degree in most systems and then you can give others the "Power " or abilities. Others charge one tenth of that price and yet still trace their roots back directly to the originator, Mrs. Takata. Is there a difference? Yes there are changes caused by the personality of the master that can distort the energies from master to teacher. However, many Reikis are quite similar in the consistency of energy and results.

This is something to consider and inquire about when selecting a teacher. The consistency of any ritual from a mystery school or tradition handed down is in the hands of the master to keep things "original" and unchanged. Reiki rituals and symbols are a closely guarded secret and should be respected and held with reverence by the master so that distortion is kept to a minimum. If the teacher you find has pride in where they are in the lineage of masters and respects their work, they are probably a good choice.

Teachers and systems vary in the Reiki structures such as initiation styles, some teachers may change or add ceremonies, so do not carry preconceived expectations based on others experiences. The teacher should also mention the state laws (which vary considerably ) and how to conform to the rules and standards. In California, it helps to become a Universal Life Minister or join a similar organization because, other than nurses and massage practitioners few people are allowed to touch 'clients'. These laws are archaic and often not enforced, but no one should challenge the law for entertainment. Consider an old Mexican curse: "May your life be filled with lawyers." Most of this sounded scary to me at first, but it is inexpensive and easy to become a ULC church Minister, you don't need knowledge or pass a test or have a congregation. The people in the Universal Life Church are wonderful and not of the old dogmatic mainstream Christianity. Universal Life Church - Modesto California.

There are several books written specifically on Reiki that cover the history and politics better than I am able, these are listed at the end of this chapter. You may enjoy the story and relate to it well, so I will include it in brief form. Three people were keys to bringing Reiki to light and reviving subtle energy healing under the name "Usui". In Kyoto, Japan, Doctor Mikao Usui was a Christian seminary principal (or rector ). He was asked by his older pupils about healing methods by Jesus Christ in using the hands, as mentioned in the Bible. Unable to answer this basic question he searched and studied the world systems for this information. In America, he achieved a doctorate in theology at the university of Chicago but still did not find the answer to that question. After studying holy writings in Sanskrit in Northern India, he returned to Japan where he discovered various symbols and formulas in Buddhist Sutras. While living in a monastery in Kyoto, he went on what we call a "vision quest" to the holy mountain of Kuriyama for 21 days. To alter his consciousness and contact higher intelligence, he meditated, fasted, sang and read the suturas.

On the dawn of the 21st day he saw a shining light moved towards him which struck his brow Chakra point on the forehead. With the intensity of color and power Doctor Usui feared that he was going to die. At this point the Sanskrit symbols appeared in shining gold to him. This was the initial reception of Reiki, Dr.Usui returned to start the laying on of hands with resulting miracles. The second Reiki Grand Master was Doctor Chijiro Hayshi who ran a private clinic in Tokyo where he began treating people with subtle energies.

The American connection comes in with Hawayo Takata. Mrs. Takata was born in Hawaii in 1900 to Japanese parents giving her access to both sides of the Pacific ocean. At about age 35 she was widowed, with two small children and suffering from several illnesses. She sought relief from suffering in Japan where her inner voice had told her to go. This same voice came to her when she was on the table awaiting surgery, telling her the operation was unnecessary. Mrs. Takata asked her doctor about alternatives to the surgery (sound familiar?) and was advised of Hayshi's clinic. There, she received Reiki treatments daily and regained her health in a few months, this convinced her to take up the trade at whatever the cost. Astounded by the success, Mrs. Takata studied and achieved "Master" status under the guidance of Hayashi, which gave her the ability to empower others. She returned to Hawaii where she did healing work for years, she did not teach any Masters in America until past the age of seventy. Twenty two Masters were trained by her and today most teachers can proudly trace their source to Mrs. Takata on the tree of Reiki evolution.

Group work is where the real action is!! When more than one person runs energy on another subject, the power increases tremendously. Mathematically it is exponential: if two people lay on the hands at the same time it becomes the same as four people. If three people work on you at the same time then the power is the same as nine energy workers. When you get to 10 persons running energy on another person it becomes intense! It is so deeply relaxing that your muscles melt like butter. You may find the diaphragm muscles relaxing and you have to keep telling yourself to breathe, because your body wants to completely let go, into the relaxed puddle. The results can be profound using the group exchanges where each person may take from 10 to 20 minutes on the massage table to receive energy and best of all, it is often free. Working with groups of people have been used in religion to vastly multiply thought power which will accomplish many good things for the community. An ideal view of community would be to have a group such as the early American farming town with one simple church, that is open to several denominations or shared jointly by the religions in town.