Is a Reiki Attunement Necessary?
Does a person have to go through an official Reiki attunement ceremony in order for them to practice Reiki?
I have studied both sides of this question and to be honest, I can't give a definitive answer. And so, this article presents both sides of this debate, thus allowing you to draw your own conclusions. First, a little background from Reiki.org:
"Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by 'laying on hands' and is based on the idea that an unseen 'life force energy' flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. The word Reiki is made of two Japanese words - Rei which means 'God's Wisdom or the Higher Power' and Ki which is 'life force energy.' So, Reiki is actually 'spiritually guided life force energy.' "
The ability to use Reiki is not taught in the usual sense, but is transferred to the student during a Reiki class. This ability is passed on during an attunement given by a Reiki master and allows the student to tap into an unlimited supply of life force energy.
Many who practice are quick to point out their Reiki "lineage" - the line of Reiki Masters that leads to the student. For some reason, despite being able to tap into an unlimited supply of life force energy, there seems to be a subtle one-upmanship when people mention who they were attuned by. For example, I was attuned by someone who was supposedly attuned by someone who was attuned by Hawayo Takata, who is the woman who introduced Reiki to the West in the 1930s. This makes me pretty cool in the world of Reiki, I think, because she was attuned by Dr. Mikao Usui, himself, the founder of the Reiki system of natural healing. During my attunement, however, I wasn't given any official lineage documentation so it's possible that I have many more "who was attuned by who was attuned by..." in my lineage.
Still, the question remains: if these attunements allow someone to tap into an unlimited supply of life force energy, why should it matter how far removed I am from Dr. Usui? In other words, does the energy diminish with increasing numbers of generations? Any Reiki practitioner will tell you that the energy definitely does not diminish. So, why bother with the lineage stuff? (I'll tell you why. It's because there is a lot of Reiki snobbery.)
Here's a little more background. Trainingreiki.com/reiki-attunement.php offers an explanation of the three levels or degrees of Reiki attunement:
- On the first degree, your energy will allow you to make energy flow out of your hands.
- The second degree will teach you the Reiki symbols in order to empower the flow of this energy. Once learned, you will have the ability to send Reiki over time and space. You will also have the power to heal both mental and emotional problems.
- The third degree is when you reach the Master Level. In this degree, you have control over many more Reiki symbols. More importantly, you can perform the sacred Reiki attunement ceremony on others at this level.
So, in order to perform Reiki and help others heal with energy healing techniques, is a Reiki attunement necessary?
The website http://www.trainingreiki.com/reiki-attunement.php explains:
"Without going through Reiki attunement, it is impossible for a person to become a Reiki practitioner. In its general form, this procedure is a spiritual ceremony that introduces you to the symbols of Reiki, and all of their concepts. In an attunement, energy patterns are created around the student. These patterns are each attuned to the Universal Energy of Life. In order to achieve all of these, the Reiki master has to tap into the student's subconscious and use all of the necessary symbols.
Reiki requires attunement because it is its own process of initiation. It is impossible to have access to Reiki through simple meditation and intellectual exercises alone. You have to know how to open your crown chakra to let the Reiki energy in, and then allow it to pass through you. Without proper training, or if you have failed to go through the attunement process, it is impossible to complete even the first level of Reiki."
I've been through a few attunement ceremonies and I've spoken with many Reiki practitioners and Reiki Masters. I have never heard anything unique to Reiki when it comes to an explanation of how to open the crown chakra. A Google search will yield that it's a well-documented process that has many variations, and there are just as many variations on the "Reiki" way as there are masters who have modified it slightly to how they think is best.
So you can surely open up the crown chakra without a Reiki Master. But you probably won't be able to get those symbols into your subconscious unless you have someone who actually knows how to get Reiki symbols into your subconscious. So, in that regard, an attunement is absolutely necessary for you to officially consider yourself a Reiki practitioner.
Also, I must admit that the actual ceremony is empowering. I don't think I would totally believe in this natural gift from Spirit of healing self and others without the ritual. It's not as powerful as if I were to conduct my own research and work with energy on my own. The level of belief would not be there to the same extent.
Level of belief...
That's a question that I've heard differing opinions on. Can you go through the hand positions and give someone a Reiki treatment without believing that you are truly a channel of the healing Reiki life force energy? My personal experience tells me that it is possible. When I first learned Reiki, I wanted to experience intense warmth in my hands, but I didn't. (Even today, I often do not.) I wanted my clients to have epiphanies, and see visions of glory during their sessions, but they didn't. And yet, even after they, themselves, said immediately after the session, "Well, it was relaxing, but I don't think I felt anything different," it was almost universal that within the next day or two, I'd hear that their conditions had noticeably improved.
But I can also speak from experience that as my belief in "my" abilities to heal improved (yes, I know it's not me, that we're just channels of the energy), my abilities to "tune in" and affect change also improved. I've heard the same from many others, as well.
So, belief does affect the outcome. But it's not the determining factor. I've met people who believed so strongly in themselves and Reiki that they thought they could quite nearly perform miracles. Meanwhile, the Reiki Level I practitioner divorced mom bank teller who doubts her abilities because she doesn't have the time to practice as much as she'd like, gets far better results working on the same people.
As a hypnotist, I've witnessed how people can become "the world's greatest psychic" through suggestion while in a very deep trance. I've also directed clients to tune in to their bodies and heal themselves. On the same lines, I've met energy healers who weren't attuned to Reiki but were essentially creating the same outcome using their own modality.
So, while they may not be "officially" attuned to Reiki, I believe there are people who can learn to heal in a very similar, or even exact same manner, as Reiki practitioners. And I know personally that the more I practice the better results I get, which goes against the idea that when I got attuned I became a channel of that energy. It shouldn't matter how much I practice.
And if it does matter how much I practice, then maybe if people studied, meditated, gone through some sort of ritual where they're told they can now heal, believed they became a channel of healing energy, and then really practiced and devoted themselves to helping others, then maybe that person could call themselves an energy healer.
And if a person can perform energy healing just like Reiki practitioners, and since Reiki isn't something that has a governing body officially granting licenses or degrees, then they can probably place a piece of paper on the wall with their name on it and the title, "Reiki Level I Practitioner."
So, ultimately, the question becomes...
Can a person teach themselves to heal without their subconscious being given the various Reiki symbols?
What do YOU think?