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What is happening to Reiki?

don beckettEvery once in a while on the Reiki Evolution blog, we are going to feature a post written by someone who has something interesting or distinctive to say about Reiki, and today I am publishing a piece written by Don Beckett, author of Reiki, the True Story. Here is what Don has to say…

A lot of people have been asking this question privately for at least a few years. The answer is not one that most of us are eager to acknowledge. We tend to brush it aside and go on with our own work. But suddenly I feel we need to acknowledge it, for the sake of people who are just beginning to learn about Reiki. We need to let them know what Reiki is and what it isn’t — because many of them are being fooled, and led in harmful directions. With all due respect for the countless entities that are presented as Reiki nowadays, this article is intended to give aspiring Reiki students the simple basics of what Reiki is and what Reiki is not.

In many places and with many people, Reiki is getting a bad reputation. I know some Reiki teachers who have stopped teaching Reiki, precisely because they don’t want to be associated with the pseudo-Reiki that is becoming more and more prevalent. One of my friends — who for years taught Reiki to Buddhist lamas in Nepal — stopped having anything to do with Reiki because she had heard stories of several “Reiki Masters” becoming demonically possessed and going crazy! I assured her that, if those stories were true, it was not because the people were doing Reiki, it was because they were doing something that was definitely not Reiki. I offered her a Reiki session … and, afterward, she said: “I had forgotten how good and clean this energy is!” The energy itself had shown her immediately that there could be nothing demonic or crazy-making about it!

And yet, there are indeed crazy and “demonic” (for lack of a better word) things going on in the world of pseudo-Reiki. Many people who believe they are doing Reiki are really doing much more of some kind of ritual magic. Somehow the simplicity and purity of Mikao Usui’s “method for achieving personal perfection” — his method for “connecting with the ancestral Self” (and surrendering the personal will to the will of Self or Source) — have been cluttered with all sorts of unnecessary junk, at best, and warped into something completely unrecognizable, at worst.

One thing I’ve always loved about Reiki is the freedom to understand and teach it in my own way. And I’ve been willing to allow everyone else the same freedom, of course. I realize that Life is a perfectly self-balancing, self-regulating phenomenon; that we all get what we need, when we need it. (As the Beatles put it, so eloquently, 40+ years ago: There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be / It’s easy!) For instance, teachers who charge a lot of money — they attract precisely the people who need to be charged a lot of money in order to believe something is valuable. Teachers who teach 49 different systems of Reiki (and each system having perhaps 49 different symbols) — they attract precisely the people who yearn for such complexity and such boatloads of information. And the rest of us, who like to keep things as simple as we can — we attract the students who like simplicity!

I feel tremendously fortunate to have started learning Reiki 20 years ago, when there were only a couple flavors of it available. If I were just now encountering Reiki for the first time, I would be overwhelmed by the number of Reiki systems and the oceans of Reiki information (and misinformation) swirling around. Therefore, with all due respect for the countless entities that are presented as Reiki nowadays, this article is intended to give aspiring Reiki students the simple basics of what Reiki is and what Reiki is not.

Reiki is:
a method of Self-realization (spiritual awakening), founded by Mikao Usui in the early 1900s. The secondary effect of it is healing, on all levels: spiritual, emotional, mental, physical. The key ingredient, which gives this method its unique identity, is the awareness and use of a discernible, definable energy called Reiki — which is the subtlest, highest-vibrational energy in the physical dimension. In other words, the first physical manifestation of pure Source (and Reiki connects us to pure Source-energy, called Shinki).

Reiki is:
a method of not-doing. We “do” Reiki by giving our attention to the energy, making no personal effort, and surrendering our personal will to the Source of All That Is. We do not try to manipulate or control the outcome; we trust that the Source of All That Is (which created us and everything else) is better informed and wiser than our personal self.

Reiki is NOT:
a method for imposing our personal will on anything or anyone. It’s not a magic potion for acquiring a new job, a new house, a new spouse, or an “A” in school. We can apply Reiki to any of those things — but only by surrendering our personal will and accepting the natural outcome. This goes for using Reiki as a “healing treatment” also; we don’t diagnose conditions, and we don’t try to “fix” anything. Removing a symptom is not always the best thing, and we must admit that we don’t always know what’s best. Therefore, we don’t try to control the result of the Reiki application.

THIS IS EXACTLY where the distinction between Reiki and pseudo-Reiki comes in. Mikao Usui created a very simple system, which relied on alignment with the divine order of Life — not on developing or imposing one’s personal will. But, since then, many people have taken “Reiki” farther and farther into the territory of personal will and manipulation. Truly hundreds of “Reiki” systems have now been invented. About all that’s missing is Baba-Ghanouj Reiki … or French-Fries-And-A-Coke Reiki. And, what differentiates any of these from the others?

If they are truly using Reiki (the energy), then they are all using the same Reiki energy that Usui used. There is only one “Reiki” energy. But, what differentiates these other systems from Usui’s is all the stuff they have added. Mantras, yantras, mudras, all sorts of “magic” rituals and “Spirit Guides” … and lots and lots of symbols. The more symbols, the better — because, until about 10 years ago, everyone except a small number of people in Japan had the mistaken belief that the Reiki Symbols were the very sine qua non of the Usui method (which could not have been farther from the truth). So, lots of people got into the business of “channeling” additional Reiki Symbols and creating new flavors of Reiki. As if we needed a different Reiki system (with a different set of symbols) for every different thing we wanted to accomplish….

At what point does Reiki become pseudo-Reiki?
At what point does pseudo-Reiki become witchcraft?

THE WHOLE notion of us accomplishing something is exactly where the Reiki train began to come off the track. Remember, Reiki is not about us manipulating or imposing or accomplishing anything — it’s about aligning and surrendering our personal self to the will of the divine Self, the creative Source of All That Is.

I’m so grateful to have known and spent some time with a Reiki teacher named Barb Emerson — especially for one particular thing that she said. I heard her say this many times, and it comes to mind frequently … because it was so well said, and because it is an eternal truth. What she said was: “Once you’re connected to the Source of everything, how much MORE connected can you get?”

Please, listen again: “Once you’re connected to the Source of everything, how much MORE connected can you get?” How many mantras, yantras, symbols, and magic spells do you need, if you’re connected to the Source of All That Is…? Just connect to the Source and let the Source come through you! The Beatles were right — “It’s EASY!!” : ^ )

What has happened, however — in Reiki, as in many other things — is that we have taken something simple and easy and natural and divine, and encrusted it in countless layers of complexity and ego and personal will. This would be dangerous enough if the ego and personal will were aimed solely at accomplishing healing effects — but, no, it goes wayyyy beyond that! Some of us found it a little creepy when “psychic surgery” was added to Reiki. Well, guess what — there are now “Reiki” people making “psychic attacks”…!! (In fact, they’ve been doing it for at least a few years — and the rest of us have been too polite to mention it in public.)

You think I’m kidding? It goes even farther. The people making these attacks didn’t dream up the idea on their own; they were taught to do it by their “Reiki Masters” (some of whom are quite well-known, in fact). These “Reiki Masters” are teaching, in their books and classes, exactly how to cause mayhem and damage in other people’s energy fields!

This is Reiki??? NO — this is WITCHCRAFT — and calling it something else doesn’t change the reality of it.

‘Cause it’s witchcraft,
Crazy wicked witchcraft,
And although I know it’s strictly taboo….

They know it’s taboo, but they can’t resist the temptation to impose their will on others — secretly, remotely, energetically. It gives them the false notion of being in control, having POWER. How can they not see that this “power” is nothing but insanity? If continued long enough, this path leads exactly to the “demonic” possession and craziness mentioned earlier.

Attempting to justify their actions, some of these people claim that they are making “psychic attacks” only on people who have first attacked them; they are only trying to defend themselves! And how do they know that someone has attacked them? Oh, they suddenly feel dizzy, or they get a headache! Hmmm — Really?? And how do they know WHO has attacked them? They close their eyes and try to “see” the person responsible. Hmmmmm…. (Of course, these people believe they are infallibly clairvoyant in the first place — they couldn’t possibly make a mistake! It couldn’t be that the person they “see” just happens to be someone they dislike.) Then, having “identified” the culprit, they unleash their very best witchcraft on him/her….

This would all be just comical, except that people are actually getting hurt by it. Some friends of mine have been threatened with attacks, and some of them seem indeed to have been attacked. And the attacks on them were definitely not defensive, because my friends had not attacked anyone.

Does this kind of stuff have any place whatsoever in Reiki? (It’s a rhetorical question; the answer is very obviously NO!)

But, people are getting hurt — either from the fear of being attacked, or from actually being attacked. And the people who are being damaged even more are, of course, the ones making the attacks. How can they claim to have learned Reiki — which teaches the absolute ONENESS of us all (therefore, whatever we do to anyone, we do to ourselves) — and then engage in such destructive behavior…? (It’s another rhetorical question: The only answer is insanity.)

SO … what can the rest of us do about this? Do we need special techniques for “psychic protection”? Let’s go back to the words of Barb Emerson, one more time: “Once you’re connected to the Source of everything….” Once we have aligned and surrendered our personal self to the infinite, omnipotent Source (using Mikao Usui’s Reiki method, for instance), and as long as we keep that alignment, what more protection could we possibly need or even imagine? We only have to stay aware of our true identity as extensions of infinite, omnipotent Source, and let the Source come through us.

How can anyone be so deluded as to believe that he/she (along with any number of conspirators) could ever possibly hurl enough ego and personal will (no matter how many “magic spells” adorn it) even to threaten (forget about harming!) the one and only Source, the one true Self…? Again, the only answer is: insanity. Just think of it: It’s like a mosquito attacking the Sun!

People do get hurt by these things, though — because they forget their true identity. They forget that no one has the right to mess with their energy unless they allow it. And they allow it, unconsciously, by falling into the trap of FEAR. Anyone on Earth who is imposing his/her will on anyone else is doing so through fear. Fear is, first of all, the motivation for wanting to impose one’s will on someone else … and fear is the tool for accomplishing it.

As someone very perceptively noted, FEAR = False Expectations Appearing Real. If we fall into fear, our false expectations can become reality. If we believe that someone can psychically attack us, then we allow it and make it real. If we stay centered in our true identity, in oneness with the Source, then we stay safe and healthy.

It would be nice if we could help the people who are making these attacks — help them see the insanity of it. But they seem to believe themselves Masters Of The Universe. And apparently they haven’t noticed that their personal universe is collapsing around them already. It will continue to do so — just as everything built on fear and delusion and personal will is collapsing nowadays — and the speed of collapse will accelerate. So, maybe this will all resolve itself before too much longer.

Until it does, in case you’re wondering whether you’ve found real Reiki or not: If it’s about controlling and manipulating, and personal “power” — it’s not Reiki.


reiki the true story by don beckettDon Beckett, author of Reiki, The True Story, has been practicing Reiki since 1991 and teaching it since 1999. His website johreiki.net attracts Reiki students and teachers from around the world, and he has taught in the U.S., Bali, Romania, Turkey, Italy, and Serbia.

35 Responses to What is happening to Reiki?

  • Lesley Beaumont says:

    Excellent article

  • Sue Holmer says:

    This is true in any enlightenment. This is a very good article.

  • Sarah Golding says:

    Thank you for this article you have raised some important points. I’m wondering how you feel about the 3 or 4 levels of Reiki if it’s the case that once we are connected to the source then we are connected and cannot be more connected? I have found my practice to be more intense since I have been a level 3 Reiki practitioner but that seems to somehow contradict what you are saying.

    • johreiki says:

      Sarah ——
      thanks for the question. i see that Taggart has given a very good answer already (and much shorter than mine!) — but i’ll post some thoughts on this also….

      i’m not sure what you mean by “intense” — but i definitely felt a big change in my reiki connection after my 3rd-level initiation. probably the biggest factor was that i just then realized that the Reiki Principles were the essential and very most important part of the whole system! i also felt an increase in the reiki energy (or at least in my awareness of it) …. so i would agree that our degree of connection to Source does grow (and sometimes it shrinks : ^ ).

      BUT … WHY did i feel more reiki energy after my 3rd-level initiation? was it because i was given an additional reiki symbol (DKM), or because of the initiation ritual done by my teacher? i don’t think it was either of those; i think it was because of the work i had done on myself, to be ready for 3rd-level initiation … and because of my teacher’s intent, to give it to me (and because the universe agreed : ^ ).

      i have felt my reiki abilities/awareness increasing over the years, not just at the initiation of different levels of training. and the main factor behind the increase seems to be improvements in my understanding of what reiki is and how it actually works, and in my practice of it.

      in the article, my point was that we don’t need to continually consume more types of reiki, more techniques and symbols and mantras and mudras. we do need to continue working on ourselves and our understanding — but we can do it with a very small number of symbols (or none at all) and very few techniques. for me personally, the more techniques, symbols, etc., the more i feel myself getting pulled away from Source and into personal “doing.”

      many people make a career of just collecting certificates (multiple flavors of reiki, jourei, chi gung, munay ki, etc.), and they never have time to actually learn or practice any of the things they’ve been initiated into! those are the people i’m hoping will really hear the truth in the Barb Emerson quote….

      i totally agree with Taggart that we are always connected to Source — that nothing can ever disconnect us, in fact — and that reiki empowerments just increase our awareness, our real-ization, of the connection.

  • Ann Mort says:

    This is an excellent article. Thank you for writing it !

  • Taggart says:

    Hi Sarah, I hope Don can pitch in himself, but IMO the fact that you are connected to the ‘source of everything’ doesn’t mean that you can’t work with that connection, develop your intuition, enhance your ability as a channel… developing the potential that comes through that connection. In fact, I believe that you are already ‘connected’ even before you come on a Reiki course and that the ritual that you go through (whether attunement or empowerment) helps you to recognise something that is already there.

  • Allison says:

    Excellent article and echoes my thoughts. Don’s book is my “go to” text and lives beside my bed. I prefer simplicity and have felt uncomfortable with the “bells and whistles” types of Reiki. However, I would take exception with the trashing of “witchcraft”. I would describe my self as a “holistic pagan”. (someone was trying to get people to put “holistic” on the 2011 British census question about religion) with an eclectic spirituality. Reiki reconnected me to my spiritual self after some decades as an agnostic.

  • Don Beckett says:

    Sarah ——

    thanks for the question. i see that Taggart has given a very good answer already (and much shorter than mine!) — but i’ll post some thoughts on this also….

    i’m not sure what you mean by “intense” — but i definitely felt a big change in my reiki connection after my 3rd-level initiation. probably the biggest factor was that i just then realized that the Reiki Principles were the essential and very most important part of the whole system! i also felt an increase in the reiki energy (or at least in my awareness of it) …. so i would agree that our degree of connection to Source does grow (and sometimes it shrinks : ^ ).

    BUT … WHY did i feel more reiki energy after my 3rd-level initiation? was it because i was given an additional reiki symbol (DKM), or because of the initiation ritual done by my teacher? i don’t think it was either of those; i think it was because of the work i had done on myself, to be ready for 3rd-level initiation … and because of my teacher’s intent, to give it to me (and because the universe agreed : ^ ).

    i have felt my reiki abilities/awareness increasing over the years, not just at the initiation of different levels of training. and the main factor behind the increase seems to be improvements in my understanding of what reiki is and how it actually works, and in my practice of it.

    in the article, my point was that we don’t need to continually consume more types of reiki, more techniques and symbols and mantras and mudras. we do need to continue working on ourselves and our understanding — but we can do it with a very small number of symbols (or none at all) and very few techniques. for me personally, the more techniques, symbols, etc., the more i feel myself getting pulled away from Source and into personal “doing.”

    many people make a career of just collecting certificates (multiple flavors of reiki, jourei, chi gung, munay ki, etc.), and they never have time to actually learn or practice any of the things they’ve been initiated into! those are the people i’m hoping will really hear the truth in the Barb Emerson quote….

    i totally agree with Taggart that we are always connected to Source — that nothing can ever disconnect us, in fact — and that reiki empowerments just increase our awareness, our real-ization, of the connection.

  • Diana says:

    Thank you, Don, for this article!
    what I understood in latest years is the fact that Reiki is something we have inside in us, and we do not have to look outside, for this.
    This is what I learned from You, without having somebody else for so many years of practice to tell me this.
    But, as you know, I had my own understanding and way of practice Reiki and, somehow, I knew already all this things, only did not know how to define them.
    This is an excellent article and hope that people will understand the true meaning and value of our Self, and will not let others change them, as I did not long time ago, when i let the judgement of other reiki masters affect me and pull me in down.
    I very much want that this article be an -AHA!!!- for readers and make them understand that everything we need, we already have inside, and what we represent as spirit it is Soooo Preciouse, Soooo Beautiful, Soooo Loving and Soooo True, that we do not need some others permission and appreciation for be what WE ALREADY ARE!!!
    and only not having trust in our Self and in Higher Self, and giving permission to this people they can affect us!
    Because we are the only ones who chose and define our WAY and nobody can turn us back while we already know WHO WE ARE!!
    I have my own understanding about things are happening in Reiki and I know that even when I had only my first attunment in Reiki, for YEARS!!
    I did not felt I need something else, because I knew I have all is needed.
    And I had good results in this practice.
    well, not me, as we know, but this is only a way of saying, because everything is happening through us, we only witness.
    And what I understand is happening during an attunment it is the fact that our vibrations are tuned to a higher vibration, but not receive something which we do not already have, and make us become more aware of what It Is, of our Self and our Higher Self, of our connection with All it Is.
    And when we really, but REALLY believe in our SELF and when we REALLY believe that We are All and All It Is, It is a part of Us, we do not need anything else.
    In fact, in every practice or technique the true meaning is not to achieve and collect papers which are named certificates, which follows and attunment, and all kind of symbols – which we must understand they are only tools – but to achieve that point of Self Realisation.
    This is all we have to do.
    To BE!! but not to live.
    We live as humans, but if we ARE not, this is in vain.
    Thank You for everything You let us know and for share with us your knowledge!
    Thank You, Mr. Taggart, for posting this article!
    I very much agree with this – If it’s about controlling and manipulating, and personal “power” — it’s not Reiki.
    this is soooo, soooo TRUE!!
    And I remember, also, what Don like to say – imagine a fly, or a mosquito, trying to attack the Sun!!! Is this possible?!-
    Be blessed, both of You!
    Send to you, both, my consideration and Gratitude.

  • Don Beckett says:

    Allison —-

    awww, sorry if i offended anyone by the use of the word “witchcraft.” but it is a legitimate word, and i believe it accurately describes the “psychic attacks” that are being made on people in the name of reiki…. if you are an “holistic pagan”, then i assume that you are not practicing witchcraft — so, the word does not apply to you!

    if people want to practice witchcraft, they have a perfect right to do it, of course — i just don’t like them calling it reiki….!

    • Steve Woodford says:

      Don
      I am a pagan / whatever label some would like to put on me.I am me
      I dont do witchcraft reiki or any other form oe the myriad of Reiki?? ( is it Reiki ) out there at the momnet
      And is it no wonder that Reiki is still not taken seriously when you see such **** as Money Reiki Moon Reiki etc etc
      For me simple is best
      Connect Kick in and step away!!

      • Val Blench says:

        Like Steve – I am also pagan – Wiccan in fact – I do not ‘do’ spells nor magic, as Wicca, and lots of other pagan beliefs, are nature based – because we practice the craft folks tend to think of it as Witchcraft (whatever that is !) and we have NO connection to the devil because for us there is no devil – the devil is a Christian thing probably to keep folks in fear and in line …
        Things I do for my beliefs have nothing whatsoever to do with Reiki as Reiki is non-religious … therefore though I might ‘ground’ myself when doing rituals I would never ground myself before using reiki as surely reiki does not need it – it is pure and simple and perfectly safe . I would also never mix my beliefs with Reiki as reiki is perfect all by itself.
        I get the feeling that Don really has no idea of what pagan/witchcraft is really about … however, I do agree with Don on many things … I really cannot go along with fairy Reiki, Moon Reiki, Rainbow Reiki or any of the other things which get tagged on to Reiki – why don’t they just call it something else – adding Reiki to it just leads to confusion among folks wanting to know about real Reiki – I also agree with the charges some folks get away with – the old saying ‘you only get what you pay for’ isn’t always true ! Nor do I go along with those internet masters who seem to be able to attune a person to all levels in just a couple of e-mails …. I am sooo glad I was trained via Reiki Evolution and found just how powerful, happy and peaceful the pure and simple Reiki taught by Taggart is … you need nothing else …

        • johreiki says:

          Val —–
          thanks for your input. here’s the definition of “witchcraft” from the Merriam-Webster dictionary:
          1 a: the use of sorcery or magic
          b: communication with the devil or with a familiar
          2: an irresistible influence or fascination
          3: WICCA

          and the definition of Wicca:
          a religion influenced by pre-Christian beliefs and practices of western Europe that affirms the existence of supernatural power (as magic) and of both male and female deities who inhere in nature and that emphasizes ritual observance of seasonal and life cycles

          • Val Blench says:

            Well thank goodness I don’t have that dictionary then as it is rubbish – so many folks seem to think it is to be in with the ‘devil’ – probably why so many witches who just did good for folks with herbs etc were burned by Christians – having been on this path for many many years (I am 65) I know exactly what it is and it is not that ! Perhaps it is their definition same as some folks like to add and alter Reiki …

          • Don Beckett says:

            Val —-
            thanks again for your additional input. it looks like this reply will be posted above your reply; there is not a reply button below yours…. i agree, it is bad news if the Webster folks have defined the word incorrectly…! can you tell us the following: is “witchcraft” based on surrender to divine will, or on achieving personal desires through personal will…?

  • Don

    I found your article very interesting as reiki for me is a boost to my path to self realization and connecting to my soul path. Along this path, I have had to use various other techniques which have complemented my reiki channelling. Taichi helped clear the meridians to enable more channelling, mantra have shifted negative energy in the body more quickly, yantras connect us in a very effective and balanced way for enhancing the path to self realisation. As a by-product of my development I have channelled yantras. I have worked to a high level of chakra clearing using a whole combination of methods including connecting to spirit through ascended master, angels, gods and goddeses.

    In all the different development phases from practices from different cultural background I have not encountered negative or psychic attacks. In fact I have discovered many of the negative energies are directed by those whose intention is of ill wishing. It doesn’t really matter what you say you practice because I know people who consider wicca as way of life for them and are very peaceful indeed.

    It is not what you practice but how you practice that is important. To be a pure channel of clear energy to do the most effective work of incredible healing requires intense cleansing work on the self. As we know Mikao Usui did practice a whole range of activities which formed his own personal development before he was a pure channel for reiki. Certainly for me, I have used various techniques to get connected to my soul path. Throughout my practice the key words are always ‘for the highest good’. So the intention is for the souls highest good as that is the soul’s path.

    This is what I believe is what reiki is about – Pure good intentions for the highest good. Therefore spiritual practices that follow the same intentions serve to compliment the practice of reiki and enhance our development. The introduction of the connection to reiki is a gift to kick start our development which I am grateful for, however to get to where I am in my practice today I have used tools from other spiritual traditions. As long as we practice with pure intentions for the highest good and ask for protection we will always stay on the light side of the path. It is when the intentions are not of good intent that it leads to a negative impact on others. And we do not have to be practising any spiritual tradition to have this affect on others. It happens all the time from people who follow negatively a material life with the intention to remove anyone on their path. I have experienced this in the work place; both negative intentions and actions of the people I had worked with and I could not escape this due to it being led by management. It has been reiki and other tools which has helped me get through the impact of those intentions and actions. On the positive side it has led me further up the path of self realisation, as what was important was how I dealt with it for my highest good and those of the aggressors. Now I simply do not accept the negative intentions in my energy. The path of truth which I have taken is an integral process for self realisation and teaches that kindness and compassion also involves not accept others negative behaviours towards us, as that damages our energy body and eventually the physical. As we develop ourselves through reiki and other energy techniques we pick up the impact of the negative energies quicker due to our increased sensitivity – yet the more sensitive we are the more intuitively we can work.

    Self healing and then helping others to heal themselves is the souls way. We should embrace it through reiki or and any other form and remember to intend it for the highest good always. As we become more sensitive we need to ask for more protection from the source and through practice of positive belief and intention we can do this.

    In Truth love and light
    Bhavna

    • johreiki says:

      Bhavna —-
      YES! — you discovered for yourself exactly what i said in the article: that no one has the right or ability to harm us unless we allow it…. and we allow it by believing that they can harm us and by creating an emotional connection to them (the emotion usually being Fear, but it can also be anger or any other emotion).

    • Val says:

      That is a very nice sensible post Bhavna ….

      Val

  • Alison Phillips says:

    Hi
    Many thanks for the article and replies. I have wondered about the whole energy field concept for some time as I am was already aware that we can create energy fields that are for power rather than the highest good. I wondered if the source of energy was the same as Reiki but you would appear to be saying that it isn’t. I am still struggling with the whole concept of Qi – the life force energy – and where that fits with Reiki…and what keeps coming up for me is that the connection to the energy as a practice of the Reiki precepts somehow clears the way for the pure ‘love’ energy to come through as long as that is our intention. Pushing this idea a bit further, if everything is a source of energy and that energy comes from ‘the source’, then everything gives off energy. Only people can create negative energy as it has to be intended, if I am correct. The life force (‘source’) itself is neither positive nor negative, it simply is and we make it one or the other by our intention. And that means that any energy source can be infused with negative overtones if that is what is intended – which makes sense to me. If I am sort of on the right track here, then we need to be approaching the development and control of energy with great reverence and humility, as well as the knowledge of what it is we are doing. And here is where I would like to thank Taggart, you Don and all the people associated with the way Reiki is taught and discussed in this arena, no matter what the lineage or belief system that it came from or what other beliefs you have. What shines through is the great commitment to the work of personal spiritual development which naturally leads to a desire to share that with others. It is deeply appreciated.
    Alli

    • Don Beckett says:

      Alison —-
      regarding how reiki fits into the concept of Qi — my understanding is that Qi (or Ki) is a generic word for “life energy”. and the Japanese have ranked a hierarchy of 7 physical energies in the human body. Rei-Ki is the highest (most subtle) of those 7 … and the lowest is Kek-Ki (the “Ki of blood”).

      as you implied, there is only one Source of all energy. the energy comes into the physical dimension as reiki and filters down from there, into increasingly dense materializations … and we affect all these energies with our thoughts and beliefs and personal will. as you said, we need to be a LOT more careful of what we’re thinking, all the time — because our thoughts are truly creating our everyday reality! yes, many people are deliberately using their thoughts to do harm … and many more people are wreaking havoc UNCONSCIOUSLY, just by living continually in fear and worry and anger, etc. that’s exactly why truly incorporating the Reiki Principles in ourselves is the very most important part of Mikao Usui’s whole method….!

      • Alison Phillips says:

        Thanks Don I didn’t know that about the different levels of energy. Lovely discussions here- very enlightening. Alli

        • Alison Phillips says:

          Hi again Don – I was doing hatsurei this morning and I had a ‘realisation’ that I wanted your opinion on. I was doing a qi-gong cardio class and noticed some of the moves to invoke energy and balance were quite similar to the empowerment moves and then it hit me. The reason Reiki is Reiki and not other energy is in the invocation because you can only invoke it by being in the ‘Reiki’ space which is always positive. The symbols and kotodama just augment that, but are not necessary. What is necessary is the intent. Reiki is unusual in that is flows throughout you and into another being or space whereas other energy seems to flow out of you and take itself with it (hence the feeling of depletion). Reiki leaves itself within you as well as flowing from you. No wonder it is at the highest level! Well this is what I ‘got’ – what do you think? Thanks SO MUCH for this fascinating discussion.

          • Don Beckett says:

            Alison —-
            i agree with what you say about most energy healing methods (qi-gong, bioenergy, etc.): it seems to me, they rely on storing personal energy and then giving that energy to someone else. the big difference i see with reiki is that reiki is NOT personal energy. reiki is the very first (most subtle) manifestation of Source-energy that has been discerned in the physical dimension … and it is not just in us, it’s at the heart of every particle of physical matter. when we “give” reiki, i don’t think reiki is flowing from us to someone else — i think we are merely activating (by our intent and our attention) the reiki that is in every particle of our physical being … and the reiki that is in every particle of the person we believe we are “giving reiki” to….! for the duration of the “reiki session,” we and the other person become one organism (whether we are connecting by physical touch or remotely via the mind) … and we activate the reiki in every particle of that one (or maybe just in some particles, if that is our intent : ^ ) … and the reiki brings in Source-energy (called “shinki”) from the spiritual dimension. this is why, when we “give” reiki, our energetic state is not depleted and is in fact enhanced, along with the state of the other person….

            apologies for not checking here for messages earlier. is there a way to be notified automatically when a comment is added here?

  • Jeremy R Sadler says:

    Don I read your article with great interest. I am very new to Reike and, in fact, will have my live attunement/empowerment in a few weeks time. However, having used Reike for a good couple of months to date, I am certainly feeling the benefits in all areas of my life already. I believe this to be due to the form of Reike taught by Taggart. What attracted me to Reike Evolution in the first place was it’s very simplicity, the lack of ritual and mysticism etc.

    As one of Jehovah’s Witnesses I feel I have already been connected to the Source via my Bible studies and baptism and, though no longer active as a Witness (certain teachings/biblical interpretations I couldn’t bring myself to accept even after 15 years), try my best to live by the principles I’ve learned. With that in mind I am very wary of anything that encourages the use of rituals, symbols and mystical teachings. Although, as commented earlier, many don’t believe in the Devil or Satan, it has to be said that where there’s a positive there is also a negative. The Source (or Jehovah, Yahweh, the All…) has His enemies – human or otherwise – and they are responsible for the negative, and even evil, influence we experience in the world we live in. If that wasn’t the case we wouldn’t need to cleanse ourselves of negative energy on a regular basis.

    Having done some extensive research into Reike whilst awaiting my attunement/empowerment (=D) I can only agree that many, as you call them, “psuedo-reike” practitioners are indeed practicing what can only be defined as witchcraft or sorcery. Even among Wiccans there are those who practice the black arts, which lead to negative definitions in dictionaries such as Websters. The Compact Oxford English Dictionary (3rd edition, revised, 2002)defines Wicca as being “the religious cult of modern witchcraft” and witchcraft itself is defined as “the practice of magic, especially the use of spells and the calling up of evil spirits”. My son and daughter-in-law are Wiccans as are a few friends I work with – these definitions certainly don’t describe their activities! It does, however, describe exactly what these “psuedo-reike” masters and their followers are doing and we should all be on our guard.

    The Bible describes Satan as being someone who can transform himself into an “Angle of light” meaning he can appear to be doing good but, in actual fact, is plotting evil. The same goes IMO for these false reike teachers. As you quite rightly say Don, if you’re truly connected to the Source, what other protection do we need? Oh, and we don’t have to shell out lots of money to get that protection either.

  • Don Beckett says:

    Jeremy —-
    it does seem that i opened an unimagined can of worms by using the word ‘witchcraft’. thanks for the OED definition. i was wanting to use that, but i don’t have a copy of the OED! : ^ > anyway, it seems there are quite various definitions of it, by the people who practice it! (not unlike reiki, as someone already noted) i knew a self-proclaimed witch years ago in Mexico, who specialized in making certain people “fall in love” with certain other people. she did this by putting a “spell” on the chosen person, and she made the spell by burning candles (until one day when a curtain caught fire from the candle flame, and her house burned down around her, and she got badly burned herself, trying to rescue her baby grand piano … and then she decided to stop putting spells on people! : ^ ). and in Bali i met lots of people who had had spells put on them … and that was how they defined witchcraft. and the famous witches i’ve heard interviewed have all talked about using spells … so i thought that was a pretty universal definition: using some kind of “magic” to manifest a desired reality.

  • Hilary Groves says:

    I’ve read all the above, and the point is that we all seem to be agreed on the fact that Reiki is a simple indwelling human ability, without the need for added complexity. We all have individual biographies which have contributed to our current religious/philosophical/ethical etc stance, so therefore it is highly likely that we will each to some extent imprint the “simplicity of Reiki” with our own individual perspective. I think the point is to keep that very simplicity in mindfulness and not try to clothe Reiki in the colours of our professed belief system. In our individuality we, each of us, are in a different place. So in a blog situation, how is it helpful, and what does it really matter if each of us, most of whom only “know” each other in a cyber-sense, is mistaken about the other’s exact religious/philosophic/ethical definition? Such blogging can lead only to offence being taken. (There are several comments and generalisations made from ignorance or from prejudice about the religion to which I subscribe, which I think are misconceptions. I acknowledge the writer’s right to his/her own opinion, but the point of Don’s article, as I see it, is not about comparative religion, but about Reiki )

    • Jeremy R Sadler says:

      I’m very much a minimalist in my outlook on life. I like to live clutter free and travel light. I prefer fresh starts rather than drag the past with me. With that in mind the form of Reike taught by Taggart is ideal for me. The less use of symbols, mantras, yantras or whatever the better. On saying that I don’t believe all short cuts are beneficial and sometimes you just have to go the long way round, so I’m prepared to accept that some rituals are necessary.

      The point in my comment earlier was simply that negative influences are everywhere, regardless how we personally act or feel. Even among Jehovah’s Witnesses, who are considered to be some of the most law abiding people around, there have been individuals convicted of theft, murder, child abuse and other crimes.

      It’s individuals like these, and others who knowingly want to cause harm and distress, who taint the innocent and it takes a lot of time and effort to remove that stain.

      Witchcraft throughout the ages has always had a light and dark side. Unfortunately it is all too easy, and human nature, to focus on the dark side when judging actions.

    • Don Beckett says:

      Hilary —-
      YES! well said……!

  • Excellent article!Lively discussion.As a personal coach and reiki practitioner I have always been in favour of the” K.I.S”. approach.Keep it simple!Reiki is a profoundly intelligent energy and will go where it is needed.I have never been impressed by the woo oo kind of spooky presentation.

    Thank you for sharing this article

    Bev

  • Lesley Sherlock says:

    Wow! I am ever so glad I did not come across any of these scary Reiki teachers that you mention. I suppose if you are a Reiki teacher it is like any other profession, there will be a vast range of experience and methods out there along with the good, the bad and the ugly, like the ones who teach psychic attack.

    A really good article, thanks Don, I enjoyed reading it and all the comments so far!

  • Don Beckett says:

    thanks to those of you who made me aware of my lack of knowledge on witchcraft…! i’ve been contemplating how to change the original article, to make it more accurate … and have just now added the following update ( at the end of the article, on http://usui-reiki.johreiki.net/What-is-happening-to-reiki-2.php ):
    —————————————-
    Since writing this article, I’ve received a few comments from practitioners of witchcraft, saying that my characterization of witchcraft was inaccurate. One person (not a witch) directed me to a book, “Magick of Reiki” by Christopher Penczak, which indeed seems a perfect source of information, since it deals with both Reiki and Magick/Witchcraft. “In a formal magickal tradition,” says Penczak, “practitioners focus their intention and will to create a change through the acts of ritual. Each ritual is used to create a ‘spell’ or a specific act of magick.” … “These magickal rituals can be found in the traditions of witchcraft throughout the centuries as well as the modern revival of witchcraft and paganism.”

    Christopher Penczak practices both Magick and Reiki — though, from what I read in his book, his Reiki is what I call pseudo-Reiki. It exemplifies exactly what my article refers to: the practice of Reiki as a system of ritual magic. Like so many others, Penczak has been taught to use the Reiki symbols as “magick” symbols! This way of using them goes back as far as Hawayo Takata, if not also to her teacher Dr. Hayashi (even though, to my knowledge, they did not use the word “magic” or “magick”). Having initially learned Takata-style Reiki myself, I too was taught to use the Reiki symbols in this way — but Reiki’s founder, Mikao Usui, taught something very different!

    Considering Penczak’s descriptions of Reiki, Magick, and Witchcraft, it could be said that pseudo-Reiki itself is a form of witchcraft (because it uses “magick” symbols). My mistake in “What is Happening to Reiki?” was that I gave the impression that all witchcraft is harmful (as in “psychic attacks”). That was wrong, and I hereby apologize for it. In fact, Penczak implies that most witchcraft respects Divine Will and carries the intent of doing no harm. “According to the ethics of magick in its various forms, you send out only what you would want to receive, so you do no harm to others, because you would want no harm done to you.”

    So — those who are doing “psychic attacks” are not only not doing Reiki, they are not doing legitimate witchcraft either. Maybe we should call it pseudo-witchcraft . . . .
    —————————————-

  • Don Beckett says:

    Anyone who would like a PDF of this article can now download it at:
    http://usui-reiki.johreiki.net/What_is_Happening_to_Reiki.pdf

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