My Manifesto for Reiki Tolerance

reiki evolution rainbow tree


Honouring all the flavours of Reiki

The lovely thing about Reiki is that there are so many styles, so many different ways of working with the energy. Various people on the Internet have tried to compile lists of the different versions, and I think the total runs to a hundred or more.

Reiki seems to work as an effortless ‘carrier’, rather like a radio station and transmitter that you can play endless different songs through, but you need the underlying radio waves before the songs can be played.

Reiki is like those radio waves: a carrier that supports very many different ways of working.

What Reiki song do you sing?

Is it Karuna Reiki or Seichem, is it Reiki Tummo or Celtic Reiki or ‘Traditional Usui’ (in all its sub-flavours), is your song Jikiden or Raku Kei?

Or maybe it’s Rainbow Reiki or Lightarian Reiki, Violet Flame or Usui-do.

Some systems use a few different symbols, some use *loads* of symbols, some are structured, others are more ‘content free’; Reiki accommodates them all.

And it is true that some people will be attracted to a particular approach over another because everyone is different and one approach may feel more ‘right’ to one person than another.

I like to get back to the historical roots of things

To my eternal shame, I suppose, I am into folk music [there, I have said it: I like folk music!]. I play the five-string banjo.

But rather than playing Bluegrass music, which came into being in the 1950s, I prefer to play ‘clawhammer’ style banjo, which takes you back to the very beginnings of ‘Old Time’ music when the syncopated ‘slave style’ of playing blended with immigrants’ Irish and English tunes.

It feels right to me to play in a way that is authentic and ‘original’, so far as it is possible to recreate that style.

I also dabble with the ‘Anglo’ concertina and my preference is to get back to playing the ‘original’ English Anglo concertina style, so far as it is possible to glean what that was.

So it’s not surprising, then, that when I became involved in Reiki I was attracted to what was known about the form of Reiki that Usui Sensei was teaching in the 1920s in Japan, rather than the later styles that had developed and changed and mutated after the time of Mrs Takata.

Discovering Original Japanese Reiki

I was lucky enough to have been in the right place at the right time, and received a lot of guidance from people who brought me a lot closer to understanding what the original system was all about, and my “Reiki Evolution” courses are based on that principle: to practise Reiki, so far as it is possible or practical, in a way that comes close to what we know that Usui was teaching to most of his students.

And for me that’s the bee’s knees, a wonderful way to practise that, *for me*, is much more fulfilling than the more standard ‘Western-style’ Reiki that I was first taught.

And we have taught many other Reiki people from a standard Western background who have found that the original system that we teach has many advantages.

There is no ‘one true way’

But not everyone is attracted to that way of practising Reiki because everyone is different, of course, and what I want to make clear is that I do not believe that what I teach is the ‘one true way’, the Reiki that everyone should learn, better than everyone else’s.

How arrogant and blinkered that would be, if I was to say such a thing.

I meet many lovely and open Reiki practitioners and teachers, who are happy and content to be practising Reiki in their unique way, and to accept that others can practise Reiki in their different way, and that’s it’s ok to differ. These are the Reiki people that I want to spend my time with: those who are open and content with the path that they are following, and who do not feel the need to look down their nose and impose their flavour and their rules on everyone else.

The curse of blinkered dogma

Sadly, there are some Reiki teachers out there who do actually believe that their way of teaching Reiki is the ‘correct’ way, that there is a ‘correct’ way to use the symbols, for example, and that if someone has been taught in a different way then they’re wrong.

This is sad.

This is divisive.

There are even people who believe that an attunement needs to be carried out in a certain prescribed fashion in order to be ‘correct’, yet the attunements that Mrs Takata taught have evolved and changed endlessly in different lineages; some are almost unrecogniseable.

And do you know what? They all work fine.

So I think we should be wary of Reiki Masters, no matter how prominent they appear to be, who tell you that what you are doing is wrong or that you shouldn’t do a particular thing: we are all on our journey with the energy, and our journey is our journey, leading us to practise in *our* way, not better, not worse, just different.

My belief

I believe that we should celebrate these differences, and be happy that there is infinite variety.

I believe that Reiki people should be free to find their own comfortable path with the energy, working in the way that suits them, rather than having to kow tow to the dogma and blinkered beliefs of another.

Over to you

So there you have it: my ‘manifesto’ for tolerance, acceptance, and mutual respect within Reiki.

I hope you agree with me.


And if you do, why not post a message below. 🙂



42 thoughts on “My Manifesto for Reiki Tolerance

  1. Hi Taggart, I totally agree with your comments regarding being told you must do Reiki this way and not that wat, if you remember I was refused Practitioner level with the UKRF because I had recieved Empowerments and not Attunements. I must admit after this episode I have refused their offer to take up Membership for a further year. I should not be so embittered but with that sort of attitude it is hard to take a representative body like themselves seriously anymore. I chose the Reiki Evolution route because like you I love the old styles, Blue Grass, Blues, Rock ‘n’ Roll old cars and old motorcycles, I feel so at ease when using the style you teach and I do believe your training materials are some of the best I have seen. Keep up the good work and I look forward to meeting you in October. Be Brilliant Ron

  2. A beautifully expressed ‘essence’ of what Reiki, in my opinion, is all about. I can even forgive you for your love of folk music Taggart. My, my… what a shameful thing to be into;-)

    I haven’t taken on any other flavours I don’t think. Just like crisps, my favourite is plain…preferably Walkers, so don’t know if that’s a ‘flavour’ of a flavour of crisps?… but anyway I don’t have any shares in that company so not trying to advertise:-)

    I’m really glad that I was initially guided to Tina Shaw and therefore Reiki Evolution in my journey with Reiki. (I’m so tempted to say ‘because the others are all crap’ but that’s purely just a sense of humour thing:-))

    Love Lynnxx

  3. A lovely down to earth piece that connects because of its simplicity….and I agree, the ground roots of Reiki go much deeper than the apparent ‘differences’, and it is that which we should all feel connected to, not just the ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ ways of practising Reiki.
    Warm greetings

  4. I wholeheartedly agree too. I have also found that Reiki has helped me in other areas of energy work such as Chi Kung & Tai Chi. If we can’t be tolerant within the practice of Reiki, then how can we be tolerant of “different” traditions? Some find it impossible to celebrate the similarity – Ki, Chi or Prana – A rose by any other name, as the saying goes.

    Folk music – sounds good to me!Recently I decided to learn the Gaelic Fonn by ear & phoenetically. They beautiful and are an incredibly powerful tool for a deep meditative state.

    I’m glad Reiki Evolution came into my life, so thank you Taggart.

  5. Bless you Taggart, I also agree with embracing and respecting all Reiki practises as we are all working with the same energies even if we are not singing the same song. And yes I have encountered practioners who beleive their way is the only way, and are quite loud and forceful about their beliefs, bless them, each to their own is my way of thinking, we are all unique individuals. I have wonderful friends who are Western trained and they have brought so much to our Reiki Shares over the years, some delightful discussions and thought provoking questions. All who participate enjoy our meditations and have found Hatsuri very powerful and helped one particular friend to actually feel the energy and this helped her confidence.

    I just love the way we teach and feel very blessed to have found Reiki Evolution it has felt so natural since day one.

    Brightest blessings Linda

  6. Thank you for this article, reminding us of the true nature of the “Universal” life force energy.

  7. Totally agree Taggart, if only everyone was as tolerant of the Reiki styles of others eh? At the end of the day, Reiki is an energy, not a set of rules. It works for everyone, however they choose to approach their work with it. (Hooray! How cool is that!?)

  8. In some Reiki quarters, sadly, there is very much this idea that what they are doing is the “one true way” and everyone else who differs is wrong, and probably not even practising Reiki. I see Reiki as being endlessly flexible, able to accommodate many different ways of working, a ‘carrier’ that can be moulded and presented in so many different formats. The “my way is the one true way and everyone else is wrong” approach has nasty echoes of religious fanatacism, where people adhere to “the” way, and all other paths to deity are wrong.

    But there are very many Reiki people out there who are open and non-dogmatic, willing to accept that someone can be practising in a different way and for that to be ok, respecting and honouring the differences, which are only really differences of nuance anyway. Those are the people that I want to hang around with!

    The UKRF is certainly going in a very strange direction, though not for the first time. Amusingly, because of the way that they frame their requirements, neither Mikao Usui nor the other surviving students, nor the Imperial Officers, would qualify for membership since none of them received attunements. We should remember that Usui did not give or teach attunements and they only came into being through the actions of the Imperial Officers. So we have a Reiki society that wouldn’t admit any of Usui’s students as Practitioner members because none of them had been attuned! Sad in a way. 🙂

  9. It is always refreshing to find others who share one’s own beliefs about the inclusive, sharing nature of Reiki. When I was looking for an association to join, some way into my path with Reiki, I carefully avoided those, like the one mentioned, whose ethos was to be ‘exclusive’ in the sense of having lots of rules about who would NOT be admitted. I eventually joined The Reiki Association where, as well as offering opportunities to demonstrate professional standing by being assessed to join CNHC, there is an acceptance that each person’s path with Reiki is different and our experience and practice will be valued as long as we are honest and conscientious and behave ethically. We do not need to be identical to be accepted as valuable members of the Reiki community. Thank you for your insight.

  10. Is there a wrong way to look at a rainbow? So how can there be wrong way to receive reiki? I love the Reiki Evolution approach and I hope people in the broader reiki community can embrace a more inclusive and open attitude.

  11. In this day and age with so many people still fighting, arguing and killing each other due to differences, ego and creed, reiki should be a place were you find none of this. Unfortunately, some humans love to believe that what they say or do is the only right way.
    I like to think of reiki like a pizza. Full of different flavours, styles and sizes, but there is a recognisable factor that makes it distinctly a pizza. For reiki, I think that the distinct factor is Mikao Usui. I don’t care if you practice moonlight reiki, laughing reiki or Buddha reiki, if your lineage traces back to Usui, then it will always have a flavour of reiki. Just for today, my humble thoughts. 🙂

  12. Thank you Taggart for such a refreshing article. I have met many people who feel it is their way or no way but Reiki is an intelligent energy and will find its own way. There is room for many different forms of attunement.

  13. Thanks for demonstrating such tolerance and expressing it so clearly. It reminds me of the conflict encountered while walking the Camino ( a walking spiritual Reiki retreat for me), where many people questioned my pilgrimage, because I did not carry my pack, and stayed in hotels. Now, is there such a definition of a ” true Pilgrim” ? No, and the real answer too is tolerance and accepting whatever works for a particular person.

  14. I agree with being tolerant to all reiki approaches.
    All that matters is if it works for you.
    I personally am attracted to practicing original Japanese reiki.
    Anyhow, right and wrong and ego have no place in reiki.

  15. In a multi cultural society and multi layer and faceted practice of different styles of reiki systems ,
    All sources and styles of reiki are around which speak to people in many ways ,
    I believe that reiki can take many forms and their so much we can all learn by getting along with one another without feeling one styles better than the other what we should all remember is that it comes from dr ushi but as dr ushi when he taught his students never used documentation how do we truely know if one another is wrong or right I feel that all styles of reiki should be taken into account because the true essence of reiki lives within each of us and around us be humble to one another and embrace each other’s ideas and ways of working

  16. I like your attitude and philosophy. It is such an open and healthy way of looking at things without any prejudice whatsoever. How refreshing and enlightening. Keep up the good work. And……I enjoy receiving your Reiki e-zines.

  17. Hi, Thank you Taggart for your honesty, it’s so great to hear.
    When I first “discovered” Reiki (about 25yrs ago) it was with a Master who spoke no English…she was visiting a friend in the U.K. and had agreed to hold a Reiki 1 weekend, I’d met this friend, at a (rather stressful) workshop literally the week before, and inexplicably felt drawn to this thing called Reiki, which i had never heard of and knew nothing about.
    What was communicated to me by my first Reiki master (non verbally) was an opening and connection..I felt I had come home.
    For many years I then continued to explore Reiki with different “masters” (at least 9 or so if I remember correctly!) they all had different teachings and ways and doctrine to offer ..most believing theirs was the only true way…but still I didn’t feel I found the “true” one way…it puzzled me that these strong and often embellished teachings were being put forward and more disturbingly there seemed a real division and rivalry in the Reiki world, so having initially thought I would find a place of belonging amongst it I withdrew from it…I felt sad, disappointed and confused that I couldn’t find my “teacher”.
    I stopped looking and trusted in the basic thing I discovered at the beginning of my journey which was quite simply that this was a personal journey, a reconnection to self, which naturally led to connecting with whatever is and to others. It definately wasn’t first and foremost about ” healing others” (as some teachings I found seemed to emphasise) but about healing the self, from where your true path and potential is then revealed…not following someone else’s path/way of doing things,(which may,or may not, involve working in a direct practise of “healing” others). For me, being able to be of help to others by facilitating a safe and loving space for them did feel like the right path for me, but it has always been the icing on the cake, rather than the cake itself ( another food reference here!)… I have always felt so immensely grateful for,and humbled by, that very first intuitive opening of my heart, where no verbal “knowledge” or doctrine was passed on, just a little booklet (in English)with a simple story about Usui which I understood and believed to be a respectful, grateful and humbling acknowledgement of his role in all this.
    So my lesson to share,with anyone who may resonate with this, has been…keep it simple….be honest with yourself and remember what it was/is that Reiki first brought/ brings to you and then you will automatically be passing it on to others wherever you walk in life.

  18. having come from another lineage I have had first hand experience of “its my way or the highway” and I took the highway and found Reiki Evolution. I find this article very refreshing and yes Reiki is Reiki no matter how you were trained or where you were trained and by whom and just a little understanding is all we need.

    1. Oh, I’m sorry to hear that, Janet. It’s so small-minded, isn’t it? I think a lot of it comes from fear and uncertainty, where people have to cling onto the way they were taught and can’t deal with people working in ways that seem to contradict what the way that they work.

  19. Hi Taggart, What a refreshing and honest approach. I have been practising for less than 12 months and I have enjoyed learning with Reiki Evolution, because your approach is not too prescriptive. I was discussing this with Sue Sharples during my First and Second Degree. I felt quite strongly that I could have some freedom to creative my own style whilst remaining loyal to the taught methodology.

    1. I agree that you should find a way of working that suits you, Pat. We just provide a framework, but that in itself is quite free, for example on Second Degree we say ‘work intuitively’ and give you some ways to get into that intuitive frame of mind… then you can put your hands anywhere they want to go (within reason!) and keep them there for however long they seem to need to be in a particular place. Far better than standard positions followed for 3 minutes each. 🙂

  20. Totally agree. I have trained in Reiki many years ago, doing Traditional Western Reiki to Master level with a number of different Reiki Teachers, and they each had their own way of teaching. I have also trained in Karuna Reiki via William Rand to teaching level, and guess what. *they all worked*. It is all the same Universal Energy which we are working with, and it is all beautiful.
    I have taught and treated students at all levels over the years in Western Reiki and also Karuna Reiki.
    I have to say though, that until I trained with Taggart in 2000 I did not fully *realise* the elegance and simplicity of the Original Usui Reiki Method. At Reiki-Evolution we have no add-ons, we work with pure Universal Energy in all it’s simplicity, nothing else, and it works beautifully. Reiki will accomodate whichever channel it works with, as long as our intention is for the higher and greater good. The student will find their own unique and comfortable way of working with the energy.

  21. Thank you this makes absolute sense. I am planning and preparing for my Master course and was getting all muddled. My reiki master for my Level 1&2 was also very intuitive…….can’t wait for the next stage of the journey……I carefully chose my Master for 1&2 and Master as so many teachers it was about them….not me …or Riki


  22. Another great article.

    Loved your book: ‘Liberate Your Reiki’, it is excellent, packed with information to cut through the confusion and bull**** that is around.

    You’re right….simplicity is the key, just un-complicate everything and be one with the energy.

    Thank you for what you do, Taggart.

  23. I love your ‘manifesto’ for tolerance, acceptance, and mutual respect within Reiki, it concisely sums up what I believe and practice too. Thank you for articulating it so well.

  24. I agree. Reiki is about finding our true self and being true to our way and our being – with that comes different ways of practicing. x

  25. Thank you, Taggart. Like so many others here, me and some of my students have found our way to your door because our introduction to reiki has been difficult. Usui’s precepts say it all and territorialism simply doesn’t fit with them. Please keep saying it loud, Taggart!

  26. O Taggart thank you for this article, initially I had a teacher who taught ‘her way or no way’ and I wasn’t happy with it at all but Reiki Evolution changed all that and I wholeheartedly agree with all you have said. The simpler and more uncluttered the better, in my experience too. Thank You 🙏

  27. Wise observations….
    And nothing wrong with folk music! I play English Concertina for my own enjoyment..mainly Morris tunes, Cotswold & Bedlam …Music rests my soul😁😁

    1. English folk tunes… the beating heart of every English person (whether they realise or not!) 🙂

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