Founder of Western Reiki did Distant Attunements!

reiki distant attunements

A very awkward discovery

As we know, Western-style Reiki has drawn to itself a lot of dogma, rigidity and blinkered-thinking, and nowhere is this more prevalent than in the area of distant attunements.

As far as many Reiki teachers and societies are concerned, teaching Reiki to someone who isn’t sitting in front of you is tantamount to heresy and we are all expected to believe that distant attunements do not work.

In fact, if I recall this correctly, one of the requirements of the UK Reiki Council’s core curriculum is that the student, to be properly taught Reiki, has to believe that attunements must carried out face to face, so we even have Reiki thought-police at large in the world!

This is nonsense, of course, and it takes quite some mental gymnastics to believe both that Reiki can be sent from one side of the planet to the other just by thinking about it (à la distant healing) while maintaining that you can only be initiated into Reiki by being corraled in the same room as your teacher for some close-quarters mystical hand-waving.

Mrs Takata has put the cat amongst the pigeons!

takata reiki distant attunements
Mrs Takata taught using distant attunements

But new evidence has just come to light which shows that Mrs Hawayo Takata, the lady responsible for teaching Dr Hayashi’s version of Reiki in the Western world, the source of Western Reiki, actually gave a distant attunement and taught someone remotely, in fact ‘over the telephone’.

The research was carried out by Robert Fueston, who was examining archive material at the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University. You can read a fuller report on this by visiting Pamela Miles’s Reiki site: Takata and distant initiation.

This is very important.

Hawayo Takata was *the* source of Reiki in the West and until very recently all Reiki practitioners and Masters will have had Mrs T sitting there in their lineage. In many quarters, Mrs Takata’s approach and her teachings are almost sacrosanct and underpin the approach of the Reiki Alliance, for example, or the Reiki Association in the UK.

And it will be these more ‘traditional’ organisations who will be dead against any sort of distant teaching of Reiki.

But now we know that distant teaching, and distant initiations, were right there from the very beginning.

Dangerous knowledge?

I was a little disappointed when reading the report of Robert Fueston’s endeavours that he “felt conflicted about releasing this information, lest it be taken as a precedent to justify remote teaching” and he goes on to try and limit the application of distant teaching, saying that Mrs Takata “only used remote initiations when it seemed absolutely necessary” and “this way of teaching was the exception rather than the norm.”

What are people afraid of?

Either it works or it doesn’t!

And if it works, it doesn’t have to be limited to ’emergencies’ only.

My experience of teaching at a distance

Distant attunements and distance Reiki training work.

I have taught Reiki to students all over the world. I have taught 500+ people in 28 countries, in fact, from USA to UAE, from the Netherlands to Netherlands Antilles, from Norway to Taiwan. All my students have been initiated at a distance and have followed courses that gave them far more practical, hands-on experience of using Reiki on themselves and other people than is possible on any sort of live course.

When carried properly, distant Reiki courses are just as good as live training, with the distinct advantage that you can have the one-to-one attention of your teacher over an extended period and you can take your time, getting all the hands-on practice that you need and only moving on when you feel comfortable with what you have learned.

But don’t take my word for it! Look at these testimonials from some of our students:

First Degree home study course testimonials

Second Degree home study course testimonials

Reiki Master Teacher home study course testimonials

Interested in trying distant Reiki training?

reiki master attunements course reiki 3 rmt classes
Click the image to explore our Reiki home study courses

If you like the look of Reiki Evolution courses and the way we do things, why not try one of our home study courses?

You can take the usual First Degree, Second Degree and Master Teacher levels, and also train in:


36 thoughts on “Founder of Western Reiki did Distant Attunements!

  1. we may be able to do it, but there are so many more benefits from having a teacher on hand in the physical to correct you, guide you and host Reiki shares for your benefit and SO MUCH MORE, that in my mind, far out weigh distant attunements. I have always said though that if one has no other recourse because of there just not being a Reiki Master Teacher anywhere within your proximity or if you have extremely limited funds then being distantly attuned is better than nothing.

    1. “being distantly attuned is better than nothing”… well that’s quite a negative attitude, Patricia! And you seem to be assuming that it is not possible to guide and support a student long distance, and that a student needs to be physically present to benefit from your advice and guidance. That’s simply not so, you know. I find that when I work with someone one-to-one via distance learning we can really go deep into the subject, and they benefit from far more hands-on practice than live course students. Learning Reiki through home study is so much more than receiving a distant attunement, just like live Reiki training is so much more than receiving an in-person attunement.

      1. Hi Taggart, I totally agree with Patricia.
        We have to be careful not to establish new dogmas in everything is possible and the better way when it fits better to our fast spirit of time, getting everything very easy and benefitting our business models.

        1. Dear Dieter, I wonder whether you realised that learning Reiki through home study means that you learn over an extended period of time – about 8-10 weeks for my First Degree home study course – and have much, much more hands-on experience of working with the energy, on yourself and on other people.

          And whereas on a live course you might get to do one full treatment, if you follow one of my home study courses you get to carry out several treatments, head/shoulder treatments on people sitting in a chair, full treatmsnts on people lying on a horizontal surface, over several weeks, as well as carrying out energy exercises and self-treatments, working with the Reiki precepts and practising mindfulness, for months before obtaining a certificate.

          So home study is not the easy and quick option: you have to work hard for weeks.

          Home study is more onerous than live training and students complete their courses having had much, much more experience of working with the energy.

  2. Yes, I have always believed that a Reiki Attunement can be sent distantly and I agree that so much more can be learnt from learning Reiki on a face to face basis. However, I believe that the ‘rules’ around distance Attunements, versus One to One, may have stemmed from a concern that Reiki Attunements were being sent (either for free or for a payment for the Certificate) and sometimes by simply looking at a computer page. This, in itself, would not prevent the Attunement from working and so should not a problem providing that the student is given some form of study material and shows the Master that they have read and understood it before receiving the Initiation. This would show that the student had shown a firm commitment to learning Reiki, whether they had paid or not.

    Unfortunately I suspect, in many cases, this did not happen but, rather than explaining the importance of commitment through study, (and possibly asking for evidence of study) the Reiki ‘Associations/Federation’ and Reiki Council agreed that it was easier to declare that distance Attunements simply did not work.

    It is not in my nature to accept blindly something that cannot be proven so when I teach at Master level I explain my views on this, whilst at the same time, explaining the ‘official’ view of the Reiki Council (as far as I know it).

    1. Hi Eileen, yes, I can see that, though I think it goes beyond the belief that all distant courses are rubbish, into ‘distant attunements are not possible’, which is irrational. There seems to be this assumption that all live courses are inherently worthwhile, yet I end up re-training (often through home study, ironically) many people who came out of their live First Degree course knowing nothing about how to use Reiki for themselves or other people. And then I teach them properly through home study. There’s confusion, too, between receiving an attunement, and actually being taught how to use Reiki. Receiving an attunement (whether live or distant) doesn’t mean you have been properly trained and is fairly useless on its own.

  3. Perhaps it’s a matter of spiritual evolution, Taggart. I have been attuned distantly and practice 95% of the time distantly. Even if I offer Reiki healing to someone in close proximity, I do not touch them, since in fact, I find this lessens the strength and quality of the energy. Why do we accept that we can pray and affirm and receive Divine Blessings without an actual “physical” presence? If we want to listen to the radio or watch TV, we are not required to drive to the broadcasting station to be physically present! Besides, Reiki energy (like other healing energies) can be viewed clairvoyantly. I assure you distant attunements and healings are “real” and equally effective!

    With metta,

    1. Hi Helen, that’s an interesting way of looking at it, in that many attunement styles involve invoking the presence of various beings and guides who by definition, really, can’t be physically present… and we’re expected to believe that these noncorporeal entities can only be invoked when the teacher is standing next to the student, not in the next room. Very good.

  4. Hi Taggart,

    Since I have never been distantly attuned it is difficult to know the validity of it. I have given healing attunements and used distant healing on clients and friends and it has been effective.
    I do value having a live teacher then you can interact with them.

    Having said that, I have had a lot of interacting with you via email and you have been very helpful to me although I am not one of your students and have only met you once. Your courses are excellent.

    If you would like to try an experiment, you could send me a distant attunement. I have been trained in Western and Japanese lineages. I can send you one too if you like.

    1. Hi Miriam, I suppose one thing to say is that since most people believe that when they are attuned to Reiki they are connected to something new that they had not been connected to before, all attunements become ‘distant’ since they are between the student and the ‘source’, no matter where the teacher – the person who makes the introductions – is standing! It is possible to interact with a home study teacher, just not in real time, so there is more of an opportunity to work with your issue, come to your own conclusions, try different things, before asking for the ‘answer’ or advice. What I suggest is that you tune in to my weekly Reiju broadcast and see what you notice. You can read about those here.

  5. Hi

    I too work intuitively with distant reiki both with my students and with family and friends that I can not physically be with. I have often found these sessions to be stronger and in more depth, possibly due to the fact that expectations of the outcome are reduced and myself the practitioner and the recipient are able to truly allow the reiki energy to flow as it requires! Any findings be it feelings, emotions, sense, thoughts or symbols that come up are presented to the recipient in full without disruption and visa versa what the recipient senses feels or sees during the distant session also flows freely and they can describe too without interruption or open to manipulation. With the distant exchange of feelings about the reiki each person is able to take their time in truly understanding how the reiki has benefitted them.

    Of course any one to one can too be just as rewarding and powerful and magical but to say that it only
    works in one way or another is in fact allowing ego to become involved and manipulation to try Channel the reiki energy in a constructed manner. Surely if we believe in this amazing source of eternal life force energy and all its’ capabilities then how could we ever restrict it? If it’s for the highest good I believe and know the reiki energy will flow through every obstacle possible (time, Space, distance) to get where it needs to flow!

    Such a shame that these councils are trying to place the reiki techniques into boxes! Let it flow freely for the highest good of all!

  6. My level 2 and 3 attunements were distant attunements. My teacher was in the US. Frankly, it opened up a whole new level of energy awareness for me. He was very supportive and to start with when I was hesitant about distant healing he used to make time to be present for me to practice it with him. It was after this attunement that I realised we actually already are ‘Reiki’, that it was about ‘being’ Reiki and not ‘doing’ Reiki. What drew me to Reiki evolution was eventually this awareness…when we limit something which is limitless we actually miss the opportunity to know our own True Self

    1. Hi Rashmi, I agree: attunements are all about recognising something that is already there, not a ‘connection’ to something not-us or external to us. How could that be, anyway, when reality is illusion and our true state is that of oneness. 🙂

      1. So right Taggart. I keep saying this to people….I mean , the fact that we are living an illusion. ..we are not really what we perceive ourselves to be…if what we see and exprience were ‘the truth’ or real then how is it that an individual is liked by some and disliked by others ? Why is it that an apple doesn’t taste the same to all? There is so much evidence of the make believe that we create and live in…I often get a quizzical look or a counter argument 🙂 Stopped saying it now because I’ve learnt that this is something we arrive at in our own time or not arrive at ….Anyway, thanks for demistifyng Reikiand spreading it in it’s purer ,uncluttered form. I was attracted to Reiki for self development and self realisation ( sounds strange !!!) and had many questions and doubts after my first attunement as it was bound by too many rules. To me that was a dichotomy, but because I was new to it, I doubted my own insights..then this level 2 and 3 attunement happened and then Reiki Evolution…have finally settled for just practicing being Reiki for now 🙂

  7. I had a distant attunement several years ago when I was first discovering energy work. It was quite powerful & the beginning of my understanding of what you explain Taggart. I have always appreciated your “take” on Reiki.
    Those who insist on f2f attunement may still be operating from fear or ego. In an infinite universe, there is room for everyone & no one right way of being. Reikis gift to me has been helping me realize there’s room for all of us. Every time I read a column or newsletter from you, it reaffirms what I am learning all the time.

    1. Hi, I’m glad that my take on things works for you. Yes, people may be operating out of fear and I agree that there is no one right way with Reiki. We can find our own path with the energy. Some feel the need to impose their blinkers on others, sadly.

  8. Yep…that’s all it can be I guess. Took me a while to give up trying to be this that or the other….it is still there a bit and have to remind myself…the one thing I have to thank you for is a conversation I had with you in one of the national gatherings. …you said we try so hard ,but when we tire of trying and give up ,that is when we let Reiki do its work…and I really did not recall it until I’d tried so hard that I couldn’t do anymore….

  9. I’m glad to read so many people benefited from distance attunement, something I didn’t expect.
    Perhaps the effect is stronger when you’re already opened to Reiki with the first degree course?

    As always, feeling what happens is so much better then overthinking what might happen. Not everyone agrees that distance attunement is a good method, see based on clairvoyant observation.

    Either way, Reiki always shows us new paths to explore and get rid of overthinking 🙂

    1. Hi Diederik,

      Thanks for flagging up that page on the Wm Rand site; I had not read that page before. Not surprisingly I do not agree with what they are saying and, as is often the case, when people are too dogmatic they end up tying themselves in knots.

      Let me explain…

      Wm Rand says that attunements have to be hands-on and not only that but the attuner has to touch the student’s head, neck and hands. But because there is no standardisation of attunement rituals in the world of Reiki, and because the attunemnt ritual has evolved and changed in different lineages, there will be attunement methods being used that don’t meet these criteria and thus “aren’t proper attunements”. We all need to go back and make sure that we were touched properly in those places.

      But it gets worse because Mikao Usui, the founder of Reiki, didn’t use attunements: he didn’t attune anyone to anything because attunement rituals were invented by the Imperial Officers after he died. Usui Sensei used intent to empower his students and so according to the criteria on Wm Rand’s web page, none of Mikao Usui’s students were properly attuned, and I am sure that you could find some clairvoyants who would look at these students and interpret what they perceived as meaning that something was missing.

      So the whole foundation of Reiki now crumbles because none of Usui’s students were properly attuned. Even the founder of Reiki couldn’t get it right! Dr Hayashi wasn’t properly attuned and Mrs Takata was thus given the gift of Reiki by someone who hadn’t been properly initiated.

      Then Dr Hayashi seems to not have taught Mrs Takata properly because she didn’t seem to realise that you had to touch someone on the head, neck and hands, physically present in front of you, for an attunement to be valid. Poor misguided Mrs Takata not knowing such a thing!

      So the logical inference from what it says on that page is that:

      • Not even the founder of Reiki knew how to initiate people properly into his system
      • None of his students were properly connected
      • Dr Hayashi’s instruction of Mrs Takata lacked a vital piece of information about distant connections

      It does amaze me how on one hand Reiki people are happy to believe that you can send Reiki from one side of the planet to the other in an instant, just by thinking about it, but to be properly initiated you have to have the teacher standing in front of you. And this becomes even more ridiculous when you know that one of the goals of the original system was for the student to experience a state of oneness, moving beyond the giver/receiver duality to realise that oneness is the true reality.

      And to be honest, Diederik, I don’t see Reiki attunements, or initiations, or empowerments, as connecting you to something that is new or different to you. I see these rituals as helping you to realise/notice something that has always been there. Take a look at this blog for some more of my thoughts about this: Do Reiki attunements actually work?.

      Best wishes,


  10. Thank you Taggart for opening up this discussion. Despite having good feedback from clients and students alike, have felt a bit of a fraud when around certain others at exhibitions and such.!
    In recent years my health hasnt been too great, so I look forward to your weekly Reiju, something I was not taught, so thanks again for this.

    1. I’m glad you are enjoying the weekly Reiju, Philip. Sadly, a fair number of Reiki people are blinkered, dogmatic and irrational, just blindly parroting what they were taught by their teacher without any critical thought. And they pronounce judgment on something that they haven’t experienced themselves.

  11. What you say makes total sense Taggart. Thank goodness someone out there has some common sense on this matter. I have completed Western Master training with one teacher, face to face, and it was great. But the Master Teacher Training I received by completing a distance learning course, with yourself, that took me over 8 months of daily energy work/exercises/Reiki on myself and others, was so much better. The distance Empowerments you sent me were incredibly powerful, and I now go onto empowering others sometimes distantly (when they can’t get to a support group/class), sometimes face to face, however, when I send them distantly, student’s report how much more powerful they are. Your training, manuals and support is first class Taggart, and I have absolute respect for you and your various styles of teaching, whether face 2 face or through distance learning.

    Also the fact that you share your manuals with anyone who wishes to purchase them is so very useful, this is partly why I looked for another teacher, as my other teacher expected me to develop all my own manuals, which would have taken so much valuable time up, and that time is better spent on my own practices and helping others. It just didn’t make sense to me to spend months and months developing manuals, when there was already excellent one’s out there. How many times can you re-arrange the wording about the history of Reiki, What Reiki is and What Reiki isn’t etc etc … So thank you for ‘keeping it real’ Taggart … and you ALWAYS make sense! Love and Blessings, Natalie X

    1. Dear Natalie, thank you so much for your positive and supportive comments, which are very much appreciated. You are right about home study: it provides the opportunity to do so much personal practice, far more than is possible on any sort of a live course, and flexibility too, where you can work on a particular stage for as long as you need to really get to grips with it, before moving on. And it’s nice that it echoes the way that Mikao Usui taught, with his students being given various projects to work on, with regular contact with Usui to see how they were doing.

      1. You’re very welcome Taggart, I can’t see how anyone could object to a home study course, enabling the student to go through the various stages in their own time, and yet always having support available when required. With my lifestyle I certainly couldn’t have attended a live weekend course, and it gave me so much more than any weekend course could … It has also enabled me to use the course as a kind of ‘blue print’ for running my own Master Practitioner Teacher courses. I am actually starting off with ‘An Introduction to Masters’ day/evening in January, open to those that have been training with me for the past several years, so that they can see all that is involved, and if they are ready for this amount of commitment to Reiki. I am then offering a support day/evening for each of the stages within the course, at around 6 week intervals, to give the student’s the opportunity to practice new techniques/symbols etc on each other, before going away and practicing by themselves and on friends/family. Some student’s need this kind of support, whilst I can offer it to others like yourself as a home study course. I think it very much depends on the person. I am always well motivated when it comes to Reiki, so for me a home study course was perfect :D. Love and Blessings, Natalie X

        1. Sadly, Natalie, a fair number of Reiki people are quite dogmatic and judgmental, and simply accept what they are told, without giving it too much thought. Their teacher told them that distant attunements don’t work and you can’t learn Reiki at a distance, so that’s what they parrot, and pass on. Fortunately, there are also a lot of Reiki people who are open-minded and willing to explore and experiment. 😉

          The way you are thinking of supporting your RMT students, over a number of weeks, spreading the content and providing a lot of practice time, sounds excellent.

  12. Dear Master Taggart Sensei,

    Today is April 9th, 2020 and in this midst of worldwide Covid-19 pandemic what is more important than being able to be attuned via distance. This post were written 5 years ago and it is unbelievable that this year Distance Initiations is even more relevant and with the advantage of technologies to be able to connect to the world at large in this service of Reiki. I wonder if you succumbed to that trend back then with those exponents of “sola facie”, what would the year 2020 will be expecially those who live in the remote rural area who have only internet access to see the world when sola-facie teachers charged like a student’s one year salary (in 3rd world countries). The Reiki Teachers can now administer the progress of their students in remote location via packed online curriculum in their own pace compare to a 3-4 days expensive workshop and lodging, accomodation, and meals money. I guess the proponents of “sola facie” attunements learned Reiki Master degree so that they can be a travelling guru enjoying sightseeing opportunities rather than transfering the Ki from The Source – it has been their 90% marker economy and 10% healing for all. Healing belongs to all, regardless if you founded a council for sola-facie practitioners. Every home should have a reiki master to help heal their household so that wellbeing of each nation is boosted for better economy. Thanks Taggart Sensei for such an wisdom-led service of Reiki to the world. In the spirit of 5 Reiki Principles of Usui Sensei, I wish may all will be blessed from Taggart Sensei’s service.

  13. The International Center for Reiki Training, who was once very vocal about the prohibition of Distance Reiki Attunement is now offering ONLINE REIKI training with FAQ saying this is a solution given by “The Brothers and Sisters of Light” during this pandemic. I guess the TBS of Light change their mind previously because of concern about the recession but the minister of TBS of Light still charge it expensively over their online class. I am happy that they are moving online and had been accepting of what most Distant practitioners had been offering despite their resentment but at the same time i am dissapointed over their previous articles which is still available on the many of their organizations’ website about the illegitimacy of Distant Attunements. In the spiritual realm, Ascended Master Mikao Usui had been helping distant attunements for many years – I was assured that Usui Sensei wishes that Reiki healing is available to all the lay people and needy without prejudices. In the name of the 5 Reiki Principles, may all those who resent dedicated distance attunees will now find themselves attuning via distance. Facie et faciem attunements should always be encouraged but it should not be the only legit means of facilitating Reiki to the world at large. The reason Usui Sensei did not do distant attunement during his time should not be the reason for not doing it in this age of technologies and globalizations – still i believe those who insist on it are motivated by economic and westernized privilege of living their dream traveling to attune students at the expense of the students wages — it is no wonder most of the “reiki masters” in the 3rd world countries are of well-off background.

    1. I wasn’t aware that the ICRT had been so anti- distant attunements but it wouldn’t surprise me because none of the Reiki associations will admit anyone initiated that way, even though it makes no sense, of course. Very convenient that they have been given a temporary special dispensation by the other realms! 🙂

      1. It is like the Roman Church who will never recognised the Anglican Church that has a legit lineage becoz they did not ordained people in the ritual and unity of the Roman Church. So for ICRT who is vocal about recognising reiki masters attuned via distant is playing games who is and who is not a legit master. But we are happy that the leaders are beginning to be open about the truth that has always been. After this if they said otherwise, i will be speechless but will remain un angered.?

  14. I have completed 1st Degree and working on 2nd Degree as a distance learner with Taggart King. His courses are brilliant and I can recommend them without reservations.

  15. Well said!

    ‘it takes quite some mental gymnastics to believe both that Reiki can be sent from one side of the planet to the other just by thinking about it (à la distant healing) while maintaining that you can only be initiated into Reiki by being corraled in the same room as your teacher for some close-quarters mystical hand-waving.’

  16. I’ve had distant attunements and felt more during those than I felt in in person attunements. Clearly if we can distance heal we can distance attune.

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