The Title “Reiki Master”: what is a Reiki Master?

A person who teaches Reiki is referred to in the West as a “Reiki Master”. The word “Master” should just be taken to mean “teacher”, nothing further. It is an unfortunate title, really, since “Master” suggests a whole range of attributes that would not necessarily be present in someone who teaches Reiki. But the phrase has been used for decades now and we are stuck with it, I think.

One does not become a “Master” of Reiki: working with Reiki is a lifelong project and we need to have a little humility! I prefer to refer to myself as being a Reiki teacher since that accurately describes what I do.

Mikao Usui would not have used a title, though his students would have referred to him as “Usui Sensei”. The Japanese word “Sensei” means something like “revered teacher” and this is a term that students use to refer to their teacher, to bestow an honour on him. The term is used to honour professional people like doctors or professors or scientists or other gifted individuals, for examples artists.

One does not describe oneself as a Reiki “Sensei” and to do so would be the height of bad manners, so if you see a Western Reiki teacher referring to themselves as, or signing themselves as, a “Reiki Sensei” then they are being exceedingly rude! Also, anyone describing themselves as a “Grand Master” of Reiki should be viewed with some amusement.


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