When Reiki Diversity Becomes Reiki Adversity

Unaccustomed as I am to starting and ending the day amidst so much natural beauty, I quickly became enamored of Argentina, its people, its varied landscapes—and its pace.

Life is so very different in Argentina than where I live, on the concrete island of Manhattan, in New York City.

Yet as different as Argentine lifestyle is, the Reiki community here reveals the same diversity I find elsewhere. We are truly a richly diverse global community.

The challenges of Reiki diversity

Living with rich diversity is not always easy.

Although practitioners like the idea of Reiki practice becoming more popular (which increases diversity), they often settle into their own view of Reiki practice with all the comfort of an overstuffed armchair, loathe to consider options or even admit other approaches have validity, and sometimes feeling enmity toward colleagues with different practice styles.

The issues of diversity are highlighted as Reiki practice is integrated into health care, where the credibility of our practice is easily undermined by practitioners who cannot work together with respect and professionalism.

The distrust we have for one another inclines those outside the practice to distrust all of us.

That’s why one of the points I make repeatedly in Medical Reiki programs is the need to manage our reactions, to rely on our practice when the going gets tough. And the going does get tough.

One Reiki presentation, two opposite reactions

Two emails following the Medical Reiki seminar in Buenos Aires typified the polarized responses practitioners have when asked to consider a different approach.

The first came from a nurse. She wrote immediately to inform me that I am a complete fraud. I replied asking why she felt that way, but received no response.

That’s unfortunate.

While I don’t savor being personally attacked–I much prefer to discuss points–I am genuinely interested in her perspective. My goal is to communicate. That means I need to know what’s not working in order to refine my understanding and improve my communication skills. I value relationship, but how can I develop relationship with someone who vacates?

The other practitioner wrote, “…it’s the first time as a Reiki Master that someone who wasn’t my personal master leaves me thinking so deeply.”

Today only, embodying a thoughtful approach to Reiki practice

The second email is the kind that sustains me.

My goal is to stimulate Reiki practitioners to think about what we’re doing, because that’s part of what health care professionals and the public look for when we speak to them. They want to see that we are thoughtful about our practice, and sensitive to how Reiki practice appears to them as they review it from the outside, a different angle than most of us have considered.

As the credibility of Reiki practice is established in medicine and to the mainstream public, professional Reiki practice is becoming a viable career choice. This positive development is threatened by the lack of respect for diversity in our community.

We need to carry our practice, and ourselves, with professionalism and Reiki poise.

Let our daily self practice support us to maintain contact when diversity becomes adversity.

There is no need for us to agree. By practicing the Precepts — especially “today only, do not anger” and “be kind to others” — we can transform a moment of adversity into an opening; we can create deeper understanding and harmony, within us and between us.

Have you been attacked for your Reiki approach? Did it change the way you view other practitioners? What do you do when Reiki diversity feels like Reiki adversity? Please leave a comment below.

Related reading:
What Peas Taught Me about Changing Behavior
Most Important Reiki Fact
Reiki Precepts and Effort


Sign up here for my email list to be informed first of events and receive your free Reiki support sequence customized to you as a home or professional Reiki practitioner.

The Reiki & Medicine Intensive will up level your Reiki practice whether you practice Reiki only at home for family and friends, or you are a Reiki professional.


12 thoughts on “When Reiki Diversity Becomes Reiki Adversity”

  1. Very well put, thank you, Pamela.

    Yes. There are a lot of things to think about, when putting oneself in front of the public as a professional Reiki practitioner.

    Some years ago, I don’t remember if in person or at a webinar, you talked about the value of listening to people who are curious about Reiki, instead of galloping into an enthusiastic recitation of its many virtues, attempting to anticipate all questions or objections. That advice has been quite helpful. I have learned all kinds of things about public understanding of Reiki, and it has strengthened my practice.

    We can treat our fellow practitioners with the same attentive respect. And still communicate about principles we feel are important. This, for me, is a continual practice of balance.

  2. Thanks as always for your wisdom Pamela. It is so difficult when one side won’t listen to another. The charity that funds our work at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital has been attacked for supporting us. But we do log our observations (3000+ and counrting) and report those as well as parents feedback to them. This really helps them see the benefits our project brings. It also helps when for example a parent say things like “wow” and that she felt better and was going to sit and smile for a while!

  3. We have to accept diversity because globe is integrated with diversity and has one spiritual form of energy which has on quality of negative or positive . The reiki practitioner who cannot admit and accept this concept will always criticise other reiki healers .

    1. La'Quivia Hand

      I agree. I am a reiki practitioner and my method of practicing is due to personal life experiences and lifestyle as this progress with time. Namaste

  4. Pamela, I love this article which as usual always makes me think deeply about my own practice and beliefs.

    This article spoke to me about the diversity I see between Reikis and how many allow ego to creep in and set the rules so to speak. Are we not all channeling from the same universal source of energy? Therefore, in my opinion we should be embracing one another not choosing sides ~ whose right, whose wrong. Much like the religious community, when it all boils down to the basics, we all love the same divine creator regardless of what we call him, God, Allah, Yahweh, etc…

    When a master will not embrace a student because they have studied or been attuned with another, what does that say about that master?

    Should we not live, breath and be reiki. And as well live by the precepts:

    Just for today: Do not Anger, Do not worry, Be Humble, Be Honest in your Work, Be Compassionate to Yourself and Others

    Thank you again, I always go deep within when I read your words. They inspire me to be better.


    1. Barb, thank you for your kind words.

      You asked, “what does that say about that master?” when a Reiki master addresses a situation a certain way, which perhaps is differently than you would have addressed it.

      But why ask that question? Why not assume that the Reiki master has his/her own reasons for that, reasons that might not be what you would imagine, and which might be very much aligned with the master’s own values? Why not give one another the benefit of the doubt?

      Is it feasible to ask the master why he/she took that action? If you heard it secondhand, did you factor in that the person telling the story added her own slant?

      1. Pamela,

        This is from my own personal experience not secondhand information. I personally was almost shunned from a healing circle and masters life. I am at peace with it finally after eight months of terrible emotional suffering and realize that this situation was gifted to me for my growth and learning.

        As I said though I struggle with this reaction when we are all channeling from the same source. That in and of itself tells me our love for each other should be unconditional and non judgemental.

        I may be wrong….


      2. Barb, I am sorry for what you went through, and I am very wary of “should,” which often hides judgements and expectations.

        I think we are all just doing the best we can with the challenge of being human, growing our love and awareness as we are able. It takes time.

  5. I live in a community of people who typically don’t “get” what Reiki is or why you would choose to practice such a thing. I love when I can share a Reiki experience with someone and I see the look on their faces at the end. Usually a peaceful and relaxed quiet moment followed by a “What WAS that?” I have never come across someone who tried it and didn’t enjoy the experience. However, I do come across a lot of people who have never tried it and look at me with two heads as I do my best to relay not what is Reiki but rather what Reiki feels like, as simply as possible. I try to not take things personally when they occasionally roll their eyes. Most people want to feel better and are interested in trying Reiki! This article will help me remeber that an eye roll has nothing to do with me or Reiki but about that person and where they are. I am so fortunate to have been able to take the Medical Reiki class this weekend. Being able to communicate Reiki not only with the medical community, but any intelligent person who has never heard or experienced Reiki and would love to hear more about a simple way to bring more balance to your life. Thank you Pamela.

  6. One of the beauties of Reiki as we settle into regular practice is what it teaches us about ourselves, our world, our potential. Any firmly held dogma can interfere with receptivity to new information and understanding. As with any art, a good foundation gives us techniques to help us take the initial steps down a path. Practicing those techniques, integrating them into our sessions, experimenting and interpreting them in new ways takes us to a higher level of artistry and perhaps a new opening for healing to occur. When we close our minds, we automatically close part of ourselves off to the infinite source and may lose an opportunity to learn and grow from it.

      1. Pamela, I love the topics you bring to light. They often give me something to reflect on, and reflecting has often brought me greater clarity about questions I or my students have raised about the practice of Reiki. Thank you for what you do each day.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top