Reiki in the Name of Jesus

The intersection of Christianity and Reiki has gotten a lot of press, starting in response to the American bishops’ pronouncement, and taking an unexpected turn when, contrary to the debunking by historians in recent years, the Reiki Digest unearthed evidence that Usui may have been involved with Christianity after all.

How does all this controversy play out in clinical practice? Case by case.

A hospital Reiki practitioner, a professional of many years, recently asked my advice after receiving a request for Reiki treatment that came with an unusual condition. The prospective client—we’ll call her Agnes—wanted a Reiki treatment done “in the name of Jesus.”

Reiki practitioners are sometimes put off by such a request, but not me. I liked that Agnes was giving deep thought to her healing choices. Agnes’s concern could be used as common ground from which to help her explore whether this would be a meaningful and safe healing connection—for her.

In this case, I knew that both the practitioner and the clinic were safe and nurturing. I also knew that even a stellar situation will not be the best match for everyone at any given time.

Reiki and fundamentalism

When we receive a request with a religious component, it’s wise to keep in mind that the person asking this question might be a diehard religious fundamentalist. In that case, an appropriate response would be either “Yes, that’s how I practice,” or “No, it’s not.” A fundamentalist is not interested in our interpretations.

But as practitioners, we want to avoid jumping to conclusions and preemptively closing the door to care, even while remaining mindful that Agnes might have a black-and-white perspective. Our responsibility to take care of our clients starts long before we place our Reiki hands.

People often seek Reiki treatment because they are not feeling well. People who aren’t feeling well are often anxious, and anxiety is expressed obliquely at times. As practitioners, our job is to give prospective clients the facts while compassionately reaching out so they know that we care about their well-being, whether or not they choose to work with us.

Here’s what I wrote back:

Why don’t you have a conversation with Agnes, either on the phone or when she comes, to learn specifically what she has in mind. If you consider yourself a Christian, that may be all she needs. Perhaps she’s been told that asking for Reiki in the name of Jesus is how to make sure you’re not doing “devil” Reiki. But be very careful to let Agnes explain herself, and express how you practice honestly, so that Agnes can make her own informed choice. If you reconfigure your approach in any way to make Reiki more appealing to Agnes, it could backfire.

What was the outcome?

In a follow-up conversation, the practitioner said that although she was originally uncomfortable with Agnes’s request, she felt very different once they met.

Are Reiki and Christianity in opposition?

Agnes was not opposed to Reiki. What Agnes wanted was reassurance that the practitioner was not opposed to Christianity. She requested a few minutes to pray before and after the treatment, but showed no interest in having the practitioner join her in prayer. After speaking with the practitioner, Agnes felt that she could “accept Reiki from the practitioner and heal with Jesus.”

In the month since her initial request, Agnes has been returning for weekly Reiki treatment. She does not discuss her experiences with the practitioner, but her calm demeanor after each treatment speaks volumes.

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48 thoughts on “Reiki in the Name of Jesus”

  1. Takata-trained Reiki master Paul David Mitchell is a practicing Catholic. He will speak to me about Hawayo Takata, Catholicism, and the future of Reiki in a free webinar at 6 PM EST on Monday, January 30, 2012.

    CLICK HERE to register now and you will receive the recording link even if you are not able to be with us live. Registration closes when the event starts.

  2. Great discussion :) It is definitely a plus to respect all people’s religious beliefs, not just in Reiki, but in all aspects of life. If we are mindful that our reality isn’t necessarily another’s, and try to understand where they are coming from and not try to inflict our own point of view, things run much smoother.

    As far as with Christianity, the Bishops’ statement didn’t do any good in helping to promote Reiki among the Catholic community, of which I am a member. But, I find Catholics to actually be fairly open-minded considering some of the things that the Saints believed and practiced, and up until the Bishops denounced the promotion of Reiki it was quite popular at Catholic retreats.

    One point to help people understand, the word Reiki was used to translate the word ‘spirit’ in the New Testament in the second half of the 19th century, showing if nothing else a link between the word Reiki and the Christian concept of ‘spirit’, which is nothing more than a life-giving force. Also, there is Saint Raphael, recognized by Catholics as a healer to whom they ask to intervene for the sick.

  3. I love this post. I was raised by a Catholic mother and Jewish father, and believe me when I say that I know how touchy the territory of religious denomination can get. Personally, I don’t have a strong aversion to any religious practice, but I can certainly understand (from an observational point of view) how, sometimes, people can hold very strong feelings about religion. I love Reiki for many reasons, one of the reasons being that it is a non-denominational spiritual healing practice. It reminds me (ironically) of a passage of the Bible that says: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

    I like to think that Reiki promotes the same kind of perspective. As practitioners, we’re not interested in anything other than the well-being of ourselves and others. And if we’ve been practicing daily, most of us have probably come to the realization that we don’t have any say or control over what ‘well-being’ means for another person. When someone comes to us for help, it means that we (again, ironically) can only help them by relinquishing a certain degree of control. If s/he has concerns regarding how Reiki supports his or her religious beliefs, I think it’s our responsibility as practitioners to respect these beliefs insofar as we can — and this means giving this person the time to address his or her concerns. It would be a terrible loss to let the chance for understanding pass us by.

  4. I once performed Reiki on a woman who later told me that she felt “the hands of God” on her as I was doing the session. I said nothing but the experience moved me. Though I am not a religious person, I do understand that many find religion to be a great comfort to them. As long as they do not try to “save” me I am perfectly all right with them using whatever methods they need (such as prayer etc.) to feel better and heal.

    Live and let live is my motto and that has helped me to be able to help all kinds of people with all kinds of beliefs (or no belief) without judgement.

    1. Pat, I have also been told this, as I imagine many practitioners have. Touching Source as we do through Reiki practice often blesses us with a palpable experience of the unfathomable beneficence that lies beyond duality and religion.

  5. I once offered Reiki to a hospital patient, who before the session was in a lot of pain and a bit hesitant to the treatment. At the end of the session he was in tears as he was telling me that “he felt Jesus by his side” and that the was feeling much better. I just replied that I was happy he was feeling much better and that we was able to have this experience.

    So in my opinion, although Reiki is non-religious, it might bring a state of mind to some patients that allows them to be more receptive to religious experiences or to be in contact with their religious beliefs. For these patients this “healing from within” that Sherri was talking about “or “blossoming from within” that Pamela mentions, might be due to this religious connection that is happening in their inner being.

  6. I read dr dyers book “the power of intention” and tell people to read that if they want to know. It really helps. :D

  7. The patient was conscious enough to register the state of her condition and what she overheard the doctors discussing.She was definitely not in position to discuss issues such as Reiki.All she wanted was to gain relief and comfort at that point of time.As days have passed the patient is quite content with and grateful for whatever makes her feel better.

  8. Thanks for joining the conversation, Alicia.

    The issue here is not religion; it is informed choice. Did you ask your patient if she would like Reiki treatment? Was it possible to discuss it with her, or was she unconscious?

  9. With reference to what Lisa and Sherri have mentioned in their posts above,I would like to speak from my own recent experience.As a Christian nurse engaged to take care of a lady patient I decided that Reiki may also be tried in addition to formal medication being given to her since her health was critical.I remembered Christ for help.I am happy to say there is an improvement in the condition of the patient.The additional betterment in her condition,more than what allopathic medicine alone was supposed to bring about,I can ascribe to Reiki only.I think notions of religion should not come in the way of healing with Reiki,like I have seen it work.

  10. Hi Pamela again Pamela,
    In point of fact there’s nothing wrong with marketing. As you have pointed out it is in fact essential to the success of any endeavor. I am also a marketer and am very well versed in marketing theory and practice.

    The intention of my comment was only that Reiki in itself is not a commodity which can be packaged and sold. The essential energy can’t be branded, trademarked or patented.

    That isn’t to say that we need not engage in marketing Reiki services. As you stated, it is possible to do business from our hearts. I agree that marketing need not despoil Reiki.

  11. Marvin, what’s wrong with marketing? If no one puts a credible approach to Reiki before the public, how will they know it exists? Marketing and business need not despoil Reiki. On the contrary, we can do business from our hearts, and be successful as part of our service, and inspire others to step forward as well. Mark Silver is a lovely example of someone doing business consonant with his spiritual values, and there are many others.

  12. Pamela, thanks again for the opportunity for open dialogue. And Marvin, I agree with your post. In fact I just posted something on another thread on this site (about whether Reiki is a word) that brought up a similar idea about religion being very controlling (from certain people trying to decide for other what something means) and how Reiki is special because there are no “authorities” that exert control (although as Reiki gets more and more recognized, it is possible that some will try to…some may already have).

    The beauty of Reiki, to me, is very much like what you spoke of…the feeling that we derive from it, and one that it is not controlled by any group or individual. We can access that ULFE by many means….Reiki is one of the awesome ones, but I think we need to respect that some will access it in other ways than clinical Reiki or some very specific approach. The individual experience is what makes it great – and individual connection to the Divine, if you believe in such…or an individual connection to the ULFE….whatever you call it, only the individual can define what it is for them.

    Love and light to all!

  13. Hi Pamela. I was so pleased that about your last post in which you support the idea of open dialog in the Reiki community. I have, for some time now, been dismayed that Reiki people can subscribe to views and ideas or ideologies which can be divisive and distracting. The so called branding of various Reiki techniques smacks of commercialism and marketing.

    The fact that we live in a world where reality is based on apparent duality should be considered as a factor. Considering the number of religions that exist it should perhaps be no surprise that Reiki too has differing interpretations. However, each time I do Reiki I am reminded of the core principals I leaned at the time of my first attunement.

    For me the essence and beauty of Reiki lay in the simple fact that, healing energy, by what ever name we give it, is universal. It can not be branded or confined to a specific practice, belief or group. No individual or group control it, it is equally available to everyone and is a birthright which can not be consigned or limited.

    The ability to heal is given to each of us, it is innate and requires no special skill to evoke. Healing is spontaneous when we but remember that we are the product of divine creation and that pain, suffering and disease occur when we set our selves apart for our source. Reiki helps us remember the love which made us and to which we will all return. Love is the beginning and end of all things. It is simple, unencumbered and absolute.

    When we practice Reiki with that thought in view, all else becomes unimportant.

  14. Lisa, please feel free to quote me, and thank you for asking.

    This is why it’s valuable, especially in research, to acknowledge Reiki as a spiritual healing practice. The Reiki connection somehow engages the recipient to heal from within, accessing her own self-healing mechanisms, and the healing process often continues long after the treatment ends.

    I am delighted that this stream has engaged so many of you, and it is fascinating to me how the conversation has developed. When I wrote the original post, I actually wasn’t thinking about Reiki and Christianity. I wanted to showcase the importance of clinical skills, being able to connect with people, to keep the conversation going at least long enough to make sure we understand what the client wants. And I am very happy that this conversation has continued!

    Marvin referred to the need for open dialogue in the Reiki community. I couldn’t agree more. I really don’t care at all about people agreeing with me; I simply want to stimulate a conversation and encourage practitioners (who are sometimes defensive about Reiki and closeminded in their own way) to use critical thinking to tease out the assumptions in the way they think about Reiki, and one another.

    We all have so much to gain, and to offer one another, if we can just stay in the conversation, trying to understand one another, and continually refining the way we “see” our practice.

  15. Pamela,

    I can’t tell you how much I agree with your statement “we blossom very naturally from within, through the grace of the Reiki connection to our own profound, benign inner being”. This, to me of course, is exactly why people can experience so much transformation with Reiki.

    This is what I see with my clients, and it’s why I love Reiki so much, it is indeed something that encourages a person to blossom due to a connection that increasingly grows more profound to the inner being. Very well put! Would you mind if I used that to communicate to my clients? I will make sure to give you full credit of course!


  16. Pamela, I think we are saying very much the same thing in many ways. I have also found that, as a teacher, it is important to use analogies that will communicate the basic concept in terms that will resonate with the “student” or audience and build upon that, as that is the task of any good teacher. Although I feel that even as “teachers” we are both teacher & student…we learn as much from those we are teaching as they learn from us if we are willing to consider ourselves equals.

    Frankly I am always hesitant to use the term teacher or “Master” too much even though I am a Reiki Master/Teacher and Karuna Master/Teacher. I just don’t want it to be about ego or get to that, because I think that will greatly reduce one’s effectiveness. To me, it is much more special to have someone feel my ability or efficacy than to believe in it because of a title or credential…Again, that’s just my personality… I know it’s a little different than most!

    And now I have gotten well off topic…sorry :)

  17. Thanks, Sherri, I appreciate your openmindedness. I agree that unconditional love has a vibration/energy (in fact, everything does) and that the experience is most important.

    As a teaching Reiki master and communicator, I think part of my job is to contemplate my experience and choose my words carefully. You and I may have a shared experience and the words we use with one another may not be so crucial, but when I’m communicating with others, especially those who have no Reiki experience, my words set up expectations, and I feel a responsibility for their impact.

    From a nondual perspective, the source of the vibration/energy is consciousness; the vibration/energy is actually an expression of consciousness, it’s the point at which the all-pervasive consciousness (which I call Reiki consciousness), the state of unconditional love, divides itself to manifest as different forms. We feel so deeply renewed by Reiki practice because the practice brings that state closer to our awareness, and our vibrational/energetic state becomes more harmonious. We bond during Reiki treatment with another and during Reiki classes because our awareness is opening to our essential oneness/love instead of being so focused on our separateness/pain.

    I like to contemplate my practice in this way. It gives my mind something uplifting to do and enables me to better support others when they have questions. But it has also taken me off topic again! Where’s the moderator here? :-)

  18. I personally think the unconditional love does carries a very strong energy and high vibration. I think it is energy and one that heals and empowers. That is just my own feelings and interpretation based on my experience. (And actually I think everything is energy). But I also see what you’re are saying about “experiencing the state of unconditional love” – that feeling that is what opens us – which is true too, but I think we actually feel the energy of that love (kind of like we hear different vibrations as different tones or pitches…I think we feel the vibration/energy on a deeper level). And I don’t think Reiki is a separate energy…I think it is a method to achieve that powerful energy or state of love.

    Again, that’s just my personal interpretation. Others may feel differently,and it doesn’t offend me at all. I don’t personally like to get too caught up in the “why” or “how” of what makes it work, or get into semantics too deeply. It is kind of like how I use electricity…I know that when I turn the light switch on, the light comes on….I don’t know specifically what makes electricity work, but I do know that it works and is powerful! I prefer to pay attention to the feelings or energy that surround it, rather than the details of how it works (that’s just what works well for me and where my gifts seem to be….others may discover much through the thinking or intellectual aspect).

    I don’t only use specific Reiki practice in energy work or spiritual connections, but it is a great tool to help balance, heal, energize….and a tool that I am very grateful to have.


  19. Sherri,

    Do you think it’s the “energy” of unconditional love, or experiencing the state of unconditional love? It seems to me that when we experience that state within us, which often happens during the Reiki connection, then we become less rigid because we are less afraid, because we have experienced how much more there is to life and to us than that which we fear.

    This is very different than speaking of Reiki as a separate energy that “opens” people and “makes” them anything. Rather, we blossom very naturally from within, through the grace of the Reiki connection to our own profound, benign inner being.

  20. Lisa, I have found the same thing…that Reiki (and also just that energy of love and acceptance, without judgment) can actually open people up and make them less rigid in thought. The energy of unconditional love is so powerful. To me, that is what makes energy healing methods that are based on that foundation fit so well into the ideas of Jesus.

    My own experience with Reiki has been that it opens me up to spirit, angels, etc. I have found that Catholics are often very open to the idea of calling on Saints, so they can grasp the concept of working with Spirit in that context. I had a very powerful experience with St. Francis, which I wrote about on my blog. Here is the link the that post:

    I have found that this experience resonates particularly well with many of my Catholic friends who have become open to Reiki. Many nuns practice Reiki as well, and were actually the significant instrumental force in getting Reiki in many hospitals, so even though the U.S. Bishops have cast some fear around Reiki, many prominent nuns have done otherwise, and have found it to enhance their spirituality and their connection to God.

    Great article…great posts…thanks to Pamela and all who shared their perspective.

  21. I really enjoyed this article and felt it addressed a very good question that has come up for me in my Reiki practice quite often. I have many Catholic relatives who are very devoted to their religion and they too want to know if their sessions can be done invoking the spirit of Jesus.

    I loved how you provided us with a good way to explore further to see if this would be a person you would like to work with. Personally, what I tell my Christian/Catholic relatives is that Reiki is not a religion and that they can invoke whatever they feel the most comfortable with for their personal healing in the session. This usually relaxes them and makes them more open to receiving Reiki. I also find that some people who are very fundamentalist in their religion can be very closed off and rigid in the rest of their lives, and that Reiki actually helps them be a little less rigid and more open (especially in the heart) to other people.

    Thanks again for a great article.

  22. No apologies needed, Marvin. I appreciate your input and am just trying to do my job as moderator. There is so much to be discussed, and if we keep it somewhat organized in streams relevant to the original post, it will help people find what is of interest.

    My book, REIKI: A Comprehensive Guide, was published in 2006 by Tarcher/Penguin and reissued in softcover last year, with some updates/edits. My book is conveniently available on my website, which hosts this blog. Go to Home and scroll down. Thank you for your interest.

  23. Thanks you for your very concise response. I apologize for apparently moving somewhat off topic. I entirely agree with your comment that by suggesting that Christ practiced Reiki is historically indefensible and honors neither Christ/Christianity nor Usui/Reiki practitioners. This has been my position for some time.

    The directness and openness with which you discuss the topic are much needed in the Reiki community, irrespective of the style being practiced by individuals or groups. Your use of the term “brand recognition” certainly points to another issue. As that issue is clearly off topic I won’t expand further.

    I am pleased to note that you have written a book. If that currently in print I would be interested to read it. Please let me know where I can get it.

  24. I don’t want to go into history too much here as I try to balance open discussion with keeping somewhat on topic, but the only source I trust for Reiki history is Hyakuten Inamoto, for reasons stated in With Gratitude, Work Diligently and in the chapter on Reiki history in my book. Everything else I’ve read–and I haven’t read the book Marvin cites–shows distinct bias and/or lack of ability to do original research. I find all versions of “my Reiki is more authentic than your Reiki” (and I am not implying that Marvin is saying this) to be quite boring. I am only interested in what can be documented from an academic perspective, and having done the research for numerous articles and a book, I know how challenging it is and that there are errors of fact in most of what is written, across all perspectives.

    By the time Mrs. Takata and her Reiki master Chujiro Hayashi brought the practice out of Japan, that lineage (Usui/Hayashi/Takata) was referring to the practice sourced from Usui’s original teachings (which were mostly meditative, some healing) as Reiki. Although the lineage has gone through increasing permutations, “Reiki” still refers to practices that share Usui as their historical, documented lineage source. Although some people are ill informed (the myths are many) or have deliberately used “Reiki” in their product name to boost product recognition, the common usage still refers to Usui-sourced practices, whether from Usui’s lineage alone (the Gakkai), or Usui/Hayashi lineage (such as Inamoto-sensei), or Usui/Hayashi/Takata.

    By keeping lineage history straight, we both acknowledge our ancestors/teachers and avoid confusion. Ultimately it would seem that all spiritual practices connect with the same Source, a reality which cannot be spoken but which is referred to with different names in different traditions. That does not negate the importance of remembering that there are different practices and traditions which were begun by different teachers. Saying Christ practiced Reiki not only is historically indefensible, it honors neither Christ/Christianity nor Usui/Reiki practitioners.

  25. Thank you as well Pamela, I very much appreciate your response to my last comment. I agree with you entirely on your point about our lack of knowledge as how Usui practiced. I have read several excellent book on the actual origin of Reiki. One of the best I’ve found to date is the eBook “Usui Reiki and Beyond” by Don Beckett. The book seems to be very thorough and well researched.

    In the introduction the author makes the point that students who were taught directly by Usui said that he referred to his technique as “Method to Achieve Personal Perfection”. Some of his students referred to it as “Usui Teate” (Usui hand method). Others called it Usui-Do (Usui Way).

    In following paragraphs the author advises that at the time of Usui’s death in 1926 there were already several different Reiki methods being taught in Japan. Apparently some students were taught that the method was for “self-awakening” while others were taught that it was primarily a “spiritual path” but included some “healing techniques”.

    The author also states that after Usui died a group of students formed the “Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai” Chujiro Hayashi, a member of this group left to began his own practice which focused more on physical healing. The author states that “it is fairly certain” that it is Hayashi that began calling the technique he used as “Usui Reiki Ryoho”.

    The author states that Hayashi taught different things to different students. Some of these students then went on to teach their own systems. The most famous of these was Hawayo Takata who called her method “Usui Shiki Ryoho” (Usui Style Healing Method). Takata is most responsible for introducing Reiki to the west and providing the basis for our perception of it.

    I have been initiated into three different styles of Reiki all of which are slightly different. My instincts and experiences tell me that none of these incorporate all the elements which Usui must have used. Over many years of practice I’ve also concluded that, if we could see Usui’s original techniques we would find that there is no such thing as a universal Reiki technique.

    What I mean by that statement is simply this. Usui may have realized that Reiki treatment must be highly individualized and so his techniques may have varied from person to person depending on their specific needs. In the same way that we are appear to be physically different we are also each at at a different point in our spiritual evolution. This may also explain why he taught different students different things and given rise to variations on why some assume to have been a single standardize method.

    I feel very strongly that, while physical healing is a part of Reiki, it’s real purpose and function is to aid in our spiritual growth. Physical healing is simply a necessary by-product because we need our physical bodies as a means of experiencing this realm of existence. to paraphrase and old often used saying, “We spiritual beings having a physical experience”.

    The connection some have drawn between how Usui healed and how Jesus healed is unfortunate for a number of reasons. Many but not all Christians believe that Jesus was the “only begotten son of God”. In this view his healing abilities were unique and “supernatural” not something which mortal humans could attain.
    For them, any suggestion that we might acquire such healing methods could be seen as foolish and misguided at best, a challenge to their faith or blasphemy, pure and simple.

    The most conservative Christian views of God and our relationship to God is based on a specific paradigm which some might see as being challenged by Reiki or any other such technique. It’s my feeling that even in a world where enlightened discussion is possible, such views should not be taken lightly or dismissed as trivial. To do so risks creating a backlash which could be detrimental to the Reiki and those who practice it.

  26. Well stated, Marvin, thank you.

    Most people who say they practice the “Usui method of natural healing” haven’t a clue what Usui’s method actually was. It’s useful to draw a distinction between recognizing Usui as the progenitor of this practice and assuming that the mechanics of our practice are the same as his. To my knowledge, the only people practicing the same mechanics Usui actually practiced are members of the Gakkai, and according to Hyakuten Inamoto, there are fewer than 200 in the organization.

  27. I agree with Pamela Miles when she says that

    “Certainly other practices, such as meditation, access universal consciousness/unconditional love/unified field, but to call them Reiki practices is misleading at best”.

    The term Reiki was coined to describe a practice of energy healing. Some also refer to the technique as the “Usui method of natural healing”. The core energy which is available to all is in fact nameless. Reiki is not a specific energy or source of energy but rather a description which has been applied to a form of energy work, a technique which was found by Usui.

    Hands on healing techniques have been used for centuries and know by many different names. Reiki is only one such method.

    For the record, it is my feeling that Jesus healed in a manner which could not be considered as Reiki. However, how Jesus healed is a subject which might consume volumes and couldn’t be adequately addressed in a comment.

    Reiki people need to be cautious about confusing others by suggesting that Jesus used Reiki. Many hold very strong religious beliefs which may in fact be deeply offended by the suggestion that, by being initiated as a Reiki practitioner, one can evoke a healing response in the same was as did Jesus.

    Once up a time such a suggestion would have placed you in peril of being burned at the stake. Today however, when Reiki is being banned in schools and churches such suggestions in fact may do considerable if unintentional harm to those seeking wider acceptance and understanding in the medical community and the public at large.

  28. A lot of people say a lot of things, but there is no documentation of Reiki practice happening before Usui. It is clearly his creation, and he says so in a published interview.

    Certainly other practices, such as meditation, access universal consciousness/unconditional love/unified field, but to call them Reiki practices is misleading at best.

  29. Though the practice of modern day Reiki started with Usui,but I have been taught that it was practiced before that also.I find an agreeable chord in the expressions of Omayra and Sherri…

    I think we are blessed to be of the lineage of Jesus as He lovingly healed with Reiki.

  30. I’ve been following this discussion and find it quite interesting. Let me just throw in another point of view and some of my own personal experience. When I was first initiated into Reiki I was, like everyone else, told that the word Reiki is derived from two Japanese words Rei and Ki which translates roughly as Universal Energy or Universal Life Force.

    What confused me for some time is how, it this energy is universal is it possible that by initiation alone we are able, channel, or focus the energy to stimulate a healing response in ourselves or others. I then became aware of other energy healing techniques, such as Quantum Touch as one example, which evoke a healing response without the need for initiation.

    Other energy healing methods do not specifically define the healing energies in use aside from the commonly accepted names such as Ki or Chi or Parana etc. Some use various healing prayers or mantras which evoke healing responses.

    So I began to wonder, if the energy we use is universal what makes Reiki different? What specifically happens during a Reiki initiation which sets Reiki initiates apart from other energy workers?

    Are we in some way, but virtue of this initiation able to amplify the effect of the energy? Likely the answer to that question is no. In point of fact I’m aware that some other energy healing techniques seem to evoke a markedly faster response than does Reiki. If the source of healing energy is indeed the same, why, would we need a term such as Reiki to describe this specific technique?

    After much study and years of personal practice I’ve come to my own conclusions on these matters. I feel strongly that the purpose of Reiki initiation is not really to open us a channels of healing energy. That is simply a byproduct of initiation but not it’s intended purpose.

    Clearly other energy workers using other techniques can stimulate a healing response. In Reiki we are initiated, which is often called an attunement. I was once told that the term is used because it is suggestive that our frequency is being altered to make us better receivers of the universal energy. However I feel that the real purpose of attunement is to bring about a spiritual awakening.

    Pamela Miles states quite correctly that her mediation is “not about connecting with energy or about healing others”

    It’s my opinion that the symbols which are placed into our aura during a Reiki initiation help attune us with, as Pamela says “the state of oneness consciousness or primordial consciousness”. In doing this they open us to the limitless potential of what we define as Reiki energy.

    I am also student of “A Course In Miracles”. That book reminds me in various ways that the real power to heal resides in love. It also repeats that all healing is remembering the love of God which is universal and eternal. Perhaps the real purpose of Reiki is to offer us the opportunity to do exactly that.

  31. My meditation is not about connecting with “energy” or about healing others directly. It’s my own personal practice in which I dive deeply within.

    The purpose of meditation is to become absorbed in the state of oneness consciousness, or primordial consciousness, also called Reiki, but it’s an all-pervasive consciousness, not “energy.”

  32. Thank you for the clarification.Pamela.
    Then,is the energy that one connects with in meditation exactly the same as Reiki?
    If so,how to use it for healing?

  33. Sorry, Vish, I’m not a good person to ask such questions.
    I’m not one for a lot of “shoulds,” especially regarding Reiki practice. I would say that in most cases, it makes sense to offer Reiki treatment only to people who ask for it, but this is a matter of boundaries, not ensuring receptivity. My perspective on Reiki is not dualistic; I do not experience it as a separate “energy” that one has to be receptive to. Rather, I experience Reiki as our own core being, and Reiki treatment reminds our system of that in a profound way.

    From my perspective, only practices that originated with Usui’s practice are Reiki, so I do not consider Karuna or other “channeled” practices to be Reiki. I’m not saying that they are not valid and effective “energy” interventions in their own right, but to my understanding, they are not Reiki practice.

  34. Is it true that Reiki should be given to a person when he/she is willing,or has asked for it[in order to ensure rceptivity]…
    Is it also true that Reiki,with all its finer elaborations in the Reiki and Karuna Reiki symbols,is only the complete life energy(or the Spirit-which flowed Jesus Christ to create perfection in health to replace the dis-eased forms with perfect health that the Divine Energy is supposed to be).Some people have been heard to remark that Reiki is not complete Life Energy,though I would like to feel that it is.

  35. I once had a similar experience after offering Reiki treatments to a neighbor suffering from should and neck problems. In that instance she rebuffed my offer advising that she would only accept treatment from a fellow Christian. As I was raised Baptist and was in fact baptized, I felt entirely qualified, which I gently pointed out.

    A more involved conversation followed in which I carefully explained that Reiki is is universal and entirely non-religious. I pointed to the fact that it works on animals, fellow beings with no concept of religion.

    Irrespective of anything I said my neighbor was unmoved from her belief that the only true healing possible for her must be Christian in origin. She expanded her comments to let me know that she accepted nothing outside her own faith and beliefs all of which derived from a very specific brand of Christianity. In summary she advised that he was entirely confident that she would go to heaven and others, myself included would not if we didn’t also follow in her example.

    I must admit that I was taken back by such an apparently narrow view. I have since come to better understand fear may drive such limiting beliefs. Regrettably it is such fear which often causes illness, pain and suffering.

    Reiki is about accepting love with an open heart and a grateful spirit. To have an open heart, one must first have an open mind.

  36. Sherri,
    The technique of prayer you have explained is invaluable indeed.You have hit the nail on the head.I have already started the appliction of Reiki to the heart/soul/emotions on reading your advice.The concept of treating the root cause rather than dosing its manifestations makes an immense sense.What all you have said is what I have been looking for a long time.I have made a note of the different modalities of healing you have mentioned,and am going to try them out.Will get back to you with the results through the email address given on your website.I can feel a tremendous potential of learning of you.Pamela is rendering such a great service by putting all these gems on her blog.My grateful thanks to both of you.

  37. Vish,

    Practices such as Reiki offer a path to healing, and we are all aware of the power of prayer (“feeling” prayer – where you “feel” what you are praying for is most effective – more so than our modern day version of recited or verbal prayer…Read Gregg Braden’s “Secrets of the Lost Mode of Prayer”…great little read about the power of prayer and how to expand it).

    Mediation and affirmations are very effective as well. Louise Hay has provided powerful affirmations in her “You Can Heal Your Life” books – and she had to play out her own healing from cancer through her methods (and did so successfully, as did Gregg Braden).

    I believe that the best and most complete healing comes from healing from within…our emotions…healing our soul, and that often our physical ailments will heal when we address these. If we heal without touching the underlying issues, then disease will only manifest elsewhere or crop up again. We must be willing to address our past pains (this life or another), ASK for healing, and BELIEVE it. Reiki, prayer, meditation, healthy diet, exercise, accupunture, getting out in nature or other ways of connecting to our inner selves – all contriubute to healing (as does traditional medicine in many cases – we just need to remember that it is not the end all to healing).

    We often think of healing as only the physical (as in the disease), but the healing we should most strive for is of the heart/soul…loving ourselves again and understanding that we are worthy of love and one with God/Source. Once we are vibrating in this love energy on a regular basis, all else follows.


  38. Yes, Vish, there are many avenues for healing – the most important factor is our allowing it. When we are in fear of the method, we block receipt of that energy. I believe that love and acceptance are the keys, which is probably why Jesus was/is such a good healer, because he lived/lives in love and acceptance. That was the essence of his ways and teachings.


  39. As someone who was raised in the Christian faith and who sees the foundation of Reiki to complement the ways of Jesus, I have pondered this question many times. I even write a blog that deals with the concept day-to-day, not just about Reiki but about spirituality in general. I see Jesus as someone to emulate as a loving and non-judgmental soul. I also see the loving practice of Reiki as a way to live in that light. When I am explaining Reiki to someone who may have concerns about it being “Christian” and not some evil Japanese practice, I explain that Reiki, while its modern roots are Japanese, is rooted in pure love and non-judgment (what I somtimeis call “God-love). I explain that it is very much like the way Jesus or angels love and protect us. I do not have a problem evoking the name of Jesus or any loving being that sought or practiced non-judgment and love toward others.

    To me, it is more important not to be to rigid in how I practice Reiki, but to allow what feels comfortable for the person (again, as long as it is understood to be love and not about judgment). I can easily say, “Yes, we can do this session in the name of Jesus because Jesus taught to be purely loving and non-judgmental. We will be practicing what Jesus taught.” That provides comfort to the recipient and to me. I like performing Reiki or energy work in the name of Jesus because to me it is very much what he represented (but what the Christian religion often forgets).

    The remarkable thing that I have noticed in these situations where people have been reluctant to try Reiki because of religious fears, leading them to want to do it in the name of Jesus to alleviate concerns, is that these individuals so often have a powerful experience and even a spiritual awakening of some sort – so I would certainly not want to deny that possibility just because they feel more comfortable consciously evoking Jesus as part of it.


  40. Earlene Gleisner, RN/Reiki Master

    After twenty five years with Reiki, I’ve crossed paths with many variations of Christianity, Buddhism, Atheism, Agnosticism, etc. When asked to describe Reiki and the Usui System, I always ask some kind of question that gives me a hint regarding the person’s concept of god or organizing consciousness. It helps so that I can couch my terms in the framework of their understanding.
    When I’m talking with someone who holds a Christian belief, I take care to describe Reiki as strictly the passage of energy through me to the need in the body before me. I take care and refrain from commenting that the session is in answer to a prayer. I don’t want them to misinterpret my actions as my trying to answer that prayer.
    I often describe the sensation of offering my hands to someone in need as feeling like I am standing in the grace of the spirit of god. Sometimes that works for them. Sometimes it doesn’t.
    In my teachings from Rev. Fran Brown, who crossed over this Easter, she repeated many times the words of Rev. Takata. “You don’t need any particular kind of religion to use Reiki, but after learning it, you might want to get some religion.”

  41. I became a Christian years before becoming a Reiki practitioner so I can understand and relate to the request Agnes made. Reiki is a foreign concept to many people and I believe healing comes easier to a person that is open to receiving it. Agnes’ way of being open to Reiki treatment is to include Jesus in her experience. So personally when this topic is brought up by someone interested in receiving a Reiki treatment from me I let them know that I am a Christian and that Reiki is a healing practice that can be used by anyone regardless of their religion. I myself respect each person’s views and comfort zones and I agree with Vish.

  42. There is a beautiful piece of learning inherent in the delineation of this episode for all of us engaged in the practice of Reiki.Everyone has to interpret it according to his or her own sensibility.As per my own experience,Reiki does bring about healing and highest good both for the person receiving it as well as the one giving it.Having Reiki flow with a theological or a non-theological mindset doesn’t make a difference,except in a psychological sense.So,whichever of the two ways one tends to feel more benefitted and more satisfied may be adopted.

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