You Can Become an Instant Reiki Master

If being an Instant Reiki Master is your goal, a quick search shows cyber space is liberally sprinkled with ads proclaiming:

“You Too Can Become a Powerful Reiki Master in 48 Hours”

“Becoming A Powerful Reiki Master Has Never Been So Quick, Easy Or Complete.”

But how complete can “quick and easy” be? Isn’t Instant Reiki Master an oxymoron?

Doesn’t mastery — of anything — by definition, take time?

Actualizing Reiki healing

You might think Reiki practice can be easily mastered — that it’s possible to become an instant Reiki master — because Reiki technique is comparatively simple. There are two weaknesses in that reasoning.

The first weakness in the Instant Reiki Master rationale is that the skill of Reiki practice is largely the skill of not doing, and acquiring the skill to do less takes time, maybe even more time than learning a complicated technique, because you’re releasing the tendency to do and fix.

Secondly, is it possible to master even the simplest technique without actually practicing it? Yes, Reiki practice is empowered by initiations, but you still have to actually practice Reiki to improve your skill and avoid getting in the way or creating unnecessary complications.

Does becoming an Instant Reiki Master create healing?

Becoming an Instant Reiki Master doesn’t allow for practice, and since practice is how we get the benefits, becoming an Instant Reiki Master means you don’t get the benefits. You can’t create healing without practice. It’s like having the key but not bothering to put it in the lock and turn it.

Regular Reiki self-practice over (a long) time actualizes the potential of the initiations, so we ourselves are healed by our practice (what could be more powerful than that?).

Healed of what, you might ask?

Healed of whatever needs healing. The details vary from person to person, and according to the situation. Some physiologic healing responses to Reiki practice can be measured, such as heart rate variability (read about our Yale study).  Others are more subtle, yet also transformative, such as the healing of undigested emotions and wrong understanding.

Our Reiki practice changes our understanding gradually and organically. Through our own process of healing, we (slowly) come to realize that mastery is not of the practice, but rather, of ourselves.Instant Reiki master flowering

This profound healing, this realization, cannot happen instantly — or in 48 hours — but only through patient, consistent self-practice.

Spiritual healing and realization are like the natural blossoming of a flower. You cannot rush or force it.

Reiki master student

Becoming a Reiki master is becoming a student, a masterful student of your own ongoing practice, a poised walker of the path, with your Reiki practice as your constant, supportive companion and guide (Today only…).

Continuing self practice unfolds the path before you, sometimes not revealing the next step until your foot is about to hit the ground. It takes time to develop trust in that process. It takes time to develop steadiness.

Isn’t steadiness, especially in the face of adversity, a sign of true mastery? Being an Instant Reiki Master doesn’t bring that kind of steadiness.

Instant Reiki Master myth

Of course we all like fast results. And when offering Reiki treatment, especially in an emergency, sometimes we get them.

But rapid improvement in an extreme situation is the result of restoring balance to a system in distress; it is not the same as becoming an instant Reiki master. And rapid improvement can come with First Degree Reiki practice. You don’t need to be a Reiki master to get good results. You just need to learn to practice Reiki and then actually practice on yourself. Every day. Why?

Because it takes time to build stability in day-to-day life, and day-to-day life is where we spend most of our time.

Let’s be mindful of the tendency to crave instant success and other mirages, and be willing instead to forego being an Instant Reiki Master, choosing instead to become the overnight success that was years in the making.

Because even if it were true that You Can Become an Instant Reiki Master, why would you want to be an instant Reiki master? Why not simply learn First Degree Reiki and then practice on yourself regularly, over time, to unlock the treasures that lie within you?


What are some of the benefits you’ve received from your Reiki practice that have taken time to show up? Please share in a comment below.

Ud Puede convertirse en un Maestro de Reiki al instante, a Spanish translation of an earlier version of the Instant Reiki Master post, is available with other Spanish translations at ReikiCentral en Espanol.

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22 thoughts on “You Can Become an Instant Reiki Master”

  1. First, 48 hours is not instant.

    Second, the 48 hours may refer to study hours, in which case the time spent in training may be longer than the 3 weekend classes it usually takes to get to master level. As far as I can make out it doesn’t say anywhere that these are 48 consecutive clock hours.

    Personally I see them as metaphorical hours like the 7 days of creation, or the 49 days (IIRC) of the in-between bardo state in Tibetan Buddhism (the time between re-incarnations). As I understand these are ‘meditation days’, i.e. the length in 24-hour clock days depends on how agitated the mind is, the calmer the mind the slower the ‘bardo-clock’ runs which means the re-births are further apart and more earth days would have elapsed.

    1. Isn’t time relative, Peter? Compared to a thorough Reiki master preparation, which includes years of practice, 48 hours qualifies as instant.

      That 48 hours is 2 days’ time is understood; if that is not what is meant, the advertising is deliberately very misleading.

  2. Enjoyed reading! Totally agree. Becoming attuned to any energy system is just the beginning…where the learning and real work begin. Thanks for such a great site. XOXO

    Sherry Andrea

  3. I think Mastery is not attained… If I may say so, I think mastery is when we are in a continual expanding of that moment of realization and achievement of what it is to be, to teach, to live Reiki.

    The rest is attunements and process, the “Journeyman work” after our apprenticeship to the energy of life and the Sun Buddha.

  4. When I had my first Reiki treatment, I felt the energy moving through me. It felt beautiful & I was hooked. I became attuned to Reiki 1 a few weeks later & did self treatments every day – sometimes for 2 hours. This was a period of rapid growth & change. Eighteen months later I did Reiki 2 & Reiki 3a a year after that. I was very fortunate to be taught by a compassionate & generous teacher who had weekly practice nights in her home. During hundreds of hours of hands on practice, I learned so much. In 2006 I became a teacher & I began having doubts about the credibility of Reiki. I am a natural therapist, & my training required examinations & hundreds of hours of student clinics. I do believe that Reiki would benefit from being regulated & having minimum standards imposed. However, I have no idea how this could be done or even if it is possible. I like to keep my explanation of how Reiki works science based. I feel that this is the only way to have it accepted by the mainstream medical community. One thing I have learned over the years is that the human body responds to the gentlest touch. Just being present with a loving intent & a compassionate heart is enough.

  5. There are many subtle and probably not so subtle changes that have occurred since I first learned of Reiki. Initially, I learned Reiki to help someone else, not realizing the journey it would take me on. I have found through increased practice and attunements to Reiki Master level it has deepened my connection to Reiki while also increasing my intuition. I have found my own personal healing as well. The person I was when I started this journey is not the same person I am today and I trust as I continue learning and experiencing Reiki it will continue to change. I have also shifted my focus to teaching and also to focusing my practice primarily with animals. So Reiki I feel has served to guide my journey as well. The more I have allowed Reiki to become part of my life the more it has taken me down the path I’m meant to be on.

  6. Pamela, my experience has been that there is hierarchy in the Reiki community. I agree with you that it does not make any sense since Reiki has no practice or training standards.

    In my opinion, the hierarchy stems from the focus on the attunement ritual. Reiki students are often told that the Reiki attunements increase their vibration/energy and allow them to be better healers. They can’t wait to get to the next level of Reiki training in order to become more “enlightened”. The focus on the Reiki attunement is also the reason why we have Reiki offered via the Internet with Instant Reiki master certification.

    I feel that the Reiki class instruction and time spent with an experienced Reiki practitioner (not all Reiki masters are experienced) teaching you Reiki self-treatment initiates your Reiki practice. The attunement is secondary.

    Thank you for this blog and your website. It is a great resource and learning tool for us Reiki practitioners.

    1. I agree that there is much misinformation regarding Reiki practice. This is why I started the Campaign for Credible Reiki and why I encourage practitioners to offer public programs and create websites that give the public reliable, thoughtful information about Reiki.

      Rapid expansion such as we’ve seen in Reiki in the last 20 years always occurs at the expense of standards. We can reverse this trend if we are willing to make the effort needed.

  7. I became a Reiki Master ten years ago. While I tried to establish a Reiki practice at that time, something just wasn’t in alignment. Throughout the next ten years I went through deep and continued transformation. While sitting practice has always been a daily practice for me, my daily Reiki practice has gone through periods of intensity and periods of absence. Finally, I joined my sitting practice and Reiki practice into my daily life over 10 months ago.

    This time of extended and deep practice culminated in a month-long meditation retreat this past summer. It was then that I clearly saw that to become a healer and offer anything of benefit to another person you had to go through your own tribulations, trauma, and healing. This realization moved me from a paradigm of egocentric healing (where I was ten years ago) to a paradigm of compassion and understanding of what it means to heal. Now, finally, I’m getting feedback from the external world that it’s time to offer a practice.

    Reiki mastery means nothing unless I’ve done the work. And only then, when I’ve gone through my own deep transformation and healing, can I enter into the room with a client and realize that I am going to get worked on as much as them. The healing is really two way–the client gets offered whatever they need, and I get offered whatever I need. It’s my experience that I have to have gone through healing enough through my own life to be prepared to offer that to someone else and to be able fearlessly hold space for their process.

    Even now I shy away from writing Reiki Master. It would be amazing if the Reiki community came up with another word for that level that didn’t automatically create some hierarchy of speciality and (for myself) hubris.

    1. I agree with you completely that we cannot sit with someone else’s pain without trying to fix it as long as we have unresolved pain ourselves. Over time, our daily self-treatment teaches us so much about the process of healing and the transformative power of practice.

      I encourage people to spend considerable time as a First and Second degree practitioner, and to develop a professional treatment practice before becoming a Reiki master. In my experience, it makes for a more graceful development and less angst on the part of the practitioner/master.

    2. Thank you, Kenneth. I am deeply touched by your post and I know exactly what you are talking about.

      I do not understand the hierarchy paradigm that seems to exist within the Reiki community. In my opinion, it does not matter whether you are a Reiki Level I practitioner or a Reiki master. The depth of your Reiki practice depends on your self-care and how much you are willing to continously go through self-healing and be transformed. I feel that this is the foundation for being able to offer a healing space for someone else.

      1. Christine and Kenneth, I am curious about your comments that the Reiki is hierarchical. How can that be when there are no standards behind Reiki certification? You might be interested in this post, Certified Reiki What?

  8. I have completed three Reiki master trainings with different teachers of different lineages over the span of 4 years. There was a lot of focus on the attunement ritual. Each teacher attuned completely differently. In my opinion, the time that you spend with a Reiki master teaching you in person initiates you into Reiki practice. After that, it is your daily Reiki self-care that becomes your constant and life-long teacher. I am having a hard time warming up to the title Reiki master. I prefer to call myself a Reiki practitioner because this is what I do on a daily basis. I have not mastered the practice of Reiki and I am far from having mastered myself!:)

    Thank you, Pamela!

    1. You’re very welcome, Christine. And please give yourself time. In can take 20 years of daily self-treatment and professional practice in a range of environments to begin to feel some comfort with the term Reiki master. Let me know, ok? 🙂

  9. Self Reiki has been a big point for me, at seventy four years old it is my fountain of youth, people marvel at the things I can do. What I like is being able to help others, a lady I visited in the hospital Doctors had given up on her could not find her problem, I gave her Reiki right there on the spot next day she was released. Have sent distance Reiki with good results lady told me over the phone she had told her doctor she felt like a new women and she is no teenager she is in her seventy. I could go on and on but the thing to say is how Reiki can be such a blessing to all.

  10. Personally for me, long term practice and the integration of Reiki into my life has made a world of difference in my continuous understanding of what Reiki is capable of accomplishing towards our healing process.

    Of course, this process is unique for everyone and so our practice may be different, yet, Reiki is always the same…bringing us into balance in all things.

    Like most practitioners in the beginning, I had a completely different understanding of Reiki. Coming to a greater realization of this powerful yet subtle energy takes time and a dedicated connection through self practice. Many of my original concepts about Reiki have undergone a process of clarification as I actually came to better understand Reiki and have seen the effect of practice on my own life.

    Over the years, I have always wondered how Reiki will be accepted by the general population as a whole when I see those Internet offers to become a MASTER in 48 hours or by reading a book.

    After teaching for 13 years, I still find that I lack confidence at times, not in my ability to teach so much as in my ability to deal with certain circumstances, such as assisting someone who is dying in a hospital.

    That situation may not happen often but it can and does happen. I seriously doubt that becoming a Reiki Master over one weekend will sufficiently provide the knowledge and confidence needed to assist someone in that manner.

    So many things have to be taken into consideration. I would think that a person trained as an RN or MD, or other health care professional, might be better equipped emotionally to offer that kind of assistance.

    I sometimes think that people do not realize the position they may be putting themselves in by learning to teach Reiki to others. It is a big responsibility.

    The master level training was a new beginning for me on my Reiki journey.
    I will always consider myself a student.

    I welcome any comments from others in this forum. It’s a complicated subject to address and these are just a few of my thoughts. Thank you Pamela, for the opportunity to address these issues.

  11. By continual practice and participation in a local Reiki Shares, I received valuable feedback from each person upon whom I worked and a better feel from the people who worked on me what was helpful and what was irritating. In addition, I am participating in an ongoing apprentice program with a talented Reiki Master, psychic, and multi-discipline energy worker/teacher. I have grown in confidence in my ability and yet realize that Master certification is only a mile marker on a life long journey. My intent is to work as an assistent in teaching courses as I build my clientle and learn by practice the attunement process. Competence and confidence only come from practice, practice, more learning, and practice.

    1. Thank you, Harold. You’re so fortunate to have a Reiki master who is a continuing support to you. I agree completely that we need continuing contemplated practice to develop not only competence, but also confidence in the value and effectiveness of Reiki practice. I encourage students to: Practice. Observe. Contemplate. Repeat.

      May I ask you a question? I’m always curious what Reiki practitioners mean when they refer to offering a treatment to someone as “working on” them. What work are you actually doing? It seems to me that the Reiki practitioner mindfully places hands, observes the receiver to monitor him/her for comfort, and whatever else occurs is a duet between the practice and the person’s self-healing mechanisms. Do you disagree?

  12. It took me several years to reach Master Level. In fact, I took Master level a second time, as I had met a Master/Teacher who enhanced my practice of Reiki. It was important to me to really understand the attunement process, and allow it to reflect into my practice. Taking this time also allowed me to practice the symbols; the how, where and when to use them. My intuition has evolved and I have become more confident in allowing it to guide me. I now teach Reiki – spending 2 days each on Level 1 and Level 2. My students have homework and get lots of practice time.

    1. Thank you, Shelley. We cannot count on our students to continuing practicing on their own unless they leave the class feeling confident that they actually can practice. Wonderful that you give them that support.

    2. Hi,

      I’m actually looking for some guidance, I know this is the direction I want to take. I live in Maine and can not find a Reiki Master in this area, and my budget is very limited. Any ideas you might have, that might help me in the direction I’d like to go would be greatly appreciated.

      There are so many online books, and videos, and I meditate and heal myself daily, even the plants and Earth around me, but I feel as though i’m guiding myself without enough knowledge. I truly think it would be beneficial to have a hands on teacher.

      Again, thank you so much for any ideas

      Warm Loving Regards,

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