Practice Makes Present

Do you approach Reiki healing as a technique to perfect, or as a practice to explore?

Maybe you’re wondering, what’s the difference?

Reiki healing technique

If you approach your Reiki self-treatment as a healing technique, then you likely have some concern — anxiety even — about doing it correctly, or well, or even — perfectly.

Then on any day that your Reiki self-treatment doesn’t meet your expectations, you struggle with that internal yardstick of PRAISE&BLAME, looking so hard for evidence you’re doing it right and so sure you’re doing it wrong — that you miss the big picture: the all important fact that you are practicing, you are giving yourself a Reiki treatment.

This approach leads many students to stop self-treatment, because in their minds, they can’t do it “good enough” to make it worth doing (this also happens with other practices such as meditation and yoga).

Reiki spiritual practice

If you approach Reiki self-treatment as a practice, then the goal is simply to practice. As Mrs. Takata often said, “Just do it.”

On days when your experience doesn’t match your expectations (these days happen), rather than assuming some variation of failure, you recognize your expectations as just that — expectations — and direct your awareness to exploring your current experience, or to simply being with it.

In Reikiville, instead of practice makes perfect, practice makes present.

Welcome to Reikiville.

Does any of this sound familiar? If so, please tell us how you’re discovering your present, or ask a question in the comment box below.

Related Reading:
How to Practice Reiki Self-Treatment


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29 thoughts on “Practice Makes Present”

  1. Wendy schweitzer

    I have taken the reiki 2 class 2months ago and
    Kind of feel lost sometimes. I do self practice
    Everday. I have ‘ nt practiced on that many
    People though. Should my reiki teacher be helping me
    With some of this? I asked to volunteer and
    She sent me an email for that. I want my own practice
    One day. I’m wondering if i should be starting that
    On the weekends and handing out business cards.
    Any advice????

    Wendy S

  2. Just started self reiki. My chronic illness is making me feel full of panic. Being virtually housebound and laid up for days at a time. Pamela has given me new hope and a way forward while still dealing with a body that controls me! I want to leave behind the feelings of shame and embarrassment – I can’t accept being like this!

  3. I wouldn’t put a “should” in this, Ron, but my Second degree class is open only to those of my First degree students who practice daily self-treatment, and have been doing so for a minimum of three months. Daily Reiki self-treatment is the foundation of our practice and remains the primary way in which we develop our relationship with Reiki.

  4. Hi Pamela

    I will taking Reiki 2 sometime in April of this year. Is there any approach (e.g diet,
    mindset, practices etc) one should observe and/or prepare in advance ( one month before) inorder to maximize the full benefits of the Reiki 2 attunement.

  5. Chrissy, it’s wonderful that you are restarting your Reiki self-treatment. Congratulations!

    I think much too much is made of sensations. What’s most important is how you feel. I encourage you to let yourself drop inside while practicing, and let your mind rest. Then at times other than during your self-practice, contemplate any changes you notice in how you feel. They can be subtle and still be very valuable. Sometimes the little differences are the ones that are most beneficial. We are now having a daily self-treatment initiative with people giving feedback about their experience at the end of How to Practice Reiki Self-Treatment and also at

    You might also try taking the Usui Virtual Retreat that is offered on this website to support you in restarting your practice.

    Once you are initiated, it is for life, so practice in confidence. That said, if you have the opportunity to receive treatment from someone else, that experience often helps people with their confidence if they’ve fallen away from the practice.

    Nothing can block the balancing benefits of Reiki self-treatment. If you notice differences over time and feel that your medications might need adjusting (that you might need less), be sure to discuss this with your physician, as some medications require careful monitoring. If you are shy to tell your doctor that you are practicing Reiki, print out some of the medical papers available and bring in the hard copies so that your doctor sees that what you are doing is safe.

  6. Hello Pamela, I was wondering if you can give me any advice. I am on alot of medication and I have not practiced reiki for a long time. When I was attuned I could feel it but now I spend hours trying to feel the energy and I feel nothing. Could it be that Im on medication now thats blocking it all, my diet or a combination and also that I havnt done it a while. Perhaps I just need to be persistent and trust that its working even if I cant feel anything from it??

  7. Hi Vish,

    I love what you have been saying throughout the retreat and the way you have shared the thoughts that come up during your experiences. Would you be interested in writing something for Touch, or perhaps allowing the Magazine to print some of the comments you already posted? If so, please let Pamela know and she will connect us via email.

    Many Thanks

  8. Thank you so much Pamela for your encouraging words and further guidance which will help me in refining and strengthening my daily practice…I feel your suggestion above:”We can practice Reiki perfectly well without paying attention (such as when watching the US Open)” is going to be practically very helpful for me in my practice.I’ll revert to you with my next experience.Love,Vish

  9. By “Reiki flow,” do you mean the sensations in your hands? Isn’t it possible that what’s flowing is our own biofield?

    It’s wise to draw a distinction between what we experience and what is really happening during Reiki practice, which we can never truly know.

    There are many advantages to being aware when practicing, but let’s remember that it is not necessary. We can practice Reiki perfectly well without paying attention (such as when watching the US Open). 🙂

  10. Has anyone ever expereinced a feeling of lessening of Reiki flow in their practicing or treating of others? In this instance what should a practitioner do? I imagine negativity might sink into a practitioners consciousness if this awareness was misunderstood. How are we to understand a lessening of awareness if and or when it occurs? Is it a matter of confidence?

  11. The sincerity of each writer shines through the comments. Please keep practicing with love and patience.

    Vish, you need not burden yourself by reaching for complete objectivity and judging each session. Just practice in the moment, as you have been doing, with great love, and a sense of adventure, and a bit of bliss.

  12. Dear Pamela,
    During the course of the Retreat there has been so much to learn by ‘practising’ and by reading the experiences of the other participants on this page. It is very nice to note that the other participants have also gone through almost similar experiences while practising Reiki during these three weeks, and your comments on and affirmations of the same have been very encouraging. To speak for myself, I have also tried to just practice. It certainly is hard to bring about complete objectivity and dispassion in oneself while practising it, especially on oneself. The element of subjectivity while giving Reiki to myself had earlier been more pronounced as compared to the times when I gave it to others. So the effectiveness of the results felt after the sessions used to be there in proportion to the amount of subjectivity that had been part of that particular session. As with ongoing practice daily I have succeeded in setting aside my ego and surrendering myself to the inflow of Reiki and remaining more or less passive I have felt benefitted more. In fact, sometimes it felt like bliss as well as Blessing flowing into me…I will appreciate your further comments on it. Vish

  13. Recently, I have struggled with my Reiki experience and the current retreat has moved me in a new direction. Today for the first time in my Reiki Life I chose to practice Reiki self treatment solely for the sake of daily self practice. ( not treatment….Practice ) This may not seem signifigant but I have come to realise that I indeed felt unworthy of self practice and had been using self treatment as a tool in a toolbox for physical practice or a tool I used in my personal preparation for the treatment of others. I was keeping myself energetically strong but using self treatment only as a means to an end. Today I chose to practice for myself, not for need or a discipline but just practice to be with the Reiki and be with myself. Today I didn’t perform a self treatment I participated in a self practice.

    I feel very happy and empowered and very free of old ideals and weights. In trying to be very professional and proficient I indeed stood in my own way. Without your retreat, guidance and support I may never have come to understand there is a whole other reason we practice.

  14. Detachment seems hard when we expect it to just happen, but if we think of detachment as a practice, as part of our Reiki practice, and we monitor our state while offering treatment, especially to others, but also to ourselves, then detachment becomes easier over time. It becomes a habit to let go of the results and be present in the moment.

    As we experience the increased acceptance and freedom, the sense of partnering, of co-creating, even playfulness that practicing detachment brings, we are motivated to keep practicing.

    In this way, we create a positive mental loop, instead of trusting our state to the vagaries of the mind.

    Does that feel more doable? This is s’posed to be motivational! 🙂

  15. Perhaps when using Reiki with friends, it isn’t possible for the practitioner to be objective. Instead we, as practitioners & friends, look for what WE want from the outcome. This is much the same reasoning as lies behind counselling. As counsellors, we cannot counsel friends simply because our subjectivity stands in the way.

    To effectively practice Reiki with those we know and love, we need to be able to “let go” of the relationship and simply allow the connection to flow. We are simply conduits through which Reiki flows, but sometimes it is hard to let go of the personal element.

  16. I spent time with my friend today who in no way feels that Reiki didn’t help her, she asked me for more! She is much calmer in the face of the unkown re: this infection. I do appreciate the comments and believe that I am to “let go” of the outcome and be happy that my friend is being helped beyond what I can perceive with my eyes. A good lesson for me in my practice.

  17. David and Barbara’s comments pose a fascinating juxtaposition, David realizing benefits more profound than he imagined, and Barbara understandably confused and distressed when Reiki treatment to her friend did not yield the usual results. The two comments bear reading and rereading.

    It is hard not to get attached to expected outcomes, especially when a friend is involved. We can easily find ourselves squeezed in the vise of “shoulding,” usually without even realizing it, so kudos to you, Barbara, on your self-awareness and insight.

    Contemplation can be very useful at these times, helping us to identify, feel, and heal the lack of acceptance, or even pain, that leads to a case of the “shoulds,” and to use the discomfort to deepen our relationship with Reiki.

    There is such freedom in detachment from the fruits of our actions, and that freedom enables us to serve better.

    And remember, Today only. You do have a choice here. Why not hold onto your friend’s feeling that your Reiki treatments helped her with her pain and be grateful that you could offer her that support? We really have no way of knowing all that Reiki did for her. It’s impossible to measure prevention, but as difficult as your friend’s experience has been, we know it could have been worse, and that for too many patients, it is worse.

    Mrs. Takata encouraged her students to do their best, and then leave it. Good advice for all of us, advice that life gives us many opportunities to practice.

  18. Barbara do you believe Reiki makes connections to what is necessary for each individual for their greatest benefit? I am sure you do….then consider if there is some issue that needs to come to light that before the bigger picture can be positively affected. In this type of instance the outcome might be adversly affected if the alerting event never occured. I offer this…perhaps the journey to healing is just beginning and these events pave the way for something larger than we can see at present. Our current retreat asks us to sit with or just being with ourselves being present with Reiki so try being present with this event and see where it’s subtleties lead. Pamela says reiki conects us to that which connects us all. Perhaps dominoes are starting to fall into place.

  19. I have been challenged recently by “results”. My good friend underwent back surgery where I work and I gave her Reiki in the Pre-op unit and Post-op unit and in her hospital room. The week prior to that she was an in-patient and I gave her Reiki three out of four days.
    Yesterday she learned her incision is infected, she had a horrible reaction to the antibiotic and was covered in hives. Somehow I “feel” like Reiki should have prevented this from happenning. It did help her pain or at least she thinks it did. I didn’t realize I was attached to outcomes so much but I see I am. I’ve done Reiki on pts. many times in the hospital but this never happenned and esp. never to a dear friend!

  20. I’ve just joined the Retreat recently, and have enjoyed the inspiring and helpful meditations. Thank you very much, Pamela.

    I now understand and agree with your ideas about the transformational qualities of Reiki practice over time. From day to day, I always enjoy my self-treatment immensely, yet had sometimes wondered if the effects were cumulative and lasting.

    Recently, I experienced a personal event I haven’t had to face for many years, perhaps for as many years as I’ve practiced. It’s been difficult to be sure, but I am so grateful for the “relative” ease of passing through the storm this time. I feel I have my Reiki practice to thank. Something is really different.

  21. Judith S. Jacobson

    Reiki is such a good fit for me; especially because I am lazy and disorganized, it is a tremendous blessing. It is right there in my hands. I don’t have to remember where I put it. I don’t have to make an appointment. I can just do it, whenever and wherever. As the commercial says, Priceless. I also think of it as basic self-care, like toothbrushing. I do it regularly, sometimes hastily or incompletely, but any is better than none. And it will still be there next time . . .

    1. Thank you thank you, all!

      Lynda, since there are no agreed upon standards for Reiki training, it’s very tough for prospective students to gauge the value of a class. Add to that the lack of understanding of practice itself, especially in the US, and we have a huge challenge. This was one reason I wrote my book. It helps to educate the public (and students) about practice and how to identify a credible teacher or practitioner in their area. Perhaps it would be a useful resource for your students and prospects. You might want to direct them to that particular chapter.

      And in case any of this is useful–we have a number of different kinds of practice sessions in class and between class sessions, and the students articulate their experience of each. I keep them focused on describing their experiences rather than evaluating them, and encourage them to carry that approach into their practice after the class ends. It helps them to use their own experience as a gauge of the value of their practice and not to get so easily distracted judging something that they can see is valuable for them, even if they don’t totally understand it in the way they are used to understanding their studies.

      Judith articulates all the advantages I find in my practice as well, especially: “And it will still be there next time…”
      Reiki: the ultimate renewable resource!
      I feel a cheer coming on…

  22. This discussion interests me a lot as my Reiki teachers both taught Reiki as a practice. One of the biggest hurdles most of my new Reiki students have to jump is simply allowing the Reiki practice to be without judgment. People even question whether they received the attunements correctly or had the right experience.

  23. With the guidance received from Pamela yesterday that I should try practising Reiki as a practice only and not as a technique I have given it a try that way and have felt a tremendous qualitative difference and improvement in the result that Reiki has started producing in me.It not only feels an enjoyable experience but I have felt healing taking place much faster and more effectively in areas of my body needing it.What she has said in the write-up on this page is absolutely true.

  24. I have recently devoted designed time self practice vs. doing it on fly i.e. in the car on the way to work. Up until the recent Reiki Precepts workshop in Phila. 8/8 I took with Pamela this was my practice but I did do it on a daily basis. I have found that I’m more focused now during my day esp. at work as I have the Principles flowing through me and when I encounter a difficult patient I am most often able to draw on Not being Angry and Being Kind as my MO. Performance anxiety has not been a problem for me, I trust Reiki to do what its meant to do and the outcome is not measured by my technique or exactness or hand placement etc.

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