Reiki Practitioner Development

Reiki Develops like a RoseThe question Why take a Reiki class? might seem self-evident. We take a Reiki class to learn Reiki.

But what is Reiki?

Reiki is a practice, a spiritual healing practice, something like meditation but oh-so-much easier (I say that as a lover of meditation who started meditating 50 years ago).

You take a Reiki class to learn to practice Reiki.

Good Reiki classes include actual practice time, both in class with the other students and at home on your own. That’s how you develop the confidence that you can practice, and that you are practicing correctly.

It’s not that First degree Reiki practice is hard to learn. It’s actually so easy to learn that many new students keep looking for what they’re missing or what they’re doing wrong. They have a hard time appreciating how simple it is until they experience how effective this simple practice is.

A First degree Reiki class that includes several sessions of practice gets beginners past that initial uncertainty.

Start at the beginning

Be content to start at the beginning and hang out there for a while. Learn to practice First degree hands-on Reiki, on its own, for yourself. Then continue practicing. Every day. Don’t stop.

Once you have taken a class and learned to practice First degree Reiki, you develop as a Reiki practitioner primarily through consistent, daily hands-on self practice.

You don’t develop by learning new techniques, especially if you do so prematurely. There is a difference between doing something five times and doing it for five year.

Having a Reiki community with which to share practice and receiving continued mentoring from a qualified teacher are wonderful supports when they are available, but the most important development is through daily personal practice.

Without daily self practice, one cannot come to a profound understanding of the practice, or of healing.

There’s no shortcut.

Why you don’t need more Reiki classes

Especially if you’re a home practitioner not preparing to be a Reiki professional, you don’t need to take any more Reiki classes after your First degree class. You might want to take another First degree class after you’ve been practicing a while, if you want. It can help deepen your understanding, but it’s not necessary.

You don’t develop as a Reiki practitioner by taking classes; you develop by practicing.

The reason to take a Second degree Reiki class is only to learn Second degree Reiki practice. Learning to practice Second degree doesn’t make you a better Reiki practitioner. If you don’t actually practice the Second degree techniques, taking a class might be a waste of your time and money.

Taking Reiki master training of any kind — no matter how long or in-depth — before you have developed as a Reiki practitioner the old-fashioned way — through actual practice — does not make you a better, more advanced Reiki practitioner. It merely gives you techniques which you might not yet be equipped to use well.

Your Reiki practice foundation

What happens when people learn techniques before they have a foundation of experience and wisdom to support those skills? Now that’s a question worth contemplating.

When it comes to Reiki practice, we really don’t need more knowledge. What human beings really need, and what consistent Reiki self practice can help us develop, is wisdom. Wisdom takes time.

Practice. Observe. Contemplate. Repeat.


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19 thoughts on “Reiki Practitioner Development”

  1. Nice blog,

    I am a Reiki Master in Holland. There is a Reiki Master group coming together yearly and share a lot about what feels good in teaching. Like things in live change is always there. Also Reiki teaching an working.
    Thanks for your blog.

    Mario van den Bree

    1. Hi Reiki Alkmaar =)

      I looove how there are Reiki Masters everywhere. It would be really interesting to see how the teaching might have changed in different parts of the world. I’m a Reiki Master too, and though in my (future) lessons I very much plan on highlighting the core reiki teachings, I’ve also studied other kinds of healing and think there are so many skills that people could find useful (for example, I trained as a listener and responder at a cancer support center, and those “dialogue” skills are very helpful with clients).

      Love and Light!


      1. Hello Regina,

        Yes, i also get in mij groups cancer patients and i see nice results.
        Also je work in the emotional release and bodywork so the Reiki is for me a ankerpoint. I got the teaching from different Reiki masters in India, Holland, Germany and Russia. There are lots of different way of looking at the way you work.

  2. Hi Pamela … Love the post!

    I also think experience makes the biggest difference. My reiki teacher offers monthly practice sessions for all his Reiki students, where we would get hands on practice as well as a topic covered that might be relevant to healing, if not part of the traditional reiki curriculum. It also helps to have a space where you can give reiki to people you don’t already know.

    1. Thank you! And I completely agree that experience practicing on others and receiving treatment from other practitioners is very helpful, especially in a supervised environment where the students can simply practice and don’t have the responsibility to communicate about the practice. This is why I started the monthly Reiki clinic at the JCC in Manhattan, so that my students and other Reiki practitioners would have an opportunity to practice, and the public has an opportunity to experience Reiki treatment in a public setting where they feel safe.

  3. Hi there,
    I’ve recently taken a Reiki 1 course and I’ve truly been enjoying my personal practice so far. My self treatments have been confusing at times, but very very powerfully felt at others. I’ve been reading Practical Reiki by Alice Langholt and in the book, it is outlined thet Reiki 2 provides new type of attunement, which strengthens the already existing practice by adding the earth energy into it. In other texts, I’ve read that Level 2 attunments are needed in order to be able to give Reiki to others. I do want to incorporate Reiki into my career and become a practitioner, what would be your suggestion?

    1. My suggestion is to continue practicing daily Reiki self treatment, and not to judge your practice by what you notice or don’t notice during the practice session itself. Give yourself time, practice consistently, observe the changes in how you feel about yourself, and contemplate.

      You might be interested in the chapters on First and Second degree Reiki practice in my book REIKI: A Comprehensive Guide. I do my best to stick to the facts. To my research, Usui’s initiations for Second degree were not as you have read. That is someone’s opinion, and is rightly acknowledged as such rather than stated as fact.

      You absolutely do not need Second degree training to offer Reiki treatment to others; that is part of First degree training.

  4. I practice self Reiki daily and work on other people as well. I have moved on to Reiki II and I agree you don’t need it but I enjoy meeting knew people who like me want to continute on. It has become a passion of mine to learn and feel all I can. I was recently contacted by my Teacher of the second Reiki to move forward on doing the Reiki III session, in response I told her I didn’t have the funds at this time to take the class, she in turn told me that she would like me to be her guest because Reiki is not about money its about healing. She has seen the passion I have for it. You have to embrace Reiki, and I wish to continute

    1. Cynthia, if you have such passion for your practice, why not simply practice, and let the practice unfold that which is within you? That is such a profound way of learning and feeling. Taking another class doesn’t equate with moving forward; it’s just taking another class.

  5. Thank you for your kind reply..I will try to workout as per your saying. But these days I sleep a lot and its like I am fully unconscious during my sleep…is it a problem? ?

    1. I have no basis to comment on your sleep, Kartar. Why don’t you discuss it with your Reiki teacher, or find a new one near you who can work with you personally. This article will help

  6. Hello ma’am
    I am first degree reiki holder but due to long gap in my practice almost 3-4 years…niw when I started again I feel nothing. Could you help me n give me some solution.

    1. Kartar, it doesn’t matter whether you feel anything while you practice; what matters is how you feel afterwards, not just immediately after the session, but also during your life. Why not give yourself a full Reiki treatment every day for a week and then see if you are happier, more peaceful, sleeping better, or if there is any change.

  7. Judy Williams

    A wonderful article Pamela, thank you for once again getting right to the absolute center of Reiki practice. The last line is wonderful and I would have loved to have found it in my Reiki I manual and remembered it from the class:
    Practice. Observe. Contemplate. Repeat.
    Daily self-practice is so empowering, so strengthening, and so wonderful.

  8. Wish I had known this before I did Level 2. Not that I wasnt neccesarily ready, but that I had realized how crucial self practice is before advancing. Level 2 was a transforming experience that overwhelmed me later on. If I had known to self-practice, I would have been guided to wait. As it was, personal healing was accelerated at a rate I wasn’t prepared for. Emotional tailspin followed for months and I didn’t put two and two together. Much painful growth that would’ve been gentler, had I self practiced and been encouraged to seek Reiki support.

    1. Susan, I wrote this post because I hear stories like yours too often. I appreciate you taking the time to share your experience and your hard-earned wisdom so that others might benefit and be able to make more informed choices around their Reiki education.

  9. Thank you, Pamela! I completely agree with you. I have stopped teaching Level II because I do not use the Level II techniques in my own Reiki practice. I find the term level/degree misleading. Students automatically think that the next level/degree is more advanced. I appreciate you describing so clearly the essence of this practice.

  10. Good to hear from you, Barb.

    Your question about why you are anxious to become a Reiki master is one that is good to keep contemplating, and it’s probably not the either/or as you framed. Try seeing it in terms of percentages.

    Master candidates who wait until they recognize they have attained something they see as worthy of being called mastery have greater confidence in themselves and in the practice, deeper humility, and more to offer their students. All best wishes to you!

  11. Pamela, thank you so much for this post.

    I have been feeling impatient lately wanting to move to master/teacher level. I ate up every word in this post especially your last paragraph “When it comes to Reiki practice, we really don’t need more knowledge. What human beings need is wisdom. Wisdom takes time”

    You also made me stop to think why am I anxious to get master/teacher. Is this ego driven or truly the desire to mentor and teach???

    I feel very drawn to mentoring, however I also love the practice of Reiki, so maybe I will content myself with this and wisdom that ever so quietly comes with constant practice, both on self and others.

    Thank you again, much food for thought ~ this was beautiful.

    Blessings and light

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