What a Reiki Teacher Says…

Jaime Kim Libowitz is a bright, engaging professional with broad interests and a perspective informed by time spent living in Japan and Italy. I’ve always appreciated her insightful comments in class, so I was delighted to hear she was writing about her experience learning Reiki. As teachers, we do our best to inspire and motivate our students, but how can we know where it all lands unless our students tell us?

I was so moved by Jaime’s kindness in completing the circle that I asked her permission to share it with you. After reading Jaime’s comments, please contemplate what it was about your Reiki master that made such a difference to you, and share your story in the comments area below. Then send your Reiki master the link to complete your circle. Jaime wrote:

“My decision to learn to practice Reiki was more or less a last resort. I had reached a pinnacle of dissatisfaction and anxiety, and my usual coping methods were not working. And yet, the decision was not an altogether easy one. For one, there were financial considerations. Then, there were personal considerations: as an intellectual, it’s difficult for me to engage in anything that does not first stimulate my mind.

“Reiki, I had been told, was something everyone could learn, yet I was skeptical. Aren’t there just people who are born with an innate talent for healing, and might it be true that for one to become skilled at something like Reiki, that he or she must first have some sort of spiritual or healing background? Wouldn’t that take a long time? Wouldn’t this be boring? I’m American, when I need a solution, I need it as fast as possible!

“My first encounter with Pamela was through her book, REIKI: A Comprehensive Guide. To be honest, I skimmed through the first few chapters (yawn: where’s the intellectual stimulation in this? Intern, get me a coffee, now!) until I reached the chapter that finally moved me: Reiki and Science. I was fascinated. My mind was engaged. I was persuaded: if I am going to learn Reiki, this is the woman who can teach me.

“My First Degree class profoundly changed my perspective of Reiki, and more importantly, of myself and my relationship to life itself. When I stepped into Pamela’s home, I was greeted by a smiling, composed woman who radiated compassion and self-assurance. When she began speaking about Reiki, she spoke with words that rang true to my mind and my heart, words that resonated both logic and profound understanding. My inner pedagogic was placated by her sound reasoning; my heart was nurtured by a sense of indescribable connection: yes, this is someone who understands me, and this is someone I trust to help me help myself.

“It’s because of these two factors, and these two alone, that I initially committed to daily self-practice in a way I had never done before. I don’t commit to anything, not until it proves itself worthy to me. And here, I’m about to say something perhaps unexpected: my first couple Reiki self-treatments were not life-changing. I won’t describe them, for they are personal, but I will say that had it not been for the line of reasoning in Pamela’s teaching, and had it not been from a total exhaustion of inner resources I felt at the time, I might have ceased to continue practice.

“Here’s where I’m going with this: what a Reiki teacher says, those specific words and the place where they come from, makes all the difference in the world. Let me repeat it: they make all the difference in the world. Chosen wisely or chosen carelessly, they are the gateway to a non-practitioner’s education, and they have the power to inspire and to alienate.

“Here’s why Pamela’s words have made such a difference to me. She speaks of Reiki with a discerning attitude and an inquisitive, yet accepting, spirit. She does not question Reiki itself; she questions how Reiki is being described and conceived of. Reiki is a spiritual healing practice that promotes physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being. When we practice Reiki, we are accessing the source of subtle energy itself, and this is something that never changes. The way Reiki healing expresses itself in a person changes over time, but Reiki itself does not change.

“This is something I understood from practice. As I have grown in my practice and in my continuing education, I have come to realize that, (I) Reiki, itself, is understood experientially. Practicing daily is not merely an exercise, it is absolutely intrinsic to understanding. And how hard is it, really? All you have to do is place your hands on your body! (II) Reiki cannot be practiced if the practitioner is not willing. See where I’m going with this?

“Thank you, Pamela, for reaching into my perspective, for touching the core of me first through reason, and then through your compassion. As I continue to deepen my understanding, I am enriched by an irreplaceable gratitude. First towards you, because you are my teacher, and most of all, towards the loving source that is Reiki, the one that lulls me to sleep each night and brightens the commencement of my days with light and joy. It’s not always easy, and I’m not a perfect person. But it’s okay, now, and we’re all okay.”


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Related reading:
Reiki Classes: What’s Right for You?


15 thoughts on “What a Reiki Teacher Says…”

  1. I felt so lost when I recieved my calling to advance to Level 2, I rememebered my level teacher telllign me how important it was to “beware of the blue light special” so many times i tempted to take my levels in a weekend class. My Reiki Teacher Eileen Smith ( actually mastered) with my level 1 teacher and I found her by her article some years later on “beware of the blue light special” and i knew I found my teacher.
    Eileen was quick to remind me that gratification would not come easily in one weekend, rather slow and patient and take the steps to practice pratice practice read read read and practice some more:) Through her a learned patience and confidence in my self and with her requirements of reading, case study and volunteering, I truely was able to overcome some serious doubt at a low point during my case study, had i not been reading a particular book of requirement I may have lost my faith and direction.
    Thank You Eileen for showing tuff love 🙂 I am a better practitionor because of you
    And hopes to become Teacher just like you

  2. Ellen Sosinski

    I was so blessed to “fall into” my Reiki class with Eleanor Fleming. I knew very little about the practice and was somewhat skeptical even during the class. But, that was 14 years ago and now Reiki is a major, wonderful part of my life. I have Eleanor to thank for much of that. She is a very spiritual person and keeps the practice simple. She encouraged daily practice and was always available for questions. She didn’t live in my area and I started hosting classes for her and was able to be a part of those classes. There was always new learning, and, of course, more understanding the more that I was practicing myself. I went on to learn Level II with Eleanor and she initiated me as a Master 10 years after my first degree class. She always reminded us of Takata’s words, “Let Reiki teach you.”

  3. My Reiki teacher, Yehudit Gruber, will forever be a mentor and a light in my life. She taught me how to look beyond my own judgments of myself and others, discern inner guidance from habitual reaction, and make Reiki, not her, my ultimate teacher. She was a true guide on my Reiki path (and still is), helping me see the lessons of my own Reiki practice, rather than imposing her experience of Reiki onto me.

    I have so many memorable words of wisdom from Yehudit. One of my favorites:
    When asked if one needed to give themself a full self treatment every day, she would laugh and say, “Do you only need to brush one of your teeth?”

    I love you Yehudit! Thank you so much!

  4. Thank you Pamela for sharing Jaime’s comments, and for inspiring us to share how we feel about our Reiki practice and our Reiki Master.

    When I first found Reiki, about 10 years ago, I did not know much about Reiki. I am so glad that I found Tripuri. I rang her to ask about joining the Reiki class and asked her if I needed to do anything before coming to the class. I still remember her words ‘just come with an open mind’. I was a little skeptical I guess and her words of wisdom have served me really well over the years. Reiki has helped me at all levels, in all spheres of my life. I feel that I get all that I need from my Reiki practice and more.

    I love the way Tripuri nurtures her students, how she enables us to nurture each other through the Reiki commmunity that she has helped build up amongst her students; and how she empowers us to find our own path.

    The first time I found out her age I was quite surprised to discover that she is only 12 years older than me as till that point I used to (and I still do) think of her as a mother figure in my life.

    Thank you Tripuri for helping me discover Reiki and for all the learning and support over the years.

  5. Jaime is a close friend of mine, and I’ve noticed that her journey to learn Reiki has also brought her closer to a more serene and sturdy state of mind that has allowed her to face daily obstacles with unwavering security and sense of self. What I think is most important is that the practice of Reiki has allowed Jaime to channel her spiritual needs and her strong desire to be a positive force of healing and support to those around her.

  6. Thank you for mentioning that, Kayla. It is one of my favorite quotes from Mrs. Takata. Do you know if Ming Lee was quoting Mrs. Takata, or if it is a matter of great minds having the same understanding? 🙂

  7. Rosina Wiltshire

    During my Reiki 2nd degree in Canada, I had this vivid dream in which I was being driven in this car. Mrs Takata was in the back seat knitting and next to her was this person whom I could not see. I knew that this person was to be my master teacher and searched for the person for many years. I moved to New York and attended the North East Reiki gathering hoping one year to be able to identify my teacher. After many years I was about to give up. At the North East gathering one year, I was sitting at a table having a meal and told the Reiki practitioners at the table that I was looking for my master teacher. I shared that I had had no luck in my search after several years, but would know the person if I met them. I described the qualities of the person and someone at the table said “the person that you describe sounds like Paul Mitchell”. I asked how I could find out more about him and was told that he had produced a video with Phyllis Furumoto. I purchased the video and knew immediately that Paul Mitchell was the teacher for whom I had been looking. I contacted him and he was an amazing Master teacher. I am happy that I did not give up. I could not have asked for a better teacher. He often repeated the words of his teacher Mrs Takata and I have found them to be important guides. Reiki teaches you. Practice, Practice, Practice.

  8. I met my First Degree initiating master in New York. We were both working at a clinic full of bodyworkers and energy healers. I did massage, deep, serious and silent, but at the end of the hall was a room full of laughter and light. All day long I heard people laughing in there, and the energy permeated the little building. At the end of the day, out came Krishni Kalsa Borang, the beautiful smiling Swedish woman who initiated me. I asked, “What do you do in your room?” and she gave her exuberant, dimpled smile and answered, “Oh, we do Reiki.”
    I had never heard of Reiki, but I knew whatever it was, that was what I wanted to do, too. So I asked if I could, and she said, “Ok, I make a class.”
    That was 25 years ago, and I continue experiencing and sharing the delight of Reiki, the great gift I received.

  9. In 1978, my husband Paul was taking a class at San Francisco State University called Holistic Health and Self-Regulation. A potpourri of practitioners involved in something called “holistic health” spoke about their particular modality. Paul came home one afternoon beside himself with excitement. He started telling me about this elderly Japanese lady from Hawaii and recounting story after story of her experiences with Reiki.

    One of the things she said was, “When you do Reiki, you don’t pick up things from other people.” The moment I heard that, I knew it was true—irrevocably true. I felt this lady, whom I’d never met, was speaking directly to me, slicing through the assumptions and fear I had about myself, how things are, how my life could be. That sentence was the reason I learned Reiki.

    Throughout my First Degree class, Hawayo Takata said things that left a deep imprint in my mind and heart. Despite the endless doubts I had about my capacity to do Reiki, she lit a fire in me that kept me practicing. And I never set that practice down.

  10. One year ago I never even heard the work Reiki. I was at the end of my rope, brought to my knees, physically when my Reiki Master, Judy called me. (Well, she wasn’t my master yet, but that changed soon enough.) Such a gentle, compassionate, quiet woman, that can submerge herself in new situations like a wondering child. She has the most resolute resolve and determination to share Reiki in her special way.

    I know in my heart we were brought together for a great purpose whether we work together or while I am working on clients she is never far from my heart, mind and soul. This woman shares her knowledge, her soul with all her students. I have witnessed it in several different settings.

    She strives to teach Usui Reiki in the most traditional sense of the word. Practice Reiki every day, practice self treatments, make Reiki a part of your life.

  11. I met my Reiki teacher when I was attending a Body-mirror System workshop which is in a way, related to Reiki but not totally, and in that workshop, we made an exercise which only consisted in looking in the eyes of the partner (my teacher) and in harmony, balance the chakras together and feel the energy sorrounding us. That experience made me feel a connection so strong with her that I couldn’t pass the opportunity to ask her what was her occupation in life. And when she said she was a Reiki Master, my heart just got into my mouth, opening it and saying: “Would you be able to have me as your Reiki student?”
    And from that moment on, our relationship has increased to a level that is only compared with flowers and their relation to the sun. Pure harmony and connection!
    I’m really gratefull to have met my teacher and learned this powerfull technique that puts us in contact with our real way of being.

  12. Thank you Jaime and Pamela for this thought provoking article, it has really got me thinking about what drew me to my teacher Tripuri Dunne, and what has kept me learning with her.

    I found Reiki at a time when I needed emotional support. I didn’t understand how Reiki worked, but something in the mystery hooked me with a quiet thought “maybe this will help”. After receiving Reiki treatments regularly from Tripuri, my body began to recognize Reiki and feel it’s benefits. I looked forward to the sacred treatment time and my trust in the practice grew. Tripuri also supported my mind and my heart during these treatments by creating a safe space where I could talk, cry, and express my worries. Learning Reiki with her became a natural next step towards self-healing.

    Ten years later, I can see how much I have benefited from using Reiki daily, and I am still learning from Tripuri. My love and faith in her is unfaltering. She has been a rock and a mentor, always available with concise, poignant advise, and always willing to send Reiki to any of her students in a crisis. Her dedication to a rather large student population is outstanding. She is a true inspiration and I am grateful for this opportunity to pause and really recognize all the small things and the big things she has said and done to support me.

    Each Master has their own way of imparting wisdom, and Tripuri’s approach is gentle, sometimes subtle and always at the students pace. She empowers her students to grow in their own unique ways. Most of all, Tripuri teaches by example so there is something to learn every time I see her or speak to her. I have other Reiki friends who also ‘teach’ in this way (although they may not even know I am learning from them!) and I am grateful too for the wider Reiki community that supports me in my continuing development.

  13. I too enjoy and have a need for intellectual stimulation. My first teacher, Anthony “Spirit” Thiebaut, tried unsuccessfully to teach me to somewhat taper that in 1996. But I still hear his words in my head to practice, not sit around reading books about the practice. It took many teachers in fact to keep suggesting more practice practice practice! My teacher Light told me, “You are like an adding machine, but never coming to a total.” When one piece of information would sometimes make me questions other bits of information I had….Light’s suggestion was just to practice and get out of my head. He was right, when I practice everything is OK. Everything quiets down in me, my mind, body, and spirit. That intellectual stimulation that kept me eagerly searching for more and feeling slightly restless faded into states of deep inner peace during and after practice. I honor all my teachers for the lessons I learned and am still learning from them. I honor them by sharing my memories of the moments we were able to spend together in this life and the way we got to spend them – with love and Reiki.

  14. I learnt Reiki I almost 12 years ago in Ireland. I knew Reiki worked but really had no idea of what it was or even how to describe it. When I met my first Usui Reiki Teacher here in the US I knew she was the one to teach me. She is a confidant & strong person. She was a excellent Teacher. I enjoyed learning Usui Reiki with her. She helped me to understand what Reiki is & how it works. I am so thankful to her for teaching me how to use this wonderful gift. My teacher has done amazing things for the local Reiki community. I cannot thank her enough.

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