By David Herron
Choosing a Reiki Master is somewhat similar to choosing a Practitioner. The steps are much the same for Reiki Masters offer classes through the same avenues as Practitioners offer healing. The attributes to be desired in a Reiki Teacher are similar to those desired in a Practitioner. The goals are perhaps different.
Why do you wish to become a Reiki Practitioner? Take a look at the recommendations for finding a Reiki Practitioner. Do you see yourself as being able to fill that role? If not now, what steps will be required for you to fill that role?
Do you see yourself entering healing from a desire to be healed? If so do not let this stop you from becoming a Reiki Practitioner for having Reiki can be a great help in self healing. At the same time, in being a healer you are placing yourself at the service of your clients, and during their sessions it is the clients issues which are primary.
The Teacher you choose can be a good partner in finding your healership. Instead of assistance and guidance in your healing, the Teacher offers assistance and guidance in being a healer. Does the teacher have a history of healing others? Does the teacher understand the healing process? Is the teacher "well healed" themself?
These are the questions you might ponder while choosing the teacher for you.
How much training to take (are you a teacher too?)
In everything we choose to do there are multiple purposes for taking that action. As you progress through Reiki training it is good to be aware and explore your reasons for learning Reiki.
There are several levels to Reiki, and not all of us are called to teach or to offer Reiki treatment on a professional or semi-pro basis. Maybe your purpose turns out to be for your own self healing, or to assist family members, and that's as far as it goes. Maybe your purpose turns out to meld Reiki with other treatments such as Massage. Maybe your purpose is to explore the world of energy healing, and Reiki is one of the stepping stones to greater understanding. Or maybe your purpose is truly to offer Reiki, and that the Reiki practices are the perfect path of spiritual awakening for you.
The only way to find out is to start down the path and see where it leads.
Here's a thought to consider: Many Reiki teachers offer weekend trainings in which the students become certified as a Reiki Master. In one weekend. Is this the right speed for you, or is it too fast? I wish to suggest that it's too fast of a training.
What does the term Master mean, anyway? There are two meanings, one is the term Reiki Master, and the other is the dictionary definition for Master. In Reiki, a Reiki Master is one who is attuned with the "Master" attunements and has been shown the attunement procedure. Clearly one can learn the facts and mechanics of Reiki, of giving Reiki attunements, and be given all the required attunements, and if the class is fast paced enough it can be finished in a weekend. They can be called a Reiki Master but have they achieved mastery in that period of time?
When I took Reiki I from Fran Brown she taught a recommendation handed down from Mrs. Takata that there be a six month period between taking level I and level II training. She also described that, under the Reiki Alliance system, the Reiki Master training takes a year of pseudo-apprenticeship. I distinctly remember my anxiety on hearing that my desire to be a healer would take a six month waiting period, I wanted it all right then and there.
Looking back I appreciate the time I had to explore and learn at a more leisurely pace. By the time I received my Reiki Master training, a year later, from a different teacher, I was pretty well experienced, had done quite a few healings, and had a fair understanding of healer-client interactions.
Further, since taking Reiki training I went on to take training with the Barbara Brennan School of Healing. BBSH's program takes four years of intensive learning. The anxiousness to have it all "now" turned into a love of exploring deeply the nature of healing.
Lord knows, the world is crying out for healing and for more people to take up healing work. If you feel honestly the call to take a fast track to becoming a Reiki Master, by all means go for it. You will not make a mistake any path you take.
There are many Reiki teachers who claim to teach Reiki at a distance. I suppose they are operating under the theory that if Reiki can heal at a distance, then one can send a Reiki attunement at a distance. There is a certain logic to this.
On the other hand, consider what you receive from a teacher who is in the same room with you. The main difference is the quality of communication, hence the level of information the teacher can convey to you.
There is a well known concept in Linguistics about levels of quality of communication. The worst sort of communication is something like smoke signals or waving flags or Morse Code, where the words are highly encoded and require great training to both send and receive. The next level might be typewritten text, with handwritten text slightly better. The next level might be a telephone call. The next level might be talking from one room to another. The next level might be talking while in the same room. While the last level might be while making love. I think you get the point, that each level of communication quality gives more and more information, and its easier for clear and complete communication to happen.
Getting back to being taught Reiki - while in the Reiki class, your teacher is going to be communicating ideas and concepts to you. Most importantly the teacher will be demonstrating some things about being a healer, giving you ideas and grounding in the ideas I talked about in choosing a Practitioner. How well will they be able to do that remotely (via telephone, email or chatroom)?
On the other hand you may decide this is the best choice for you. For example there might not be any Reiki teachers near you, or you might find you don't like the ones who live nearby. It's really up to you.
Self attunement is more than a little controversial in Reiki. The story all along with teaching Reiki has been that it requires attunement given by an attuned Reiki master.
Yet, there are teachers who claim this isn't necessary. For example, Diane Stein in Essential Reiki describes having essentially attuned herself, though she had some tutoring from several Reiki Masters. And obviously Mikaomi Usui attuned himself, though after a long period of intense study and meditation.
I don't quite go along with this theory, but admit it has some logic to it. However, as I discussed in the remote attunement section you're likely to miss some quality teaching by getting an self attunement procedure and learning from books.
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