Date: Tue Sep 21 2021 00:00:00 GMT-0700 (Pacific Daylight Time)
Reiki is distinguished from other energy healing practices by the Reiki attunement ceremony. The Reiki attunement process is how one becomes a Reiki practitioner. Being attuned to Reiki gives one the ability to easily access the Reiki (Universal Life Force) energy,
By David Herron
The Reiki attunement process is related to similar ceremonies in Buddhism. In Buddhism, Lama's conduct ceremonies for their students which are passed down through Buddhist lineages. These empowerment ceremonies place the recipient into connection with a particular deity, or deities. The ceremony empowers the recipient to visualize the deity, and to recite the deities mantra. Since all Buddhist deities are aspects of the Buddha, recipients of empowerments are therefore in closer connection to the Buddha.
The word initiation is also used in Buddhism. An additional concept is that by receiving initiation, or empowerment, primordial wisdom is awakened. According to Wikipedia, this is part of Tibetan Tantric Buddhist practice. The idea is that certain "mandalas", or divine symbols, dwell within everyone at a primordial level.
In the Tibetan Buddhist practice there are three steps:
- The Lama performs a preparatory ceremony, and then performs the initiation ceremony
- There is a reading of a text by an authorized lineage holder of the practice
- There is oral instruction on performing the practice
How does this relate to Reiki? Some of the exploration of Reiki history makes it clear that Dr. Usui was exploring Buddhist practices at Mt. Kurama, in Japan. It is clear the Reiki attunement ceremony is roughly the same as a Buddhist initiation/empowerment ceremony. And, that both serve a similar purpose.
How does someone become a Reiki practitioner?
To "learn" Reiki, the following procedure is followed:
- A Reiki Master announces they will hold a Reiki class, does preparation work ahead of the class, and during the class the Master performs the attunement ceremony
- The attunement ceremony involves teaching the students the Reiki symbols, and drawing those symbols over various points in the student's energy field
- The Master gives additional teachings about how to use the symbols in Reiki healing or for other purposes, the teachings may be written or may be oral
This is not dissimilar from the Buddhist initiation ceremony just described.
Attunements can be given only by a Reiki master. I have learned Reiki from two different Masters, who were from different lineages. In one case, the attunement ceremony was described as being solely for the purpose of implanting Reiki symbols into students. The other Master, however, had us perform attunements at every Reiki gathering, and said that by leaving out the Master symbol from the attunement that it did not pass along the Reiki symbols.
The purpose of the Reiki attunement is to implant (or entrains, or attunes) Reiki symbols into students. Once the symbol is implanted, the student is easily able to access the Reiki energy. When I taught Reiki, I would see/sense behind me Tibetan Buddhist masters from thousands of years ago watching over the ceremony.
The Reiki Attunement Ceremony
In this ceremony the master starts with grounding and centering themselves. Instructs the recipient(s) in grounding and centering themselves. Remind the recipients this is their ceremony and be open to any and all experiences which happen. Perhaps puts on some mood setting music, lights, incense, etc. The Master starts standing in front of the recipients and it is traditional for him/her to hold their hands up high at shoulder height with palms facing forward. The recipients should be seated in a row with room around them for the Master to walk around them easily.
The purpose is to create a safe space for the spiritual ritual that follows.
There are two halves to the ceremony. In the first part, the Reiki Master draws the Reiki symbols behind the recipient, and in the second half the symbols are drawn in front of the recipient.
The symbols aren't drawn with pen and paper. Instead the Reiki Master draws the symbols with their right hand, moving it in the pattern of the symbol, as if there is a line of energy beaming from the center of the Master's palm. As the symbols are drawn use intent to connect the source of the symbol with the recipient, and to draw the symbol accurately.
The Reiki Master first walks around the recipients in a full circle, ending up standing behind the first recipient.
While standing behind each recipient, hold the left hand palm-up next to the recipients head, and with the right hand carefully draw the symbols over the crown. Do this for each recipient in turn.
Then walk around to the front of the first recipient, and prepare for the second half of the ceremony.
For each recipient, begin by taking their hands between yours for a moment. Then draw the symbols over their hands, silently chanting the name of the symbol as you draw each one.
Visualize the master symbol again and gently blow from base to crown.
Visualize the master symbol in the palm of your right hand and hold it over the recipients left hand. Lightly slap the palm of your right hand into the palm of their left hand.
Visualize the master symbol in the palm of your left hand and old it over the recipients right hand. Again lightly slap your palm into theirs.
Visualize the master symbol and gently blow into the area between their hands while bringing their palms together again.
Step back and bow, honoring them for who they are.
Once all the recipients have been attuned make another circle around them, ending up in front again.