||Written by Lotus Bud from an <alt.healing.reiki> newsgroup posting
> I would love a simple explanation of what Reiki is
Reiki is a Japanese term meaning "Universal Life Energy" referring to an unseen energy that pervades and gives life to everything. Mikao Usui received the gift of this energy after accomplishing a 21-day fast on a mountain outside of Kyoto. He used this gift to heal, and was able to teach others to heal with this energy.
The practice of Reiki as we learned it from Mrs. Takata, who brought this teaching from Japan in the 1930s, is a practice of three levels: hands-on healing on the first level, distant and emotional healing and increase of power in the second, and the ability to teach others on the third.
Since Mrs. Takata's passing in 1980, there have been many versions of what she taught as Reiki spring up, including some who have attempted to research Reiki in Japan, who have also created their own versions. This includes changes in levels, emphasis and number of the symbols, mixing of other systems with Reiki, and creating new systems from Reiki. Some believe that all unseen energy is Reiki energy, and so feel no conflict in using the word "Reiki" to describe their systems. This may help you in interpreting the varieties that you find.
These people who have been creative in their understanding of Reiki speak from their own truth about it, to the point there are few commonalities about the Reiki practice today beside the general acknowledgment that it originated with Usui and is a hands-on technique. So you will receive a variety of opinions, views and teachings about Reiki if you are to do your search on the Internet, finding many, many thousands of sites dedicated to it. So please note the following opinions and answers about Reiki come from my experience and awareness of Reiki, and cannot apply to all.
>and how it is beneficial to
Reiki assists your body in healing a natural way, like providing water to seed, the seed will naturally grow if other conditions are right... Reiki is a gentle energy that assists your bodies, physical, emotional, etheric and other, to heal. Reiki goes to the cause of an illness, even
if unknown to the recipient, not just the effect.
>Is it a use of energy?
Yes, the "ki" means energy... yet it is also something more than just energy. Because the Reiki energy flow seems to know where to go in the body, and will "turn off" when the body has accepted all it can. It will also work and heal areas you may have forgotten were injured. Reiki can enhance any "genius" you have, so it is not just for the ill. The emphasis is on self-treatment first, then treatments for your family, and then for others.
>Can anyone learn and perform Reiki?
Anyone can learn to be a Reiki practitioner, although Takata recommended that a child be five years old before beginning the first level. Takata taught that "if you could count to four you could learn Reiki..." there are four basic positions to place the hands each on the head, the abdominal area and the back.
>How do I get started?
There are many Reiki teachers and systems. Begin by discovering in your area what varieties are available, often a system or teacher will have an "open house" and invite people to receive treatments. My suggestion is that you explore through your experience and your own resonance of the energies (they can differ from system to system) which you might find most comfortable.
>What would I feel or experience by having Reiki healing >performed on me? Please expand.
Most use a massage table or device for you to rest while receiving the treatment (fully clothed). There should be no "inappropriate touching" - if there is, just leave immediately, this person is not doing Reiki. Because the hand positions vary and the understanding of how long a treatment can be... I can't tell you what to expect there, either, but most take about 45 minutes to an hour.
From different people, you will feel perhaps different energies and feelings, usually of warmth flowing from the practitioner's hands. In my experience it is a comforting energy and if you are tense, it will relax you. If you are very low in energy, it may encourage you to sleep and rest, or if you are just a little low in energy, will energize you like a pink bunny. So your own body's needs will define what it requires and how Reiki is received.
You are welcome.
VSRC - aka Lotus Bud
Bud, Lotus. Online discussion of "What is Reiki?" 19 Mar. 1999. alt.healing.reiki. 19 Mar. 1999. <http://www.ibiblio.org/usenet-i/groups-html/alt.healing.reiki.html>