Maybe you have heard the term “reiki” by now. Maybe you have even tried having reiki sessions. I would like to impart with you my personal experience in getting reiki attuned. For a brief description of reiki, it is a Japanese energy healing technique taught and passed down by Master Mikao Usui. It has five tenets which are:
Just for today, I will not worry.
Just for today, I will not be angry.
Just for today, I will be grateful.
Just for today, I will do my work honestly.
Just for today, I will be kind to every living being.
There is usually no touching of body parts in a reiki session. A practitioner will lay their hands over the body of the receiver and hover it there and will move their hands intuitively, or through the flow of chi. If you haven’t had a reiki session, just think of it as a gentle energetic massage. Often, reiki is used to relieve stress, facilitate peace in one’s heart, balance the chakras, and aid in faster recovery*. (*However, like with all responsible holistic treatments, reiki is not used as a substitute for medical treatment. It may, however, complement such treatments but with approval of your doctor.) Reiki is not limited to these, however, because it is a creative energy and can be applied anywhere.
Last year, I finally received my reiki attunement. Instead of always receiving reiki sessions, I wanted to learn more about it and to share reiki to others, as well. I have asked permission from my reiki teacher with regard to sharing my experiences here.
It was a calm Sunday and the streets of my city, a financial hub in Metro Manila, were expectedly empty. Weekends like this, with the quiet solitude and pockets of nature filled with humble soothing energy, are something I cherish. The reiki attunement was perfectly scheduled on this day!
The attunement center was within walking distance from my apartment and this was a surprise to me because one would not think that a soulful place existed in the city. The center was a converted function hall with an attached garden space. I was the first student to arrive and was warmly received by my teacher and his assistant. As with most such sacred gatherings, each person was smudged before entering the premises. This was done to help clear one’s aura and any negative blocks they may be carrying. There were mats and pillows laid down in a semi circle with a matching set in the center. This was for our teacher, I thought. Gradually, the other students arrived. We were around ten people that day, all women, and none of us had ever met each other before. The teacher remarked that this gathering of souls was meant to happen and each one of us in attendance answered the call and curiosity of their spirit.
The program began with a prayer and some meditation. This was followed by teachings on the history, principles, and practices of reiki. It was noted that reiki is not a religion and the practice of recognizing Master Usui, who taught his technique to others, was a form of gratitude and respect only. Reiki would exist even if the masters had not passed the technique down, but reiki is understood better and by more because the masters shared their knowledge and practice to others. Apparently, sharing is also one of my teacher’s core beliefs. This lesson took almost all morning. We had another meditation session, this time with a partner, before having a light lunch.
The attunement proper or ceremony was scheduled after lunch. This was easy. All the students had to do was relax and lay down on our mats before our individual attunements. Our teacher would lightly tap our shoulder for our turn. This meant walking to the center mat, where he took position earlier in the morning. You stand, grounded and centered, with your eyes closed and hands in prayer position in front of your heart. Now, is there a “secret” part to reiki? Yes, there is. The reason why we had our eyes closed was for better concentration. However, there are symbols and prayers that are intended to open and align ones chakras to the technique, which only reiki masters are privy to. These symbols were the same sacred symbols shared by Master Usui as he taught his students. The master’s process was done on my back or along my spine, where the centers of the seven chakras are easily accessed. Nothing was physically hurtful and only a sensation of heat was felt throughout the process. It took no more than five minutes, I suppose. After everyone was individually attuned, we were congratulated for finally receiving the first reiki attunement. From that moment on, we are able to access the technique as taught by Master Usui and can facilitate self-healing and healing for others. In fact, as testament to this, we had two immediate exercises: one, of self-healing demonstrated by our teacher and two, on each other.
The healing energy is coursed through one’s hands. For some reason, when I just allowed the Source, spirit, or whatever that I was now aligned to through attunement, my hands moved on body parts as if with a knowing. I did not have to think much of where to direct nor guide my hands to. It was as if they had a life of their own. My hands also generated a low heat when I thought of healing. This experience was similar to some of my classmates. Others felt no heat, they said. Instead they felt vibrations. Others said they felt their hands cool, as if there was a gentle breeze brushing closely by their skin. Overall, there was a gentle feeling of openness and compassion all around. We all wanted to help bring healing to the world, in whatever form that may take.
The level one reiki attunement was to be followed by a strict 21-day self-healing process. We had to do reiki on ourselves every day for 21 days as part of a detoxification process. Each person would have a different experience for this. For me, I had the strangest dreams and I had noticed that a lot more animals were drawn to me after my attunement.
If you ask me was it worth it? Yes, reiki attunement is worth it even if you do not intend to professionally share the practice with others. I highly recommend taking even just the level-one attunement especially if you already receive reiki sessions from your neighborhood practitioner. Is reiki that magical? Well, since it’s me you’re asking, I believe it is. It has the magical force of opening up your heart and looking at the world with more loving kindness.
To this day, I practice reiki to center myself and relieve my daily stresses. I also share my reiki to others, with a more specific focus on animals (pets and those in shelters and vet clinics).
Photo: Gabrielle Henderson via Unsplash