Thoughts on Teaching Reiki
I have been teaching Reiki since 2006. Over the years I have found myself repeating certain phrases during my classes. I tell my students that if they remember anything from their class to remember these things:
Reiki is the Teacher
Trust your intuition
Intention is everything
Keep your ego and personality out of it
I’ve said these things so many times in class that I’ve added them to my handouts. And I think I’m going to add – Let Reiki humble you.
I’d like to share these ideas with you. Maybe they will resonate with you and you can use them in your class. Maybe you have some words of wisdom that you would like to share.
Reiki is The Teacher
Let’s start with Reiki is the teacher. While I am teaching a class I say that I am not really the teacher. Reiki is the teacher! Reiki is subtle yet powerful – let it guide you. I can give you the attunement, provide resources, answer questions and hold the space for you, but the best way to learn Reiki is by being in it’s embrace – giving and getting. The more you practice the stronger your channel becomes. The more you give and receive the more aware you are of its power and potential in your life. And I stress how important it is to do daily self-treatment. So often I hear “But I don’t have anyone to practice on.” Practice on yourself! Daily.
Reiki’s Healing Energy is Intuitive
When a student receives an attunement it’s like a big blast of bright light, opening them up, filling them up, giving them the ability to channel Reiki. And with this light comes a knowing. Trust your intuition. I used to joke that I was going to teach a class called “debating your inner voice” because I didn’t believe or trust my intuition. When I began practicing Reiki I started paying attention at a deeper level. Prior to this, being a new practitioner I just channeled the Reiki, while my mind wandered. I was still working part time and sometimes my mind would drift to my other job. I never felt bad about this as I knew my client was not receiving my personal energy; I was the channel. I also knew, like exercising a muscle, I would learn to tune in. This first “hearing” allowed me to really begin paying attention and it changed my sessions. I plugged in at a deeper level and began to trust my intuition.
There are Many Ways
I ask my students to focus, to discern how they might tap into their intuition. There are no “rules” and so many different ways to plug in. It’s hard to teach; you’ve just got to put the time in. There are no shortcuts. So often students (myself included) want to know. “What does this mean?” they ask, or “What should I be feeling”, or “am I doing this right?” There is no wrong way, but there are many ways. Trust that you will find your way. Practice, practice, practice. That is the way to develop a relationship with Reiki.
In Reiki Intention IS everything
Know that in Reiki Intention IS everything. If you intend for Reiki to flow, it does. If you intend to give an attunement you do. Yet, I and many other newly attuned students forget this. I notice this a lot when students first start practicing. They may have seen something on the Internet or have false ideas about how Reiki will or will not work. They may think it’s not working if they don’t feel anything. I’ve heard many incorrect things by other teachers/students like “you cannot eat before giving a Reiki treatment – it has to be done in an empty stomach”. One student told me that a different teacher told her that you had to place your hands in a certain way or Reiki wouldn’t flow. The first time I did a Reiki Level 2 class the teacher made me remove my wedding rings before I had the attunement. I was not able to take them off as they had grown tight and we spent much time trying to remove them. I felt bad that I couldn’t, that I might have been doing something wrong. Writing this is not a judgment. I believe we all teach as we’ve been taught and that some of the “rules” I’ve come across were taught, but it seems that it complicates things. I like the idea of setting an intention and then putting your hands on the person and getting out of your way. Keeping it simple. Trust and know that Reiki always works, whether you or your client feel it or not.
Egos Not Allowed
Which segues nicely into “Keep your ego and personality out of it.” Sometimes I want to say, “You are not doing the healing.” Don’t get caught up in being the healer. Don’t make that your goal. Instead enjoy the journey – the beautiful Reiki journey. There is so much going on.
Pay attention. Let it flow. Keep your head out of it and let your hands talk to you. I think, at least for me, this is the hardest part of doing Reiki.
When I first heard the phrase “Keep your ego and personality out of it” I wasn’t sure what it meant. I remember writing to a teacher after teaching my first class, talking about embarrassment and pride and she gently reminded me that these feelings are ego based. That surprised me. I was unaware of it. It was the beginning of me really paying attention to how ego and personality showed up in my classes.
I find myself at times acting differently with different teachers, students or clients. I can make a judgment about a person and then act from that judgment. I can be fearful of a teacher or want them to like me and my behavior reflects this. Ditto with a student or client. This is ego at work. I still struggle with this, at a deeper level. Before I used to be completely blind to it. Now I am aware of it and do what I can to not get sucked in to it. After all, energy doesn’t lie. I have to remember to always be myself, the best that I can be.
Surrender and Ask for Help
The most effective way to do this is to surrender and ask Reiki for help. I send Reiki to the relationship, the class, the student or the teacher. I ask it to guide me, to help me heal for the best and highest good for everyone involved. Daily I send Reiki and ask it to allow my ego and personality to step aside and to be in its flow. Then I have to let go and trust. Sometimes easier said than done.
Let Reiki Humble You
Lastly, I am going to add, “Let Reiki humble you”. Remember, Reiki flows through us, not from us. We are channels of this Universal Life Force Energy. We are not the healers. Keep things in perspective.
It’s exciting when we first start practicing Reiki. The energy. The power. I bought a table after taking my first Level 1 class and began practicing on my friends and family immediately. I couldn’t get enough – it was so heady! But if I am honest I think I got caught up in the idea of it, instead of just allowing it to flow. And again if I am honest I can see how I came up with these guidelines I am writing about, especially when I began teaching (although it was there from the start). I learned them through trial and error. I thought I was the teacher and had to have things exactly, perfectly, right. It took YEARS for me to finally relax and trust Reiki. I did not trust my intuition and while I understood that Intention is everything I did not completely believe or understand that. I still worried Reiki wasn’t flowing if I didn’t feel it, or that maybe I’d forgot a step in the attunement, rendering it ineffective. My ego and personality were fully engaged, due to my insecurity and fear. And one day I woke up and heard the words “Let Reiki humble you” and things began to shift. It led me to ponder all of this and eventually I added these phrases to my classes. I wanted to plant some seeds, have the students begin to ponder these ideas, to share what I had learned.
I hope these ideas can help you on your Reiki path, whether you are practicing, teaching or both. Reiki is so powerful yet so gentle. It has taught me how to return to my authentic self, in teaching, in practicing, in life. It has been my greatest teacher and I am infinity grateful. Onward!
By Deb Karpek www.debkarpek.com
**This article appeared in The Reiki Times, the official magazine of the International Association of Reiki Professionals.