Learning Reiki

This page is aimed to help those who wish to learn about Reiki and to become a Reiki practitioner. For more information in general about Reiki, see my very short explanation and list of pointers, or refer to the many books and other Web sites on the topic.


Treatment vs. Practice: Many people receive Reiki "treatments". Some view it as a way to have assistance with their health problems, or to relax, or to get energized. However, others want more; they are the intended audience for this page. They may wish to use or practice Reiki as part of their personal efforts to heal themselves, and possibly their family and friends. That may be out of love and concern, and/or may be to create an income stream, perhaps in connection with other activities, like massage or acupuncture.

Attunement: Those who wish to use or practice Reiki must become "attuned" to Reiki, typically through some training process that includes an attunement. The attunement takes 5 minutes to an hour, depending on the situation and on the time the person becoming attuned takes to work through the experience. It needs to occur in a private and quiet place where there should not be interruptions. (However, some teach Reiki in large classes, where others can observe the process, so they can learn what to expect.) Once attuned, a person is permanently empowered as a healer - this cannot be undone, though a person can somewhat ignore the ability. Attunement is at 3 levels - 1, 2, and 3 (or sometimes more, depending on the approach/school). Most people are trained and receive attunement only at level 1. That empowers them to heal using Reiki. A typical syllabus is http://healing.about.com/od/reiki/a/reiki_one.htm . Such training about other aspects of Reiki practice at level 1 can take an hour or a day or two, depending on the trainee's sensitivity, background, reading, etc. Some people experience a cleansing period after an attunement . Some people try to prepare for attunements. Doing so may help one achieve more personal growth, but is not necessary. Note also that receiving attunement and training usually involves some exchange (e.g., payment) to cover the cost of resources and the investment of time. Often a Reiki teacher remains a lifelong mentor and commits to helping in the future.

Advanced Studies: Some interested in Reiki may wish to train others, or to use Reiki as part of their personal program of spiritual growth. Often this leads to them seeking further training, and receiving attunements at other levels. This activity is a very serious one, and should only be taken by those who are mature and willing to engage in personal spiritual development and are seriously committed to helping others. Usually it takes at least 21 days after each attunement for the body to adjust, and before the next attunement can be considered. Sometimes those pursuing advanced Reiki training wind up making serious changes in their lives. To some extent they may develop sensitivities and abilities that others might consider strange, or "psychic", though in my perspective these are all quite natural and available to all. Yet, as in any learning and change process, those involved must seek balance, and must fit well into the world around them.

Pointers for those wanting to learn Reiki / who seek attunement

Finding a teacher: To pursue Reiki at level 1, it is necessary to find a teacher. One should identify a person who you feel comfortable with and who has been certified as a Reiki teacher. There are various directories to help in this process, managed by groups like International Association of Reiki Professionals or International Center for Reiki Training.

Learning Reiki at Level 1: The following points to a typical process for learning Reiki at level 1. For a more in-depth view read in one of the many books or take a course.

  1. Learn some background information, at least at the primer level.
  2. Become aware of ethical issues and commit to following a code of ethics.
  3. Also commit to the Reiki principles.
  4. Become attuned. Your teacher will do this in one of the many similar ways that accomplish this.
  5. Begin practicing on others, using a version of the hand positions.
  6. Self-treat, preferably daily for at least 21 days, hopefully for the rest of your life, especially as needed, using similar hand positions.

Author: Edward A. Fox (BioSketch, directions, hours, photo), Level III Reiki practitioner and teacher, member IARP
Last Updated: 2019/1/19
Email: Please send comments and suggestions to: fox@vt.edu
(c) Copyright 2003-2019 Edward A. Fox