Since it’s introduction to the West in the 1970’s people have been rebranding Reiki, giving it new and different colours and flavours often adding new ingredients into the mix. In our Post Modern culture we value diversity and feel it makes sense for people to adapt ideas and practices and do things their own way, especially in the spiritual and personal development arena where we tend to shy away from dogma and ultimate authorities telling us how it ‘should be’ according to a specific doctrine.
But as important as diversity is there comes a point where you can no longer see the wood for the trees. These day we have many forms of rebranded Reiki (take a deep breath); Tera Mai Reiki, Dolphin Reiki, Karuna Reiki, Gendai Reiki, Angelic Reiki, Rainbow Reiki and Kundalini Reiki and these are just some of the forms vying for your attention. Many claim that they are the best or that they are more powerful than others, mmm . . . the most shiny things can often be the most tempting. Well, having taught Reiki for more than 15 years and having had the opportunity to receive Reiki energy from people from many different Reiki backgrounds and traditions I can confirm what you might already suspect, there is really just one Reiki and none of these forms are inherently better than the other.
So what is Reiki and why do we get these differences emerging I hear you ask? Well firstly lets take a look at what Reiki is. Seen from the outside it’s a form of energy healing which stimulates the body’s self healing mechanism. From the inside, and here I mean the way in which Reiki helps us as practitioners develop at the level of consciousness, Reiki is a practice which allows us to deepen our intuition and become more aware. With these two elements then forming the core of Reiki, how important is the packaging? I think that’s up to you to decide.
The form is not really as import as the goal that Reiki can help us reach, that of finding out who we are at a deeper level of consciousness.
Culture very much shapes the look and feel of Reiki. In South America for example Reiki is practiced within the context of the Catholic religion. Candles, crosses and participants dressed in white are part and parcel of Reiki in this region, a far cry from Reiki’s buddhist background but Reiki doesn’t mind, it just wants to be shared. In our culture we have embraced many of the spiritual teachings and practices which came over from the east, these days Yoga and meditation are commonplace often available at our local gym. And here too, the forms of these two mainstays of eastern teachings also have diversified and adapted to our culture, for good and bad – depending on your viewpoint. Mindfulness, an offshoot of meditation teachings has for example become an entity in its own right, part of that simply has to do with how we market personal development tools.
Reiki, was originally embraced by the new age movement in our culture and many of the new age values and symbols rubbed off giving it its current look and feel. But that’s just one step in its development and Reiki, which is now following Yoga and meditation is becoming even more widely accepted and so more down to earth and accessible.
So hopefully that helps to explain many of the different forms of Reiki, but more important than the ‘type’ of Reiki being offered I think is the Reiki Master who guides you. The person who gives you the attunement and helps you find deeper layers of inner knowing should be someone you trust and resonate with. The form is not really as import as the goal that Reiki can help us reach, that of finding out who we are at a deeper level of consciousness, giving us ability to better steer using our inner compass.
Many people are drawn to Reiki because their intuition tells them that this practice can help them become more aware, take them beyond the mind and bring them in contact with a deeper level of awareness. So when you look for a Reiki class don’t be fazed by the many different offerings, take the time to find the right Reiki teacher for you, they will often be happy to speak to you and answer any questions and in the end, trust your intuition.