The decision to use ritual in our work is a very personal one.  Some find that ritual enhances their work – candles, incense, prayer, group work.  Others use little or none.

Usui Sensei himself used little ritual or structure.  After his death, his students introduced the hand positions, the use of the symbols at the advanced level and the different levels of practice to give some structure to what is essentially an amorphous practice.  You may find that bringing ritual into your teaching is helpful to your pratice.

The role of ritual in Reiki, as in religion, is to help us focus our intention. Our Reiki practices are unique; everyone interprets the work differently and our practices develop and grow through the lens of our personal experience, encounters and relationships.  Our Reiki practice is very individual and will change over time.  The rituals we use may also change, or fall away.

I have found the protocols of grounding, protection and invocation to be very helpful in my work.  You may choose to adopt them, adapt them, create your own, use something else, or use none at all.  All of these options are fine.  The core of your practice is your intention.

Never let anyone tell you you’re not ‘doing it right’ just because you don’t use the same protocols as s/he does.  Your practice will deepen and become enriched through your experience, and will be right for you.


Choosing a Reiki Teacher

When I wanted to learn Reiki in 1994, there were few teachers around. My own Reiki education was poor and I particularly missed having a more experienced practitioner to guide me when I had questions.

On an energetic level, I believe that we have a lifelong bond with our Reiki Master, and our Master has a lifelong responsibility to mentor her/his students.  So it’s an important relationship, and deserves some careful consideration when choosing a teacher.


Reiki is an endless path; just when you think you’re beginning to  understand it, a whole new dimension will open up.  Look for a teacher whose practice has been long and deep and who acknowledges that s/he is still learning.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions before committing to a teacher. How long has s/he been teaching? How many students has s/he taught? Will s/he address your specific needs as a student?  Will s/he mentor you afterwards?

Certification is difficult because there’s so little standardisation throughout the practice.  A teacher who’s taken the trouble to become certified will have met requirements for multiple case studies, submitted their training outlines, certificates and lineage and signed agreements regarding ethics and practice.

Class Size

Look for small classes.The fewer the students, the more individual attention you’ll receive.  People learn Reiki for a variety of reasons — to bring balance to their own lives, to practice on friends and family who may be ill or to start the path to a professional practice. Ideally your teacher will know your Reiki goals and focus her training accordingly.

What Kind of Reiki?

There’s a bewildering variety of Reiki ‘brands’ out there now.  All of them originated with Usui Reiki, brought to the west in the middle of the last century by Hawayo Takata, who founded the first western teaching lineage.  In the mid-1990s Reiki began to drift from the original Usui system as practitioners  incorporated practices from China, Tibet, India and elsewhere which were not part of the original practice.

Training Material and Follow-up Support

Learning Reiki can be an intense experience, and by the end of the class students often feel spacey and unfocused.  Questions tend to come up later, after the attunement and the course information has been integrated. Teachers should provide a manual with the information relevant to the level of training which students can refer to later.  But it’s often weeks or months afterwards, when the student begins to practice, that specific questions will rise.  A Reiki teacher should be happy to address these, no matter how much time has passed since the training.


Perhaps the most important element in choosing a teacher is your intuition.  Be guided by your gut feeling/inner wisdom.  Does this Reiki Master have balance, wisdom, knowledge and compassion?  Do you feel safe and comfortable with this person?  S/he may be a companion on your Reiki path for many years, so choose with care.

May your path be joyful.



reiki in bali

Bali is a magical place to learn Reiki.  The island has a strong ambient energy of its own, and sensitive people are quick to notice its impact.   It enhances our awareness and practice.

The culture here embraces magic in all its dimensions.  The unexplainable is accepted as part of daily life in Bali, so working with energy, intention and prayer is considered very natural.

The Balinese culture and religion continuously seek balance between light and darkness, good and evil, symbolised by their use of the black and white checked ‘poleng’ cloth.  I believe that Reiki is all about balance.  In this increasingly chaotic world we need tools to help us find and keep our balance.   As our Reiki practice deepens,  we find a place of balance where we maintain our calm no matter what’s happening around us.  Over time, we become a place of sanctuary where others may shelter.

I teach out of doors next to the jungle, which has its own energy.  My dogs, mellowed by years of Reiki, slumber nearby as we work.  Safe in my quiet garden we can release the rational mind and enter the deeper states of consciousness.  As the day passes, we weave the strands of the practice into an imaginary cape we can assume at will at any time and  place.  In a single day students acquire healing hands for a lifetime, and the ability to find and maintain balance going forward.