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.
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.