The Spirituality of Reiki
Updated: Sep 10
A little bit of a prophecy here… Ok it’s barely prophetic actually, since it is more like just observing the facts and it does not take much spiritual aid to foresee. Here it is: Reiki is going to spread all over the world and become very popular just like Yoga did. It’s pretty obvious at this point, isn’t it?
The collective journey of spreading Reiki around the world has found 2 kinds of resistances in people’s minds. One of them is secular and the other religious. These resistances are gradually subsiding as the light of understanding comes to them.
The secular aspect has now greatly diminished as it had to do with the scientific understanding of Reiki’s healing capacities. There has been many scientific studies on its benefits (I myself have run several; check the section of my website for it). Today Reiki is widely accepted as a complementary therapy in hospitals and conventional medical settings around the world.
The other resistance to be overcome, the religious one, still needs a little more work. And that requires that not only the people of different religions understand Reiki, but that Reiki people also do so in a deeper way.
We can see how global events have forced people from all religious backgrounds to question their beliefs, understand the beliefs of others and evolve their traditions into the current age - ideally having a strong foundation in universal truths. As this happens, more and more Reiki will find a place in the hearts and minds of people from all religious beliefs. Specially because Reiki is not about belief at all, but practice and the experience of its results in oneself.
For Reiki to be more widely accepted amongst religious communities, fear and misunderstanding about it needs to be eradicated. Once Reiki is understood, it becomes clear that its practices are not only harmless to the various religious practices, but capable of adapting to them, serving and invigorating that which is true in any religion.
So let us understand the spiritual quality of Reiki:
Reiki is truly an amazing thing and yet it is very simple. Reiki literally means “God’s vital energy”. ‘Rei’ conotes God and ‘ki’ vital energy. All that the practice of Reiki ever entails is this: use all energy in attunement with Divine Consciousness. The rest is really up to what different masters, teachers and lineages of Reiki transmit to their students - and this can take the forms and ways of different religious cultures or be done devoid of them.
Reiki can be practiced in so many different ways to cater to the needs and cultures of the many different kinds of people. All that it asks of its practitioners is (again): use all energy in attunement with Divine Consciousness. In other words, it says: Christians, please use energy like Jesus would; Hindus, please use energy like Krishna would; Buddhists, please use energy like Buddha would; and so on.
There is no denying that Reiki is indeed a spiritual practice because it consists of harnessing God’s Energy and Consciousness for oneself and also transmitting it to others. This, from the eyes of Reiki, is the only real healing - anything else being at best a temporary relief.
But Reiki is not a religion in and of itself. You can have any religion or none and still practice it. It’s the same thing as with, say, music. Music is not a religion, but it is spiritual (even though most people probably don’t think about it like that). Music can be Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, etc. and, of course, it can be secular. It can be used for good or bad too and it would be a shame if the world turned its back on music because some people use it to make harmful musical creations.
Reiki, like Music, is a Divine gift. It is given to humanity not as a preset tool with preset religion, but as a powerful instrument which requires knowledge of how to use it properly and calls for our constant attunement with our own self-chosen Divine ideal. Just like a musical instrument needs to be tuned to a certain pitch of reference to harmonize with itself and with others; so is with Reiki. Music can be expressed through many different styles and genres (religious or not) and Reiki is expressed through different lineages, teachings and masters.
Furthermore, just like no one artist or style of music has a claim on Music itself. No master, lineage or teaching has a claim on Reiki.
One key point I bring constantly to my writings and lectures is that we must endeavor to understand spiritual things from a level beyond the conceptual and the verbal; and that is the level of energy and consciousness, which in turn is only possible through experience. So for example, I will with conviction say to a Christian that Jesus Christ is a Reiki Master, just like I would say the same about Buddha to a Buddhist. But if a Christian needs to find the word Reiki in the Bible to validate that statement it won’t happen because they will be looking for a Japanese word that just isn’t there. But if they understand that what I mean by Jesus Christ being a Reiki Master is that he is someone with mastery over consciousness and energy, then we’re talking - specially if the person has an understanding of consciousness and energy themselves to begin with.
I love all the major religions of the world, I appreciate their value from their own ground and I believe that all the major religions of the world are benevolent. So to conclude this post, I will add that I see the need for the common people of the different religious bodies to understand directly the truths that are at the foundation of their religions. This deep and definite understanding rarely comes from simply reading scripture or hearing someone else preach; not because these do not have value, but because in these cases we are seldom learning something new. Most often we are only remembering something we already believe in. True knowledge comes from experience and the experience of Universal Truth can be facilitated by spiritual practices such as Reiki (and… I would also add here Yoga, but I’ll save this for another post).
Through the practices and techniques of Reiki one can truly understand the masters of one's religion or at least get closer to their understanding. By knowing the depth of one's religion by the Universal Truth it is based on, the practitioner also becomes a better guard to what is valuable in it - defending it both against external as well as internal corruptions. Such immunity, which is vital for any tradition, does not come from simply closing oneself to all that’s new (or worse, putting stigmas on all that is outside one’s comfort zone). Such immunity comes from the deep understanding of the Divine Truth in which the tradition is based on and which can be readily accessible from within oneself given one has the tools and knowledge to do it.
So let us put Truth above transient beliefs and be open to the truths that present themselves in words and styles different from what we are accustomed to in our tradition in the trust that they come not to harm it, but to enrich it.