When is Reiki not Reiki? When it’s a “distance attunement”

“Distance Attunements” Are Not Reiki

Reiki distance attunement graphicIt’s time somebody said it in public.

Clearly. Unequivocally. No negotiation.

No tiptoeing around anyone’s feelings.

“Distance attunements” are not Reiki. They might be something – but that “something” isn’t Reiki.

“Distance attunements” do not take place with the Master/Teacher in the same place as the student. There is no opportunity for practice and feedback. The student has no opportunity to become confident that what they are doing “works” or that someone in the same class, taught by the same Master/Teacher at the same time, is also doing Reiki and that it works.

There is rarely any teaching of the 5 Precepts or of the history and spread of Reiki throughout the world.

There is no sense of community, of connection with others in the same class. No connection with other students of the same Master/Teacher. No sharing. No support through the process. Nothing.

One of the major features of a Reiki class is that as the weekend progresses, the space in which it takes place fills and overflows with Reiki. The change is palpable. It is part of the class.
In that total immersion in Reiki something is imparted and absorbed that is not just the attunement but also something indefinable, ineffable and totally necessary to the development and process of Reiki students.

“Oh, but all you really need is the attunement”

Is that right.

No it isn’t.

The attunement is integral, certainly. However, to bring Reiki into the real world, what is absolutely necessary is practice.

Without practice, Reiki remains energy without substance. A spiritual practice, certainly. However without the “practice” bit, it remains insubstantial.

However many […] words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them?” Buddha

The attunement is the thought, the intention and the action of the Master/Teacher. In order for the student to fully become the Reiki practitioner they are meant to be, they too need to take action to bring their thought and intention into the world.

Reiki is more than a lovely spiritual experience. It is the loving action of the Divine in the real world.

“We arranged a time – I sat and meditated. All of a sudden I felt this great wave of energy”

I hear this all the time from people who have been “distance attuned”.

Ok. So how do you know it wasn’t you? Meditation tends to have some interesting results from time to time, especially if you’re determined to have some kind of experience.

How do you know it wasn’t your imagination?

How do you know that the Master/Teacher didn’t forget?

Or send the attunement early – or late? Or at all?

Another thing I hear all the time is : “well, I intended to send it, so it wasn’t necessary to actually do it. The only thing necessary is the intention.”

In that case no action is taken at all. By anyone.

Intention is important. But so is action.

Have you ever tried intending to pay a bill, but not actually doing it? Intending to cook a meal but not actually doing it? Intending to take the kids to school, but not actually doing it?

Intending to say a prayer or meditate, but not actually doing it?

Between saying and doing many a pair of shoes is worn out.” Italian Proverb

“We did it over skype – we were in the same virtual space.”

Truth be told, when Reiki people get together in the same virtual space, the results indicate there’s a lot of Reiki going on.

As a member of the (now defunct) alt.healing.reiki newsgroup, I can tell you that we had some interesting Reiki related times there.

However, when the Master/Teacher is on the other end of Skype and the student is in their own home, the Master/Teacher could still be doing anything. Waving their arms around? Ok.

Meditating. Quite possibly.

“Distance attunement”? Who really knows?

Before a class – an in person class – Master/Teachers prepare the room and fill it with Reiki in order to create and hold the space for the class, the Master/Teachers themselves, the students and the process.

When the “distance attunement” is done over skype, who creates and holds the space everyone is in? Virtual or otherwise?

No one. Someone is always outside that Reiki space. Usually the student.

“But I got a manual – and a certificate!”

Yes, I’m sure you did. For which you quite possibly paid – although, in this situation, often the “attunement” is free. The student “only” pays for the manual and the certificate.

Weirdly, people are far more willing to pay for a manual and a certificate than for the time of a Master/Teacher with a free manual and certificate included. Strange.

Further, people are far more willing to charge for a certificate and manual than for their time.

Quite often, I come across Reiki Master/Teachers who wouldn’t dream of charging for their time in a face to face class, but do charge for the manual and certificate.

It’s the oddest thing.

Still, I digress. Click here for more thoughts on Reiki and money.

To get back to the point. When you are paying for a manual and certificate, you are paying only for the physical objects, not the spiritual experience or the Reiki Master/Teacher’s time. Which means you have no come back if you don’t think you’ve got anything from the attunement.

“The nearest Reiki Master/Teacher is miles away – I haven’t got the time/money/transport to get there.”

There are very few places these days that are totally cut off from the rest of civilization. There is always some way of getting to where you need to be.

But only if you’re committed.

Remember, people will judge you by your actions, not your intentions. You may have a heart of gold – but so does a hard-boiled egg.” – Author Unknown

Those who make excuses and refuse to travel are those who are not committed. If they’re not committed even to taking the class, how do they plan to bring Reiki into their physical world?

One of the things about a Reiki class is that people – when they’re committed – tend to get what they need in order to be there. The process starts with the commitment.

In refusing to make the commitment, students are short changing themselves.

And in letting them get away with it, the Reiki Master/Teachers who go in for “distance attunements” are colluding with that lack of commitment. And lacking in commitment themselves.

“Oh, but I’m housebound/disabled – I can’t possibly travel”

This is probably the only acceptable reason for not traveling to an in person class.

The answer for the housebound is to find a Reiki Master/Teacher who will travel and expect to make a contribution to their expenses.

An invitation to a couple of friends to share the class will also reduce overall costs and help other people who “can’t travel” to access Reiki.

And if you think that I’m lacking in sympathy, watch the para olympics. Those people are disabled too, but there’s no lack of commitment there.

“Reiki people are open to all forms of Reiki”

Yes, we are. To all forms of Reiki.

“Distance attunements” are not Reiki.

The Most Important Reason Why “Distance Attunements” Are Not Reiki

I lose count of the number of times a student has said in various places and on various forums over a whole lot of years something along the lines of “I got a distance attunement but I don’t feel it took”

Yes. That’s right. In the experience of the student what they got is lacking something.

That would be Reiki. “Distance attunements” are not Reiki.

Have you had a “distance attunement” and then take a class later? Share your experience in the comments below.

What’s your opinion? Leave a comment below and let’s have an honest conversation about this.

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To Register or not to Register: That is the Question (with apologies to Shakespeare!) | Money and Reiki

Here in the UK there is increasing pressure for Reiki practitioners to become registered with the CNCH (Complementary and Natural Health Council) in order to be able to work in the National Health Service (NHS) or with local authorities – ie in hospitals, nursing homes, hospices and many charities.

To be eligible for registration with the CNHC, Reiki practitioners must be 2nd Degree and have undergone 140 hours of training, including a total of 45 hours in person.  There are three main headings to the training: Reiki Theory and Practice, Practitioner Skills and Practice Management.

I have a fair few issues with this.

First and foremost, anyone who has taken a 1st Degree Reiki course (in person, obviously) has had all they need in the way of initiation, training, practice and feedback to equip them to do Reiki for anyone, not just themselves.  The way I teach that, it takes 12 hours over two days.  Telephone support probably adds another few hours and attendance at Reiki shares even more.  Reiki 1 students, on that basis, are perfectly capable of doing Reiki for clients and charging a fee.

So, in those terms, a Reiki 1 certificate is a practicing certificate.

CNHC require Reiki 2 for registered practitioner status.

And to register as a practitioner with CNHC, any Reiki practitioner has to have had at least 140 hours of training under the headings given in the table above.

In addition, there is an extra requirement for 75 hours of practice “supervised” by an experienced Reiki practitioner.

The training schedule was designed in consultation with The Reiki Council and Reiki practitioners.

These requirements are onerous for new students and I wondered why they were so onerous, given that we all accept that any version of Reiki is “authentic” … or is it?

When is Reiki “Not Reiki”?

Well, obviously, Reiki is “not Reiki” when given by “distance attunement”.  Whether “distance attunement” “works” or “doesn’t work” isn’t really the issue.  With a “distance attunement” there is no opportunity for practice, feedback, sharing or learning.  All of these are part of the Reiki 1, 2 and 3 experience.

The CNHC training requirements would add an extra dimension to this.  In my not so humble opinion, the extra dimension is


… wait for it …



Money and Reiki

Really?  Since when was money an issue in Reiki?

Guys – money issues have been part of the Reiki community since Takata attuned her first student in the States.

Reiki is a spiritual practice and we are taught that money and spirituality are mutually exclusive.  Until people start losing money and then, apparently “God” wants us to be “abundant”.

There is a whole lot of confusion about Reiki as a healing practice and Reiki as a spiritual practice.  Those of us who do Reiki as a spiritual practice only, tend to look down on those of us who do Reiki as part of a healing practice.

Those of us who charge for a Reiki treatment tend to be impatient with those of us who don’t and vice versa.

I have come to the conclusion that the onerous training requirements for Reiki registration with the CNHC can only be an attempt to exclude the Reiki people who do not charge and protect the income of those who do.


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Personally, I couldn’t care less one way or the other – I charge for some of the Reiki things I do and don’t charge for others.

But I do have a money issue.  So do you.  So does everyone.

Money Issues

The money issue with Reiki people is not about Reiki.  Rather, it’s about money.  And it’s not confined to Reiki.

The whole world has a money issue right now – the economy is struggling in every country all over the world and although from my point of view, it’s worst in Europe, the experience of it is just as painful all over the world.

Those who have it are doing their very best to keep it and protect it from those who don’t have it.  These over the top requirements for registration with the CNHC are a perfect example of it.

From their point of view, it makes perfect sense to make sure that healing practitioners are grounded in plenty of training and support.  This ensures that the public is protected and that new practitioners are properly trained.  It also has the side product of ensuring that those who “attune” trees, dogs, children and anything or anyone else, with or without permission, are excluded from practicing for free, thereby protecting the ability of those who charge to earn a living.

It is, underneath it all, an attempt to return to the days when charges were relatively high and those who practiced Reiki were actually a fairly exclusive community.

Frankly, I don’t think this is even conscious.  If anything, I think that it’s an attempt to rationalise something that is perceived to have become devalued and totally unrecognisable, in many instances, from what Takata first brought to the West all those years ago.

The money issue in Reiki – and in the wider world economy – is not about rich and poor, deserving and not deserving, good and evil.  It is simply – or not so simply! – a function of how we learned to deal with money as children.  Money – real money in the world – is a first and second chakra issue.

During and after the second world war, in Europe there was rationing.  In the States there were shortages, but nothing like in Europe.  As a result, my generation grew up with particular attitudes towards money – a sense of lack, never enough, never quite confident that what one had would last.  Apart from those who made money on the black market, the arms trade and various other commercial enterprises.

The way, as children, parents approached money, who had the financial power in the family and how they negotiated around that has a real effect on how we deal with money today.

There’s an interesting series about this on Daily Worth, if you’re interested.  Couples share their stories about their tensions around money; counsellors help them to explore their childhood learning about it and, based on their common beliefs about it, help them to devise a rational, useful plan. I recommend you sign up for the Daily Worth newsletter and follow the series.

Money and Personal Power

My feeling is that those who don’t charge for Reiki treatments and those who do both have the same issue, rooted in similar childhood experiences around money.  One side deals with it by sharing Reiki widely in the belief that the spiritual “lift” Reiki gives will raise the whole planet’s consciousness around money and everything else.  They have a point.

In this way they can feel powerful around money.

My feeling about those who do charge for Reiki and who want to protect their income also have a point.

In this way they can also feel powerful around money.

However, any issue, be it around money or something else, has to be addressed directly in order to be released.  And addressing personal 1st and 2nd chakra money issues by self treatment with Reiki is likely to bring a whole lot more positive results personally, in your family and in the wider community, far more quickly than excluding people, judging them, undermining them and arguing with them.

Money is not just energy.  It is real and tangible.  Whether you have it or don’t have it, you’re likely to see and feel the effects of it in your life every day.

How you feel about it and your experience of it feels like “the  way things are”.  But you can change the way things are by changing your deeply held beliefs about it.

Do Reiki.  Do Reiki for your beliefs about money in relation to safety, protection, nourishment, support, connection and personal power.

In this way, whether to register or not to register with CNHC or anyone else becomes totally irrelevant.

So what do you think?  Is the Reiki and money issue a spiritual one or a first and second chakra issue.  Leave your comment about this below.



Reiki at Home – Part 1

1st Degree Reiki at Home

One of the first ways we learn to use Reiki at home is through self treatment practice and sharing Reiki with others. At 1st Degree, Reiki is all about hands on – hands on self, pets, plants, family, friends and pretty much anything or anyone who will stay still long enough.

Reiki Self Treatment at Home


In traditional Reiki all teachers emphasise the importance of self treatment every day – a full hour of hands on head, front torso, back torso, blood exchange. Most of us start doing this at bed time – what better way of falling asleep than in the middle of a Reiki treatment? Still, after a while, we begin to be able to get through the whole treatment without passing out in the middle!

If you’ve forgotten the hand positions, you can purchase a chart and explanation for it here.

Plants respond well to Reiki – a good regular blast of Reiki while you’re watching the television or chatting with friends generally results in surprisingly healthy, bushy plants. Hold it by the pot and Reiki theroots. And don’t forget to water them!

Reiki at home cat graphicPets, to respond well to Reiki, either hands on or hands off – dogs are always up for it; cats less so, but will come and ask when they’re sick or in pain. My own cats are perfectly happy to receive Reiki in the kidney area at any time. When they’ve had enough, they just get up and leave. Cats are so imperious!

One of my favourite ways of sharing Reiki with animals is with fish – when I first learned Reiki, I noticed that whenever I went into a particular pet store for cat food, the fish in the tank would all swim over to look at me. Gently applying my hands to the glass – with permission – had them all in ecstasy, taking turns at swimming past in a leisurely fashion, with some of them pushing the others out of the way if they were taking too long. Even now it’s one of my favourite things to do.

I always Reiki my food, too – a pause before eating to appreciate everything that has contributed to bringing the food to your plate in this time and in this space can only enhance the flavour. To let Reiki flow to the food before you eat it, like a blessing, enhances both the flavour and the energy of it.

Things you might not know you can do at Reiki 1

You may have thought that you could only do distance healing at Reiki 2. But, Reiki isn’t mean – you can do distance healing at Reiki 1 if you like. What you get at Reiki 2 is more focus and power.

One of the exercises I do with my 1st Degree students is to ask them to write down a wish list – if money were no object and you could have whatever you wanted, what 10 things would you choose? World Peace? A new car? Anything goes. Then Reiki your list every day for, well, 21 days is the resonant number for Reiki people, but you can Reiki it for longer if you like. About 20 minutes per session will do.

Distance healing for a person at Reiki 1 needs only that you write their name on a piece of paper or that you have a photograph of them. Reiki that for around 20 minutes or so a day and they will feel the benefit of it.

If you want to do planetary healing, either visualise the planet between your hands or take a globe and Reiki that.

Practicing Reiki at home is one of the most positive things you can do in your Reiki life. Use your imagination – be creative, always respecting other people’s boundaries.

Usui Reiki 101

The Usui Reiki Jungle: How To Find Your Way Around it

Usui Reiki graphicReiki is simple, right? Judging from the plethora of sites on the web – all 54.2 million of them! – this healing and spiritual system seems to be very complicated, contradictory and woo woo.  This page is meant to be a resource you can draw from to help you make sense of it all.

So, in order to help you find out about Usui Reiki from the very first time you start looking, here’s my very best content on what it is and how to find a half way grounded practitioner.

Usui Reiki Beginners

Usui Reiki 1

  • Hand positions – to use them or not, this is the question.  This post demystifies this very first of the everyday practicalities of our practice
  • Reiki Circles – one of the most enjoyable reasons to gather together to practice
  • The Blood Exchange – sounds gruesome, doesn’t it.  But it’s really not.  This post describes what it is and how you do it.


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Usui Reiki 2

  • The Power Symbol – 5 ways you can use the power symbol to simplify your life
  • The Emotional Symbol – Some uses for this symbol that you might not have thought of before
  • The Distance Symbol – how you can use this symbol to release the past and get a handle on your future

Enjoy your read, bookmark this page, share it with your friends using the buttons on the left hand side and come back often – it will be updated regularly so it’s worth keeping in touch!



Top Ten Reiki Blog Posts – February

It’s that time again and here are my choices for this month’s Top Ten Reiki Blog Posts, in no particular order.

  1. This Funny Role from Reiki Awakening : There have been a lot of “What they think we are” memes on the internet this month.  This one is quite a clever and amusing one.  What do you think?
  2. The God Thing from Kelly West: A personal perspective on Reiki and spirituality from a practicing Christian – beautifully written, almost intimate, post.
  3. When to do Reiki Self Healing from Reiki with Mamta: A short post on the merits of self treatments – and the answer to a frequently asked question!  When do you do your self treatment?
  4. Reiki for Burns from Serene Expression: How long did it take you to learn to reach for Reiki as a first rather than last resort?  This Reiki master explains how she burned herself pretty badly, reaching for traditional cure after traditional cure until she remembered her Reiki.
  5. A Spring Love Called Reiki from Raymond H Hamilton:Reiki doesn’t always work the way we want it to.  This very moving post from Raymond H Hamilton explores his journey from his mother’s death, through rejecting Reiki because it didn’t “work”, to opening up again to practice Reiki.  Very much worth a read.
  6. Choose Well from Graceful Woman Warrior: Lovely post from a woman on a journey through breast cancer.
  7. Can Reiki help comfort you after the loss of a loved one? from Sandra Lepholtz: In contrast to the post from  Raymond H Hamilton above, Sandra shares her experience of Reiki in the passing of her father.  My experience is nearer hers, although I understan Raymond’s.  How about you?  Have you ever lost a loved one while giving them Reiki?
  8. Reiki and Protection from Richard Ellis: Very long post from Richard Ellis really unpacking the obsession with protection in the Reiki community – for and against!  Very much worth a read.  Where do you stand on this?
  9. Reiki in Hospitals from Reiki Ken: Very useful post with a list of UK hospitals that make use of Reiki practitioners for treating patients.  Go visit if you’re interested in working in this way.
  10. Horses and Therapy from Victoria McCallion: Nice horse story about the interaction between horses and people.  Horses like Reiki too – and not just when they’re sick!

What do you think about my top 10 choices?  If you think you could do just as well – or better! – leave a comment below with a link to your site.