Reiki Symbols: Sacred and Secret


In Reiki level 2 classes, students learn three sacred symbols.  The symbols are:

  1. Empowerment
  2. Mental/Emotional
  3. Distance (Absent) Reiki

In the Usui/Hayashi/Takata lineage, these symbols are sacred and secret.  What does sacred and secret mean in this the age of the Internet and social media?  For me, it means that I do not publish these symbols on my website or in any printed publication other than training manuals that are used in my Reiki 2 classes.  It also means that I do not draw them, even in the air, so that those who do not know the symbols could copy them.  It means that I do not show them to those who are not initiated at the Reiki 2 level or above.

Does this mean that they are truly kept secret by all?  Definitely not.  If you Google, “Reiki symbols,” but please do NOT do this, you will find them all over the Internet.  However, I cannot control what other people do.  I can only control my own behavior and my own teachings, so I follow the teachings of my teacher, which is of the highest importance to me and I keep the symbols sacred and secret.  Is it difficult to keep them a secret?  Like any new secret, when it is first learned there is that gnawing desire to tell someone else about it.  Over time, that desire fades. One is always able to talk freely about the symbols with one’s teacher and fellow students and colleagues.

Some people may ask, “Does it matter?”  I believe it does.  The secretive nature of the symbols adds to the focus and power around them.  They must be memorized which takes on a different and deeper level of cognitive attention.  Though the mind does not control Reiki, it is a powerful partner.  Also, like a meditative mantra, the Reiki symbols provide the mind with something to do, something to focus on, while offering Reiki.  This energized focus takes a person’s Reiki practice to a profound level where the energy of the universe is drawn upon with greater ease and increased intensity.

If you haven’t done so already, I hope that someday you’ll take a Reiki 2 class and experience the power of these three sacred and secret symbols.

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Phyllis Lei Furumato discusses Reiki Research

I didn’t expect this, but so far this year I have been really deeply immersing myself in my Reiki practice.  My devotion and practice have always been there but something is happening this year which is more deep and profound than what I have experienced before — outside of my initial attunement experiences.

I’ve noticed that I’m bridging on obsession with Reiki.  I think about it almost constantly and I’m asking more of it . . . and it is providing for my needs in very powerful ways.  Part of this Reiki immersion is additional research, reading and talking about Reiki.  The doing of Reiki has always been primary for me, but now I feel as if I want to connect my intellect more closely with my intuition and experience.

As I journey in this way, I have found some amazing resources, including Phyllis Lei Furumato’s Reiki Talk Show.  (Phyllis is Hawayo Takata’s granddaughter.)  This is an amazing collection of interviews with Reiki Masters from around the world who recount their Reiki stories and then dive into their area of specialization.  Recently, there has been a series of interviews with Masters who are involved in Reiki Research.

Phyllis has described an evolution of Reiki Research in two stages.  The first stage has focused on proving that Reiki exists.  While the second stage of research has focused on the effect of Reiki on the physical, emotional and spiritual realms.

I highly recommend listening to the interview with Martin Ouwerkerk.  Martin is a chemist and Reiki Master, who has used a bio-photon measuring device to detect the Reiki energy from his hands.  As he describes in the interview, when he added the Reiki symbols to his offering, the machine detected a change in the photons being emitted.  He uses the word “perfection” to describe this, but we might also call it “harmony” because the lack of the flow of photons is an experience of oneness:  “you’re everything”.  There is no barrier between your physical/material existence and the universe.  You are connected with everything through Reiki.

There is also a lively discussion about the sensations in our hands that Reiki practitioners experience or don’t.  Martin describes is as a method of tuning between the practitioner and the recipient.  We are always taught to accept the sensations as they are and not to draw a conclusion.  However, we are each unique and so is our experience as Reiki practitioners.

Phyllis concludes the interview by talking about miracles and what might qualify as a Reiki miracle.  She encourages us to have a childlike attitude about miracles and see them in our everyday experiences.  I completely agree with Phyllis’ conclusion that scientific research creates a pathway to see miracles in everyday life.  Science is one of the universe’s gifts and not an enemy of Reiki.

I hope you’ll find the time to listen to Phyllis and Martin.  Please share your thoughts about the interview and how the journey of life is showing up for you in unexpected ways.

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What is Reiki?

When I’m working with a client who is new to Reiki I’m often asked, “What is Reiki?” My answer starts with, “Reiki is universal life-force energy. It is the energy that is in us and all around us.” Sometimes that is all the explanation needed other than a procedural review of hand placements and other logistics. However, some people are clearly puzzled.

Having practiced Reiki for almost 12 years, this energy seems so obvious to me. I notice it frequently in a person’s posture, in a hand shake, in a facial expression, in spoken words, in music, art and food. But the person new to Reiki may not have noticed it or at least not in the same way.

Reiki is the energy of our soul, it is our essence. We find it in our everyday lives in the food we eat as we convert it to energy for our physical selves. We find it in the hug from a friend; in the loving touch of parent; in the kind act from a stranger.

If one is not attuned as a Reiki practitioner, she or he will infrequently notice this energy. However, a Reiki attunement allows one to consistently tap into this energy. Also, during a Reiki session, the recipient often notices the Reiki energy as warmth or increased sensation as the Reiki is received.

(I highly recommend attunement as it allows one to offer Reiki to oneself and others. It is a practice that is easy to integrate into one’s life. Please see the Class Descriptions)

How do you define Reiki? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Wishing you peace and light. You are Reiki.

Janice Lodato, Reiki Master of Masters

The mind does not control Reiki

My Reiki teachers, Libby Barnett and Maggie Babb, taught me in the most traditional way as they are very close to the lineage that brought Reiki to the United States.  In our training we always emphasize that the mind does not control Reiki.

Often new Reiki practitioners will be concerned that their mental state, of anger, sadness, or anxiety, could negatively impact a Reiki session.  However, Reiki is a one-way street.  We OFFER Reiki.  It is up to the recipient and his/her body and spirit to take in and use Reiki as needed and desired.  Reiki cannot overwhelm the recipient and it cannot be controlled by the mind.  Though, intention setting can be a very powerful ally.

While a Reiki practitioner is offering Reiki, her/his mind needs to be engaged.  Setting an intention that becomes a sort of mantra for the practitioner can be very beneficial for her/his experience of the session.  This should not be confused however, with being in control of the Reiki or of the recipient’s energy.  We offer.  We do Reiki and notice.  We do not diagnose.  We do not manipulate.  We offer Reiki for the highest healing good.

Is setting an intention helpful?  Yes, it is helpful for our monkey minds that so desperately need something to DO.  It can also provide focus for the recipient’s mind.  However, again, the recipients mind will not control the Reiki.  The Reiki will go where it is needed most.

This approach to Reiki recognizes the power of the universe.  It is an approach that acknowledges the Reiki practitioner’s role as a conduit.  The Reiki channels through me to the recipient.

Many have difficulty accepting this and feel that they should be “doing” more during a Reiki session.  However, this is unnecessary.  The power of the universe, of universal life force energy, is being presented through your attuned hands.  Have faith and confidence that, as with your intention, it is presented for the highest healing good and will yield exactly that.

Be well my friends and trust in the universe.  Align yourself with the light.

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Reiki Goes Where it is Needed

In the Usui system of Reiki there is a principle that Reiki goes where it is needed. In practice this can look like a Reiki session where the practitioner has her hands on the shoulders of the recipient for the whole session.  However, the recipient entered the session with a sore knee and a headache.  After the session, the recipient reports that the knee feels much better and her headache has decreased.  This occurs without the practitioner ever placing her hands directly on the knees or the head.  This is the wisdom and power of universal life force energy.  It goes where it is needed.

There are many stories that illustrate this principle.  For instance, my teacher, Libby Barnett, tells the story of one of her clients who came to her with an injured ankle that was healing very slowly.  The day after the Reiki session, Libby followed up and her client said that the ankle was about the same, but the evening after the Reiki session she had written the outline of a children’s book that had been in her mind for years.

Another client I have worked with had only stress-reduction on her mind.  However, after her Reiki session, a cyst in her wrist became enlarged.  She observed this for several days and on the fifth day it seemed to go away.  When she followed up with her physician, who had been monitoring her condition, he confirmed that the cyst was gone.  She was relieved and grateful and saw how Reiki went where it was needed.

As a Reiki practitioner this principle can sometimes guide us in hand placement.  For instance, rather than placing the hands over the recipients ankles, the practitioner may be guided by Reiki and intuition to place the hands on the lower leg.

I welcome your thoughts in the comments section and wonder how you have experienced Reiki’s power to go to where it is needed.

Wishing you light and peace.

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Welcome to Reiki Healing Energy!

Welcome to my new website and blog: Reiki Healing Energy!  I have been practicing Reiki since October 2001.  It seems amazing to me that this is the first time I’m formally presenting my Reiki practice outside of a Reiki session, a wellness tune-up or a Reiki class.  However the time seems right as I am very near to the exact date that I received my Reiki 1 attunement and then a few days later my Reiki 2 attunement at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in western Massachusetts.  I clearly remember my heart racing with excitement as a sat in a metal folding chair receiving the attunements.  I was filled with grace and love as I learned about Reiki and practiced it with my teachers, Libby Barnett and Maggie Babb (Chambers).

After my first attunement, like my fellow students, I was amazed by the awareness and presence I was able to experience during my morning yoga practice.  Food tasted more vibrant as well.  In my dorm room at Kripalu, I relished the view of the lake from my top bunk, the gnarled cherry tree beside my window and the gentle snores and words that rang out in our room during the night.

After the second attunement, the palm of my hand was alive with energy.  In my dream that night, I was comforted by the presence of my maternal grandparents who sat with me and encouraged me on this journey.  They smiled at me as they did when I was a child, with complete acceptance and understanding.

After leaving Kripalu, I experienced many challenges of balancing life’s daily demands with my Reiki aspirations.  However, that is one of the beautiful aspects of Reiki.  It is so simple and readily available that it can be integrated into one’s daily life with ease.

In future posts I will discuss what brought me to Reiki and some insights I have gained in the past 11 years.  I look forward to your comments and hearing about your healing journey as well.

Wishing you light and peace.

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