Q&A with Joy: Is Reiki Buddhism?
The system of Reiki is very adaptable. As a result, different lineages — and even different teachers in the same lineage — teach it differently. The system of Reiki promotes healing, and many teach or use it as a healing modality. Some teachers emphasize the psychological benefits, such as inner stillness and peace of mind, that result from the practice of the Reiki system. Reiki techniques are also useful for connecting with something bigger than us. Some people define this as Divinity, some people describe it as the vastness of nature. In fact, the founder of the system, Mikao Usui, connected with the Reiki energy as a result of rigorous spiritual training. Accordingly, teachers present the system of Reiki as a spiritual practice. So, it seems logical that this system is an offshoot of Buddhism and the other religious paths, such as Shintoism, that Usui-san practiced. But is Reiki Buddhism?
Here’s the question: Is Reiki Buddhism?
Hello. I’ve gotten into a discussion with Buddhists of different schools (Theravada, Zen, Tibetan Buddhism) and they all have said that Reiki may have influences from Buddhism and Usui may have been a Buddhist monk but at the end of the day it is NOT Buddhism and only a technique for relaxation. Is this really the case?
Here’s my answer: No, but it is is spiritual practice
This is a great question! Yes, Mikao Usui was a Buddhist practitioner, and that background, as well as in other aspects of Japanese culture and religion, influence the system of Reiki. But no, Reiki is not Buddhism. However, it is not a relaxation technique either, although relaxation can be one of the benefits of practicing the system or receiving a session.
Instead, I learned Reiki as a spiritual practice. In this approach, Reiki is a simple, non-religious system for connecting with Divinity, as we would say in the West. A more Eastern way of phrasing it would be that practicing Reiki connects us with the Source of All That Is. It is a spiritual practice, like Buddhism, but simplified and made more accessible for the average person to practice. By connecting to our true self through meditation, self-healing, reciting the precepts, and the other pillars of the system, we are able to heal ourselves and work towards achieving inner peace.
If you want to ask a question about any tarot, astrology, or Reiki technique or metaphysical philosophy, please feel free to ask it in the comments! You just might see an answer from me in the very near future!
Joy Vernon is widely recognized by tarot professionals as an expert tarot teacher and respected community leader. With over twenty years’ experience teaching energetic and esoteric modalities, Joy brings expertise and practiced familiarity to her specialty of esoteric tarot, which layers astrological and qabalistic symbolism onto the traditional tarot structure. Under her leadership, the Denver Tarot Meetup has grown into one of the largest and most active tarot-specific meetups in the world. Joy works as a tarot reader, astrologer, and teacher at Isis Books. To learn more, please visit JoyVernon.com.