I think the attunement is one of the most misunderstood aspects of Reiki. Recently a friend, a Reiki practitioner who was unfamiliar with the traditional Japanese Reiki that I teach, complained that he didn’t like the way the system of Reiki was so often presented as relying on a teacher to connect the student to the energy. He believed that the energy was innate, and we all have access to it and can use it. He asked what I thought about it. I launched into one of my standard lectures on the subject. But reviewing these ideas ended up opening up new ways of thinking about energetic initiations.
Many people think that in the system of Reiki it is necessary to have a teacher either connect the student to the energy or increase their energy. But in traditional Japanese Reiki, we teach that you are responsible for raising your own energy. Hyakuten Inamoto-sensei, the Founder of Komyo Reiki Kai with whom I studied last year, says that the only way to raise your jin kaku, your quality of being, is through a spiritual practice and that in Reiki Ryôhô (the healing system of Reiki) the precepts are our spiritual practice.
In the Usui Reiki Ryôhô tradition that I learned from my friend Trish Edwards of OM Mountain Yoga in Loveland, we are taught that there are five pillars of Reiki, and we raise our energy level through regular practice of all five of the pillars. These pillars are: 1. The precepts or Reiki principles, 2. Breathing techniques, 3. Hands-on healing, 4. Symbols and mantras, and 5. The reiju (blessing) or attunement. The attunement is only one part of the whole process, and in traditional Japanese Reiki the reiju is performed every time the student and teacher meet; it’s not just a one-time plugging in of the power cord.
The attunement is an energetic initiation, and the best way I can describe it is that the teacher energetically demonstrates what the energy feels like in a way that expands the student’s understanding of their own energy. I have heard it said that if you meditate with someone who is a better or stronger meditator than you, or who is trained in a different style of meditation, you can move up to their level in twenty minutes when sharing this energetic space.
Today, as I was reflecting on this conversation, it occurred to me that there are many energetic initiations we go through in life. Anytime we sit in a class with a teacher they are challenging us to rise to their level of knowledge. Energy can travel through the words of an inspiring author. Playing a game with a strong partner—or opponent—can raise your level of ability. In many of these cases there are so many other concrete and quantifiable factors that are involved that we forget, overlook, or dismiss the energetic component.
But it is worth considering the role energetic initiation can play when we wish to learn skills that are harder to teach with a standardized curriculum. A musician goes to a concert and is lifted to a new level of performance. A tarot reader goes to a meetup and something suddenly clicks. You watch a video on Youtube and make a connection that had previously eluded you. There are infinite variations on this theme.
But what if we turned the tables and started seeking out our initiations? If you are having money problems, where might you find an energetic lift into a new paradigm around money? If you have not yet connected with soul-deep love, where might you find the blessing that opens you up to the reality of true love? If you feel lost and rudderless in life, where can you enter into a shared space of purpose and direction? I mention these because they are some of the main questions that people come to me with. But what is your unique situation and where can you get the perfect attunement into your new level of being?
It is important to remember that the answer to every one of these questions is, “through connection to Spirit.” But sometimes an intermediary, a teacher, is needed to point you in the direction of Spirit. Begin looking in your life for people who, through their own connection to Divine Truth, have already experienced the level you seek. Find ways to connect with them. Go to a talk, take a class, play a game with them. Honor their achievement and see if you don’t up your game too.
Joy Vernon is a Certified Professional Tarot Reader and Reiki Teacher in Denver, Colorado. Her specialty is the Empyrean Key Transformational Guidance, which combines energetic and esoteric modalities to help her clients break through blocks and align themselves with their higher purpose. For information on upcoming classes or to schedule an appointment, please visit JoyVernon.com.
© 2012 by Joy Vernon. All rights reserved.