Stigma and Cred

I first learned Reiki in person from a teacher, and took the Master/Teacher level in a class, in person. It was traditional Usui Reiki training. I found that my training left some things to be desired. There was no instruction on intuition, for example, or chakras. I was not taught how to feel and experience energy, just taught traditional hand positions, symbols and ritual that “had to be” done in order to give a Reiki session. 

Three months later, I learned Kundalini Reiki, by distance, online from the founder of the system. I felt my attunements more strongly than I had felt any other, ever. I also learned that symbols, hand positions, and ritual are not needed in order to practice Reiki. Although this conflicted with my Usui Reiki training, it made more sense to me. I spent lots of time pondering and practicing after this. And the pondering and practicing really helped me the most in developing my understanding about Reiki, and how it can be effectively taught so that people can learn to feel the energy and understand what they are doing. 

Since that time, I’ve taught over 500 people Kundalini Reiki or Practical Reiki. I’ve written two books about Practical Reiki, to help those who want to learn get a more thorough education in energy healing. I have received only powerful, positive feedback from all of my students and clients. 

I’m proud of my work and am committed to being a dedicated and approachable teacher for all who learn from me. My students share the love of Reiki, whether they were previously Usui Reiki trained or not. 

At times, I’ve been informed (and even involved) in online discussions about what’s “better,” in person or online training. As I’ve said there and will say again, it depends on the teacher. It also depends on the student’s comfort level, but I do my best, even with online teaching, to provide the most personal experience possible for my students. Not all online training is equal, just as not all in-person training is equal in quality. It depends on the teacher being of high integrity, knowledge, approachability, and dedication.

Now there’s another issue that my students are facing, as well as others who receive training online. Some hospitals and other organizations who accept volunteers to provide Reiki will only accept individuals who have received training in person. Others will only accept individuals who have received Usui Reiki training. Practical Reiki (and other methods) are not treated with the same respect. So what are my wonderful students to do when they want to go out and dedicate their precious time to sharing Reiki in these places?

I guess we need to start a grass roots movement to establish cred and overcome the stigmas held by those who think that Usui Reiki is better than Practical Reiki, or that in person teaching trumps online learning. Yeah, we’ve got our work cut out for us. 

So here’s what I suggest.

If you’re faced with a challenge such as this, don’t give up. Politely request a meeting to discuss your training and demonstrate your expertise. Show the person in charge my book, and encourage them to read it. Offer to give the person a Reiki session. Talk clearly and confidently about your understanding and love for Reiki. 

If that doesn’t work, don’t worry. Send in your students, your friends who have learned, and others to do the same. Eventually, we’ll get a second look. 

If you want, have the person you meet with contact me. I’ll be happy to talk about my year at The Cleveland Clinic, and my two years at The Gathering Place (a support place for families touched by cancer). I’ll also be happy to talk about my Practical Reiki for Nurses course, which is approved to offer 8 CEs by the Ohio Board of Nursing. 

We are the change we want to see in the world. Reiki is healing energy, and the practitioner is the one who has the ethics, experience, and attunement to share it.

Let’s move the world with our light.

Reiki Awakening Reiki blog by Alice Langholt

Time to Read

The last week in May, my family went on vacation, and stayed in a quiet little beach house in Sandbridge, VA for a week. It was lovely to be by the ocean and have some time away. I had brought my netbook, in the hopes of blogging and getting some other writing done a little bit each day. However, that was not to be. My hard drive crashed and died the first day of the trip.

That left me with the books I had brought. Not a bad trade.

I’d like to present to you with some of what I learned from having time to read some really fascinating books!
This post will highlight the first of three books I read. 

The first book I enjoyed is “Reiki: The True Story: An Exploration of Usui Reiki” by Don Beckett.

In this book, I learned all about the “original” of the “original Reiki method.” That is, Reiki the way founder Mikao Usui taught it. I found out something really fascinating!! Mikao Usui did not use symbols. He did not use hand positions. Reiki was meant as a personal enlightenment practice. Healing was a side benefit, and it was done by intention. Usui taught different people individually, and each was taught a little differently from the last, because Usui varied his teaching to fit the experience, frame of reference, and ideal usage of Reiki for each student. There was no formalized system, no defined rituals. 

This is extremely significant to me for a number of reasons. First, because Practical Reiki, the method that I use and teach, does not use hand positions or symbols. Its main emphasis is on intention and attention. Quiet, gently focused observation is the best state of mind for practicing. It sounds to me as if Practical Reiki is very much like Mikao Usui’s Reiki. 

Second, Usui Reiki as it’s taught in the United States, follows Mrs. Hawayo Takata’s teaching method. She brought Reiki to Hawaii and introduced it to the West. She taught structured ritualized Reiki, including the addition of hand positions, symbols, and lots of formalized procedures. Practical Reiki differs so much from this version of Usui Reiki that many have treated me as if I am teaching a rogue or rebellious form of Reiki – as if I’m going against tradition by not using those things. Takata’s method of Reiki, which is also William Rand’s version, the most commonly taught in the US and many parts of the world, has become accepted as the “original authentic Usui Reiki.” But I have just learned that it’s not. 

Turns out that Practical Reiki is closer to the original Usui Reiki than the method most accepted as the one that’s widely taught here. Not sure whether to laugh or yell, “SEE!!!?” I believe I did both several times as I read.

While in VA, my family visited the Edgar Cayce Institute in Virginia Beach. It’s a really fascinating museum and huge metaphysical library dedicated to the work of a man whose channeled information filled hundreds of volumes of texts. I brought a few copies of my book, and soon as I showed it to the woman who runs the gift shop, she immediately placed an order for the store and asked for an autographed copy for herself. Two visitors to the museum who were nearby asked if they could buy a copy from me too, and I gladly shared. It was a great experience, and helped to validate that what I’m teaching is needed and meaningful. 

I’m training Practical Reiki instructors now as well as students, so that more people can share this accessible healing modality. And Usui was right – it’s a method to personal enlightenment besides being an excellent way to help oneself and others receive healing. My Practical Reiki for Nurses course is approved by the Ohio Board of Nursing to offer CEs to nurses and massage therapists. I’m training instructors for that course too. 

Reading Beckett’s book was like a nod from the Universe and a blessing from Mikao Usui himself. 

More book reports will follow in future blog posts! 

Reiki Awakening Reiki blog by Alice Langholt

Disturbing Divisions

I have a student who has been learning with me for close to a year. She started with no previous knowledge of Reiki, and learned Kundalini Reiki with me, followed by working on her intuitive development in many areas through Intuitive Development Coaching. She’s shared her successes as she became more aware of the sensations of energy, her guidance, angels, and confidence in her abilities to work with Reiki. It’s been beautiful to be a part of and witness to the many ways in which she has discovered these abilities and connections. It’s changed her life for the better and helped her see her path more clearly. She has been learning with me via distance. We’ve never met in person, although we have spoken on the phone a couple of times. Last week, she told me this story:

Recently, she decided to attend a Reiki circle in her local area. Gathered with other Reiki practitioners, they were all getting ready to start the flow of the energy. She watched them draw symbols in the air and on themselves. She sat quietly, intending that the energy begin. Kundalini Reiki does not use symbols. She felt the other practitioners looking at her sideways. She overheard one say to the other, “Where did she get her training?” The other responded “Oh, she phoned it in over the internet.” How snarky. My student left shortly thereafter.

I’m unhappy about the attitude of some Reiki practitioners about distance learning. Let’s face it – Reiki energy is not limited by distance any more than love is. Learning Reiki is like learning any subject – the depth and ease of your learning is partially your effort, and partially your teacher’s ability to teach you well. I teach locally and I teach by distance. In each case, I give my students close individual support and guidance. I am invested in his or her learning. I care about my student’s experiences learning and working with the Reiki energy. My local students do not receive more because they are with me in person. I take my role as teacher seriously, and my students’ success, confidence with their Reiki practice, and genuine love for energy work are testament to both the effectiveness of their practice and confidence in my teaching methods. I’m truly proud of my work and stand behind it.

So when one of my distance students is treated with disrespect by others who practice Reiki, I am disturbed. This is not what BEing Reiki is about. My student is comfortable and confident with the way she practices Reiki. Her energy is strong. I doubt that anyone experiencing Reiki from her would be able to tell the difference between Reiki from her and Reiki from one who learned in a local class, (provided the one who learned locally had a good teacher).

I think that the politics of those who would judge distance learning against local, or Usui Reiki against other methods, is unnecessary and negative. How about we all focus on our common goals – offering healing energy to those who need it, balancing ourselves, and trying to make the world a better place through our work? Seriously, there is enough to deal with from those who don’t understand or accept that Reiki helps. We don’t need to be passing judgment on each other within our Reiki circle.


Reiki Awakening Reiki blog by Alice Langholt