Your Reiki Journey – The Path of Light Begins With Levels I and II

I just received an email from a student-friend of mine who is encouraging one of her clients to learn Reiki, and she is recommending me as a teacher. Though I thanked her for the referral, I wrote back explaining that learning Reiki must come from within one’s own heart. Reiki is not something to be be nudged upon someone, even gently. And we’ve all heard that expression, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” So you will always find a teacher or a mentor when the timing is right.

Reiki is a journey — a radiant, beautiful one that brings healing and enlightenment into our lives. But it is a unique path for each of us. How far we each wish to go is a very personal decision.

One’s initial decision to study Reiki and take a Level I class is clearly a significant step. It is one’s commitment to say “I accept healing — I am open to releasing blockages and negativity.” It is a decision to step into the rays of sunlight and brilliance of self-healing.

Level I (sometimes called Shoden) is one’s first introduction to the modality. It is a level of awakening — opening to the grace and empowerment of the energy. One learns the history and all the basics that comprise the foundation of this system, as well as receiving the first attunement (initiation) to the awareness of the energy and being able to be a conduit. The major focus is on self-healing. For if we are not in balance and harmony within ourselves, it is not so easy to offer healing to others.

Though a student leaves a Level I class as an “official” certified Reiki practitioner, that is just the beginning…

So many possibilities open to you if you so choose to embrace the continuation of this path of light. For many, Level I is a complete accomplishment in itself and after incorporating Reiki into your life, you may be completely satisfied remaining at this level. For others, there may come a moment of motivation, a passionate decision to continue on to the next Level (II). This is called Okuden in classic Japanese teachings. This builds upon and expands one’s understanding and immersion in the energy. The most significant aspect is learning the three sacred symbols, which are very empowering. This also confers the ability (or awakens the ability) to send Reiki over the distance. Imagine how amazing this concept is when one first learns!

Completing both these levels is often quite fulfilling and enlightening, and I suspect that many practitioners choose to remain at this stage. In fact, some teachers incorporate both Levels I and II into a 2-3 day seminar series and offer them together. (Personally, I prefer to teach them separately, with a little bit of time in between.)

The other steps one can take, if so motivated from the heart, are to go to A.R.T level (Advanced Reiki Training) and then Master (more about that at another time.)

Basically, follow your inner guidance and if Reiki feels like it is right for you, then take your first class. And if you are a Level I and are motivated and eager to continue on, then it is time for Level II. Keep in mind that Reiki is always beneficial and moving up through the levels can only be empowering, joyful, fascinating and oh-so-healing…

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