There is a lot of misinformation about Reiki floating around out there. Much of this comes from people getting incomplete information and then filling in the blanks with what they already know. So let’s discuss seven popular myths about Reiki.
Reiki is a religion or Reiki is a healing art
Reiki is a spiritual practice designed to improve oneself. Reiki is exercise for the mind and spirit. The exercises and techniques taught in Reiki classes are about developing oneself fully. The healing techniques learned are part of the development of oneself because you can not fully help yourself unless you are helping others.
Reiki is Tibetan (or Egyptian or Atlantean, etc…)
Reiki was developed by Mikao Usui, a Japanese Buddhist. He combined many different elements from Buddhism, Shintoism, Shugendo, and many other systems into the system that is taught by his lineage. While there are healing systems in Tibet and Egypt (and I suppose Atlantis), Reiki did not develop from any of them. In fact, there is no link between Japan and any of those places. Buddhism traveled from India to China and then Japan separate from the path to Tibet, but even then Buddhism is just one influence of many of the system of Reiki.
Mikao Usui was a Christian and a Doctor
This is a pretty common myth because of an interview Hawayo Takata gave about the history of Reiki. Research pretty clearly indicates that the information provided about Mikao Usui is incorrect. There is some speculation about why she made this story up, including that in post-WWII America, anything Japanese would not be accepted. I have another theory here.
An Attunement will do X
There are a lot of misconceptions about what an attunement to Reiki will do. Some say it will connect you to Animal/Spirit/Reiki guides. Some say it opens you to the Reiki energy in the Universe. Some say it activates the Reiki symbols in your aura. An attunement has one purpose, to connect you to the energy of Mikao Usui. This is a very common type of ceremony in many Eastern traditions. It is also why Reiki lineages are considered important, to know how you are really connected to the Master.
You can become a Reiki Master in a weekend
Pardon me while I wretch for a moment. You can not become a Reiki Master in a weekend, afternoon, or even a year and a day. Taking a class is not the final step in that level, it is the first step. You do not become a Reiki Master by taking a class. It comes from the YEARS and YEARS of work you put into yourself and helping others that makes you a Reiki Master. How many years? My first Reiki “Master” class was over 12 years ago. I’ll have to get back to you.
Reiki only works when it is free
Sigh. So many people want to convince you that to be spiritual, it must be free. Or you can’t be spiritual if you have money. Most of these people want you to give your money to them. Seriously, money is NOT the root of all evil; the Bible actually says “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.” Money is a tool. How much of your energy you put into it is going to determine the effect money has on you. And I don’t know about you; but with the way this world currently operates, if I have more money, I can help more people.
Only those attuned to Reiki can use the symbols
And here is where I am going to catch crap from other Reiki Masters. Symbols are tools designed to help focus and channel energy in specific ways. Period. There are many tools; some have a resonance of their own (e.g. colors, crystals, and herbs), and others have the resonance we give them (e.g. words and symbols). If you believe a symbol has a certain effect, energy will follow your thoughts and create that effect. Reiki is not about the symbols; it is about bettering yourself. In fact, there is evidence to suggest that Mikao Usui developed the symbols late in life to help students taken on near his death since he knew he wouldn’t be there to help them.
Now I know some of these statements aren’t going to be popular with other Reiki practitioners and teachers. I am definitely open to a thorough discussion on the subject. I am still human and make mistakes, but all of this is based on information I have learned about Reiki to date.