Having practiced Reiki for nine years, I have encountered a lot of questions about the different aspects. One of the core ideas about the system of Reiki is the attunements. There are a lot of questions about attunements, so I decided to share my thoughts about them here.

The first time I heard an attunement described, the teacher used the analogy of tuning a radio. Like radio waves, we are constantly being surrounded by many different energy frequencies. The attunement “tunes” you to the specific energy frequencies of Reiki.

Now I am not suggesting that the other energy frequencies are “bad” or even “not as good as” Reiki energy. They are just different. People have been using energy for healing – and many other practices – for centuries. You don’t need an attunement to work with energy. Technically, you don’t even need an attunement to work with Reiki.

Back to our radio analogy: imagine you are driving your car through a new town. You don’t know any of the stations, and you are looking for a specific type of music. You could use the seek function on your radio and scroll through all the stations available until you find the music you are looking for. You may have to cycle through the stations several times to find the right one. With the number of “radio stations,” in the Universe, cycling through them all even just once could take you multiple lifetimes. Wouldn’t it be easier to have a friend who already knows which station to set the radio for you?

So having an attunement done is a bit like having your friend tune your radio to the right station. It is a bit of a short cut, but it is in no way a cheat. Spiritual teachers are they to guide you down certain paths. If you don’t like the particular radio station they tune you to, then change it.

But if all the other energies work, why are we bothering to connect to Reiki? What is so special about Reiki?

Reiki is our link to the founder, Sensei Mikao Usui. The attunement connects us to Reiki, and Reiki connects us to Sensei. We connect to Reiki, not because it is the best, but because we honor the teachings of Sensei.

Sensei trained for many years with many different spiritual teachers before his satori on Mount Kurama. He studied and meditated and worked on developing his spiritual body.

No one was there to attune Sensei during his twenty-one day retreat at Mount Kurama. Some people say he attuned himself, while others say the Universe attuned him. I like to think it is both.


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  1. Reply

    Every time I have received or given an attunement I can totally sense Sensei Usui present and observing. If I don’t feel him then I don’t carry on with the attunement. I love it because it is like having your grandpa show up and help out.

      • Randall Hall
      • January 3, 2014

      I had the good fortune of attending a workshop last October with Hyakuten Inamoto, the founder of Komyo Reiki Kai. Sensei Inamoto is the one who described the attunement as connecting with Usui. Before that, I knew there was something about attunements that my brain wasn’t getting but my soul was. That was it.

      Thanks for reading!

  2. Reply

    Hi Randall!

    You are indeed correct that the primary thing that distinguishes Reiki Ryoho from other energy-based practices is that it is lineage-based, ultimately reconnecting back to Mikao Usui. The word “Reiki” itself can mean many different things in Japan, depending upon the context, but when we speak of this practice, it is the spiritual energy and lineage that connects us all together. Ultimately, we all already *are* Reiki, but the practice of Reiki Ryoho helps bring us back home, so to speak, reconnecting us with our essential nature, which is the oneness of the universe.

    Gassho bows to you!

      • Randall Hall
      • January 3, 2014

      Thanks, Dana. I use Hatsu Rei Ho to strengthen my connection to Reiki and to Mikao Usui as often as possible. It used to amaze me what a difference it made in my day. Of course, now I realize that NOT making a difference would be the amazing thing.

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