Learning Reiki

My first four months in Asia were spent with the wide eyes of a meandering backpacker.

Chiang Mai

Everything was new and fresh, like ripe fruit oozing in my hands… But, as those of you who have moved to a new city know, your lens changes after a few months of residing in the same place. Famous monuments – be it bridges or temples – suddenly become part of your everyday background scenery. And you have to make a little effort to keep your view fresh.

So I created a goal for myself to take advantage of the learning opportunities here in Chiang Mai that others travel long distances just to experience. Especially opportunities that will help me to better understand the new culture that surrounds me. To begin, I decided to learn about energy healing and Reiki…

What is Reiki, you ask? Well, the easiest way I’ve heard it described is “a healing energy massage.” But truthfully, it’s not a massage. There’s no pressing or rubbing involved. Just touching. Sound strange? Let me give you a little background on it…

Reiki was discovered in Japan in the early 20th century by a Buddhist monk. He sought for many years for a way to heal others without depleting one’s own energy as other practices did. One day, near the end of a long spiritual retreat, he received a powerful rush of energy through the top of his head (an attunement), and realized the power of Reiki. Rei meaning “spiritual wisdom” and ki meaning “the life force.” It has since developed into the healing practice that is used today not only in Japan but around the world.

There are 5 Reiki Principles:

1.    Just for today, I will not be angry
2.    Just for today, I will not worry.
3.    Just for today, I will do my work honestly.
4.    Just for today, I will be kind to my neighbor and every living thing.
5.    Just for today, I will give thanks for my many blessings.

Great, thanks Amanda, but how is Reiki practiced? It’s quite simple. Once you receive an attunement from a Reiki master and some guided practice, you can give Reiki to anyone who needs it. Reiki is a gift of wellness. It is typically carried out by a series of gentle touches from the receiver’s head to feet, but it can also be given by touching only one area of the body or not touching at all. The key to giving Reiki is intent. To focus your healing energy on the person in need. After receiving Reiki, people generally feel very relaxed and more focused. It also accelerates the body’s self-healing capacity.

Me giving Reiki to my friend, Joy, earlier today
Me giving Reiki to my friend, Joy, earlier today

Yes, I know it sounds a little hocus pocus to some of you, and I understand. But consider a simple hug. A hug is an exchange of energy between two people that improves emotional well-being. It is something we do intuitively. Well, Reiki is not so different. It’s about connecting with other people. Sharing your warmth and compassion. And what person doesn’t feel better when they know they are not alone? That’s why the instructor I learned Reiki from took us to hospitals to share our energy with people who really need it.

Does Reiki cure cancer? No. But it is a great way to foster awareness of your own well-being and the well-being of others. It can also reduce pain and suffering.

Please note, I am new to Reiki and this blog is based on my experience in a 6-day intensive Reiki course in Chiang Mai, Thailand. You can learn more about Reiki here. If you are considering learning Reiki in Chiang Mai there are multiple options. Some courses are expensive, so rather than recommend one, I would advise you to visit the school and Reiki Master in person to make sure it feels like a good fit for you :).

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