Reiki…Sacred or Secret?


Symbols, Initiations, Attunements

There are many ways that people are introduced to and relate with Usui Reiki energy. There are a multitude of different teaching methods and initiation attunement styles. It is in the spirit of Reiki for practitioners and teachers to honor all manners of teaching and attunement. However, it is equally important to use discernment and make wise choices regarding how we personally wish to learn and experience Reiki.
Regardless of how one is introduced to the various levels of Reiki energy, the experience can be greatly enhanced when the sacred nature of Reiki is honored and preserved.Over the nearly 25 years during which I have worked with and enjoyed Reiki, I have encountered many people and a myriad of opinions regarding the symbols and attunements. Some people have the concern that by holding the symbols and initiation process as sacred, it is about secrets, control, and withholding information.

Usui Sensei received his attunement to the Reiki energy at this very sacred site on Kurama Mountain near Kyoto, Japan

Usui Sensei received his attunement to the Reiki energy at this very sacred site on Kurama Mountain near Kyoto, Japan

I find it interesting that a result of embracing Reiki into our daily life, is often an examination of our personal issues related to power and control. When Reiki is incorporated into all aspects of our life, we soon learn that among the greatest lessons Reiki teaches us is the importance of relinquishing our desire, or perceived need to be in control.
When we do release our attempts to control, we can truly allow our life to be guided, and mastered by Divine Love. It is intriguing to me that the tools and ceremonial process that assist us in activating Reiki, the very essence of Divine Love, can also be catalysts to confront our fears of trusting that God is the guiding force driving our life. Personal power issues can create filters that prevent us from recognizing that ‘the only TRUE power is Love”.

Secret Symbols, or Sacred Tools?

It is often exclaimed that Reiki symbols and initiation attunement processes are “secret”. However, I would ask you to consider that perhaps a more accurate description is that the symbols are sacred healing tools, and the attunement a sacred ceremonial practice.
Perhaps what some perceive as keeping secrets is actually a way to honor Reiki, and show respect for its true nature. In Webster’s dictionary the word secret is defined as “concealed, kept from general knowledge”. The word sacred is defined as “regarded with reverence”.
Symbols have been used for centuries to represent different aspects of spirituality. The symbols used in Reiki are connected directly to Divine consciousness. Each symbol is a representation of a unique vibration and serves as a key to activate certain frequencies of energy. When I was first attuned to the energy connected with Reiki symbols, I was

This is a photo of a shrine on Mt. Kurama. When I stepped inside for the first time, my soul began to sing. This is truly a sacred place, where Divine Love is omnipresent.

This is a photo of a shrine on Mt. Kurama. When I stepped inside for the first time, my soul began to sing. This is truly a sacred place, where Divine Love is omnipresent.

told that I must not show them to anyone who has not been attuned to them. I agreed to this, and I uphold this agreement today. I personally consider this a sacred vow.The symbols serve as sacred healing tools in my Reiki practice. I feel that the profound results they often produce for my clients, and myself are due in part to holding a very deep respect and reverence for the symbols.
The more I honor the symbols, the deeper my relationship with them grows.  How do you have a relationship with a symbol, you might ask…..well when each symbol is truly honored and respected they will teach you how.

Initiation Attunements-Sacred Ceremony

Attunement can be defined as the act of “matching vibration” with a specific spiritual energy or frequency of light. Attunements adjust the vibration of an individual. They can take place through transmission from one person to another, through spiritual or energetic practice, or occasionally through spontaneous occurrence.
The purpose of a Reiki attunement is to bring us into a harmonious relationship with the Reiki energy, and to help lift the veils and filters we may be holding between our personality/ego self and our God self. A Reiki initiation is activated by a Reiki master-teacher, who has been trained in the attunement technique, and who shares the process with a person who has the spiritual desire and intention to receive an initiation attunement.
One of the things that takes place in a Reiki attunement is that our subtle energy system, clears and releases denser energies. Also our chakras and etheric field are strengthened so that we are capable of receiving and transmitting high frequency healing light, at will and for extended periods of time. With the rapid acceptance of Reiki energy by healers around the world, we find that the strength of the energy is increasing exponentially as more people are attuned, or receiving Reiki treatments. As the strength of Reiki increases, the power of the attunement to clear and fortify our subtle bodies is intensified as well.

Long Distance Attunements?

Although I honor all ways Reiki is taught, I do find it disconcerting when students receive their first initiations into Reiki by long distance transmissions, or over the internet. My hesitancy with this is not because I doubt that the initiations work, but because of the inability for the student to be physically observed and assisted by their Reiki teacher. I also feel a bit sad for the student who misses the opportunity to experience their initiation attunement in a physical sacred space. Space that has been aesthetically, and energetically created or chosen by a Reiki Master.
A Reiki teacher who has experience with sacred ceremonial space, created for the express purpose of sharing the Reiki attunement process, can greatly enhance the student’s experience. Even though we are dealing with spiritual energies, we do live in a third dimensional world. The purpose of using Reiki is to bring high frequency spiritual energy into the physical realm.
I  have had the honor of teaching Reiki in a maximum security prison to 13 inmates.  Two of the inmates had received distant attunements  years prior to our arrival to teach their class.  They reported that the their experience in the attunements given in person, far exceeded what they had experienced from their previous distant attunements.  The energy they were channeling after the physical attunements was clearer, stronger and the flow was effortless.  I have received similar comments from others who received attunements both in person, and at a distance, and via video.

Receiving and accepting an attunement as both a spiritual and a physical experience is a true blessing.

Each person must decide what type of experience is right for them. The online mass marketing approach to teaching Reiki and attuning people  is just not for me. Reiki is much more than that to me, and I feel students deserve more than that. We help the students who come to our classes for training to  have a deep and meaningful experience by creating a very special, sacred Reiki experience that will be a fond and loving memory forever.  I simply am passionate about  providing quality experiences for students.
So I hope my ponderings here help you decide what is right for you personally. I wish you a joyous journey with Reiki regardless of the path you choose.
Love, peace and infinite blessings,
Published in REIKI NEWS Summer 2002

Laurelle Gaia a student, a teacher, practitioner and facilitator of the healing arts. Served as a healer in the National Institute of Health’s Glioblastoma Research project. (a 3 year study on the effects distant healing has on the quality of life for patients with this rare form of brain cancer.) A Professional Licensed Reiki Master Teacher and Karuna Reiki® Master Teacher with the International Center for Reiki Training (ICRT). Served as the Director of the ICRT Licensed Reiki Master teacher training program for about 25 years. In this capacity I have developed training programs and been a mentor for many of the other ICRT teachers. Author Infinite Spectrum Color Healing Course, Sacred Circles, Be Peace Now, Reiki Crystal Healing and The Book on Karuna Reiki. Currently developing the Facebook group based on the book called The Butterfly Squads.
Infinite Light Healing Studies Center, LLC Founded in 1999