Until about a year ago, I had no confidence when I talked to people about Reiki. Sure, I could call on my personal experience with Reiki, but it was a little too personal. Too easy for someone to dismiss.
So I talked about Reiki as it was taught to me, but that just sounded like a fairy tale, or something out of the occult. The origin story of Reiki has a Japanese monk who walks up a mountain and fasts for 21 days, and has a vision, and then is able to heal people with his hands. There’s an intelligent white light, too. No, really. I didn’t believe the mythology around Reiki was enough to help people understand what Reiki is, because it wasn’t enough for me to truly understand why Reiki helped me feel better. But the mythology was the only vocabulary I had that wasn’t personal to my experience. And as I tried to speak about Reiki, and I saw whoever I was talking to become increasingly concerned for my mental wellbeing – I could see it in their faces – I knew the case was lost. Not because Reiki didn’t work. Because I couldn’t articulate why it worked.
I grew tired of opening myself – and Reiki, and Master Usui – up for judgment and ridicule. And I mostly lost interest in trying to get through to people about this natural way to feel better. Friends, family, and colleagues had to work so hard to take me seriously when I talked about hands-on healing and divine energy. This was heartbreaking, so I stopped trying.
And at the same time, I was lucky. Even though I was confused about how to explain what Reiki is, I had found Reiki Master Teachers who gave me an understanding of Reiki as a natural energy. For the most part, I was shielded from the spiritual aspects of how Reiki is commonly taught in the West. Nobody pushed me to consult disembodied beings, work with crystals, or other practices that would have made me feel that Reiki was too woo woo for me.
Enter Understanding Reiki, a slim and unassuming book offering information that it said was reclaimed and pure, if contradictory to what is widely accepted about Reiki. I figured I understood Reiki already, as much as anyone could, but I was curious. I gave it a chance.
The book blew my mind. I’d have moments where I needed to put it aside in order to process what I’d read, even on my second, third, or fourth reading. I had to come to terms with a depth of knowledge that went against some things my Reiki Master Teachers had taught. And with every ‘Aha!’ moment, I had to rely on my own ability to feel that the new information was true and pure. Through reading Understanding Reiki, I came into a clear understanding of what Reiki is, what it isn’t, and how to talk about Reiki with confidence.
How much did I change because of this book? I’ve rediscovered my enthusiasm for Reiki, which is stronger than ever. I talk to people about Reiki all the time, whenever I can. And my explanations now give people a clear chance at seeing value in Reiki, without having to believe in mythologies. In addition, I now work part time as a Reiki professional at Healing for People, an Energy Medicine clinic in Marin County, Califronia. I really doubt I would have cared enough about Reiki to pursue it professionally before reading this book. For those who are interested in Reiki, Understanding Reiki: From Self-Care to Energy Medicine is the only book I recommend.
- Amelia Beamer