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How do I choose a Reiki Teacher?

Updated: May 27

There are a lot of Reiki teachers & Reiki styles out there. You've probably read so much that your head is spinning.

Reiki is both a spiritual path and a physical practice. What begins as physical practice turns into something more profound. Reiki was a spiritual practice (and still is with a few Reiki systems) that underpins our physical, psychological, and emotional health. Spiritual practice, generally, is about developing and training the mind to turn inward, where we become more resilient, positive, and calmer. There is no need to give up anything except a bit of time to practice.

There are many Reiki lineages (a lineage is like a family tree); most are Western & a few are Japanese. Other styles may be called Reiki in the title but may not have their lineage going back to the founder of Reiki, Mikao Usui. If this is the case, then it is misleading as Reiki, a Japanese word, originated in Japan. Some Reiki styles have added other modalities into their system that bring complexity, which was not a part of the original Reiki system. So, it will take a bit of research to have a sense of what suits you.

Reiki Association websites are the best places to research before looking at the Reiki Teachers' websites. Each Reiki Association should have plenty of information on what to look for in a teacher. The two leading Australian Reiki associations, Reiki Australia & the Australian Reiki Connection, have profiles on Reiki Teachers, with many having photos of themselves as well as their background & the style of Reiki they teach. Looking at both websites is always a good starting point. Both associations require proof of Reiki qualifications. Australian Reiki Connection has minimum teaching standards to guide you on what a quality class provides. There are certain criteria that Reiki teachers need to follow when members of an association, including following the National Code of Conduct, which is now law within Australia. Reiki practitioners and teachers are classified as unregistered healthcare providers and must have first-aid training and hygiene practices in place.

There are also online courses in Reiki. While it is technically possible to become a Reiki practitioner, it is not the traditional way to learn, and Australian Reiki Associations will not accept Reiki Teachers who train online. Reiki is a face-to-face tradition where your connection with your teacher is integral to your development. Reiki attunements or Reiju, a process that awakens Reiki within, may illicit emotional responses that some may find daunting. Your teacher can support you in class. They can also answer questions & correct any errors in practice as they arise. The personal attention of being in a face-to-face is invaluable and immediate.

Some other considerations:

  • Are the class numbers large or small? When numbers are over 10, you may find less time to address questions or get lost in the practice.

  • Does the teacher offer support after your course? If you have questions, can you contact the teacher?

  • Does the teacher offer Reiki Shares? Some will offer Reiki Shares, face-to-face and also via an online platform like Zoom. These are invaluable to help you cement your practice and build confidence particularly in face-to-face Reiki Shares.

Whatever your motivation, your choice is usually based on your 'gut' feeling. Do your research, list teachers you like and don't like, call at least three, and perhaps book a Reiki treatment with a teacher. Most importantly, ask questions. In the end, someone will just fit. I wish you good luck in your search.

Photo credit: Velizar Ivanov

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