with Joanna Neff, Traditional Usui Reiki Master &

Certified Holy Fire® III Karuna® Reiki Master

Master-Level, Distant REIKI Session (includes 30-day Reiki "program")


Reiki is a very ancient, spiritually guided life force energy that is said to have been used by Gautama Buddha for healing. Reactivated on the Earth in the mid-1800s by Dr. Mikao Usui and brought to the West by Hawayo Takata, Reiki is literally able to perform healing miracles. It can actually be seen by clairvoyants, and the energetic results of Reiki have been captured in Kirlian photographs. Reiki not only reduces pain and stress but also has a profoundly positive effect on health problems, minor and serious. Reiki works on all levels: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.

Applied through the hands of the practitioner on the client (or done from a distance), Reiki energy is more often experienced as heat. Practitioners also have reported a tingling or throbbing sensation in the hands, which is shared by the client as s/he feels these sensations in areas on which the practitioner's hands rest. Experience shows that hands-on Reiki releases endorphins, which partially explains the reduction of pain and relaxation clients usually feel within minutes of being treated with Reiki.

(Reiki is a specific healing ray: blue light sealed within white light.

Photo, right: a Kirlian Photograph of Neff Sensei's fingertips -- two separate exposures -- while doing Reiki. Note how the energy field is completely and perfectly sealed while the practitioner is doing Reiki. This is demonstrated in the coronas around my fingertips.)



My beginnings in Reiki in 1991 with the late Helen J. Haberly, Traditional Usui Reiki Master, who was attuned to levels I and II Reiki by Hawayo Takata. Helen said that Takata sensei wanted to attune her to the Master Level before Helen felt ready. After Takata went through transition, her granddaughter, Phyllis Lei Furumoto, attuned Helen as a Reiki Master. (Furumoto sensei has been Grand Master of the Reiki Alliance since Takata Sensei's transition.)



How do you pronounce Reiki?

It is pronounced "ray-kee."

What does the word "Reiki" mean?

Although the Japanese ideogram for Reiki has many subtle meanings, a good basic translation is"Universal life energy." Rei may be interpreted as "the wisdom that comes from the highest spiritual source" and Ki as "the nonphysical energy that animates all living things."

What is Reiki?

Reiki is spiritually guided life force energy. Although not a religion, Reiki starts us on a path of growth on all levels--a path to wholeness. There are many reasons why Reiki is not just one of the many methods of alternative healing. Perhaps the most important is that, after one's attunement to Reiki, it is literally an automatic connection to the positive healing forces of the Cosmic. It is literally capable of performing miracles. Because it was rediscovered during the mid-1800s in Japan by Dr. Mikao Usui, Reiki is also known as The Usui Method of Natural Healing. This very ancient system of natural healing is said to have been used by Buddha Gautama.

How does Reiki work?

Applied through the hands of the practitioner on the client, Reiki works on all levels: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. Reiki not only reduces pain and stress but also has a profoundly positive effect on health problems, minor and serious. According to the late Grand Reiki Master Hawayo Takata, who brought Reiki to the West: "Reiki . . . goes to the cause and effect. When the cause is removed there will be no effect. It is not associated with any visible material being. It's an unseen spiritual power that radiates vibration and lifts one into harmony." (Mrs. Takata once likened Reiki energy to that of Radionics.)

Although Mrs. Takata described Reiki as "an unseen spiritual power," Reiki is visible to clairvoyants, who see a beam of white light entering the crown chakra, going down through the shoulders and coming out of the palms of the hands. A Kirlian photograph of the fingertips of Reiki Master William Rand clearly shows a main beam emerging between the first and second fingers and another coming up between the thumb and first finger. (In the original color photo the beam is white, bordered in blue/white, with indigo at the base.)

What does Reiki energy feel like?

Reiki energy is most often experienced as heat. Practitioners also have reported a tingling or throbbing sensation in the hands, which is shared by the client as s/he feels these sensations in areas on which the practitioner's hands rest.

Is there such a thing as "too much Reiki?"

No. Reiki always works for the Highest Good and can never harm. When Reiki practitioners' hands are touching an area that needs healing, clients may feel the Reiki energy intensifying. Sometimes this intensification may briefly make existing pain or discomfort seem greater and cause a client to perceive that the Reiki is "too much." However, after a few minutes of Reiki, clients usually feel much less pain and discomfort than they did before treatment began. More often Reiki removes the pain or discomfort entirely.

Can anyone learn Reiki ?

Learning Reiki requires neither great mental powers nor the ability to meditate. It is simply passed on from teacher to student by a series of attunements to the energy and training in its use.

Can you learn Reiki from a book or a tape?

No. Although you might place your hands in the correct positions or even draw the symbols that are revealed in some books about Reiki, you can't actually do Reiki unless you've been attuned to it by a bona fide Reiki Master. After your Reiki attunement you can actually feel the energy coming out of your hands. Although some healing facilitators naturally have energy coming through their hands, they can not channel actual Reiki energy until they are attuned to it by a Reiki Master.

Can you use Reiki with other kinds of healing?

Reiki intensifies other healing methods. It can be used by itself or to enhance any other kind of healing modality you use. Natural healing facilitators who learn Reiki report that their healing power is significantly increased. According to William Rand, "People who already do healing work consistently report an increase of at least fifty percent in the strength of their healing energies after taking the Reiki training."

Do all healers use Reiki?

According to Rand, Reiki is "a special kind of life force that can only be channeled by someone who has been attuned to it. It is possible." Rand states, "that some people are born with Reiki or have gotten it some other way. However, most healers who have not received the Reiki attunement from a Reiki Master are not using Reiki but another kind of life force."

Are you "protected" while using Reiki? In other words, are you in danger of "picking up a client's stuff"?

Reiki protects you and your client during the treatment. A person doing Reiki on another is protected and is never in danger of picking up negativity or problems from the recipient.

Can you "lose" the Reiki energy?

No. Once attuned to Reiki, you have this beautiful healing energy permanently-- healing energy that works even for people who don't believe in it! Because Reiki practitioners are taught to ask permission before facilitating healing, if they continue to "play God" and do not ask permission--or continue to try to use Reiki for negative purposes--the Reiki may leave them for their own good . . . to teach them at a Soul level.

How much do Reiki workshops cost?

This varies according to which "school" of Reiki the Master Teacher subscribes. To find out what the workshop fees are in your area, check with the Reiki Master with whom you want to take the Reiki training.

(Among the 22 Reiki Masters initiated by Mrs. Takata, a number branched off not only in the teachings but also in the fee structure. Therefore, the fees charged by Masters whom these other Reiki Masters trained vary considerably. Those who don't charge these fees, which, according to Rand's research, were actually set up by Mrs. Takata and not by Dr. Usui or Dr. Hayashi, believe that such high fees make Reiki much less accessible to the great numbers who would otherwise benefit from attunement to Reiki.)

How much do Reiki treatments cost?

Again, this varies with the background and experience of the practitioner. Some people evidently believe that Reiki practitioners are mere money grubbers who charge a lot of money for a simple relaxation technique. (The same could be said of massage therapists, yet people choose to pay for massages.) The truth about why there are more and more Reiki practitioners is that, over this century, Reiki has worked well enough that people want to learn how to do it themselves. The truth about Reiki fees is that few Reiki practitioners are able to make a living from their work--and that they charge their fee for the value of their time (as do all professionals)--and not for the healing energy itself. This has not changed since the time of Usui Sensei's successor, Dr. Chujiro Hayashi, many of whose students "were forced to stop practicing Reiki due to a lack of adequate income," according to William Rand. This fact stems not from the fact that Reiki doesn't work; it results from the fact that the main purpose of Reiki is to help others--not to make money--and from the fact that many people still aren't aware of the efficacy of this healing modality.


Each level of Reiki training gives you the appropriate initiation and teaches many ways of using Reiki energy. In addition, at each successive level, the Reiki attunements increase in their power and effect on the Reiki initiate.

Level I: "Hands-on Reiki"

At level I you are told the history of Reiki: how it was rediscovered, how it was passed on from Reiki Master to student, and how it came to America. Next the ethics and principles of using Reiki are discussed, for having such energy "at your fingertips" involves deep responsibility, including the matter of permission.

You are attuned to the Reiki energy, which means that you are able to offer Reiki to others and to treat yourself with Reiki. After attunement to Reiki energy you learn simple sets of hand positions that basically correspond to the body's gland and organ systems. Then, working with others in the class, you learn and practice the hand positions and other techniques available to you at Level I.

Level II: "Distant Reiki"

Reiki II is not only more powerful than Level I but also includes three specific, sacred symbols that allow you to work directly on the emotional/mental level and to send Reiki energy to others at a distance. This process is also termed "absent healing."

You are taught to draw these sacred symbols, and you learn about the many ways you can use them to open doors to higher levels of awareness, manifestation and healing. You participate in a guided meditation designed to put you in touch with the very source of Reiki healing energy, and you practice other general techniques available when working with Reiki II.

At Level II there is also a detailed review of how to do the full, Level I, hands-on Reiki treatment. You may also be taught some special methods of enhancing a client's receptivity to the Reiki healing session, including working with the seven chakras and closing a healing session.

Level III: Master

This level is often divided into two parts: Reiki Master Practitioner and Teaching Reiki Master. The reason for dividing the Master's training is that at the Master Teacher Level there should be a great commitment to teaching Reiki.

Master Practitioner (Advanced Reiki Training)

Reiki practitioners usually seek this level of training when they are interested in increasing the power and scope of their Reiki practice. They have been attuned to Reiki Levels I and II, they have used Reiki extensively, and they wish to attain true mastery of the uses of Reiki energy. Here the practitioner is attuned to the Usui Master Symbol, which allows one to begin using both hands-on and distant Reiki in amplified, more powerful ways. (At this level the practitioner is not taught how to attune others to Reiki energy.)

Master Teacher

This level requires prerequisite Master Practitioner training. Before the Reiki practitioner takes this level of training, s/he has, hopefully, felt a profound calling to teach Reiki. Here the practitioner makes an even deeper commitment to Reiki mastery and to healing service in the world. Here practitioners are taught how to initiate others into Reiki, which enables them to teach their own Reiki classes.


What about taking Levels I and II the same weekend? Or taking Levels I, II, and III in the same weekend?

This is NOT recommended! After each level of attunement it is critical to take time to absorb the effects of the attunement itself and to experience how Reiki works before continuing to the next level. As with any other art or discipline, this healing modality cannot be mastered in one weekend! Although Reiki is offered in this manner, reports are that students who have attended such workshops complete the weekend in a sort of foggy, "out-of-it" state, retaining very little knowledge of what they were taught. In fact, when matched with practitioners who have taken time to practice Reiki at each level before moving on, these so-called "weekend masters" rarely are actually able to do Reiki, either hands-on or distant!

How do I know if a Reiki Master is bona fide?

Although Masters trained by the Reiki Alliance may claim to be the only "true" Reiki teachers, this is not so. The important thing is to feel comfortable with that teacher's ethics. Ask such questions as: "Are you certified?" and "Who was your Reiki Master Teacher?" Ask whether that teacher encourages taking two levels of Reiki in one weekend. Assuredly, you--not the Reiki Master--will be short-changed by going this route. (By the way, class size is not necessarily indicative of whether the Reiki Master is "a good one" or not. Because some Reiki Masters are so dedicated to the service part of their work, these teachers may take an entire day to do a workshop for only one person.)


Master-Level, Distant REIKI Session
(includes 30-day Reiki "program"): $105 U.S.





Joanna Neff: <>

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