People learn Reiki for many reasons and come from an amazing variety of backgrounds, all attending for their own personal reasons.
Reiki courses in the UK present a whole variety of approaches, some traditional Western-style, some more Japanese in content, some wildly different and almost unrecognisable, some free and intuitive, others dogmatic and based on rules about what you should always do and not do.
Reiki is taught in so many ways, and students will tend to imagine that the way that they were taught is the way that Reiki is taught and practised by most other Reiki people.
What I have tried to do in this article is to present a simple guide to what in my view is the essence of Second Degree: what it’s all about and what we should be doing and thinking about to get the most out of our experience of Reiki at this level.
My words are addressed to anyone at Second Degree level, or anyone who would like to review the essence of Second Degree.
The first thing I want to say is that there should usually be an interval of a couple of months or so between First and Second Degree if you want to get the most out of your Reiki experience, and that it is unwise to take both Degrees back-to-back over a weekend.
We would not take an advanced driving test the day after passing our basic driving test.
So why would we believe that moving on to a more advanced level with Reiki would be an effective way to learn when we have had no opportunity to get the hang of the basics of First Degree?
Can we get the most out of Second Degree when we have had no opportunity to get used to working with and sensing and experiencing energy?
When we have had no opportunity to enhance our effectiveness as a channel and our sensitivity to Reiki through regular practice?
When we have had no opportunity to become familiar with a standard treatment routine and have had no opportunity to feel comfortable and confident in treating other people?
Reiki is not a race and we need to be familiar with the basics before moving on.
Second Degree is all about reinforcing or enhancing your connection to the energy, learning some symbols which you can use routinely when working on yourself or treating others.
It is about enhancing your self-healing, learning how to effect a strong distant healing and ideally it is also about opening yourself up to your intuitive side.
So that you throw away the basic Reiki rule book and go freestyle, gearing any treatments towards the individual needs of the recipient.
There are many approaches to doing these things and I wanted below to touch on each one and to dispel some myths that may have been passed on.
Enhancing Your Connection To The Energy
On your Second-Degree course you will have received some attunements or some empowerments.
Attunements are not standard rituals within the world of Reiki and take many forms, some simpler and some more complex.
They have evolved and changed greatly during their journey from teacher to teacher in the West.
There is no right way to carry out an attunement and the individual details of a ritual do not matter a great deal.
They all work.
Equally, there is no correct number of attunements that have to be carried out at Second Degree level.
Whether you receive one, two, or three attunements on your course, that is fine.
On your course you may have received some empowerments rather than attunements, though these are less common.
The word Reiki empowerment refers to a connection ritual that has come to us from some Japanese sources and is closer in essence to the empowerment that Mikao Usui conveyed to his students.
If you are receiving empowerments rather than attunements then you really need to have received three of them at least.
What we experience when receiving an attunement or an empowerment will vary a lot.
Some people have fireworks and bells and whistles and that is nice for them.
Other people notice a lot less, little, or even nothing and that is fine too.
What we feel when we have an attunement is not a guide to how well it has worked for us.
Attunements work, and sometimes we will have a strong experience, but it’s not compulsory!
Whether we have noticed a lot or little, the attunement will have given us what we need.
Since in Mikao Usui’s system you would have received empowerments from him again and again, it would be nice if you could echo this practice by receiving further empowerments (or attunements.
And perhaps these might be available at your teacher’s Reiki shares or get-together if they hold them.
But it is possible to receive distant Reiki empowerments and various teachers make them freely available as a regular broadcast.
This is not essential and your connection to Reiki once given does not fizzle out.
But it would be a beneficial practice if you could receive regular empowerments from someone.
Being Attuned To A Symbol
For many years within the world of Reiki, people believed that the symbols would not work for you, that they were essentially useless until you had been attuned to the symbol: then it would work for you.
Unfortunately, the only connection rituals available in the West were attunements which involved attuning you to a symbol.
So no-one knew how to carry out a symbol-free attunement to see if you really needed to be attuned to a symbol for it to work for you.
But in 1999, from Japan, emerged Reiki – a representation of the empowerments that Usui conferred, and these empowerments do not use symbols.
Finally, we are able to see if you really needed to be attuned to a symbol for it to work for you.
Lo and behold we discovered that the symbols work fine for people who are connected to the energy using Reiki.
They work fine for people who are connected to Reiki but who have not been attuned to the symbols.
It seems that once you are connected to Reiki – and now we know how to achieve this without symbols entering into the process.
The symbols will work for you, and in fact any symbol seems to push the energy in a particular direction without you having to be specifically attuned to it.
Usui Reiki Healing Master is an online e-learning program that teaches you how to master Reiki from basics to master level.
This is a complete course that you can go through and develop the essential skills you need just from your home comfort.