Friday, July 27, 2012

Stigma and Cred

I first learned Reiki in person from a teacher, and took the Master/Teacher level in a class, in person. It was traditional Usui Reiki training. I found that my training left some things to be desired. There was no instruction on intuition, for example, or chakras. I was not taught how to feel and experience energy, just taught traditional hand positions, symbols and ritual that "had to be" done in order to give a Reiki session. 

Three months later, I learned Kundalini Reiki, by distance, online from the founder of the system. I felt my attunements more strongly than I had felt any other, ever. I also learned that symbols, hand positions, and ritual are not needed in order to practice Reiki. Although this conflicted with my Usui Reiki training, it made more sense to me. I spent lots of time pondering and practicing after this. And the pondering and practicing really helped me the most in developing my understanding about Reiki, and how it can be effectively taught so that people can learn to feel the energy and understand what they are doing. 

Since that time, I've taught over 500 people Kundalini Reiki or Practical Reiki. I've written two books about Practical Reiki, to help those who want to learn get a more thorough education in energy healing. I have received only powerful, positive feedback from all of my students and clients. 

I'm proud of my work and am committed to being a dedicated and approachable teacher for all who learn from me. My students share the love of Reiki, whether they were previously Usui Reiki trained or not. 

At times, I've been informed (and even involved) in online discussions about what's "better," in person or online training. As I've said there and will say again, it depends on the teacher. It also depends on the student's comfort level, but I do my best, even with online teaching, to provide the most personal experience possible for my students. Not all online training is equal, just as not all in-person training is equal in quality. It depends on the teacher being of high integrity, knowledge, approachability, and dedication.

Now there's another issue that my students are facing, as well as others who receive training online. Some hospitals and other organizations who accept volunteers to provide Reiki will only accept individuals who have received training in person. Others will only accept individuals who have received Usui Reiki training. Practical Reiki (and other methods) are not treated with the same respect. So what are my wonderful students to do when they want to go out and dedicate their precious time to sharing Reiki in these places?

I guess we need to start a grass roots movement to establish cred and overcome the stigmas held by those who think that Usui Reiki is better than Practical Reiki, or that in person teaching trumps online learning. Yeah, we've got our work cut out for us. 

So here's what I suggest.

If you're faced with a challenge such as this, don't give up. Politely request a meeting to discuss your training and demonstrate your expertise. Show the person in charge my book, and encourage them to read it. Offer to give the person a Reiki session. Talk clearly and confidently about your understanding and love for Reiki. 

If that doesn't work, don't worry. Send in your students, your friends who have learned, and others to do the same. Eventually, we'll get a second look. 

If you want, have the person you meet with contact me. I'll be happy to talk about my year at The Cleveland Clinic, and my two years at The Gathering Place (a support place for families touched by cancer). I'll also be happy to talk about my Practical Reiki for Nurses course, which is approved to offer 8 CEs by the Ohio Board of Nursing. 

We are the change we want to see in the world. Reiki is healing energy, and the practitioner is the one who has the ethics, experience, and attunement to share it.

Let's move the world with our light.

1 comment:

Katana Leigh said...

i agree -- although now I want to get a Kundalini Reiki attunement, haha.

I was taught Usui Reiki from Lizzie Dyer and she incorporated crystals, intuition, and intuitive hand positions (she is also a karuna and Lightarian Reiki Master) ... and then I returned to Madre Grande Monastery, where Usui Reiki is taught in a more straightforward format, with the idea that a regular structure makes the Reiki energy more consistant (I paraphrase so I may be slightly miscommunicating)

I think there is value in both paths, although my personality prefers experimentation and variety more than ritual.