Who's afraid of a Reiki Master?
When I first started my business there was a strange phrase that people kept saying to me; "Don't tell people you're a Reiki Master". I thought it was odd that different people kept coming to me with the same message, so I decided to investigate.
I've always been interested in groupthink, or why people do what they do and believe what they believe. I've studied collective consciousness since I was young, and when my husband and I started moving around the country, it became more obvious how different communities functioned.
When we lived in California, the prevailing mindset was very different than in New Orleans, where we're from. Progressive moves to South Carolina, Iowa, and Florida proved that each place had a certain feel to it. I had been traveling with my mom to different places since I was a kid, and the energy of places was something I was familiar with, but it wasn't until we lived in the places that we had once traveled to, that I understood groupthink.
Groupthink is basically how a culture perceives what it does. The customs they have, what they believe, and how people act toward each other. People in California act very different than people in Iowa, for example. Iowans are welcoming as soon as you move in, and are very loyal friends, as soon as they get to know you. Californians are distant and leave you alone, unless you approach them.
I had started feeling the conscious shifts in populations when I moved to Iowa. I felt them literally all over the world. When a group's consciousness would rise, or fall, I would feel it. I could feel the energy of war, or when prevailing mindsets would start to change, and could predict with some accuracy collective changes like revolutions or cultural explosions in conscious advancement.
When we moved to Florida, I joined a meditation group online headed by a guru I had known in Iowa. There were several Reiki Masters in the group, and they were some of the most wise, calm, welcoming, and helpful people I have ever met online. So, when the warning came over and over again, I was puzzled. Maybe it was Florida?
Florida groupthink is much like California. Everyone has their own fun activities to do out in the sun and no one interferes with you, unless you interfere with them. What did this have to do with Reiki? And my business? Was I starting a Reiki business specifically to change prevailing groupthink, and was this belief limited to Florida?
It turns out it isn't limited to Florida. There are places like New Orleans where Reiki is relatively unknown, and places like Florida where it is well known, but people still had an issue with the word "Master" after Reiki. I looked around and most of the businesses who offered Reiki just said, Reiki. Not Reiki Master, nothing about the levels of Reiki, nothing about being a Master.
Now, it is true that anyone can offer Reiki, from someone who's never had an attunement, to someone who has had three levels of Reiki (a Master). The energy flows from the hands as soon as the first attunement, but there are some healers who are naturally gifted who have the energy without ever knowing what it is.
I had met several people in person and online who had these gifts. I had begun feeling collective consciousness long before I was attuned to the three levels of Reiki. But the difference was that Reiki clarified, solidified, and opened up spiritual gifts at each successive level that wouldn't have been opened otherwise.
When I started teaching Reiki, I found quite a few reasons why the word "Master" is so controversial. First, two of the most popular books on Reiki, Diane Stein's Essential Reiki and Chris Penzack's Reiki Magick, are written by Reiki Masters who practice Wicca. I learned that Wicca is really not much more than love spells, conjuring, using herbs, and protection magick. I have no issue with Earth based spirituality, now that I understand it.
What is controversial is that in both books, the authors present information about Jesus living in India after his resurrection and healing until he was 100 years old. Basically they say that he survived the crucifixion and is buried in India. This is relevant to Reiki because Dr. Usui, the founder of modern Reiki, studied the healing methods of Jesus and had looked for the sacred keys that enabled him to heal.
Anyone who hasn't studied or heard of the Gnostic gospels (the ones written about Jesus that aren't in the bible), or who has never questioned their faith, would find this information frightening, or even blasphemous. The fact that this information was in both books was surprising to me, but it didn't really dissuade me from practicing Reiki.
Another issue that I run into often is disbelief in the body's ability to heal itself. Reiki amplifies this energy, and as a nurse who was trained in Western medicine, accepting this truth wasn't hard. That may sound like a contradiction, but I witnessed many patients getting better by simply taking their health into their own hands and deciding to direct their own care and healing.
The fact that people can heal their own bodies with Reiki, or heal themselves at all, seems to be in direct opposition to the medical establishment. However more people than ever are turning to ancient methods of healing, and integrating them with their current health care plan. As long as clients control their own health, Reiki is a viable option.
The third issue I found was a teaching blind spot. My teacher Monica said over and over again that Reiki would change your life, if you were willing to make the necessary adjustments. She seems to be one of the only teachers who addresses this. I have seen Reiki change lives, because the energy changes old, outdated patterns, and moves you into a new way of living. But you have to let go of the old way first.
I started teaching my students that Reiki was going to permanently change the way they did things, and telling clients outright that the energy will change their patterning and get rid of what no longer serves them. This was basically the purpose of my online group, helping people through the shifts that Reiki brings. My students' fears completely dissipated when they were prepared for changes in their lives.
Finally, I found that attaining the three levels of Reiki opened or re-opened spiritual gifts that I had shut down as a child, and developed some gifts that I didn't know I could use. I was prepared to have all of my sensitivities re-opened, and I had the support of my Reiki community and my teacher to guide me. The mantra in our group is, "you are exactly where you need to be, right now". This is more true in Reiki than anywhere else. When you are shifting patterns and changing your life, everything proceeds in divine timing.
I now understand that the prevailing groupthink fears about Reiki Masters stem mostly from lack of information. I am proud to call myself a Reiki Master, and part of my mission is educating people about what Reiki is, what it means to be a Reiki Master, and how Reiki changes your life. Turning mainstream people on to Reiki means education, support, and acceptance that Universal Love is always there for all of us. We just have to ask to receive it, and be willing to think outside the box.