Reiki Level 1
The first “Attunement” given by a Reiki teacher to a new student is a fairly simply process. Ideally it is given as a sacred ceremony in an atmosphere of reverence. How the attunement is given will depend on the teacher’s style and intuition.
The process involves the teacher opening up the student’s crown chakra (or the energy center at the top of the head), and the chakras in the palms of the hands. An energy channel is then created between the crown chakra and the chakras in the palms. Once this is done, the channel is then “Attuned” to Reiki energy. From this point on, the simple intention of channeling Reiki energy will cause this channel to open, allowing Reiki energy to flow into the top of the head and out through the palms.
Besides the initiations, the student is given talks on scope of Reiki. They are taken though the science and metaphysics of Reiki with plenty of case histories to back up the theory.
They are also taught how to give self–treatments, to treat animals and plants, and to treat others in both crisis and chronic situations. Interspersed with this are practical sessions wherein the students are given the opportunity to put things into practice and experience the Reiki firsthand.
Reiki treatments are ideally given in a quiet peaceful atmosphere with no distractions. While the “Patient” is lying or sitting comfortably, the practitioner (the new student in this case) simply rests his/her palms on the patient’s body and allows the energy to flow. Trying to direct the energy can actually restrict or block its flow, so it’s best for the practitioner to take on a passive observant attitude by just being present. Only as much as needed will be channeled, you can’t channel too much. Most practitioners find that their hands will get warm from the energy flow and will cool off when it stops. In the beginning, a formal set of hand placement positions are taught. With practice though, intuition will direct the practitioner where to place the hands and for how long. A typical session takes anywhere from 20 to 90 minutes, depending on the health of the patient.
One distinction between Reiki and other energy healing techniques is that a practitioner can channel the Reiki energy through their hands into their own body. Another distinction is that a practitioner will be more full of energy after working on someone, because they are not transferring their own energy.
Reiki Level 2
When a practitioner receives his/her second attunement he is taught advanced techniques involving the use of symbols. He is taught three symbols (chants or mantras). These are essentially energy patterns that, when utilized by someone initiated to them, enable practitioners to influence their lives in very powerful ways.
The student is initiated to the symbols and then taught their many uses. These symbols are memorized and then used when appropriate by either drawing them with their hand(s) or visualizing them, while at the same time, mentally saying the name of the symbol. Each symbol has a special purpose and can be used by the practitioner while working on a patient or themselves.
While giving a Reiki session, the first symbol, the Power Symbol, can be used when an increased amount of Reiki energy is needed. The second symbol, the Emotion Symbol, can be used when the practitioner feels that emotional healing or balancing is needed. And the third symbol, the Absent Healing Symbol, is used when the practitioner is not able to be present physically with the patient.
Theoretically, this symbol can also be used for healing painful events in the past because it enables the practitioner to channel energy both through space and time.
Second Degree technique enables treatment of any energy field, plants (crops etc.), and animals may be treated as effectively as people. The symbols have other individual uses, such as potentizing energy fields, harmonizing people and places, providing protection, and developing intuition. The level of Reiki energy in the hands is also increased.
Reiki Level 3
Normally Second Degree is as high as you can go in Reiki unless you want to become a Reiki Master and teach Reiki. When a practitioner receives their final attunement, he is taught the fourth symbol, the “Master” Symbol. It is used by a teacher when giving an attunement for opening up and attuning the practitioner’s energy channel (which runs from the top of the head to the palms of the hands). The symbol is drawn both on the top of the practitioner’s head and in the palm of their hands. Then the symbol is “Blown”, or ingrained into the energy channel. Once this has been done it cannot be reversed, the symbols are permanently ingrained (so be sure the teacher is legitimate before receiving an attunement). This enables the student to experience the joy of being able to initiate someone to higher levels of awareness and development as well as experience Reiki in the hands. Once the attunement has been done, the student and teacher will often work on an apprentice basis, sometimes for at least a year, before going out on their own. This ensures that the new teacher knows what he is doing and is of good character.