We have all participated in Reiki Shares and seen our colleagues providing Reiki treatments in ways dissimilar from our own. Diversity in Reiki practice is part of our community since Reiki is not regulated or standardized by one outside authoritative agency.
Some of us celebrate the diversity in the practice of Reiki, some of us tolerate it, others accept it, and still others condemn it. That is really a matter each one of us must answer for him/herself as we examine our feelings, reactions, and thoughts when we see the diverse ways our community practices Reiki.
A key observable difference in the way Reiki practitioners provide Reiki treatments to others can be summed up in two words: The practitioner is active versus the practitioner is passive while providing the treatment.
If one were a fly on the wall during a Reiki session in which the practitioner is active, one would see the practitioner ‘doing something to’ the recipient. The ‘doing’ may involve using crystals, applying essential oils; the ‘doing’ may involve the practitioner cutting cords, working to re-balance energy centers, cleansing energy, clearing blockages, calling in angels and guides. Note the use of verbs in each of the examples: using, applying, cutting, working, cleansing, clearing, calling. The practitioner is active, and is ‘doing something to’ the client. The practitioner seems to be in charge of the situation, trying hard and putting his or her effort and will into the process for the benefit of the recipient.
If one were a fly on the wall during a Reiki session in which the practitioner is passive, one would possibly be a very bored fly! The fly would notice one person lying quite still on a table and the other person standing, or sitting, quite still beside the table, occasionally moving his or her hands on or above the prone body. When the Reiki practitioner is passive, he/she does not impose him/herself into the process by working hard or by using his or her will power. Neither does the passive practitioner make a judgment on, or an assessment of, whether there is a blockage that needs to be cleared or negative energy that needs to be cleansed. The passive practitioner is not ‘doing something to’ the recipient at all. Just stillness and Reiki for the benefit of the recipient.
The active and passive approaches continue after the Reiki treatment into the post-treatment interaction between practitioner and recipient. After the treatment, the active practitioner reports anything he or she “picked up” or noticed during the session to the client. In fact, Reiki clients may hold the expectation that their practitioner will ‘get messages’ and ‘receive guidance’ that should be passed on to the client.
After a Reiki session, the passive Reiki practitioner shines the spotlight on the recipient’s process, not on his or her own process. The Reiki practitioner who practices in the passive mode considers the Reiki session to be about the client’s experience of the session, and not about the practitioner’s own experience of the session. This practitioner may ask if the client wishes to share any feedback about his/her experience. The practitioner would then listen, confident that the Reiki session helped the client go within him/herself to heal.
Active or passive? We are united in our commitment to being of service to others.
Elise Brenner, Ph.D, Reiki Master Teacher, is a strong advocate for Reiki outreach, education, and empowerment. The owner of Brenner Reiki Healing in Newton, Massachusetts, Elise teaches Reiki classes, provides in-depth mentoring for Reiki professionals, operates a monthly low-cost Reiki Clinic, and is Chair of the annual Celebration of Reiki Conference in Massachusetts. Elise considers herself a Reiki community builder, providing Reiki at veterans retreats, community wellness fairs, in hospitals and hospice. As an anthropologist, Elise Brenner has researched cross-cultural healing practices, thereby enriching the scope and depth of her Reiki practice. Reach Elise at www.BrennerReikiHealing.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, and at Brenner Reiki Healing on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Brenner-Reiki-Healing/234700054121?fref=ts).