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To Master or Not to Master That Is the Question

Article by Phillip Hawkins

As I have stated elsewhere in various articles I don’t refer to myself as a Reiki Master even though I have completed the necessary training and gained the certification that would allow me to do so. I have also gone on record as saying that different isn’t just ok its vital for our development and growth as individuals and society as a whole, so to those who have completed all of their Reiki training and want to refer to themselves as a Reiki Master that’s your prerogative and I will always support any ones right to do so. In effect what I’m doing is exercising my right not to use that particular title and give my reasons as to why I feel the title of Reiki teacher is far more appropriate to the job we do. If we look at a definition of Mastery we will see that it can be described as the ‘possession or display of great skill, technique or knowledge that makes one master of a subject’ and there’s the rub since Reiki by our own definition is universal life energy can we in all honesty say that we have mastery over the infinite, I think not.

The problem we face is that what we consider as Reiki in the form of training manuals, hand positions and various techniques isn’t Reiki at all; they are simply a means of communication that tries to describe ways in which we may access and use the power of Reiki. Esoteric teachings tell us that ‘the way that can be named is not the way’ and using the same analogy we could say the ‘Reiki that can be written is not Reiki’. The study and production of Reiki training manuals and articles like this one only allows us to lay claim to a certain level of academic knowledge and articulation. Reiki energy is just that; infinite energy in both name and nature. There are those who will say that the title of Master is merely tradition and in some ways an honorary title but if we study both the eastern and westernised versions of Reiki story we find Dr Usui didn’t use the title or refer to himself as a Master of Reiki. This title along with other changes such as the use of symbols, hand positions and in some cases excessive training fees appears to be later additions to the Reiki timeline that started with Dr Usui and continues through to the present day.

The Legend Of The Parson And Clerk

Image by left-hand

Dr Usui taught Reiki plain and simple. It wasn’t as far as I’m aware prefixed with names of Angel, Crystal, Rainbow, Starchild or any other creative title; these are just further examples of contemporary re-branding. The argument that these are stand alone Reiki disciplines loses a certain amount of credibility when on reading the various training manuals you discover that there are striking similarities in both content and layout, and in some cases are identical with only the front cover showing any kind of creative individuality. If we wish to hold up the title of Reiki Master as some form of bench mark to personal commitment and achievement then we need to ensure that our credibility isn’t undermined by services and product quality that falls far below levels implied by grandiose titles.

Once I had completed my first and second degree Reiki training courses I waited until I felt ready to take the next step on my Reiki journey which would eventually include Reiki advanced practitioner and ultimately my Reiki Master Teacher qualification. This step required a great deal of thought and research on my part to ensure I was comfortable with the Reiki teacher I was going to entrust this very important training to. That research provided a great deal of food for thought and it has to be said some doubts as to the value personal and financial of the qualification to be achieved. The options made available to me included a yearlong home study course that included two weekends with the Reiki teacher, I was offered a weekend Reiki Master Course at £750 with the proviso that I forget and discount any and all teachings received from my previous teachers. The most surprising was a one day Master Course for the princely sum of £5000 to which I said thank you, but no thank you. I eventually found a Reiki Teacher just outside of London living in a cottage literally a stone’s throw away from the river Thames, her training fees were fair and I loved her sensitive but down to earth no nonsense approach.
I completed my advanced practitioner and Reiki Masters and some of my teachers last words to me were that I had shown promise and sensitivity and would one day go on to teach Reiki. When I asked when that would be she said that only I could answer that question because only I will know when the time is right. Six months later I taught my first Reiki students. I feel sure that the examples given above are in no way indicative of the north east of England and a straw poll nationally and worldwide would provide similar variations in both standards, duration and costs, with some Reiki organisations providing structure and conformity whilst others claim the moral high ground due in no short measure to their lineage and the self imposed Reiki titles.


Image by jillyspoon

When you come down to it you do your research, you consider your options then you pay your money and make your choice and in doing so you become a part of the Reiki history and storyline. People come to Reiki for various and diverse reasons some learn it but never use it, while others use it in their own way and have no desire to progress beyond the initial stages of their training, and of those who have the desire and ambition to progress through the advanced levels of training only a small proportion become teachers themselves and that’s ok, each to their own, in their own time and in their own place. Difference is more than just ok, it’s vital to our health and wellbeing for knowledge and understanding of oneself is the first part of the healing process and the first step on the road to our recovery.

To Master or not to Master that is the question… and only you can provide the answer. I am a Reiki teacher and practitioner and the title of Master is one piece of baggage I have no need or desire to own. I have taken the time to gain both academic qualifications and teaching practice in mainstream education specialising in challenging behaviour and complex educational needs to give both depth and breadth to my ongoing Reiki development, but I am still only a work in progress, a Reiki student by any other name. Reiki is a wonderful thing, its many things to many people but one thing it’s not is rocket science and it’s inappropriate and misleading to make it out to be more complex than it is. There may be a time in my spiritual and personal development when the title of Master may become appropriate but based on my progress so far it certainly won’t be in this life or the next. When my time comes to return home to spirit and review my progress I’m sure I will see the comment somewhere on my report card that reads ‘has potential but must try harder’. I will be ok with that because it shows I’m heading in the right direction and that one day I may just get there, wherever there may be.

Phillip Hawkins

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Phillip Hawkins
Phillip Hawkins

A Reiki practitioner since 1999, Phillip started teaching Reiki in 2000 and using those skills and abilities he has spent the majority of the last seventeen years working with a wide range of social and educational needs including Autism and ADHD. Working with addicts dependent on alcohol and drugs, people whose lives were extremely violent and abusive, and others who had to deal with severe mental health issues. This has enabled him to work extensively in the private sector, schools, colleges, education and care in the community, the prison service and psychiatric units.

In 2016, Phillip decided to semi-retire from full-time employment to concentrate on developing his career as a published author and the setting up of his Reiki personal development programme at the Chilton Community College.


{ 127 comments… add one }
  • steev September 30, 2014, 2:08 pm

    I have completed the reiki master level, and I am yet to move into teaching or practising. I was wondering if you ever had a client who you taught to any degree ,and they said they felt nothing and wanted their money back ?
    I think this type of person is what is holding me back from moving to the next step.

    reiki blessings

    • Phillip November 7, 2014, 1:38 pm

      I have taught students who gained nothing from their training other than their certificate at the end of their course. I taught Reiki as part of a local government education in the community training programme and as such the progression from Reiki 1 throught to Reiki Master was 18 months of continual weekly study with trainee masters attending two or three classes a week to assist in the training of Reiki 1 & 2 students as part of their own master training.

      This was a comprehensive training programme that had to meet various training and administation criteria above and beyond the Reiki requirements with a detailed sylabus/scheme of work that covered all levels of training, aims and objectives, assignments and resources to be used. It was very successful for the majority of the students, but there was still a small % that it didn’t reach. They commpleted the programme but failed to take responsibility for their own training and development. They were provided with the tools, the knowledge and understanding to change their lives but for various reasons they chose not to and went back to the tried and tested ways of living their lives before they became aware of Reiki.

      Reiki is neither intrusive or dictatorial and will not force itself upon us or live our lives for us. We are in a partnership and with any good partnership each must play their part in order for it to work.

      In a perfect world we would achieve 100% success but grounded reality tells us that we must help those that we can and let go of those that we can’t. The time may not be rigght for them, or we may not be the person that they need, they are on a journey in the same way we are and its important that you don’t take it personally.

      When some one pays you for Reiki, what they are in fact paying for is your time, your knowledge and understanding and your experience. A ‘Reiki effect’ can’t be bought and paid for because personal development can’t be guaranteed or pre-determined. Reiki works but not always in the way we want it to….and like it says on the tin ‘it goes where it needs to go’ and it does but some students don’t like what they see when the light of awareness is switched on and prefer to hide in the darkness and not face the issues that would result in the healing process taking place.

      If you feel ready to take that step to teach go for it and you will find that the people who need your help will be drawn to you if you are honest open and true to your beliefs, but make sure you apply common sense at all times and keep your feet firmly on the ground. The old saying goes ‘when the student is ready the teacher appears’ so it must also be true that when the teacher is ready the student will appear.

      Go for it..and if I can be of any assistance please dont hesitate to get in touch.


      • Maureen November 27, 2014, 9:59 pm

        Hi Phillip and steev, to get past this situation and feel more comfortable in yourself so you can concentrate on your Reiki not any problems associated with it why wouldn’t you have a form called something like “Reiki Healing Form” and set out what can be expected from you and what can be expected of the client?

        I have one of these for my Coaching and EFT/Tapping and theperson undertaking then can see that it is their contribution that gives them what they are seeking and that you are only the facilitator so refunds don’t even enter into it. Just a suggestion.

        • PAUL November 28, 2014, 6:25 am

          Hi Maureen

          Could I please have one of your forms emailed to me .

          Love and Light


        • Viki December 3, 2014, 4:50 am

          I would also be interested in the client healing for. I would really appreciate you sending it to me. Thank you so much for sharing both Maureen and Phillip

        • Beena George April 7, 2016, 6:32 am

          Hi Maureen, I am a reiki student. Will you please send that “Reiki Healing Form to me also? Thanks and regards,

        • Raquel May 12, 2018, 12:44 pm

          Maureen, that is a wonderful idea. Could I please also join others in the request for a copy of that form be sent to me? Raquelfall@gmail.com. Thank you so much. Blessings

        • Darlene October 24, 2018, 4:19 pm

          Hello Maureen,
          I, too, would be greatly appreciative if you could send me the form.

          Thank you in advance Maureen.


  • Donna September 30, 2014, 2:09 pm

    What a great article….a question posed not without merit….”Title” acknowledges privileges, importance or eminence than most others don’t possess…and yet, we all do….just the “title” is gold ring….

    You are a good teacher…Namaste!

    • Phillip November 7, 2014, 2:24 pm

      Hi Donna
      Thank you you are very kind. I try to teach students to think for themselves and to take responsibility for their learning and development. One of the ways I do this is through a process called a community of enquiry where subjects are discussed openly with the group acceptance that there may not be a definitive right or wrong answer, just a difference of view points. The subject of titles come up and it created a lively discussion.


  • muzna September 30, 2014, 7:26 pm

    As always an insightful piece.
    I have wanted to do the Masters level, but for me it is still elusive. Last time I was to go for it , the teacher could not be there and before there was another problem. She told me it seems I not the teacher for you. ( as i was to shift after a couple of months)
    I am still waiting ……….

    moreover life is a work in progress, till the last breath..

    • Phillip November 7, 2014, 2:50 pm

      We as a species need to look for connections in life, we need to feel that there is a purpose to everything that happens. Yes everything happens for a reason because of the law of cause and effect, but not everything has a deep and meaningful purpose other than what we see based on our beliefs and how we then view those events. You can view breaking a cup as bad karma…or as nothing more than a momentary lack of focus or concentration,and whatever you think you will be right based on your own perception of reality.

      The chain of events that began at your point of birth continues throughout your life, Reik does not create a whole new chain of events it simply offers us a change in direction of what already exists through awareness, knowledge and understanding. A change in axis instantly provides a new direction and a change in mind provides infinite possibilities for new and different outcomes.

      We must guard against attributing all new positive outcomes to the emergence of Reiki in our lives, or the negatives to bad karma, grounded reality is as important as spirituality and ideally walk hand in hand.

      Look for your teacher and if you find them all well and good…if you can’t come back to me and if you wish I will teach you.


      • muzna November 29, 2014, 9:17 am

        Thanx for such an elaborate and thoughtful answer, and also thanx for your offer, who knows you might be THE MASTER.
        You are a good teacher …. who would always guide his students in the right direction. The way you try to give a balanced view, so as that the reader is given options, without forcing your view.

  • Christine September 30, 2014, 9:04 pm

    Fantastic piece! You took the words right out of my mouth. It is something I have always felt about the title of master. Thank you for writing this down to earth, no BS piece. Xox

    • Phillip November 7, 2014, 2:57 pm

      Hi Christine
      Thank you. Don’t do BS as it serves no useful purpose what so ever, give me knowledge and understanding every time…even when I have lessons to learn that make me take a fresh look at what I believe and hold to be true about myself and the Reiki I teach and try to live by.


  • Susan Wright September 30, 2014, 11:50 pm

    Great article! I teach Reiki, have taken all of the appropriate classes for “MASTER” and have had similar discussion in classes. Thanks for putting your insight into an article!

    • Phillip November 7, 2014, 2:59 pm

      Hi Susan
      Thank you for taking the time to read the article and giving me some feedback.


  • Sylvia Schultheis October 1, 2014, 3:38 am

    Thank you for this article. I am Reiki 1&2 and have been wondering if I am good enough to continue . After reading this I know that it doesn’t take a title to make someone “good enough”…. thank you so very very much. Sylvia

    • Phillip November 7, 2014, 3:08 pm

      Hi Sylvia
      If you think you are…you are! if you think you are not…you won’t be! The fact that you have the awareness to ask the question in the first place is a good indication that you are on the right track. A title of any description is no more than a label that we can either live up to or down to and they only have the value that we place upon them.

      We all have a role to play and if we don’t do it…it doesn’t get done because no one can live our lives for us…not even Reiki.

      Of course you are good enough, be true to yourself and go for it.


  • Shannon October 1, 2014, 10:24 am

    When I did my masters my teacher highlighted ” Masters is not but a title of superiority or a label of “more enlightened’ or a rank but an appointment!
    The masters level brings about dramatic changes in the refinement of your spiritual nature and how you deal with the rollercoaster that we know is life will determine how you and all you encumber will experience the student/teacher role.

    • Phillip November 7, 2014, 3:16 pm

      Hi Shannon
      Those changes will only happen if you want them to, the Reiki principles and precepts are there for no other reason than to be implimented by the individual….and not automatically imposed by the discipline of Reiki. Change is a process that is both directional and incramental that takes us from where we are to where we wish to be, its our journey and only we can make it…but only if we choose to do so.


  • Neelam October 1, 2014, 11:07 am


    I have always found your articles full of lot of intelligence and atleast I need to read them twice to understand that fully. The article that you have written today and raised the question of being called a master is a real concern that we actually need to analyse everytime we interact with ourself or the outer world. The five Reiki Principles of Dr. Usui help a lot in that matter. But the way you have explained the need to understand the TAG OF MASTER if we are assoisating or would like to be called is very well explained.
    Thank you Sir I also agree with you.

    • Phillip November 7, 2014, 3:21 pm

      Hi Neelam
      Thank you for your kind comments, I’m pleased that you can relate to this piece of work. Now I need to ask something of you….please don’t call me sir, my name is Phillip and as fellow students on our own path of personal development no other title or name is required.

      Kind Regards

  • Scott William Schmidt October 1, 2014, 2:50 pm

    I love your humility and insight I am Reiki 2 and already set to open my own home studio. I want to progress to be able to teach Reiki. I find the “master”concept to be interesting .I would follow in your footsteps and be a Reiki Instructor and identify myself as such .It feels ego based to me to call myself a master much like doing Reiki I don’t heal anyone I help facilitate the clients healing with the client ..Namaste!

    • Phillip November 7, 2014, 3:36 pm

      Hi Scott
      The greatest gift a teacher can give a student is the responsibility for their own learning and a desire to seek out truth, knowledge and understanding even if that means they must release old beliefs and values in the process. The teachers role is to guide and mentor and to get the student to think about what they may be ask to accept as truth and have the courage to question its validity.

      All development be it personal or social begins with a question…what that question is will depend on the person and their circumstances but it will be a question non the less that demands an answer and may challenge the status quo…or what is currently held by many to be true. In this way the student becomes the teacher and the circle is complete.

      Thank you for your kind words, if I can help you in any way please don’t hesitate to contact me.


  • Jon Coleman October 21, 2014, 2:55 pm

    Phillip – I appreciate your point. I’m guilty of using ‘Master’ to promote classes. In the classes I refer to level 3 practitioner, and suggest students not use the term until they practice, and teach. I explain that master in reiki context is a mis-tranlation of sensei.

    I feel that in any discipline no one can ever totally master a subject. There is always more to learn. That said, in general, Master just means someone who has reached a certain level of competence. Master carpenter for example.

    My “brand” Cloudwing Reiki, was not intentional. Cloudwing is the name of the retreat where I first started teaching reiki in 1999.


    • Phillip November 7, 2014, 6:38 pm

      Hi Jon
      Firstly I don’t think you have anything to feel guilty about. Its all about personal choice and I don’t think the title or label of Master or Teacher stands any higher than the other, and I think the important thing is not to get hung up on the title in the mistaken belief that in some way it brings with it status or importance. What ever works for you is fine by me.

      The title Master doesn’t guarantee anything; as in all disciplines in life there are good, bad and indifferent Masters out there just because they teach Reiki doesn’t make them more spiritual or in some way immune to the human failings as the rest of us. Reiki is percieved as a spiritual discipline but not everyone involved in Reiki are spiritual in nature or in their outlook. That is why its wise to incorporate an element of grounded reality in your spiritual development and be willing to question what you are being asked to accept and take on as your new belief system, no matter who it comes from.

      What we call Reiki has no effect on it what so ever, in the same way that we can’t extend the infinite in any way by our actions. We can call it whatever we like and it will make no difference to its nature, form or effect on our lives, it is what it is and it requires neither our permission or acknowledgement for it to exist…if anything you could say that we are only because it is.

      We have always been connected to the creative healing energy that we in this tiny speck of time have named Reiki and our birth is just a physical expression of that continuous spiritual connection. As a Reiki teacher I can’t connect what is already connected to the source, all I can do is use the attunement/empowerment as a means of making the student aware of this connection and hopefully inspire them to take responsibility for their own learning and personal development.

      I don’t think you have anything to feel guilty about or justify yourself for, whats important is that the work we do speaks volumes for what we do, to such an extent that titles no longer become an issue. As long as we are honest open and true to ourselves and the values we seek to promote then everything else including the titles we give ourselves, may be viewed as cosmetics that we take comfort in but add nothing to the power or value of Reiki.


  • Suzanne November 2, 2014, 10:30 am

    Very interesting, i am a Reiki Master/teacher. My personal belief is that a teacher should wait a minimum of 5 yrs before teaching a class, i taught my first class 8 yrs after i beacame a master & i was more than ready. I agree with you re: the title master but i found all my students/ clients were looking for a master, not a teacher & not a practitioner, when i asked why, their answer were all very similar ” because you have done all the training, some practitioners are not masters. I then chose to retain the title that was given to me on completion of my Reiki Master. I have a very good friend who has the same thought pattern as you, she will not use the word master. Each to their own, it is after all just a word, but a word that stands out to many people. Love & Light

    • Phillip November 7, 2014, 6:59 pm

      Hi Suzanne
      I accept everything that you say, but I feel that as a teacher I have a duty of care to my students to ask the question why certain words stand out to them and if those words influence or create preconceived ideas as to what Reiki is and what they can hope to receive from it.

      But as you say each each to their own and Reiki is big enough for us all to be a part of.


  • susan November 2, 2014, 1:00 pm

    thank you for a very interesting piece, I do fully agree with you if you go back to Usui their are no angels/ chakras, just the teaching and application, Pure Reiki should be that Pure, everyone adding their own little bit to enhance a fee. I agree also on the labeling issue of Master or not, I hate labels no matter what, we have to have a name label its better than a number but after that there is no real reason, nobody cares if you are a master this or that only the individual as to whom the label belongs as long as you can do the job then nothing else matters

    • phillip November 7, 2014, 7:29 pm

      Hi Susan
      I think if you read my replies to the above comments you will see where I’m coming from, but this is just my take on what is a very interesting topic of debate that I think will attract further discussion, which can only be a good thing.


  • Susan Tweddle November 2, 2014, 9:21 pm

    I realy appreciate your comments. Thanks for sharing this,

    • Phillip November 7, 2014, 7:31 pm

      Hi Susan
      Pleased you enjoyed it


  • Archie Robbins November 3, 2014, 10:50 pm

    I agree. I’ve never liked the term master. I agree also with a old teacher of mine who said “sensei or master level only means you have mastered the basics, there is always more to learn, and we learn this by teaching.”

  • Phillip November 7, 2014, 7:34 pm

    Couldn’t agree more


    • Becky O' August 31, 2016, 1:10 pm

      Archie and Phillip – I totally agree. Reiki, like many other areas of life, learning and self-development are ongoing and never-ending. For me, there is always another level or another strand that I want to explore and understand. I feel that there are times when labels become merely mirrors of the ego. Labels aren’t needed within the Reiki world. It is more about being content with who you are and what you have achieved for your own sense of peace. I am so lucky that I found a Reiki teacher to teach me Reiki 1 & 2. She had beautiful energy, but didn’t feel confident to teach me Reiki 3. I am therefore blessed that she in turn passed me on to her own Reiki master teacher, who also has the most serene and powerful energy. When picking a Reiki course, I strongly advocate going with your gut instinct. I haven’t paid a fortune for my Reiki training, and I have made some wonderful friends through this beautiful energy healing.
      I feel my journey is just beginning!
      With warmth, love and light

      • reiki51 August 31, 2016, 6:17 pm

        Hi Becky
        Glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for taking the time to give me your feedback, and your own thoughts which I appreciate and value.


  • Len Thomas November 27, 2014, 10:58 pm

    Getting attuned to Reiki means what. How do you test the conection. What is the difference to Spiritual Healing. Is the connection external or internal.

    • Phillip November 29, 2014, 8:10 pm

      Hi Len
      It means what ever you want it to and different students place a higher value on it than others do..which is ok. Reiki doesn’t connect anyone to the universe for we are already connected from the moment of conception and then our physical birth. Reiki is a means of awakening the student to the connection that already exists. The connection isn’t tested….its developed and strengthened through knowledge and understanding and then our actions in the way we live our lives.

      There is no difference its all spiritual healing in as much as all healing energy comes from the source…what ever you believe that source to be. Reiki is just a title, a name that has been given by a human being to define the infinite, a bit like a sunbeam thinking its the Sun.. We hold within us a spiritual spark and we can never be seperated from the creator but we can be reminded or awakened to that fact which is the ultimate goal of Reiki. The only person we can heal is ourselves and we must first correct the mind which is where the knowledge and understanding comes in.

      The connection is both internal and external. Reiki is education by another name and because healing requires both knowledge and understanding the role of the tutor is to get the student to take responsibility for their own learning and their own healing.

      Hope this answers your questions but please get back to me if you have any further questions.


      • Chris December 10, 2016, 1:52 pm

        Good read. After taking my Level 1 Reiki training, I was overwhelmed by the sensations I felt. I felt fear as a result. I tried to practice on myself, but ultimately, I couldn’t trust the source. What you say in this comment about first correcting the mind seems important, but I’m rather unsure how to go about this. My dilemma resides in the following: I feel that the attunements (or initiations as my teacher likes calling them) did indeed open me/connect me to…something…but it did not feel right…I felt very ungrounded and unsafe. Logically thinking, if we are more open and if positive healing energy exists, how does it not follow that negative harmful energy also exists and how do I remain open to one and protected from the other?

        I apologize if this isn’t the place for this question…but the comment about correcting the mind resonated and sparked my question. I wonder if you’ve come across anything like this before or have any experience with how to deal with it…

        • reiki51 December 10, 2016, 2:02 pm

          Hi Chris
          Excellent, I like the way you think and rationalise your experience which I have shared on a number of occasions. My email address is philhawkins11@gmail.com please get in touch so I can reply to you in greater detail.


  • Graeme November 28, 2014, 12:36 am

    Philip, I fully understand and agree with your thoughts, as a Clinical Hypnotherapist we have the same problem within that profession with people self awarding all sorts of titles and also so many that have not had proper training who then go off and try reinventing the wheel. The current vogue for Mindfullness is a classic example. Mindfullness is a technique that is thousands of years old yet it is promoted as the latest “wonder” treatment. I am also a trained Reiki practitioner and I often use Reiki in conjunction with hypnotherapy and find very powerful results. I know it makes a great beneficial difference to my clients and at the end of the day my only interest is helping clients to make changes that will provide them with a longer happier healthy life. Love Light and Peace.

    • Phillip November 29, 2014, 8:35 pm

      I agree, for many years I have seen many a simple message deliberately made complex so that people can be charged large sums of money to have it made simple again.. If people want to do this then its a personal choice…but its not a practice I believe in. I would much rather to use education/Reiki to seek out knowledge and understanding to help free peoples minds and get them to think so that they can empower themselves.


  • Maureen November 28, 2014, 12:40 am

    Dear Philip, you have certainly struck a chord with these very sensible and considered comments about so-called Mastery! And, indeed, what are the expectations that such a grand title set up for those who profess it? Well said. Namaste 🙂

    • Phillip November 29, 2014, 8:40 pm

      Hi Maureen
      So pleased you liked it, hope it helped in some small way.


  • Swaminathan November 28, 2014, 12:53 am

    Excellent and Absolute Truth.

    • Phillip November 29, 2014, 8:47 pm

      Thank you for taking the time to read the article and giving me feedback that helps me on my own journey.


  • Carol November 28, 2014, 9:58 am

    Dear Phillip,
    This is the most powerful article I have read in a long time. It opened something in me to continue with Reiki – I could actually feel the energy. Many years ago I took Reiki I and II, but for an unknown reason neither of us in the class received any documentation. I went on to study many other healing methods, but lately Reiki has really been calling to me.
    Thank you for your wise words.

    • Phillip November 29, 2014, 8:57 pm

      Hi Carol
      Thank you you are very kind. Hope you come back to Reiki when the time is right for you and you find a teacher you are at ease with in your local area. Please get back to me and let me know how you get on in your search and let me know if I can help in any way.

      Kind Regards

  • David November 28, 2014, 10:12 am

    Wonderfully written,informative article.thank you.

    • Phillip November 29, 2014, 9:00 pm

      Hi David
      Thank you I appreciate your comments.


  • jimmy November 28, 2014, 12:18 pm

    Great Article and excellent take on the “Master” word. Thank you for sharing. i have level 1 and 2 done and had planned to level 3 eventually but after reading this I feel I will be doing it sooner rather than later now. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you 🙂 L&L

    • Phillip November 29, 2014, 9:05 pm

      Hi Jimmy
      Go for it….you have nothing to lose other than maybe some self limiting thoughts. Please let me know how you get on and don’t hesitate to get in touch if I can help in any way.


  • lee-anne November 28, 2014, 1:02 pm

    Thank you for your article. I have always felt uncomfortable with labels and how they often attract an ego. I do feel though that many people attach a value to that label, potential clients among them. They seem impressed by the title. I suppose that’s why so many people are buying their metaphysics doctorates. How would you suggest advertising services without ego?

    • Phillip November 29, 2014, 9:24 pm

      Hi Lee-anne
      Easy….by being honest, open and true to yourself. Take pride in the qualifications you have earned but remember they are not you…..that value is determined by the way you treat yourself….and the way you treat others. That says loud and clear who you really are.

      You know the old and often quoted saying ‘when the student is ready the teacher will appear’….well if that is true…..then what must also be true is….’when the teacher is ready the student will appear’. Are you ready?


  • Cecelia Staryos November 28, 2014, 2:06 pm

    Hi Philip,

    I too have dropped ‘Master” and feel much lighter and freer.

    Dropping the title of ‘Master’ opened a deeper conversation within myself.
    Who is the teacher?
    Who is the student?

    Sitting quietly with these questions, I have a better understanding of the way my mind shapes my life. My thoughts about roles, labels, titles pull me deeper into ‘doing something.’ Paradoxically, when I release the magnetic pull of ‘doing’, I move closer to ‘being.’

    Thank you for opening this conversation about Reiki as a spiritual practice.

    Ai to hikari
    Cecelia Staryos
    Reiki teacher and practitioner

    • Phillip November 29, 2014, 9:28 pm

      Hi Cecelia
      From one teacher and student to another, thank you. Article written, discussion started…job done.


      • Myrna November 30, 2014, 1:40 am

        Phillip your article spoke directly to my heart. I have thought these things and am feeling so validated by your words. I will never call myself Master, Teacher is so much more appropriate. Thank you, thank you, Namaste, Myrna

  • JoAnn November 28, 2014, 2:26 pm

    Thank you for this article…I too feel that the title Master is not one that I would use – just reiki practitioner. I find myself sharing reiki freely to those who would be unable to afford it otherwise as I am blessed with not needing more of anything at the moment. I continue to learn through those I share it with and the energy flows stronger by the day.
    Thank you for this article as it raised questions I have had myself.

    • Phillip November 29, 2014, 9:41 pm

      Hi JoAnn
      Even if they don’t realise it all Reiki practitioners are mentors and educators as we help others to take personal responsibility for their learning and healing, which go hand in hand. At the same time we are students on our own journey and as we help others we progress along our own path, thats the way it works.

      Thanks for your kind words.


  • George Yeager November 28, 2014, 2:43 pm

    I have really enjoyed your article. Back to the ‘basics’ is my feeling also. I have been a teacher/instructor for many years, not in Reiki, but law enforcement.I have never considered myself a Master, we are always learning, it never stops. I think Reiki has become a money maker for many people and lost its true meaning. I have tried to stay true to the original Reiki and not the the ‘Western’ style with all the additives and excessive fees. Thank you again for your article, I hope people read it and maybe wake up to what Reiki is about.

    • Phillip November 29, 2014, 10:18 pm

      Hi George
      Master has never worked for me but I’m totally comfortable with student and my search to gain knowledge and understanding of life, myself and the true nature of Reiki. Like you I think the analogy of being and doing is a good one…..to strip away all of the layers until we reach the point where we do less and less yet all that needs to be done is done. Strip away all the smoke and mirrors, all of the must do’s until all that remains is the truth demonstrated.

      Thanks for taking the time to read the article and letting me know your thoughts.


  • mary November 28, 2014, 2:53 pm

    This article is right on! Thank you so much, Phillip!

    • Phillip November 29, 2014, 10:20 pm

      Hi Mary
      Thank you…..glad you liked it.


  • Matilde November 28, 2014, 11:53 pm

    Thank you so much for this article. Exactly my own way of thinking. No one can Master Reiki! The only thing we can do, or at least try, is to master ourselves, our ego, our negativities, our comportment. Thank you so much again! Blessings.

    • Phillip November 29, 2014, 10:28 pm

      Hi Matilde
      You are so right….one step at a time on our personal journey. Please let me know how your journey is going.

      Kind Regards

  • Myrna November 29, 2014, 1:17 am

    Thank you for this article. You write what I think!! I will be taking my “Master” teachers level in May 2015 and am looking forward to it. Can’t wait to share Reiki in a grounded “down to Earth” way. Some of what others are doing does not resonate with me, but that is their way. As Reiki is Divine energy I feel it should be dealt with in a manner of respect and awe. My biggest hurtle is believing that it can actually come through me. (I know it does, I can feel it so I don’t know why I doubt) Hoping to come from my course feeling “genuine”.

    • Phillip November 29, 2014, 10:57 pm

      Thats great….so pleased you are going for your Masters Teacher level in May 2015 please let me know how you get on…..Reiki….or the energy we have called Reiki can’t not flow through you…its part of the creative energy as you are….its always been there but we need to be made aware of it and encouraged to engage and develop that connection….normal communication rules apply….you have to work at it to strengthen the flow….not the energy….just the flow because we can’t improve on the infinite in any way shape or form.

      When it flows all we have to do is get out of the way (get our ego/effort out of the way) and let it flow through us to the recipient.

      If you are a genuine person you have nothing to worry about because Reiki can only work with what already exists and its how you treat yourself and others that sets your value as a person and a Reiki teacher. Be open, honest and true to yourself and you can’t be anything other than genuine.

      You will be fine…your heart and mind are in the right place and you are willing to learn

      Best Wishes

  • Myrna November 29, 2014, 1:24 am

    PS……I have also felt uncomfortable with the title, I feel better now knowing that I am not the only one and will now be quite happy NOT using it.

  • Sandra MacLean November 29, 2014, 11:24 am

    Before I had even heard of Reiki, when my mother was very ill, I used to put my hands above her body, pray and ask for healing. The doctors were astounded, when she recovered.

    I am attuned to Master level but I took years, by choice, to reach that stage. Too many want a certificate and too many teachers want money.

    Also, far too many people think they are Jesus reincarnated and can perform miracles. There are so many ‘add-ons’ from what was taught by Dr, Usui. We, now, have long healing numbers for different illnesses and ailments.

    Personally, I think a lot of Reiki practitioners who comment, in groups, have a screw loose.

    • Phillip November 30, 2014, 1:16 am

      I have said many times that different is not only OK its vital to our personal development, and as a teacher part of my role is to get students to take responsibility for their learning, think for themselves and not just accept everything they are told without question. Tradition is a wonderful thing and has its place but it should never be at the expence of truth, knowledge and understanding.

      Students and teachers alike must do what they think is right for them and if they are being true to themselves then their choices form part of their personal development which hopefully will be an ongoing process. In truth we are all on the same journey heading for the same destination and what we see and believe at this moment in time is based on where we are physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, which will change in time as we develop, grow and mature.

      Personal development is very subjective and can’t be predicted or pre-determind and doesn’t work on some one size fits all time scale. The only certainty is that we will all reach that final destination of enlightenment but we retain the responsibility and the free will to decide how long our journey will take….and thats how it should be.

      As for Reiki miracles…I don’t believe in them; I think Reiki miracles are easier to perpetuate than substantiate and our spirituality should be tempered by grounded reality as its so easy to see the miraculous in the mundane and create the reality we want to believe in. What I do believe in is the ability for people to change their lives through the power of knowledge and understanding, and as that expands what we once believed to be stuff of miracles becomes a quality of life that translates into health and well being.

      As for your final comment….you are entitled to your opinion but its not one that I share. While your comments may fall within the principles of free speech I can’t quite square what you have said with the principles and precepts of Reiki that I believe in…..but that doesn’t make me right or you wrong….only different and thats ok…isn’t it.


      • Myrna November 30, 2014, 1:48 am

        I love this discussion but am finding it hard to follow as it doesn’t seem to come up in any order.

      • Myrna November 30, 2014, 1:50 am

        there it is!!! now I can comment,,,,,wonky computers haha…..Agree with you totally Phillip, you put it so much more diplomatically than I was thinking. Thank you, would love to take a class from you

        • Phillip November 30, 2014, 11:26 am

          Hi Myrna
          Thank you for that. When faced with harsh comments even if they are not directed directly at you its so easy to react but if we just take a moment to step back and consider what has been said and more importantly why, we can then figure out a positive response that may go some way to heal a situation instead of inflaming it. Again truth demonstrated that knowledge and understanding/Reiki/healing are one and the same.

          As for the class the internet makes all things are possible, email me and lets have a chat.


          • Myrna December 3, 2014, 11:26 am

            back again, just got through a “little flurry of life”! How would I go about emailing you? Sorry if I’m not seeing something obvious here, but that happens some times 🙂

        • Phillip December 3, 2014, 1:32 pm

          Hi Myrna
          Thats easy…my email is…philhawkins11@gmail.com…look forward to hearing from you.


    • Cecelia Staryos November 30, 2014, 3:26 pm

      Dear Sandra,

      Your post is a great gift to me. I appreciate the lessons you brought to my attention.
      The first thing I found, after reading your post, was an article bookmarking a page in a beloved book.

      Why Not Be Polite?

      Is God speaking.
      Why not be polite and
      Listen to
      Him? (-Hafiz)

      My original training was in The Modern System of Reiki. Now, I practice traditional Japanese Reiki as taught & practiced by Usui Mikao. Moment by moment, the 5 elements of The System of Reiki point a way to uncover the great, bright light which is our true being.

      Ai to hikari (Translation from Japanese: love to light)

      Cecelia Staryos
      Reiki teacher & practitioner
      Stone Mountain Reiki, Whately MA USA

  • prad mistry December 12, 2014, 12:01 pm

    How can you say that angelic reiki is just a contemporary name give to rieiki itself?
    Im sure you would have done your ground work before writing this article so I’m referring to the late Kevin Core who originally channelled angelic reiki any also why angelic reiki in my eyes has evolved from usui reiki by pre programming all major symbols at attunement.

    • Cecelia Staryos December 12, 2014, 3:31 pm

      Hi Prad,

      Traditional Japanese Reiki refers to the System of Reiki taught and practiced by Usui Mikao. Modern or Contemporary Reiki refers to all Systems of Reiki ( there are over 300 Modern / Contemporary Systems) which are not the traditional Japanese Reiki.

      Ai to hikari
      Cecelia Staryos
      Reiki Teacher / Practitioner

    • Phillip December 12, 2014, 4:48 pm

      Hi Prad
      Reiki is just a man made name regardless of any prefix you wish to attach to it, and you can call it what you want. In attaching a label we are trying to reduce the infinite to a manageable size so that we can identify with it and feel comfortable with it. Dr Usui had a need to call it something and he felt that the label Reiki worked as it described what he believed it was and to a certain extent how it worked. The name is nothing more than a means of identification but the infinite energy that is the source or creator what ever you believe that to be, can’t be defined by a label and its power can’t be enhanced or diminished by our actions for the created can never be greater than the creator. We are because it is and not the other way around.

      Symbols work on the same principle it is our intent and attention that gives them meaning and purpose and you can use any symbol you wish traditional or contemporary to achieve the desired outcome because all symbols are underwritten by attention and intention. Put simply energy follows intent and our role is to channel that energy in order that it can be experienced within the confines of our physical senses, which is then open to personal interpretation of what we have just experienced. This is formed in part by our belief system and what we hold to be true at any given moment in time.

      I mean no disrespect to you or the late Kevin Core who you obviously hold in high regard, nor for that matter Dr Usui himself when I say that the Reiki he taught was still only an expression of the infinite energy we have come to know as Reiki. We can call it what we want and introduce as many new or established symbols into the equation but we need to bear in mind that in doing so we may be moving further away from that creative energy source instead of closer to it. The old adage ‘less is more’ holds true even in matters spiritual and spiritual development requires an element of grounded reality that gives us the courage to scrutinise and challenge the old and the new in equal measure because that’s how we develop and grow physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

      Since Reiki is an expression of the infinite I think its big enough for all schools of thought regardless of what we call them. Different is not just OK its vital to our development and only becomes a problem when we start to think and talk in terms of ‘better than’ because no matter how good we think it is, its still nothing more than our interpretation of the infinite ideal.

      I’m sure Kevin Cole was of the highest character but not everyone who comes to Reiki is as spiritual and some see Reiki as a commodity that can be sold in order to make money. This is not in any way a judgement on the people who do so, it is simply a fact of life. Part of that process is to re-brand the original concept or idea in order to reach a greater market. Once you do this you must then say or imply that the new version/formula/product is in some way better, more advanced or kills more germs than before, if you don’t then there is no reason to change. If it does what it says on the tin all well and good but a lot of things we associate with Reiki are add on’s or cosmetic that bring nothing to the energy itself.

      I hope my reply has elaborated on my original article and has gone some way to explain the thought processes involved and the points I was trying to make.


  • Karen December 12, 2014, 3:10 pm

    Thank you so much for this article. I didn’t know if anyone else felt the same way that I do about the title of “Master.” I have been a Reiki level II practitioner since June 2011. I don’t know at this time if I will ever be attuned to the next level… I believe that I will when the time is right for me, but for now I am overjoyed practicing hands on and distance Reiki. I think that once I do move to the next level, I will use Reiki teacher myself. Thank you again.

    • Cecelia Staryos December 12, 2014, 3:26 pm

      Hi Karen,

      The turning point for me was this November, when I took the Shinpiden class with Frans Steine of The International House of Reiki http://www.IHR.com.

      Ai to hikari
      Reiki Teacher / Practitioner

      • Karen December 15, 2014, 12:38 pm

        Thank you for the information Cecelia. I feel blessed every day to be in the company of people who are so helpful and kind.

  • carla Nogueira Duarte December 12, 2014, 5:01 pm

    dear Phillip
    Thank you.
    grateful to rays reiki because through it I have the pleasure to read, study, understand, analyze and thematic experiences that are written through all the teachers who share their knowledge. read, absorb and think, analyze and look which to me makes sense.
    Inicei my approximation to the Reiki sessions with therapy, because I panico..desde attacks that time I was captivated by Reiki teachings and its principles. The courtship began with the level 1 REIKI on September 14, 21 days and every meeting daily with reiki is a learning and personal enrichment.
    grateful to find in Phillip not just a teacher, but the Teacher! that I like to have around! I read all the articles you write more than once ….. I like to think about them, like the explanations that give their replies to readers.
    I still have much to learn, I try to live each day on reiki principles, the attention and intention that define trying to be as honest as possible. Right now I care in daily practice “dating” with Reiki because I notice in me a different way of looking at life. I want to continue my learning to the level 2 to help my children and family. As i will do when ready!
    Grateful to have Reiki in my life.
    Phillip, I liked liked tath you would come to Portugal! I wait peacefully that one day it might happen, it would be a great pleasure to meet you, until that please continue to teach us.
    Namaste! OBRIGADO

    carla duarte

    • Phillip December 14, 2014, 12:13 am

      Hi Carla
      Thank you so much for taking the time to read my work and then being kind enough to give me feedback and your willingness to share your own thoughts and experiences. I’m pleased that I am able to help you in your own development and grateful for your kind comments.

      Regardless have far we have come, our levels of achievement or the titles we carry a Reiki Teacher is just a student by another name and we all have so much more to learn and the quest for knowledge and understanding helps us on our own journey of personal discovery.

      I have some free time in 2015 and I would love to come to Portugal for a few days if the details can be sorted out, drop me an email on philhawkins11@gmail.com and we can talk further about it.

      Please don’t be a stranger, let me know how your Reiki training and practice is developing and if I can help in any way please don’t hesitate to contact me.

      Kindest Regards

  • Penny December 15, 2014, 12:15 pm

    brilliant article that calls it says it is. As Conduits of the Devine light can we truly claim to be mater of something we can not truly control. Ground and protect sure, but control? I beg to differ. I’ve been deliberating recently about teaching, in a number of modes but have clearly been to.d I need to do, not teach. I want continue my studies in she manis,, crystal healing and colour therapy but realise this is for my use in helping other holistically not for teaching purposes.

    • Phillip December 15, 2014, 9:35 pm

      Hi Penny
      Thank you for taking the time to read the article and your kind comments. There can never be just one way because we are all different, with different needs and at different points on our journey of development. We have to find our own way and different is more than ok its vital to that development process.

      Teaching is not the be all and end all and its not for everyone, in the same way that progression through the different levels of Reiki is not for everyone and to a certain extent you have to be selfish and decide what is right for you. Its your life and only you can live it and there are many ways to be of service to others, and success can be measured in the quality of your work and the way in which you are able to reach people and help them using your skills and abilities.

      Please keep in touch and let me know how your studies are going.

      Best wishes

  • Bella Ruth March 14, 2015, 3:48 am

    Hi Phillip,

    thank you for your article. I just recently came across to the Reiki Rays and am receiving notifications of any articles published. Tell the truth, I was just collecting these emails to read them later.
    Today is the day I started to read through them. I liked your article. I live in the UK for 10 years. I did my Reiki courses many years ago in my home country Slovakia and I was Reiki enthusiast. As soon as I finished my courses I wanted to help all of my friends, colleagues, who ever experienced pain or troubles. Practicing Reiki taught me, that you can’t help all people, they have to be ready for your help. I continued to use it on myself and later somehow I forgot…Now I feel like I want to start again, come back to Reiki and I was wondering, if there is any center or group meetings, where like minded people meet and exchange their experience. We had such meetings in my home town and they were very uplifting and helpful.

    I wish you all the best in your practice and teaching.

    Best Regards


    • Phillip March 14, 2015, 9:57 am

      Hi Bella
      Thank you for taking the time to read the article and to get in touch with me. I’m affraid that life does tend to get in the way of our Reiki practice if we try to make our practice seperate from our daily routine. The secret is to blend the two so that Reiki is not something you do……it becomes who you are and you express it through your thoughts and actions as you go about your daily routine.

      Reiki isn’t just about hand positions, symbols and treatments. You can give Reiki to another through the words you speak to them, the written word, you can give it with your eyes when you look at them and through your mind with your thoughts of them. Standard treatments have their place but we must be willing and able to use it in every situation the presents itself to us I call this ‘Reiki First Aid’ and we have to use our attention (Focus) and intention (our desire to help) to respond to the persons needs.

      Use your imagination to formulate your own Reiki blessing in mind. Keep it short and simple and have the intention that when a situation presents itself where you know/feel the person could do with some Reiki simply say the blessing in your mind and have the intention that the person will recieve what they need through your vision/ looking at them (don’t stare normal eye contact is all thats required) or through your words. Those words can be totally unrelated to Reiki, a simple ‘good morning’ is all that you need if the intention is there that those two small words are able to deliver Reiki to the person if they wish to recieve it. If not it will go anyone nearby who is willing to recieve it. And no you don’t need to ask their permission to help them. Offer it freely and they retain their freedom to accept it if they wish.

      Remember this is Reiki first aid not a standard Reiki treatment with all of the protocols that are expected and need to be in place. This is responsive Reiki where discussing Reiki or offering a Reiki treatment may be impossible or totally inapropriate, but where help is still required.

      I’m sure that you will be able to find a teacher or like minded people in your area but until you do please keep in touch with me on philhawkins11@gmail.con and I will support you in any way that I can.


    • Cecelia Staryos March 15, 2015, 1:30 am

      Hi Bella,

      The teachers who are teaching the approach that Philip describes are Bronwen and Frans Stiene of The International House of Reiki. They have trained teachers in England. Contact Bronwen and Frans at IHReiki.com.

      Ai to hikari

      • Phillip March 15, 2015, 10:01 am

        Just to add a foot note to Cecelia’s comments. This is the first I have heard of Bronwen and Frans Stiene or the International House of Reiki. Although I was taught what is defined as Usui Reiki and I can trace my lineage back to Dr Usui himself I am an independent Reiki teacher and hold no affiliation to any Reiki school or association.


        • Cecelia Staryos March 15, 2015, 12:44 pm


          As Reiki practitioners, all of us l trace our lineage back to Usui Mikao. Since Usui founded his ‘System of Natural Spiritual Healing’, there have been many changes and add-ons.

          Bronwen and Frans Stiene offer the System of Reiki as practiced and taught by Usui Mikao. What you describe in your writing is so similar, that the beauty and sensibility of your words caught my attention immediately.

          Here is a link to an International Reiki Conference being held in 2015. The conference brings together speakers that represent many of the Systems of Reiki which trace their ineage back to Usui Mikao. Here’s the link http://www.australianreikiconnectionevents.com.au

          Thank you for this vibrant discussion and your respectful approach.

          Ai to hikari

          • Phillip March 16, 2015, 2:58 pm

            Thank you for the kind and generous comments. Please allow me to apologise if my comments made it sound as if I was claiming ownership of the Usui lineage, nothing could have been further from my mind and if I have caused offense then I apologise for my lack of care and consideration on this occasion.

            Thank you for the link which I shall follow up as soon as I am able.


        • Bella Ruth March 15, 2015, 12:45 pm

          Thank you Phillip,

          I was also taught the Usui Reiki and I will stick to it.

          I will take you upon your offer and contact you directly via email, when I need your assistance.

          Thank you again for your time and advise

          Best Wishes


          • Phillip March 16, 2015, 3:01 pm

            You are welcome, any time.


          • cecelia Staryos March 16, 2015, 3:45 pm

            Hi Phillip,

            You are an unwavering 10 out of 10 with me. Always have been!

            Ai to hikari

  • Sabrina Savoy July 14, 2015, 3:02 am

    Great article & thank you for sharing your views on master or not to master. This has shifted my perspective in a good way!:)

    Peace, love, & light

    • Phillip July 14, 2015, 8:29 am

      Hi Sabrina
      Titles and names are labels and the problem arises when we look no further than the label which then takes on an identity all of its own. The word Teacher is a label but it works for me because its not ambiguous and states clearly who and what I am and the role I play.

      Glad you like the article and it was of help in some small way.


  • Pamela July 17, 2015, 7:56 pm

    I actually have the opposite issue I feel like I haven’t earned the title of Reiki Teacher because I haven’t taught someone as of yet. It took a while for me to even come to the conclusion that it’s OK to call myself a Master. I understand that I am not mastering the energy in and of itself, what I am mastering is myself. I can’t control what other people think about the term Master and yes there are plenty of people out there that see the term Master and wan’t to “achieve” that. I have come to understand that I am a the Master of my life, I am a Master at love and compassion. It goes to the heart of Who I Am. But just because I use the term Master doesn’t mean that I hold myself above and beyond anyone else or that I’m better, or having my identity tied with this particular title or that I have nothing else to learn. If anything, I know I’ve reached a sense of Mastery when I realized that there is always something to learn and that as the eternal being that I am, I will never get it done. Just because I call myself Reiki Master doesn’t mean that I’m not constantly learning about Reiki and how I can incorporate it into my life on even deeper levels. I am OK with the term Reiki Master because I constantly use it for everything in my life, I take it with me wherever I go, I call on the energy to keep me open, I practice daily and NOT because I took a class that gave me a certificate. Like you said, everyone is different and that’s totally OK. Thanks for the article, it was super fun to read.

    • p July 17, 2015, 9:05 pm

      Hi Pamela
      So pleased you enjoyed it. Its diversity that makes life a pleasure.

  • Roshen Dalal August 14, 2015, 7:32 am

    I dislike titles too. But the fact that one uses certain symbols, implies a kind of limitation. Universal energy is symbol and system free. Hence if one is following a particular tradition, using its symbols and methods, then one is a master only of that system, and using a master title may be appropriate.

  • Gurdip August 15, 2015, 3:46 am

    Very beautifully explained article with lots of ideas.God bless

    • Phillip August 17, 2015, 6:41 pm

      Hi Gurdip
      Thank you. Pleased you enjoyed reading the article.


  • SHAMS August 15, 2015, 7:11 am

    Dear Phillip. I have joined a Hospital for healing to patient one question almost every patient ask me when i will be fine and my disease will heal time and period they want to know pls advice me what i can reply.

    • Phillip August 17, 2015, 7:31 pm

      Hi Shams
      Your question requires a lengthy reply and my answer is based on the last 15 years studying and teaching Reiki and my experiences gained over that time. The short answer is that you can’t tell them because you don’t know. Reiki goes where its needed and not where we or the recipient may feel it needs to go. Reiki energy deals with the cause while we are acutely aware of the physical symptoms that draw our attention to a situation that needs to be addressed.

      All physical illness and disease begin at a cellular level, at an energy level that usually lies beyond the limitations of our physical senses. If we do not know the underlying cause or the time it has taken to manifest itself as a physical symptom, how can we in all honesty give a patient a timescale to their possible healing? I say possible healing because Reiki is neither intrusive or dictatorial and will not force good health onto anyone, and as strange as it may seem not everyone wants to let go of their illness or take responsibility for the negative life choices that have created their condition and our freewill is sacrosanct. Reiki must heal the mind before it can heal the physical body. Healing that does not reach the mind, body and spirit is incomplete and offers no more than a postponement, for what is created in error will simply be repeted unless the ignorance (lacking in knowledge and understanding) is rectified.

      What may come as a shock to you is that we do not heal. We are not healers in the true sense of the word. We do not create the healing energy that we have labeled Reiki, this energy is infinite and there is nothing we can do to add to it or detract from it, we simply work with what already exists and has done since the moment of all creation.

      We are channels nothing more, we are facilitators and play our part in the transference of this energy from the source (whatever you may believe this to be) to the recipient who wants our help. The best we can do is to work towards healing ourselves which is an ongoing process, then get our ego out of the way, our aim is to do nothing, so that everything that needs to be done is done.

      Symbols, mantra’s and enhancing techniquies are not required for they are not Reiki. The most powerful hand position I know is to simply and lovingly hold someones hand. Its simplicity belies its effectiveness. If you want to help your patients. Hold their hand; using the power of your attention and intention let your spoken and written word convey the healing energy to anyone who receives them. By the same token allow your gaze to transfer Reiki to those you are unable to physically reach. Your attention and intention will automatically follow your line of sight if you wish it to do so. Energy follows intent where as effort restricts its flow so its important to relax and enjoy the process more than the desire to know/define/control/regulate the outcome.

      If Reiki goes where it is needed then common sense must tell us that it will heal in its own time appropriate to the individuals needs.

      Hope this helps, but please get back to me if I can help further.

  • Sue Wang September 2, 2015, 11:16 pm

    Thank you for the thought-provoking article. I can see both sides, the burden of being a true master and wanting to show that we have arrived at certain stage of the Reiki training. I so agree with integrating Reiki in our lives, that the more we use it the more we learn from it. Perhaps thinking this way about Reiki throughout our lives, we eventually gain mastery. It is a nice goal to which to aspire. With that in mind (we are the student and conduit of Reiki), I embrace using the term Reiki Master to denote my training. It is a celebration of commitment to the practice.

    • Phillip September 5, 2015, 9:43 am

      Hi Sue
      Thank you, glad you found it interesting. To me the title Master is a label plain and simple, and with all labels the wearer tends to live up to or live down to the label thats attached to them. Once a label is attached we tend to focus on the label and miss/overlook/ignore whats going on behind it. I have met people who carried prestigious titles yet lacked many of the basic such as compassion, dignity and respect towards those who looked up to them.

      In Reiki as in all walks of life, we can define the label we carry or we can allow the label to define us because all labels are a form of judgement and measurement of status/ability/position. To me the title of Master is a distraction that has to be overcome as you get the student to look beyond the label…….mine as their teacher (another label) and a point on their own journey of development.

      To begin with they see Master as an aim or objective, a destination to be reached. Having climed that particular mountain they find their panoramic view of ‘enlightenment’ obscured by mountains much higher and harder to climb.

      We all have to make our own personal journey to make and we get to choose the baggage we wan’t to take with us.


  • The Reiki Room, Nancy E. Farr September 11, 2015, 9:53 pm

    Very interesting article. I DO use that title Master/Teacher but not in the way you are referring to what Master means. I refer to Reiki Master as another level/degree the same as Level I, II, or III etc. No ego involved just another level. To me there is not such thing as mastering anything, instead we should always be learning, always be sharing and always be teaching.
    Just my own opinion and I very much respect you views and actions.

  • Sunita Gupta September 14, 2015, 11:44 am

    Hi , i am immensely happy to read your article and agree 100 % . I learnt first 2 levels of Reiki yrs ago but started practicing very recently with amazing results and the beauty is that every time I heal someone else, I get healed myself .
    Yes, intentions and thoughts matter most . Guidance comes when you are tuned to your true self . Must to remember that I am just an instrument and some one else is playing. .. keeps one grounded and humble. .. must for the flow of reiki energy …. i am lucky to read your article and views which seems to be coming St from your heart. … may we all be blessed with gratitude and true knowledge .
    Plz keep sharing more. .. namastey .

    • Phillip September 14, 2015, 11:59 am

      Hi Sunita
      Firstly thank you for your kind words. I am so pleased you enjoyed reading the article and I loved your analogy of us being an instrument but it is the great musician who is playing the tune…..what a beautiful way to put it.
      I hope your practice goes well and we talk again soon.


      • ishamreiki November 9, 2016, 9:10 am

        Hi , Philips ,
        I am really thankful to reiki to be in touch with such a divine soul .
        I am really happy to read your article … which is so close to my soul ..
        May be we blessed by supreme .

        • reiki51 November 9, 2016, 9:28 am

          Hi ishamreiki
          Thank you for you kind words and taking the time to read the work and then post your comments to me. I am grateful for your time, your generosity of spirit and your blessings.


  • Jo Bakal November 7, 2016, 5:34 pm

    Hello Phillip,
    I so appreciate reading your article as the title of Master to me connotes much more than I can offer. I had put my title as shihan as my teacher suggested, but i am going to change it to teacher which resonates more. This is especially true for me because to me a teacher is some one who both imparts and receives wisdom.

    I have had two masters; ine who told me i had to give up all for reiki holy fire. I tried to keep an open mind but it wasn’t genuine to me. I then went with another teacher who so respected my being. She has pushed for me to teach, and last Nov i cotaught a class with her. That said, i will be teaching my next class this Dec. It is being done gratis for a hospice I volunteer at. I state my intentions and ask forgiveness for any mistakes I make.


    • reiki51 November 9, 2016, 9:03 am

      Hi Jo
      Thank you for taking the time to read the work and post your comments. I have found its all about personal choice and being true to ourselves. What we call ourselves isn’t anywhere near as important as understanding why we need certain titles, and why we do what we do. Stripping away the pretence, not to become more ‘spiritual’ but to become ‘real’, and comfortable with who we are, faults as well as the good stuff.

      Teaching Reiki or any subject isn’t for everyone, but if you enjoy it go for it. Teaching gives me a lot of personal satisfaction and I learnt early on in my teaching career that teaching Reiki isn’t just about tradition, the Reiki story or what’s in a Reiki manual, its about life and the personal choices that define us. Reiki practitioners whatever level they have achieved, or title they choose to carry, are educators first and foremost. We have a duty to educate the recipient, either client or student to take responsibility for their own learning, and their own healing. I am an educator of self and I assist those who wish to heal themselves, and begin to think for themselves. Whatever the outcome may be, my role is to educate not indoctrinate, to free the mind not enslave it by tradition or dogma.

      If I give Reiki I allow my conscience to guide me as to what to charge. My usual rate is a cup of tea and two chocolate biscuits, but I have been known to give Reiki free of charge if I felt it was appropriate. When I teach I apply the same guidelines and go with what I feel is right. I have private students and I also do voluntary work where I teach groups free of charge. What I look for is not the persons money, but the commitment to their own learning and development. If that commitment is there then there is an exchange taking place. Their commitment to learn, and the life experience, knowledge and understanding I can bring to the table to share.

      The students who are impressed by titles are rarely looking for the truth, the student who is searching for that truth invariably has the ability to recognise it when it is presented to them regardless of how the teacher appears or the titles they may or may not choose to carry. Be true to yourself and you won’t wander far from your path.

      Good luck with your teaching, I’m sure you will be great. Please let me know how you get on.


  • Luc Van Kerkhoven December 9, 2016, 1:10 pm

    I call myself Reiki teacher not master
    How can we say i´m a master of Rei Ki
    if one can master that ,you can create all life
    That is not a power any human has or as the right to have
    The Master title is indeed what is written on my certificate
    But is humbleness not something that we need to practise , not using a title and say i am the greatest;
    me and me alone is on the right track ( that not the way)
    I,m already a teacher 8 years , but i say every day i learn from little things in my neighbourhood.
    Everything evolves

    Sorry for my English i try ( and learn lol )

    Namasté Luc

    • reiki51 December 9, 2016, 1:31 pm

      Hi Luc
      I agree, but it comes down to the individual to choose what works for them. For me the title of Master just doesn’t work in the way that teacher does, but I respect any ones right to carry that title if they choose to do so. I feel we can sometimes get lost in the details and forget that its not the titles we carry but the work we do that’s important.


    • ishamreiki December 9, 2016, 1:33 pm

      I do feel the same way & while living in gratitude it keeps me humble .

      • reiki51 December 9, 2016, 1:37 pm

        This works for me also, keeps me grounded


  • samariaguru May 24, 2017, 9:55 pm

    Love the aricle. As a Reiki Master I now know I know every little to nothing. I learn constantly from the universe on a continual basis.

    • reiki51 May 25, 2017, 7:23 am

      Hi Samariaguru
      Glad you liked it. When you accept how little we know, learning becomes an adventure and the teacher and student learn together, I know I do. From a personal development point of view I’m not sure where I’m headed or how I’m going to get there so every new day becomes my teacher. How awesome is that.


  • EL December 30, 2017, 9:10 pm

    Thank you Phillip for your; article, numerous aware and thoughtful articulations to all who have responded… I’m truly grateful to read what I have felt and know, and having someone confirm this through sharing it outwardly, brings confidence and a deeper knowing that has no limited descriptives… I will share with you a quote that came to me decades ago, “A good teacher is but a wise student!” Thank you… Namaste…

    • reiki51 December 31, 2017, 11:37 am

      Thank you EL. I love the quote and with your permission use it in my teaching. Regards.

  • Ray June 19, 2018, 3:57 am

    I have not read all comments so I hope this is nor redundant. The term “Reiki Master” was something that Hawayo Takata coined when she brought the teachings of Reiki to the U.S. when she moved to Hawaii. It was basically done as a term that Americans would understand and pay more attention to. It was never said that addressing yourself as Reiki Master was mandatory. But, being that we Americans are how we are, of course the term stuck and has been used in Reiki teachings allover the world since then. Afterall, who would not want to be considered a Master of something?
    I *DO* call myself a Reiki Master Teacher, but not for the obvious reason of ego. I do so because I do teach/attune all levels through the Master level. Master level being where Master symbol is given as are the last symbols. Not Master as in onceyou have this symbol you know it all, but because the Master symbol is like a Master Key. It opens all areas of Reiki and learning to that level provides you with the knowlege to teach/attune others in all levels.

  • Claire November 28, 2018, 8:05 pm

    This was a great read, thank you for sharing. I also do’t feel right using the term master as I feel that it points to ownership or overcoming something. I also feel like I have so much more to learn and practice. I do not teach so normal say reiki healer as I feel this most accurately describes my working with reiki.

  • Phillip Hawkins November 29, 2018, 12:11 am

    Thanks Claire glad you like it and it was of some help to you. You have to do what is right for you. Its just a title and unfortunately some people need to give themselves all manner of grand titles to feel complete. Its what you do that counts, becoming an expression of the energy we have labelled Reiki on a daily basis is whats really important. Everything else is just bullshit and window dressing

  • Anna October 23, 2019, 2:28 pm

    Great article. Thank you. I have similar thoughts about using title: Master. For me is more like ego things than Reiki.

  • Ricky Neumann May 4, 2020, 5:39 pm

    Well said, Phillip.

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