Article by Reiki Master Elise Brenner
How can we become “better” Reiki practitioners? I often hear Reiki practitioners asking how they can “get better at Reiki.” I think there is a way. We become better Reiki practitioners when we improve ourselves and our own ways of living, speaking, and interacting. Okay, well, how do we do that? First, let’s look at what not to do. Let’s avoid the temptation to grasp for answers externally, taking workshop after workshop that promise that our Reiki will become more “powerful.”
Handily, the system of Reiki provides the answers to that question. Let’s explore two of these answers systematically. Foremost, is the fact that our ongoing commitment to practice daily self-Reiki facilitates our personal growth and self-development. Of course, Usui Mikao Sensei conceived Reiki practice as just that: “The mission of Usui Reiki Ryoho (Healing Art/Method) is to enhance mutual well-being for oneself and others, on one hand, by fulfilling a peaceful and joyful life mentally and physically and, on the other hand, healing the sick.” In other words, Reiki offers mind-body meditative and healing benefits when we apply it to ourselves.
When we give ourselves the gift of daily self-Reiki, we give ourselves the chance to connect and listen to our inner selves. In the stillness of self-practice we touch our essential truths, and begin to make whole those parts in need of healing. “The quieter you become, the more you can hear.” (Ram Dass). Self-reiki supports us as we look inward to face and release unhelpful notions and emotions, thereby enabling us to generate more love and understanding outward. When we begin to understand ourselves, our loving-kindness toward others grows. By creating a mind of love, we can be better Reiki practitioners because we have become more stable, more patient, more understanding, more compassionate, and so can bring relief and ease to others.
Second, Usui’s teachings provide us with the Reiki Precepts. These, too, help us become better Reiki practitioners. Usui Mikao Sensei wrote in a short preamble to the Precepts that contemplating and practicing the Precepts was “the secret to inviting happiness through many blessings, the spiritual medicine for all illness.” We can see here that we become better Reiki practitioners when we do the work, a lifetime of work, of applying the Precepts to the way we live our lives.
Have you discovered that the Reiki Precepts are pretty serious business? They are a guide to us in our speech, the choices we make, and how we interact with others. Each of these (speech, choices, and interactions) is an expression of ourselves that we put out into the world in every circumstance in which we find ourselves. As we work with the Reiki Precepts, we begin to produce more loving thoughts, more gentle speech, more compassionate interactions, and deeper listening. And these are the prerequisites for improving rapport with our clients and students, as well as for presenting Reiki effectively to the public.
Strengthened by our self-practice and the Precepts, we improve ourselves on all levels in order to bring supportive, loving healing to others. That, I believe, is how we become better Reiki practitioners.
Elise Brenner (Pronouns: she/her), PhD, Assistant Teaching Professor in the Departments of Public Health and Sociology at Simmons University in Boston, Massachusetts, Reiki Practitioner & Teacher and Mindfulness Meditation Teacher, is committed to wellness equity in all of the services she provides. The owner of Brenner Reiki Healing in Newton, Massachusetts, Elise provides comprehensive training in all levels of Reiki, having trained physicians, nurses, social workers, physical therapists, teachers, and people of all ages and backgrounds. Brenner has provided Reiki training for staff at Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center staff, Edith Nourse Rogers Veterans Administration Hospital in Bedford, MA, and Tufts Medical Center in Boston. Brenner is the co-author of the 2022 book, Reiki: A Self-Practice to Live in Peace with Self and Others, published by John Hunt Books.
Elise has a clinical Reiki and Mindfulness practice in which she provides individualized Reiki and Mindfulness sessions to people who are experiencing physical, mental, and emotional distress. Brenner further provides Reiki and Mindfulness outreach workshops and presentations to organizations, incorporating mind-body skills for the staff and populations they serve, including the Livestrong Program at the YMCA; Harbor Health Elder Service Plan in Boston; support groups for survivors of domestic abuse; support groups for individuals struggling with Vestibular Disorders; psychosocial support groups for cancer patients; support groups for carers of those with chronic conditions.
As an anthropologist, Elise Brenner has researched cross-cultural healing practices, thereby enriching the scope and depth of her Reiki and Mindfulness practice. Elise savors time in the woods and has begun to compose eco-poetry.