Listening to What Reiki Has to Teach Us


Article by Deb Karpek

From the moment we meet it Reiki has much to teach us. I am fond of the saying we don’t know what we don’t know and for me never has that been more apparent in working with Reiki.

My first Reiki session had an immediate and profound effect on me. I could feel the energy surging throughout my body and it brought up many thoughts, emotions and feelings, in that short one-hour session. I was sick and it accelerated my healing. That night I had a fever, the next day it broke, and in the following week I physically released many toxins. I’d had a cold/sinus infection on and off for a few months, taking anti-biotics and other cold related medicine, but nothing seemed to work. Until Reiki.

I continued to get sessions, from different practitioners and noticed each time what was happening to my energy on all levels, mentally, physically, and emotionally. It blew my mind.

It took a while but I eventually took my first Level One class. I was scared to death, yet I “heard” it was the right time with the right teacher. The day of the class I sat outside in my car in front of the teacher’s house, terrified. What was going to happen in there? Is this some sort of voodoo? An initiation into darkness? Even though I’d experienced Reiki with such miraculous results, I still felt so much fear. A session was one thing, but an attunement? I wasn’t sure I could handle this!

As I sat there mired in my fear, I watched other students leave their cars and go into the house. They all looked pretty normal to me, so I decided to be brave and just do it. I figured I could always leave if I were uncomfortable.

Instead, I never wanted to leave! I wanted to stay in that energy of the class all day. I wasn’t ready to go home. The class was amazing, and when I left I knew this thing called Reiki was something I wanted and needed in my life.

Listen to Reiki
Image by Bonnybbx

After the attunement I wanted to work on everyone, all the time! I ordered a table right away and even before it came I worked on my friends and family, in chairs, on my bed, once even on my kitchen table! (Not really the most comfortable way to practice Reiki.)

Once the table came I began seeing people on Saturday mornings. Family members, friends and co-workers showed up every weekend, eager to receive Reiki. I didn’t charge anyone, as I figured the exchange was them letting me practice on them. And practice I did! For at least six months I worked on people every single weekend, and an occasional weeknight.

I teach that the best way for anyone to learn Reiki is by doing it, and boy was I doing it.

And then an interesting thing happened. I stopped. Just like that. I no longer wanted to practice Reiki. I was done. I asked my husband to sell my table on Ebay. I was retiring. Really.

I had just recently had my Level 2 attunement. I wasn’t as nervous going in the second time, but I did have some fear and concern. I loved meeting the symbols and looked forward to practicing them, and I did. But I lost the urge to do Reiki.

It would take about six months before I had the desire to practice again. This time I began my practice in earnest, paying attention. No longer like a kid with a new toy, eager to show off my new abilities, I now approached my practice with respect. I realized how powerful Reiki is and that it had things to teach me.

Those six months were spent listening to the whispers of Reiki. I used the symbols daily, getting to know them, developing a relationship with them. I especially liked Sei He Ki, the mental emotional symbol. It had so much to teach me!

I am reminded of all of this because I recently taught a Level One class. It’s been almost 15 years ago that I had that first session, thirteen years since I’ve been practicing for a living and ten years since I began teaching.

I love teaching Reiki, especially Level One, introducing this energy to eager, new students. This class was special, all of the students gifted, and they blended together wonderfully. As a teacher this is a lovely thing to see. We spent the day learning, sharing, and practicing.

About a week after the class I got a call from one of the students. She had some questions and she was very excited to share her good news. She was doing Reiki! Every day! She works with folks who are curious and interested and she got to share her new gift. She said she had three people lined up on Saturday for sessions. She shared that she may be able to quit her job soon and do Reiki for a living!

She reminds me so much of me. All those years ago I called my Reiki teacher and said almost the same thing.

And my teacher told me to S L O W D O W N! While she was happy that I was so enthusiastic and raring to go, and excited to hear that I was so eager to learn, she also asked me to take it slow and pay attention to what Reiki had to teach me.

I had no idea what she was talking about. I was listening! It was telling me to get out there and do Reiki! What was she talking about? She asked me if I was doing self-Reiki. I was, but not that much, I told her, I’d rather work on others. It was so much more fun! I understood that when I gave a Reiki I’d get a Reiki, so that was the same thing, right?

Well, not exactly.

Reiki gives us what we need when we need it. I needed to get out there and do it! It gave me confidence and hope, and I loved how it made me feel. In retrospect I see that I was going fast, jumping right into it, without much thought, – ok, no thought. I felt it and I did it, no thinking involved.

I wasn’t comfortable working on myself. Initially I worried about this but I pushed it aside. I remember talking to a teacher (not mine) about this and she asked me why I didn’t feel as if I deserved it. That gave me pause. I did know that I often felt not deserving, but I wasn’t comfortable going down that particular rabbit hole. So instead I worked on as many people as I could get my hands on.

I am reminded of a class I taught with another colleague. It was a Level One class of nurses at a teaching hospital. It was a larger class, fifteen students, and almost every one of them said they were there so they could use Reiki on their patients. I was so grateful to be able to teach Reiki in a hospital and thought it was wonderful that so many nurses signed up, but none of them considered using it on themselves. I suggested that they use it as a tool for themselves, for stress reduction and relaxation but they were mostly focused on their patients.

Listen to Reiki
Image by kash

Do we all do this? When I gently suggested to my student that she might want to also pay attention to what Reiki has to teach HER, I felt as if I burst her bubble. Did I? I am excited for her and this wonderful new energy in her life and am so glad she is taking the initiative to do this work, yet I want to warn her. Do I not trust Reiki is working in exactly the way she needs it?

I am again reminded of an occasion where I took a Sound Healing class with my teacher. We played with sound, in the form of crystal bowls, chanting, and tuning forks. I was so attracted to the forks! Initially they scared me and I was reluctant to use them, but in working with them I felt and saw energy in ways I never had before; I couldn’t get enough. At the end of the class I gushed to my teacher that I had a student who was interested in learning about the forks and that I was going to teach a class. She once again warned me to take a step back, slow down and work with the energy a bit before I did this. I was crushed. I felt she didn’t understand, that I DID appreciate and know this energy, that she didn’t recognize this!

Our ego gets so involved, doesn’t it? Even though I didn’t want to, I waited a bit before I taught the class. While I didn’t agree with her, I trust and respect her, so I paid attention.

I have learned how to slow down and ask Reiki what it has to teach me. I get quiet so I can listen to the answers. I move forward as I am guided, and I use discernment in my practice. I feel it is important to pass these lessons on to my students, even if they do not want to hear it. I don’t want to burst their bubble, or dissuade them from practicing, but I DO want them to be aware of the powerful life force energy that Reiki is and how it has so much to teach us. And then I have to step back, and trust that Reiki will work with them exactly as it’s supposed to. Once that’s done, I can be there for them, when they ask, and leave them alone when they do not. Reiki has taught me that and I’m grateful for the lessons.

Free eBook download: We’ve created an eBook with our best articles on this topic, and offer it for free to all our newsletter subscribers. Click the image below to subscribe and download the PDF:

Download this eBook!

Deb Karpek

Deb Karpek

Deb Karpek is the owner of Peaceful World Reiki located near Sedona, Arizona. She has been studying Reiki since 2001, practicing since 2003, and teaching since 2006. She is a Usui and Karuna Holy Fire Reiki Master/Teacher, receiving her Reiki Certifications from the International Center for Reiki Training. Deb received her Master of Spiritual Psychology from the School of Integrative Psychology in Glendale, WI and is certified as a Level 1 Breathwork Practitioner. She is a Reiki Crystal Healer, a Reiki Drum Practitioner, and performs Reiki and Sound Healing with Tuning Forks. Deb is approved by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) as a continuing education Approved Provider. Having experienced profound life changes as a result of Reiki, Deb continues to study and practice the various modalities of energy medicine. She devotes her life to walking the Reiki path and helping others discover the benefits of Reiki. Deb can be reached via her website at or on Facebook at


  1. Greetings, Deb!

    First off, I’d love to visit Sedona again! I spent a couple of nights there back in the late 90’s and had some profound spiritual experiences, both in Sedona and in Taos, NM. Beautiful places for sure! Secondly, your article is brilliant! Your experiences surely parallel and validate my own experiences with Reiki healing energy.

    It was wonderful reading your article. Looking forward to reading more from you.

    Namasté ~
    Kathi R.

Leave a Reply