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Distant Attunements in Reiki – Never

Article by João Antão Marques

Those who practice Reiki know that distant healing is a reality so, distant attunements should also be a reality and, in fact they are. Those with the Master/Teacher Level know that we can attune others using the distance symbol, the problem, for me, is the attitude involved.

The way I think and feel about Reiki, leads me to consider that distant attunements (as well as online Reiki courses stating that you will be attuned if you attend them), are like “fast food”, it’s “fast Reiki”, almost like “do it yourself and became a master in 3 days”.

An Attunement is certainly a very special, and sacred moment, and should be treated as such, moreover, care should be taken when selecting a Master to perform it (if you are very careful when selecting a doctor, why are you not careful when selecting someone to handle you Energy Body?).

When you decide to receive an attunement, you give authorization to a “Master” to handle your energy body and perform the attunement. Most probably, in a distant attunement, you never saw (or will see) the “Master” before and the contact you had with him was certainly by mail or phone. That is a dangerous thing to do because, most probably, you will know nothing about his or hers experience and credibility.

As far as I know, never Mikao Usui Sensei, Chugiro Hayashi or Hawayo Takata, have performed distant attunements the same applying to Frank Arjava Peter, William Lee Rand and Walter Lubeck, three of the most important (at least for me) of the more recent Reiki Masters, and to whom we should be very grateful for what they gave us regarding the knowledge of Reiki, its roots and history.

Distant Attunements in Reiki - Never

Image by oznicko

So it seems that distant attunements have never been performed by those who really developed Reiki, studied it and respect it.

Mikao Usui Sensei, was attuned by the Masters during his Satori, and certainly did not perform a self-attunement, as I’ve already seen written by someone trying to sell self-attunements and so on.

Those interested, know that Spiritual Work involves lots of effort and, quite often, proves to be a very difficult path. Without hard work, and perseverance, you risk to fail your goal. Remember that “Attitude and Commitment lead to Excellence”!

One of the basic principles, in life, is respect, and when you decide to enter the “World of the Reiki Energy” it is expected that you will respect the energy you decided to work with.

You will certainly agree that someone who performs or receives a distant attunement is not respecting the energy – let’s see why.

  • It’s certainly a bore (and I agree with that) to sit, during two days (that’s the duration of my first level courses), listening to someone speaking about Reiki. It’s much better to stay at home, receive the attunement and have the rest of the day free. With this behavior, those receiving distant attunements show that they are not committed to the energy.
  • In a distant attunement, the “Master” fails his duty as a Master. He may produce fabulous papers and videos (which I doubt) but, he will not correct wrong positions, neither will clarify doubts on the spot nor will transmit his knowledge and experience (for me a Reiki Master that has no clinic or does not practice Reiki healing others, should not attune others. It’s good, for himself/herself, to have the Master degree but, we do not need “parrots” teaching).
  • The fourth principle of Reiki reads “Just for today I will work hard” or, in other way, “just for today I shall earn my living with integrity” and, in a third version, with similar meaning, “just for today I shall do my work honestly”.

It’s quite obvious that those receiving a distant attunement are not working hard, nor the master is earning his living with integrity or doing his/hers work honestly, because if he/she was being honest, he/she would never lead you to fail the fourth principle.

Moreover, we have to consider the strength of the attunement – which is stronger in person, or distant or, are they equivalent? In order to clarify this question, the Reiki Forum (France), asked clairvoyant people to check the strength of the attunements and the unanimous conclusion was that the distant attunement is weaker. This eventually may be related to the fact that the global energy, in a group, is higher than the sum of the individual energies in place.

If you ask me if I have already performed a distant attunement, I will answer yes, I’ve already done it, in a very, but very, special situation (a girl, living in Azores, and with a Reiki level 1 course, was looking for an online Reiki course for Level 2 as she wanted to better treat her mother who had a breast cancer), and with the promise that the in person attunement would take place as soon as possible. I’ve never issued a certificate for distant attunements and, I’ve already lost clients because I refuse to perform them.

For me, Reiki is a sacred energy and I try to treat it, and respect it, as such, and I deeply regret to see the overall picture that goes around. Honesty should prevail – not greed, nor making a fool of others.

Of course, if you have been properly attuned, there will be no harm if you attend online reiki specialization courses, that’s perfectly ok and is a good way to increase you knowledge.

Enjoy and respect that marvelous energy from above.

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João Antão Marques
João Antão Marques

João Antão Marques, a retired chemical engineer, is an Usui Tibetan Reiki Master/teacher living in Lisbon, Portugal, with training in Jikiden Reiki, Karuna® Reiki and Seichim, Lotus Light Jewel, Tibetan Bowls Massage and Therapy of Past Lives. Works as a volunteer with elder people in a Daily Center of the Portuguese Red Cross and has also worked with drugs and alcohol addicted. Recently undertook a study of the effects of Reiki in people affected by Rheumatoid Arthritis. João can be reached by mail at joaoantaomarques@gmail.com.

{ 26 comments… add one }
  • Vishnusmaran Dasa September 28, 2016, 11:03 am

    Wonderful Article, Thanks

  • Hritu Kaushal September 28, 2016, 1:50 pm

    Reiki is a universal energy, it always here with us, so here is a word used attunement which means connection to the certain energy which is present around us but we are not aware of it, or we are not capable to use it.
    Madam Takata, used the distant attunements, & there is nothing wrong in distance attunement. But important is teacher, he can transfer knowledge as per his/her own level.
    True, now these days, attunement become a 2 min Maggie & people are taking in bulk only in 5 minutes, really bad phase for true reiki.
    In distant attunements it takes time around 45 minutes minimum & during attunements, student feel the energy strongly.
    Thank you sir, lovely post.

    • Okide Soul March 24, 2017, 1:13 pm

      Madam Takata never used distant attunement. Not to anybody’s knowledge. If someone claims so then would have to know her personally and be attuned by her. In the process of initiation the Aura of Master have to join itself with Aura of attuning student. Distant attunement cannot be done obviously for this reason. Whoever is claiming otherwise is not honest in his work as a spiritual worker, where the money and lies goes in forefront of his or her practice.
      Please study Reiki through and properly, become an expert and then voice you opinion.
      Love and Light to all

  • Lori Harlan September 30, 2016, 3:19 am

    In your first paragraph, you summed up your article perfectly. This subject is a problem for you. Intention is the key word. I am not going to argue your points. Everyone has valid reasons as to the way they think and feel. Yes, energy is universal. Energy does not know distance. I became attuned distantly. While being very skeptical, I kept an open mind. It took about 45 minutes. Although the experience was very personal, I will say I was left amazed. I was left feeling wonderful and was astounded in the increase of perceptability and ability to heal more proficiently. I am sorry you feel the way you do. I just hope the people who read your article do so with a mind open to the infinite possibilities the universe has to offer. Namaste.

  • Kathi October 3, 2016, 4:12 pm

    I was Attuned in person by a Reiki Master Teacher who was trained by John Gray. John Gray is one of the first 22 Reiki Master Healers in the United States, and was trained personally by Mrs. Takata. Distant Attunements are a subject of controversy. Personally, I am not comfortable with giving one, but I don’t object to someone else having a Distant Attunement. Reiki is, after all, energy and it flows freely and with the intention of the practitioner. Thank you for your article 🙂

  • Danielle October 15, 2016, 2:51 pm

    This is blatantly shocking. One opinion. I spend months preparing my students via distance not 2 measly days and my Master students I have worked with for nearly 2 years now. I am beginning to think some of the self righteousness on this site to be harmful. State an opinion, but do NOT say you have the only way.

    • Okide Soul March 24, 2017, 1:16 pm

      Brilliant. Yes, two years course in Mastership this is the way to teach and learn. Hope you student will be great masters.
      Love and Light

  • Muthu Barathi November 14, 2016, 10:51 am

    I have got my Reiki Level 1 during 2001 by attended regular class for 2 days and got attuned . After 21 days sadana then attended Level 2 and got attuned . After a gap of 15 years I got training for Reiki 1 , 2 & 3 and received attunement after 3 months to regularise my self. Now I am Master Teacher and to increase the energy level again I received attunment.

    But we do not have any meter to measure the difference of energy level of direct and distant attunemennt variation.

    But one thing I have to say that some people selling anything in the name of Reiki by different ways as like in the name of Archangels, Guardian Angels and I feel more than 90% just fooling the innocent people. Sorry to say this.

  • Crystal January 27, 2017, 3:12 am

    Well, I have been practicing Usui Reiki since 1989, and I have done attunements both in person and remotely. I agree that the in person attunements create a very special experience, but so do the remote attunements, although different. I originally thought that the in person attunements would result in a stronger connection to the Reiki energy, but I was surprised to learn that this was not the case after following my students for many years now. I will say that I do not use the ‘chi ball’ method, nor do I just provide something for the student to view or watch to receive their attunement, although they may work well for some. I do the attunement as I would do a regular Reiki distance session, being present the entire time and following the Reiki guidance intuitively as to what needs to be done for the person step-by-step. I have found that these are not in any way inferrior to my in person attunements. Peace <3

  • Jen Fleming March 24, 2017, 8:14 pm

    I have talked to several people who have received BOTH in person and distance attunements. I find it interesting that, unlike the author, EACH of them has said that the distance attunement was more powerful.

    Compared to all the teaching and healing sessions that I have attended over the last 43 years, my Reiki distance attunement was more powrful than ANY of the others.

    Reiki, including attunements, is NOT performed by the physical person. The attunement is done by REIKI, in conjunction with the recipient’s immortal being and their guides. The practitioner is a channel, for both transmission of enregy and communication of what comes from the agreement between the practitioner’s and recipient’s immortals and guides. The presence of the practitioners physical body adds nothing. In fact, it can significantly limit the work done, create illusions of the practitioner belonging on a pedestal, etc. It also slows down and limits the energy flow, and it gets channeled sequentially. When letting the Reiki flow from higher dimensions without the restriction of the physical, the energy can flow simultaneously to each chakra, to each cell in the body being awakened.

    So, no… Give me distance EVERY TIME.

  • MC March 25, 2017, 1:26 am

    Reiki Energy is not coming from the individual. It is a universal life force. We practitioners are not the healer, we are a conduit. Distance Reiki work and Attunements are energy – geographic distance does not strengthen nor weaken the flow of energy.

  • Sensei Randy March 25, 2017, 3:36 am

    I find this article to be very judgemental with poor reasoning and conclusions.

  • Kikihana April 22, 2017, 10:49 pm

    Do you know Reiki Rays Masters give distant attunements along with their on-line courses? And that’s why most of us readers are here.

    This is really annoying.

  • Grace Quill May 24, 2017, 3:30 am

    To read that a Reiki master/teacher believes ‘someone who receives a distant attunement is not respecting the energy’ is extremely disappointing. However an attunement is, or even is not, obtained isn’t the point of working with Life Force Energy. The desire and willingness to help others is the point and that’s what makes Reiki a such beautiful thing.

  • Thea van der Merwe June 5, 2017, 6:54 am

    It is all well and fine if you have well populated areas with Reiki Master/Teachers everywhere. But I live in a country which has very remote areas and there are not that many Master/Teachers around. Being able to do distant teaching and attunements have enabled me to train Reiki 1 students in areas of my country that would otherwise never have access to Reiki. I do not do this lightly and the ultimate aim is to “spread” Reiki and the use thereof as far and as much as I could. This, I do consider my responsibility as Gendai Reiki Shihan – something I take very seriously.

  • Kikihana Lee June 5, 2017, 12:29 pm

    Does that mean the distant attunments I received from Reiki Rays masters were in vain?

    • Vipassana Mom June 7, 2017, 11:57 am

      Of course not. This is the opinion of one person. Don’t let it discourage you or take you from your calling to practice Reiki!

    • Kalin Zlatkov December 1, 2017, 7:50 am

      It works, this is a blessing, don’t doubt yourself. The guy is just afraid he will lose money from students… They are used to charge crazy amounts for something free.

  • Lucy Brady August 9, 2017, 10:44 am

    What damage can be done if your reiki master who attuned you is not 100% best intentions ?
    I had a strange experience with mine but it was face to face not remote.
    Can this affect me and the quality of mt practice?

    • WE Knickman February 20, 2018, 7:36 am

      Lucy, The Reiki energy, treatments and attunements will never cause damage. That said, your personal experience with this person most certainly could cause you harm or “damage” as you put it. The situation you found yourself in and the person(s) involved should not be considered different from any other situation that results in you feeling that the other party is conducting themself inappropriately. That person should be outed and it would likely be good for you to seek support and counseling if needed.

      Regarding your practice; it is possible that what you received from this person was diluted or compromised at best and at worst non-existent. Only you can know that based on your experience and perhaps from feedback you get from people you are treating.

      I’d recommend finding another Reiki master near you with whom you feel 100% trust. Take your time. Explain what happened and ask them for healing and then consider re-initiating with your new Sensei.

  • Sue S November 2, 2017, 10:37 pm

    My Usui Reiki Level 1 attunement was done after more than year of seeing my Reiki Master for healing and it was a long road. I had to clear up emotional blocks from past lives & work through many recurring negative situations. Usui Reiki attunements, as far as I was taught, needed to be done with both Master and student present. Just to receive my my first attunement took an extrodinary amount of work, time, reflection, and healing my own soul. Being a student of Usui Reiki, I personally wouldn’t feel comfortable receiving distant attunements, but there is great diversity among different modalities. I feel attunements through e-books really cheat the students because I first had to feel my Master’s energy for my own healing sessions to know she was meant to be in my life. I developed a deep love and connection for her, and my intuition allowed me to put complete trust in my teacher, and only then did I know that my attunement was a part of my journey. It’s a very moving experience, and took endless hours of preparation. On the day of my attunement, I spent almost 10 hours with my Master. I don’t subscribe to any internet quick fixes where anyone is tapping into me, simply because I have learned over many years that my path has always meant to be challenging. I am a confident intuitive and empath and I need to be in someone’s presence to ‘feel’ how my energy responds.

  • Kalin Zlatkov December 1, 2017, 7:48 am

    You are stuck in a time bubble. Get out and explore, Reiki is about innovation and freedom. Don’t be afraid of the change, as a “Grand Master” or whatever you call yourself you should be open, receiving and giving, not blaming in fear… Best of luck, you still have a lot to learn about the new ways of the energy.

  • Tony December 25, 2017, 11:26 am

    Distant attunements do work and are just as powerful if not more powerful.

  • katie mcbrien February 21, 2018, 4:32 pm

    I wrote about this not long ago on my blog If you believe that you can send Reiki energy via a distant healing session (reiki 2 & 3 practitioners) i don’t understand how you can’t believe that you can do distant attunements…. As with anything there are people that take advantage of others, to say that it’s a no no or not possible is just not true. The very concept of energy work means that time and distance do not exist.
    The Sea Shaman

  • Raveendran P June 25, 2018, 2:55 pm

    I have completed first and second degree courses in 2015 and have been doing self healing and distant practices since then. Now I would like to complete the master degree course online and I think anyone of you may be ready to help me.

  • sreekanth k.g August 26, 2019, 8:49 am

    i had same type of view until few weeks back. i am an usui reiki master and received all attunements in person. My attitude about distant attunements and different types of reiki changed last week. I thought different systems of reiki (eg karuna reiki, kundalini reiki) are same with different names. During my research more about reiki, i came across a site who do distant attunements in chi ball method. I thought to give a try for distant attunement and choosen kundalini reiki. Be honest i was not expecting anything but the result is amazing and life changing. my normal reiki flow increased a lot on the same night i received the attunement and it is extremely powerful now. The distant attunements will work and very powerful. The different reiki methods also true atleast i can assure about kundalini reiki because i experienced it and experiencing now. reiki is an infinite power and please dont put limits on it. many peoples in this world dont have access to masters to take attunement in person and distant method is useful for them. reiki choose us, not we choose reiki. let reiki spread all over the earth and fill it with divine light and love.

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