Article by Angie Webster
Reiki is not a religion. We have all heard this many times, but sometimes it can be hard to distinguish the difference. Reiki does guide one in practices that heal and balance the spirit. It does this through the Reiki precepts and through healing at the spiritual level. These things bring us back into harmony with living a compassionate and loving life.
All major religions promote unity, forgiveness, compassion, love and kindness for each other. This is the core teaching of Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism and the Native religions of the world. There may be different ways of explaining these ideals and the reasons behind them, but the root message is the same. It would be unreasonable to expect that they would all be taught the same way in every culture and language. Yet humans have known for all of history that these ideals are the key to staying spiritually healthy as individuals and as a society.
Reiki also promotes spiritual health, but it does not affiliate with any religion at all. The Reiki precepts we recite each day teach us to not fall into anger, fear and worry. They teach us to show gratitude, respect and kindness. This is not because they are religious, but because Reiki is for our healing. We can’t fully heal on all levels until we acknowledge and heal our spirit. The Reiki energy shows us that we are spiritual beings. We feel the energy move through us, realigning us with peace. The Reiki precepts show us how to foster and maintain that alignment.
Many of us have come to expect that spiritual growth and healing can only come from religion. Often we narrow this down to only the particular religion we happen to practice, believing there is no other way to live in a compassionate manner or to heal at a spiritual level. This way of limiting ourselves and the world may be what leads to the idea that Reiki is a religion or to equate it with a religion.
Many things that are not religion also teach the same concepts that the Reiki precepts teach us. All the twelve step recovery groups use some version of the “Just for today” principles. They all teach that forgiveness and love are keys to healing and change. They all encourage us to find our own way of experiencing our Higher Power and placing our trust in it rather than in our own limited understanding. The more the person wishing to recover follows the guidelines of the “Just for today” principles and works through the twelve steps, the more wellness and relief from addiction they will experience. This is healing, but not religion. Your Higher Power can be science, the Earth, God or anything at all.
The same is true with the healing modality of Reiki. It doesn’t matter what you believe or don’t believe. It makes no difference what name you called God by or if you use no name at all. There are no teachings in worship, nor any suggestions to worship at all. There is no religious doctrine to follow.
It is possible to grow spiritually with or without Reiki. It is also possible to grow spiritually with or without religion. Both Reiki and religion promote spiritual growth and healing. There are many ways to heal and grow spiritually. They don’t contradict each other as much as it might appear at first glance. There are many spiritual paths. Sometimes the paths can look very much the same. When someone is committed to growth and healing, they begin to see that compassion, kindness and forgiveness are critical no matter what spiritual path they are on.
Angie Webster is a Reiki Master, Teacher, and Author. Angie’s primary focus is animal Reiki, which she adores. She teaches online classes on energy healing, flower essences, herbalism, and personal growth. Angie often works with nature healing and Earth healing, hoping to better understand our connection with Mother Earth. Angie is the author of Animal Reiki: How it Heals, Teaches & Reconnects Us with Nature and Reiki from A to Z. You can follow her at: angie-webster-healing.teachable.com and on Facebook (facebook.com/angiewebsterhealing).