Article by Ananya Sen
Reiki is an ancient Japanese art of healing and it was brought to the west by Mrs. Takata. However, a lot was lost when Reiki handbooks written in Japanese were translated to English and other languages. Some of the concepts of the original Japanese style were carried over to the western style of Reiki and some were just missed out!
My Reiki Teacher had attuned me for First degree Reiki as well as the original Japanese Shoden Reiki. The same happened with Okuden, Shinipiden and Shihan. Okuden is Reiki second degree, Shinipiden is master degree and Shihan is Teachership. I did feel not only a difference in the energy flow during the attunements, but also when I started channeling the energy.
The Shoden, Okuden and the other attunements are done by God. It is in the form of a prayer called ‘Reiju’ which is read out by the Reiki teacher and the attunement happens without drawing anything on the chakras. In Shinipiden and Shihan, the feet chakras are opened to ground with Mother Earth and the fingertips chakras are opened to ensure a connection with the Christ consciousness, in other words the path to Enlightenment.
I have done both the Japanese and the western style Reiki and some interesting differences are stated below.
1. Japanese Reiki focuses a lot on healing the ‘self.’ Infact Dr Mikao Usui said “If you can’t heal yourself, how can you heal others!” Western Reiki emphasizes a lot on healing others. It has also become a commercialized practice for many of us.
2. Japanese Reiki does not focus too much on symbols. Symbols are just a vibration for them which have specific uses. But in the western style a lot of focus is on symbols, our bonding with them and sandwiching them to send Reiki!
3. The Japanese system accesses the energy from the ‘Hara’ or Tanden. Western Reiki lays emphasis on chakras and Kundalini (both Indian concepts!)
4. The meditations in the western Reiki are simpler and we practice with symbols and the master symbol. We also have the flexibility to keep our eyes open or closed. But the Japanese meditations are through breadth and constant flow of energy from the Tanden.
5. For western practitioners Reiki is not just a healing system, but a way of life and hence is more open to the public. In the Japanese style, it is still a secret society and Japanese even call it the “Ghost energy!”
6. Mrs. Takata also focussed and expanded a lot on the the healing techniques. But for Dr Usui it was the grand path to Enlightenment.
7. Interestingly, the hand positions are lesser in Western Reiki and one can place their hands anywhere guided by intuition. But in the traditional style hand positions are fixed. There are specific hand positions to heal various diseases. The handbooks of Dr Usui and Dr Hayashi will confirm this.
Some people ask me before taking Reiki first degree with me, which style is better or which should I learn? I always teach them both because it is not us who chooses the style, but Reiki who chooses us!
I also, give two attunements both Japanese and Western style. I even teach them the breadth techniques and to focus on the Hara for the energy. But most of my Reiki colleagues, say only one style is better to teach, as it eventually becomes a routine in one’s life.
Another question I often get is, is Reiki more about self healing or healing others? We give less importance to the first degree and a lot of importance to the second and third degrees.
Again, I feel Reiki is both healing yourself and others because to heal others we open ourselves to conduct a great deal of energy. So no matter what style of Reiki you have been attuned to, it definitely is a blessing to be chosen!
Ananya Sen is a crystal healer gifted with claircognizant abilities. She lives in Bangalore, India, but she can offer distance crystal healing all around the world. Ananya also gives mantra diksha and offers free pendulum readings.
You can reach Ananya via her email address: email@example.com.