The Three Degrees of Reiki
Usui Sensei divided the Reiki system into three different degrees or levels of learning. Each degree is structured at the initial learning stage and then allows the student to develop within them thereafter. Anyone can receive training in Reiki, regardless of their spiritual or religious beliefs.
First Degree – Reiki One (Shoden)
The first degree of Reiki is a gentle, yet life changing introduction to the Reiki energy. Usui taught his students how to self heal at this first level and Reiki One is based very much as he intended. Students receive four ‘attunements’ by a Reiki Master, which aligns the student with the Reiki energy and enables them to channel Reiki to themselves and family and friends. Within this first stage of learning, students are introduced to the Precepts and encouraged to live by them. They are also shown some energy exercises which they are asked to carry out on a daily basis. The energy centres of the body, called Chakras, are introduced and their significance in the healing process is taught at this level. The practice of mindfulness is also taught at this stage, as this component of the teaching is so important for the student’s continued development. The first degree is taught over a two day period, by the end of which the student will be confidently treating themselves with Reiki and also able to treat family and friends. Reiki One is the beginning of many positive changes for each student as they begin to heal their own lives on many levels. Those who may wish to develop further can do so by learning the next degree of Reiki, ideally leaving a minimum of three months between levels.
Second Degree – Reiki Two (Okuden)
The second degree of Reiki is considered a Practitioner level in the West. During this level of teaching, students received two further ‘attunements’ by a Reiki Master, which then increases their vibration to a higher level. The energy is now directed towards further self healing and development and also the treating of other people, as a Reiki Practitioner. A deepening of the Chakras (energy centres) is taught and students are shown how to feel the differences in energy. This then enables them to scan a person’s body before treatment. Reiki symbols are introduced and students are shown how to apply them, increasing their focus and intention whilst carrying out any treatments. Students are encouraged at this level to begin using and relying more on their intuition and intention to heal. The Reiki energy knows what it is doing and where to go, so students are taught that it’s very simple to apply the energy, when left to work on an intuitive basis. Distance healing is also taught at this level and students are encouraged to use this form of healing to both enhance their own lives and also to benefit the planet and all those that live within it.
As Reiki Two is considered a professional qualification in the West, students are also shown how to set up a Reiki practice. This includes teaching students how to take good case histories from clients, using excellent listening skills and empathy and then how to use and store this information. Integrity and confidentiality are very important for any Reiki practitioner and this is also taught within this section. Other areas covered are buying any equipment needed, insurance and advertising. Students are also taught the importance of keeping themselves well energetically as well as physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Third Degree – Reiki Three/Master (Shinpiden)
The third degree of Reiki enables the student to become a Reiki Master, over a period of time. This degree is often taught in two parts, the first is where the student becomes a Reiki master and the second is where the student learns how to teach Reiki, thereby becoming a Reiki Master Teacher. During this level students are ‘attuned’ to the Master level, which is a very powerful and beautiful attunement. This again, raises the student’s energy vibration to an even higher level and enhances the Reiki skills previously taught. Students are taught the Master symbols, which can then be used in the attunement process of others, if the student decides they would like to teach. Meditation, as a practice, is positively taught at this level, along with further energy exercises. This level is very much about deepening the understanding of the Reiki energy, being more consciously mindful, developing intuition further and consciously working with intention.
To become a Reiki Master Teacher, observation of Reiki classes being taught is essential, together with a strong understanding of teaching and learning styles.
Becoming a Reiki Master is another step along the road of spiritual development. The Reiki energy allows for continued personal growth and empowerment, which strengthens and enhances your life on a continual basis. At this level, the energies continue to increase and learning becomes a much deeper experience.
As a Reiki Master Teacher, I feel very honored to be able to pass these teachings on to students, knowing they are learning a healing system that will enhance their own life in such positive ways.