So I took the plunge!
I am officially registered to take Reiki Level 1 on Saturday, January 20th, 2018, and let me tell you; finding a reputable Reiki Master was no easy quest — at least not in my area.
You would think it be easier but the truth is, if you don’t know what you are doing and where you want to go with your Reiki training you can get scammed or ripped off! At first I thought there would be at least one Reiki School in my area, but no it doesn’t work like that! You have to find a certified Reiki Master/Teacher that is qualified to teach and give an attunment (opening the channel to the Reiki energy source).
Reiki is not yet established as an official subject to be taken in a College or even in any Holistic Schools. Which is unfortunate because it contributes to health and wellness. I personally think it should be offered in Beauty Institutions as it is a great skill that compliments Spa treatments. Nonetheless, if you are serious about learning Reiki you have to research how it is taught and which discipline you wish to practice.
So I asked myself, I want the most authentic Reiki (from Japan), I want to be part of an association (as I am a creature of structure) and I want a teacher that embodies these values. With my trusted friend — the Internet — I went cold calling some so-called “Reiki Teachers”.
My first run was disappointing. I tried to find a teacher close to where I live so I could go there easily. I found one which was downtown. I won’t mention the location or name but this person looked the part and even was part of a well-known wellness center. As soon as I spoke with them on the phone and they gave me their pitch I saw red flags.
First they stated that they did not claim to teach one form of Reiki but a combination of things. What the heck does that mean?
I was soon given a speech about this person’s spiritual journey and how they incorporate Shamanic healing techniques and mantras in their Reiki. Ok that is nice, and I respect your amazing spiritual journey but that is not authentic Reiki practice from Japan?
Later on I did my own research and yes there are other types of Reiki, some created by different cultural backgrounds or purposes, but what this person was stating wasn’t even one of those, it was THIER own personalized Reiki. WARNING this is not for me!
To make matters worse this person was not even recognized by the Canadian Reiki Association. So how do I know if this person can even teach/train Reiki on a respectable professional level if they are not even held accountable for their practice?
To be fair, this person did try to explain that they were taught Reiki in the late 90’s and than went on to practice shamanic studies. Apparently they were heavily influenced by a Shaman who taught them. Ok so this person is more a Medicine (Man/Woman) than a Reiki Master. No problem, but NOT FOR ME!
It goes to show you that one can be lead astray if you do not fully understand the practice of Reiki and how to be taught. To add insult to injury, this person was charging $200 for Reiki Level 1, which ended up being twice as much money as I ended up paying for a REAL Reiki Master/Teacher. In this field, Reiki training prices will vary.
My end goal was to be recognized as an authentic Reiki practitioner, and this person could not provide such measures with their course. My newbie mistake was assuming that if you are advertising that you are teaching Reiki you must be credible (this is not always the case), plus I taught that Reiki Teachers were all part of the Canadian Reiki Association, again (not always the case). So you really have to investigate which certificate is going to bring you to your desired goal.
I polity thanked the person on the phone and told them I was researching; I did not call them back. Again, I searched online and found another Reiki teacher. Their site looked very professional and it was in my area but something in my gut told me to look up teachers through The Canadian Reiki Association. Why didn’t I go there first!
When I searched for their name on the Canadian Reiki Association site of registered teachers, I did not find them. So this turned me off immediately. I did not even bother calling them. It’s like the wild west for Reiki, so many gangs and nothing is regulated! My structured personality can’t take this!
I decided to only look at the list of registered Reiki teachers that were part of the Canadian Reiki Association, however none were in my direct living area. I luckily found one located an hour away (by car) and found support from my husband, as he was going to drive me. Most where situated in Toronto, which is way too far for me to travel.
When I found Denis Carpenter RT-CRA, a Usui Reiki Master/Teacher, my heart leap in joy as finally I found someone who taught authentic Japaneses Reiki founded by Sensei Mikao Usui. It most definitely can get confusing as to what type of Reiki one should learn, one is not better than the other as they are all founded in the principle of Reiki (spiritually guided life force energy), its just some have different areas of focus and Reiki symbols. My gut was telling me to go with the most authentic linage. I was just lucky to find a teacher who even had that direct Usui lineage, as my teacher was taught by Leah Smith who was taught by Phyllis Lei Furumoto (the granddaughter of Hawayo Takata) who learned from Sensei Chujiro Hayashi who learned from the Master Sensei Mikao Usui. This is when I learned about the degrees of lineage(s) within Reiki.
You know what is funny, I’ve only had one Reiki treatment done on me, when I was about fifteen years old. It was by my uncle who had (at the time) just learned Reiki. I remember feeling the heat coming from his hands, but I was restless (perhaps due to my youth). He said that I had a lot of built up anger and that he was going to clear it for me. At the time, my parents were divorced and we were going through some family issues, hence (teenage-angst). I wish I had continued with getting more Reiki treatments I think it would have helped me a lot during that troubling time, but my uncle lived in another town so he couldn’t do more treatments. I know there is distance Reiki that can be done, but it was not offered to me. A few years later I was told my a spiritualist to pursuit Reiki as I had a ‘healing-touch’ as a talent. I was very much interested but never found the time to actually get trained, I regret this a lot looking back at my early twenties, but we have to forgive ourselves and let go of the past and remain in the present moment. I wish it didn’t take me this long to finally get trained but better late than never!
It felt really good to finally be enrolled in learning Reiki. This has been something I wanted to do since I was at teenager (ignoring the call) for far too long, I am so at peace with finally listening to my ‘higher-self’. I feel a lot of anticipation, having read a lot about Reiki I have some idea of what to expect, but I know there will be surprises. My goal is to develop this healing art to benefit myself, family, friends and anyone who is interested in a session. I even read up on Animal Reiki which is something I am going to do as well as I am a huge animal lover. I know in my heart I am headed in the right direction.
With this said, I am mentally preparing for my Reiki Level 1, which will be in a group setting at Reiki Associates, in Perth, ON. I will continue to journal my Reiki experiences as I aim to make Reiki a part of my daily life.
Until next time, dear diary……..
Thank you for joining me today dear readers!
Diary of a Reiki Student: Entry I ~ Finding a teacher
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Stephanie Lise Groulx