What does it mean to be a Reiki Master?

Content by Aiyana Fraley, LMT via Massage Magazine

Being a Reiki master is an embodiment of the energy of Reiki. It is not about spiritual superiority. No one truly becomes a master in that sense; rather, it is the path one commits themselves to that can be mastered.

We do need to make the distinction between having a Reiki master certification and being a Reiki master, as they are not one in the same.

We become masters at witnessing the unfolding that occurs in a Reiki treatment. We are always learning. Every Reiki session teaches us something new about the human experience. It provides an opportunity for the practitioner to dive into the realm of higher consciousness and explore what is revealed to us.

With some clients those revelations will be physical ailments while for others it will be emotional. As a Reiki master, we become witnesses to that and in this state of observation we emanate light, which transforms their energy into love.

A “Sacred” Calling

“I feel that to be a Reiki master is the most sacred thing you could ever be in your life, because we are the delivery system of the pure unconditional love that is the creative force of the universe,” says Raven Keyes, acclaimed Reiki master teacher at Raven Keyes Medical Reiki International and author of three books including “Medical Reiki.”

Twenty-one years ago Keyes, a New York, New York-based Reiki master, stepped into the operating room with heart surgeon Mehmet Oz, MD, for the first time, an experience she details in her book “The Healing Power of Reiki.”

She saw the impact Reiki had on her patient going through and recovering from surgery and has been diligently working on elevating Reiki to a professional level ever since. Part of that equation is addressing the gap in Reiki trainings, particularly that of master certification and beyond.

A client came to her sick, unable to sleep, and suffering from nightmares after taking an online Reiki course and receiving a group attunement. This shortcut route to a Reiki master certificate is not only slander to the Reiki community, it is also harmful to the recipient, she says.

“People don’t know what they are doing and it can be dangerous. I understand that people want to be healers and they want to help but how serious are they about it if they are not willing to go through the real process of becoming a Reiki master?” says Keyes.

Reiki Master Certification

The path to a Reiki master certification begins with completing a Reiki level 1 and 2 course from a reputable teacher. Each level includes an initiation into the Reiki healing system. The initiation, or attunement, is a sacred ceremony where a Reiki master teacher transmits the higher vibratory frequency of Reiki energy to the student, initiating a shift within their mind, body and spirit. Many students consider this ceremony to be life-changing and transformative.

Reiki trainings should be thorough and include the foundations of how Reiki energy works, the process of channeling energy, and an understanding of energy within the human body, as well as ample time to practice a hands-on treatment.

At master level, courses often go deeper into Reiki treatments, protocols for specific ailments and provide instruction on how to attune others. Some teachers also include ethics, business and regulations specific to the state in which they are certifying.

High-level Reiki teachers typically offer them as weekend courses with exercises that students practice in between each level. For example, when enrolling in a Reiki master course it is expected that the Reiki student have hands-on practice with Reiki healing and experience working with Reiki symbols. Each symbol holds its own vibration and knowing when and how to use them in a treatment even at a beginner level is expected.

Beyond a Reiki master training it is up to each practitioner to continue learning and practicing. Keyes offers a Medical Reiki certification that gives additional training to Reiki masters who want to work in the medical field.

There is a responsibility factor for Reiki masters who work as full-time practitioners. Knowing their craft and how to connect with their own divine nature is a big part of it and the other is having standards of practice with clients who are more often than not in a vulnerable state. Being able to listen without judgement, being a pillar of light, and being a powerful vessel for that light to move through is all in a day’s work.

“We are bringing down the energy of the universe, which is creative power, and we are delivering it into matter forever,” says Keyes.

Obstacles Novice Reiki Masters Must Overcome

One of the biggest obstacles new Reiki masters have to overcome is within their own mind. Mastering Reiki develops over time, says Keyes. “Many people don’t believe in themselves and that is one of the reasons they need an actual Reiki master teacher to help them see where they are and encourage them, to give them the strength to get to where they are going. This is big,” says Keyes.

While a certification doesn’t make you a master overnight, it is the first step toward shifting your consciousness into your divine state. How does a Reiki master move into the state of being a master within this healing system? “With one foot in the physical and one foot in the non-physical world at the exact same time,” says Tina Zion, Reiki master teacher, medical intuitive and author of “Reiki and Your Intuition: A Union of Healing and Wisdom.”

It begins with recognizing limiting beliefs and making a conscious effort to change them. Zion, a trained nurse and mental health counselor, explains that students often stand in their own way and block the movement of Reiki energy with their negative thinking.

“Every sentence we think or say out loud is an electrical energy that surges through every cell in our body, then out into our energy field, then beyond into the cosmos. Reiki is a very high electrical frequency. It is very fine and fast. When we think negative thoughts, they are very slow, very sluggish and dense. When Reiki comes through as a fine and fast energy, it tends to break up those struggles. It alters them and changes them,” says Zion.

Bottom line: If you think you are limited and you think Reiki won’t work, you will be limited and it won’t work, because it is not flowing through you. But if you think that Reiki opens you up to the entire world of energy, then that is what will happen, says Zion.

The Reiki Lifestyle

At the Reiki master level, Reiki is not limited to the treatment room. It is part of the lifestyle. It is having awareness that you are an energy being and your thoughts, emotions and physical health are continually emanating an energetic frequency.

The Reiki master is aware of this and actively engages in shifting to a neutral state where they can just be. This is initially practiced in meditation and the state of awareness can always be accessed there, but there are also everyday moments that offer the perfect opportunity to practice it.

If you find yourself standing in line at the grocery store upset that the person in front of you has 20 coupons and is holding up the line, become aware of your energy at that moment and call in Reiki, says Zion.

“A lot of people think it is about sitting in meditation for 30 minutes, but I ask people to bring it into their lives two minutes here, five minutes there, and to include that level of awareness all throughout our waking day,” says Zion.

Reiki energy at the master level invokes a powerful shift in our mindset and lifestyle, which opens us up to our intuitive abilities. “I’m a nurse, so I love it when science comes into play with Reiki,” she says. “I think it is the perfect match. Our intuitive abilities are not a special gift. It is a very natural ability. Reiki is a natural ability. It is our thoughts that get out of the way of our intuition.”

A New Journey

Becoming a Reiki master is an exciting journey to embark on. It represents a commitment to self-healing, self-understanding and of service to others. It is not an easy path, as many Reiki masters will share.

It does require a lot of inner work and transformation which can be challenging when it comes to facing deep fears, overcoming trauma and breaking through old belief systems. The liberation and connection to a higher calling though make it all worth it.

“A Reiki master is carrying the energy of the universe. We are changing physical matter. When we are giving Reiki, all the cells are vibrating at the frequency of divinity,” says Keyes.

How to Choose a Reiki Training

Out of the passion that sprouted in my heart from my first Reiki attunement over 20 years ago and all the life lessons I have experienced through the lens of Reiki, I have met hundreds of people who were called to Reiki for different reasons.

Some of the people who have come to my classes were encouraged to come through a friend, others found their way into it looking for a positive change in their life, and others have a clear intention of having a Reiki practice.

Finding the right teacher to guide you is key to success as a practitioner. If you are considering the Reiki path, the best thing to do is to understand what you hope to get out of it. Is it for spiritual growth? Are you in a health crisis? Do you want to start your own Reiki business?

Ask yourself honestly what your motivations are. Then find a reputable teacher that can help you with that goal. Good luck on your path.