Viewing Reiki from a Spiritual Perspective


In this quick article I wish to look at Reiki from a spiritual perspective. In other articles within this series on viewing Reiki from differing perspectives we have looked at Reiki through the lens of: well-being, health, personal growth and healing angles. Today I wish to explore the spiritual side of Reiki, with the aim to consider spiritual growth within Reiki as a whole. Much of our focus with Reiki can be on receiving and delivering Reiki treatments, however to leave the spiritual element of Reiki out of this series would not be presenting Reiki in its entirety, indeed at its core we could consider Reiki as spiritual in nature, as are we as humans. 

At this point it would be helpful to reiterate our understanding of the definition of Reiki. The ‘Rei’ part. Rei means ‘soul’, or tamashi in Japanese. Ki meaning energy, so the collective meaning of the word 'Reiki' would be translated to mean 'soul energy' in the time of Usui sensei, the founder of the natural healing therapy we know today as Reiki. A deeper breakdown of the Japanese Kanji (Japanese writing) for the word Rei can create three parts. Collectively the concept can be translated to mean: divine energy coming from the highest source. (1).

 If we accept, or even just entertain the view Reiki as a higher spiritual consciousness and vibration (even temporarily for the purpose of this article) then its potential to help a person in a dramatic way is not exactly a stretch of the imagination.

A useful description of Reiki as a spiritual path that was put forward by Frank Arjava Petter is: “A spiritual path is a method or technique that aids a person in finding himself or herself.”(2) In a brief conversation between Frank Arjava Petter and Koyama sensei (a previous president of the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai (the original Usui Reiki Association in Japan) Reiki is described as: “A greater divine presence, the basis of Reiki is love and we have to work upon this daily with all our hearts”(1).

Reiki was intended by its founder Usui sensei as a path of improvement of body and mind (2), he himself stated: "Our Ryoho (healing method) is a spiritual method, which is beyond medical science, therefore is not based on medical science"(2). 

 So by working with Reiki energy (which by definition is guided by a higher consciousness) we are working on a spiritual level with Reiki healing, as Reiki is indeed spiritual in nature. The words used to describe such a higher consciousness will vary, yet the potential and impact to help a person in their life is the same. Reiki is in no way a religion. Reiki is both accepting and compatible with any religious beliefs and it does not require belief to work.

 A point to bear in mind, in Japanese culture at the time of Usui sensei a spiritual awareness was an accepted part of mainstream society, it formed part of the culture Japanese people were brought up on, from influences of Shintoism and Buddhism. This is in contrast to the West where there is less awareness of nature and spiritual concepts. So a spiritual side of practicing Reiki, letting go of layers, being more present, more actively grateful, greater trust in life, less attachments, developing a kinder heart, greater compassion for our self and others, being more at peace, is infused in our practice of Reiki. As such spiritual growth could be considered path of the journey with Reiki.

Sometimes our challenges around all things spiritual are more around how we in the west label ‘spiritual’ and what that means to us in our conditioning and belief systems in our society. I invite you to just consider the points made and evaluate if Reiki is something that you feel might be beneficial for you to have in your life. Or for those who have had some training in Reiki, how your study of Reiki might be deepened taking on board some of these points.

(1)   This Is Reiki: Petter, F. (2012) Lotus Press

(2)   Jikiden Reiki: (Shoden & Okuden Reiki Course Manual) Tadao Yamaguchi, (2013)
      Jikiden Reiki Institute, Kyoto.

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About the author, Shaun Mckeown: could be labeled as a performance strategist, coach, teacher, or a life balance specialist. In essence Shaun is a strategic, creative problem solver, with a holistic view. He has 20 years professional experience helping people with health, well-being, sport performance, reducing stress and life balance. He has a BSc.(Hons) degree in Sport and Exercise Science, as well as experience coaching and teaching in exercise conditioning, holistic lifestyle and nutrition, sport performance and Reiki. So both science and holistic perspectives. 


The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this article are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this article. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this article. Shaun Mckeown, disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this article.

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