This is a very interesting question and many would answer the question simply by saying, ‘Reiki is about healing’.
This is not so much the case. The purpose of Reiki is to put us back in touch with the true essence of who we are. This is done by putting us in touch with the universal life force energy or spiritual energy. The overall ultimate aim of Reiki is to become enlightened, through a spiritual practice.
What has happened is that Reiki in the West has become much more about hands on healing. It is now well recognised as a complementary therapy, which is growing in popularity every day. This is of definitely a great thing. Receiving Reiki can be amazing and can often have profound results. Learning Reiki for the benefit of self healing is also a wonderful thing to do. Once learnt we can simply lay our hands on ourselves and receive all that is needed at that time.
However, the hands on healing aspect of Reiki is a by-product of the practice itself. Originally, the practice of Reiki contained a variety of different energy enhancing techniques, practising these techniques would enable the Reiki practitioner to get closer to the natural source. Enabling them to generate larger amounts of the healing energy. The practices would involve mindful energy meditation, mantras, kotodama, empowerments and much more. These practices would be used daily and focused on for the purpose of spiritual development, and not around hands on healing. Though it is known that Usui was highly thought of as a great healer.
A common question would be, ‘Is there really a difference? Whichever you learn, you can do hands on healing.’
Absolutely, if your sole purpose for learning Reiki is for hands on healing of yourself, family and friends then learning Reiki the Western way is simply the right decision.
But if you feel drawn to Reiki because you wish to reconnect yourself to your true self or you wish to learn a spiritual practice that will enable you let go of attachments, and work towards becoming the true essence of who you are, then there is a difference.
However, it is not just about learning a spiritual practice, it takes dedication and discipline to continue the practice of Reiki.
Learning Western Reiki as a foundation can be helpful. Many people will find it extremely difficult to allow themselves between 20 minutes and one hour of practice a day. Life is extremely hectic and we find it easier to allow other people and situations to take our time, than we do to allow ourselves the time we need.
So, learning Western Reiki can certainly help in preparing ourselves for more time, enabling to expand the practice of Reiki, and truly bringing it into a life long practice.
We know and love western Reiki, and have been blessed enough to have witnessed many miraculous changes in the people we have also taught Western style Reiki. However, we know that eventually people will want to go deeper into the Reiki practice, very much as we did. So this is why we also teach the traditional Japanese form of Reiki Ryoho