Mrs. Hawayo Takata, who introduced Reiki to the West, said the word Rei means universal and this is the definition most have accepted. However, Mrs. Takata also indicated that this interpretation is a very general one. The kanji ideograms have many levels of meaning. They vary from the mundane to the highly esoteric. So while it is true that Rei can be interpreted as universal, meaning that it is present everywhere, this level of interpretation really doesn’t add to our understanding of Reiki.
Research into the esoteric meaning of the Japanese kanji character for Rei has given a much deeper understanding of this ideogram. The word Rei as it is used in Reiki is more accurately interpreted to mean supernatural knowledge or spiritual consciousness. This is the wisdom that comes from God or the Higher Self. This is the God-Consciousness which is all knowing. It understands each person completely. It knows the cause of all problems and difficulties and knows what to do to heal them.
Ki: The Life Force
Ki means the same as Chi in Chinese, Prana in Sanskrit and Ti or Ki in Hawaiian. It has also been called, odic force, orgone, and bioplasma. It has been given many other names by the various cultures that have been aware of it.
Ki is the life force. It is also called the vital life force or the universal life force. This is the nonphysical energy that animates all living things. As long as something is alive, it has life force circulating through it and surrounding it; when it dies, the life force departs.
If your life force is low, or if there is a restriction in its flow, you will be more vulnerable to illness. When it is high, and flowing freely, you are less likely to get sick. Life force plays an important role in everything we do. It animates the body and also is the primary energy of our emotions, thoughts and spiritual life.
The Chinese place great importance on the life force or what they call Chi. They have studied it for thousands of years and have discovered there are many different kinds of Chi. The “Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine” which is over 4,000 years old, lists thirty-two different kinds of Chi or Ki.
Ki is used by martial artists in their physical training and mental development. It is used in meditative breathing exercises called Pranayama, and by the shamans of all cultures for divination, psychic awareness, manifestation and healing. Ki is the nonphysical energy used by all healers. Ki is present all around us and can be accumulated and guided by the mind.
Reiki: Spiritually Guided Life Force Energy
It is the God-consciousness called Rei that guides the life force called Ki in the practice we call Reiki. Therefore, Reiki can be defined as spiritually guided life force energy. This is a meaningful interpretation of the word Reiki. It more closely describes the experience most people have of it; Reiki guiding itself with its own wisdom, and being unresponsive to the direction of the practitioner.
All healers use life force or Ki, but not all use Reiki. Reiki is a special kind of life force that can only be channeled by someone that has been attuned to it. It is possible that some people are born with Reiki or have gotten it some other way. However, most healers who have not received the Reiki attunement from a Reiki Master are not using Reiki but another kind of life force.
People who already do healing work consistently report an increase of at least fifty percent in the strength of their healing energies after taking the Reiki training.
Reiki energy is intelligent, therefore, it is not necessary to direct Reiki to a specific area of the body. The energy will flow to the area in which it is most needed. It is not dependent upon the expertise, knowledge, or spiritual development of the practitioner. It does not reauire psychic abilities, or the ability to concentrate, visualize, or focus.
Because Reiki is guided by the God Consciousness, it can never do harm. It always knows what a person needs and will adjust itself to create the effect that is appropriate for them. One never need worry about whether to give Reiki or not. It is always helpful.
In addition, because the practitioner does not direct the healing and does not decide what to work on, or what to heal, the practitioner is not in danger of taking on the karma of the client. Because the practitioner is not doing the healing, it is also easier for the ego to stay out of the way and allow the presence of God to clearly shine through.
Because it is a channeled healing, the Reiki practitioner’s energies are never depleted. In fact the Reiki consciousness considers both practitioner and client to be in need of healing, so both receive treatment. Because of this, giving a treatment always increases one’s energy and leaves one surrounded with loving feelings of well being.