Breaking All the Rules

You have to know the rules…

When it comes to Reiki, practitioners are faced by all sorts of rules depending on what Reiki method they learned, who their teacher was, and when they first learned Reiki. Each has its own ideas on where you should hold your hands, how long you should hold each position, the order in which each hand position should be held.

Some establish rules about what the practitioner should be thinking about while sending Reiki. The lists are endless.

Some of the rules I have come across over the years.

  • Hand positions in a specific order on the body, for a specified length of time. 
  • Reiki cannot be given during pregnancy, for a broken bone, during an acute illness, with diabetes…
  • Specific rituals must be followed before or after sending Reiki
  • You have to use/have Ascended Masters/Guides to use Reiki
  • Permission must be obtained directly from the recipient before sending Reiki (This is a big one and can cause a great deal of contention in some circles)
  • Reiki symbols are secret/sacred and can never be written down or shared with anyone who has not been attuned to the correct level. 
  • X amount of money must be charged to teach a Reiki Master 

and others….

Can you think of some “Rules” you have learned in Reiki not mentioned here?

Then you can break them

Over the past however many years I have managed to break, or flat out ignored every single one of those about rules. Reiki still works.

Let’s take these rules one by one.

Specific hand positions for specific lengths of time.

When you are first starting out, and especially today when Reiki is learned in a classroom setting and not as an apprenticeship, learning specific positions can give guidance to a student who is perhaps lacking in confidence. The time will come though when a thought comes into your head to use a different hand position, or hold it for a longer or shorter length of time. Don’t fight that thought, listen and heed it. What you are experiencing is your intuition, and the guidance from Reiki energy, showing you where the energy needs to be directed.

Reiki can’t be given when…

Yes, it can. Listen to your intuition though, and let your subconscious thoughts guide you.

It probably is important not to place your hands directly on an open wound, but this is because it would be most uncomfortable for the recipient. Reiki itself will go to where it is needed, meaning it doesn’t matter if you hold your hands over a broken arm, or over the recipient’s head. Reiki will still go to the arm.

For every person who has been taught that Reiki cannot be given under certain circumstances, there is at least one other who has given it. With good results.

Specific rituals must be followed

This can be as a form of prayer, or chant, or stance, anything that you have been told absolutely must be done or else the Reiki will not flow.

If you find that following these rituals helps you to get into the right mindset for opening yourself up to send Reiki, use them. But don’t let yourself be limited over time if circumstances are such that you cannot do that ritual.

Intention is key. If you intend the Reiki to flow, it will flow.

You have to use Ascended Masters/ Spirit Guides 

This particular rule can put off people of many different belief systems. I work most of the time without calling upon Ascended Reiki Masters (a fancy way of saying Reiki Masters who have died) or Spirit Guides. In fact, until 2011, I didn’t use them at all. If you are not comfortable in calling upon these entities, or if doing so would be an affront to your spiritual or religious beliefs, then don’t. You may find that you are more comfortable asking for guidance from Jesus, or the Virgin Mary, or one of the Saints. You may prefer to ask for guidance from no one, listening only the intuitive voice within your mind. You might send an appeal to Allah, or God, or The Universe, or nothing. It’s entirely your decision.

You must obtain direct permission

Okay, so this is somewhat important and permission at some level is important. Sending Reiki when it is not wanted can be a huge violation of a person’s privacy and free will. There are, however, ways of obtaining permission when the recipient cannot speak or is not conscious.

Intense debate raged on one particular Reiki forum I frequent when I and others suggested giving Reiki to those who could not verbally give permission.

I worked for many years in a hospital critical care setting where patients were unconscious. They could not give permission directly.

At those times, I sent an appeal to the person’s Higher Self. You may perhaps call this a Spirit Guide, God, the Soul. The argument against was that this wasn’t actually getting permission.

However, experience has also taught that if you try to send Reiki when their Higher Self has said no it does not matter how much you try to force the flow, it will not go to the person. You will find that it hits a barrier harder than steel and flows around or bounces away from the recipient.

Is it good to seek permission if possible – absolutely. Is it vital to get permission – no. Because if the Reiki is not what the recipient needs or if there is a strong objection to receiving it, the Reiki just won’t get to him.

The Symbols should be secret 


As part of the Reiki tradition the Symbols which are taught at level 2 and above emphasized as being secret signs which should be hidden away from the non-initiated. When Diane Stein first published Essential Reiki: A Complete Guide to an Ancient Healing Art which contained the Reiki symbols for all to see, you’d have thought from the reaction of many in the Reiki crowd that she had farted in church.

Of course, these days you can find the symbols everywhere on the internet. Funny thing though. They have not lost their “power”. What people are discovering however, is that they don’t really need the symbols.

Those who don’t understand the meaning behind the symbol will gain nothing from looking at it. 
It doesn’t matter how many times I look at  y(x) − λ y(t) dt = f(x), it will continue to be meaningless mumbo-jumbo. One who has been initiated, in this case someone familiar with Volterra Integral Equations, can look and know almost immediately what it means. The rest of us will only see a confusing selection of letters and markings.

X amount must be paid for Reiki training

I have seen charges as high has several thousand dollars for a Reiki Master level. One traditional tale even states that because  Mrs Takata sold her house in Hawaii for $10,000 and gave it to Dr Hayashi in exchange for training that students today should be charged the same amount. 


Utter nonsense of course. If you see someone charging that amount, run the other direction. 


Should you pay something? Yes. The teacher is giving of their time and energy to teach you, and they do need to eat. That amount is not set in stone according to any traditions though. If the amount being charged seems excessive for your budget and the teacher is unwilling to work with you, then look elsewhere for a teacher.




These are just a few of the many rules of Reiki which I have come across over the years. Some were taught as part of the classes I took nearly 20 years ago, others are rules I have come across while talking to other practitioners and through participation in various online Reiki forums. Each of these ‘rules’ though through experience has proven to be false though. 


Can you think of any rules you were taught as a Reiki practitioner which you no longer follow or have found to be unnecessary?

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7 Comments

Filed under Reiki, Reiki Training

7 responses to “Breaking All the Rules

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