Most people who have heard of Reiki know that Reiki was rediscovered in the early twentieth century by a Japanese scholar named Dr Mikao Usui. Many also know that this system, as taught by Dr Usui, was preserved by Mrs Hawayo Takata, who introduced Reiki to America, from where it spread to many parts of the world, including Australia. Of the 22 students Mrs Takata trained as teachers, only one was taught the entire seven level system of Reiki, and that person was Dr Barbara Weber Ray. What is not so well known is that Dr Ray was the only one of Mrs Takata’s students who was properly qualified to train other teachers. This fact is little discussed in the literature on Reiki: it requires a teacher empowered to the Fifth Degree teacher level to align a person to the Third Degree teacher level; and it is only at the Seventh Degree teacher level that one is empowered to train people in the entire system. See Seminars,‘Teacher Levels.'

The true science of Reiki consists of seven levels or degrees, which correspond to the seven major ‘chakras,’ or energy centres, of the human body, which are the points of connection between the physical body and a person’s higher energetic fields or ‘bodies,’ such as the emotional and mental bodies. Once aligned or attuned by an accredited teacher within this system, a person’s body resonates in harmony with their higher frequency bodies to access greater life-force energy. Each level of Reiki boosts the energy throughout the entire chakra system, balancing in the heart chakra, and highlighting a particular chakra, to build a foundation for the next level, beginning with the base chakra at Reiki 1 and ending with the crown chakra at Reiki 7.

Reiki Degree 1, as well as being the foundation for Reiki Degree 2 and subsequent levels, strengthens and harmonizes one’s overall energy without any requirement to learn further levels, so that there is no need to learn all seven levels to feel the benefits of Reiki. The attunements, the method of empowerment, must however be performed and taught within the system as a whole, for it is only with the knowledge and energy of the system as a whole that any one of the attunements can be performed accurately. If any of the parts are missing or altered, the attunements are unable to generate the pure universal life-force energy.

Due to the fact that students of Mrs Takata had taught the Third Degree when unqualified to do so, errors had occurred in those non-seven level systems, which had led to mis-alignments, in which people were aligned to energies below the highest universal source, so that, for example, they were drawing from their own physical energy supply. Some symptoms experienced due to mis-alignments in other systems are: being drained of energy after giving treatments, depression, inability to focus, and sleep disorders, among other things. If one has experienced such symptoms after being trained in a system that used the title ‘Reiki,’ which they had not experienced previous to their training, then it could be that they were trained in a fragmented system and mis-aligned. (Such a mis-alignment can be corrected by an alignment to the seven level system.)

To ensure certain and repeatable results, there are formulas and methods of correct training and practice in all sciences, and the seven level system of Reiki is like any other science in this respect. It uses precise attunement methods in which a set of archetypal symbols, which reproduce the form and flow of life-force energy, are performed over the major energy centres of the body. This leaves a permanent imprint within the energy field of the person that then allows the symbols to resonate with the body so that the person is then able to access more life-force energy from the universal supply. Because the energy one accesses when aligned within this system transcends all levels of their being, an alignment within this system allows the emotional and mental levels of a person to feel just as reinvigorated and harmonized as the physical when a person is giving a Reiki session.

Researchers at Stamford University in California measured the flow of energy in the body during a session with the seven level system of Reiki and discovered that the energy enters through the practitioner’s crown and exits through their hands. The practitioner acts as a transmitting station for the universal energy during a session and is free from using their own life-force energy, so that practitioner and client both benefit from receiving Reiki. In short, it is a win-win situation.