IF this is true, then it follows that … without the attunement you cannot channel Reiki.
What do you think?
When an existing Reiki teacher, who was studying with us for the first time, was asked by Frans to explain what an attunement was, this is what he said, “The attunement gives you the ability to channel Reiki and therefore, without the attunement, you cannot channel Reiki.”
After he made this statement, Frans walked over to the window and stood looking quizzically outside. The student asked him why, in the middle of the course, he was simply staring out of the window. Frans answered, “Well, I’m looking for all the dead people in the street!” The student looked very confused.
At this point Frans asked the student what the word Reiki meant for him. The student said, “Well, ‘universal energy’ but properly translated it stands for ‘spiritual energy’”. Then Frans asked him to replace the word ‘Reiki’ in the statement he had just made with either of his meanings.
The student said: The attunement gives you the ability to channel universal energy (or spiritual energy), therefore, without the attunement, you cannot channel universal energy (or spiritual energy).
The student’s mouth dropped open as he suddenly understood what he had been saying for all these years.
If we can only channel Reiki (universal energy/spiritual energy) after having received an attunement, then people who have not received an attunement would surely be dead. We all exist of this universal energy or spiritual energy. No matter what we call it – it is the essence of what we are made of.
There are those that think that Reiki is a very specific energy and different to other energies, but this is definitely not the case from a traditional Japanese perspective. From a spiritual perspective this is also not completely sensical.
All spiritual traditions talk of Oneness or the realisation that the universe is you and you are the universe. Although it might be called by different names in different traditions, in essence it is still the same. In Buddhism there is the realisation that you are a Buddha, in Taoism you realize that you and the universe are One, and in the Bible it is said that each of us is made in the image of God.
If all humanity is to realise Oneness then how can the essence of everything be different?
You can see it like a bright light shining through a prism; the light is reflected into different colors of green, red, blue etc… but the essence of these colors is still the bright light. Blue might look different to green but their essence is the same. And the essence of a sentient being is Reiki/universal energy/spiritual energy.
The attunement doesn’t give you the ability to channel Reiki, you are Reiki already. We have just forgotten how to consciously work with it, that is all. The system of Reiki was developed to support you in evolving your skills of working with Reiki.
This doesn’t mean that the attunement is not valid, it just means that it is often misunderstood in the modern system of Reiki. Traditionally, in Japan, the attunement has its own form and is called ‘reiju’, which means ‘spiritual blessing’ of ‘offering’. It doesn’t say anything about attuning someone to a specific energy as the English word ‘attunement’ infers.
So when looking at the meaning of attunement we need to go back to the origins of the system of Reiki and to the Japanese word ‘reiju’ (spiritual blessing/offering) rather than creating a modern interpretation for it.
It is interesting to note that not all languages translate the word ‘reiju’ into ‘attunement’. In France, for example, the process is called l’initiation (initiation) and often in Holland it is given the same meaning with the Dutch word, initiatie. Initiation may well be a better word than attunement…
During the reiju a student has an initial (initial coming from initiation) experience of his or her own true nature (Reiki). This experience is a seed. By watering this seed with the five elements of the system of Reiki (precepts/meditations/hands on healing/symbols and mantras/reiju), this seed can then be brought to fruition.
One other important aspect is that when we look at the Reiki precepts we also see that the statement of, “The attunement gives you the ability to channel Reiki and therefore, without the attunement, you can not channel Reiki”, does not make sense.
As an example, let’s look at one of the precepts: show compassion to yourself and others.
Now ask yourself this question: Is it compassionate to state that only you, as a Reiki teacher, can give people the ability to exist of, and work with, Reiki (universal energy/spiritual energy)?
No, of course not. Within true compassion you see people as equal and not as if you have something (Reiki) that they do not have.
Again this is not to say that the attunement is not necessary! Yes it is, but not from the perspective of attuning someone to a specific energy which they currently do not have.
To practice the system of Reiki properly we need to utilize all five elements taught traditionally within the system, then we can truly say that we are practising the system of Reiki.
Bronwen and Frans Stiene are the co-founders of the International House of Reiki and co-authors of The Reiki Sourcebook, The Japanese Art of Reiki, Your Reiki Treatment, The A-Z of Reiki Pocketbook and the Reiki Techniques Card Deck. Bronwen and Frans teach in the USA, Europe and Australia. Visit the Courses page to find a course near you.