Q: Do I need to be a vegetarian to learn Reiki?
A: Not at all. Not before, during or after working the system of Reiki. To practice the system is to live life as a Reiki practitioner. But that will mean a variety of things depending upon the individual practitioner. It will, however, indicate that the practitioner works with the five elements of the system of Reiki. These five elements are techniques and/or meditations, hands-on healing, symbols and mantras, Reiki precepts and receiving attunements (called reiju in Japan).
When you learn the system you begin to bring these elements into your life on an everyday basis in a natural way. There are no rules only the Reiki precepts which are:
For today only
Do not anger
Do not worry
Be honest in your work
Be compassionate to yourself and others
You can listen to them in Japanese here.
In Japan it is recommended to repeat these precepts to yourself on a daily basis so that they stay in your mind and then you act on them naturally.
Such a practice will eventually support inner change and the way you interact with your world. You may stop smoking, drinking and eating meat (as some do) … or you may not. There is no value judgement within the system of Reiki that says that you must or must not do any of these things.
To force yourself to change is not natural. By forcing yourself it may instead create attachment to the thing that you are trying to stop and that would be defeating the purpose. Therefore there is no point in making yourself become a vegetarian, or anyone else trying to make you a vegetarian, and there are no “rules” within the system of Reiki that touch upon this topic.
If you do become a vegetarian from working with the system of Reiki and you feel good with that – then that is right for you. If you don’t and you feel okay with that, then that is also right for you at that moment in your life.
Let yourself develop naturally and allow your practice to take where you need to go.
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.