How to Receive

Bronwen and Frans StieneArticles, English 13 Comments

open hand

When considering “receiving” within the system of Reiki there are specific initiations, the Japanese term for these are Reiju, which literally translates as spiritual blessing. The initiations are often also called attunements, however the word attunement only came to be used after Mrs Takata, (who brought the system of Reiki to the West) passed away – she herself called them initiations. And then we have hands on healing on ourselves and others.

But how do we receive a hands on healing session or a reiju? Are we all completely ready to receive or do we need to learn how to receive?

True-self = Reiki

The essence of each reiju and hands on healing session is that we remember our true-self, or in other words, Reiki. Yet due to all of our attachments, worries, fears and anger this can become a very difficult task. We could say that the initiation and hands on healing session are the beginning or first steps in becoming aware of our true-self. This also means that the teacher does not give you something during an initiation or a hands on healing session, these rituals are there for you, to remember your true-self. You are therefore a large part of these rituals.


If you are sitting or laying and thinking that the teacher/practitioner is doing it all for you, that you do not need to do anything at all, and that the teacher will activate your true-self /Reiki, then you are not actively involved in receiving. You are passive. It is like when you are dancing, if one dance partner thinks he doesn’t need to do anything, then the other must drag him along – a hard and tiring task. It takes two to tango, and this is also the case within hands on healing and the reiju.


There are a couple of ways you can participate in an initiation, the first one is to sit or lay in a correct posture which creates an openness within the body. The spine needs to be relaxed and open. If your body is lengthened then all of your meridians open as well, allowing energy to flow through your body.


The body is an important element, but the mind is the most important element of all. During a hands on healing session and reiju your mind needs to be open and at ease. We need to let go of any self limiting images that we hold. We might think “I will rediscover my true-self after 10 years of practicing”, or “I can never do this”, or “I am not good enough because I have too many attachments”. But these thoughts are what actually limit us. We need to let go completely of who we think we are. It is only then that we can become the empty vehicle that the initiation requires to take place. Each person will, therefore, experience the hands on healing session and reiju in their own individual way as each session depends upon the individual’s state of mind.


Another word for initiation in Japan is kanjo, which comes from the Sanskrit word abhiseka. The kanji for kanjo means  “pouring from the peak.” If I want to pour tea into a cup, then the cup needs to be empty. If there is all sort of stuff in the cup – a pen, a rubber, a knife and a spoon – than it will be hard to pour the tea into the cup, and naturally the tea would also become murky. This is the same as a hands on healing session or rejig; the mind needs to be empty, empty of all the anger, worry, and fear. As an active participant we need to rest our mind in emptiness to become a clear vehicle for re-discovering our true-self/Reiki.

The Teacher

As these practices embody the true-self/reiki. This means that the teacher/practitioner is as important as the student. The teacher/practitioner also needs to have a direct experience of her true-self to embody this in the hands on healing session and reiju. Most teachers, however, are not in this state of mind, but that is fine too. This is why we need to keep doing our daily practice!


All of the above elements come together in the form of trust;  trusting that the teacher/practitioner is in the right state of mind, and trusting that the student/client is in the right state of mind. This trust doesn’t come straight away after the first time that you meet the teacher/practitioner, or the first time the teacher/practioner meets the student/client. This trust will be built up over the years as the student and teacher walk the spiritual path together. This is why the system of Reiki is a life long practice.

So open up, learn how to receive and re-discover your true self/reiki.


Comments 13

  1. Avatar of Jenetta
  2. Avatar of Elly

    I think the key to grateful receiving is surrender, and this is not easy for those of us raised in the West, with our culture of “rugged individualism,” related ego-nurturing and separatism, and distrust both of physical touch and especially of mind-touch! Yet there is nothing as soothing, as refreshing, as renewing in the world as to put yourself into the care of others and let them put their healing hands on you or give you Reiju. To put the heavy burden of your “self” down, even for a little while, to be fully present in the moment, dropping all worry and care about past, present and future, to simply be, and be in communion with others and with the Reiki energy, is such a gift, such a blessing, such an opportunity to surrender to the moment and to the All. It’s easy to see in the glowing faces of students and clients whose years of care, concern, isolation and pain seem to have dropped away after a treatment or Reiju. And the same surrender, the same gifts, the same rejuvenation,  are of course at work in the Reiki practitioner and teacher as well.

  3. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    Hi Elly,
    As you say, surrender is the most profound way to receive, but not that easy.
    We all need to learn how to surrender. For me the whole system of Reiki is about learning to surrender, letting go of the “I” at that stage we are completely open to receive.

  4. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    Just read this:

    “Thus, the person whose art is not yet mature may meet with famous monks of great wisdom, yet he will still not have an awakening.”
    Issai Chozanshi


  5. Avatar of Elly
  6. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    Hi Elly,
    Yes it is sad but true, this is why it is so important to prepare ourselves to receive so that we can awaken ourselves.

    It is also sad that many Reiki teachers do not teach how to receive.

  7. Avatar of Kris Azzarello

    Another wonderful teaching!  This is very helpful, and the video with the imagry of a cup upside down not being able to hold anything is so wonderful – I get another insight each time I see it!  This time it became so clear for me that how can I receive anything when my hands are holding tightly onto something else?  It goes back to surrendering, letting go, so that which was good and served its purpose can now leave (and that which was not so good can also leave) and you can now receive whatever is needed most at this exact moment.

  8. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    Hi Kris,
    When our hands / mind / heart holds onto things very tight we are not really open and therefore we can not really receive anything either.
    I think it takes years and years to really learn how to receive with an open hand / heart / mind.

  9. Avatar of seema

    Hi Frans,
    Read this one again and realizing few more things I missed last time reading , “experiencing and reading” and then ” integrating your reading with your experience ” are two different things , that’s why one needs a teacher who has gone through these experiences themselves so the student can find out my himself/herself . I think I am more a direct experience learner then I thought I was. Like I was telling some one today that learning from you this way is so much more fun then taking class and then thinking oh I am now done with it . I think lot of times new Reiki practitioners feel that after the class they are done. But I see the way you teach you keep the lease little short so they focus on their learning , rest off course is the student personal practice. Thanks.

  10. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    Hi Seema,
    I think also a lot of teacher just teach and that is it, they just see it as one day or a two day class. They don’t see that the system of Reiki is a spiritual practice which takes a life time.

  11. Avatar of seema

    Hi Frans , True…lot of classes have become totally commercialized without the spirit. Everything has become “customer service approach” , get the most out of it in less ( both ways). We have become “very lazy”  . people want “spirituality” on a platter served to them—teacher or student . Just my point of view right now , sorry just venting here :). I still have lot to learn how to balance in” both worlds “.

  12. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    Hi Seema,
    I must agree with you 😉
    To really connect to Reiki we need to work hard, not just receive an attunement, we need to do our daily meditations is only then that we can really start to connect to Reiki, our true self.

  13. Avatar of seema

    Hi Frans,
    Yes , I am finding out slowly…long journey ahead. It would be nice to hear from you directly for the students , working on it for something 🙂

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