Every student who completes a Level I Okuden class has the same question: “When can I move on to the next level of Reiki?” It is exciting when you begin your Reiki journey and the desire to move forward and get that next bit of information can sometimes feel overpowering.
The first point to make is that it is absolutely not necessary to move on to any further levels of Reiki. The first level should teach you the foundation of the system and how to work with Reiki on yourself; how to strengthen your inner energy and begin your own personal healing process. It should also give you the confidence to work with friends and family using Reiki techniques.
If you do move on to the next two levels of the system you will learn new practices and, with the support of your teacher, take further steps toward creating inner balance and harmony in your life.
But how do you know when you should move on?
A certificate, which in reality is just a piece of paper, will not be able to inform you. A book, which may state you should wait 3 months or more or less, can also not inform you. Why? Because the system of Reiki is an energetic one and each individual’s energetic journey is unique.
How, then, do you measure your development energetically in order to know when to move on?
During a level one course, one of the major techniques you learn is Joshin Kokyu Ho. This Japanese technique was developed to strengthen the energy in your hara, just below your navel. The hara is the energetic powerhouse for the human body.
It is required that you practice this and other level one techniques until you can feel their purpose and effect on you. Once you can sense the hara and consciously learn how to build upon it you can begin to learn new practices; new practices that are taught at Okuden Level II.
Without a basic experiential understanding of your energetic system and a conceptualisation of the system of Reiki, you lack the fundamental Reiki knowledge to develop effective level two techniques. The danger is that by skipping through these early stages you also neglect to develop respect for the teachings and the depth of their meaning which in itself is wasteful and not beneficial for you or the teachings.
To progress from the second to Shinpiden Level III you need to understand experientially all the material taught in levels one and two. When you bring this confidence into a level three course you are ready to begin to comprehend the workings of reiju; the teacher’s method of connecting with students, plus additional level three teachings.
At each level of the system of Reiki you are brought into a fuller understanding of the workings and meaning of the five elements of the system of Reiki. These elements are the system’s building blocks and they continue to be refined throughout each of the teachings and the ensuing personal practice that these teachings promote.
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.