What is Reiki?
Many people ask the question "What is Reiki?"
There are two ways of looking at the question, What is Reiki? From one angle Reiki means "spiritual energy"; our own innate brightness, our true nature, our essence or whatever words you want to use to express this. This innate brightness is often covered with layers of worry, fear, anger and attachments. So much so, that we cannot see its brightness anymore--it is completely hidden. And if we can't see our own innate brightness, then it will be very hard for others to see it within us as well. This covering up results in us not remembering our connection with who we are and therefore getting quickly angry or worried, fearful, unhappy, distracted, and unloving.
Nevertheless, even with our innate brightness concealed, our true nature continues to shine. Think of it as a light bulb that is covered by a lampshade, no matter how many lampshades you place over the bulb, the light is still the same brightness, it's just that we can't see it!
To remove the layers of worry, fear and attachments that cover our brightness, we practice "the system of Reiki"--which is the other angle of the "What is Reiki?" question. The system of Reiki has five very specific elements; precepts, meditations, hands on healing, symbols/mantras and the attunement/reiju. These elements help the practitioner to slowly remove the layers so that our innate brightness can shine in all its beauty once more.
The more layers we remove, the more our innate brightness casts further afield, eventual resembling a bulb with the lampshade removed. Suddenly, the room is filled with light. YOU. When our innate brightness becomes more visible to ourselves we start to feel kinder, less worried or angry and more compassionate. This in turn has a healing effect, not just on ourselves, but also on those we come into contact with in our daily lives; our family, the shopkeeper, people at work, random people at an airport, you name it. When we feel brighter, our world becomes brighter.
Opening to our innate brightness also affects our hands-on healing work with others. The more we connect to our brightness (ie. to Reiki) as a Reiki practitioner, the better we can facilitate healing for others. Never forget that we are not the healers, we merely facilitate the healing while the client works on his or her own healing. If, however, my brightness is covered with clouds of anger, worry and fear then there is only a little bit of light that clients can use to guide them through their healing, but if we have removed the clouds and our innate brightness shines like the sun and moon conjoined then there is much more potential for healing to take place.
Therefore the simple answer to "What is Reiki?" is this: The system of Reiki helps us to re-discover that we are Reiki in the first place.
So, start practicing and re-discover your own inner brightness; shine, be happy and act with compassion.
The spiritual level of the practitioner directly reflects the effect of Reiki. In a sense, the more you are enlightened, the more the effectiveness of Reiki enhances. The more you practice Reiki for saving others, the brighter your innate light shines to drive away clouds covering your mind. I think this is the quintessence of reiki. I hope your way of understanding Reiki spreads in the world to enlighten those who practice Reiki based on a superficial understanding of the tradition.