There seems to be a lot of confusion when it comes to Usui Reiki attunements. Do I really need an attunement to practice Usui Reiki? Do I need to be attuned to Animal Reiki to treat animals? There are so many types of Reiki, do I need to be attuned to them all? Do distance attunements work? Can I download my attunement automatically by reading a book about Reiki or by watching an attunement video on YouTube? These are a few questions about attunements that I hear regularly.
So…what is the deal with Reiki attunements? Opinions vary greatly, but here is mine. Yes, you need to be attuned to Reiki by a Reiki Master to become an Usui Reiki practitioner. The energy is everywhere and available to everyone at all times. Anyone can access it and do energy work. However, Usui Reiki is a particular system used to harness and focus the energy and the attunement is part of the system. You may be able to do similar energy work to that of Reiki without the attunement but is not the same as doing Usui Reiki. Mikao Usui developed the system of Reiki that is at the core of most of the other systems of Reiki you may find in Western society. Usui developed the attunement process and believed in its power to help his students connect with life force energy. While many adaptions to the system have been made, I truly believe that when you make changes to the core system, such as forgoing attunements, you are no longer practicing a form of Usui Reiki, but something else. This is not to say that it won’t work, only that it is no longer of the same healing system.
All of the new variations of Reiki be confusing. As time goes by, everything evolves, and Reiki has been no exception. Many systems have been born from Usui’s Reiki. I have been attuned to both Usui Reiki and Crystal Reiki. In my opinion, once attuned to the level of Usui Reiki that suits one’s needs, the other attunements are not really necessary, but the classes can still have value. For instance, I do not feel that my ability to use Reiki and to combine it with crystal healing was improved by the Crystal Reiki attunement, but I did learn a lot of ideas for combining the modalities by taking the course. I believe that I am just as capable of channeling Reiki to my pets as to people without an Animal Reiki attunement, but I do believe that I could probably learn a lot about techniques for treating animals from someone who is experienced enough to teach an Animal Reiki class. I have heard that other Reiki systems, such as Karuna Reiki, Holy Fire Reiki, Kundalini Reiki, etc., add new elements to the system and new ways of focusing the energy and I am interested in learning them, but I do not think that learning and becoming attuned to them is necessary for me to give my clients the best possible treatment. It would just be different. My advice to anyone who is not sure about what kind of Reiki to study would be to really research any system you are interested in and then follow your own intuition. I don’t believe any one system in better than another, they are just different and will call to different people.
Distance attunements are another topic up for debate. If distance healing is possible, why not attunement? I believe that a distance attunement works just as well as one given in-person. I have heard reports from people who have received both that they actually found the distance attunement to be a more powerful experience. While I do believe that distance training and attunement is valuable and the best option for many, there is the drawback of not working side by side with a master while getting a feel for the energy. For this reason, I recommend that my distance students find a local Reiki circle to practice with, if possible. In areas where it is not possible to find anyone to practice with in-person, I think that a student is completely capable of learning to experience and use the energy with help from a distance, but it may take more practice to really get a feel for it.
Along the same lines of distance attunements, I have come across books about Reiki in which the author has said that they have set the intention for you to receive your attunement as you read through the pages of the book or that give instructions for self-attunement in leu of an attunement from a Reiki Master. There are also a lot of videos available on YouTube that claim to deliver attunement. While I find these ideas interesting, I have not heard any reports about their effectiveness and personally would not attempt to become attuned or to attune someone in such a manner. I don’t advocate any type of mass attunement and feel that the intention should be set individually for each person a Master is going to attune. An attunement is like tuning in a radio to a particular station. With technology today, I may be able to tune a radio from a distance, but I still need to know which radio to tune, where it is, and how to connect with it. I feel the same is true for tuning students into Reiki.
I hope this article has answered some questions you may have about Reiki Attunements. There is more than could be covered, but to keep this from becoming too long an article I have only gone over the questions I have heard the most often. If you are still confused about attunements or have anything to add to what I have written, I would love for you to leave a comment.