Reiki teaching: what are your goals?
When you are starting to teach Reiki courses and are planning what you are going to cover, demonstrate and say, it is very important that you start with a clear idea of what you’re aiming for: your goals.
Goals can encompass what information you want your students to have taken on board and understood, what practical exercises you want them to have been through, and feel comfortable with, and what ‘Reiki worldview’ you want to instil. I will talk more about this last item further down the page.
Most teachers will want their students to have a fairly good idea about:
- What Reiki is
- Where it comes from
- What Reiki can do for them if they work with the energy and the precepts regularly
- What Reiki can do for other people when they receive Reiki treatments
This information can be made available on a web site, so potential students can find out about these areas even before they book on a course. So, for example, the “About Reiki Healing” page of this web site starts with this text:
Reiki is a simple Japanese energy system anyone can learn
- Experience peace of mind and inner calm
- Relieve stress and anxiety
- Bring a sense of balance and wholeness
- Help family and friends
- Explore your spiritual side
- Let go of emotional baggage
Further down the page I include links that people can follow to find out more about a whole range of issues to do with Reiki, which you can see below in this screen shot (please note, this is an image and nothing is clickable):
If you have your own web site and would like to be able to refer to these articles, please include a link from your web site to any of these pages. Don’t copy and paste the text into your own site, though, because Google won’t like that and will penalise your site.
Then the information can be repeated, rewritten or summarised in your course materials (your manual, maybe on an audio CD). You will see in my blog Reiki teaching: your course materials that I recommend that you send your course materials out to your students in advance so they can take their time and mull over this information, and re-visit it several times before arriving on your course, and this means that they day of your course can involve you just re-capping the main points, rather than trying to tell everyone everything, for the first time, on a course where your students are half-zonked-out on the energy and in the worst position to be able to assimilate new information!
How to work out what to tell them
There is a lot of information out there to do with Reiki and it can be difficult sometimes to see the wood for the trees. What do you tell them? What should you start with?
To get some focus, ask yourself this question for each category of information (what Reiki is, where Reiki comes from, What Reiki can do for you etc):
- If I could only tell my students five things, what would they be?
- If I had to blurt out the basic info in a 30 second conversation with someone while travelling in a lift, what would I blurt out?
These questions give you an idea of the priorities, the main themes, and then you can expand on these themes and provide additional supporting info and examples. I talk more about this in Reiki teaching: explain, guide and review.
Here is where you decide what practical exercises you want your students to go through on your course, what they need to feel comfortable with, and what they need to understand about what they are doing.
For a First Degree course you might want to focus on:
- Experiencing energy between your hands and around someone else’s hands
- Feeling energy around someone else’s head and shoulders
- Carrying out Hatsurei ho
- Performing a self-treatment
- Practising scanning
- Giving a full treatment
- Receiving a full treatment
For a Second Degree course you might want to focus on:
- Experiencing the energy of earth ki
- Experiencing the energy of heavenly ki
- Using these two energies to treat someone
- Sending distant healing
- Practising working intuitively
- Exploring use power of intent through visualisation
For each of these, decide what you want them to do, precisely, and how you are going to explain and talk people through these exercises? Work out what you need to the student to understand about what they did. What do these exercises mean for them, why are they important, how will they use them in practice and what might they notice when they carry out these exercises in the coming weeks and months?
More ‘global’ goals
In a wider sense, my goal is to create independent Reiki practitioners who are comfortable working with the energy, flexible and intuitive in their approach, not attached to dogma, not judgmental of other people’s different ways of practising Reiki, and not dependent on me as a teacher to dispense all the answers.
I hope that they should be able to embrace uncertainty, following a Reiki path as a journey of self-development, not believing that what they were taught is the ‘one true way’ or the ‘absolute truth’.
In my blog My Manifesto for Reiki Tolerance I spoke about how Reiki is a very flexible and accommodating system and acts as a ‘carrier’ that accommodates very many different ways of working, some simple, some more complex. I spoke about how some ways of working naturally attract some people, while for others a different way of working feels more ‘right’ for them.
I hope that my students will not treat the Reiki Evolution approach as ‘the one true way’ and look down on or disparage other practitioners’ methods, even though it is not uncommon for some Reiki people to behave in this way.
I want to promote tolerance and respect and compassion for others and I believe that they way that I and my team of teachers speak about Reiki promotes this.
Need some advice about running Reiki courses?
This is the book I really wish had been available when I started running Reiki courses in 1997. And it would have helped me greatly in my journey as a Reiki teacher thereafter.
You’ll find a wealth of advice about how to set up and run your Reiki courses: read articles about planning and structuring your courses; find out how to explain things to students in a way that honours their learning preferences and personality types; discover how to create top quality course materials and how to support your students long-term.
We look at the differences between ‘Western’ and Original Japanese Reiki and I explain how I created “Reiki Evolution” courses, which pass on the essence of Reiki’s original form. Read this book and you’ll know how to teach “Reiki Evolution” style: what to say, what to teach, and even how to teach Reiki in a ten-week ‘Evening Class’ format.
This book will be of interest to anyone who is about to start teaching Reiki, or to established Reiki teachers who are interested in enhancing the quality of their courses.
eBook available worldwide
Book orders in the UK
Book orders in the USA
Photo credit: Intel Free Press