This is an excerpt from the new book William is writing with Arjava Petter and Walter Lübeck titled, The Spirit of Reiki, which will be available in English in early 2001. I developed an interest in metaphysics in high school and a few years later decided I wanted to make it my life focus. Over the course of the next twenty years I proceeded to take a wide range of metaphysical and inner development classes. I often studied and practiced a particular subject until I could offer professional sessions to others. During this time, I became a hypnotherapist, a past life regression therapist, an astrologer, a rebirther, an NLP Professional, a tarot card reader, and while living in Hawaii, I studied and worked with a Kahuna for over a year. As I learned each new subject, I found that my previous training and experience would add to my understanding of each new skill and this broadened my comprehension. I found that I could often create unique ways to apply the new skills that had not been thought of by those who had training in only one area.
As an example, I combined my understanding and experience with hypnosis, past life regression therapy and NLP to create a powerful technique that allowed me to take clients back to the original cause of any problem or challenging situation they were experiencing in this life and discover what they had done to create the experience. Then, we would focus on learning the lesson, healing the cause and transforming the issue into a positive quality. During this time, I also learned about life force and the important role it plays in maintaining life.
Life force or ki, as it is also called is a subtle energy that surrounds and flows within all living things. It is the presence of ki in living things that keeps them alive and healthy. If the ki is removed or greatly weakened in anything alive, it will soon die. All illness is caused by disturbances in the healthy flow of ki within the subtle energy system of all living things. This metaphysical energy is present everywhere and has a wide spectrum of vibrations and levels of expression depending on the kind of life and/or life processes it is supporting. Ki is a necessary energy for everything that exists, both living and nonliving, in the material world, as well as in all spiritual dimensions. In humans, there is a range of different vibrations of ki that are present in the aura and chakras. There is very basic ki that has to do with sustaining the physical body, ki that is involved with our thoughts and feelings as well as higher ki that has to do with our spiritual experiences. Ki is the carrier of our intentions out into the world where they manifest and it is ki directed by the mind that attracts to us all of our experiences. From this we can see that ki plays a very important role in every aspect of life. Ki is an amazing subject and a great deal can be written about it, but for our purpose in understanding the nature of Reiki energy, we need to focus on its activity within the human subtle energy system.
In the course of my studies, I came across several exercises to develop ki and use it for healing. These exercises usually involved mediation and breathing exercises and when doing them, I could feel the buildup of ki within my body and energy field and could move this energy around with my intention. I could also see it inside myself and feel the way it affected me. Ki usually created a very relaxing and pleasant feeling. The Kahuna I worked with in Hawaii was a healer and could also generate and use ki. In working with him, my understanding of ki deepened and it became even clearer that ki is affected by the mind and can be directed by the mind. It can be sent out to do things such as heal or help others. And after working with him awhile, an understanding slowly developed that ki could also be sent out to cause problems for others and even to create illness. I learned that one of the Kahuna's skills involved protecting people from negatively directed ki sent by others. The Kahunas of Hawaii had become experts in the use of ki and this is the basis of most of their work. Using ki in various ways to create a wide range of effects. I have also met many other healers and metaphysical people who had awareness of and skill in using ki. They all reported the same thing; that ki was something that can be built up in ones subtle energy field, and directed by the mind to heal oneself or others and do many other things.
Why people get sick. If ki could only do good, we would live in a very different world. But since ki is affected by the mind, it can create both positive and negative results depending on the kind of thought or intention that is directing it. Ki directed by the mind is responsible for both our good health and our bad health. It is the positive ki, created and directed by the subconscious mind that empowers all the organs of the body and keeps them healthy. But the subconscious mind can also harbor negative thoughts and when these negative thoughts are about oneself, they influence our personal ki in a negative way. This negatively directed ki will form around the organs of the body and in the chakras and aura and slow down the healthy activities of the body and eventually create sickness. It is negative ki that is responsible for creating dysfunction and illness in the body. Healers can often see negative ki as dark spots or clouds in or around the body that are obstructing the flow of healthy ki. By removing the negative ki, the healthy ki is allowed to flow again and the body will return to healthy functioning.
Negative ki can have a very simple charge of energy and be easy to remove, or it can have a more powerful charge with a more sophisticated programming and be more difficult to remove. It can be deceptive and act like it is healthy, but underneath, it can have a negative intention and can also mask itself or hide, making it difficult to detect. This is based on the thoughts that were used to create it - thoughts coming from the person's subconscious mind or even conscious mind, which combine with ki and take action to effect the functioning of the body, the emotions and the mind. From this it can be seen how important it is to develop a positive self-image and to release all negative thoughts and feelings from our minds.
As we grow up and throughout our lives we are exposed to millions of thoughts and feelings from others. These thoughts and feelings affect our minds depending on how receptive we are to them. When we are young, we are like an open book and it is difficult for us to decide which thoughts and feelings to accept or reject. During this time, the formative years, the foundation of our personalities is established and we are usually influenced most strongly by our parents. We also receive programming from our friends and acquaintances, television, teachers at school, and other experiences. These beginning concepts become established in our subconscious mind and this in turn effects the flow of ki in and around us, forming patterns of positive and negative ki in our auras, chakras and bodies that directly effect our health and everything we do. Both positive and negative ki can be placed in ones energy field by another. This is sometimes done unconsciously by others who have positive or negative thoughts and feelings toward you. The stronger the feelings, the stronger the effect. Positive and negative ki coming from others will affect you depending on how receptive you are to it. Positive ki can come from those who have a positive regard toward you or from those who pray for you (in a healthy way) and negative ki can come from those who harbor dark, menacing and/or angry thoughts toward you. This negative energy is often called bad vibes and can have a temporary effect, or can do more permanent harm if the receiving person is weak or open to the negative energy and if it is directed in a more powerful and deliberate way.
Our minds and subtle energy fields are also affected by experiences from past lives. This effect is called karma and is carried into this life in the aura when the soul first enters the physical body at birth. As we live our lives, past life karma in the aura attracts experiences to us, which have a similar vibration to the karma, and they in turn strengthen the karmic charge in the aura. As it becomes stronger, it will usually work its way into the chakras and eventually into the physical body. As it works its way deeper into the subtle energy system, the effects become more pronounced and depending on whether it is positive or negative, it can effect us in different ways, attracting good fortune or bad and also have an effect on our health. It must be kept in mind that karma can be healed without having to fully experience it's negative effects! The basis of poor health is negative thoughts from one's own mind, from past lives or that have been received from others, attracting and/or generating negative ki and affecting ones energy field by limiting healthy ki and restricting the functioning of the organs of the body.
Healers heal by generating positive ki and sending it to the area of the aura, chakras or body where the negative ki is located, with the intention of transforming the negative ki to positive or releasing and dissipating it. This allows the natural flow of positive ki to take place, which in turn restores health to the physical body. Regardless of the method involved, all processes of healing or personal and spiritual development involve releasing negatively directed ki from a person's energy field, along with the negative thoughts and feelings that have created it. This is the primary process used by all shamans and healers all over the world. They may employ a wide range of techniques to do this, but the end result is the same. I learned this from my personal experience working with ki within others and myself, from the Hawaiian Kahuna and many other healers I have worked with. I received my Reiki I training in Hawaii in 1981.
When I began using Reiki, I realized right away that Reiki was remarkably different than the kind of ki I was previously familiar with. Reiki seemed to have a higher vibration and I noticed that it did not need direction from my mind, but seemed to have a mind of its own. It would begin to flow without having to do any kind of exercise at all. I did not have to meditate or do breathing exercises and it seemed to flow all by itself whenever I placed my hands on someone or simply thought about it. It also did not make use of my own personal energy supply, but seemed to come from outside myself, from a seemingly unlimited supply. Sometimes it even began flowing all by itself. Often, I could observe it flowing through my arms and out my hands and sometimes flowing through my aura. It was a very wonderful and pleasant experience. When I looked psychically at the energy, I could often see it as thousands of small particles of light, like "corpuscles" filled with radiant Reiki energy flowing through me and out of my hands. It was as though these Reiki "corpuscles" of light had a purpose and intelligence, traveling through me to heal some part of myself or the person I was working with.
When meditating on the Reiki energy, I would often become filled with joy and be uplifted, often feeling that I was completely cared for and without a worry in the world. From these experiences, I knew that Reiki was something special. It was much more than the simple ki that I had previously learned to generate and move with my mind. This was an energy that came effortlessly and rather than needing to be guided by the mind, it was guided by a higher intelligence! Reiki heals by knowing where negative ki exists in the person's subtle energy system. It flows to these areas, where it changes the vibration of the negative ki. This is usually done by raising the vibration until the negative ki cannot hold on to the area it is attached to and is released. Other times, the negative ki may be reprogrammed by the Reiki energy and transformed into positive ki which restores and maintains health. When the body is weak, from a healing crisis or from an extended illness, Reiki can provide the body with a very nurturing supply of ki that supports the organs in their return to healthy functioning. On a deeper level, Reiki can and often does reprogram the person's subconscious mind, releasing negative thoughts, feelings and memories and even balancing karma that had been responsible for creating negative ki, thus healing at the level of cause and creating a permanent healing!
Because Reiki is guided by the higher power, it cannot do harm and always works for the positive benefit of the client. It is a very simple technique to learn and use and can be easily learned in a weekend class. A treatment always creates benefit, which can range from simple relaxation and feelings of well being to miraculous results. Occasionally, amazing healings have come from people who have just taken their first class! This is one of the remarkable things about Reiki; it does not take special ability nor does it take years of practice. Anyone can learn it in a day or two and experience effective results immediately! The special nature of Reiki energy has been continually demonstrated to me over and over whenever I have used it and frequently, other Reiki practitioners have concurred with this idea as well. I became a Reiki master in 1989 and began teaching Reiki. At that time, I had been working with two clairvoyant healers who had remarkable abilities. They could each clearly see the aura and chakras, communicate with ones guides and higher self, see and communicate with angels and other spiritual beings and analyze ones subtle energy field in great detail. They could see and move negative ki with their minds and do healings from a distance. Their metaphysical diagnosis was always very impressive in terms of its accuracy and I would often be given a much deeper and more detailed understanding of my own energy state and what I needed to do to heal more deeply whenever I received an energy field reading from them. They also had the ability to easily generate very strong ki and use it to heal.
When I became a Reiki master, I offered them the training free. Later they told me that they had attended just to support me in my new work, as they believed they already had highly developed healing abilities and did not think they would benefit by receiving Reiki training. However, after the attunement, they both stated that it had been a powerful spiritual experience and they both felt they had received a deep healing. Then, when they began using their new Reiki energy, they were even more pleasantly surprised. They said that Reiki was a new energy they had not been aware of before. They remarked that it would begin flowing all by itself and did not require them to develop healing energy by meditating or through the use of their minds. They also said it seemed to have a mind of its own and had such a high frequency that it could go anywhere and did not have to travel through the energy meridians of the body, but just went straight to where it was needed, going right through bone, muscle and other tissues. They were very happy that they had taken the class. Even though they were highly skilled healers before taking Reiki I, they felt that their healing abilities had been noticeably improved!
After teaching Reiki classes full time for over ten years, and initiating over 3500 people I have had the pleasure of working with many students who were already sensitive healers before taking Reiki training. The common response from the majority of this group and especially from the most sensitive is that Reiki has a different vibration than the healing energies they already were using and that taking the training had increased the strength of their healing energies and improved the quality of the treatments they were able to give. All have commented that they were happy they had taken Reiki training. Any healer, even those with powerful healing abilities, always seem to benefit from receiving the Reiki attunement. So from this we can see that Reiki is a special healing energy that is much more than simple ki. Reiki is a healing energy that comes from and is guided directly by the higher power. This higher power can also be called God, the Supreme Being, The Universe, The Universal Mind, All That Is, Jehovah, Krishna, Buddha, The Great Spirit, etc.
We live in a world where a full range of experience can take place from the very positive to the very negative. People sometimes have joyful experiences and are filled with love, peace and happiness, and at other times can be unhappy with varying degrees of pain, sadness and despair. Others seem to live in a relatively neutral and gray sort of world, half asleep and not really feeling much of anything. This range of personal experience is taking place because of the way we use our free will. Since we have limited awareness and understanding, we do not always make the best choices. Sometimes we act out of fear, and often our selfish ego centered side takes over and begins directing our thoughts, feelings and actions. When this happens, we move away from wholeness and create imbalances and distress that have a negative effect on us and those around us. At other times, we may allow our lives to be directed by our spiritual core and this is when healing takes place and our lives move toward harmony, joy and peace.
So, we live in a world that seems to see/saw back and forth between wholeness and discord. While this is taking place for most of us, there is another part of the universe, which is really just a state of mind, where this see/saw effect does not take place and only wholeness exists. In this place there is only harmony, peace, love and joy. This is because all the beings in this place have surrendered completely to the higher power and it is the higher power that directs their minds and actions and all that they do. This place is also filled with many different kinds of ki, which is also directed by the higher power. This higher dimension has been recognized by every religion and spiritual path. Young children are aware of it and so are many adults, and others get glimpses of it from time to time. It is also a state of consciousness that many have entered briefly and a few have entered permanently even while still in the physical body. This is the place where Reiki energy comes from, a higher dimension where all is at one with the higher power. This is the great beauty and value of Reiki. It connects us to the part of the universe where all is guided by the wisdom, love and peace of the higher power.
When we receive a Reiki treatment, we get a taste of this dimension and at the same time, Reiki is pointing us toward a greater experience. If we listen closely to the energy, the consciousness of Reiki, we will realize that it is directing us toward this state of mind and offering the possibility that this could be our continuous and unending reality. Every aspect of our mind, our lives, our entire being, could be continually surrounded and guided by the love, beauty, wisdom, peace and grace of the higher power. It is the creation of this state of consciousness within each person that is the deeper intention of Reiki. As we discover this for ourselves and as we open more and more completely to it, our lives will be transformed. William Lee Rand is the founder of the International Center for Reiki Training; author of "Reiki, The Healing Touch", "Reiki for a New Millenium", editor in chief of the "Reiki News" and the developer of Karuna Reiki®. He has taught Reiki internationally for the past 10 years.