Public interest in learning reiki treatment and self practice is growing like never before. It is appealing to people from all walks of like ranging from mothers, students, medical professionals, athletes, business owners and many more. With widening awareness of the benefits of natural healing, personal wellbeing, and mindfulness as ways of feeling better; i believe reiki will soon be in great demand.

With such diverse interest in this ancient practice it leads many to wonder: where is the best place for me to get started?

With the number of authorised Reiki Teachers on the rise, it creates some important learning decisions to be made. What what lineage do i join? Which Reiki Master do i study with? What teaching style resonates with me? All of these are worthy starting points for consideration and contemplation.

Then there is the question as to whether you want to learn 1-1 or in a group. Both ways have their benefits and the decision is ultimately one of personal preference. Some people prefer the stimulation of group interaction and discussion whereas others value more private and attentive teaching in person.

Here are my top 3 points to consider when choosing a Reiki Course and Reiki Master:

1. The teacher’s reiki competence
When considering any kind of education it is important to learn from reputable, qualified and authorised teachers. It is perfectly ok to quiz a prospective teacher about their experience with Reiki.

Here are 3 questions to ask a teacher:

In which lineage did you train in reiki?
As Reiki has grown and developed as a practice, many Reiki Master’s have developed their own variations on the original traditional teachings. If they are practicing traditional Reiki, they will be working within the Usui Shiki Ryoho Tradition. You should be able to trace the lineage back to Reiki founder, Dr Mikao Usui in Japan.

Do they have a daily self practice?
A teacher who practices daily hands-on self-treatment will have more expertise and understand the practice with greater depth than teachers who don’t have a consistent, committed self-practice. It matters because their level of experience will be reflected in the quality of their teaching.

Are you running a treatment clinic as well as courses?
This helps you understand how proficient the teacher is in practicing Reiki professionally in a clinic setting. This is a crucial indicator of the skill level of the teacher and their ability to practice what they teach. Some practitioners will have clinics in wellness centres and others in a dedicated clinic room. Look for signs of professionalism. A respectable Reiki teacher won’t be found practicing on a yoga mat in their bedroom.

2. Your sense of the teacher’s presence
A well practiced teacher will be welcoming, calm, non-judgemental, professional and will communicate clearly. It is ok to be picky with teachers and hunt around for one that suits you. Here are some ways of measuring a teachers presence and compatibility.

Do you feel drawn to their energy?
If they are practicing what they teach, their energy will be inviting and inspiring. They will be engaging, informative and have clear boundaries. Their speech will stimulate your mind leaving you feeling intrigued and provoking many questions. You will feel safe with them with a sense of trust. Their genuine passion for Reiki will be visible both in their character and in their overall health. If they are practicing regularly, they will radiate wellness and vitality.

Do they listen to you and respond well to your questions?
Whilst this might seem like a given, for many teachers it isn’t. A skilful reiki teacher will be patient with you, hold space for your questions and endeavour to respond well to them. They will not dismiss your questions, ridicule them or get defensive. If you witness these signs, quickly move on to the next one.

Do you like and feel rapport with the teacher?
For many students, they are drawn to the teachers with popular reputations, large social media presence and who get miraculous results. Whilst there is nothing wrong with this, sometimes making that personal connection just isn’t possible. There is huge value in making the time to do your research; reviewing testimonials, making a phone call, and, even better – meeting them in person at one of their classes. Feeling comfortable, assured and liking them personally are all qualities that go a long way in building confidence to learn from them.

3. Accessibility of the teacher and practicalities
Traditionally, a reiki course and attunement is always conducted in person. Sometimes the location of the Reiki teacher you feel drawn to may not be down the road, but it is worth making the time to find a good one and make the trip. For some students, they just want to get the course done and tick the box. What i say to them is – reiki is for life, not just for Christmas. Reiki training is a sacred art and should not be rushed. You have your whole life ahead of you to develop your Reiki practice and to enjoy the benefits it brings into your life.

How long should a course last for?
There is no agreed standard on the duration of a Reiki 1 and Reiki 2 course but a general rule of thumb is 10 hours of training. This can be spread out over 1, 2 or sometimes even three days. There isn’t a ‘right’ length for a course and it comes down to your personal learning style and if your prefer intensive training or staggered training. For Reiki 2 courses, one thing to look for is if the teacher offers clinic training and/or regular Reiki Shares to practice your skills at.

I can’t attend a Reiki course in person, can i just do it online?
In the digital age, more and more Reiki teachers are offering training online. Whilst this enhances availability of reiki, Reiki initiations are traditionally always conducted in person at a course. Whilst some teachers claim to conduct Reiki attunement initiations remotely, it is unreliable, uncertain and often unsuccessful. It is ok for some of the training to be online modules, but nothing beats personal engagement with your teacher and having interactive discussions with other students. Many of my students often feel they learn from each others questions and enjoy sharing the Reiki experience together. For some, it can create lasting and meaningful friendships.

How much should a Reiki Level 1 course cost?
Traditionally, Reiki has always been taught at a financial cost to facilitate a fair energy exchange for teaching transferral. Prices for Reiki courses will vary significantly and this can be very revealing as to the quality of the teaching you will receive. Low fees often suggest low confidence, inexperience and low value for money. Higher fees will reflect the value the teacher places on Reiki in our modern age. It is a one-off investment that is going to benefit your health for the rest of your life. It’s a no brainer to want to be taught correctly and to be taught well. Make the investment in yourself, your so worth it!

Final Thoughts

The spiritual teachers you choose to study with can be some of the most inspiring and influential people in your life. The knowledge, wisdom and insights that they impart can often help you shape the course of your life in incredibly new and meaningful ways and leave a lasting impact. Reiki training is no different. If you really apply, practice and integrate the Reiki teachings, it becomes a part of your daily life and can help you create personal transformation that you never forget. For me, this was the deep healing of social and performance anxiety that had plagued my teenage years and early twenties. Today that is a past life that i now deeply honour as the catalyst for my healing journey. The freedom from anxiety, that Reiki continues to help me create, has become my daily fuel in playing my part to making Reiki thrive!