Reiki Level 1

There are actually three levels of Reiki (or four, depending on your teacher) for which one must be attuned before becoming a master—starting with Reiki Level 1: The First Degree. This level is all about learning the history of Reiki, proper hand placements, the basics of how to use Reiki on others, and the practice of self-Reiki, which encourages students to use the technique on themselves in order to work through personal hardships.

However, in my opinion, the most important piece of the Level 1 training is to ensure that the practitioner’s energy channels are opened on a physical level, enabling him or her to connect to the universal life force energy, which flows from the cosmos through the crown of the head and into the heart and hands. This experience often causes many practitioners to report feeling sensations in their palms after the first attunement. I indeed felt an intense tingling while some of the other students experienced coolness, heat, or pressure.

As mentioned, the attunement process is the focal point of each level of training. Especially in Level 1, stagnant energy is moved and/or dissolved, allowing the student to heal. My Reiki master warned me that this first attunement can often be uncomfortable and exhausting and that we may leave that evening feeling drained or anxious, as many repressed insecurities and pains may rise to the surface. Ultimately, this was all part of the spiritual detox process, and these matters need to be addressed before they could ever begin to be resolved.

Before we go any further, I am very aware that this all might sound a bit “out there” and can be hard to fathom. Until I actually tried it, I was curious, but always a bit sceptical of Reiki. However, when speaking with other healers about it touched me so deeply (in one instance, I almost started crying), and when various parts of my body began tingling, getting warmer, or getting colder during my first attunement, and then when those giving the attunement actually recognized these same changes in my body as well—without even laying a finger on me—I can wholeheartedly say I am no longer a sceptic.

As you can see, learning about Reiki truly requires you to open your mind, and this is one huge perk of the practice that I have been able to translate to other parts of my life, very much to my benefit.

Reiki Level 2

After completing Level 1, I felt energized and full of hope. My faith and belief in the power of things we cannot see and perhaps don’t fully understand were heightened, and ever since, I’ve felt more mystified, excited, and intrigued by the universe at large.

Once I received my Level 2 attunement, I dove right into learning all about, as well as how to draw, the major Reiki symbols. These sacred symbols are each associated with a specific healing frequency, such as power, emotional wellbeing, and balance. They are drawn in midair before a healing session begins to help practitioners focus their energy on the most relevant frequency for the person they are practicing on, and to help them connect more deeply to the universal energy.

I also learned how to channel Reiki beyond the boundaries of time and space (i.e., distance Reiki). Through time transcendence, we can heal ourselves and others of any physical or emotional traumas that occurred at any point in life—even as small children. Through space transcendence, we can heal those we love from afar. 

Reiki Level 3

Most practitioners will take Level 3 and Master training at the same time, as they are often the same designation. The definition of a Reiki Master is anyone who has received the master attunement and master symbol, understands how to give all the attunements, and has actually taught a Reiki class, thus demonstrating their ability to pass Reiki on to others. Those who have taken Reiki master training but haven’t taught at least one person would not qualify as Reiki masters but rather Third Degree practitioners—that’s the distinction between Third Degree and Reiki master.