With every area of learning there is usually a vocabulary that is used by people in the system to more effectively communicate ideas, concepts practices, and to make the discussion of subjects in that topic easier to understand. Reiki is no different. For absolute beginners different terms like "attunements", "symbols", "Usui Shiki Ryoho" may be confusing at first. This Glossary is an aid to assist you in understanding the many different concepts and practices in Reiki quickly.
Advanced Reiki Training - (also known as Level IIIa, Reiki Master Practitioner, or "Personal Mastery Level" in the Usui/Tibetan Systems) A collection of new age techniques and pseudo-Tibetan practices added to the Hayashi-Takata System of Reiki in the west. Advanced Reiki Training generally consists of Reiki Crystal Grids, a healing attunement, the Antahkarana symbol, Reiki Guide Meditation, Psychic Surgery, Reiki Symbol Meditation. Most closely associated with Raku Kai Reiki and William Rand's Usui Tibetan Reiki.
Antahkarana Symbol - A symbol consisting of a cube shape with 7's on its face surfaces. Presumably of Tibetan origin although this cannot be determined. Claimed to have panacea type effects on all areas of healing. This is used in a specific meditation as well as on "master frequency generator plates" developed by Ralf Jensen.
Attunements - Attunements are a technique common to all forms of reiki in the west. They use a process of placing the Reiki Symbols and energy into the meridians, aura or energy body of the recipient of the attunement process. Some Attunement systems focus on placing the energy in the Chakras. Attunements empower people to use reiki on themselves and others and facilitate a connection to the reiki source.
Beaming - Beaming is a technique of distant healing. It is a line of sight distant reiki sending to a person. Although a distant healing technique, this is generally done in the presence of another when hands on reiki touch might be inappropriate (abuse cases, burn victims). Beaming is common to other healing systems such as in the Johrei Fellowship.
Blood Exchange - The blood exchange is a reiki method of cleansing the blood of toxins. It is thought that these practices stimulate the body to produce new blood cells and to stimulate the mreidians effected.
Breath of the Fire Dragon (See also "Violet Breath") - A special breathing technique used to place the reiki symbol in the crown of the student during an attunement. It is also used in Raku Kai to develop the microcosmic orbit and strengthen the reiki channel and promote health.
Byosen (See Also "Scanning") - A process where the hands of the reiki master move over the body of the recipient to determine if there are weaknesses, changes, or areas in need of treatment. There are various methods used. This is called Byosen Reikian ho in the Reiki ho practices in Japan.
Chakras - Chakras are energy vortices on the energy body that comprise part of the energy system. They are Indo-Tibetan in origin and were added to reiki in the Raku Kai system of Reiki. They are currently commonly taught in many forms of reiki. Chakras were not part of the Japanese Reiki Practices or Mrs. Takata's practices.
Cho Ku Rei - The First Reiki Symbol. Cho Ku Rei is commonly called the "Power" symbol in the Western Styles of Reiki (Usui Shiki Ryoho) but is called "Focus" in Traditional Japanese Reiki and in Japan. Some meanings for the symbol might be "God is here", or "put the power here".
Cleansing (21 day cleanse) - Cleansing (also "clearing") is a process of the body removing toxins and realigning the energy fields following a reiki treatment or attunement. Some practitioners feel this process takes 21 days or can be so severe it can cause a "healing crisis". Many other practitioners feel that the reaction to attunements and treatments is individual and lasts as long as is necessary for the individual. Cleansing was taught in the original system but was seldom thought to last more than a day.
Dai Ko Mio - (also known as the Usui Master Symbol) The Dai Ko Mio is the Master symbol used in the all Reiki Systems. It is the symbol for the Ultimate Source of Love, Light, Harmony and Healing. It is sometimes translated to mean the "Great Shining Light".
Distant Attunements - An Attunement that uses the Reiki Distant Symbol (Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen) to perform the attunement on someone not physically present. A logical extension of Reiki Distant Healing and the Distant Symbol.
Distant Healing - This is sending Reiki energy for the purpose of healing someone not physically present. This uses the Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen (Distant Symbol) and a variety of techniques such as the photo technique, reiki stacks, healing lists, or teddy bear technique for a point of focus.
Distant Symbol (See - Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen) - The Third Reiki Symbol. The Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen is a combination of Japanese Kanji (symbol language) that can mean "no past, no present, no future" which represents the timeless original purity of the source of all and the spirit of man. A translation might be "To act in the Realization of Absolute Beingness" (Thanks to Gabriel Shivers for that definition).
Dumo (also known as "Tibetan Master Symbol") - The Dumo is a "Tibetan" Symbol that is part of the William Rand Usui/Tibetan System as well as used by various Independent Reiki Masters including Diane Stein. This symbol is also referred to as the "Tibetan Dai Ko Mio". This symbol is thought to unify the body and mind. It is reported to work with fire in the base chakra by igniting the Sacred flame (i.e., the Kundalini energy). It is believed to pull negative energy and disease from the body and mind.
Empowerments - Any process to help another develop the ability to use an energy or technique. The Reiju technique was an empowerment used by Usui to pass the Reiki energy to others.
Energy Exchanges - A new age concept often used to justify charging for reiki training or treatments, particularly high fees. It appears to have been added onto the system in the western world after the Death of Mrs. Takata. The concept is that when one gives or trains another in Reiki, the person receiving must give to the Reiki teacher in order to keep the universe in balance.
Fire Serpent (See Also Nin Giz Zida) - A "Tibetan" symbol used in the Usui/Tibetan tradition. The Fire Serpent represents the "Sleeping Serpent" coiling at the base of the spine. The fire Serpent is used during an attunement with horizontal line over top of crown, snaking down the spine, and spiraling clockwise at base of spine; grounds energy into lower (feet to tailbone) body. By reversing the spiral (counter-clockwise) starting at base of spine, snaking up spine and ending with horizontal line over the crown; it pushes energy up to four upper chakras. It does not allow energy to escape out of crown chakra. The fire serpent connects and opens all chakras. It opens the central channel allowing the flow of Kundalini fire. It can be used in healing or meditation for more balance and receptivity.
Gakkai - The Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai was the original organization that Mikao Usui Founded which continues to practice and teach Reiki in an unbroken line since the passing of Mikao Usui. The Gakkai's practices are referred to as Reiki Ryoho, or "Reiho". The emphesis is more on a spiritual awakening and healing. The system takes longer to learn than its counterpart in the west. .
Global Reiki Masters Association (GRMA) - The Global Reiki Masters Association (GRMA) is an International Association of Reiki Masters. The members are a diverse group who respect all Reiki Practices. The GRMA tries to provide truthful information, training, and empowerment about Reiki. The GRMA is dedicated to spreading the Gift of Reiki throughout the world to all that need and wish to have the Gift of Reiki in their lives. The GRMA was founded by Joseph "Running Wolf" Sparti so that all the wish to learn Reiki are able to do so free of the control of others. The GRMA sponsers Free Worldwide Distant Master Attunements several times per year. These Singular Master Empowerments are performed by the membership of the GRMA.
Hand Positions - Hand positions refer to the specific hand positions used when performing a Reiki treatment. The reiki practitioner places their hands on specified positions and lets the reiki flow into the recipient's body at these points to facilitate healing. It appears that in Usui's Original Practices there were five positions and then he used Reji and Byosen to sense and scan for other locations to be treated. In Traditional Japanese Reiki, which is of the Hayashi line, there are seven positions. In the Hayashi-Takata line there are twelve. Other reiki systems may use different numbers of positions.
Hatsurei ho - This is a meditation and breathing technique that was used by Usui. It is still used in Reiki Ryoho as practiced by the Gakkai. It is a technique that empowers the practitioner by increasing and enhancing their reiki channel and their connection to the reiki source. It is also to help the practitioner grow spiritually. It includes a self cleansing ritual as well as two different meditation practices.
Hayashi (Chujiro Hayashi, Dr. Hayashi) - Dr. Chujiro Hayashi was made a Reiki Master in 1925 and was a student of Usui. Dr. Hayashi was a retired officer from the Japanese Navy. He opened a Reiki clinic which was more along the lines of a medical model. Dr. Hayashi made some modifications in the system including a heavier emphesis on the symbols and attunements, and most likely developed the 12 standard hand positions from in use in the west today. These hand positions allowed Reiki to be given by several practitioners at once. This group healing technique was used in his clinic. He was the teacher of Hawayo Takata.
Healing Attunements - A non-initiatory attunement technique thought to "increase healing" developed by William Rand. Although the procedure is thought to not initiate the recipient into reiki as a practitioner, some masters have concern over using this procedure because they found that students retained the ability to do reiki and had no training.
Healing Crisis - A concept found in pranic healing and other healing approaches that some masters have added into reiki. The concept of a healing crisis is that the recipient of a reiki treatment or attunement experience a "release" and go into an emotional or physical "crisis". The concept is not widely accepted by most masters.
Hui Yin - An "energy cranking" technique used in attunements. It was added into Raku Kai Reiki and is part of William Rand's Usui/Tibetan practices and Diane Stein's Work. It is more commonly known in chi kung as the Microcosmic orbit.
Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen - The Third Reiki Symbol The Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen is a combination of Japanese Kanji (symbol language) that can mean "no past, no present, no future" which represents the timeless original purity of the source of all and the spirit of man. A translation might be "To act in the Realization of Absolute Beingness" (Thanks to Gabriel Shivers for that definition).
Independent Reiki Masters - Independent Reiki Masters is a term used to describe people who are Reiki Masters that are not aligned with a particular school or approach. They might use an ecclectic approach with techniques from many schools. The vast majority of Reiki Masters in the west are Independent Reiki Masters.
Intent - Reiki is an Intent driven system. Intent is the key to using the Reiki energy in healing and attunements.
Johrei - Johrei is a religion or spiritual practice that was developed by Mokichi Okada, a contemporary of Mikao Usui. He founded Sei Kai Kyu Sei Kyo better known as Johrei and as the Johrei“ Fellowship. LIke Reiki, Johrei also uses Reiju to empower its followers. A "Johrei Reiki" was developed from Raku Kai Reiki using the White Light (Johrei) symbol as part of its practices and attunements. The name was changed to Vajra Reiki after some legal entanglements over the use of the word Johrei. The Fellowship maintains a website at www.Johrei.com.
Karuna Reiki“ - Karuna Reiki“ is a healing system founded by William Rand from his learning new symbols and Kathleen Milner's healing system which became Tera Mai‘ Reiki and Seichem. It is claimed to be "higher frequency" that Usui Reiki. It was formerly known as Sai Baba Reiki but the name changed due to legal complications from using the Sai Baba name. The system is Trade Marked, controlled and regulated through the International Center for Reiki Studies‘ in Michigan, USA.
Karuna Ki - Karuna Ki is a Compassionate Heart Energy and Healing System developed by Vinny Amador from work with Tera Mai and Karuna. It shares common symbols with Karuna Reiki“ and Tera Mai‘ Reiki but adds many new meditations, mudras and other techniques. The system is based on the cultivation of the compassionate heart.
Ki Ko - The name for Japanese Traditional Chi Kung (Qi Gong) Practices. Usui used many chi kung practices in the development of Reiki.
Levels in Reiki (See Also - Sho-den, Oku-den, Shinpi-den) - Reiki is traditionally taught in the West in three levels.
Level I - Generally includes the Reiki Principles, the hand positions, Reiki History, and you receive the Reiki attunements. In traditional schools there are four attunements done at the first level. In other schools, including the Tibetan/Usui schools, there may be a combined level I attunement. Some schools teach that Reiki I heals on the physical level.
Level II - Generally includes the three Reiki Symbols (Focus, Harmony, and Connection), Mental/Emotional Healing, Distant Healing, and another attunement. The Tibetan/Usui school adds the techniques scanning and beaming. Some schools teach Reiki II is "emotional healing".
Level III (Master/Teacher Level) - Generally includes the Usui Master Symbol (empowerment symbol) and its meaning and application, The attunement process and practice in its application, and how to teach others. Some schools teach that Reiki III is for Spiritual healing.
Some traditions (the Usui/Tibetan Schools and other various Independent Practitioners) have added a Level IIIa in between Level II and the Master/Teacher Level. Level IIIa is often called Advanced Reiki Training (ART). Some of the techniques that might be included here are: Reiki Meditation using the symbols, using the symbols for manifesting goals, Reiki and crystals, making a Reiki crystal grid, Reiki meditation to meet you "reiki guide", Reiki Healing Attunement, the Tibetan Antahkarana symbol and a meditation for its use, the Hui Yin position and the Violet Breath.
Master Symbol (See Also Dai Ko Mio) - The Dai Ko Mio is the Master symbol used in the all Reiki Systems. It is the symbol for the Ultimate Source of Love, Light, Harmony and Healing. It is sometimes translated to mean the "Great Shining Light".
Meditation - Any number of focusing, breathing, or contemplative methods designed to bring about a heightened state of consciousness and/or enlightenment. In Usui Reiki Ryoho the most important and prominant is the Hasturei ho. Various other western systems have added Reiki Meditations.
Mental Emotional Symbol (See Also "Sei Hei Ki") - This is the second Reiki symbol. It is thought to help heal on the mental and emotional levels in the body. It is also called the "Harmony" symbol in Traditional Japanese Reiki.
Mikao Usui - Developer of Reiki. Born August 15th, 1865 in the Yamagata district of Gifu prefecture in a village called Yago. Usui studied Buddhism at the school and temple on Mt. Kurama as a child. It is also thought that he may have studied a Japanese form of Chi Kung called Ki Ko and other oriental healing systems.
Nin Giz Zida (See Also Fire Serpent) - A "Tibetan" symbol used in the Usui/Tibetan tradition. The Fire Serpent represents the "Sleeping Serpent" coiling at the base of the spine. The fire Serpent is used during an attunement with horizontal line over top of crown, snaking down the spine, and spiraling clockwise at base of spine; grounds energy into lower (feet to tailbone) body. By reversing the spiral (counter-clockwise) starting at base of spine, snaking up spine and ending with horizontal line over the crown; it pushes energy up to four upper chakras. It does not allow energy to escape out of crown chakra. The fire serpent connects and opens all chakras. It opens the central channel allowing the flow of Kundalini fire. It can be used in healing or meditation for more balance and receptivity.
Non-Traditional Reiki - Reiki in the Hayashi-Takata (Usui Shiki Ryoho Tradition) that has been modified in some way. This might include distant attunements, additions of crystals, Angels, other symbols, different attunements, and other things. The masters are generally Independent Reiki Masters.
O Oku-den - The Second Teachings in Reiki Ryoho in Japan. It consists of two parts which are Oku den Zenki and Oku den Kouki. These levels include Hatsurei ho, the hand techniques of Ushi te, Oshi te, and Nade te, Sei Hei Ki Chiryou, and Enkaku Chiryou (distant treatment), as well as the blood exchanges.
Power Symbol (See Also "Cho Ku Rei") - The First Reiki Symbol. Cho Ku Rei is commonly called the "Power" symbol in the Western Styles of Reiki (Usui Shiki Ryoho) but is called "Focus" in Traditional Japanese Reiki and in Japan. Some meanings for the symbol might be "God is here".
Raku - A lightening-like symbol that is used at the end of attunements to seperate the energies of the Master and student. Most commonly used in the Usui/Tibetan and Raku Kai Traditions.
Raku Kai Reiki - A system of Reiki developed by Arthur Robertson. Arthur Robertson was a student of Iris Ishikuro (one of Takata's 22 masters). The system incorporated Ralf Jensen's Master Frequency Generator Plates, The "Tibetan" practices of the Hui Yin, and Breath of the Fire Dragon (i.e., Violet Breath), the Tibetan Symbols (Raku, Dumo, and the Fire Serpent), the O Sui CHing Water Ritual, and Iris Ishikuro's use of the White Light Symbol (Johrei). This school has influenced or led to the developement of the Usui/Tibetan Schools, Vajra Reiki, as well as Karuna Reiki“ and Tera Mai‘ Reiki.
Radiance Technique‘- A school of Reiki developed by Barbara Weber Ray, who was one of Takata's 22 Masters. Barbara claimed that she had information from Takata that was not given to the other masters. This school has also been known as Real Reiki‘. It originally had only three levels, but currently has six.
Reiho - A shortened name for Reiki Ryoho or Reiki ho. It refers to practices and the system used in the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai.
Reiji - Reiji is the ability to find or spot imbalances in the body. It develops naturally as you practice Reiki. Consistent practice in healing others leads to the ability to be guided to the cause of the recipient's problem. This knowledge will be known even before scanning the person's body
Reiki - Reiki (pronounced Ray-Key) is a system of Enlightenment and a Hands on Healing art developed in the early 1900's by Mikao Usui in Japan. It is an art that is passed from Master to student. The word Reiki comes from two Japanese words - Rei and Ki, meaning universal life energy. The term "reiki" is used to describe both the energy and the Usui system of using it. The original system by Usui was called Usui Reiki Ryoho. There are many variant's of reiki being practiced these days. Included in this list might be Usui Shiki Ryoho, "Traditional Reiki" of the Takata-Furumoto line as practiced in America, Traditional Japanese Reiki developed from Hayashi's students in Japan and practiced in Canada, Various Non-Traditional Reiki Styles practiced by Independent Reiki Masters, Usui-Tibetan Reiki, Tibetan-Usui Reiki, Raku Kai Reiki, Tera Mai(tm) Reiki, Angelic Reiki and many others.
Reiju - The original empowerment used by Mikao Usui to pass on the reiki energy. Reiju developed into the Attunements that are used in Usui Shiki Ryoho and in all western reiki systems.
Reiki Alliance - An organization formed in the Western World by Mrs. Takata's 22 masters following her death. The organization was formed by Mrs. Takata's granddaughter, Mrs. Phyllis Furumoto. The Alliance claims to represent "Traditional" Reiki. Its practices represent the Hayashi-Takata lineage. Mrs. Furumoto went from forming the Alliance to calling herself "Grandmaster" of Reiki and lately the "Spiritual" Lineage holder. The Alliance maintains a requirement that the master level should cost Ten Thousand Dollars. An attempt was made by the Alliance in 1997 to trademark the name "Reiki" and Usui Shiki Ryoho which failed in most countries.
Reiki Circle - A group reiki practice where reiki is shared.
Reiki Crystal Grids - A technique that charges crystals with Reiki and then places them in a geometric design. The purpose is to create a protective grid or to use it to send continuous healing. It is most commonly taught in the Usui/Tibetan Schools, and is a part of the Level IIIa curriculum. It is an add-on technique to the system in the Western Reiki practices.
Reiki Ethics - A set of guidleinesfor the personal and professional conduct of reiki practitioners. An example might be not sending distant reiki without permission. These vary from Master to Master and School to School.
Reiki Guides - A belief that there are specific "guides" or spirits that work with Reiki and individual practitioners. Some refer to these as "Ascendent Masters", "Spirits", or "Guides". The belief in them varies to beings that help with Reiki to beliefs like Diane Stein's that the Reiki Guides do the attunements and facilitate treatements. This is an add-on to the system in the western world that was popularized by Diane Stein in her book "Essential Reiki" and is taught as part of William Rand's Level IIIa class.
Reiki History - The stories of Mikao Usui and the development of Reiki. There are several versions from the Christianized version told by Mrs. Takata that is used in the Reiki Alliance to the historically accurate version that you can find in books like Frank Arjava Petter's "Reiki Fire". Most generally contain the thematic elements of Mikao Usui searching for a system of healing, meditating on Mt. Kurama, becoming enlightened, discovering he could heal, and starting a school to teach others to heal themselves.
Reiki Master - The original term for a Reiki Teacher in the Western World in the Usui Shiki Ryoho Tradition.
Reiki Master Practitioner - A recent term used to describe people who have taken the Level IIIa or "Personal Mastery" classes that some masters offer. Generally