Questions to ask a Reiki teacher/ along with my answers.

The following is an article written by Reiki Master William Rand in 2001 and presented in The Reiki News.

I have taken the liberty to offer it here, along with my own answers to the questions, for your information.

Questions to ask a Reiki Master about Reiki Training

by William Lee Rand


"There are many people teaching Reiki classes now. Some are highly qualified and may be just the right teacher for you and others may not have the right energy for your needs. So, the question is often asked about how to choose a Reiki teacher that is right for you. Here is a list of questions to ask any Reiki master who you are thinking about taking a class from."


How long have you been working with Reiki? What training have you had?


I began my Reiki training with Reiki Alliance member Barbi Lazonby in January of 1996. I completed training through Second Degree with Barbi and began an apprenticeship with her in the master level.

Unable to complete my apprenticeship with Barbi for several reasons, I continued training with Reiki Master Richard Rivard of Vancouver, Canada in early 1997 and completed Advanced Reiki Training. Shortly thereafter, I began and then completed a master apprenticeship with Reiki Master Daniel 'EagleBear' Day in late Fall of 1997. After going back and taking further master training in the Spring of 2005, I was certified by Rick Rivard as a Threshold Reiki (his style of Reiki training) Shihan/Master.


How often do you teach?


As the owner, director and teacher of the Gainesville Center for Reiki Training, I currently teach both a First and a Second Degree Reiki class on a monthly basis. Occasionally, I am asked to teach extra classes, sometimes outside of the Gainesville area.

I also teach a First Degree Class at the University of Florida during the Fall and Spring Semesters every year.


How do you personally use Reiki?


I use Reiki in my daily life as a form of meditation and a way to stay balanced and healthy in mind, body and spirit. I also offer Reiki to my family and friends. I teach classes regularly.

Because of current legal limitations on the professional practice of Reiki in Florida, I was involved with a nonprofit educational organization called Florida Health Freedom Coalition from 2000 until 2008, serving as President of the board the last two years.

What is your lineage?


My original lineage to Reiki is: Usui/Hayashi/Takata/Samdahl/Lazonby.


Will this training initiate me into, or progress me within the Usui lineage?


Most definitely!


What qualifications are required to take Reiki Training?


The only qualifications for taking the First Degree of Reiki (Shoden) is a desire to learn and a commitment to regular practice and application. No prior training in energy work or human anatomy, physiology, etc. is necessary. Anyone can learn Reiki by going to a certified Reiki Master Teacher and taking their class.


What do you cover in your classes?


My classes are based on my own training with Reiki Alliance member, Barbi Lazonby, as well as my other two teachers and my own experience over the past 14 years. This training is Usui Shiki Ryoho, as taught by the first Reiki Master Teacher in the West, Mrs. Hawayo Takata.

As a part of my classes, I also offer an introduction and techniques from the Japanese Reiki Society, which is in existence today in Japan, originally founded by master students of the creator of the Reiki system, Mikao Usui. Mrs. Takata's Reiki Master was Chujiro Hayashi, a student of Usui's and one of the founders of the Japanese Reiki Society.

Training is done in three levels, or degrees.

The First Degree (Shoden) includes four attunements to empower the student to use Reiki. Students are taught how to self-treat, as well as the hand positions and protocol created by Masters Usui and Hayashi for sharing Reiki with others.

A history of the system is offered, as well as discussion of ethical/touch issues, hygiene and suggestions for setting up a safe and comfortable Reiki 'space.'

Hands-on practice time is included for self-treatment as well as practicing on other classmates. Shoden techniques from the Japanese Reiki Society are also offered in the manual.

In Second Degree Reiki (Okuden), the student receives three more attunements, or empowerments, specifically teaching them the use of the Reiki symbols.

Reiki symbols are tools or keys that are used to help the student to focus their intent and deepen their understanding and practical use of Reiki. It is said that Okuden attunements square the amount of Reiki energy made available to the student.

It is my opinion that with each attunement to Reiki, at whatever level, more energy is attained by the student, as well as with the frequent use of Reiki in one's life through self-treatment and sharing Reiki with others.

How many hours of class time is included?


First Degree class is taught in two formats. If taught at the Center for Reiki Training, the class runs from 9 AM until approximately 5 PM. It is a one day class.

A vegetarian lunch is served.

If the student opts to take the class through the University of Florida, the class is a one day class as well.

Second Degree (Okuden) class is only offered at the Center. This is also a one day class, meeting from 9 AM until approximately 5 PM, as well.

A vegetarian lunch is served.

How much time is instructional, and how much is hands-on practice?


In First Degree class, approximately 50% of the time is instructional and the rest hands-on practice on themselves and others.

In Second Degree class, approximately 60% of the time is instructional, learning to draw symbols and pronounce the kotodama and how to use them. About 40% is practicing the techniques using the symbols.


What are the specific things I will be able to do after taking the training?


Upon completion of First Degree class, the student will be able to feel Reiki energy flowing from their hands. They will be able to perform a full Reiki session on themselves, as well as others.

Upon completion of the Second Degree class, the student will have learned how to draw and use the Reiki symbols; how to pronounce the kotodama for each symbol; how to use each symbol and for what purpose each one is assigned. They will be able to send Reiki to others at a distance (anywhere in the world); to other places, situations, past, present and future.

What are your fees, and will I receive a certificate and a manual?


All fees are subject to change but will be accurately reflected on my web page..

Tuition for First Degree class is $150. A 100+ page manual is given in the First Degree class, as well as a certificate as a First Degree Reiki Practitioner.

Tuition for Second Degree Class is $150. Tuition fees vary widely from teacher to teacher. Alliance members generally ask a fee of $500. for Second Degree certification. A manual and Second Degree Certificate is awarded to all who complete this course, as well.


Can I take notes and tape record the class?


I have no problem with a student taking notes if they feel a need to do so, however, the manual is quite thorough. I would prefer not to have my classes taped due to the general distraction it would cause and I have no control on how that information is used outside of the class environment.


How many symbols will I learn?


In First Degree, no symbols are taught.

In Second Degree, the traditional three Reiki symbols are taught.


Is there a Reiki support group in my area or can you help me establish one?


Many of my students come from out of town. I will be happy to try and help locate a Reiki community for them where they live. I am also available at any time via phone or email to answer any questions that might arise and to offer support as I can.


Will you openly support me in being a successful Reiki practitioner or master?




Do you have a positive respectful attitude toward other Reiki practitioners and masters, regardless of lineage or affiliation?


I believe that I do.

Over the years, there have been many 'offshoots' developed of the original Reiki system. Depending on the Reiki 'style' and teacher, training can consist of many variables.

I believe that class time is important and that the relationship that develops between teacher and student is a valuable asset to learning Reiki. However, it is just the introduction, in a sense. The student is given the attunements, which make that connection with Reiki and empowers them to use it. It is ultimately up to the student to develop their 'practice', to use Reiki in their lives to bring themselves into harmony and well being and then to share it with others. The responsibility of the teacher is to train, inspire, encourage and support the student throughout their Reiki 'journey.'

To be an example.

That doesn't mean that a Reiki Master is perfect! They are human beings just like you. They are on a journey as well, and a sign of a sincere teacher is one who continues to grow, who seeks to heal themselves on all levels. In my opinion, that is a journey of a lifetime!

I want to add here that I have not included training to be a Master/Teacher in this discussion. Reiki Master apprenticeship is a very serious commitment that one makes! I have trained apprentices in the past and am willing to do so again.

I love teaching more than anything else in my life and feel deeply honored to play a part in 'birthing' another Reiki master.

Traditionally, a student was offered master training only when their teacher felt that they were ready. The student never asked. Perhaps this tradition was born of the Japanese culture, nothing more.

If a student of Reiki feels a deep desire to teach, I will be very happy to discuss apprenticeship training with them, whether they have trained with me previously or not.

Unlike many western Reiki teachers today, I demand a lengthy and rigorous training period, including sharing Reiki with others, keeping records, helping me with my classes each month, organizing their own classes under my tutelage, etc.

There is a minimum of a six months commitment.

It is true. Reiki Master training can be attained with a lot less commitment.

However, in my humble opinion, you get out of it what you put into it!

Reiki training, the 'journey', is the experience. I encourage everyone to take their time, to enjoy every moment. There is no need to rush!

I am willing and very happy to discuss the possibilities with anyone who is serious!

William Rand ends his article with the following suggestion:

"Be aware of how you feel about their answers and if they are responding in a loving manner that is supportive and empowering. Listen to your heart and you will be guided to the right teacher."