The Three Levels of Reiki

What do these three stages mean in Reiki?

The Three Levels of Reiki

Reiki is an ancient Japanese practice that advocates stress reduction, relaxation, and healing. Reiki is rooted from two Japanese words: rei (“God’s wisdom” or “the higher power”) and ki (“life force energy”). The practice stems from the belief in the presence of life energy among living things; hindering of such energy causes stress and sickness.


Unlike most relaxation treatments, it doesn’t require physical manipulation. Application of oils or other substances isn’t necessary here either. Instead, practitioners only need to gently place their hands on recipients’ bodies and just give light touches. Nudity isn’t needed here as well, as recipients stay fully clothed.


Take note that Reiki isn’t taught in a typical fashion. Instead, masters pass on their techniques and knowledge to students through an “attunement” process. The process enables the opening of the crown, heart, and palm chakras and the establishment of a link between the Reiki source and the student. As the master facilitates the class, the rei (God-consciousness) watches over and modifies the process in accordance to every student’s need. After students have completed the attunement process, the Reiki will remain with them for the rest of their lives.


There are three levels each student undergoes while training. Here’s a quick rundown for each:


  1. Shoden (Reiki level 1). The entry-level stage is where the opening of the energy channels in the physical level happens. Since self-Reiki is the primary goal of this stage, students get to learn how to perform the art on themselves. The art’s history and basic hand placements are also covered here. After completing this level, students will notice tingling sensations, coolness, and heat coming from their palms; those symptoms are manifestations of physical energy.


  1. Okuden (Reiki level 2). This stage turns its attention to practicing Reiki to other people. An expansion on the opening of energy channels also occurs. In this level, students get to receive the first three Reiki symbols, which allow them to form a deep connection to the universal energy. They will also learn the ropes of distance healing. Once they finish this level, students are considered Reiki practitioners.


  1. Shinpiden (Reiki level 3). Usually considered as a master level, students who reach this stage will get to learn how to give Reiki attunements to other people and obtain the Master Reiki symbol. They will receive additional training on advanced methods to further hone their abilities. Some instructors separate level 3 classes into two parts to highlight the differences between gaining the Master attunement and training to attune new individuals.


Anyone can learn Reiki; it doesn’t take a genius to figure out how it works. Just remember to practice, practice, practice.




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Langlais, Sharna. 2014. “The 3 Levels of Reiki: What Are They & What Do They Mean?” MindBodyGreen, December 1. Accessed May 10, 2017. https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-16353/the-3-levels-of-reiki-what-are-they-what-do-they-mean.html.

Paul, Nina. “The Three Levels of Reiki Training.” Dummies. Accessed May 10, 2017. http://www.dummies.com/health/the-three-levels-of-reiki-training/.

Reiki.Org. “What is Reiki?” Accessed May 9, 2017. http://www.reiki.org/faq/whatisreiki.html.

Reiki.Org. “Learning Reiki.” Accessed May 10, 2017. http://www.reiki.org/faq/learningreiki.html.

Taking Charge of Your Health & Wellbeing. “Reiki.” Accessed May 10, 2017. https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/explore-healing-practices/reiki.



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