• Angus Gordon

Fearfully Forgiving Student

I recently had one of my students call me about an issue that arose when they offered a family member Reiki. The recipient said, “you need to be able to forgive people before you do Reiki”. Needless to say, the session didn’t go ahead, as this remark immediately put up a barrier to what should have been an enjoyable experience for both. When I asked my student where this view came from, they replied that the family member had been told this by another Reiki master, who suggested that bad karma can be passed on if the giver isn’t in the right frame of mind. There are several issues going on here, one is that the family member has approached Reiki with a worry that something negative will happen if the practitioner isn’t 100% pure. The other is that the same old, ‘new age’ belief patterns are still being spread by those who should know better.

When we look more deeply into the system of Reiki, we can see many elements that point to Reiki being extremely simple, effective and open to all. The founder of the system of Reiki, Mikao Usui, died prematurely from a stroke, the third and last he suffered over the years during which he was spreading Reiki across Japan. If you must be in good shape to share Reiki, then surely Mikao shouldn’t have been practicing himself. When we look at the precepts left behind by Mikao, we can see that the second point is “do not worry”. If a practitioner is so concerned about forgiving everyone before starting a treatment, they may end up waiting a long time!


Over the years, I personally have been dealing with my own issues around anxiety, yet do not let this trouble me when seeing clients, for it’s not me performing any ritual. I simply allow Reiki to be shared in a moment between myself and the other person; on a very deep level, there is no giver or receiver, as there is nothing to give. Traditional Japanese Reiki was developed to enable individuals to have an experience, and ultimately an understanding, of their true self, by a process of practicing the complete system. When we look at Reiki deeper than just hands-on treatments, we can see that these elements, over time, help strip away our anger and fear, which in turn enable practitioners to become more compassionate and confident in themselves.

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