How to choose your Reiki Master?
Reiki is an oral tradition passed down from Master to student by the process of practical teaching and attunement (similar to a one-to-one initiation ceremony). The easiest way of explaining the attunement process is to imagine that you are a radio and what I do is to tune you in to Radio Reiki, so that from that moment on you will be able to 'channel' Reiki whenever it is needed.
Personally I always feel a little uncomfortable with the term 'Master'. For me it sums up images of Doctor Who or someone who is at the end of their journey or training. The truth is that I started my career as a Holistic Therapist in 2002, have been teaching for twelve years and a Reiki Master for thirteen and I am still learning every day. I sincerely hope that I never stop learning, because that is the fun part and the part that constantly goes into updating my manuals and gets passed on to you in one way or another.
Finding the right Reiki Master for you is always going to be a subjective experience, because there are many teaching and learning styles and what appeals or is right for one person is not always appealing or right for another. This page is intended as a guide to help you find the right person for you and I can only advise from my own experience, so I hope it helps. :-)
So how do you choose who to learn Reiki with? I cannot in all honesty tell you who to choose, that is up to you, but I would like to share with you some points to think about when looking for a course and a Reiki Master to suit you.
A Reiki Master can be someone who has been doing what they do for many years and has a wealth of wisdom and knowledge to pass on...or it can mean that the person has simply completed four days of 'learn levels 1 to 4 in a weekend' training and believes themselves ready to teach what they have learned straightaway...and this is why it is wise to 'shop around' for your teacher. Many Reiki teachers do not have a teaching qualification, however a wealth of experience can sometimes make up for this and so it is worth keeping in mind what kind of experience you would like to have whilst learning.
Another point to think about is what else is the Reiki Master bringing to the table, what other experience have they got when it comes to other therapies, etc. For instance, my passion is energy and working with clients to be the best that they can be, so I bring experience of EFT, NLP and Hypnotherapy into my practice of Reiki and my teaching of it. I also worked as a Holistic Therapist for many years and this also informs every aspect of my work and teaching. So, for instance, when teaching about contra-indication and healing reactions, health and safety, how to make a client feel comfortable and more relaxed, how to offer advice on wellness and sleep, etc, these are all areas that I have direct practical experience in as a practitioner and so this knowledge cannot help but filter through into everything I do and everything I teach. Being a qualified teacher is also especially useful when teaching others to become Reiki Teachers because I am able to pass a lot of that practical knowledge on how to run courses on to my own students...and I am very bossy when it comes to passing on organisation skills! :-) On the other hand, some Reiki teachers only have experience of being Reiki practitioners and nothing else, so its worth thinking about whether choosing someone with extra experience, skills and knowledge of other healing modalities will enhance your own learning experience and practice of Reiki in the future.
A good Reiki Master will always be cool about being 'interviewed' for the post of your teacher, i.e. how long have they been teaching, what is their own background and experience, are they insured and qualified to teach, what back-up do they offer afterwards, etc. They will also be able to show you their 'lineage'. A lineage is their Reiki family tree, which shows who they have learnt from, who their teacher has learnt from, all the way back up the tree to Dr Usui, the founder of Reiki. It is important to know where the energy that is being passed down to you comes from and so being able to see someone's lineage can give you the peace of mind that they have been properly taught along the way. A lineage also offers you a unique connection to the source of Reiki, helps to put where Reiki comes from into perspective and helps you to feel part of the Reiki family.
The environment where I am going to learn is really important to me...honestly, over the years I have attended classes, and taught, in some places that I would really rather not ever visit again! So it is a good idea to go and visit your prospective Master and have a treatment. If you have never had a Reiki treatment before, this will give you the chance to see and feel how a full professional session is carried out, which is hugely useful when it comes time for you to practice on others yourself. It will also give you the chance to check out where you will be learning, to make sure you feel comfortable with the environment AND your prospective teacher. It is really important that you resonate and feel comfortable with the person that you are going to be learning from. After all, you are going to be stuck in a room together on the day of your course, and rely on their back-up afterwards, and if they don't inspire confidence or make you feel comfortable it is going to be a disappointing experience all round!
Lastly, it is important to think about what you are getting for your money...
Most Reiki courses are fairly similar in cost, so what else are you getting apart from the experience, knowledge, training and expertise of your teacher? For myself, I offer a full day's tuition, with hot and cold refreshments and snacks throughout the day, although I will ask you to bring your own packed lunch, as I have learnt the hard way how varied tastes and dietary restrictions can be.
I have found that emailing my manual out before the course means that a) you have it to keep forever and b) you get to read it before attending the practical day. I feel very strongly that it is important that you go away happy, knowing what you are doing and that you get what you came for. This is another reason that you get your manual beforehand, because this way you don't feel the need to read it on the day, instead of enjoying yourself and joining in. I am definitely an 'info junkie' (my manuals are on average 34-45 A4 pages thick), so they are packed full of all the information that we go through on the practical day PLUS they give detailed step-by-step instructions so that you should never get stuck when you are putting everything into practice at home.
You will also have the reassurance of knowing that you can contact me whenever you need to after the course. I am a woman of a certain age and prone to 'brain farts' (moments when my mind goes blank), so I decided that an 'open door' policy was the only way to go, so if you have a 'brain fart' or a question, you can simply text, email, ring or make an appointment to come round and have a chat over a cup of tea if need be. I also have a personal, business and a student's page on Facebook so that you can keep in touch with me and the new friends that you meet on your course. Traditionally Reiki students would go through all of the four levels of training with the same Master, this still happens today and I have been fortunate enough to take many students all of the way through from Level I to Master-Teacher (I cannot even begin to tell you what a privilege and thrill this is for me to be able to do this). So students often swap telephone numbers and email addresses, swap treatments with each other and meet on the Facebook student page as they progress through the Reiki levels.
One of the best ways of deciding who to learn with is to check out testimonials from other students, as these can offer unbiased opinions in their own words and can give you a really good indication of the kind of experience that you can expect. Please feel free to check out my testimonial page above to read some of my student's experiences in their own words.
So I hope that all of the above has given you food for thought and will help when it comes to choosing the ideal Reiki Master for your own personal Reiki journey. At the end of the day it simply comes down to the person you 'vibe' and feel comfortable with and what they can offer you. I am always happy to chat about one of my favourite subjects, so please feel free to give me a call if you have any questions. So happy vibing...and if you feel drawn to what I have to offer I will very much look forward to hopefully meeting you soon. :-)
In love and light, Cherri xxx
Cherri Ann Matthews Therapies and Training t: (01793) 871410 m: 07720635761 e: firstname.lastname@example.org