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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Reiki Digest for January 10, 2007: The Elephant in the Room

My friends, we have an elephant in the room. We can ignore it, to some extent, but that won't make it go away, or offer any protection if it should happen to sit or step on us. So we might as well acknowledge it. The elephant is the cheap, or free, "Reiki" available here in cyberspace. In scouring the Internet each week for news about Reiki, I've been running across it since before I began publishing The Reiki Digest. When I signed up for the Google ads you see on the lower left corner of the page, I made a point of filtering out ads for online "attunements" and such because I didn't want anyone to think I endorsed them. Besides, even though those ads pay only pennies, I felt it was unethical to accept money for something I don't believe in myself.

As not only a Reiki practitioner but a reporter, however, I feel I'd be distorting the news I bring you each week by failing to tell you about our elephant, all the while tiptoeing around it. Yes, in acknowledging the $5-and-under Reiki Master certificates you can buy on EBay or the web sites offering to turn you into a Reiki Master in minutes from thousands of miles away, I admit I may be costing myself, and other Reiki practitioners and teachers, some clients and students. But those free or cheap certificates and/or attunements turn up on most any search for the word "Reiki," so I'm not exactly revealing any secret here.

I would also be slanting my reporting if I pretended to have no opinion. I have spent thousands of dollars and a great deal of time and effort in my own Reiki studies, and I feel I got my money's worth and more. Even so, I paid considerably less that what was once considered the standard fee in the United States: $10,000. There was much controversy in the Reiki world more than two decades ago when Iris Ishikuro, one of the masters trained by Hawayo Takata, began teaching for less, but there was no turning back.

I'm not opposed to online education: I've enjoyed some stimulating classes through Harvard Law School's Berkman Center for Internet & Society, and am currently a student in a college distance education program. But there are some things you can learn online, and some things you need to learn in person. For example, I can't imagine learning the complex movements of Thai massage from looking at a web site, even a well-illustrated one. Nor does it seem possible to me to learn, and become attuned to Reiki that way. I expressed that opinion a few months ago in a Reiki 2 class, however, and was surprised to hear from a student who was in favor of cheap online Reiki certificates. The certificate she bought online, she said, gave her the confidence to begin a personal practice and seek out a real teacher. Her very presence in that class demonstrated that while cyber-Reiki is no substitute for in-person training, it could have value in some situations.

I'm scheduled to be discussing these issues next Monday at the New York Open Center's daylong Reiki Symposium as part of the Reiki in Cyberspace class I'll be leading along with Reiki Master James Rosenow. (If you're in the area and you're free that day, I hope you can join us.)

As I researched this week's Reiki Roundup, I ran across a press release from one of the best-known examples of cyber-Reiki, Chikara-Reiki-Do, whose founders claim that we can all attune ourselves to Reiki, following the instructions in an e-book they sell for $77. The press release was headlined, "Squeals of Protest in the Reiki Community," and it touts Chikara-Reiki-Do's latest product, a master attunement via webcast for $149, or less for those who've already bought the e-book.

Judith and Chris Conroy, proprietors of Chikara-Reiki-Do, were kind enough to answer a few questions from The Reiki Digest, so we'll let them speak for themselves:

The Reiki Digest: Will you be offering attunements through the webcast? If so, what level?

The Conroys: Yes, we will be carrying out attunements on the Webcast and we'll be taking people through to the level of Reiki Master. This will be achieved via our unique, fully guided, self-attunement process and also by way of Distance attunement.

The Reiki Digest: What do you say to Reiki practitioners who are currently making all or part of their living practicing and teaching Reiki? Are you looking to put them out of business, to get them to lower or eliminate their fees?

The Conroys: We do not deny anyone the right to earn their livings through the practice and teaching of Reiki. We have found that there is plenty of room for everyone, but chose to cater for those who could not afford the higher fees.

The Reiki Digest: Do you believe that online instruction and attunements are equal to live, in-person classes and attunements?

The Conroys: It is our experience that Reiki does not come from anywhere outside of yourself - it comes entirely from within you. Reiki is something that you already have, and all you have to do is intentionally 'switch it on'. Therefore, yes, they are certainly the equal of in-person classes. In fact we have many previously in-person attuned Reiki Masters who now know attest to this being so.

So there you have it: the elephant in our midst. What do you think? Please add your comments.

Let's move on to our Celeb-Reiki feature, brought to you by Miriam's Well Healing of New York City, specializing in the health and well-being of performing artists.

We have only one Celeb-Reiki this week, and while he is unable to speak for himself, other people are requesting Reiki for Senator Tim Johnson of South Dakota, who is recovering from a brain hemorrhage. We add our hopes for the senator's complete recovery.

In other Reiki news this week, we meet a new hospital chaplain in Vermont who also practices Reiki. We learn that "Stress can affect overall well being", and that "Diet and Exercise May Not Be Enough." And we meet a man who survived an accidental gunshot wound.

Beyond English: This week we find an article about Reiki in Spanish from Argentina, and in German, an article about Reiki from the Rheinische Post in Dusseldorf.

Finally, it's the beginning of a new season for the International House of Reiki's weekly podcasts of The Reiki Show. This week, Bronwen and Frans Stiene interview Patrick Zeigler about his night in an Egyptian pyramid, and the energy practice that came from that experience.

And speaking of the International House of Reiki, there are still a few spaces available in the April Shinpiden class in New York City, sponsored by The Reiki Digest.

New! Click here to download a Printable PDF version of this edition of The Reiki Digest.

1 Comments:

Anonymous presh said...

Do you know of anyone that has had these on line attunments? If so what is there personal take on it?. I think it might be benificial to reiki digest if we found a number of people that had this type of attunment and give us their take on it? If they all had positive results, then what is $77 in the grander schem of things?

12:51 AM  

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