The Reiki Digest is a free publication - You can help keep it that way (and enjoy great discounts) by patronizing our carefully selected advertisers! Thanks for your support!

Heal Your Life 468x60

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Do you keep your eyes open or shut -- or somewhere in between -- when you practice Reiki? 

Reiki practitioner Michael Swerdloff, our correspondent in Korea, checks in with an article on that very topic:

I had the opportunity earlier this month to participate in a Reiki Meet Up in Seoul, South Korea. Since Reiki is not very popular here in Korea, I was excited at the opportunity to share and receive some Reiki, and meet some good people. I was not disappointed. The group had lots of positive energy and everybody was respectful of each other. I felt welcomed from the minute I arrived and as usual, as a male, I was in the minority. I was grateful there was another male present, the group facilitator. In all, the group was made up of nine people; a few had never experienced Reiki previously and seemed to have very positive experiences. As is typically the case, I find the “proof” of Reiki success is in the change in the color and brightness of the eyes, cheeks and skin of each person as they slowly eased off the table. Our face and energy say what we are not always able to communicate verbally.

It was during the actual “table time” itself that has caught my attention and reflection since then. I have been fortunate to receive training from a very dedicated and focused Reiki Teaching Master who I think would prefer to stay anonymous, so I will honor that intention. She has instilled in me the wisdom of utilizing all our resources to support someone’s process. I am speaking specifically about using the eyes as a means of transmitting Reiki. I leave my eyes open when working with someone else. I know this has become rare these days in the Reiki community but I have had enough experience to convince me of its merits. In fact, I consciously ask for Reiki to flow through the eyes, belly, root and feet, as well as the hands. Why place limits on Reiki? I find using all three eyes increases the intensity of the energy. My experience is that the eyes are more powerful than the hands, almost without exception. The energy tends to be cleaner and tighter. I know others access their eyes during Reiki counseling, I do not understand why it is not consciously included during hands-on work. That is none of my business. I do what I do because it has been effective for me, and those I have been fortunate to pass on Reiki Teachings.

Another added benefit besides the increased energy is increased focus. My experience has been that I am more present and focused when I look at whom and where the energy is directed. My whole Self is present. I do not drift and space out as much as I used to with my eyes closed. I do not get lost in my own stuff, or get caught up in things that I do not need to be getting involved in when working with someone else. Like most Reiki Practitioners, I take our responsibility serious and try my best to honor and respect those who have been sent our way. I feel if I can stay present even a pinch more, it is worth my effort.

A third reason I appreciate working with my eyes open is the added opportunity to “see” the physical effects of the session. Seeing their breathing slow, the body relax, eyes stop twitching, belly rising and lowering naturally and all the other physical signs that I missed with my eyes closed. Since I first received Reiki Attunements and training, I have sensed what other’s process and systems functioning. This is an inner process and supports the core of Reiki for me. I am grateful I have been guided to not stop there and include visual evidence of what is happening as well. Again, why limit the possibilities? I do not say this from the perspective that I do not have enough faith in Reiki to do what it needs to do. Like most of us, I have experienced and witnessed shifts, changes and transitions that cannot be accurately described due to their at times miraculous nature. Reiki has changed my life and I have significantly more Faith in Reiki than myself. That is why I want to give myself every opportunity to stay focused, present, engaged and aligned with the Reiki lineage as much as possible. Reiki is an honor and I want to embrace that honor to whatever lengths I can. I know there have been questions and conversations about how much intention matters in Reiki, but my experiences to date strongly support the power of intention and its effectiveness. If my intention is to include my whole body and being in the process, how can it not increase the effectiveness of the process for all involved? If folks ask for Reiki to pass through their hands, why stop there?

This is not to judge or disrespect any other method that we practice as Reiki Practitioners; I am just sharing my experiences. This reflection came about from this Reiki Meet Up I participated in when folks were sharing about their process and how they didn’t know where their hands were, or where other’s hands were, etc. Keeping our eyes open and still maintaining our connection to the Source of Reiki seems a positive way to support our work. I hope for those who give it a try find the same positive effects that I have experienced.

Peace and love,

Thanks, Michael. I hope other practitioners will share their thoughts, by adding comments to this post on our web site or by emailing


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thank you. My mind is famous for wandering off. I will definitely take your advice and shift to eyes open. I am a former family therapist...eyes were open then and I could easily witness when a session was helping. Thanks for the "eye opener."


5:49 AM  
Blogger Janet said...

From Beth Lowell:

I practice on animals and I've always left my eyes open without thinking about it. My experience has been that I have always (or just about always) felt Reiki in my hands. As my practice progressed, I felt Reiki flowing from my lips. Next, my feet (during a long distance treatment when I was sitting with my legs over the arm of a chair) and lastly, from my eyes. I don't always feel it coming from places other than my hands, but it's always a fun surprise when it does.

8:14 AM  
Anonymous Scott Schumacher said...

I have always done a combination of both eyes open and eyes closed. Recently, I've become very interested in the realm of quantum physics. And from this, I've learned that there is a lot to be said for the influence of "the observer."

Our brain is capable of processing some 40,000 bits of information per second, but we can only observe 3,000. There have also been experiments about electrons "acting up" when placing an observation device in their path. The very act of "observing" can change the result of the experiment.

So, a few times ago, I decided to give Reiki to my partner, to close my eyes, and to try as much as I could to "take out the observer" from my awareness.

When I brought back my "observer" with my eyes still closed, I felt the energy shift in ways I've never felt before. It seemed like electrical waves were traveling atop my skin - bouncing along to meet my partner. I felt the energy not only in my hands, but in my fingers and toes, and in my very energy field.

Then I realized I was "observing" and decided to stop that again, and be completely detached. It was as if my hands disappeared from my awareness, and new possibilities crept in that I don't even think I can describe with words.

My partner on the table told me that the energy felt very strong, but different this time. He felt more of a pulsing energy, and said that throughout the session, he felt as if four or five hands were constantly touching him.

12:42 AM  
Anonymous Robert N Fueston said...

The technique for sending Reiki out from the eyes is called Gyoshi-ho. Usui states in his Usui Reiki Hikkei - The Usui Reiki Handbook -that Reiki especially emanates from eyes, mouth and hands. I use Gyoshi-ho to treat one part of the body while my hands are simultaneously treating another part. This speeds up the treatment time and is quite effective.

7:20 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home