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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Thoughts on attunements

What does ‘Attunement’ mean to you?

When I attended my first Reiki class, I was overwhelmed by the attunement experience. During my attunement, I saw visions and colors and felt like I was being squashed from above. Afterwards I felt as if I were floating on a cloud and everything about life seemed a bit clearer than it had before. It was so exciting but I had such a hard time explaining it to people.

In my Reiki class, I learned that getting the Reiki level 1 attunement meant that I could practice Reiki on others and myself. With the Reiki 2 attunement, I could do Reiki from a distance. With Reiki level 3, I’d be able to teach others. I’m not sure exactly what words my teacher used – perhaps she did not explain things quite that way, but it’s how I made sense of it.

During my level 2 attunement, I felt nothing, except perhaps a bit of disappointment that I did not experience the same phenomena that I had the first time. My teacher had told me that it was important not to place meaning or expectations on physical sensations, but I couldn’t help it. Afterwards though, I was pleased that I could now do Reiki from a distance.

My teacher encouraged students to call her with any questions we had. Although my teacher had provided easy to understand, bulleted information points in her handouts, I knew there was something missing. I knew I didn’t quite understand everything but I didn’t have enough information to figure out what to ask.

I’ve been practicing Reiki for a little more than two years now, but I still consider myself a newbie. Since my first two classes I reached out to other teachers and practitioners and read as much as I could about Reiki and in the process I’ve managed to get a few things straight. One was what an attunement actually is. I also found out that many practitioners I spoke to were under the same impression that I was – that you get attuned to a level of Reiki.

This led to much confusion when I heard about people attuning animals. How crazy was that? I couldn’t see how my dog would understand that when I attuned her to level 2 that she could do a distant treatment. I was afraid to ask.

The problem about the conversation surrounding attuning animals was that people were all talking about the word, ‘attunement’, as if everyone used it to mean the exact same thing. And the problem with learning things the wrong way the first time around is that it’s not as easy to unlearn them.

I’m wondering how others experienced the attunement process and how their perception of it has (or perhaps not) changed over time.

Thanks, Beth!

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Anonymous Janet Dobbs said...

Great article as well as topic. Thanks Beth.
The Attunement.
I too was taught my level one through level III Reiki in Western Reiki traditions. My level one attunement was very beautiful as well. We were led into a different room that was filled with crystals, incense and other things. The experience was interesting and mystical I guess you would say. I can't remember details because it took place in the 1990's. Level two was the same experience as was level three. I too was told what you were, level one to begin practicing on others (we were not taught a self treatment until level two.) Level two we were given the symbols and were 'allowed' to do distant treatments. My level three was called Master level and we were only given the master symbol. It was not the teacher training. That was yet another class.

I had also heard NEVER to attune an animal. That made no sense to me. What difference would it make? I did go on to the teacher training. I was practicing the attunement process (which by the way was so complicated) on an empty chair because I could not find anyone that was willing to allow me to practice on them. I did call one friend who had just become level I or II and she said she would have to 'ask her teacher'. What? Well her Teacher said NO! It would un-do her attunements! What? Are you kidding me?

So there I was walking around the empty chair when my amazing kitty Sam came in the room and hopped up on the chair. He turned and faced me and sat up very straight and said, "go ahead now. I will help you get this right!" So I did. I practiced two times. He sat perfectly still making sure that I did it "right" and then jumped down when HE felt I was ready for the class. The animals teach us if we just open to them.

The following day was the class. We were in our family room. Students were sitting on a couch and chairs and I was over near the Reiki table facing them. Suddenly Sam ran in the room and jumped up on the Reiki table facing the students. He said, "Meow, meow, meow, meow! Maaaa, ma, ma, ma, ma!" looking each student in the eye. I said, "what are you doing Sam?" and then stopped and realized that HE was teaching the class. He told each student to pay attention because "this" is important work. When he was done speaking his mind he jumped down and did not return.

Back to the attunement. Two and a half years ago I attended Frans Stiene's Shinpiden training. I didn't know why I was attending. I just knew that something was missing from my Reiki practice, that there had to be more than what I had been taught all those years ago. Well there is!
I learned that the attunement in Japanese is called a Reiju and that the translation of Reiju is Spiritual Blessing. I learned that it is like a healing session where I the student have the choice to take the energy/healing that is offered by the teacher during the Reiju process or not. I learned that a Reiju can be done any time and often and that it lasts forever. I learned so much more but this alone changed everything for me and my Reiki practice and teachings.

Back to the animals and Reiki... I began working with Reiki right after I learned Reiki one and the only ones to work with were animals. No humans would allow me to offer a Reiki session for them. I found that Reiki was natural for me to use when doing and animal communication session and if an animal had a physical or emotional issue I would offer them distant Reiki. In doing this the animals taught me how to work with Reiki and it was very different than when working with humans. The animals are natural healers and sometimes think that we are so silly to have to go to a class to learn how to do it.
When I was in the Shinpiden class with Frans, every time he would show us something new I would think to myself, "that is how I work with the animals".
- Janet Dobbs

2:44 PM  
Anonymous beth said...

HI Janet - that's one of the best Reiki stories I've ever heard!


6:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One more question about attunements...

I have been asked, "Who or what is the ultimate 'source' of the attunement?"

I have had touble finding the words to explain this to others with confidence and would like to know before I complete the Master/Teacher level and train others. (I too was trained to Master Practitioner, and teacher is another level)

I believe this is where religion comes this attunement/Spiritual Blessing from God the same as Universal Life it the "Teachers faith?"...I believe this is where Christian's find Reiki hard to swallow, if this can be explained maybe we all can relax a bit more.

Laurél Kimpton

6:38 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

> "Who or what is the ultimate 'source' of the attunement?"

Hi Laurél,

This is a question that touches on more than one thing. First, there is the question on who God is, which is I think, a personal question. That is, you need to answer that yourself and your answer is good for you (as it is YOUR answer - even if that answer should be "God doesn't exist").

Second, there is the question of where the attunements come from. The attunement is a blessing. It is a "statement" to the universe/to "that which is" (so to speak) made by a reiki master while they are in contact with reiki.

This is a powerfull creative process and a blessing at the same time. While you do an attunement you are in a state of trance, a state of reverence/gratitude to Reiki, previous Reiki masters and the student (among other things). In this state it is difficult for me to realize all that happens, everything that participates in the attunement.

My teacher said that Reiki is love, pure and simple (and it definitely feels that way).

Maybe it's the Reiki master, in touch with their own capacity to love that does the attunement.

My own answer is that it is the Reiki energy itself that does the attunement, and you (as the master) are simply the channel.


9:18 AM  

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