Guest Blogger Jamie Lee The Reiki Lineages - Finding Common Ground

Which system of Reiki is better - one with an eastern influence or one with a western influence? It depends on what you believe.

If you ask different Reiki teachers about the system of Reiki, you may come away thinking there are many different forms of Reiki, and in a way you would be right.  There are as many styles of teaching and practicing Reiki as there are teachers. The two biggest influences on the system of Reiki however, are found in the eastern and western traditions.

Usui Mikao created the first system of Reiki in the late 19th century. Since he is no longer with us to ask how he taught, it is only through research of people dedicated to discovering the original teachings that we can piece together what the first system looked like. Frans Stiene, Reiki teacher and founder of the International House of Reiki, has dedicated his life to understanding the system of Reiki taught by Usui Mikao.

The first system appears to have been designed for self-enlightenment, not necessarily healing. The elements of Reiki – The Reiki Precepts, meditations, hands on healing, symbols and mantras and the symbols, reiju and initiations – were practiced to help students focus their minds and achieve self-enlightenment. A teacher would adjust the teachings for each student, depending on where they were at in their development journey. The initiations, or reiju, were blessings used to connect the student with the teacher. The eastern system utilizes 3 main energy points in the body, the Hara, the Heart, and the Head.

Reiki arrived in the western world in the early 1900’s, and as in Usui’s time, the system was adjusted to meet the needs of the students. Today, most western Reiki classes teach that initiations are done to open a channel in the student, allowing the universal energy to flow and healing to occur. It is also often stated that the symbols emit energy and that some are more powerful than the others. While the eastern system teaches there are 3 major energy centers, the western system often teaches about the 7 major chakras.

Which one is better?

It really depends on what you believe and whom you ask. The debate on what lineage is the true system of Reiki has been going on for years in the Reiki community. Reiki Masters/Teachers have debated which system is better for many years since it’s arrival in the west. But many Masters/Teachers believe it is time for Reiki to move to a higher expression. One thing all systems have in common in the power of intention. Over the last 15 years, scientific studies have been done that show intention affects the healing process.

Thought can now be measured by a Magneto encephalogram or MEG, which involves placing a probe outside the head. The probe can read the fields of neural activity without touching the body. What was discovered is that when you are thinking, you are transmitting electrical fields. Because a thought is an actual physical energy, our thoughts create our body, moment by moment, through energy fields.

Studies have also been conducted on the placebo effect. It doesn’t matter if a person is given a drug or a harmless sugar pill, if the patient believes what they are being given is going to work, most of the time it does. Intention is a powerful tool.

Finally, to answer the question of which system is better – the system that serves humanity and life; the system that recognizes all Masters and Teachers as equal in the oneness of Reiki. The time has come to let go of the need to be right and practice with compassionate intention, no matter what lineage you practice.

For more information on Reiki or Animal Reiki contact:

Jamie Lee, Animal Reiki Practitioner/Teacher