Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Am I Really a Reiki Master?

When I gazed at my Reiki Master/Teacher certificate (after receiving it on March 4, 2016) I thought to myself, “Am I really a Reiki Master? Am I really qualified to teach?” I didn’t feel like a Master, not anything like the “Avatar, Master of all four elements” from the hit Nickelodeon show Avatar: The Last Airbender. Even with all the practice and the hard-earned effort I put into it, I still questioned my ability, my worthiness. 

During that time I was in the final semester of my Master’s degree while simultaneously dealing with the fact that I was only just beginning to receive targeted treatment for PTSD. My counselor from 2003 had completely missed that I was displaying post-traumatic stress symptoms. I felt frustrated, betrayed, and cheated out of more time, but I so wanted to heal and the universe provided the perfect affordable Reiki course for me. It was everything I needed at that time. 

I had already had a semi-regular meditation practice, so, it was simple for me to include the level one self-Reiki treatments in that. These self-treatments enhanced my meditation practice and helped me manage the emotional stress I was under. 

I was well on my way to the Reiki life! Right? Maybe? Eh.
Cue judgments here: I’m not doing it often enough, it’s only *semi*-regular. (Nevermind that, though not daily yet, it was still a regular practice.)

However, that regular, not yet daily, practice increased my discernment as evidenced in my very first group therapy session. I went in without thinking about other people’s energy. I absorbed it all up like a sponge does water. I came out energetically carrying other people’s issues and feeling seriously off kilter. I had just completed Reiki Level 1, so I knew what had happened and that I needed to use Reiki to let it all go. When I got home, I immediately told my spouse, and our daughter, that I needed to meditate to cleanse all that out. They could easily see my agitation, that I was worse than when I had left so I got no arguments. I used Reiki to wash it all out, and when I emerged from the bedroom the family was happy to see me so refreshed! 

Yes! The power of discernment via Reiki!
Cue judgments here: I should have known better than to walk in blind like that… I dunno if I can ever be a Reiki Master with mistakes like that. (Nevermind that I recognized the problem and took care of it forthwith.)

After that experience, I started using Reiki to prepare for any group therapy sessions so as to avoid repeating the energetic sponge experience. At the time I imagined it solidifying into a shield surrounding my entire body. I was able to be present and listen without absorbing anyone else’s issues. It was very empowering. I never had a problem with absorbing anyone else’s stuff again in group therapy, even when very emotionally difficult things were discussed. I just kept running the Reiki, and I could feel appropriately without taking anything on that wasn’t mine. 

Cue judgments here: A Reiki Master doesn’t have to go to therapy for PTSD and deal with flashbacks and all sorts of post-traumatic stress. (Nevermind that I, an empath, stopped absorbing everyone else’s energy using Reiki.)

Soon after I finished my degree and a few months after achieving Reiki Master status, I was able to participate in a group therapy class called Cognitive Processing Therapy for Trauma. Homework  involved looking for “stuck points,” questioning false beliefs, questioning assumptions, paying attention to what triggers you into flashbacks and how to manage these things in a healthier way for a more balanced view. It was intense. It’s like when you clean your clutter, you first make a bigger mess; but, wow, there was so much soul-clutter I felt like I was living in an energetic hoarder’s house. 

Cue judgments here: But, Reiki Masters are serene and zen, not living in an energetic mess. No way was I a Reiki Master. (Nevermind that I was using Reiki to help me clean the mess and keep it clean.)

I would pause before getting started on the homework and bring forth Reiki’s healing energy. Doing the homework raised my anxiety so much but the Reiki made it easier to bear. I would still get stuck sometimes and have to talk to my amazingly supportive spouse, Robert, or sometimes I would have to wait for the next weekly meeting if that wasn’t enough, but breathing deeply and staying open to the Reiki helped me not go into panic attacks.  After I finished my homework I would then play the video game Persona 4 as a reward for doing all that hard work. Soon after that, I would meditate with my cat and bring in more Reiki to soothe my soul.

Cue judgments here: I’m not healed yet. Everything is still a mess, I clean it up and oh look there’s more mess. No way am I a Reiki Master. I’m not healed enough. (Nevermind that I’m using consistently using Reiki while doing deep soul work.)

Around the same time I had learned how to be energetically grounded all the time and started practicing that every day, checking in with myself even while walking down the street. Am I grounded? No? Then I would bring forth the grounding Reiki energy directly from the Earth. If yes, I would just appreciate it and strength it. Effectively, I used Reiki in a specific way to increase my ability to hold more Reiki. Doing this raised my energy healing effectiveness, and it lessened the intensity of my mental health symptoms.  

And here I just did something so cool with Reiki! How Masterful of me to work to be grounded all the time and to use Reiki to increase Reiki!

Cue judgments here: No, I can’t really be a Master, can I? I’m still not good enough, not consistent enough.

The Reiki helped me believe, on a soul level, that it was okay to not be okay, and that it was okay to take the time to heal myself. I wasn’t selfish, I was mortally wounded by a bloodless, but no less deadly, soul wound, and I had every right to allow people to help me and to take the time to heal deep wounds. Robert and my therapists would tell me it was okay to not be okay, but the Reiki working in me allowed me to believe them. It was okay to make a bigger mess in the short-term for long-term healing instead of festering in putrid energetic hoarder conditions that would have eaten me alive from the inside. I wasn’t harming anyone by making a temporary bigger mess as I healed all that soul-clutter. I was, in fact, giving my loved ones permission to do the same if they needed it. More specifically, I was being a good example to my daughter, who was in middle school at the time, about the veracity of good soul-work and the meaning of self-care.

Cue judgments here: I’m primarily healing myself and not healing enough people directly. I can’t really be a Reiki Master, can I?

Yes, yes I can. And I was, that entire time. Once I earned my Reiki Master/Teacher certificate, I became a Reiki Master even though I didn’t really believe it because the first order of business of any Master is to heal themself first; and that’s exactly what I was doing. The difference was simply that I needed to take more time with the self-healing. I was a Reiki Master, because I was teaching through example, and sharing my experiences with others, even in therapy. I wasn’t yet formally teaching, but sometimes walking the talk is exactly the lesson people need to see and learn first before any workshop.

My personal Reiki practice was the practice of a Master, and I had no idea until about a year ago, when I had healed enough, and increased in confidence enough, and felt my own worth enough to say, Hell yeah, I’m totally a Reiki Master! I got this! I’ve had it the whole time! 

    So, if you are ever wondering whether or not you are a Reiki Master because you still gotta do a whole bunch of healing, no worries. Keep working on Reiki, keep working on Love, keep working on that self-healing and working with others to heal. One of my therapists said to me, “You can’t give your patients what you haven’t given yourself.” So, give yourself all that healing and love and attention that you need, because in truth that is the work of a Reiki Master.  

originally posted on Reiki Rays:


  1. Hi Ruth, Lady of Radiant Joy,
    I just earned my level 1 Reiki certificate. I'm curious about the technique of how you energetically ground yourself. Is there a course offered somewhere or where did you learn this? Also, where did you take the course of Cognitive Processing Therapy for Trauma?
    Thank you for this mornings Meditation.


    1. Hi Kristin!

      I imagine, and feel, Reiki energy coming through up through me directly from the Earth. Alternately you can imagine it coming down through the crown down into the center of the Earth. The point is to call upon the Reiki energy within the Earth's field like feeling the gravity, the weight of it, in your pelvic bowl, or like an anchor.

      I took Cognitive Processing Therapy for Trauma at Kaiser as part of their group therapy program.


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