The Attunement Experience

by Penny Quest

At each level of attunement (Reiki 1, 2 or 3) you become able to tap into a higher, wider channel of that Universal Energy, and the vibration rate of your energy body is increased. After an attunement is over, students often describe the beautiful spiritual or mystical experiences they have received, such as "seeing" wonderful colors, visions or past life experiences. Others report receiving personal messages or profound healing, sensing the presence of guides or angelic beings, or simply having a feeling of complete peace. Some people go through a real shift in their awareness immediately afterwards, describing the sensation as almost like being reborn, so that they experience everything around them more intensely — colors are brighter, their sense of smell is enhanced, and sounds are sharper. Others feel a buzzing or heightened sensitivity in the crown centre for a short while, or describe a sense of floating or light-headedness. All of these reactions are absolutely normal — but so is experiencing very little, which whilst a little disappointing for some students, does not mean the attunement hasn't worked! An attunement always works. The success rate is 100% all of the time. It is not possible to fail a Reiki course, provided a qualified Reiki Master carries out the attunement process with you. You will be able to channel Reiki. But you may or may not necessarily feel anything, at least at first.

I am one of the lucky ones, however, as I have always had interesting reactions during and after my attunements as a Reiki student. For example, when I received the Tibetan/Usui Master attunement from William Lee Rand I had an amazing experience, where I felt I was "transported" from Newcastle-upon-Tyne in England, back to Tibet, to a Tibetan monastery high up in the Himalayas, and I found myself kneeling before my Buddhist teacher, receiving a Healing Empowerment. My body in Newcastle apparently moved in accordance with the instructions of my Buddhist teacher, rather than with William's requirements to sit still, and I could feel myself bending far forward, holding my hands out in front of me with my head bowed, and then bending my head far back, and feeling (and smelling) sweet ash being placed on my forehead. Afterwards I could sense myself receiving new robes, and standing by a wall looking out across the mountains, and I could smell the sweet sharpness of the cold air. It was a wonderful and very profound experience, and one which - obviously - I remember as clearly now as I did when it happened nine years ago, and which perhaps explains my sense of connectedness with the Buddhist roots of Reiki.

But Reiki students aren't the only ones to have wonderful experiences during the attunement process. It can happen to the Reiki Master too! For instance, during every attunement ceremony I am always aware of the presence of my Reiki guides, and actually see Usui and Hayashi, and occasionally Takata, when I first begin, and then again before I close the ceremony, when I thank them for their help, which is always a beautiful and sacred experience for me. As each attunement is carried out in a sacred space — which in effect is out of space and out of time — this makes it possible to link with other time frames, and occasionally when I begin attuning a student I become aware that both the student and myself are dressed differently, either in Japanese traditional dress, or in Buddhist robes. These images are very clear, and I can both see and feel the different textures in the material, and sense different smells, although I cannot "see" beyond the immediate space around the student and myself. The attunement process I carry out is also slightly different, although when I step out of that "space" to the next student, the memory of what I have just done has gone — unfortunately!

My only explanation for these happenings is that perhaps I have been a Reiki Master before (or its Buddhist equivalent, which always feels much, much further back in time) and I have attuned that student before in a previous life. Sometimes when this happens the student will report a feeling of whirling down a tunnel at the time I placed my hands on their head, but this isn't always the case, although there does seem a tendency for those students to be able to channel Reiki particularly well, i.e. they report a lot of reaction in their hands when using Reiki for the first time. Also, if this happens during a Second Degree class they have no trouble at all learning the symbols — well, I guess they wouldn't, if they'd already learned them before! I must admit, I had the same experience when I did Reiki 2 — even the Distant Symbol was easy and familiar, as was the Usui Master symbol when I did Reiki Third Degree.

This is just part of the article which appeared in the Spring 2003 issue of Reiki News Magazine.