Charging a Fee Always Necessary?

by William Lee Rand

In western Reiki there is the assumption made by some that you should always receive payment or some form of energy exchange for a Reiki treatment. Many believe that if you don’t do this, problems are going to occur. Reiki is unusual in the healing field in this respect as other methods of healing don’t have this requirement. And in fact some healing schools and individuals have the opposite idea stating that you should never charge for healing.

Because of this, many have wondered where this idea came from and if it is valid. Research indicates that Mrs. Takata was the one who added this rule to her training. And because of her story about Usui sensei and his problems with the beggars it’s believed that he was the one who created it. Also, according to another of her stories, Hayashi sensei also recommended that one always charge money for Reiki sessions.

However, research indicates that this doesn’t seem to be the case. In October, 2001, I traveled to Kyoto, Japan along with a number of other Reiki practitioners to take Reiki I&II training from Mrs. Yamaguchi and her son Tadao. Mrs. Yamaguchi had been a student of Hayashi sensei’s, having assisted him in many of his trainings which were held at her home when she was a young woman.

In the training we received from her in Kyoto, we learned many interesting things including a ritual called Reiki Kohan in which we each received a blessing from Mrs. Yamaguchi whose purpose was to increase the effectiveness of our Reiki. We were also told by her that Hayashi sensei did not require payment for Reiki sessions at his clinic. His treatments were free as they were intended for people too poor to afford regular medical care. This contradicts the idea that one must always require payment or something in return for Reiki sessions.

We are not sure why Mrs. Takata added the requirement for payment, but if Hayashi sensei didn't practice this way, then it can be safely assumed that the idea that one must require payment or an energy exchange for Reiki sessions isn’t part of the Usui system. Therefore, Reiki is no different than anything else in this respect. You have the right to charge any fee you decide you’d like to charge or to can give Reiki sessions free if that’s what you feel is right.