Reiki Basics

by William Lee Rand

Reiki BasicsSome information in this article has appeared in my previous articles, and I have used it in my classes. However, in this article, I am using the information to explain Reiki to the beginner and, hopefully, to direct the experienced practitioner toward a deeper realization of its meaning.

An understanding of what Reiki is and how it works is available from many sources. It is the serious student who makes it a point to study the full range of available information and then synthesize it into a more considered whole. Only in this way will one end up with a deep and broad understanding of Reiki’s nature. With this in mind, I have embarked on writing this article and bringing together the views of the many teachers and experiences I have had with Reiki over the years.

Before I begin, I’d like to describe the correct pronunciation of Reiki in Japanese. It is not “Ray Key” as we pronounce it in the West. It is actually “Lay Key.” That is right. The “Ray Key” pronunciation came from a mistake made when the romaji characters that form the English alphabet were assigned to Japanese words. The “L” sound in Japanese was mistakenly given an “R” to represent it. This mistake was never corrected. So, to this day, the Japanese word that is correctly pronounced “Lay Key” is spelled Reiki. And because of this, in the West, it is pronounced “Ray Key.”

Reiki is a wonderful energy that seeks to guide us into an ever-higher place in our beautiful Universe. Having a better understanding of what Reiki is, how it works, and what is possible with Reiki will allow you to benefit from this guidance more effectively. When contemplating these questions, it is possible to gain clarity about them by considering the nature of the word Reiki when written in Japanese kanji.

Kanji characters were used to create the original written language of Japan, which was not introduced until 500 A.D. Before this, Japan did not have a written language. The Japanese kanji characters were borrowed from the Chinese language characters called hanji and are about two thousand years old. It is thought they came to Japan by way of Korea, which is next to China and close to Japan. Those who understand Chinese hanji can, in many cases, also read Japanese kanji and understand what they mean. This is because the characters do not communicate sounds so much as they communicate ideas. For example, Reiki’s Japanese characters also appear as part of Chinese spiritual practice and are pronounced ling qi; they have a very similar meaning in both languages. And in fact, many of the hanji characters were derived from pictograms, which are simple drawings of what one wanted to communicate. Because of this, if one looks closely, one can see the picture that describes the meaning.

This is an excerpt from the complete article that appeared in the Winter 2020 issue of Reiki News Magazine. To read the whole article, please subscribe.