New hand positions video guide

In 2014 I published a hand positions guide on YouTube which over the years has received some positive feedback. But for a long time I felt that something was missing, and that there should be more options to choose from.

After resolving to do something about that, over the last six weeks I’ve been working hard on an improved set of videos to guide you through a Reiki treatment. Whether you’re a new or experienced Reiki practitioner, you’re in for a treat. I’ll be releasing one new video each week, and the first one is ready for you now on YouTube, accompanied by this hand positions guide.

How to Follow the Reiki Hand Positions

We are open!

Since 2011 my wife Pooky and I have been planning on building a house and center for Reiki. To cut a very long story short, by the end of 2016, this dream had foundations in the soil of the outskirts of Bangkok. And in the summer of 2017, it was complete:

House—External View

Our House

I’m thrilled to announce the opening of this new location for the International School of Reiki, which has a dedicated building for practicing and teaching Reiki:

The Studio

The studio—Where the teaching and practice happens

The first Reiki course at this new location will be level one, on the weekend of 19th-20th August. If you’re interested, please get in touch as soon as possible.

Why I was Wrong about Reiki and Western Medicine

When I first started practicing Reiki I was full of enthusiasm and confidence in its power to bring physical healing. This kind of passion is common when people start something new. It can be over-the-top, even unrealistic, but it also helps give us the momentum we need to build new habits.

Unfortunately I went too far in my swing towards complementary therapy, and I swung completely away from western medicine. I decided we didn’t need western medicine anymore, believing that Reiki was enough for any physical complaint, from the common cold to cancer.

There’s nothing wrong with faith that leads to positive action, but the rejection of the whole of western medicine was ridiculous, and here’s why. The efficacy of Reiki in physical healing is no reason to reject mainstream interventions, such as drugs. While there are serious issues related to the use of drugs, they can also help a lot. That’s obvious, but I had lost sight of this fact. Every day drugs save lives and every day drugs improve lives.

Three weeks ago my wife contracted shingles. In the initial stage of her illness she was in intense pain, and the rash seemed to be worsening each day. You can be sure that we were both very grateful for the anti-viral and pain-killing medication that she was given by a doctor. We were also grateful for the gift of Reiki, which we did twice each day.

I avoid taking drugs when, to the best of my knowledge, they are unnecessary. Like a few years ago, when I woke up during a tropical storm and went out onto the balcony to gather the clothes that were hanging out there. The floor was slick, my weight flew off my feet, and I landed heavily on my side. I realised I had cut my toe on some metal, so cleaned it off with water and then went back to sleep. The next day I went to the hospital to get a tetanus vaccination, but I ended up with a lot more than that: a surprising amount of bandaging for my little toe and an even more surprising amount of drugs: pain killers (despite no pain), muscle relaxants (this actually makes me laugh), and a full course of oral antibiotics. This is the medical system in Thailand. Despite its flaws, it’s a system I’m deeply grateful for. (In case you were wondering, no I didn’t take any of those drugs.)

When a loved one is ill, it’s important that we feel we’re doing everything we can to support their recovery. The decision about how we do that is not always easy, but as citizens of the twenty-first century, we benefit from centuries of research and practice in both mainstream and non-mainstream approaches to healing. So instead of being dismissive of different approaches, let us practise the third Reiki principle: just for today, be grateful for my many blessings. One such blessing is western medicine.


I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Have you ever had the feeling of being over-stretched—of having too many commitments and not enough time for them all?

Reiki is my passion. It has been at the heart of many of the most pivotal transformations in my life. I know deep-down that I want to teach Reiki, to share the gift, to pass on the torch that burns in daylight1A parable tells that the founder of Reiki, Mikao Usui, walked around town with a burning torch in the middle of the day. Most people laughed, but some realised that he was bearing something precious, and chose to follow him.. The question, though, is when.

Currently my wife and I are planning on building a house for ourselves outside of Bangkok. Part of that house will be a retreat, a sacred space where I will give Reiki treatments and teach Reiki courses. You can be sure that I’m excited about this, but equally sure that the process of turning dreams into bricks and mortar takes a lot of time and dedication. Since we both hold full-time jobs, we need to be practical about how much we can achieve with the limited time that we have.

For now, I’m putting my Reiki teaching practice into hibernation. This gives me the space I need to rest. Cutting back is always a difficult decision, but this time it’s the one that brings peace. Saying no is often the best thing we can do for ourselves and for others.

Reiki One—Windy

Congratulations to Windy, from the Philippines, for completing her level one course! She’s now actively practicing on herself and others, and is pleased with the difference Reiki is making in her life.

Reiki Course Bangkok 2015 - Windy and Kit

We both really enjoyed this course, and for me it was the first time teaching in a great healing center in Bangkok called Concordia.

What is a Reiki initiation/attunement?

The question looks simple. The answer, I can tell you, is not. And I’ve been receiving and giving them since my first, in New Zealand, nine years ago.

But we can see that the question of the initiation is actually a fundamental one. Every Reiki teacher will tell you that it’s an essential part of the system. And we need to know what we’re doing, and why we’re doing it.

So I’m happy to tell you that after much time spent thinking and researching, after many drafts and re-drafts, and of course after many times actually doing initiations, I’ve got something new for you. It’s the answer, as best I can tell it.

This answer is a core part of every course I teach. It’s literally right there in the middle: Initiations is module two, and it sits after theory (module one) and before practice (module three). I’ve made this part of the course freely available to anyone that registers for this site, which will take just a moment of your time.

So don’t hang around: go and read my answer now.

Learn Reiki online—a waste of time?

When I first started teaching Reiki, I advised people not to take online Reiki courses. I said that nothing could substitute for a traditional in-person initiation (attunement). I suppose this is because I had received and given in-person initiations, found them to be both profound and powerful experiences, and just couldn’t imagine how such a transformational event could happen unless teacher and student were physically present with each other.

But I had never tried.

This changed when Monika, who lived in Laos, made contact with me. And now I’m left wondering how many times someone has gone through a distance Reiki course out of necessity, and has discovered what we discovered. There is no difference in the quality of the initiation, whether conducted in-person or by distance.

It works

Initiations are deeply moving experiences, which can change the course of someone’s life. As I was going through my own Reiki training, with only in-person initiations, I discovered this for myself. Some initiations were intense; some were gentle, but all of them were significant and powerful catalysts for change in my life. And what struck me when Monika and I made the intention to connect to each other for initiation, while I was in Thailand and she was in Laos, was that we both felt the same exciting power at work.

Six months later she sent me these simple words:

Reiki became part of my life. I practice every day.


She’s now a level two practitioner, integrating Reiki with her yoga and job as a child and developmental psychologist. For her the question of the effectiveness of the distance initiation is not a question at all. She knows that it works, or she wouldn’t be practicing Reiki today.

The fundamental lesson I learned is that Reiki is not limited by geography. Everyone that takes a level two course in Reiki is taught this, but to a skeptical mind—to my mind—this is hard to believe. It’s only through repeated personal experience, and these experiences have been deeply moving and humbling, that I have come to trust that Reiki can connect, in a life-changing way, people who are separated by geography.

Monika reflects on whether distance is an obstacle to learning Reiki:

But at the same time I belive that deeply having a special chemistry between the master and student is much more important than a “normal” situation…So I would advise potential Reiki students to follow their inner instinct when they choose a teacher. Especially in the case of a distance course.

If you’re considering learning Reiki, don’t let distance stop you from studying with the teacher you feel is right for you. Let your heart lead the way, and trust that it will find a way for you to open up to a life-transforming distance initiation experience.

Level Two Course Launched

I’m really happy to announce that the Reiki level two course is up and online, singing and dancing, ready for you. It’s been a journey getting here, climbing more obstacles than you would ever guess. Many have been technical, such as producing videos and organising online content. But I’ve also had a lot of questions about whether I’m ready to take on the responsibility of being a Reiki teacher. Although I was attuned to the master degree in 2007, and although I’ve been gradually developing teaching materials since then, it didn’t all fit into place at once. I’ve been teaching people here and there, through chance connections, only when the time felt right. I had a Reiki section over on my personal website, but I left a sign hanging there saying “I’m not teaching right now.”

op khan national park_10

Just over six years of standing at the water’s edge, unsure of when to step in. I’m sure that many Reiki teachers go through a similar process. But I’m through it, and I’m raring to go: this new website is a clear manifestation of that.

If you’re unsure, standing by the edge of something new in your life, say hello and have a look around the site. Reiki might be just what you needed.