First comes willingness. The fact that you are taking this course proves that the seeds of this willingness already lay within you.
Next comes trust in yourself. Many people who practice Reiki doubt that they are worthy to step forwards into the role of Reiki teacher. However, doubt in yourself is not a problem, and just a little encouragement from the right person and just a few times teaching Reiki is enough to dispel this doubt.
With willingness and trust will come opportunities. You may choose to advertise yourself as a Reiki teacher, but even if not, you will meet people, make connections, and have conversations. People will come knocking at your door. Pay attention to the voice of your heart, which will tell you when and who you are ready to teach.
Next come the practicalities. Prepare a teaching plan that tells you what you will teach and how you will teach it. Your style might be very informal and organic, or it might be very structured and logical. Either way, if you have a plan in hand then you will feel much more confident about taking on your first student.
Along with the teaching plan come practical details about the course. Just as your teaching style is unique, so the format of your courses can take many forms. It can be a one-on-one tutorial, switching between a coffee shop or park and a private space where you can perform the initiations and practice healings. It can be a complete weekend course in a resort with a group of fifty students, meals and accommodation included, and a team of assistant Reiki teachers to help you with the initiations and other teaching duties. It can also be an ongoing apprenticeship, perhaps taking place over several months, in which the student becomes your assistant in your professional Reiki practice. This infinite possibility for variation is one of the great joys of teaching.
For me the transition into teaching Reiki was gradual. I didn’t one day announce myself as a Reiki teacher and offer courses from level one through to level three. Instead I slowly got myself ready. The first step was to draft a Reiki One manual and get it ready to print, so that when I felt right about teaching someone, all I had to do was print it. Some pages of my manual were copied directly from my own teacher’s manual, with his permission. Other pages I had written myself.
When the opportunity presented itself during a back-packing holiday with a friend, I took it. While we were having dinner with a woman at our guesthouse, the conversation turned to Reiki, and she was interested in learning. I said that I could teach her, and it only took a few minutes of discussion for it to be settled. We talked about where we would do it, how long it would take, and how much I would charge1I didn’t charge much, since this was my first ever course.. We both felt comfortable with the plan, and we began the next day.
I guided her through the level one content in the garden of the guesthouse. Since it was a very relaxed and friendly guesthouse, we even did some practice meditations together in the garden. Some things need more privacy, so we did the initiations, and a practice healing session on a willing volunteer, in one of the bedrooms in the guesthouse. It was simple, and it showed me that teaching Reiki is much like teaching anything else: do your preparation, be sensitive to the student, and allow the quality of what you are teaching to shine through.
I created a small website called ‘Simply Reiki’, and explained that I was open to accepting students in the very humble accommodation that I had at the time in Bangkok. It was a studio apartment, and the same room that served as my bedroom, kitchen, living room and dining room also served as the place where I would teach Reiki. Given the humble venue I also charged a humble rate, and I taught three more Reiki One courses over the next few years. After teaching my first level two course it was again several more years before I began teaching the third degree. Over these years I have steadily improved and expanded the teaching materials, and have always been responsive to my heart as it guided me on which times were right for me to teach, and which times I needed to rest and focus on other things in life. Although this very gradual path into becoming a Reiki teacher didn’t accord with my personal desire to become a super-powerful, super-successful Reiki Master, it has really helped me stay grounded. As you step out on the same path, I encourage you to follow your heart at all times.
Because Reiki is more of the heart and spirit than of the head, many Reiki teachers choose to avoid the issue of intellectual copyright. Unfortunately this means that they copy and paste ideas without providing any references for the student. Not only does this disrespect the original author, but it also makes it hard for students to have any sense of where a teaching originates.
Here are some guidelines to help you respect the teachings:
- When you teach a technique, say where it came from. This could be, for example, the name of your Reiki teacher, or it could be a technique that you have created or adapted yourself.
- If you want to use someone’s exact words in your teaching material, put quotation marks around this and say whose words they are.
- If you want to copy large portions of a book or manual, for example, several pages of information about Reiki history, you need to get permission from the author before reproducing it. If you cannot get permission, you will need to paraphrase it in your own words, and reference the original source of information.