Updated: Oct 6
I’m going to get right to the point here and say, no, you do not have to ask permission before ‘sending’ Reiki. Let me tell you why because this is an important point.
One of the basic… I mean, really basic, primary teachings of the system of Reiki, in all traditions, throughout the system’s 100-year history, is that Reiki is drawn in by the recipient, not pushed in or given by the practitioner. There is no argument about this anywhere in any of the Reiki literature, or on the thousands of Reiki websites out there. It’s a basic teaching. You cannot ‘give’ someone Reiki. As a practitioner, you are a channel, and the client draws the energy that they need through that channel. It’s time to get the ego out of this and stop talking about ‘giving someone Reiki’ as if Reiki practitioners are bestowed with some magical ability to force healing on people. They’re not.
If I were to give someone Reiki… i.e., make them take it, then yes, sure it would probably be a good idea to seek their permission. I can’t give them Reiki. In all the years I have been practicing, I have never ‘given’ anyone Reiki. Frankly, I don’t particularly want too. That’s way too much responsibility. I am, however, quite happy to be a channel and for the client to draw the energy they need through me for their own healing needs.
We have some basic facts of the system to consider here. All well known attributes of Mikao Usui’s system:
1/ Reiki is drawn by the recipient and not pushed in by the practitioner.
2/ Reiki is love. In the words of Hawayo Takata: ‘God Power’.
3/ The ability to do distant Reiki becomes deeply integrated into the practitioner so that sometimes (often, in fact) a simple thought about someone will open the channel and Reiki will flow to that person. The basic functions of the symbols become internalised and, you can’t switch them off.
Let’s set up a hypothetical scenario:
My friend, Joe, who lives in Australia is feeling very ill. Joe is a very pragmatic person with a rational, scientific mind, and he has no time for all the spiritual mumbo-jumbo like Reiki that I’m into. Still, we’re good friends.
I hear about Joe’s illness through a mutual friend and phone Joe up and offer to do a distant Reiki treatment for him. Joe refuses horrified that I might even consider practicing my weird energy-healing technique on him, especially as I know he thinks its all junk. I do it anyway.
What happens in this scenario? Does the energy flow or not? Joe doesn’t want it. Joe is against it. So how come that, yes, there is definitely a flow of energy? I am giving him nothing. I can’t give Reiki to him. It is profoundly impossible to do this, yet there is a flow. I can feel it strongly. It’s because, despite Joe’s proclamations that he doesn’t believe in Reiki and doesn’t want it, there is a deep part of his inner core that knows the truth of this energy and does indeed want it.
There is a big difference between the conscious mind, which is out of touch with the true nature of reality and the universe, and the subconscious, which is deeply in touch with the true nature of reality and the universe. The words Joe speaks are a reflection of his conscious mind and not his deep subconscious. The truth is there, far down in the core of his being. The bit of him that knows his connection to the Absolute. The bit of him that is in tune with his essential nature as a droplet that has broken away from the ocean of oneness. That bit of him, the true part of him, wants the energy, because its an aspect or reflection of his true nature.
I could go on for pages discussing the existential nature of existence but when it comes down to it, in the system of Reiki, you are not giving someone Reiki. They are drawing what they need through you and if they did not want it, they would not draw it.
But let’s firm this up a bit more. Takata made it clear that Reiki is ‘God Power’. We could say that it’s God’s unconditional love. Love, as so many people find once they learn Reiki, is the primary quality of this energy. In fact, that is all it is. Just pure love emanating from the body and hands of the practitioner. Divine energy, yes. When was the last time you asked permission to love someone? Never, right? For that matter, when was the last time you asked permission to pray for someone? Ditto for this too.
Quite a number of my students, deeply committed to their own religious practices, have said to me that when they learned Reiki and then prayed to God, it was for them the first time they had felt a genuine and deep connection to God. That tells you a lot about the nature of this energy. It tells you that Takata was right, it truly can be called ‘God Power’.
Obviously, Reiki does not require a belief in God or anything else, but we can say that Reiki, this amazing energy that we work with, is the stuff of the universe. It’s the stuff that everything is made from and from which everything emanates, and that stuff is love. Joe is made of Reiki, of love, just as you and I are.
Let’s assume for a moment that the above logic, coupled with known facts about the Reiki system have not convinced you and you still think you need permission to do distant Reiki. The reality is that you can’t not do distant Reiki. Once you have the ability, just a thought about someone, anyone, is enough for the channel to open and therefore the potential for Reiki to flow. You can’t stop it, and you certainly can’t prevent yourself from ever thinking of anyone, ever.
If there is a need in the recipient, just a random thought about that person can trigger the Reiki channel and energy will flow. Love will flow from just a thought.
This whole idea that permission is needed to do distant Reiki flies profoundly in the face of the known mechanisms of how Reiki works and the known facts of the nature of the energy itself.
No, you do not need permission to do distant Reiki. Reiki will flow whether you get that permission or not, because love knows no boundaries, certainly not crazy illogical boundaries set up by people who clearly don’t understand the mechanisms of the practice they are engaged in.
As Stan Lee used to say, 'nuff said.
Distant Reiki Postscript:
Having posted this, someone on Facebook said to me that in using the Seiheiki (symbol 2 in the Reiki system) to access the unconscious mind of the recipient definitely requires permission. This is not to do with distant Reiki, but it's related. Here is my reply:
Why on earth would you want to talk to the unconscious mind and when was this a part of the Reiki system? This is not what the SHK is even for. And why would a practitioner think that their accessing of the human mind is going to be of benefit when they are not even doing anything, other than opening the channel for the energy to flow in a Reiki healing process? Sophisticated Reiki is when the practitioner has the wisdom to get out of the way of the process, and not interfere with the wisdom of the energy, which knows significantly more about the healing needs of the recipient, than the practitioner does. I would never try to access the unconscious mind of my clients as 1/ it's none of my business, 2/ It has nothing to do with how Reiki works and 3/ the energy doesn't need my interference.
I'm actually quite shocked that anyone would want to access the unconscious mind of their client. I'm sure Usui would be turning in his grave if he knew his system was being used in this way. The Seiheiki is not at all designed for accessing the unconscious mind of clients. This is a profound distortion of its true function. More than this however, this practice is all about the ego. Reiki practitioners are all too often, too fond of thinking of themselves as 'healers' when they are nothing of the sort. All the energy needs is for the practitioner to get out of the way, and let the energy itself do its job. Being deeply and intuitively in the flow of energy and being mindfully aware of the process is all that is required from any good practitioner.