|Kate and Martha just after Kate's initiation as a master in 1991|
Monday, 2 November 2015
Each November I reflect on being a Reiki master, because this was the month I was initiated. I was invited to become a Reiki master by my master Martha Sylvester after just a couple of years as an enthusiastic Reiki practitioner - I had also given some talks
and organised Reiki classes
for Martha. When I gave treatments I saw
that people need Reiki every day in their lives for real healing to take place
and had wondered about becoming a Reiki master.
So when Martha asked if I wanted to be a Reiki master I said yes.
After a few years as a master I began to wonder about when I would initiate a master myself. I had some students who were enthusiastic and had organised classes. At this time I met Phyllis Furumoto, lineage bearer of Usui Shiki Ryoho, who was beginning to define this Reiki system. She recommended that a master should wait 3 years before initiating another master, so I waited. Then just as I came up to 3 years she changed this recommendation to 5 years, then 7 years. I must admit I heaved a sigh of relief each time: I didn't feel ready to train someone as a master.
A few years later the guidelines were changed to 10 years. This guideline hasn't changed and as my 10th Reiki master birthday came and went I now see that by this time I was wise enough to know that I was still not ready!
This November is my 24th Reiki master birthday and in recent months I have been differently about taking on a master candidate. I feel I understand what being a Reiki master means enough to begin assisting someone else on this path. A master candidate is a person who works with a master to become the master they already have the potential to be, over a period of time which may be several years. The relationship between the master and the initiating master has also been referred to as a 'spiritual marriage' - a relationship that lasts a lifetime.
When I heard Phyllis recently say: "Initiation is not what makes a master, it's just the recognition of the master energy in the student" this touched a deep chord in me. Becoming an Usui Shiki Ryoho master is therefore a very different choice from those who choose the more rapid (and cheaper) options now available. Other Reiki systems seem to see becoming a master as being like switching on a switch: one moment you are 'just' a 2nd degree student then through the initiation (or more commonly called 'attunement') you become an instant Reiki master. However in my experience Reiki doesn't really work like that!
In Usui Shiki Ryoho we recognise that Reiki is the teacher, so my role as a master in preparing a master candidate is to guide and provide opportunities for them to learn from Reiki. Being a Reiki master is not only about teaching Reiki classes, it is also about bringing Reiki into the centre of your life. In receiving the fee (which may seem absurdly high) I am acting on behalf of Reiki to assist that potential master to show their commitment. The fee is sometimes seen as a block, but in reality it is an opportunity to surrender to what Reiki is asking of them, even if it seems to be the impossible!
So now, after all these years of experience and a deepening understanding of what it means to be a master and my role as initiating master, I know that I'm ready to take on a master candidate
Would you like to be a Reiki master? Then let's begin the journey together....