REIKI III (and the nature of spirituality)
Finally, we reach the final stage of your reiki journey. At this level, the student is taught the "master" symbol, and learns how to pass attunements to others. Beyond that, classes are usually padded with other experimental information ("learn how to cleanse a space with reiki!" "learn the healing art of vibration!").
This post may get a little spacey, because spending time investigating that nature of reiki, what it is, and how it can be taught and shared easily and for free, I came upon some personal discoveries.
When we take the attunements out of reiki and replace them with conscious self-lead initiations, the only thing that differentiates reiki from other healing modalities is its unique symbols. However, some sources have said that Mikao Usui did not initially use symbols, and that they were only developed later as a way to help folks feel the energy when they otherwise couldn't. If we believe that to be true, we can also strip the symbols away from reiki, instead taking all the information carried within them and integrating that into our very being. If we take the attunements and symbols away from reiki, what differentiates it from other healing modalities?
Well, what then differentiates it from magick, witchcraft, and elemental spellcraft?
When we take the structure away from reiki, we are left with energy manipulation, which is the basis of everything previously mentioned. It's said that getting a reiki attunement is the easiest way to jump into studying spiritual energy, but I thought that was true because the attunement itself was what gave the ability to move and feel energy, and that isn't true.
We all have the ability to interact with and manipulate energy on our own, without the help of a teacher. The benefit of a teacher is to have someone to teach you what to do. The attunement is only an initiation, and works by tricking yourself into energy manipulation. Feeling energy and willing it to do things is an integral part to being a living thing on this planet (perhaps in this universe), but the way we live (for the most part!) has forced us into ignorance of the less physical aspects of our beings. Learning about said energy and then receiving an attunement solidifies the education, it allows us to believe enough to discover the truth.
The truth is that energy flows around us all the time, and we can use that energy to make things better or worse.
For many people, the ritual is necessary, and that's not a bad thing! If you spend time with these posts and still don't feel a connection with the energy, try getting an attunement from a local teacher! It might be what you need, and that doesn't matter. The only important thing is that we all learn to interact with and feel this energy.
If you feel like you want a more ritualized self-attunement, do it! Create a ritual for yourself do what you need to do to make it real.
The place we need to all move to is one where we place the power in the everyday exploration, not in the attunement or the titles.
DAI KO MYO
The version shown here is a modern version of this symbol. The traditional variety is much like HSZSN in that it's stylized kanji. Different versions can be seen here.
Traditionally, this symbol, which loosely translates to "great bright light" [source], is only used to pass attunements from a master to a student. It is the representation of the phenomena of reiki holistically, and, understanding that, it makes sense why the symbol would be used to pass an attunement.
Other practitioners, though, use it during healing sessions. They believe that the DKM is a combination of the other three symbols, and uses them all together in a more subtle way.
So how do you use DKM?
Well, I mean, figure it out. Doing research on the use of the symbol brings back TONS of very different uses. DKM represents enlightenment, so how would you use that in your practice? Perhaps as a meditation aid? Perhaps as a way to help clear out the clutter from your mind or life?
Personally, I add this symbol to any reiki channeling I do (for myself or others) and I've found that my ability to feel the energy move through my body is amplified when I use it.
While you may use this symbol (and others) during the attunement process, I hope I've shown you that you really don't need to do attunements. If someone wants to learn about reiki, teach them, or point them in the direction of a qualified teacher or books/classes. What I want you to take from these posts is a desire to connect with energy that is more robust than a desire for certificates or titles.
Use these symbols to embark on a spiritual journey, one that will surely bring you intimately close to Universal life energy. Don't stress about what other people say is right or wrong, and for the love of god, don't start a business selling reiki atunements to other people. Use the connection to deepen every aspect of your life, and to broaden and luxuriate in your spirituality.
While I can teach you what I know, and while you can read books and listen to podcasts about what other people know, ultimately, the key is what you know. Meditate. Talk to your guides. Talk to God. Ask questions. Listen for answers. Keep notes. Experiment. Keep notes. Read your notes. Experiment. Ask questions. Talk to other people. Look within.