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Reiki is one of the only forms of chi kung that do not rely on the personal chi of the practitioner.

Dr. Usui, a japanese doctor, meditated on mount kuriyama until he was gifted with the seed of enlightenment. For Dr. Usui, this seed flowered as the practice of Reiki. Upon returning to civilization, he discovered that he had great healing powers that worked through the application of touch combined with a connectin to the universal consciousness.

Reiki made its way to the western world through hawaii, where many japanese expatriots emigrated in post war times. a certain Mrs. Takata is generally held responsible for taking the first non-japanese students. Once reiki reached the west coast of america, it went through a number of permutations, as american masters who had already become involved in many other arts added their own personal preferences to the art. This is where all talk of spirit guides, healing crystals, etc. comes from.

In its purest form, reiki does not use any of these props. it is an empty handed form of medicine. all that is required is that the practitioner become a vessel for the kii of the universe. As this reiki is sentient, it does all the work. It is very zen in essence, which is why the add ons can easily be seen as uneccesary props. Once one learns to ride the bike, the training wheels only get in the way.

At the centre of the reiki teaching is the concept of the attunement. The attunement proceedure was not used by usui, but was developed by one of his students in order to reduce the amount of time necessary to learn reiki. Under Usui, students would train for years in his clinic until they were generating their own reiki. Attunements reduced those years into minutes through a simple and streaightforward rite designed to open the channels of the individual to accepting the universal reiki.

Energetic treansferral like this is common in many lineages of eastern philosophy. Generally masters would pass on the spirit of the lineage in the form of a great quantity of energy, to their successors on their death bed. In reiki, all practitioners are given the ability to connect to the universal life force energy through the attunement proceedure.

There are usuall considered to be three levels of attunement.

In the first level, the practitioner is taught how to use reiki to bring about balance and harmony within their own bodies, and in the bodies of others.

The second level deals with learning different applications of reiki, chiefly through learning four symbols, which when drawn, evoke a different function, from balancing mental and emotional aspects, to treating others from a great distance.

The third level deals with mastery and the ability to pass on attunements to others. Mastery is considered a benchmark and not an end in itself, as there is no end to an infinite process.