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November 15, 2015 at 5:28 pm #143031AtticusModerator
Lawrence Ellyard’s Reiki Healer is subtitled “A Complete Guide to the Path and Practice of Reiki”, but the bottom line is that if you’re looking for a single volume to teach you everything you need to know, this isn’t it. It is, however, an invaluable adjunct to in-person training.
Ellyard begins with the proposition that such in-person training is essential (although he does cover distance initiations later in the book), so discussion of the basics is given short if any shrift: Hatsurei ho, for example, is mentioned once but not described at all. Nowhere is this more clear than in the discussion of the reiki symbols, which are named and described, and then referred to throughout the advanced techniques section in Reiki II, but are not actually shown. Similarly, when discussing initiations (attunements), Ellyard tells you what to expect — ish — but nothing of the details of how the rituals are performed.
The opening chapter is a fairly extensive treatment of the history of reiki. Ellyard attempts to present himself as “teaching the controversy” by showing how the various schools of reiki diverged through Hayashi, Takata, and Furumoto and disclaiming that essentially no one will ever know what is “pure” or “authentic” reiki. Yet for the remainder of the book, he aligns himself firmly in the Takata camp over Reiki Gakkai, decrying, e.g., the promulgation of symbols beyond the classic four or “all-in-one” attunements for Reiki I. (But then in the advanced techniques section, he presents material (rituals, crystals, etc.) that goes far beyond what Mrs. Takata would likely have imparted.) This colors the otherwise-useful section on choosing a reiki teacher, so take such advice with a grain of salt.
The above quibbles aside, however, there is excellent material here. Ellyard tries to explain the dynamics of reiki energy in a way that most authors ignore, and even uses the metaphor of the Force. He also imparts a number of advanced techniques and rituals, though the meat of these is in the Reiki II section — the Reiki I section is largely too basic, and the Reiki III is rushed and too focused on advertising Ellyard’s own school. I found his ritual for bringing healing energy into your workspace interesting, in that it appears to have been influenced if not borrowed from the Lesser Banishing Ritual, and as someone who has “translated” this particular ritual for my own belief and practice, I appreciate Ellyard’s willingness to incorporate other esoterics into a unified system. The chapter on Buddhism and reiki is also quite useful, as Ellyard tries to return reiki to its Buddhist roots by introducing powerful mantra and visualizations that can be incorporated into a reiki practice.
So if you’re looking for one complete volume, or for basic instruction, this is not the volume for you. But if you’re looking to expand a traditional reiki practice in new and interesting ways, it’s worth a thorough read.November 16, 2015 at 12:25 am #188198Kol DrakeModerator
Nice review, thank you.
The book I’ve always referred to has been — Essential Reiki: A Complete Guide to an Ancient Healing Art 1995 by Diane Stein
The reiki ‘community’ got all bent out of shape at the time because she writes about the reiki levels, what is involved (not necessarily what is *necessary*) for healing. She also depicts/describes the symbology for each level of reiki.
The most ‘controversial’ bit being, she says you do not necessarily ‘have to’ spend several hundred (these days, thousands!) of dollars to get the attunements for the higher levels. Of course, those *in* the community howl at that saying it does not really work if you don’t get attuned. This from those who make a living attuning others… so I detect a tad wee bit of financial bias in the howls.
I always think it is good to get views ‘from both sides’ so — I will be looking for your book and weighing it against this one!November 17, 2015 at 12:06 am #188212AtticusModeratorKol Drake wrote:The book I’ve always referred to has been — Essential Reiki: A Complete Guide to an Ancient Healing Art 1995 by Diane Stein
Yes, that one’s been on my Amazon wishlist since, oh, ’bout 2010. I think I’ll pick it up next time I’m shopping for my Jedi Studies shelf. Thanks, Kol.
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