Initiations and Classes

Reiki Initiations 

Reiki initiations are a vital part of the Reiki practice.  The initiation process is unique to Reiki and not included in any other forms of healing energy work. Because of the initiation process, the Reiki Practitioner does not pick up any conditions from a client. And visa versa, the client cannot pick up anything from the Practitioner. Everyone is protected.

Initiation means there is a direct transmission of energy from the Reiki Master to you, the student. The Reiki Master gets you connected using special symbols that have been passed on from Master to Master and then to you. A Reiki Master knows how to activate or plug you into the energy from the universe. Then it will flow through the Master's hands into your body. This is done in a very special ceremony called an Initiation.  In Japanese it is called "Reiju". In  English, the wording "Initiations" are also referred to as "Energy Activators" or "Attunements"

Please note:    Some Reiki teachers did not learn Reiki the way I was taught and how I teach others.  They do not give four (4) initiations in the First Degree class – only one (1). They teach what I refer to as “the big rush –a short version of Reiki.”  They combine First & Second Degree Reiki classes in one weekend without letting students have time to practice on themselves and other students in the class. 

When taking the "big rush class" you may get what you pay for (not a lot ). I have heard this expression which is so true:  “The bitterness of partial Reiki training lingers long after the sweetness of paying a low price is forgotten.” 


I have had students who learned the "short version" come and re-take the class with me.  They find it was much easier to understand, learned alot more about Reiki, and appreciated the time to practice Reiki.  They also felt more confident in being able to give Reiki treatments and explain to others "how Reiki works." 


It is so important that the four (4) initiations be spread out and not done in one day. The body needs time to gradually build up energy received from each initiation. With these four initiations, you are given the ability to use Reiki for the rest of your life.



Benefits of Learning Reiki 

The main advantage of taking a Reiki class is that you learn to treat yourself. This one time investment empowers you to use Reiki on a daily basis for the rest of your life. In addition, you can offer treatments to family members, friends, and clients. Reiki training is beneficial for those who need extensive treatments for chronic conditions so they can treat themselves and not be dependent on others. During a First Degree Reiki class, students learn hands on treatments for themselves and others. Reiki helps to maintain health and wellness which is your most valuable asset. You will find that the flow of Reiki becomes stronger as you use it for personal self-care, helping others, and for pets, plants, and animals.

When you learn Reiki you will find that daily self treatments help to restore balance, reduce stress, and hopefully help you feel better. If you suffer from anxiety or pain, learning Reiki will give you extra opportunity to see that you can help yourself feel better. Taking a Reiki class is an investment that will only increase in value. 

While Reiki is spiritual in nature, it is not a religion.   It has no dogma, so there is nothing you must believe in order to learn and use Reiki.



Format of My Reiki Classes



NOTE:  Reiki classes are taught in Lexington, Kentucky and

in Needham, Massachusetts (which is close to Newton, Massachusetts)

When deciding who should teach you about Reiki, please be wary of teachers that offer to teach you First Degree and Second Degree classes over a weekend. Some offer classes that are taught over the internet. Nowadays some people teach classes and do not allow time for practicing how to do Reiki on yourself or others. Also the lineage may not be discussed and students do not know their lineage upon completing the class.

My classes are based on the authentic system of Usui Shiki (Reiki) Ryoho, as taught by Hawayo Takata. The system emphasizes the importance of self-treatment as the core of the practice. I do daily Reiki treatments on myself. Then I am ready to treat others.  As I mentioned in another section, some people refer to the classes as Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3.  Mrs. Takata called them First, Second, and Third Degree and I do the same. 


I have studied and learned alot about the history of Reiki and the ways that Mrs. Takata taught her classes.  This information provided me with a better understanding about the system of Reiki   One way of practice is not necessarily better than the other -- it's just a different way of looking how to teach and living your life with Reiki.  Mrs. Takata taught a very simple and successful way of treating yourself and others with Reiki.  For example: She did not teach extra things such as drums and feathers, crystals, meridians, channeling information, or spirit guides. These have been added over the years by people who may not realize or care that these are not part of the original Reiki system. If you are interested in learning about these things, feel free to learn from someone else.

On a personal note, I know about chakras and crystals, and can tell you about them.  Please be aware that they are not the main focus of the class.  

First and Second Degree classes are available by appointment. I teach the traditional way that Reiki was taught to Mrs. Takata, through the lineage of  Usui - Hayashi -Takata. This system of Reiki is an energy based hands-on practice that is quick and easy to learn. Even children learn it along with their parents or guardians.

The Third Degree class (in Japanese, the word is "Shinpiden") is usually for those who want to become Reiki Masters/Teachers.  As a Reiki Master, you can teach Reiki to others if you want.  Some like the idea of future studying and personal development.  Reiki Masters understand the need to practice and live Reiki following the Five (5) Precepts.

When you contact me about taking classes, I will discuss what I charge. I prefer not to list it here on this web site.


Payment Information and Cancellation Policy - A deposit is required for all classes. The balance of the payment is due at the beginning of Day 1 of the First and Second Degree classes. If circumstances arise and you are unable to attend your chosen class, then your deposit or payment will be credited for a future class. 


** My Own Professional Development ** -Since the beginning of  the 2020 pandemic, I have been attending a number of Reiki zoom classes.  One was a two part zoom seminar: Hawayo Takata -- A Life In Reiki.  I learned and re-learned many facts about Mrs. Takata's life and Reiki over the years.  I am very grateful that I can now share this information with students in my classes


First Degree Reiki Class  (Shoden)

The First Degree Class is the beginning class for learning Reiki. You will learn how to treat many conditions and also how Reiki can be used in your daily life.  No prior experience is necessary. Reiki is different from all other energy healing practices because it requires students to have initiations to get the energy flowing.  This class includes the following:

-        A permanent connection to Reiki through four separate initiations

-        The history of Reiki, especially Mikao Usui, Chujiro Hayashi, and Hawayo Takata

-        The 5 Reiki Precepts with a greater detail and understanding than on this site

-        Learn how to treat yourself, others, and pets

-        Treating specific conditions & injuries (which some Reiki Masters do not teach)  

                    Now with recent world events:  Learn how to manage stress and anxiety with Reiki

-        Understand the importance of Reiki lineage and your own lineage

-        Also receive an illustrated manual, including supplemental materials

-        Class usually lasts 12 hours taught over 2 days

-        Lots of time for hands-on instruction and practice

-        Acquire practical experience and confidence

-        Receive a Reiki certificate upon completion of the class

-        On-going support when the class is over, at no additional cost




Second Degree Reiki Class  (Okuden)


People who complete the First Degree class (called "Shoden" in Japanese) may want to continue and take the Second Degree class (called "Okuden" in Japanese).  Some do not want to learn any thing beyond the First Degree and that’s fine. They can still practice Reiki and enjoy the benefits of it.  Others prefer to wait a while before learning this next level. It's up to you to decide if and when you want to learn more by taking this class. A minimum of at least 3 months is suggested between the two levels. This allows time for those who took First Degree to practice and experience Reiki. Completing the First Degree class is a prerequisite for the Second Degree class. "Okuden" is a Japanese word meaning inner teachings. In this class you will gain a deeper understanding and connection to Reiki.


The Second Degree class is the intermediate level. In this class you learn more advanced ways of treating yourself and others.  Mrs. Takata would say: “First Degree is like 20 horsepower.  Second Degree is like 100 horsepower – very powerful” and this is so true.  You will learn how to do Absentee/Distant Reiki treatments.  Reiki is administered to people and animals who are not in the same room as you.  This is very beneficial when someone is having surgery or in child birth.  You can still treat them.

After completing this class, you will notice a deeper connection with Reiki which results in a happier and more balance life .... along with the ability to support and further the healing process for yourself and others. 


You will learn how to draw & pronounce the names of three (3) symbols. The 2nd symbol also strengthens the Mental and Emotional connection to Reiki.You will learn how to treat Mental/Emotional conditions.  I have experienced seeing great success in helping peope deal with issues that cause them great anxiety, stress, and even depression.  Mental/Emotional conditions can create "dis-ease" in the mind, and this "dis-ease" can have  a great affect on the physical body too. After receiving  Mental/Emotional treatments people can start healing faster and have a happier and healthier lives. 

Here is the agenda for the Second Degree class:


-        Receiving one 2nd Degree initiation for a stronger connection to Reiki

-        Review things learned in the First Degree class and answering questions

-        Learn more advanced techniques for treating yourself and others

-        Learn and understand the meaning of  three (3) Reiki symbols

-        How to increase the energy flow of Reiki during a treatment

-        How to treat Mental-Emotional conditions (eg: bad habits, fears, depression, weight issues)

-        Do absentee Reiki treatments -- anytime and anywhere 

-        Record keeping and ideas for having your own Reiki practice

-        Reiki ethics

     -        Hands-on instruction and practice

-        Class usually lasts 9-12 hours.  It is usually taught over 2 days

-        Be more knowledgeable and confident after attending this class

     -        Includes an illustrated manual, including supplemental materials

-        Receive a Reiki certificate upon completion of the class

-        On-going support when the class is over, at no additional cost



Third Degree Reiki Class  (Shinpiden)


The Third Degree class is the Reiki Master/Teacher training program (called "Shinpiden" in Japanese).  Master training is usually for those who wish to teach and live the life of Reiki.  I found it also a wonderful experience for self-growth, for deepening my spiritual connection to life, for working professionally, or in a volunteer capacity.  A Master is the "master of the art" and not of other people.  When you study at this level, what you learn comes from your own experiences as well as the things that are taught in the class.  

It is important to allow time to develop a practice, understanding, and experience "Living with Reiki" before considering this next level. The prerequisite for taking Master training is to complete training in First and Second Degree classes.    

I can explain more about this training after you have completed First and Second Degree classes.  Here are some of the things taught in Third Degree Class:


-        -         Receive a detailed outline of what is being taught 

-        -         Review things learned in past classes

-        -         Learn more advanced techniques 

-        -         Many more details of Reiki history

-        -         More Reiki ethics

    -         Hands-on instruction and practice

-        -         Learn how to teach Reiki classes (Takata’s traditional way)

      -         Receive an illustrated manual

-        -         Learn how to initiate students 

-        -         Receive the Master Initiation

-        -         Receive a Reiki Master Certificate 

-        -         On-going support when training is over, at no additional cost


Additional Reiki Techniques Class

I have also learned additional techniques throughout my Reiki journey. After you have taken the First  and Second Degree classes, you may find that you are interested in learning even more about Reiki. Some of these methods were the early forms of Reiki that Mikao Usui taught when he first formed his school in Japan.  Usui also taught these to his Master students. Dr. Chujiro Hayashi was Usui's last Master student.  Dr. Hayashi taught these techniques to his Master Students.   Hawayo Takata knew about them but did not teach them in her First or Second Degree classes.  Reiki was developed as a hands-on healing practice as well as a meditation practice.  In this additional Reiki class you will learn more techniques along with Usui's spiritual teachings. 

Today there are some Reiki teachers who include some of these teachings and techniques in their regular Reiki class. However, some are also including things that Mrs. Takata did not teach. As a member of The Reiki Alliance, I want to honor Mrs. Takata and keep her teachings intact. Therefore I do not teach these extra techniques in the First or Second Degree classes. It is a separate one day class. Here are some examples of some of the things taught in this class:

-        Additional ways of treating yourself and others

-        How to disconnect from negative situations and things that are around you

-        How to raise your energy level to a higher level 

       -        Japanese spiritual & meditation techniques  

-        How to increase your intuitive abilities 

     -        Understanding the 5 Precepts in greater detail

     -        Also receive an illustrated manual

-        On-going support (in person, via emails, and phone calls) 



January 2019I received this email from one of my 1st degree students:


Dear Elayne,

I recently was shopping at a privately owned Health food/metaphysical store  and saw postings for number of Reiki classes. They all included the name Usui Reiki.  You had mentioned our recent First Degree class how some Reiki classes are including other things that are not part of Usui's Reiki system.  I noticed this when I saw the agenda of  these classes. 

I realize that Reiki Masters/teachers , like all good instructors, add some of their own understanding and experiences. Yet, the essence should still be the same. I was amazed that the owner of the store knew so little about Reiki and couldn’t answer some of my basic questions. And yes, he was one of the people teaching these classes. You offer so much more to the practice and teaching about Reiki. 

Thank you Elayne, for being honest and genuine in your teachings. I’m so grateful I was taught the traditional way that Mrs. Takata learned it and how you learned it through her lineage.