Jewels: The Sweet Gems of My Reiki Level 1 Experience

“Reiki energy speaks for itself.  

All other descriptions are only approximate.”

~ Reiki Level 1 Manual, Yoga on High

It’s tough to put the experience of Reiki training into words – Reiki is so beautiful, so life-giving, and so was my training. 

I had thought about investigating Reiki at Yoga on High back in 2003, and off and on for years, but I had never felt comfortable going for it, and it seems the universe had different timing in mind.  What a joy to have been able to take the training in person just weeks before the pandemic lockdown orders came in March.  Timing couldn’t have been sweeter. 

I wanted to share a little bit about my takeaways here, just a sweet distillation of the immense amount of wisdom I received, the jewels that stood out for me.  Every person has a completely unique experience, of course, and this is just mine.

  1. A Spiritual Practice

There are no caveats about it.  The opening instruction was, “Reiki is a spiritual practice.”  This acknowledgment was so refreshing.  There was no pulling reiki out of a spiritual tradition and secularizing it somehow.  We dove in and discussed universal life force energy, and all were encouraged to connect and engage with the practice in a way that was authentic to our own spiritualities and/or religious traditions.  

  1. The Five Precepts

The five precepts recited during the Gassho Meditation are a way to “calm the mind and bring heart-centered focus to the healing session.”  We were taught the traditional precepts and then – the most marvelous thing – we were given permission to make them unique to our own experience(!).  

The traditional phrases include releasing anger and worry while embracing gratitude and honesty, as well as an intention to live in the present moment with kindness.

I use the traditional precepts often.  But sometimes I substitute “notice” for “release,” and I’m going to try out using, “I am whole,” ‘I am fierce kindness,” “I am honest,” “I am loving kindness.”  

For me, this is similar to the way I pray or set intentions before I teach a yoga class or consult with someone.  I practice letting go of self/ego and allow whatever is meant to be taught, expressed, learned, or experienced to be present during the time together.  

  1.  The Hara Line – Grounding & Centering; Flowing Through Your Heart

I had heard of the hara line before, but never had any formal training in it, and I had certainly never practiced extending it beyond my body to connect to something larger than myself.  This was an amazing experience and one that has stayed with me, manifesting itself often now when I center, ground, or sense into and expand my energy.  My guide offered these practices when she was teaching us how to enliven our energy and tap into an energy source bigger than ourselves.  This reinforces and actualizes the truth that “giving reiki” is not a draining practice, but one that is self-nourishing and replenishing because we are not giving of our own stores; rather, we are channeling the universal healing energies of Love.   When I come into a place of stillness, whether before teaching a yoga class or guiding meditation, I practice tapping into this energy line connecting me to the core of the earth and the cosmic energies above our atmosphere.  It is a radiance of imagery with myself at the center and gold glowing lightstreams of energy flowing up, down, and through the hara line all surrounded by the cosmos.  I can invite the energy from the larger light source (or star) down through the crown chakra, through the throat chakra and into the heart at any time.  I can then allow and invite the energy to grow in my heart chakra and course down through my arms and into my hands, palms, and fingers.  This allows me to enjoy the healing reiki energy as I share it.   

  1. Trust the Reiki Energy 

This trust is one of the main teachings of the practice:  trust the reiki – it knows where to go and what to do. There is freedom, joy, and ease wrapped up in this Trust.

Photo by Felix Mittermeier on

I am so grateful to have received this training in person.  It has been one of the great blessings in my life.  

You might be wondering how all this jives with my “Christian-ness,” but that is for another post!

In the meantime, if you’re interested in learning more about Reiki, follow this link to read about Yoga on High’s Reiki tradition.

Wishing you wellness, ease, and deep trust,


The Universal Yogi