An Overview of Reiki Degrees: Exploring Level 1, 2, and Master Certifications

An Overview of Reiki Degrees: Exploring Level 1, 2, and Master Certifications

Reiki is a holistic healing practice that originated in Japan, focused on channeling universal life force energy to promote physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. It is commonly divided into three distinct levels or degrees, each offering unique techniques and abilities to those who undertake the journey of learning and self-discovery. As you explore the world of Reiki, it is essential to understand its key components, including the attunement process and the meaning of the symbols used in the practice.

The first Reiki degree, also known as Level 1, introduces you to foundational concepts and techniques, focusing primarily on self-healing and working with your body’s energy. Level 2, often called the Practitioner level, deepens your understanding of Reiki and provides you with tools to facilitate healing for others. Lastly, the Reiki Master degree (Level 3) signifies a profound commitment to the practice and involves the teaching and guiding of others on their Reiki journey.

Key Takeaways

  • Reiki is a holistic healing practice divided into three degrees: Level 1, Level 2, and Master.
  • Attunement is essential for connecting practitioners with the universal life force energy.
  • Reiki symbols and their meanings play a crucial role in the practice, aiding healing.

Understanding Reiki

The Basics of Reiki

Reiki is a holistic energy healing technique that originated in Japan. It involves the transfer of universal energy from the practitioner’s hands to the client to promote self-healing, relaxation, and overall wellness. As a Reiki practitioner, you’ll learn to tap into this energy and channel it to others through a series of hand positions on or near the client’s body.

There are three main levels, or degrees, in Reiki practice:

  • Level 1: Also known as First Degree or Reiki I, this level teaches you the basic techniques and practices of Reiki. You’ll learn how to perform self-treatments and how to provide treatments to others.
  • Level 2: Known as Second Degree or Reiki II, this level deepens your understanding of Reiki energy and introduces you to the use of symbols for distance healing and emotional healing.
  • Reiki Master: This level, also called Third Degree or Reiki III, involves advanced training and mastery of Reiki techniques. At this stage, you’ll be able to teach and initiate others as Reiki practitioners.

Principle Behind Reiki

Reiki is based on the understanding that all living beings have a life force energy called “Ki” or “Chi” that flows through them. This energy is connected to the universal energy, which is always abundantly available. When the flow of Ki within your body is strong, you’re likely to experience good health and well-being. However, you may be susceptible to illness, stress, and emotional imbalance when it’s weak or stagnated.

As a Reiki practitioner, you’ll learn to channel the universal energy to enhance the flow of Ki within yourself and others. This practice is achieved through focus and intention, aligning the chakras or energy centers, and connecting with the body’s natural healing capabilities.

Reiki and Universal Energy

In Reiki practice, universal energy is considered the source of all life force energy. As a practitioner, you learn to access this abundant source and channel it to yourself or others to promote healing and well-being. The energy transfer occurs through a series of hand positions and symbols that help direct the energy flow.

By understanding and harnessing the power of Reiki and universal energy, you can enhance your ability to heal yourself and others.

Reiki Degrees

Reiki I – Shoden

You begin your journey at Reiki I, also known as Shoden. This level introduces Reiki and focuses on self-healing and personal growth. During this stage, you will learn the basic hand positions for self-treatment and treating others, as well as the history, principles, and ethics of Reiki. After receiving an attunement from your Reiki Master, you can channel Reiki energy for life. As you practice and grow, you will develop a deeper understanding of the Reiki principles and its potential benefits for yourself and others.

Reiki II – Okuden

In Reiki II, also known as Okuden, your Reiki training advances. At this stage, you will be introduced to the sacred symbols and learn how to use them for distance healing and mental/emotional healing. After receiving another attunement from your Reiki Master, your ability to channel Reiki energy during treatments will be strengthened. This degree also focuses on enhancing your intuitive abilities, allowing you to provide more personalized treatments for the individuals you work with. It’s essential to continue practicing and integrating the teachings from both Reiki I and Reiki II into your daily life.

Master Level – Shinpiden

Reaching the Reiki Master, known as Shinpiden, is a significant milestone in your Reiki journey. At this level, you will receive the Master symbol, increasing your connection to the Reiki energy and further amplifying your healing abilities. Mastery of Reiki includes learning advanced techniques, gaining a deeper understanding of Reiki principles, and further developing your intuitive skills. It is at this level that you can choose to commit to a path of personal growth, spiritual development, and teaching Reiki to others.

Advanced Level – Reiki Master Teacher and Grand Master

After achieving the Master Level, you can advance your Reiki practice further as a Reiki Master Teacher or Grand Master. Becoming a Reiki Master Teacher signifies your dedication to Reiki and its values and involves taking on the responsibility of guiding and mentoring others on their Reiki journey. As a Reiki Master Teacher, you will learn how to attune others, provide advanced training, and help to develop new Reiki practitioners and masters.

Reiki Grand Masters have reached the highest possible level within the Reiki system and demonstrate exceptional mastery of Reiki energy and practice. The path to becoming a Reiki Grand Master is a unique and individual journey. As a Grand Master, you will continue to teach, heal, and expand your knowledge and understanding of Reiki while promoting its principles and practices in the greater community.

The Attunement Process

Understanding Attunements

Attunements are an essential aspect of Reiki practice, as they enable you to access and channel the healing energy of Reiki. The process involves a Reiki Master adjusting your energy centers (chakras) and energy pathways, which increases your healing capacity. By receiving an attunement, you become aligned with Reiki energy, strengthening your natural healing abilities.

Attunements in Different Levels

There are three main Reiki levels, and each one involves a different level of attunement:

  1. Level 1 (First Degree): At this stage, your attunement focuses on opening the energy channels, enabling you to connect with the universal life force energy. This level’s attunement equips you with the ability to perform Reiki on yourself and others in person through physical touch.
  2. Level 2 (Second Degree): The attunements at this level deepen your access to Reiki energy and introduce you to three essential Reiki symbols, empowering you to enhance your healing techniques. With Level 2 attunements, you can perform distant or absentee healing, sending healing energy across time and space.
  3. Master Level (Third Degree): The Master level attunement is the most advanced stage, enabling you to teach and attune others to Reiki energy. In this level, you learn the Master Reiki symbol and refine your healing abilities even more.

Distance Attunements

Distance attunements, or remote attunements, are a unique aspect of Reiki that allows attunements to be conducted from a distance. Despite not being physically present, you can receive attunements from a skilled Reiki Master who uses the Reiki symbols and techniques to connect with you energetically.

The effectiveness of distance attunements is a testament to Reiki’s versatility and power. As a recipient, being open and receptive to the healing energy during distance attunements is crucial. By having an open mindset and maintaining a clear intention, you can experience profound benefits from distance Reiki attunements.

Reiki Symbols and Meaning

In the practice of Reiki, different symbols are used to enhance the flow of energy during treatments. As a practitioner, you will encounter these symbols as you progress through the different Reiki degrees. This section provides you with a clearer understanding of the Reiki symbols and their meanings.

Symbols in Level 2 and Master Level

When you reach Level 2 in Reiki, you are introduced to three primary symbols – Cho Ku Rei (power symbol), Sei He Ki (mental/emotional symbol), and Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen (distance healing symbol). These symbols serve specific purposes and complement your healing techniques, helping you focus your intentions better. Here is a brief explanation of each symbol:

  • Cho Ku Rei: This symbol is believed to amplify the power of Reiki energy, making it more effective in physical healing. Use it to strengthen your Reiki treatments by drawing or visualizing the symbol before starting a session.
  • Sei He Ki: This symbol is used to address emotional and mental issues. When you incorporate Sei He Ki into your practice, your Reiki sessions become more potent in reducing stress, anxiety, and emotional imbalances.
  • Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen: This symbol transcends time and space, allowing you to deliver Reiki healing energy to people and situations at a distance. Employ this symbol in your treatments to assist individuals who cannot be physically present.

Once you attain the Master Level of Reiki, you will be introduced to the Master Symbol.

Master Symbol

The Reiki Master Symbol, also known as Dai Ko Myo, is the highest and most potent symbol in Reiki practice. Only accessible to Reiki Master practitioners, Dai Ko Myo signifies enlightenment, empowerment, and spiritual growth. This powerful symbol is employed:

  • to pass on attunements to others during Reiki training
  • to facilitate deep personal healing and spiritual growth
  • to access higher levels of consciousness and connect with one’s true self

As a Reiki Master, integrating the Dai Ko Myo into your practice helps strengthen your connection with the universal life force energy and enhances the effectiveness of your Reiki treatments.

To sum up, Reiki symbols are essential tools for practitioners at different levels. Familiarize yourself with these symbols and their meanings as you progress in your Reiki journey. By doing so, you can significantly enhance the quality of your treatments and deepen your connection with Reiki energy. Remember, the power of Reiki symbols lies in your intent, belief, and focus.

Healing with Reiki

Energy Channels and Chakras

Reiki is a holistic healing technique that works with the body’s natural energy channels and chakras to promote balance and well-being. As a Reiki practitioner, you become a conduit for this healing energy, directing it towards areas in the body that need rebalancing.

During a Reiki session, you will focus on opening the energy channels in the body, allowing for a free flow of energy. These channels, also known as meridians or nadis, are essential for maintaining overall harmony in the body and mind. Blocked or imbalanced energy channels can lead to physical and emotional health issues.

Working with the chakras is an essential aspect of Reiki healing. Chakras are energy centers located in our body, each one associated with particular physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects. For example, the heart chakra is associated with love, compassion, and forgiveness. By directing healing energy towards the chakras, you support the process of clearing and balancing these energy centers, allowing the body to heal itself.

Crystal Healing with Reiki

Integrating the use of crystals in Reiki sessions can enhance the healing process. Advanced crystal healing techniques can be especially beneficial in amplifying healing energy, as well as clearing and balancing chakras.

To incorporate crystal healing into your Reiki practice, select specific crystals that resonate with the individual chakras. For example, use:

  • Amethyst for the crown chakra (connection to spirituality and higher consciousness),
  • Sodalite for the third eye chakra (intuition, vision),
  • Rose quartz for the heart chakra (love, compassion, forgiveness).

During a Reiki session, place the chosen crystals on their corresponding chakra points while channeling healing energy. This combination can help strengthen the effects of Reiki, clearing and charging the energy centers more effectively. Crystal healing with Reiki can be a powerful tool to support self-healing and personal growth on all levels.

Reiki Practice

Reiki Training and Certification

Reiki training is essential for becoming a confident and knowledgeable Reiki practitioner. The training is divided into three main degrees: Level 1, Level 2, and Master. In Level 1, you learn the basics of Reiki, including hand positions and self-treatment. Level 2 deepens your practice as you learn additional techniques and symbols for distance and group healing. Finally, the Master level qualifies you to teach and attune others to Reiki energy.

To receive certification, you must attend courses and workshops led by qualified Reiki masters. These teachers guide you through the learning process and will provide attunements which connect you to the universal Reiki energy. Through practice and dedication, you can become an adept Reiki practitioner.

The Role of Meditation

Meditation plays a crucial role in advancing your Reiki practice. As a Reiki practitioner, incorporating meditation into your daily routine helps you improve focus, develop a more profound connection to the Reiki energy, and cultivate your intuition. By practicing regular meditation, you can achieve a clear and centered state of mind, which is crucial for conducting Reiki treatments, both on yourself and others.


Reiki is an excellent tool for managing stress. As you develop your Reiki practice, you can use this energy modality for self-healing, supporting your body and mind in finding balance. Reiki naturally promotes relaxation, which reduces stress and promotes healing within your body. Integrating Reiki into your daily life assists in maintaining a sense of well-being, allowing you to better navigate the demands of everyday life.


An important aspect of your Reiki practice is self-healing. Regular self-Reiki treatments reinforce your connection to the Reiki energy and provide an opportunity for self-reflection and personal growth. By prioritizing self-healing, you can address physical, emotional, and spiritual imbalances, further enhancing your ability to provide healing for others. It also serves as a reminder of the importance of self-care, promoting a balanced and resilient lifestyle.


Self-Reiki is the practice of administering Reiki healing to yourself. This process involves placing your hands on specific areas of your body, intending the flow of Reiki energy to support healing and balance. Self-Reiki is an invaluable component of your practice, as it allows you to deepen your connection to the Reiki energy, maintain personal wellness, and better serve others in your role as a Reiki practitioner. Regular self-Reiki is essential for nurturing your personal growth and maintaining a strong foundation for continued development in your Reiki journey.

Living with Reiki

Principles for a Reiki Life

As you embark on your journey with Reiki, it’s essential to understand and practice the five principles to enhance your life and spiritual well-being. These principles aim to promote harmony and balance while providing guidance for your daily life:

  1. Just for today, I will not be angry.
  2. Just for today, I will not worry.
  3. Just for today, I will be grateful.
  4. Just for today, I will do my work honestly.
  5. Just for today, I will be kind to others.

Incorporating these principles into your life allows you to align with your higher self and enhance your connection to Reiki energy.

Transformation through Reiki

As you progress through the Reiki levels (Level 1, 2, and Master), your intuition and personal development will grow. As a Reiki student, remember that each level builds upon the previous one, with Reiki II deepening your ability to channel the healing energy and eventually leading to the mastery of Reiki practice at the Master level.

Embracing Reiki as a spiritual journey will help you manifest positive changes in your life. As you become more attuned to Reiki energy, you’ll find that personal transformation and growth become central aspects of your spiritual practice.

Responsible Use

Taking responsibility for your Reiki practice is crucial. This means being conscious of the energy you are channeling and using your intuitive abilities for the highest good of yourself and others. As you progress through the Reiki levels, strive to be a responsible practitioner who respects the boundaries and well-being of others. This includes seeking permission before providing healing and ensuring that you maintain a safe and supportive environment for those you encounter on your spiritual journey.

In conclusion, living with Reiki involves embracing its principles, experiencing transformation, and using the energy responsibly. This will guide you on your path to becoming a confident, knowledgeable, and compassionate Reiki practitioner.


Reiki is a holistic healing practice that involves channeling the universal life force energy to promote balance and well-being. There are three main degrees or levels of Reiki training: Reiki I, Reiki II, and Reiki Master.

In Reiki level I, the focus is on self-healing and helping others. You learn the basic hand positions and techniques to give a complete Reiki treatment. By the end of this level, you’ll be able to channel Reiki energy to yourself and others.

Reiki level II, often referred to as the “practitioner” level, expands your skills and understanding of energy work. You’ll be introduced to Reiki symbols and learn distance healing, enabling you to send Reiki energy across time and space. This level broadens your practice and allows you to offer more in-depth healing sessions.

Lastly, Reiki III, or the Reiki Master level, is where you delve deeper into the practice by mastering advanced techniques. This level often involves a significant commitment to personal growth and spiritual development. You’ll learn to attune others to Reiki energy, become a Reiki teacher, and gain a deeper understanding of the universal source.

Remember to approach every stage of your Reiki journey with respect, patience, and an open mind. As you progress through the levels, you’ll not only enhance your ability to heal yourself and others but also gain a deeper connection to the universal source that flows through all life. Embrace the potential for personal transformation and increased awareness that Reiki practice has to offer.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the key symbols for each Reiki level?

In Reiki Level 1, you usually focus on learning the basics of energy healing without using symbols. In Reiki Level 2, you will be introduced to three key symbols: Cho Ku Rei (Power Symbol), Sei He Ki (Mental/Emotional Symbol), and Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen (Distance Symbol). As a Reiki Master in Level 3, you will learn the Master Symbol, Dai Ko Myo, which enhances the power of healing and enables you to attune others to Reiki.

How does the attunement process work for Reiki Master?

When becoming a Reiki Master, you will undergo a process called attunement. This is a sacred ceremony led by your Reiki Master teacher, during which they will open and expand your energy channels, allowing you to access a higher level of the healing energy. This process involves the use of symbols, mantras, and specific techniques to activate your increased healing abilities and enable you to pass on Reiki attunements to others.

What is the recommended time between Level 1 and Level 2?

It is generally suggested that you wait for a minimum of 21 days between completing your Reiki Level 1 and beginning your Level 2 training. This 21-day period allows your body, mind, and energy field to adjust and integrate the new energy you have received during your Level 1 attunement.

What skills are acquired in Reiki Level 2?

In Reiki Level 2, you will deepen your understanding and practice of Reiki by learning new techniques and symbols. Specifically, you will be introduced to three key symbols, which will help you strengthen your connection to the Reiki energy, balance emotions and mental states, and send healing energy over long distances. You will also learn advanced methods to focus your energy, clear energy blockages, and heal specific issues.

What qualifications are required to become a Reiki Master?

To become a Reiki Master, you must have completed Reiki Levels 1 and 2 and gained substantial experience in practicing Reiki on yourself and others. Some Reiki Masters may require you to demonstrate your abilities and commitment to the practice before accepting you as a student. You should also have a strong desire to deepen your understanding of Reiki, heal yourself and others, and pass on the teachings to new practitioners.

How many levels are there in Reiki Master training?

Reiki Master training can be divided into two levels: Master Practitioner and Master Teacher. As a Master Practitioner, you will learn advanced healing techniques and the Reiki Master symbol, Dai Ko Myo, which strengthens your connection with the healing energy. As a Master Teacher, you will learn how to perform attunements and teach Reiki to others. Some traditions may combine these two levels into one comprehensive Reiki Master course.