Whether you are a new Reiki practitioner or you are a seasoned Reiki Master, face it, practicing Reiki on your own can be very lonely. Facilitating a Reiki Circle can help you and others to add a new and exciting dimension to your Reiki Practice.
Hosting Your Own Reiki Circle
Reiki Circles and practice groups have been an especially important aspect of Reiki training from the start. They are an effective way for new and more experienced Reiki practitioners to hone their Reiki skills, learn from others and collectively send much needed Reiki healing energy to whomever and wherever it’s needed most.
What is the Value of a Reiki Circle?
One of the requirements for new students of Reiki between the different Reiki initiation levels is to practice Reiki both on themselves and others. Reiki circles provide a place and time dedicated to just that. Plus, being part of a group of like-minded individuals with the intention to heal themselves, others and the planet is a beautiful way to build connections and lasting friendships with those that share in the desire to be of service to the world.
If you have done Reiki for a long time, you know that there are many “a-ha” moments of discovery both in your understanding of the practice and well as how your connection to your true Divine Nature and intuition expands and grows. The Reiki Circle is a sacred space to be able to share and explore these revelations.
Furthermore, if you teach Reiki, offering your own Reiki Circle will give your Reiki students, a place to gather and strengthen their Reiki knowledge and experience. It can also help bring new students and those interested in Reiki to you and help you spread the gift of Reiki to even more people.
Hosting a Reiki Circle – A Step by Step Guide
There is no set way to host your Reiki Circle. Be creative, positive, and fun. The intent is to bring people together either in person or online. Taking the time to create a sacred, supportive, judgement free, fun zone will ensure that your members want to come back repeatedly. It also will bolster the healing energy of the group. Below is my 10-step guide to hosting a Reiki Circle, hopefully you find it helpful!
1. Choose your location as well as the where and when of your Reiki Circle event. You can connect via social media to announce dates and times and find new members. Find a physical location that is close to you, either your home, community center or hotel conference room for example. If you host online, get a dedicated Zoom room or comparable platform where you and the participants can be online together and participate live.
2. Start a list of members for your circle and communicate with them regularly through texts or posts informing of upcoming circles and share (if wanted) useful information on healing, the history of Reiki, healing requests or relevant information etc.
3. If you plan to meet in person, be sure to encourage people to bring blankets, yoga mats or massage tables, if that is easy. If possible, determine who needs to bring what beforehand and create a checklist. You should have things like water, tea, or other refreshments. You can ask members to trade off in making healthy snacks to bring if wanted. Make sure always to have tissues and cleaning supplies. We are still in a time of Covid, so staying safe is important, wearing face masks may be necessary too. This will not inhibit the healing energy. Also, people cry and sneeze sometimes when receiving healing, so extra tissues are never a bad idea.
4. Create a healing environment and a sacred space. Make sure you have soothing lighting and sounds playing in the background (meditation music or nature sounds) if that is something in your control. You can bring in flowers or incense, whatever will set the right mood. Take care that the environment is clean, tidy, and free from clutter.
If you are working online, you can encourage your participants to have water and tissues and be in a comfortable place. Make sure your background is nice and soothing, to create an atmosphere conducive to conducting healing energy. If that is not an option, at least blur your background so it is not distracting.
Invite people to arrive early or set aside the first few minutes for people to say their hello’s, set up their mats or places in the circle, so that when you are ready to begin, no one is just arriving to the room or online to the group chat and disrupting the energy. Five minutes should be enough time to accomplish this usually.
One more thing, we all rely on our cell phones for many reasons, but if you have to have it with you during a session, make sure it is muted or even better, turned off. It can be a real buzzkill to be in the middle of a session and hear someone’s Lady Gaga ringtone suddenly start blasting from their pocket.
5. Start your Circle by introducing yourself and welcoming everyone to the session. If there is time especially the first session or after a while if someone new joins, allow people to introduce themselves and their main reason for being there.
If meeting in person, make a circle with the people and hold hands, if not social distancing. Ask everyone to take a minute or so just to close their eyes, breathe and get in sync with each other letting all thoughts of the day and any worries go. Tell them to scan their bodies and release any stresses, to set the intention of being present in the moment and to be open to allowing the flow of Reiki energy by letting go of any worries or negativity that may be present in their minds or bodies. Ask those present to bring their hands together in prayer position over their heart and to silently set their intention for their personal participation in the circle. As the host you can also set the intention for the group.
It is also good to begin with a moment of gratitude asking each person to silently think of three things they are grateful for right now. Chanting three extended Om’s or a positive affirmation and a listening to the breathing is a wonderful way to calm and center the energy. When everyone is “present and in the moment” this is the time to begin.
This would work the same for an online circle, except obviously the holding hand’s part, but they also can envision that.
6. Layout the plan and guidelines for the group. Explain how you will begin, how long the Reiki sessions will last, if there will be a time afterward for sharing and if you will take breaks and for how long. Ask people in the breaks to refrain from changing their energy too much to maintain the mood and flow of energy. This will help with time management so that everyone that wants to give and receive Reiki is able to. Set a time for distance healing for people and animals. Allow a time for healing to be sent to a non-person, such as the environment or a situation that would benefit from healing and a return to alignment. Write the order down so that you can keep track.
Something particularly important is to set the boundaries of the group. Avoid negative language, no judgment, and no rushing. This is also a suitable time to recite and ask others to repeat after or with you the Five Reiki Principles:
The Five Reiki Principles
- Just for today, I will not worry.
- Just for today, I will not be angry.
- Just for today, I will do my work honestly.
- Just for today, I will give thanks for my many blessings.
- Just for today, I will be kind to my neighbor and every living thing.
Be sure to remind others to follow the Reiki guidelines of:
- Asking for permission to touch and give Reiki energy.
- Asking the receiver beforehand about any areas where they do not feel comfortable being touched. For many this can be the neck or lower belly region, always respect their wishes.
You can also decide if you want to include crystals or other modalities into the session but stay to true to the Reiki practice itself and only include those things that complement, expand, and uplift the modality.
The more people understand the schedule and boundaries, the safer and more joyful they will feel to share, give, and receive Reiki. Another note on boundaries, never put anyone on the spot. People can have a lot of anxiety about speaking or sharing in public and that includes giving and receiving Reiki in front of others. It might have been a personal victory to just show up. Always invite people to participate, if they decline, smile, and invite them to watch and observe, be a timekeeper or be in charge of all those tissues. Those are also valuable contributions.
7. If you have enough people, you can break into several smaller groups and take the time to select who will be giving and who will be receiving Reiki and in which order. This can be recorded on paper of who is first, second, etc. Set a time limit for each person’s treatment using an alarm on your phone (this is the one time it is OK to use a cell phone during the session.)
Depending on the length of the circle (2 to 3 hours), it is best to adhere strictly to the times or you will end up going far overtime. Each group should have someone (usually the person positioned at the recipient’s head) to indicate when to change positions or if informed by their intuition to instruct another to move their hands. If you have enough people in rotation you can set up a timekeeper to announce when 5 minutes, 10 minutes and 15 minutes are up. Its customary practice to do 15-minute sessions per person, unless circumstances call for longer and the group agrees, such as an extremely ill person that would benefit from an extended session.
8. As you start to do Reiki on each other try to have both experienced and inexperienced people working together with someone having an eye on hand positions, setting intentions, and working with the symbols. Make sure you observe the practice of not sharing Reiki symbols with those not attuned to certain levels. Remember a Level 1 practitioner does not know the symbols but can give Reiki. A Level 2 knows most of the symbols but not all, and a Reiki Master will know all symbols. If someone is there that is not attuned to Level 1 they should only receive Reiki and can help with keeping time once they have already had a session. This is respectful of the tradition and lineage of Reiki, and it speaks to the integrity of working honestly.
*We sometimes forget as healers we need to also need to take care of ourselves. So, make sure in your Reiki circle you allow others to direct healing energy to you as well. “Put on your own oxygen mask first before helping others” as they say on an airplane.
9. Create an uplifting positive environment, full of smiles. It’s up to the host to set the tone as to the type of environment they want to cultivate. But you should strive for a pleasant one with pleasant sounds and a positive empowering space. Be creative and have fun! If upbeat music is what you want and the group wants, play it! This is not the time for however for idle chatter or checking cell phones and messages. Remind people to stay present "in the moment" and as stated earlier to set their phones to silent. Let the environment be full of smiles and love. You can make the event fun, such as switching people to different groups, like musical chairs. Hold a theme day in which everyone wears tie-die or a funny hat. Just be creative and facilitate hugs, love, laughter, and smiles! Think Patch Adams knowing laughter and happiness is the best medicine for healing!
On a gentler note, be cognizant that vulnerabilities can be present in the moment of healing for the recipient. Holding a space of calm, loving attention is in its own way very healing. If someone starts to cry, offer them a tissue, and ask them if they wish to continue but this is not the time for discussion. Allow the tears to flow and release, that is also part of the healing. Use your best judgment in this. The person may need to get up, drink some water and rest away from the rest of the group for a few moments or when calm they might need to go home. Whatever has become active needs to be honored, but while they are in trauma release, they should not be asked questions or get tons of unsolicited advice. Hold the space to calm them and someone can privately attend to them, but the rest of the group should continue. There is a principle in spirituality that says, “where attention goes, energy flows.” The best thing, in this case, is to notice the trauma, and acknowledge it, but not dive into it. Instruct the person to breath, calm down, and rest. It would be advisable to seriously consider whether to return to the person to a session. We need to trust the Reiki energy is activated and is working to release this energy and that some time should pass before getting another session.
10. A Time for Sharing and Closing the Circle. If there is time, you can allow the participants to share their experiences and insights. End the session with a prayer of gratitude and the Om mantra or Amen, whatever feels best and fits the belief systems of the group. Announce the Circle closed and thank everyone for participating and announce the next event. Ask everyone to help you break down and clean up.
There you have it, you just formed and hosted your own Reiki Circle!
There is such a beautiful environment created when people come together with the intention of healing and service. The bonds created with others only go that much further to bring happiness and joy into our lives. This is your opportunity to create and facilitate that connection and community in your own life and the lives of those that join you. That is what Reiki is about, healing, connection, and Oneness.