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Some people do four attunements at level 1, others do only one attunement; does this affect the outcome, does it make a real difference or is it all down to the intent of the person giving the attunement?

Takata-sensei taught the use of the 4 separate initiations (i.e. attunements) for level one, with a gap between each initiation. The idea seems to be that each initiation 'built' on the previous one, deepening the process of connection - thus ensuring the student develops a deep 'quality' of connection at what is afterall the foundation level of Reiki [Reiki is - or should be - a building built on firm foundations]
However, as seems to be the case with all things Reiki - some post-Takata Reiki folk decided that as 'time is money' they needed a way to speed up the initiation process (especially when you hear how some of those in question liked classes of not less than 30-40 people!) - so essentially it seems the idea of one attunement instead of four actually evolved out of a time-saving exercise / plain ol' laziness.
Now as to what difference there is between the two:
[We all know that the symbols are sacred - but many it seems forget that the Initiation is also sacred.]
The Reiki initiation is a process - just like a mathemathical or chemical formula (or a food recipe for that matter)
You follow the process/formula and you get what you are supposed to get.
But when you start messing about with the process - alter the process - change the number or nature of one or more of the 'ingredients', change the point in the process where certain proceedures are carried out or the order in which the 'ingredients' are added to the mix, you are likely to end up with something other than what you were supposed to get.
IMO, this is the case with the 'simplified' Reiki initiation. While it may connect a student to Reiki, there is often little 'quality' of connection (and some folk - well they've definitely been attuned to SOMETHING - but it sure ain't "Reiki as we know it").
Yes, of course, intent plays a part - but only a part (and as the saying goes "the Road to Hell is paved with good intentions") IMO, too much is made of 'intent'. Just because someone intends something, does it guarantee the thing?
I intend to win the lottery every week! [And afterall, this whole concept of 'intent' as used in relation to 'New Age-ified' Reiki and other practices is simply a washed-out shadow of the original mystical/magical concept of 'intending'. 'Intent' in its mystical use was not about simply wishing that a thing be so; but involved a devastating effort of will - the achievement of a total congruence of being - focussing every single fibre of the being to achieving a given aim or goal. ]
No - 'true' intending is too much hard work. Personally, I can't see why I should have to intend (that is: hope & pray!) that a version of the Initiation that has been 'messed with' will work properly, when I can use the version passed on from Takata-sensei - one we KNOW will do the job, properly attuning the student to Reiki 'as we know it'. [but this is just MY opinion of course.

I am having certificates printed and was wondering if you can tell me what wording Takata used on her certificates?

While most people now use the terms 'Level 1', 'Level 2', or 'Level 3' (or 1st, 2nd, 3rd Degee) Takata-sensei used the terms 'introductory', 'intermediate', or 'advanced' for the courses she offered
Takata-sensei used the following wording on certificates:
This is to certify that ( student's name handwritten here ) has completed the [see above] course in the REIKI Method of Natural Healing as administered by Hawayo K. Takata on this date (hand-dated and signed: Rev. Hawayo K. Takata)

Just where in Hawaii did Hawayo Takata have her Reiki Clinic?

Initially, after returning to Hawaii from Japan, Takata-sensei set up a small place of practice at Kapaa in the Kawaihau district on Kauai island.
However, in 1939, she acquired a property at: 2070 Kilauea Avenue, Waiakea Homesteads, South Hilo, Big Island, and it was from this address that she ran her practice up to the late 1940's.
For a time at her clinic, she advertised Reiki as 'Reiki Massage' .
Later, when the clinic was called the 'Hawaii Health Studio', Takata-sensei advertised Reiki as 'Nerve-Gland-Shortwave Treatments' !
As well as Reiki, she also offered Swedish Massage, and 'Cabinet Bath' (i.e. steam bath) treatments at this address. Later she moved back to Honolulu and set up a practice there.

Was it Mrs Takata who came up with the idea of the 'energy exchange' - the requirement that payment must always be made for treatment/training: that they are not allowed to be given for free? And why is this; are free treatments believed to be less effective - didn't Usui treat victims of the Kanto earthquake for free?

Many people do seem to think that Takata-sensei was responsible for introducing the idea of charging for treatment/training, and the phrase "Energy Exchange" is certainly a very modern one.
However in a 1928 Reiki Article, the playwright and journalist Shou Matsui states:
"I was introduced to Mr. Hayashi by a mutual acquaintance and I paid a large sum of money to learn this treatment method..."
Matsui was speaking of Shoden level - and if he had to pay what he [a quite affluent individual] considered " a large sum of money", it makes you wonder what Hayashi-sensei's fees for Okoden - never mind Shinpiden, might have been like.
Hayashi-sensei would certainly also have expected some form of payment for providing treatment.
And in Usui-sensei's day it was prob
ably much the same. Students would have had to pay fees to attend Usui-sensei's Dojo, and no doubt payment for treatment would also be expected - this was common practice during the time whether one was learning an artistic, therapeutic, or martial discipline.
Certainly, other healers and therapists in the Meiji and Taisho eras required payment from clients. Where treatment itself was provided without charge, this was often done simply as a way to attract new interest in the particular therapy - in the form of people who would then hopefully go on to pay for training.
Even those who practiced healing as members of the various 'New Religions' (and Traditional Religions for that matter) would expect 'donations' from those they had helped. Often, 'new religions' offered healing as a means of recruiting new 'devotees'.

Many healers, religious or otherwise, traveled the country and while not charging for the healing per se would expect to be housed and fed by the person receiving healing, or by their family. ['Free' usually really means hidden 'strings attached']
And yes, Usui-sensei is indeed said to have provided emergency treatment for a great many people after the Kanto Earthquake, however, in Takata-sensei's version of the Reiki Story, Usui-sensei is also said to have realised that people don't always appreciate - and therefore do not reap the full benefits of - 'something-for-nothing' (see the story of the beggars).

Actually, while the phrasing is modern, the original thinking behind the concept of the 'energy exchange' is much older. And its not so much about not being allowed to give free treatments as about the fact that in doing so, the giver is seen to be making the receiver 'beholden' to them on some level.
It is all tied up with giri, okaeshi, and kansha.
Giri - in this usage, meaning obligation or indebtedness - is a big deal in Japanese culture. To be indebted to someone can in some circumstances carry with it a certain degree of shame - it can also simply weigh heavily on the mind, and as such be the cause of much stress (which can impact on the effectiveness of the treatment - possibly even counteract the therapeutic effects of a treatment).
Tied in with giri is okaeshi: meaning 'a gift in return'.
When someone gives one a gift (and this doesn't have to be a material or monetary gift - it can be advice, aid, assistance - treatment, etc) one can free oneself of obligation (and the psychological burden it can bring) by means of okaeshi - giving a gift in return.
[Often, if one wants something from a particular person, one will actually give the gift before asking for the thing.]

Okaeshi is the true origin of the 'energy exchange' (which technically doesn't have to be money - it can be a token item, payment in kind, performance of a service - something given to or done for the Reiki practitioner/Teacher - or for that matter something given to or done for a third party (with the Reiki practitioner/Teacher's approval) in line with the concept of 'Pay it forward'
By means of okaeshi / 'energy exchange' one can free oneself psychologically (also ethically/spiritually/karmically) of indebtedness to the practitioner, thus enabling one to fully accept the healing on all levels.

kaeshi / 'energy exchange' is also a worldly means of expressing true kansha - gratitude: appreciation (and with it, true respect) for what one has received.
"Just for today, be Grateful" - Takata sensei held this as the most important of the principles.
When we truly appreciate / respect the treatment/training received, this also opens us (psychologically, spiritually, etc) to receive the full benefits of the 'gift'.

Kansha - Gratitude is also the acknowledgement of ones indebtedness to another (giri), and on yet another level (to a certain extent, one of 'self-interest') the generation and expression of true heart-felt gratitude is also perceived as a means whereby one can free oneself from the burden of indebtedness - i.e. gratitude itself becomes another level of okaeshi.

[And from a purely therapeutic point of view, the generation of the emotion of gratitude is also widely accepted as being highly conducive to the healing processes.]

We were taught that we should only lightly place our hands on the healee without any pressure. Also that we must not slide the hands between the positions, we must lift our hand clear of the healee's body then place it in the next position. Why is this?

Over the years I've heard all sorts of reasons being offered by various people - including how applying pressure will supposedly force Reiki too deeply into the recipients body-tissue!!
And how sliding the hand from one position to the next might somehow direct the recipient's own energy to flow the wrong way along any meridian your hand happens over in the process!
However, the real reason is far simpler. It has nothing to do with forcing or influencing the energy.* It is very simply this: a matter of self-preservation. Application of pressure, or for that matter, sliding the hands while remaining in direct contact with the recipient's body, could posibly be construed as 'massage', and as it is illegal to practice massage without a licence in many places, this could result in either public prosecution or private lawsuits. By lifting the hands/ not applying pressure you ensure against this.

[*Remember, from what we now know, Usui-sensei himself probably used application of pressure: the Oshi te technique utilises pressure with the heel of the hand. And as for sliding the hands: the Nade te technique utilises stroking or brushing with the hands]

Is it true that there's an asteroid named Reiki?

Yes indeed. An asteriod discovered on November 14, 1990 by Japanese astronomers Shun-ei Izumikawa & O-samu Muramatsu is designated:
(5239) Reiki.
However it is not named after 'Usui Reiki
(5239) Reiki is named in honour of a woman: Reiki Kushida - another Japanese astronomer; and the kanji used to write her name are not the same as those used to write Reiki - a la Usui.

Should we use all three second-degree symbols together when doing treatments, or just use certain ones?

Well (IMO) that would depend on two things: 1, which form of Reiki you have been attuned/trained in; & 2, what you happen to be doing at the time.
For example in 'pure' Usui Shiki Ryoho:
if you are giving a distance Reiki treatment, then you use the HSZSN to connect to the person, followed by the CKR (you would also use SHK if doing a 'habit' treatment)
If you are not working at a distance you don't use the HSZSN. Period.
If you are treating an ache, a very minor cut, or other 'simple' physical injury, while you may use the CKR, you probably wouldn't need the SHK
SHK can come into the equation when there is psychological-emotional shock/trauma (however minor) connected with the physical injury etc. (though perhaps there may actually be some level of emotional shock/trauma accompanying 'simple' physical injuries - a paper cut for example!) .
If the client has had a fall, been in an accident, etc, etc, then they would almost certainly be suffering from associated emotional shock/trauma (as well as from the physiological shock /trauma), so you could use SHK as well as the CKR.
This would also help prevent the build-up of what is often referred to as
'emotional body-armour' around the area of injury, and will contribute greatly to the self-healing process. SHK can also be used to release-clear pre-existent 'emotional body-armour' associated with old injuries which although technically healed, are still causing the client discomfort or other problems.
Also, if you are treating a purely stress-related problem of any kind where there is no physical injury, etc. you would use SHK.
You would use SHK and CKR together in behavioural modification treatments - be it Takata sensei's version of the technique or the 'Japanese' version: Seiheki chiryo-ho





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