REIJU: 'ATTUNEMENT', 'EMPOWERMENT', OR
SIMPLY A FORM OF 'BLESSING CEREMONY'?...
2006 James Deacon
Attunement = Empowerment = Attunements?
In Reiki terminology, 'empowerment' and 'attunement' used
to mean the same thing:
- from the analogy of 'tuning in' a radio. In the Reiki sense,
tuning the student in to the Universal Lifeforce Energy - or rather
to specific frequencies within that all-pervasive
Energy: the 'frequencies' otherwise referred to as the 'Reiki
- coming from an Japanese esoteric Buddhist concept: kanjo
- a rite in which an individual receives a 'spiritual permission'
ie, is spiritually/esoterically empowered to work with
a particular practice, or manifest a particular ability - in this
case the Reiki ability
(some folk still refer to the initiation symbol (DKM) as the 'empowerment'
'empowerment' and 'attunement' were just different ways of looking
at the process of 'getting' the Reiki Phenomenon
folk sometimes spoke of the process in terms of bringing the individual
into 'alignment' with the Reiki capability.
Yet others talked in terms of 're-patterning' the individual's
field - as if re-programming some form of 'psychic-energy computer'
to enable it to interact with the subtle energy-phenomenon that
But all these terms/concepts mentioned above are really very modern:
Takata sensei actually spoke of the process as an 'Initiation'
- a sacred ritual; however, the word 'Initiation' was seemingly
a bit too overtly esoteric for some, so it fell out of favour
and both 'attunement' and 'empowerment' (terms which on the surface
at least had less 'mystical' connotations than Initiation) came
to be used interchangeably as the standard terminology.
and Attunements, no longer the same?
recently, some people started to differentiate between 'empowerment'
and 'attunement' - using 'empowerment' to refer more to a non-initiatorial
practice - simply a way of boosting sensitivity - enabling the
individual to experience the feel of the 'energy' more
deeply, and thus interact with it more effectively.
state of boosted sensitivity achieved through 'empowerment' is
temporary; however it appears that, through repeated empowerment,
the effects may in fact be cumulative - resulting in a permanent
and progressive deepening of sensitivity. But due to the subjective
nature of the experience, it is difficult to be certain if this
is indeed the case.
- Attunement or Empowerment, or..?
initially it was believed that modernday forms of reiju
(all of which seem to stem from the process as reinvented/recreated
by Hiroshi Doi*)
essentially served the very same purpose as the initiation process
(denju, in Japanese) as practiced by Takata-sensei, over
time this view has altered and it is now generally understood
that the various forms of reiju function either more along
the lines of an empowerment (in the more recent 'increased-sensitivity'
meaning of the term), or alternatively, simply as a form of 'blessing
Doi first began teaching reiju, it was assumed that the
process he was working with was the 'original' version (or at
very least, close to the original version) used by Usui-sensei.
It was only some time later it became clear that Doi's reiju
was purely his own creation - something he designed in an attempt
to emulate the feel of the reiju process he claimed
was used in the Gakkai, but which he himself, not being a Gakkai
master, had not been taught.]
such it would seem that modernday reiju
is lacking something that was present in Usui-sensei's reiju
-. the effect of the latter probably having been more
in keeping with that of the later initiation/attunement process
(which may have actually evolved out of the reiju process).
meaning of the term: reiju?
Technically, the term reiju (in its purest sense) - depending
on which of two specific kanji you use to write the ju
part, can mean either 'to give spirit', or 'to receive spirit'.
just as modernday reiju is seen as being simply a 'blessing
ceremony' by some, in its original sense, the term reiju can
indeed also refer to
the sharing of a 'blessing' - but at a very deep, spiritual/esoteric
term reiju implies the sharing/conferring of an actual
a Reiki context then, rather than simply being about increasing
an individual's ability to sense the 'energy', the original concept
of reiju can perhaps more properly be understood as having
been about 'Blessing' an individual with the actual Reiki itself:
the actual Reiki ability itself. Usui-sensei's reiju being
a process for facilitating gradual transfer of the Spiritual Gift
of Reiki to another living being - perhaps a means of sharing
with them (at a subtle level) the essential 'flavour' of the phenomenon
that was Usui-sensei's initial 'Reiki Experience' during the meditation
on Mount Kurama?
then - the sharing/conferring of an actual Spiritual Gift
- is an (albeit incremental) initiatorial process comparable to
the denju (initiation) as practiced by Takata-sensei.
In its deepest sense, denju constitutes a simple form of
'transmission-empowerment-ritual' - the likes of which are to
be found in Japanese Mikkyo (esoteric Buddhist) traditions [also
in the Esoteric Buddhist traditions of Tibet and China] - and
which are viewed as central to the student/disciple's development
and 'spiritual unfolding'.
its earliest manifestation, so we are told, Usui-sensei's system
was a Reiho: a 'Spiritual Method' - for improving mind
and body; it is also claimed by some that Usui-sensei's original
reiju was actually itself derived from Mikkyo ritual.
this would seem to put denju and Usui-sensei's reiju
(not the modern reinventions) on a relatively level footing.
the perspective of the Esoteric Buddhist initiatorial traditions
it can be understood that, via either the denju process
or (Usui-sensei's version of) the reiju process, the teacher
is conferring the 'Reiki Ability' on the student - not just in
an actual, practical sense, but also in the more spiritual/esoteric
sense of passing on to the student the 'spiritual permission'
to manifest what is afterall an essentially sacred therapeutic
- and other 'higher' practices?
reiju to denju...