The Reiki Attunement Process

The attunement process is a ceremony of spiritual awakening that symbolizes the creation of a new connection between you and the Universal Source of Light that aligns you with your Highest Good. You can imagine it as being similar to the process of turning the dial on a radio to find a station. During an attunement, you are ‘tuned in’ to a different station. In other words, you are being attuned to a higher frequency.

A Reiki attunement must be given by a Reiki Master. A Reiki Master is someone who devotes themselves to attaining and maintaining a very high frequency of energy respective to the general masses. A Master’s connection to the Universal flow of energy is high enough that he or she can create a stronger connection between you and the Universal flow. After the final attunement, a person is technically labeled a Reiki Master, but the process of attaining Master-hood takes an undefined amount of time, depending solely on the person.

One of the unique characteristics of Reiki is its tradition of attuning people to the different levels of vibration that are represented in each degree. During the first degree, you receive four attunements and the second and third degree each require one attunement. Attunements are short ceremonies in which the Reiki Master performs a sequence of acts that connect you to a greater flow of energy. The ceremonies create an energy pattern around you when the Reiki Master imprints symbols into your aura. Your energy frequency immediately adjusts to the higher frequency represented by the Reiki symbols. The attunement is permanent.

Remember the definition of Reiki. It means ‘Universal Life Force Energy’. When someone says that they work with Reiki energy, it doesn’t mean that they are accessing a special kind of energy.

I work with Reiki energy = I work with Universal Life Force Energy

There is no distinction between ‘different types of energy’. There simply is energy, or there is no energy. There is no ‘good energy’. There is no ‘negative energy’. Once you realize that everything is energy, you begin to fully understand what the attunement process is and what being a Reiki practitioner means.

There are many sources that will tell you that the purpose of an attunement is to allow you to access ‘Reiki energy’ in order to heal a person or a situation. This is misleading. The purpose of an attunement is simply to give you greater access to the Universal flow of energy. What you choose to do with this new connection is up to you although it is important to recognize that wanting an attunement in order to heal others or to heal a situation are secondary desires.

You will not be able to heal anyone or anything until you begin to heal yourself.

To heal means to balance.

Until you balance yourself, your ability to balance elements around you is limited.

Enlightenment is a two-way process. You are invited to share your experiences of attunement with others who have gone through it and/or who have questions about it by adding your comment here :) Why don’t I start by sharing an attunement experience with you…

I was attuned to master level in Toronto, Canada – although I was slow to start and tried to ignore that inner voice for as long as I could…because of fear.

My whole attunement process took approximately 2-3 years. I had intensive periods of lessons and attunements with my teacher. These were followed by longer periods with little-to-no contact with him during which time I was encouraged to put the teachings into practice and to observe the changes that were to take place within myself, in my life and to those around me.

I was not encouraged nor deterred from giving Reiki sessions to others. My teacher was supportive throughout the process. I was often reminded that free will was a governing Universal Law and I had the choice each step of the way.

As I became more and more comfortable with the changes that came with this process, I began to hear that little voice in my head more often…although I wasn’t as afraid of it anymore. I noticed myself being inspired to try new things and face fears that I knew were holding me back. I took Kundalini Yoga classes which I thoroughly enjoyed, and opened a Reiki practice that allowed me to give Reiki sessions and attunements to others.

After about a year and a half of advertising myself as a Reiki practitioner – all in the name of empowering others with the benefits of Reiki, I decided to close down shop. My personal experience made me feel that offering Reiki in exchange for money tainted the process and actually limited to flow of energy. This is my experience, and I am by no means saying that this will be the case for everyone.

Since my first attunement, I progressively learned more about energy and made the conscious choice to apply what felt right. After experimenting with different approaches, I decided that rather than singing in the streets about the ‘miracle of energy’, I would respect the fact that everyone chooses for themselves and took the indirect route of simply providing the information to others through my site.

Achieving Reiki Mastery

There are three degrees of Reiki practitioners. If you choose to go through the process, feel free to ask your teachers about the topics listedReiki icon below.

The First Degree

In the first degree, students tend to learn about the following things:

  • The History of Reiki
  • The Attunement Process
  • Energy
  • The Chakra System
  • How to do Reiki on yourself
  • Hand Positions

The Second Degree

In the second degree, the following information is revealed:

  • How to do Reiki on others
  • Symbol of Power
  • Symbol for Mental/Emotional Healing
  • Symbol of Distance Healing
  • Self Empowerment Positions
  • The Bodies
  • Kundalini Energy
  • The Rays of Manifestation

The Third Degree

The third degree is taught in one of two ways, depending on the Master’s beliefs. Traditionally, the third degree was the highest level in Reiki. At this level, you were taught everything about the final symbols and how to attune others.

Through time, it became evident that many people wanted to reach the third degree and learn more about Reiki but had no intention of teaching or felt that they were not ready to guide others. For these reasons, many Reiki Masters saw the need for an intermediate stage between the second degree and Master level. The tradition of only having three degrees broke, and the third degree split into two parts: 3A and 3B. Under this adjusted system, people normally train up to level 3A unless they want to become a Reiki Master and teach Reiki.

At level 3B, people learn how to pass the Reiki philosophy onto others and give attunements.

After you are attuned to the First Degree, you have a new choice in front of you…

You can choose to begin working on yourself, or you can return to the life you led before your first thought of Reiki appeared. (Although you are reminded that since you have initiated a powerful energy transformation within you, beneficial changes will occur slowly even if you do not practice on yourself every day – they will simply be more subtle and unconscious.) If you choose to embrace a new level of vibration into your existence, then there are a few things to keep in mind.

Firstly, you have been given access to a much greater flow of energy then you were most likely connected to prior to your first attunement. In order to develop a full awareness of what it feels like to actually function on a day to day basis at a higher frequency, you have a responsibility to work on yourself as often as you can. You may choose to do a Reiki session on yourself once a week. You may also choose to do full Reiki sessions on yourself twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. Rather than imposing rules, it is suggested that the more energy you allow to directly flow through you, the greater results you will notice.

Working on yourself

The most important thing to remember is not to judge. Judgment diminishes the results of a treatment, but in a way that you may not expect. If you judge what happens, you will by no means be punished for it. It is simply a case of energy distribution. If you choose to judge, you are utilizing energy for the creation of doubt and fear. The energy that is used to judge is then no longer available in the moment to balance your chakras, heal your body, sooth your mind and all of the other benefits that come with attuning to a higher vibration. Remember that there is a cause to every effect. If you choose to think one way, you will be affected in that way. Rather then creating illusions of what you think is happening, put faith in the process and simply BE within the energy.

A reiki session may start off as an exercise in meditation. You may wish to clear your mind as you place your hands on your chakras because our minds get in the way of the things we are here to work through. You may find that you drift off into a place where you are not exactly sleeping, but not completely awake either. Sometimes your body asks for a deep rest during a session and will put you to sleep in order for you to receive the full benefit from a session. You may dream or see visions. You may have thoughts that you would normally have missed in a busier state. You may not remember anything that happens during your session including when your hands moved to different positions but your inner knowing tells you that all was done perfectly.

Allow nature to run its course. Your body enters into its natural state of harmony while energizing. At first you will feel the differences between your natural state of peace during Reiki and your daily state of preoccupation with life. Once you pass this stage, you will transition into a more harmonious state even while walking down the street. It is a process. Allow it to take you to your highest good and trust that you are cared for by the powers of love.

Many souls will look to different ways of becoming fully enlightened. If any school of thought does not lead you within, you should remove yourself from that school. However, if it leads you within, you can be sure you’re on the right track. All the answers, knowledge, enlightenment, and peace lies within you. You will never become truly enlightened by any school, nor by any person external of yourself. It does not do any harm to be aware of another’s opinion. Just remember; you are cautioned not to become that opinion.


He was tired. Smearing a mosquito across his cheek, he clenched his teeth and narrowed his eyes. The evening fog was becoming dense, eating away at his ripped clothes and seeping into his bones. Twigs cracked under his thick rubber soles as he dragged himself through the labyrinth of the forest. He was told there would be a clearing soon. He was told he would find his answer in the clearing.

Before nightfall, he arrived at an open field. At the far end of the field was a small cabin. There was a torn piece of soggy cardboard propped up on the porch with the words ‘Help Wanted’ scratched into it with thick red marker. Inside the cabin, there was a round pink man sitting behind a desk that seemed too small for his demeanor. His thick spectacles were propped up on the tip of his nose. He folded his newspaper as the screen door to his office creaked open.

“I would like to work for you in exchange for money that I can use to buy food and shelter,” said the traveler as he approached the man behind the desk.

With an almost imperceptible nod, the man agreed to employ the traveler. “Come back tomorrow morning and I will tell you what work you will do for me.” The traveler agreed to return the next day.

In the morning, the man behind the desk gave the traveler an axe. “Your job will be to cut down trees in the forest around my cabin. You will be paid for each tree you cut down.”

The traveler was very excited. He agreed and promised that each day he would cut down more trees then the day before.

At the end of the first day, the traveler cut down 20 trees. He was very proud of himself. On the second day, the traveler worked twice as hard but only cut down 15 trees. He thought that it must have been because he was still getting into the habit of cutting down trees, so he decided not to be too hard on himself and come back the next day fresh and ready to achieve his original goal.

On the third day, the traveler worked harder then he had on the first two days combined but he only ended up cutting down 12 trees. He was feeling discouraged and frustrated. He went to the cabin and approached the man behind the desk. He told his employer about his experience and asked for advice.

The man behind the desk folded his newspaper, peered at the traveler from above the thick red rim of his glasses and asked, “In all this time that you have been working yourself to the bone trying to cut down more trees each day, have you taken the time to sharpen your axe?”

“No. I didn’t think there was time to waste,” grumbled the traveler.

“There is no time to waste. All we have in the light of the sun and the cool of the breeze are the tools we are given to assist us in our work. Time will not help you cut down a tree. It will not make you stronger, nor will it lift the weight off your shoulders when you are tired. All we have are the tools we are given.”

With that, the man behind the desk unfolded his paper and continued reading.

Reluctantly, the traveler left the cabin and returned to the woods. Before cutting down any more trees, he sharpened his axe. That day, he cut down 23 trees. Each morning, before he began cutting, he checked to make sure his axe was sharp enough for the work he needed it to do, and each day he cut down more trees then the day before.