I would like to talk a little bit about the idea of distance learning â€“ or home study courses â€“ when applied to Reiki. I think that in some quarters these courses may have a bit of a bad reputation but I believe that, when put together properly, such courses can provide as much quality as real â€˜liveâ€™ courses, if not more, and they have some distinct advantages. We have been offering Reiki training through this route for several years now, and the ongoing positive feedback that we receive from our long-distance students, from all over the world, tells us that this approach can work fantastically well.
So why would someone want to train in this way, and how could such a thing work? To answer the latter question first, letâ€™s think for a moment about what is provided to students who attend a â€˜liveâ€™ course…
â€˜Liveâ€™ Reiki Courses
All Reiki courses involve doing two things:
Learning some new things â€“ receiving information
Carrying out practical exercises using energy: either working on yourself or on others.
The information you receive will come via two routes: through written materials and verbally. You will probably receive a manual on the day of the course, or maybe beforehand by means of pre-course study. You will listen to your teacher talking, you will ask questions if you need to and you will have any questions answered.
When you work on yourself or others you will be told what to do: you will be talked through meditations and energy exercises, you will watch (for example while hand positions are demonstrated), and these things will probably be referred to in more detail in the course manual.
The course will probably follow a set structure, so that you start with the basics and then move forward from a solid foundation. Once the course has been completed, you should then receive support from your teacher long-term.
Training through Home Study
Everything mentioned above can be provided at a distance if care is taken with the preparation of the course materials and the construction of the course. Firstly, if the manual is written in a clear, easy-to-understand fashion, with step-by-step detailed instructions, then we can ensure that there is no confusion. Reiki is a simple subject, after all. We can back up these instructions with digital images to illustrate various points, and we can provide an audio CD so that the student can hear the Reiki teacher say the things that would have been said on the live course, focusing the student on the important points. Itâ€™s nice to hear a real voice!
“The Manual was simply excellent. Your thoughtful approach, the easy informal style made the reading and re-reading a pleasure rather than a chore. I have searched and read so many books on Reiki to find the truth â€“ it is all here and waiting for everyone. The various photo sequences were excellent. I continue to refer to the manual and continue to learn from it.”
Veronica Hayes, Suffolk (Reiki Master Teacher home study)
“The CD was my favourite piece of material. It enabled the â€˜dip inâ€™ approach and really helped with course consolidation. Fantastic for meditation and self-treatment.”
Caron Sanders-Crook, London (Reiki First Degree home study)
When it comes to practical work with energy â€“ either on yourself or on other people â€“ then the combination of step-by-step simple instructions, digital images to illustrate points, simple audio instructions and guided meditations on CD provide you with everything you need. And where it would be a lot easier if someone could actually *see* what is being described, then a DVD provides a simple way of watching a demonstration.
“The DVD was very well set out, very easy to work to, simple but powerful. I particularly liked the fact that the two women showing us the Reiju routine did it slightly differently which I thought caught your course theme superbly.”
Jon O’Neill, Nottinghamshire (Reiki Master Teacher home study)
But success with a home study course also comes through the student being guided as they progress through the course, not just being provided with a stack of materials and left to get on with it on their own. We have found that what works well is to break a training course down into manageable â€˜chunksâ€™, and the student is given a series of â€˜projectsâ€™ to carry out. For each project they are set sections of the course manual to read, they listen to a commentary track or tracks on an audio CD, they look at digital images and maybe use a guided meditation. They ask any questions that they need to, using e-mail. They then carry out exercises with energy, either working on themselves or on a group of people that they use as â€˜guinea pigsâ€™ – Reiki is a hands-on subject, after all!
Finally, at each stage the student gives us detailed feedback on what they have been doing, what they have experienced, and what their â€˜guinea pigsâ€™ have experiencedâ€¦ and when it is clear that they have got to grips with the project, they move on to the next one.
This last paragraph hints at one of the advantages of home study, when compared with a live course: when you are on a live course time will always be limited to an extent. If you need to take longer â€“sometimes a lot longer â€“ to get to grips with a method then you really are obliged to move on at the same speed as the rest of the group whether or not youâ€™re ready. If you feel you would really like to work on a particular stage to see what you can get out of it, to find out where it will take you before moving on, then this is possible at a distance.
You can progress at the speed that is best for you.
“The feedback I received was always detailed, thorough, and encouraging.”
Kate Raines, North Yorkshire (Reiki Deepening Course home study)
“The main ingredient behind the course is the presence of Taggart himself, who faithfully keeps in touch via e-mail by giving advice, encouragement, and always willing to answer any questions that may arise.”
Martin De Rose, New York State (Reiki Second Degree home study)
And once the course is completed, your teacher can still be there to offer support and advice, via e-mail. We host some Internet discussion groups for people who have been through our Reiki1, Reiki2 or Master courses, so our students can also support each other.
“The support group you have set up covers everything from fact, to viewpoint, to beliefs to mere hunches and feelings. Itâ€™s great for the novice and the expert and everyone is so kind and helpful. I have learnt much by receiving the weekly messages. Itâ€™s lovely and humbling that so many want to share what they have to make where we are a better place.”
Caron Sanders-Crook, London
Why Choose Home Study?
People choose to train through home study for many reasons. For some it is about geography: if you live a long way from your teacher â€“ maybe even in a different country â€“ it may simply not be possible to travel to attend a live course. But home study allows you to train with your chosen teacher even if they are on the other side of the planet. Some subjects are simply not available in many places â€“ for example Original Usui Reiki or Five Element healing.
Some people, perhaps because of family commitments, are not able to take a few days out of their routine to attend a course lasting one or two days. If they choose distance learning they can work around their commitments and find time to work with the energy regularly over a longer period of time, guided each step of the way.
Some will choose home study because they simply work best that way: motivating themselves and journeying on their own at their own chosen speed, working on themselves, working on others, taking more direct control of their learning.
We believe that home study courses provide an effective way of teaching Reiki so long as the course is well thought-out, the course materials are detailed and comprehensive, and the student receives the support they need as they progress.
“I think your comments about distance learning are spot on. I have heard people say itâ€™s not possible to study Reiki like this because there are initiations, ceremonies etc etc etc but I know thatâ€™s not true. I know something is happening under my hands now. And I donâ€™t feel I could have done this any other way.
I didnâ€™t have the confidence to attend a workshop in the first place, and what I have learned about myself and Reiki couldnâ€™t have come in a few days. I was unable to just sit for 20 minutes – never mind sitting STILL with a quiet mind. The guided Hatsu-Rei started off that whole process for me but it took days & days of practice to really quieten my mind. And during that time I have also been able to read related books and articles and build up a background. It feels more natural to me to go at my own pace.
I find it hard to imagine I could have got it over a weekend .Yet now itâ€™s a huge part of my life. I would go so far as to say itâ€™s changed my life. Now I would have the confidence to attend a workshop. But I wouldnâ€™t have started out on this path if I hadnâ€™t found your distance learning course. So thank you, Taggart.”
Nikki Overton, Gloucestershire
Reiki Evolution is a Reiki training organisation in the UK that provides small scale Reiki training throughout the country. The Reiki Evolution web site is a very useful resource for people who wish to find out more about the Reiki system, and for Reiki practitioners and Master/Teachers who are interested in developing further with Reiki.
The web site offers free Reiki guides, a free ezine and loads of interesting and inspiring Reiki articles written by Taggart King. You can order professionally printed Reiki manuals and books, download ebooks and self-help guides, and order Reiki CDs or MP3s with commentary and guided meditations.
We teach a form of Reiki that is close to Mikao Usuiâ€™s original system, rather than the â€˜Western-styleâ€™ Reiki that is found on most Reiki courses, and our approach is based on information coming from a group of Mikao Usuiâ€™s surviving students.
We are one of the few people in the world to be offering high-quality Reiki home study courses that are the equal of live training, with one-to-one e-mail support, quality manuals, CDs and DVDs, and detailed course instructions. So you can train with us no matter where you are in the world. www.reiki-evolution.co.uk
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