Reiki Level 1 | SHODEN – On The Attunement Process And The 21 Days

Reiki level 1, also known as the beginner teachings, is the process that gives you access to light and Reiki knowledge, where you get to know yourself and bring to the surface the elements that need to be healed during the 21 days of self-treatment.

Throughout the “healing crisis”, you learn more about yourself while cleansing and experimenting with being a Reiki practitioner.

The Reiki Principles

  • Just for today, I shall be grateful,
  • Just for today, I shall not anger,
  • Just for today, I shall not worry,
  • Just for today, I shall do my work honestly,
  • Just for today, I shall respect all life.

Why did I start with them…?

Simply because they represent most of the Reiki wisdom combined in a few sentences.

Just as the book of the great Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu – “Tao te Ching”, these principles have a deeper meaning that goes beyond what we physically read.

They are a fountain of wisdom and can be understood with a higher spiritual perception.

Even though Reiki was split into several degrees at one point in history, it has kept its strong, positive resonance throughout the decades. This will probably last for centuries to come.

Without a shadow of a doubt (and I do take full responsibility for what I am about to say), Reiki has helped raise the consciousness and vibration of many groups of people around the world.

This eventually reduced the chance of having even more conflictual and negative energies present on our Planet.

I strongly believe Reiki positively influenced our world at scale.

I think Reiki is a catalyst for higher spiritual human evolution and it all starts with the attunement for level 1.

Of course, as we’ll discuss later on, it’s not only the wisdom and the practice itself, but what actions we take based on that.

What Can You Achieve With Reiki

Reiki is considered to be a very healthy way of practicing alternative therapy. This can be done without any side effects or taking too much time from your already busy life.

You can treat many things with Reiki, from small illnesses too much “severe” ones. I have seen many people recover from such conditions and get on with their lives as nothing has happened.

Reiki can also help heal even the most encountered cases, such as:

  • Headaches
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Rage bursts
  • Fear
  • Frequency flues
  • Stress
  • Muscle pain
  • Eye sorrow
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Indigestion
  • Hangovers

Constantly practicing Reiki not only diminishes all of the above but can also help keep our energy at higher levels, maintain a positive attitude towards life and a stronger mental and physical body.

Even when you have a healthy and positive condition it’s recommended to practice Reiki in order to prevent any imbalances that may occur in your life.

It’s easier to prevent than heal.

There is a side to Reiki that’s often overlooked.

What if Reiki is a tremendous boost for a potentially authentic spiritual life, right here on Earth?

As a piece of clothing perfectly fits your body, the energetic and spiritual worlds work seamlessly together. That is why a spiritual practice such as Reiki perfectly fits our evolution in the physical plane.

And that’s how we should look at Reiki and its levels. We have to pay more attention to its spiritual side rather than the technical one.

A Short History Of Reiki And How It Was Split Into Levels

This therapy was officially first brought to the world around the year 1922 by Dr. Mikao Usui, a Japanese Buddhist priest. There were others before him who had the concept of “Reiki” in practice, but Usui Sensei was the first official teacher.

Usui Sensei wanted to find and understand the purpose of life and its special state of consciousness.

This is what we know today as “enlightenment”.

He decided to go on a spiritual journey to Kurama Mountain, a high vibrational place.

After 21 days of meditation, fasting, and prayers, he received information, symbols, and techniques on how to help others.

Usui Sensei then went out there to help the ones in need starting from the nearby villages and up to Tokyo.

The results were amazing.

He achieved his purpose.

Mikao Usui taught many students, one of them being Chujiro Hayashi, the world’s second Reiki Grand Master. In turn, he initiated and trained Hawayo Takata who introduced Reiki to the West.

Both contributed significantly to the history of Reiki.

From A Whole To 3 Levels

From there on, other students carried out the legacy and eventually, Reiki was divided into several levels or degrees.

More on the 3 Reiki Levels and their meaning >>

The role of this split was to make the knowledge more accessible and thus each person who practices Reiki can trace their lineage back to Dr. Mikao Usui.

This is how Usui Reiki Rhoyo came to life: the practice where Reiki Masters offer initiations to students who gain access to energy for life. They can then practice on themselves, receive Reiki and also help others with their knowledge.

This segmentation became popular because more and more people wanted to learn Reiki but had a hard time understanding the way Reiki was initially taught.

Each person has their rhythm and this is valid for anyone looking to learn a new craft.

Being split into levels, gives the student a more linear and secure evolution, without being overwhelmed or confused.

Every change in our lives starts from within.

There is no rush in Reiki.

With time, it seems that this split has helped a lot. Each level represents a spiritual step that brings a certain vibration and awareness.

Reiki Is Very Flexible

There are many Reiki schools out there with Masters who come from different backgrounds. It’s common to see slightly different ways of the attunement process that relates to their own understanding of Reiki. Some choose to use the traditional way, while others have a more modern approach.

Reiki is a very efficient yet flexible art. Over the years, it has evolved in the way it is taught and practiced.

You can receive multiple attunements for each degree or a single one for 2 or even 3 Reiki levels. It all depends on the Reiki Master/Teacher and her way of choosing to pass on Reiki to students.

I have tried it both ways and I can confirm that the attunement works.

How so?

Because it is not the person who attunes you! The Reiki Master/Teacher is only a vessel through which the universal energy and spirit guides manifest themselves. 

The attunements and their energy are passed on through a sequence of techniques that have the purpose of opening the main channels and energy centers to the universal source of life force energy.

What Exactly Is A Reiki Level 1 Attunement And How Does It Work?

First off, you should find a Reiki Master/Teacher that you resonate with.

Once you do, ask for a Reiki level 1 attunement to start with.

Every attunement is a permanent link between the student and the Universal Source of Life Force Energy.

We are all connected to the universal energy. However, during the Reiki level 1 attunement, your whole body adjusts to the frequency of this universal source. It opens your main energy channels and centers.

The attunement may only last around 10 minutes, however, at an emotional, energetic and spiritual level it is a very complex procedure.

By opening this primary energy channel the flow of light/energy will be at the highest level, filling all your physical, energetic and spiritual structures with light, setting the optimum vibration for practicing Reiki.

How Is The Attunement Performed?

In my opinion, the best way to go through an attunement is in person. I say “best” but I would go as far as mandatory.

In theory, you can have your attunement from a distance, but most Reiki Masters would recommend against it simply because of its importance.

The opening of the energy channels and energy centers is a sensitive process. We can use Reiki in distance healing, but when it comes to the attunement process I always recommend a person to person connection.

It is up to us to keep this optimum flow of energy and use it for the deepest healing.


2 Things To Keep In Mind

  • Reiki is a spiritual practice.

It “arrived” from a much higher plane of existence and it was a whole thing. We are the ones making the separations in order to have a better understanding and a clearer perspective.

  • Having the degrees does not necessarily make one level weak and the other one strong.

It is simply a clearer path to better understand Reiki and assimilate the information. There are Reiki Masters who have still so much to learn while there are Reiki level 1 practitioners who have integrated most of the Reiki philosophy and essence.


Here are the main points of the First Degree:

  • The importance and meaning of Reiki.
  • Reiki Principles – one of the main pillars of Reiki knowledge and spirituality;
  • Hands-on technique – how to work with yourself and how to do the self-treatment;
  • The concept of 21 days after the reiki attunement – another important pillar of Reiki practice;
  • Beaming, Scanning, Cleaning and Tapping – 4 techniques that enhance your practice.
  • Spirit Guides and how to communicate with them – this is one of the most important parts of Reiki and I would sincerely consider it the 3rd pillar of Reiki wisdom;

Reiki first degree also has the role of helping you reconnect with yourself.

It helps you understand how you function on an energetic and physical level.

It connects you to the positive aspects of your personality as well as to the more gloomy ones.

By reciting the Reiki Principles each day you eliminate stray thoughts and tensions. There is an almost instant transition into relaxation and a feeling of “letting go”.

I tried it when my level of anxiety was high and even when I was angry. It was like going on a very smooth slide towards inner peace. Afterward, I did a short meditation which helped me relax and felt like a newborn.

My Favorite Part Is – “just for today”

This strongly motivates your inner-self to be present, and live in this moment, now.

It’s a spiritual time that we are truly able to take control of and determine how we think, what we do or feel.

We cannot alter the past and we don’t know how the future looks like. But by being in the present moment, “now”, we can positively influence our lives.

One of the most powerful things you can do is to be grateful and forgive.

Although the indication for forgiveness is not directly present in the Reiki Principles, try to look between the lines.

The Reiki Principles help you acknowledge this with simple phrases that have a deep meaning.

The Real Source Of The Problem

Besides the fact that Reiki helps your mind, body, and spirit to transition into a state of healing, it also has one other profound effect which to some people may seem very “raw” or alarming.

Reiki brings to surface the real source of the problem: this usually frightens some people because we are trained to heal the symptoms and not the underlying issue.

Some may argue – “Well how is that supposed to help me?

By slowly revealing the real roots of your problems you can acknowledge, analyze and study them so that you can heal them.

Even acceptance is a huge step in one’s evolution but the real change comes from within. That’s because evolution is the effect of correct and harmonious change.

Reiki Hands-On And Hand Positions

The most important thing in Reiki is the intention. 

We do not use symbols at this stage, rather the hands-on technique.

You learn how to place the palms on your body, in certain positions. The clear and strong intention of sending light through your palms will activate the flow of energy.

You may also activate them by firmly rubbing your palms one onto the other, thus removing any residual energy from this level. The rubbing will create an energizing effect, activating the energy centers of your hands.

When you place your hands on your body, you can direct the energy much easier to the place that needs healing.

You can use the traditional positions. The important thing to remember is that you can place your palms wherever you feel there is a need for energy. 

Always start from the head and finishing towards the lower body! This way, all the residual energy will go to the ground and will not affect you anymore.

You can keep it up to 10 minutes or as much as you feel like.

Before starting any kind of Reiki session, declare your intention (mentally or verbally) on doing Reiki. At the end of each session, be thankful and declare your intention of finishing the self-treatment.

The 21 Days Of Self-Treatment After The Reiki Attunement

During the 21 days after your Reiki level 1 attunement, pay close attention to the changes that occur. You will start to notice differences in your energy level, charisma, and intuition.

At this stage, there are 3 categories of people:

  • Extra sensitive – the ones that feel even the slightest change in the energy field and are able to describe it in detail;
  • Normal sensitive – people who have the feeling of the energy flow but do not feel every small fluctuation in their fields;
  • Less sensitive – people who have a difficult time feeling and describing the energy flow;

In either case, do not worry!

Reiki works and energy flows. With time and constant practice, it won’t matter if you are extra sensitive, normal sensitive or less sensitive. You will begin to be in balance and feel the flow of energy in a natural way.

The 21 days after the Reiki attunement is considered by many therapists the general optimum time for an organism to calibrate itself to the new vibrations and energy.

The “healing crisis”

In my opinion, this description is a bit harsh, but the name does come from the changes that take place inside your body at an energetic level during those 21 days. 

Some people feel like yawning or crying while others feel exhausted or hyper energized. Others might actually experience slightly rougher symptoms like nausea or dizziness.

Once again, don’t worry!

These are all normal, temporarily effects that will stop soon enough. Reiki will help your body detoxify itself at a physical, mental and emotional level.

You should avoid too many meat-based meals or consume large amounts of alcohol. Drink a lot of water to help flush out toxins and try to rest as much as possible.

If you are taking any sort of medication, keep following your prescriptions.

Reiki helps you heal and grow, but as mentioned before, we all live in a physical world so allopathic medicine has its role. Unfortunately, many doctors and medical centers are not fond of the idea of alternative ways of healing. Nevertheless, the two can go along just fine.

What To Expect

Don’t forget that this is a period of healing inside and outside. It’s a period of getting to know yourself and understand what needs to be changed for your higher good.

Your awareness and focus will be slowly but noticeably developed.

Your patience and receptiveness will increase and you’ll be more sensitive (in a good and powerful way) to all the people and events around you.

When the 21 days of cleansing after the attunement are over, you can keep practicing self-treatment. Mikao Usui recommended you do this each day, for the rest of your life.

When it comes to practicing on others, I strongly encourage everybody to master Reiki level 1 first and then attend to help others.

Spirit Guides

Establishing a strong connection with your Spirit Guides is one of the most important things you can learn in Reiki.

They are actually positive energy entities and/or guardian angels from higher planes of existence. We all get one when we are born, but most of us forget about them, let alone communicate with it.

When receiving and offering Reiki attunements you also receive spirit guides. 

They can enhance your power in self-treatment and treatment on others as well as help you in your daily life if you understand how to have a proper connection with them.

They can be specialized in a multitude of tasks and by asking them for help in certain activities, they will be more than happy to guide us.

By sending light to them, meditating or praying, you establish a better connection and you may even ask them to help you with certain actions. All of this will increase their attention and power towards that.

Usui Reiki Symbols Chart

Final Thoughts

Reiki is an amazing boost towards self-healing and spiritual evolution. It can bring out the potential that lies within you. But you also need to work with yourself in order to achieve that.

Every day, recite the Reiki Principles and meditate on their meaning.

Use your Reiki level 1 attunement for daily self-treatment in order to cleanse yourself and become more energized. You will change the vibration of your whole body and achieve greater awareness and a higher level of consciousness.

Ask your Spirit Guides for help and supervision. They are always there to help you.

And that’s it! Are you already attuned for Reiki level 1 or just getting started? Was this article helpful?

Would love to hear your thoughts!

About Vlad and ReikiScoop

Vlad is an Usui Reiki Grand Master/Teacher who has also gained the Master/Teacher Level in Karuna, Shamballa MDH, and Gendai Reiki, with 15+ years of experience. He now shares his knowledge through ReikiScoop. You can always read more about Vlad and ReikiScoop in the about section.

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