By Life Positive December 1999 William Lee Rand is the man responsible for the most significant development in reiki since Dr Mikao Usui founded it in mid-19th century Japan—Karuna Reiki. Rand received his reiki mastership in 1989 from students of Dr Hawayo Takata, a reiki grandmaster in the direct lineage of Dr Usui. He is also the founder of the International Center for Reiki Training. In this interview with Life Positive magazine, he talks about Karuna Reiki in particular and the role of reiki in general in the world of tomorrow How were you initiated into spirituality? I became interested in these subjects at the age of 18. Since then I have studied and practiced many metaphysical methods such as hypnosis and rebirthing. These gave me experience and a wider scope to understand healing on a deeper level. Is it advisable to learn various techniques or to stick to one and focus on it? It is good to learn a number of techniques, but only if you can learn each well. How did you come across the new symbols of Karuna Reiki? I did not originally intend to create a new system of reiki. But around 1989, I was given non-Usui reiki symbols and attunement techniques, which were claimed to be beneficial. I filed these symbols, including the attunement process. In 1993, I gathered my best students, many of whom were spiritually sensitive, and came up with a set of symbols that seemed to have the best energy. Later, I was guided to further develop the attunement process. This finally evolved into a new system of reiki called Karuna Reiki. Karuna means compassion. While some of the symbols in Karuna Reiki are also used in other systems of reiki, the attunement and intention is different. How is Karuna Reiki different from reiki? The general response is that Karuna Reiki is stronger than Usui reiki. It must be understood that Karuna Reiki is not a substitute for Usui reiki, but simply an additional technique. Many reiki masters allege that the newer forms such as Karuna Reiki dilute the purity of the system and are aimed at a new USP since reiki masters are a dime a dozen. Karuna Reiki gives more flexibility and allows reiki masters to be better healers. The eight symbols are like eight additional healing tools with stronger vibrations. That is why I only teach it to those who are already Usui reiki masters. It is the next step for an Usui master. You mean that even ancient systems such as reiki and pranic healing need to evolve with time? All healing techniques would benefit more if developed. Can energy healing be used to complement allopathy and traditional medicine? Yes, they can be used together. Why has there been a sudden spurt in energy healing systems in recent years? It indicates an increase in consciousness on the planet. Energy healing is a superior method that is raising the vibration of everyone. How can one choose the right master and the right course? Mrs Takata, the person from whom most reiki masters derive their lineage, taught reiki mastership in a weekend. Reiki is simple to learn and requires 20 hours. I recommend a set of guidelines in selecting a reiki master. You can ask your reiki trainer the following questions: How long have you been practicing reiki?What is your lineage?How often do you teach?How do you personally use reiki?What qualifications are required to take reiki training?How much of the course is instructional, and how much is actual hands-on practice?What is your fee, and will I get a certificate?How many symbols do you teach?Do you have a positive attitude towards other reiki practitioners and masters regardless of lineage or affiliation?See how you feel about the answers. Listen to your heart. You will be guided to the right teacher. An Indian reiki master has pointed out that the reiki symbols are nothing but Japanese alphabets. Then why keep them secret? Some of the reiki symbols are Japanese Kanji. Symbols from Tibetan Buddhism are also from the Tibetan alphabet. By showing them only to those who have been initiated, the sacredness is preserved. This is between the individual and the symbol, so even if others reveal them publicly, the sacredness is not disturbed.
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