Level 1 is a practitioner's initiation into reiki and is open to anyone. The focus during Level 1 is on opening the energy channels on a physical level, allowing the practitioner to connect to the universal life force energy, which flows from the cosmos through the crown of the head and down to the heart and hands. Many reiki masters emphasize self-reiki as the goal of the Level 1 designation, encouraging students to focus on practicing reiki on themselves, thereby working through their own obstacles. Typically, the Level 1 course also includes an overview of the history of reiki.
Level 2 gives students the skills to practice reiki on others and open energy channels more deeply. Students also receive their symbols during this level. There are five symbols in reiki and each one corresponds to a specific energy (power, harmony, distance, mastery, and completion). Students are expected to use these symbols to bring the universal energy of reiki into their everyday lives in more practical ways. The symbols can also help people provide reiki over long distances or send healing energy wherever it may be needed in the world.
In many courses, the Third Degree and Reiki Master are the same designation. However, some teachers separate Level 3 from Reiki Master. The Reiki Master Level is traditionally considered the teacher's level, and masters are able to walk away and attune new reiki practitioners. However, many receive the master Attunement, along with the corresponding symbol, yet don't feel comfortable or practiced in properly attuning others—hence the distinction between Third Degree and Reiki Master.
Unlike other holistic modalities, Reiki is passed down from master to student through what is known as an Attunement. The attunement opens you to receive and channel the Reiki (Rei or Spiritual, Sacred) (Ki or Energy) to yourself and others.
In a reiki level 1 attunement, students are attuned to three different symbols, each representing a different aspect of reiki energy: power, mental/emotional balance and distance healing.
The attunements for Reiki level 2 involves different symbols, each with a different significance to opening your energetic pathways fully.
The attunements for Reiki level 3 involves master symbols, allowing you access to even high level of Reiki energy and intuition.
Receiving a Reiki attunement is a spiritual experience, and deeply personal for individual to individual. Students often report nothing to feeling a lightening and tingling throughout their body. The opening of energetic pathways during an attunement has the effect of enhancing other energetic healing and channeling pathways, and some students have reported an increased intuitive awareness, and innate psychic sensitivity.
Although it's not necessary to do anything in order to prepare to receive a Reiki attunement, most students may choose to connect or reestablish their own spiritual practice, to heighten the overall effects of the attunement and maximize its transformative power.
It is recommended that one avoids eating heavy or processed foods, limit or eliminate caffeine, sugar, tobacco and alcohol. Some may want to partake in a 3-day cleanse prior to their attunement. It is also suggested that time is spent reading or meditating rather than watching TV or using cellphones and computers. Make a conscious effort to release negative emotions, such as anger or jealousy.
All of these preparations can help you be more receptive to the spiritual transformation and encourage the attunement to have profound, long-term impacts on your life and wellbeing.