Faith and Reiki are a curious mix. So often they are thrown together. In my home state, they are lumped together legally, and professional paid sessions are governed by the same rules…even though they are totally different in my mind.
Do you have to have faith in Reiki for it to work? No. Not at all.
Look at it this way…do you have to believe in gravity to stay stuck to the Earth? Do you have to believe in photons for your flashlight to shine? Do you have to believe in the Earth’s rotation for the sun to rise over the horizon?
Reiki is very much the same. Actually, it is closer to sub-atomic particles and quantum mechanics than to religion or ‘faith’. For example, think of the Higgs Boson that was in the news last year: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/14/higgs-boson-discovery-confirmed-cern-large-hadron-collider_n_2874975.html.
You can’t see a Higgs Boson. You can’t touch, smell, taste or hear it. We only know it exists from the evidence it leaves behind on sophisticated equipment. We can’t – yet – detect Reiki directly, but we can see the evidence it leaves behind.
In my dissertation, even though the sample size was agonizingly small, people who received a short 10 minute seated Reiki session felt more relaxed (on a subjective 1 to 10 Likert-type rating scale) Those same people had measurably warmer hands after the session – increased peripheral circulation is associated with relaxation. We can’t directly, scientifically measure Reiki, and it is wicked hard to control for it in a study, but we can see its effects.
Animals don’t have faith in Reiki – or anything else so far as we know. Yet Reiki, acupuncture and other energy-based treatments are effective for them as well. Your dog probably doesn’t give a fig about religion or belief…but an animal will walk differently when its joint pain is gone.
IS Reiki “a faith” in and of itself? No. Not at all.
Reiki is like “agnostic” cloud computing. You can access the program, use it, and it doesn’t care one whit what operating system is on your computer. It just works. Reiki doesn’t care what your faith, religion or beliefs might be. It just works.
Reiki isn’t a system of life-morals. It says nothing about the existence or not of divine beings. There are guidelines about how Reiki is practiced, just as doctors, lawyers and many professions have ethical standards for their practices. But is being a physician a “faith”? Is the law profession a religion? I say no, and neither is Reiki.
I view Reiki as very naturalistic. It isn’t super-natural, mystical or divine. It is just part of the universe we live in, not unlike gravity, or electromagnetic radiation. We can work with Reiki to enhance our natural healing, just like we work with electricity to make lightbulbs shine or work with gravity to go bungee jumping.
At most, Reiki can become “Reiki-do”.* The “do” is in Japanese much like the “Tao” in China’s “Tao Te Ching”. It is a way of doing things, a way of living – a lifestyle. You can live a healthy lifestyle. You can live a night clubbing lifestyle. You can live a Reiki embued lifestyle.
Reiki and Faith? It depends on you. Reiki IS. Your faith IS what it is. The overlap of the two lies only within you. You make both your Reiki practice and your faith-beliefs your own, as it is for each other person. Reiki and Faith are within you, and something you must decide for yourself and can never dictate to another. We can only respect the unique blend of Reiki and Faith within each other.
*Please consult the printed works of Frank Arjeva Petter and Walter Lubeck for more information.