Reiki, pronounced Ray-Key, is a Japanese word which means Universal Life Force Energy. Derived from Raku Kei, it is a powerful tool for self realisation and self development, as well as a system of natural healing. Rediscovered in ancient Buddhist scriptures, it was brought to the west in the early part of the 20th century. Techniques whereby self realisation could more easily be achieved were made available in a more accessible form by the endeavours of Mikaomi Usui, a Buddhist who later became known as Usui Sensei (or teacher). He lived in Kyoto, Japan. This system, given the name Reiki, was brought to the west by Hawayo Takata in the late 1940's. Today Reiki continues to be taught by Reiki Masters who have been trained in the traditions passed down from master to student. There is no belief system associated with Reiki- anyone can receive (or learn to give) Reiki healing, the only prerequisite is the desire to be healed. Animals and plants will also benefit from Reiki. We are all born with the ability to heal self and facilitate  healing in others. Hit your thumb and our instinct is to hold the area which is hurting. A child falls and mother's instinct is to hold and comfort the child long before reaching for the plasters. Reiki although very powerful is one way of realising this healing gift. In addition to facilitating healing at all levels, Reiki is a powerful path of self development into a more loving and connected way of life, assisting us as we move from fear based into love based consciousness. Many people enquire whether or not Reiki can cure someone afflicted with a life threatening dis-ease? Well ,first of all, it is important to accept the difference between healing and curing. Curing can involve impregnating with salt or smoke from an oak fire. What is meant to be will be. Of two people with identical symptoms receiving Reiki or conventional treatment, one may go into remission and one have all symptoms alleviated, or there might be no apparent change. Healing in this context should be viewed as enhancing the body's own natural ability to recover. Reiki is a homoeostatic (self righting) therapy that can bring about balance when dis-ease is manifest as well as healing on an emotional level. Safe during pregnancy, it is also complementary to other therapies. Healing is very simply performed. When the healer places his or her hands on the person to be healed with the intent for healing to take place the healing energy begins to flow. It is drawn through and not from the healer, the energy drawn is exactly the right amount that the recipient requires to effect healing. Reiki promotes the body's natural ability to heal itself, balances and increases the body's energies and is received according to the needs of the recipient. Learned over a weekend, Reiki will be at hand for the rest of your life. What finer gift could you bestow upon your self than that which enables you to heal not only yourself and help heal your fellow Man, but also animals and so too the planet? There is only one corner of the universe you can be sure of changing ... and that's your own self Aldous Huxley Life and Reiki - A vibrational hypothesis.  Introduction I spent 16 years working as a scientist, all be it an open minded scientist, and as a Reiki Master I have naturally tended to combine both my scientific and mystical training in understanding how Reiki and life works for me, in order to develop a world view which I am comfortable with. This has manifested for me as a vibrational energetic model of life, and as with all energetic processes is likely to evolve and change. I offer this to anyone who reads it as my truth not THE truth. Each individual's viewpoint will be different, but equally valid. If we all had the same view what a narrow and boring place would we live in. Feel free to draw from this brief work what you wish, what resonates with you and your truth, and enjoy. Reiki Reiki is a Japanese term which translates as universal life force energy. This system we know as Reiki has evolved from the teachings of one Usui Sensei , who developed a system for accessing this universal life force energy for a purpose of self discovery, self development and healing. This leads us to an interesting point, what exactly is universal life force energy? From the mystic's viewpoint this is energy from source, Great spirit, the universal over mind, the energy of love, God, indeed whatever term or label you are happy with as the supreme consciousness or highest energy in the universe. Over the past decade or so scientists working in the fields of subatomic physics, cosmologists and the like have been investigating the depths of the universe and the inner nature of the atom to try and gain a working model, a mathematical model to explain what we experience as life.  From a quantum physicists perspective reality has its basis in the quantum field and as such life is energy.  These theories and models are falling in line with many of the mystical teachings on the nature of existence. Before we examine  Reiki as a system,  maybe its worth looking at Reiki from a broader universal life-force  and a look into the nature of existence. The illusion of life. Eastern mystics have stated for centuries that the world in which we exist is purely an illusion. Rubbish says the western technologically advanced materialist. Look at my new car, my house, feel it its solid its real I can touch it therefore it is real. I can see it therefore it is real! Taking a closer look at this solid object, from a scientific viewpoint. The car is made up of metals, plastics, rubber, and other materials. Take for example the metal of the wheel which are usually an  alloy of several metals. If we take a look at an individual metallic element and indeed at a single atom of that material, science tell us it comprises a number of electrons spinning around a nucleus. In between the nucleus and the electrons is basically empty space. If we look at the nucleus this comprises many sub atomic particles between which is yet more empty space.  Scientist now have access to instruments through which they can investigate the sub atomic and the field of quantum physics is ever evolving our scientific understanding of the universe. Scientists are developing models At the quantum level of reality which is at the current limit of our perception. At the quantum levels particles exist in a sea of energy and potential, enfolded and interwoven until observed . In essence science is starting to agree that from a quantum perceptive reality indeed consists of energy . While it is currently possible for science to investigate and model not much more than a single nucleus , its does allow that behind every interaction, chemical reaction, bodily process there is a subatomic quantum level which we are just starting to glimpse. So our once solid object when we look at it in detail is mainly  space, and the rest of its energy interacting at the subatomic level, the object we assume is solid is basically energy condensed within the universal field of energy. Our physical bodies also comprise of compounds, which are made of elements, which are made of atoms ,and so on, essentially we too are complex energetic processes .  Every object we perceive , every  tree, a car, a person, or distant star is in fact a spinning nexus of energy, an energy pattern if you will at the quantum level of reality. Taking the second materialistic proof life  is not an illusion because I saw it with my own eyes. This lead to an interesting point, what is sight? One viewpoint is that light or other electromagnetic emissions from the object are picked up by receptors in the eye which converts the emissions into electrical signals which are in turn interpreted by the brain. We then identify the object by pattern recognition taught to us by our experiences in life. A child , when first born, receives these signals and forms a pattern which is then labelled by parents and others around them. This pattern is a tree, this pattern of energy is a face, a person, your mother, your father etc. So we build up a mental map of the energy patterns and it is this that we 'see' every day.   But do we see the same thing? Take a simple colour say yellow this has a set frequency and we recognise it as a yellow thing. But is the yellow I see the same as you see. We may both recognise an object as say the materialist's car but is the image in my mental map the same as yours? So could we know how another  'sees' the colour yellow? To do this one would have to overlay your consciousness over another's and look through their eyes. But then it would simply be your consciousness using another set of receptors to perceive yellow and it would still be your perception. So what if we blend our consciousness with another's in order to see what they see? Then it would be a blend of you and the others consciousness not either or so you would see an average yellow. So even something a simple as the colour yellow is just a label for a pattern or a vibration that we all agree is yellow. Recent studies into our senses and brains have proposed that much of what we see might not actually even be there. We tend to have an overlay of familiar surroundings such as our houses locked in our heads. Our eyes do a quick sweep to see if anything has changed and re-map the image but don’t take in every detail, so rather than perceiving everything in a familiar room our brain does a quick check to see if the pattern has changed. If not it reverts to the established mental map rather than going to the effort of constantly constructing a new image. This may explain why we can get tired when we are visiting new places or having new experiences, or even thinking about new ideas and theories. At the quantum energy level  we are quite literally creating and perceiving our individual  realities in our conciousness . Our senses of sight, hearing touch, smell, and taste are all interpretations of energy at the subatomic level . At the quantum level all life is comprised of energy. Its form and its properties are a function of frequency. These frequencies of energy combine to form patterns of energy, which we in turn interact with and perceive as objects and lifeforms. Everything in the universe is comprised of the same energy, the energy which forms me also forms the desk at which I sit. Moving out of the quantum field and the subatomic levels of reality we arrive in the more familiar scientific model  of elements, and compounds,  a model with atoms their nucleus surrounded by electrons whizzing about in cloud, the space between the atoms described as  a vacuum, or empty space . At this level of reality we now know this vacuum is not an empty space but is in fact the energy field of the quantum reality, an energy field of infinite potential. This vacuum or field  in which we exist,  could be described as the underlying substrate of all creation. As an energy field this energy connects everything in the universe with everything else, a infinite sea of energy in which we exist and from which is formed everything we experience. Most of us remember from our school day science the effect of energy on matter. The lower the vibrational rate the denser an object appears. Take a material we perceive as 'solid' material, it is dense and has a low slow vibrational nature, if we add energy in the form of heat it melts, it becomes less dense, if we add yet more energy the vibrations increase and we get a plasma or gaseous form. Add more and more energy and it vaporises. In fact if you keep adding energy it disappears or achieves a vibration outside that of our normal perception. However Just because we can't perceive it does not mean that it no longer exists, just that it doest exist within our perception. So by altering the vibrational state of a material its physical properties as we perceive them are changed. If We can extend that change of state by change of energy model we see all around us  it gives us an insight into how our experienced reality forms from the underlying quantum energy of the universe. if the vibration of the infinite field is lowered in places then the energy will become denser, as it is lowered further and further eventually it will be of a vibration just outside of our normal perception, lower the energy yet further and we can perceive it. It is this field of perception that we have labelled as 3d reality. So we now have an energy field which we can experience which has formed or condensed from the void or the vacuum or universal life force, or the quantum energy field , or whatever other label you are comfortable with. Creation is condensed from this vast pool of energy. Each aspect of creation condenses out according to a pattern or a blueprint which is governed by the frequency of the energy. So we have a source for the energy which makes up all that we experience in life, in the quantum field, or whatever other label you are comfortable with. we have a mechanism by which our experienced world forms by lowering vibrational rate of that source energy as it combines in increasing complexity and density to create the world, and universe  around us. I suppose the next question would be What dictates its form? What causes the energy to condense into the patterns we see, into the events we experience? Quite simply it's us! Take any object Our thoughts, our collective conciousness  give the vacuum form, we call into existence that which our consciousness wishes to experience for our evolution.  The world in which we now find ourselves is a product of our collective thoughts, and our immediate environment is a product of our individual thoughts. Puts another spin on maintaining a positive mental attitude does it not? Consciousness  The paragraphs above go some way into offering a viewpoint on where we and all of creation comes from. All that we perceive is condensed from the energy of the void and all of life is energy. This does not take into account quite a large and mysterious aspect of us all and that is consciousness. I experience consciousness as that aspect within each of us which experience life through our senses. Our inner selves, the divine spark within, our soul if you wish. At this point it should be pointed out that all of life is conscious, all part of the same energy field, part of the whole. Just because the crystal or the animal does not exhibit a human consciousness does not mean that it does not have a consciousness. Consciousness is the key to what we experience. The more evolved we become the more expansive our conciousness is, then we can experience a much broader and more rewarding reality. The beauty and the energy of life itself become more apparent. Most of our experience depends on the frequencies which we can see, smell, feel etc. Or we can use instruments and equipment to broaden the frequencies we can experience i.e. infra-red cameras etc. In addition we can experience the more mystical aspects of the process of life by widening our consciousness by a variety of methods. Altered states of consciousness can be achieved by many methods including meditation, attunment, sound, movement,  chemicals such as psychoactive  compounds, and of course those around us and our environment. As we evolve and our consciousness expands we are capable of experiencing much more than the relatively narrow spectrum of normal human experience. All of these energies are available to us but until our consciousness expands we are simply un aware of them.   By expansion of consciousness and thereby an expansion of the frequencies we consciously work with, a number of abilities become available to the individual. This includes the ability to consciously channel energy to other energy patterns (life-forms), to intuitively know or read the thought energies of another as in telepathy. These extrasensory perceptions and paranormal abilities are inherently available to all humanity once a certain level of consciousness has been achieved. A few individuals are born with a suitably high vibration such that they can access these abilities from birth. The vibrational nature of Humans The human body is a mass of vibrations in a pattern which we know as our body. The densest aspects, the lowest vibrational energies condense out from the universal field  as the physical form. Within that same pattern are other bodies or energies outside of the visible spectrum. As we mentioned everything is energy so our thoughts are also energy, as in fact are all our mental processes these energies taken collectively form the mental body. Below our mental processes in vibrational terms are our emotions, these are often very tangible we feel hurt if someone attacks us verbally, or we feel great if someone directs love towards us. All of these emotions hang around us as our emotional bodies. The mental, emotional and physical bodies are well recognised and are mentioned in many texts. Above these bodies are higher and higher vibrational bodies or energy fields or increasingly fine vibrations, these are sometimes described as etheric, or soul bodies and in the middle of this complex and beautiful pattern of energy is our condensed physical form. The general world-view is of a physical body, and somewhere in that body is located the mind, and the soul normally deep within us. Where as the vibrational model of life above shows that the body is in fact the dense core of an expansive energy field. So rather than the soul existing deep within the physical body , it is in fact the physical body which is deep within the energetic field which is soul. The Vibrational nature of disease.   As we are aware the physical body is basically energy and so each of our organs are in fact energy patterns we associate or identify for example as a kidney. A healthy kidney has a vibration and each vibration will be subtly different from another's. If the vibration of the kidney drops, the amount and quality of the energy manifesting as that organ drops and we experience disease. As long as whatever process caused the drop in energy is removed then the energy level will slowly build up by drawing on the universal pool to bring the energy vibration back into balance with the blueprint. This is a natural process and we are all self-generating by drawing on this pool. The healing process is, as I understand it energetic. Modern medicines remove the symptoms, and allow you to regenerate without the pain. A paracetamol does not cure a headache it blocks pain receptors so you don't feel ill but it is your body’s ability to self heal which removes the cause of the headaches. Alternative therapies work by flowing energy into the system to accelerate the healing process. Both systems have their place they achieve the same outcome using different methods. Another difference is that drugs are complex molecules with a wide range of vibrations not all of which are useful or even desirable as part of the healing process. This can result in side effects. Pure energy healing tends not to produce side effects as they are more in tune with the natural regenerative processes. For a disease to manifest in the physical body there is a vibrational drop, as our physical bodies are just the densest component of our energy field condensed from the universal life-force field, then there must have been a drop in vibration in one of the higher energy fields i.e. the mental or emotional. Most if not all disease has it's root in the mental or emotional field. Again modern medicines work on the physical body and if the root cause is not addressed then the symptoms can re-manifest. Modern medicine has observed that a patient who wants to get well and is active in his / her treatment heal much faster and more completely. HOW REIKI HEALING WORKS  The previous musings have hopefully shown us a subtly different world-view from the conditioned viewpoint fed to us from birth. It shows us that each and every person, and object which makes up our world is condensed from a universal field  of energy which surrounds, permeates, and connects everything. It has shown that we are all part of one great whole, and has invited you to accept that the energy field is conscious. It has shown us that our senses are limited and much of what many consider to be reality is limited by these sensory perceptions. We are condensed from an infinite energy pool with infinite vibrational possibilities and yet the only thing which exists for us is those few things that can be seen, heard, touched or smelt. By limiting our reality to these sensory perceptions we are missing out on so much of what truly is available to us. But what has all this to do with Reiki? In the opening paragraphs I mentioned the translation of Reiki is universal life-force energy. It is one method, one of many by which additional energy maybe drawn from the universal pool or the vacuum in order to heal, and raise consciousness, and evolve. A Reiki practitioner by process of attunment, which I will mention later, has the vibration of his or her energy pattern raised. This is a permanent process which opens new energetic pathways in our energy pattern (body) or enhances existing energy pathways, which allows energy from the universal pool to flow to others. Energy always flows from high potential (fine vibrations) to low potential (coarse vibrations) in order to achieve a stable and balanced system. Put a hot cup of tea in a cold room and the radiant energy we label as heat will flow into the room until the tea is the same temperature as the room. Nature will always try to achieve a state of balance or equilibrium. So by increasing his or her vibration the Reiki healer forms a localised high energy point (in comparison to our normal range of perception) in the universal field, the energy will then flow to lower vibrational areas i.e. the patient in order to establish balance and equilibrium. The healer in effect acts as a conduit or a step down transformer which condenses the infinitely high energy of the universal energy pool into energy of a high yet usable frequency. This high frequency energy then flows to the lower energy of the diseased organ etc, and raises the energy of organ as it reduces itself until it is balanced. Our higher vibrational aspects hold a blueprint of our energy pattern or body in perfect health and the Reiki energy will re-establish that pattern of balance. This is another ongoing process, we are continually replacing all building blocks of the body our cells according to this template. Our cells are energetic patterns condensed from the universal life-force field so if more energy is made available by healers then this process will be accelerated. Reiki Attunements. During the attunment process the Reiki master will confer the gift of Reiki on the recipient. This process can be achieved by any individual over years of study and meditation to raise the consciousness of the individual such that these energies can be accessed. During the attunment the Reiki master will use sacred symbols and techniques to raise the vibration and the consciousness of the individual such that they can now access a wider spectrum of existence, a wider spectrum of the universal energy. This process opens pathways in the energetic pattern we associate with our bodies and allow increased amounts of energy to flow, which may be used for healing or self- development. This process is permanent and once these pathways are open they will remain open. This process is by no means a short cut, just because the door has been opened it does not necessarily follow that the initiate will use the abilities conferred. Reiki is like everything in life, the more it is used the stronger and more powerful it becomes. Distant Attunment All attunements are facilitated in part by intent, by focus of intent. If distant attunment is an individuals chosen way to be introduced into the energy of Reiki then it will be perfect for that individual. Intent is not limited by distance or indeed time as you perceive it. Distant healing is a part of many peoples energy work on this plane. Many practice it and many benefit from it, if the intent to heal will travel then so will the intent to attune. However, a face to face attunment brings many advantages.  The energy field of the master teacher and the field of the student are in close proximity, and interact on our many levels of conciousness not just those of our 3d senses.  All communication is a blending of energies at all levels, vocal communication is just our experience in the physical plane, for each word spoken there is an equivalent exchange of energy at levels of vibration far above what we normally perceive. During attunment, the master teachers energy interacts with the students energy field through the 12 chakras finally densifying into the physical. Distant Healing and Transcending Time  Once attuned to second degree Reiki the ability to 'send' or direct Reiki energy through space and time is conferred. This ability is not confined to Reiki and there have been many instances of positive healing occurring over distance by positive intent or prayer. As we have discussed in the previous sections of this piece, everything is energy. So our thoughts are things therefore our thoughts are energetic patterns. One way of visualising our thought forms or our intentions are as ripples in the vacuum or universal energy field. As we think about something these thoughts radiate out from us through the vacuum and impact both on our environment and on the lifeforms we direct it at. Our thoughts are vibrations, energy patterns and loving healing thoughts have a finer vibration than negative thought forms. Once these thoughts, these sponsoring thoughts, arrive at the intended place they will start to manifest. So consider well what you think about others. Our thoughts have as much of an effect as our deeds. Have you ever felt that a loved one was trying to get in touch, or started thinking about a person only for the phone to ring? Been thinking of a friend and then they ring or turn up? These are just a few examples of us picking up on the energy of thoughts. It is in this manner that healing energy, or loving thoughts may be sent through the vacuum. Let us take an example of vibrations transmitted through a medium with which we are all familiar ..sound! Audible sound has a vibration and travels through the air to our ears where it is converted to electrical signals interpreted by our brain and experienced by our consciousness or soul. Each sound has certain vibrational characteristics and depending on magnitude (its size) it will travel a certain distance. Thought forms (which is in essence what distant healing is - a healing thought) are of a higher vibration so travel further but rather than through the medium we describe as air they travel through the matrix of energy of the universal life-force field. A second degree Reiki practitioner will use symbols to boost or reinforce the positive healing thought form, and in addition the second degree attunment will have raised the consciousness of the individual so they can access these transcentional energies and concepts. Now we reach the difficult one - time! So much of our modern lives revolve around linear time, a thing which quite simply does not exist in the absolute way we imagine it does. Time is a concept invented by physicists in order to divide their experience into increasingly small units! Take for instance an hour. It is a unit of experience that we have all agreed lasts for a duration we label 60 minutes. Time is not a regular quantifiable unit because it is a measure of experience. An hour in the company of a loved one passes much quicker for us than an hour in a lecture or a meeting! Einsteinium physics states quite clearly that time is relative to the observer! The pulse and movement of experience is cyclic in nature, day night, the changing of the seasons in never ending cycles. This is the true nature of the thing we label time, over this pattern modern humans have put a linear scale we measure in the passage of days, months years and hours. Those cycles may be better described as spirals, so we may find our selves revisiting similar experiences just from a subtly elevated position . Life lessons can often feel familiar and events or feelings we have struggled with in the past are often re-experienced until they are no longer an issue, its how we evolve. As I understand it time is a measure of our movement through the universal energy field. The ability to send healing through time is easy because linear time does not exist, its just something we all agree on, and therefore assume it is real. Past present and future simply don't exist, there is only now. What we label the past is our memory of experiences that we have had. The future is a projection of what we intend to experience.   Reiki Symbols Reiki makes extensive use of symbols in its practice, at level 2 and above. In fact some of the contemporary Reiki systems have many symbols in the toolbox. Symbols are used in conjunction with sacred names or tones to bring about specific effects. In this way the symbols are acting as vibration keys to allow the practitioner to activate and use certain vibrational effects such as healing mental and emotional issues, as well as the physically manifest symptoms. Symbols are representations of vibrations, vibrations that are conducive to healing and self- development. These symbols activate and work on levels of consciousness deep within our energy field in addition to our 'normal' waking consciousness. The fact that these symbols have been used for many years, as we measure existence, means that their natural vibration has been enhanced and reinforced by successive generations of Reiki practitioners. Remember the effect of thought forms on our environment, so if thousands of healers world-wide are using a symbol for healing then the collective consciousness of all those using the symbol reinforces its vibration. In closing Life is a dichotomy The mind the intellect spends its time pondering, how does it all work, why does it all work, what's the meaning of life, what is all about. Why is an apple an apple? The soul knows what it is all about for it is an aspect of the divine, it wants to gain experience of the things it conceptually knows…...quite simply what does the apple taste like, smell, like, feel like? Its is by combining the inner knowing with the outer experience that we achieve true balance. In closing I offer the following suggestion, try not to get too involved in looking for the answer, in looking for THE TRUTH, there is no such thing as THE truth simply an infinite number of truths, held by an infinite number of consciousness all forged from the same divine consciousness.