Updated: May 21, 2022
This is a book review for the Essential Reiki Teaching Manual by Diane Stein.
Because the Essential Reiki Teaching Manual by Diane Stein has the same exact cover (except for color) as the more general Essential Reiki Guide she has written, it's easy for the teaching manual to be overlooked. However, it's a delight!
For those who don't know Diane Stein, she is a feminist and energy healer who wrote a book called Essential Reiki in the 90s, and made a lot of people in the Reiki community very angry because she dared to break one of the "rules" of Reiki by publishing images of the secret symbols that are taught in Reiki. Now, Diane was a rule breaker from the beginning, disrupting the high-cost model of Reiki in America, and choosing to teach it to hundreds of people at spiritual festivals, for low cost, or even free. This also made people angry because it went against the practices of lineage, and caring for people who are both teaching and learning an energy practice.
From a lineage perspective, Mrs. Takata in lineage first returned to the United States and started teaching Reiki, she wasn't making enough money to live, so part of the adjustment in Reiki class rates had to do with creating a sustainable model. Diane unwittingly dismantled this (although perhaps to other positive effects).
I actually think Mrs. Takata and Dr. Hayashi were brilliant in their foresight, as being a self-employed energy healer in today's age--and in America--means you also need to make enough to cover health insurance, taxes, and retirement. Because Mrs. Takata was already a business woman, I'm sure these types of concerns were on her mind. All of this influenced the decisions made at that time.
The blessing of Diane Stein releasing Reiki to the masses through her activist efforts, is that even more people learned about Reiki and received access to it very quickly in the 90s and 2000s. The challenge is that many people began to lay on hands without really understanding how to tend their energy and support the unique situations that arise in healing.
Enter the manual! The Essential Reiki Teaching Manual: A Companion Guide for Reiki Healers, reads more like the story of a practitioner. Reading through the workbook-sized pages, you might feel as if you stopped by Diane's living room and you're listening to her tell you straight up all of the things you really do need to think about as a practitioner, a teacher, and a healer.
Diane answers all of those little nagging questions that don't quite have a place in her more definitive educational text, Essential Reiki. She easily tackles questions like, "Why do healers still get sick?" and "What do you do if you are feeling burned out?"
I've added this book as a potential read for my Reiki Master students because I see Diane Stein as a trailblazer and rebel looking to shape energy healing for the generation she was in. I believe that each of us, as practitioners, need to think about what energy work offers the modern world and how we can be healthy, sustainable channels of love for that healing.
If you are going to pick up the Essential Reiki Teaching Manual, I highly recommend that you also pick up it's sister book, Essential Reiki: A Complete Guide to An Ancient Healing Art. While the teaching manual covers very human and practical concerns, the more general guide allows you to get a sense of what Diane's teachings actually are, and that's important to the discussion. They could have easily been bound as one book.
DAILEY LITTLE is a healing practitioner, transformational life coach, ordained Priestess, and teacher who founded Healing Heart Reiki to help others navigate life with joy. She offers private sessions, and teaches classes in healing and mindset from a magical peaceful corner of the world in Northern California. For more info see: www.SantaRosaReiki.com