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How Many Levels Are There In Reiki?

There are so many different schools of Reiki healing nowadays, that it can pretty confusing to understand how to progress through them. Let's take a minute to break down the Reiki levels. 😊

There are 3 levels in the traditional system of Reiki healing. Sometimes called degrees, these levels were developed in Japan in the 1920s with the first practitioners in the lineage. The levels are often referred to as Reiki I, Reiki II, and Reiki III. Reiki III is also sometimes referred to as Reiki Master.

Some teachers like to split Reiki III and Reiki Master up, which then creates four levels. The reason for this is usually to give students a chance to strengthen their skillset and develop a more advanced mindset before receiving the master attunement.

Each Reiki level increases the knowledge and healing skill of the practitioner, and involves a series of attunements. These attunements are initiations into energy, which are conducted by a Reiki Master.

If you learn Reiki but don't receive the attunements, then traditionally, you are not yet a practitioner. The energy initiation from teacher to student is just as important as the body of teachings. This can be done at a distance by skilled teachers, but it shouldn't be forgotten.

Reiki Level 1

Reiki I is the first level of training and is focused on self-healing and healing others. It involves learning the history and principles of Reiki, as well as the hand positions for self-treatment and treating others. This level opens new students up to the world of energy healing, and it is the place to begin your energy healing studies.

Students can do healing work with others right after Level 1 attunements, but I like to view this level as a sacred entrance into the world of energy healing. It's a great time to focus on your own healing, and practice with friends and loved ones, rather than professionally.

Reiki Level 2

Reiki II expands upon the techniques learned in Reiki I and introduces the use of symbols, which are believed to focus and amplify the Reiki energy. I see these symbols almost like training wheels to help students recognize, understand and master the mindset of energy healing more effortlessly.

Reiki II also includes training in distance healing, which is the practice of sending Reiki energy to someone who is not physically present. In many classes taught in the United States, teachers may also incorporate other teachings at this level, such as connection with spirit guides. In our lineage, Mrs. Takata taught Beth Gray (who was very psychic-intuitive) Reiki exercises to focus her intuition. Teachers often bring their own teachings into Reiki trainings in response to the needs of the student. It's a reminder that Reiki is a living tradition and continues to change, with each teacher.

I usually feel that Reiki II is a good time for people who are considering professional practice to get their feet wet. After Reiki II training, you have the basic knowledge necessary to work with people and slowly develop and practice. Because important topics like business, practitioner ethics, and interpersonal dynamics are not often taught in traditional Reiki trainings, students who are interested in professional practice should choose a teacher they have good communication with, and with whom they feel they can ask questions about the interpersonal part of being a service based professional as their practice grows. Additionally, it can be helpful seek out other types of training to learn business and mindset.

Reiki Level 3

Reiki III or Reiki Master is the highest level of training in the traditional system of Reiki. It involves a deeper understanding of the Reiki energy, the master symbols, as well as training in how to attune others to Reiki and teach the practice. Some schools of Reiki also offer additional levels beyond Reiki III, such as a Reiki Master Teacher level that deepens these skill sets.

Here I am with students teaching Reiki Master Training out at the beach.

In other lineages of Reiki, these three basic levels may actually be broken up into 15 smaller sub-levels. In these cases, teachers may test students for certain skills that comprise each level, but ultimately, the trajectory through the levels is still the same, and ends with Master teaching, and apprenticeship in how to be a next level practitioner.

You can study Reiki healing from different teachers at each level. You aren't required to take all levels from one teacher. In my practice as a Reiki Master Teacher, I've seen that not all classes are the same. Some teachers include a lot of time and knowledge, while others focus on the energetic experience with very little context. All of these are wonderful ways to experience Reiki.

If you take one level from a teacher and love it, it's okay to go back and take all of the other levels with them as well. And you can continue to learn energy healing from other teachers out in the world. Even as a teacher myself, I'm an eternal student, and love continuing to learn from others.

I hope this has helped to clarify the Reiki levels. Feel free to reach out if you have questions, and enjoy the journey!


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:

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