There are four stages (or three with some teachers) of learning Reiki, which are also called levels or degrees but it is not necessary to learn all the four levels. How much a person wants to learn depends on his/her need and desire for personal development but I recommend that one should take at least first two levels for optimum use of the technique.
Training time and what all is taught in a course varies from teacher to teacher. Generally, each level takes few hours and the student is required to attend the class only once for each level. Training time for teacher’s level is much longer and may spread over few days and depends on the teacher and ability of the student.
Reiki First Degree (Level-1)
The student is taught healing by hands-on method and is given attunements for this level. A First Degree healer essentially needs to place hands on the body of the recipient to carry our healing. This is the first step towards using the unlimited and wonderful healing powers of Reiki for treating oneself, others and even plants and animals. This level requires basic academic qualification and common intellect.
Reiki Second Degree (Level-2)
It is for those who have completed the training for Level-1 and now want the ability of distant healing. The student is taught three Reiki symbols, which are secret and sacred as well. With this, the compulsion of placing hands on the body of the recipient ends up. Healer is enabled to send the energy and perform the healing from any distance. It is at this level that treatment of psychological problems can also be done. This and further levels require the ability to memorize the symbols and better ability to grasp the techniques.
Reiki Master Degree (Level-3)
Some Master/Teachers treat this level as one and final whereas some teach it in two parts, namely Master Level (3A) and Teaching Level (3B).
It is for those who have completed first two levels and now wish to enhance their own abilities, attend to their personal development and become Reiki Masters but do not want to become Reiki teachers. Reiki Master Symbol is taught in this level. There however, seems a bit of misunderstanding about the term “Reiki Master”. A Reiki Master only means that a person has received Reiki training up to Master level. The term does not involve any sort of ownership or ego. It DOES NOT mean that the person has become Master of Reiki. There is a lot of difference between being a Reiki Master and Master of Reiki. The point to remember is that no one other than God, the Creator of Reiki, is or can be master of Reiki. Even otherwise titles are not always the true indicators of anyone’s ability and can be illusive at times.
- Level-3B, The Teacher Level
As the meaning goes, this is a teaching level. It is not required for healing and is only for those who want to become Reiki Teachers and want to teach Reiki to others. At this level the emphasis is on the ability to teach others and pass attunements, not on healing abilities. The student is taught to pass attunements for the First Degree, Second Degree, Master Degree (3A) and Teacher’s Degree (3B) along with several other techniques. Those who do not want to become Reiki teachers, need not take this level. However, if someone does not want to become a teacher and still wants to take this degree, it is his/her choice.
If for some reason you do not want to wait between various levels and wish to learn all levels in a shorter time, discuss it with your teacher. If he is willing to go along, you can become a Reiki Master in less than 48 hours.
What I teach in various Levels can be found here.
Muhammad Akram Khan, Reiki Master/Teacher