Recently, one of my student practitioners offered a reiki healing to someone who was super stressed-out. His reply: “Reiki is not real, so I think I’ll pass.” The practitioner was disappointed, because she was certain reiki could help her friend and she wanted him to feel better. My question in response to this skepticism is: “When you say reiki is not real, what do you mean by real?” From my perspective, and the view of many others, reiki is a powerful healing tool that has actually been proven to be effective, has no side effects, leaves no carbon footprint, is essentially free, and works well in conjunction with other established and conventional treatment modalities. To us, that makes reiki very real.

Someone operating from a scientific materialistic viewpoint, perhaps like this man, may argue that anything that cannot be physically observed or measured cannot be real or true. In truth, science has moved way beyond this standard to the understanding that energy is much closer to the substrate or source of our reality than matter is and that this energy’s existence is not precluded just because we cannot yet fully measure it or know the laws by which it works. After all, gravity was an energy force long before humans knew it to exist.

For those of us who practice reiki and have felt its healing benefits, reiki’s reality is a no-brainer—partly because we have experienced existence and healing beyond the material and beyond the mind. Experiencing reiki helps us to directly perceive and partake in the reality physics teaches us about, that the apparent “solidity” of the material world is an illusion of mental constructs and conditioning. We begin to know that “reality” is formed of subtle waves and movements of energy, which in Kali-Ki Reiki we call the “Loveforce energy,” the power of the universal Source or substrate of all being. Others may refer to this substrate as the unified field, God, or the Brahman; however, as Kali-Ki Reiki practitioners, we call this substrate “Limitless Love.” Thus, to us, reiki is the very real healing energy or power of love.

Sometimes things happen in reiki that seem to exceed even the limits of what many practitioners commonly think of as healing energy. For example, spirit entities or what we call “healing guides” might show up. It often feels like these beings come from another dimension of reality to assist us in a healing. We may “see” them as light, or we may see actual forms that can appear more or less human. Of course, we are not seeing them with our physical eyes; rather, there is an inner seeing, like a holographic projection in our minds. How can we know that these experiences that transcend our physical senses are real? While the evidence we get may be circumstantial, it is often downright convincing.

Recently, I gave reiki to client who said she had a traumatic relationship with her mother who had passed away twelve years ago. In the session, I “saw” her mother who was asking for forgiveness. The way I calculated it, the mother would have been about 50 years old when she passed, but the face of the person I saw was much more aged and wrinkled than that, so I wondered if my vision was “real.” When I told the client how old her mother had appeared, she looked me straight in the eye and said, “I was estranged from my mother when she died and hadn’t seen her in almost ten years, but I was the one called in to identify her body. I was shocked to see that she looked like a woman in her seventies, probably because of her chronic alcoholism and homeless lifestyle. No one would have known that, so I am sure what you saw was my mother.”

In my book, May the Loveforce Be With You, I talk about another time when I was giving reiki to Linda, one of our Kali-Ki Reiki masters. Linda had known my husband Bob, who was also a Kali-Ki Reiki master and had died of heart failure a few years before. When I was working at Linda’s feet, I felt a hand on my back that I “knew” was Bob’s hand. Without turning around, I “saw” him behind me as a Kokopelli, a Southeastern Native American fertility deity, wearing a headdress with a huge plumage of brightly colored lights trailing over fifty feet behind him. I was sure Bob had come in this resplendent form to assist in the healing of our friend. Energy surged through my back into my hands and up into Linda’s body. When my hands moved to her heart center, she saw a spiraling symbol of light with tiny tridents. After the session, she drew the symbol, which was to become the Vimana Darshanan, one of the main power symbols of Kali-Ki Reiki. We now use this symbol for healing and for shamanic journeying through time and space. Linda later turned this “Shared Vision” into her painting featured here.

There is no doubt that Linda and I experienced something very real and true for both of us. She received a powerful healing; I was comforted by seeing my husband in a luminous form; and our lineage was graced with a new and powerful symbol. Was the medium that transmitted these things really my deceased husband, Bob? Certainly, it was not Bob as we had known him on the physical plane. Yet, still I knew the energy as his.

What we call real in the physical dimension can be very different from what is real to us in the emotional, mental, psychic, spiritual, and cosmic dimensions of existence. Reiki, although it affects the physical dimension of reality, is not of the material plane. It exists in a universal realm as the force of the Limitless Love, the Source of all we call reality, and is perhaps truer than anything we perceive through our senses. So, the next time someone claims reiki isn’t real, I suggest you kindly ask them if there is anything more real than love and explain reiki in those terms. It might change their perception, and they might be willing to experience reiki and reality in a whole new way. Such shifts in consciousness have opened people to trusting in the healing energy of love, or “Loveforce,” which in Kali-Ki Reiki we understand as the energy that runs through all of us, and which is the basis of all healing.



Joni Dittrich, Ph.D. (Rajashree Maa), author of  May the Loveforce Be With You: Kali-Ki Reiki: Healing Through Divine Mother & Yogic Wisdom, is a master of four reiki lineages and a venerated interspiritual teacher of meditation, yogic wisdom and holistic wellness. From many years of practice as a psychologist and healer, she sees true healing as a gateway to spiritual wisening and awareness of the Limitless Love at the heart of being. She is the founder of The Wisdom School based in Napa, California, which is dedicated to offering online and in-person healing sessions and training in Kali-Ki Reiki and supportive practices.