Charging Money for Reiki
Today I wish to discuss the rather contentious issue of charging money for Reiki. I am not going to advise what you should charge here, but rather discuss the reasons in my opinion why it’s a good idea to do so.
I will always remember giving a presentation on Reiki for the first time in Italy many years ago, working through a slightly timid translator. At the end of my presentation I asked if anyone had any questions for me. A lady in the front row wanted to know why Reiki cost so much and why did I feel it was acceptable to charge money for something that was given freely by the Universe. A good question and one that I had an answer for.
Unfortunately working through a translator can be challenging and I sat and watched as my translator tried vainly to articulate my answer and was swamped by a crescendo of noise, the room bursting into it’s own debate as everyone simultaneously voiced their opinions.
I was left wondering at the time why Reiki seemed to be singled out when it comes to the issue of exchange and why other therapists don’t appear to have the same reaction when they ask for money in exchange for their services? It turned out the woman who asked the question gave workshops on dream analysis and I wondered afterwards why she didn’t have an issue herself charging for something that was given freely by the Universe. We all dream after all don’t we?
Fast forward a few months and whilst I was visiting Glastonbury, I saw a notice board offering Reiki training to master level in just a weekend for just £30! I couldn’t believe to the degree someone could undervalue Reiki not just in monetary terms but also as a self development and healing practice. How could someone possibly grasp the depth of Reiki practice to achieve Master level in a weekend? Forgetting myself, I took out a big red permanent marker pen from my bag and wrote across the poster..
“Why don’t you Pay Them to do it!”
We can all get pretty stuck around money. Strong feelings and emotions can surface around it and in most surveys on what causes arguments in couples, it comes out on top. But all of these emotions are not actually about money, they are about what we’ve been taught, assumptions we’ve made, beliefs, patterns and habits. Money is just the unit of energy exchange. When we step back and look at our attitudes about money, we have an opportunity to see what’s driving us—where we’re out of balance.
Charging for Reiki is actually a misnomer. The dream analyst was correct when she said the Universe gives Reiki freely. What we charge for is not Reiki, but our time. The cost of a Reiki treatment is usually consistent with the price of a massage in your local area. Reiki practitioners invest time and energy in learning. Reiki training involves both expense and commitment and modern Reiki practitioners have ongoing costs like room rental, equipment, travel expenses, insurance and advertising all of which can be very costly. Reiki practitioners who value themselves charge a fair price for their time, services and commitment to Reiki.
Many people in the Reiki comminity believe it was Hawayo Takata that instilled the belief that we should always charge for a treatment or class. It is true she charged the equivalent of the cost of a house to become a Reiki master in the 1970’s something in the region of $10,000. But it was Dr Usui himself who recognised whilst helping the beggers on the streets of Kyoto that nothing is valued unless there is some form of exchange for it. Dr Hayashi himself would ask his students to give their time in his clinic in exchange for his teachings.
In Chakra theory, money is related with the Svadhisthana chakra. This chakra relates to personal boundaries, self worth and the movement of energy. It is represented by the element of water and metaphorically reflects ways in which we contain water. There can be leakage, stagnation and unclear water depending on how we relate to it. Same is true with money. When you examine more closely your relationship to money you will see that it directly reflects your sense of personal value, your awareness of your own boundaries and the natural flow of exchange in your life.
If you find it difficult to ask for money when giving Reiki to people ask yourself why? Is it you that doesn’t feel good enough to be charging? Do you have some core beliefs that involve the relationship between spirituality and money? Or is it your faith in the practice of Reiki itself that is in question? Maybe your individual practice needs to be worked upon or maybe you need to go and experience a Reiki treatment from someone else to remind yourself of it’s benefits again. Would you hesitate to pay another therapist practicing Reiki for their time?
In the years that I have been involved with the practice of Reiki, I have seen it’s value in real terms fall. I trained to become a Reiki Master nearly 20 years ago. I continue to value and teach what I learn’t and my original investment back then has been returned to me many times over. Today if you shop around you can get a Master attunement through ebay for £10. The choice of where you go to train and what you pay, is a direct reflection of how you value yourself. Your investment is a reflection not only of your own training but also the future of Reiki. The same goes for what you charge, if you don’t value what you are doing then certainly no one else will.
Thanks for listening