As published on Reiki Rays, January 19, 2020… Article by Kathleen Johnson
The first segment of this article discussed how Reiki’s guidance led me to offer children’s Reiki classes, described challenges encountered along the way, and mentioned a few of the benefits of Reiki for children, including improved coping skills and the ability to deal more effectively with stress. The article also discussed the importance of working with Reiki throughout the entire process, which cannot be overstated. Its loving guidance can smooth any path and is an invaluable resource in all of our earthly and spiritual endeavors.
Upon deciding to offer Reiki training for children, the teacher has the task of creating an age-appropriate class. For me, that included designing a curriculum that was highly interactive, very informal, and above all, fun! Countless questions arose during the process and having Reiki’s guidance helped tremendously. The following information delves into the specifics of a children’s Reiki class, including the attunement, activities, and the key ways in which it differs from an adult Reiki class. I hope that it will answer many of the questions and challenges you may encounter as you create your own Reiki class for children.
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In keeping with my intention of creating a valuable, yet fun, experience for the children, I designed the day with a focus on thoroughly engaging the students as they learned about Reiki and the myriad ways it enriches their lives. To that end, many activities, including arts and crafts, were incorporated into the class, which helped to enhance the learning process as well as maintain their attention and interest. Also, I encouraged parents or caregivers to attend the class with their children; this was especially helpful for the younger students who may have been shy or uncomfortable with unfamiliar people. And, I have always recruited the assistance of another Reiki Master for these classes. This extra pair of hands has proven to be an invaluable support, especially during the attunement process and the children’s physical activities, which can be tiring!
The Children’s Reiki Class
So, what takes place in a children’s Reiki class? The following information is an overview of what I include in all children’s classes, and I hope it offers inspiration should you decide to create your own.
- Welcome and Introductions – As the children arrive, they receive the class manual and materials, invited to decorate their name tags, and then gather in a circle on the floor. Starting with the teacher(s), and using the “talking stick” method, everyone introduces themselves and then describe a quality they particularly like about themselves.
- Importance of Self-Care – The students are reminded of why and how we take care of ourselves and are encouraged to stay hydrated during the day. The teacher(s) give the children a few moments to become comfortable with their surroundings and respond to any questions they may have about the day ahead.
- Let’s Get Moving! The teacher(s) lead the students through a few basic energy exercises for focus and concentration, and, of course, for fun! We also include some simple yoga poses to promote calmness and wellbeing. The children greatly enjoy this – there’s lots of laughter and fun while we all jump around!
- What is Reiki? – The teacher(s) ask the students this question and allow them to describe it in their own words. We then provide a simple definition and explain the meaning of the word “Rei-ki.” Although most of the students are familiar with Reiki because of the experiences their parents have shared with them, we are careful to explain it thoroughly.
- Reiki Basics – What can Reiki do? How can it help? Who and what can benefit from Reiki? These questions always prompt a lively discussion with the children. The children are introduced to the Reiki precepts and learn a song to help remember them, and we sing! We then briefly discuss the history of Reiki, focusing on Usui Sensei’s twenty-one days on Mt. Kurama before he received the gift of Reiki. The students are usually quite interested in the story and ask many questions. (Wasn’t he hungry? Thirsty? What did he do up there? Didn’t he get bored?) Sometimes, my assistant and I will put on a skit to illustrate Usui’s story.
- Your Energy Field – The children learn the basics of chakras and the auric field, with the help of colorful posters displayed around the room. As the teacher(s) describe each primary chakra and its corresponding colors, the students color along in their manuals. We describe the chakra system as “the Rainbow in You.”
- The Attunement – The teacher(s) explain the attunement as “lining up” the student’s energy paths so that they can always do Reiki – and that it is with them for life! We describe it as a blessing transferred from a teacher to a student so that the student can practice Reiki anytime, anywhere. When I was a Usui Reiki Master, my assistant and I conducted the attunements individually, and after I transitioned to Holy Fire Reiki, the attunements (“placements” in the Holy Fire system) were conducted with the group. I confess to having some early apprehensions about how the children would respond to the attunement/placement and am happy to report that my misgivings were completely unfounded. Indeed, the children were respectful, reverent, and genuinely moved by their experiences. Afterward, they described colors, images, messages, and feelings of warmth and being “held in a giant hug.” My assistant and I were often moved to tears as the children recalled their experiences. Attuning children to the blessing of Reiki remains one of the greatest gifts I have received.
- Practicing Reiki – After the lunch break, during which we remind the children to give Reiki to their food and drinks, they begin practicing their newfound ability. They learn about the “energy Chi ball” and always have fun tossing these balls to each other and around the room. The students also practice on themselves and each other after learning some basic hand positions (Crown, Third Eye, Throat, Heart, Solar Plexus, Sacral, Root, Feet) and learn that Reiki always goes where it is most needed. The teacher(s) explain that they can give Reiki to their animals, plants, and their friends, as long as they have permission to do so. We also demonstrate and practice “beaming” Reiki, and also show them how to ground and clear their energy whenever they feel the need. When the weather permits, the children go outside to offer Reiki to Mother Earth and some of the animals with whom we share our lives. They enjoy hugging trees and sharing Reiki with the animals and birds.
- Arts and Crafts – Throughout the day, various creative activities take place. The children trace an outline of their hands and decorate them after the attunement/placement, creating a personal memento of the event. They also create a group mural, depicting their experiences during the class, which is added to throughout the day, until it is filled with the contributions of all the students. Their creations are always touching and often magical.
- Ending the Class – We all gather in a circle on the floor and again employ the “talking stick” method during which each child names their favorite part of the day, and what they are most grateful for. The teacher(s) then express gratitude to the students, and Reiki, for the opportunity to bring more Light into the world. The children receive their certificates and a print of the Reiki Precepts, and the day concludes with a Reiki group hug, along with a reminder to practice Reiki – on themselves, others, pets, plants, and anything else they can think of -because Reiki helps everything!
How the Children’s Class Differs from an Adult Reiki Class
- Shorter Duration – Children’s attention spans tend to be much shorter than that of adults, so the classes are designed accordingly. A typical children’s class is 5 hours, including lunch and several brief breaks throughout the day.
- Lots of Breaks! As mentioned above, I include many breaks during a children’s class. They provide an opportunity to ask questions, work on arts and craft projects, have a snack, use the restroom, or simply to “be” for a few quiet minutes.
- Very Informal & Relaxed – Although I have an informal teaching style for all my classes, it is much more apparent when teaching children. It is important to me that the students feel comfortable and relaxed so that the learning energy flows effortlessly. In that environment, the children feel at ease and are more likely to ask questions and share experiences.
- Highly Interactive – This refers back to the difference in attention spans between children and adults. The Reiki class for children is constantly in motion, and the students seem to thrive on it. They have plenty of active time for practicing Reiki on each other and themselves, but they also engage in other activities during the day, including energy exercises, yoga poses, singing songs, drawing, coloring, tossing energy “chi” balls at each other, and reading age-appropriate Reiki books and materials. All these activities leave little room for the students to become restless or bored.estions and share experiences.
- Less Emphasis on Hand Positions – With children, there is less focus on the traditional hand positions, although they do learn the primary ones, such as the head, throat, heart, and torso area, as well as the knees, feet, and hands. They also learn about the third eye and how it helps us to “see the unseen.” However, children seem to intuitively know where they need to direct the energy when channeling Reiki because they are naturally open to its loving energy and guidance. Therefore, teaching them the hand placements as I do with adults feels completely unnecessary and could restrict the flow of energy if they begin to worry about mechanics or that they are “doing it wrong.” Reiki’s clear guidance will always provide the way forward.
It is impossible to convey in mere words the joyous and hopeful energy generated by the children in these classes. The students are amazingly receptive, intuitive, and respectful of the gift they receive. Endlessly curious and eager to learn, they have taught me far more about the beautiful simplicity of Reiki than I could ever hope to teach them, and I am immensely grateful. After all, children are the future, and what better way to ensure that future than with a generation of children, and eventually, adults, with Reiki by their side and in their lives?
1. Reiki Kids — www.reikikids.ca/
2. The Reiki School & Clinic — www.thereikischool.com/blog/4-tips-for-teaching-reiki-to-children
3. Little Hands, Bright Light, by Paul Guillory, 2013
4. Finding Ray’s Key, by Sam Goddard and Owen Williams, 2018
5. Kathleen Johnson Interview in “Reiki Healing Summit Spring 2018“
© 2018 Kathleen Johnson