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Thursday, May. 31st 2018

Holy Fire Reiki Makes it Easy to Teach Reiki Classes

Holy Fire Reiki Makes It Easy to Teach Reiki Classes

by Karen K. Harrison, LCMFT, LCPC, AASECT

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Have you ever had anxiety when giving attunements? Perhaps you wondered if the attunement would work, if you might make a mistake and forget a step, or if you would lose your place in the three pages of instruction and just freeze? Have you dropped the Hui Yin or let your tongue leave the roof of your mouth? Have you ever missed putting in a symbol or added in a symbol from a higher level by accident? I have a confession. I have made plenty of mistakes when giving attunements over the years even though I taught up to 20 classes a year. I never had the three pages of instructions memorized because when I went deeply into the energy of the attunement, my left brain did not remember the linear material. If you would like to see a funny attunement-anxiety skit, that I performed at the Reiki Retreat with William Lee Rand and Karen Caig, check out my YouTube video at https://bit.ly/2k4bZQZ.


Despite the level of difficulty and occasional anxiety, I loved giving attunements. I always used the quick guide that I created so that I would not forget anything. The energy felt unique, and I loved the ritual of it all, including the students’ reactions afterward. Some students were apprehensive before attunements because they had never experienced anything like it. What I didn’t like was drawing the symbols over and over because when I had large classes, it hurt my arm. Finally, after years of practice, I learned to visualize the symbols. I also was not fond of demonstrating the attunements in class because I had performance anxiety. My students would follow along step-by-step and would know if I did something out of order or skipped a step and I wanted to demonstrate it the right way. What I found the most confusing was that each attunement was different, and the Usui/Tibetan attunements were similar to but different from the Karuna attunements.

Students expressed anxiety when learning attunements. The long, complicated set of instructions was intimidating to them. Teaching them how to do attunements would take an entire afternoon. Then we would suggest that they practice the attunements at home because if they didn’t, some students would find it hard to do the attunement just from looking at their book. Like me, many students had performance anxiety and feared they would make mistakes. In one Reiki Master class, a student had a panic attack and left the room when it was his turn to practice the attunement. Over the years, the Licensed Reiki Master Teachers of the ICRT have heard from some Reiki Master students who said that they did not teach because of their fear of performing the attunement.

Placements and Ignitions

Silently I wondered why the procedure had to be so long and hard. We always taught the attunement worked even if you made mistakes. Everything is done with intention. With the advent of Usui/Holy Fire Reiki, the attunements got somewhat easier. When Holy Fire Reiki came out, the Master Attunements were replaced by Ignitions in which no physical contact with the students took place but instead were conducted by the teacher giving a brief guided meditation that could even be read from the manual if need be and followed by a period of silence with meditation music playing in the background. The Ignitions made the Master attunements so much easier. However, the attunements for I, II and ART continued to use the same hands-on style. Finally, in November of 2015, William Rand received the guidance to create Placements instead of attunements for these levels. The Placements were done similarly to the Ignitions and made the entire system of passing on Reiki energy very simple and easy.

Also, because the teacher does not physically interact with the student and only briefly guides the class at the beginning, the teachers’ energy is less likely to influence the process thus allowing the passing of Reiki energy to the student to be a purer and more powerful experience.

The following is a definition of Holy Fire Placements from the Usui/Holy Fire II Reiki Master Manual. (The Ignitions are done similarly).

“In the Placement, the teacher does not physically interact with the student. In other words, the teacher does not stand behind the student, touching the shoulders, or go to the front of the student and physically work with the hands and so forth. Instead, the teacher simply sits and guides the student in a beginning guided meditation for a few minutes, then stops talking and allows the Holy Fire energy to administer the Placement directly to each student. Because the teacher’s energy is not part of the Placement, it does not lower its vibration or affect it in any way. This allows the pure Holy Fire energy to work in an uninhibited way. Because of this, the vibration of the Placements is much higher and the student receives higher quality healing energy.”1

The Holy Fire energy does all the work! All the teacher does is read the script, say a prayer, and then enjoy her own time in the silence while receiving the energy.

Placements and Ignitions may be a style of Reiki that is more comparable to the style of Usui Sensei. William Rand interviewed Hiroshi Doi in October 2016. According to Hiroshi Doi, Usui Sensei transferred energy by simply touching the shoulder or the hips or the hands of the student and this would transmit the attunement and it was different each time he did it. Usui asked Hayashi to furthur develop the attunement process; he standardized it and made it more complex. From research with Takata’s students, we know that Takata added the Master symbol about halfway through her teaching of her 22 masters. William Rand says, “Now with Holy Fire, it’s honoring more of the original concept of the energy coming directly from Source. The less the teacher is involved, the better the energy works by going directly to the student.”

Students’ and Colleagues’ Experiences

Students love the Holy Fire Experiences, Placements and Ignitions that are presented in class. Many of them have amazing experiences with healing many different issues, receiving visits from Jesus and angels and having profound spiritual occurrences. They love the ease of learning how to do them. Gone is the performance anxiety. Anyone who can read a script can now teach a class. Previously with attunements, many students did not teach because they thought they would not be able to remember how to give the attunements. Holy Fire Reiki makes Reiki teacher training easy. 

Here are student and colleague responses to the following question I posted in my Reiki student Facebook pages and the ICRT Licensed Reiki Master Teacher Group. “Who has had both attunements and placements? How would you compare them?”

Joan Breckler—The energy of the Placements is stronger and more positive. Giving attunements was very stressful for me, especially in the beginning. I wanted to do the best job possible, I would review the attunements at lunchtime instead of having lunch with my students to get to know them better. I think the stress I felt over the attunements may have limited my ability to attract students because they may have been able to feel the anxiety I had regarding doing the attunements. Now doing Placements, I find it relaxing, and I love it. Placements make it more fun, and it has changed the atmosphere of my classes.

Laurelle Gaia—After doing attunements for nearly 30 years, we find Placements to be more effective. Our students have deeper and even more profound experiences. That may be because the energy helps us to be out of the way completely and the energy works directly with the student rather than flowing through an intermediary. We used to pray for our personality and ego to step aside. Now it is completely aside.

Grace Lindsay—I have experienced both attunements and Placements. I resonate so much more with this new way of receiving. It feels right, and my experience was much richer.

Kathy Mahle Milanowski—The Placements are more profound; visual and psychical sensations are heightened. Students feel a deeper and stronger closeness to the Reiki source. Each definitely feels a deep sense of heat go through their bodies, and this is ongoing. It never seems to leave, and when they focus their attention on the heat, it sparks up more HOLY FIRE! Each person in our Reiki circle concluded that Placements as a whole are a more profound healing experience and connection to Reiki.

Robin Fuerst—For me, the attunements seemed more like a one-time event where the Placements and Ignitions continue to deepen their work after the day they are received.

Tracey Sullivan—My experience is not as extensive, but the most notable difference for me is the sense of the magnitude of what’s happening during the placement and is apparent without me even focusing in on it. It seems all-encompassing as opposed to about just one level of existence. Those students I have had for Placements who have had attunements, share similar experiences.

Loretta Heringa Butler—I like the Placements because they happen at the same time to everyone and there is no waiting and wondering what it will be like. I feel like it is a much more intense process since most of it happens deep inside and is similar to a meditative experience.

Robert Patten—I cannot speak about attunements, but I found the Placements to be a very profound experience. I was able to see each one as it made its way towards my being, my true self; interestingly I felt them as if I was seeing them with my physical eyes. I remember a moment where they seemed to wait to be sure that I was willing to receive them, then a different feeling came over my being for each of the three I have had the joy to experience. I have the same experience anytime I draw the symbols and take them into my physical body as well as when I place them on objects or in rooms; when I place the symbols in a room, it is as if they recognize my energy and understand the purpose I am using them for. That is my favorite thing about the Placements, Spirit guides them and knows just what to do!

Robin Kern—I took a Reiki Master class in 2009 and Karuna in 2010. I took both Holy Fire Reiki Master and Karuna in 2015. What a difference. Not only was the Holy Fire Reiki experience more profound, but I love the Placements instead of attunements so much that I finally taught classes.

With Holy Fire, physical and emotional issues that I’d had for years just disappeared. It was such a subtle transformation I did not realize those issues were gone until months later when I took stock of how much I had grown spiritually. I continue to grow spiritually and have new and exciting experiences with each class I teach. I also took the Holy Fire II upgrade online with William Rand. Amazing healing energy!


Reiki has evolved and changed over the years. Laurelle Shanti Gaia shared, “It is not the energy evolving as much as humanity is evolving in our understanding of the energy. The energy IS the energy; we are just more aware.”2  I might also assert that the energy is evolving as humanity can accept higher levels of consciousness on the planet. Both seem to be true to me. We have finally learned that we no longer need the complex ritual of the attunement procedure and can invite the Source of the Reiki energy to come directly to our students. It is a gift of grace. The evolution of Reiki reminds me of Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. After her journeys, Dorothy finally learned that she had had the ruby slippers, which would take her home, on all the time. Holy Fire Reiki has brought us back to the place of our students receiving directly from God. The energy carries us home—to that place of oneness inside us.

Karen Harrison is a Co-Director of the Licensed Teacher Training Program for the ICRT and practices and teaches Reiki as a Holy Fire II Licensed Reiki Master Teacher for the ICRT in Leawood, Kansas. She is also a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Licensed Professional Counselor. Karen can be contacted by email at Karen@karenharrison.net or through her website at www.karenharrison.net.

Karuna Reiki® is the registered trademark of the International Center for Reiki Training.


1 William Lee Rand, Usui/Holy Fire II Reiki Master Manual, Including Advanced Reiki Training (Southfield, MI: Vision Publications, June 2016). 74.

2 Personal communication, Dec. 5, 2017.

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