Traveling to Teach Reiki
by Karen Harrison, Senior Professional Licensed Reiki Teacher with ICRT
Published in Reiki News Magazine
Do you love teaching Reiki? Do you love to travel? Why not combine them? I have been traveling to teach Reiki since 2004 and want to share with you how you can do it. Traveling to other cities to teach is very rewarding as new people discover the joys of Reiki. Often my students are very grateful because they have not been able to find local Reiki teachers. When I teach, I love to watch my students’ faces light up as they feel the power of Reiki flowing through them. I envision myself giving each of them a golden ball of Reiki energy, which they take and give to many others, spreading the loving Reiki energy all throughout the Midwest. Since traveling and teaching Reiki are two of my passions, combining them is one of the most fun things I can do. As William Rand expressed, “It’s truly a wonderful and joyous experience to travel and teach Reiki classes. However, what I have found is that no matter how beautiful and exotic the places are where I teach, it’s always the students and the process they go through during the class that is the most amazing experience of all,” in “Secrets of a Traveling Reiki Master,” Reiki News Winter 2009. While I don’t teach in exotic locations so far, I could with a little more planning and preparation. In the following, I cover information for the person just beginning to travel and teach Reiki.
Choosing a location
The easiest way to teach Reiki in another city is to teach where you have family or friends. They can help recruit students and find or provide you a location. You might teach in their home, a hotel, a church, a yoga studio, a massage school, or someplace else. The advantage of teaching in a home is it might be quiet and private. If you want to provide lunch or snacks for your students, there is a kitchen. You can offer the student with the home a discount for providing a space. The disadvantages are pets, noise from other family members, and parking. Many people are allergic to cats and simply having the cat in another room is not enough to keep them from having an allergic reaction. When I teach at my home, we shuttle the students from a store parking lot about a mile away to keep the neighbors happy with the parking. If you have a small class or only teach in a home occasionally, it probably won’t be an issue.
In addition to teaching in students’ homes, I have taught in hotels and retreat centers. When I took my first Reiki Master class, the teacher lived in another city and hadn’t secured a location. I checked out hotels for her and helped her to advertise the class in exchange for a discount for any students who found the class through my advertising. So this is an option for you. If the class has less than 5 students, you can rent a hotel suite with a separate bedroom. This arrangement is more economical than renting a sleeping room and a meeting room. The disadvantage is that for a two day class, you will have to pay for the room for 3 days, but this can still be cheaper. For example, if the class is Saturday and Sunday, you will need the room Friday night if you traveled to get there, Saturday night, and then all day Sunday. For classes with more than 4 students, you will need the space of a meeting room or it will be too crowded with the massage tables. Look for the more economical hotel chains with small meeting rooms that do not have a divider in them. The room dividers do not provide enough quiet for a Reiki class if there is another group on the other side of the divider. For classes with 5 to 12 students, a room of 400 to 500 square feet is a nice size that will also accommodate massage tables. There are some other advantages of teaching in hotels. They usually will let you set up the room the night before and most of the time you can keep the room until the weekend class is through. Then students can leave their massage tables that they have brought. If enough students don’t register for the class, you can cancel up until a few days before without a penalty. Often there are several restaurants nearby for lunch. And students coming from out of town can easily stay at the hotel. Students often appreciate reasonably priced sleeping accommodations. I have booked some hotels without looking at them and they worked out all right because I could see a picture online and I asked questions. The questions you will want to ask are the following: the size of the room, the price for renting per day, whether the room has windows, if the room has a divider, the noise level, the cost of the sleeping room, the availability of any TV/DVD player if you need one, and if there are restaurants nearby.
In Houston I teach at a retreat center that holds metaphysical classes. They help to advertise the classes but they have no overnight accommodations. With the recommendation of my students in Omaha, I found a small, beautiful retreat center with accommodations. There are enough rooms for students who want to stay over, a deck overlooking the woods, and a kitchen for meals. The center is located within 30 minutes of most places in the city. Since the retreat center is small, my group is the only one there. This is my ideal arrangement and students love to have classes in a peaceful environment. To find a retreat center you can ask people who you know in the city, ask potential students, and search online.
Advertising the class
If you have contacts in the city, they can help you locate the metaphysical and wellness papers in which you can place an ad. You can also search on the internet. A student can place fliers for you in the local health food store. Use social media such as Facebook to locate potential students. If you go back to a city to teach regularly, you can get a domain name that points to your website very cheaply. For example, since I teach in Houston and Dallas, I got www.reikitexas.net. It links to my website and costs less than $5 a month. Consider offering a discount for a student to bring a friend or family member to class. Then they have someone to practice Reiki with after class. Advertise classes at a local massage school. They may be willing to post your class on a bulletin board. I have spoken to many massage therapy classes about Reiki and given students a flier and my Reiki brochure.
Many massage therapists are interested in taking a Reiki class to use with massage. If you can attract some massage students, they will usually own a massage table that they can bring to class. Offering them a discount for bringing a table can make it worth their effort. If you drive to where you are teaching, you can pack 1 to 2 tables in your car. I have never tried to travel with a massage table by air. If you also have a suitcase, it would likely cost you $50 each way to send. You can get by with a massage table for every 2 to 4 students. I prefer no more than 3 to a table. I have also rented massage tables in one city where the company delivered and picked them up. Another idea is to order an economical table from the internet and have it sent to the hotel. At the end of the weekend, you may be able to sell the table to one of your students. I have also used one or two banquet tables padded with blankets. Some hotels object to this as it is not the safest and also it is not very comfortable.
If your class is small, you can easily take the manuals, folders, class music, Reiki News magazines for each student, and other items in your suitcase. I now travel with a laptop computer and have all my class music on the laptop. Formerly I traveled with a small CD player and CDs. You might have an IPOD and a small, portable speaker. If a student wants to pay for the balance of the class with a credit card, I can run it on my laptop through www.paypal, which is the credit card processing service that I use. For larger classes, I have started shipping the manuals to the hotel in advance. You can order your manuals directly from www.reiki.org and have the manuals sent directly to the hotel for guest, “your name,” arriving on a specific date. Since airlines only allow 50 pounds in a suitcase without extra charges, sending the materials saves me money and my back.
I have had so many wonderful experiences getting to know students in other parts of the country. In Texas I have learned all about horses and how students have used Reiki with these beautiful creatures. A deputy sherrif told me how he cleared a bar fight with Reiki. In class he learned that through intention, anything less than the love and light of Reiki will transform or leave. He was the closest sherrif to the bar fight in a rural town and the next car was 20 minutes away. Normally two cars go to bar fights. My student arrived to hear a lot of noise coming from the bar. In the parking lot he activated the power symbol and the distance symbol and sent them into the bar. By the time he got inside, it was quiet and the people offered him coffee. When the second sheriff arrived, everyone in the bar was quiet and drinking coffee. After a year of practicing Reiki, he told me he no longer carries his gun with him wherever he goes but relies on Reiki to protect him in many situations. I have also learned about other things not related to Reiki like local foods, sayings, past times, and creatures (snakes and tarantulas).
At class you can give students a class list and encourage them to choose a Reiki buddy to practice Reiki with for the next several weeks. Many times they will practice together for longer. Share information about how to set up a Reiki circle (see several articles in various issues of the Reiki News Magazine) and encourage them to begin one where class members and others can come to practice and share Reiki. Be available for questions by email or phone. I encourage students to share their experiences with each other by email and we all stay connected for a month or many months, depending on the students’ interest.
For more information about traveling to teach Reiki, see William Rand’s aforementioned article. He gives information about how to get plane tickets, using frequent flyer miles, packing, airports and security, airplane exercise, staying healthy, and travel food. Traveling to teach Reiki over the years has been so rewarding for me that I have expanded to teach in more cities. I started off in Dallas, where my son was living at the time. Then students in Houston asked about classes and I expanded to that city. My best friend lives in Oklahoma City so I started teaching there. I heard about the beautiful retreat center in Omaha and have taught there for several years. Living centrally located in Kansas City, it is pretty easy to fly or drive to each of these cities. I have had requests to teach in many more cities but I can’t do it all. That is where you come in. Consider traveling to teach Reiki so you can experience the abundant rewards of sharing the gift of Reiki in new places. Teaching Reiki is truly a “pay it forward” kind of experience that comes back to bless the teacher many fold. The light and love of Reiki is infinite and the more often we allow ourselves to be channels for this Divine power, the more we are transformed and have more to give. As the Bible verse says, “As we give, so we receive.” May you have many adventures on your Reiki journey as you are blessed and a blessing to others.