Learning Reiki... At What Price?

... a really Up-Close Look at the Fee Structures Of Present Day Reiki Courses

by Ruy da Silva, 2004

Have you ever wondered why a seminar or course can be very inexpensive or over-the-moon costly? I wondered just that when looking at the Reiki courses offered around the world. I started by looking at information from the original North American teachers. One of these, Fran Brown, one of the 22 Reiki Masters initiated by Mrs. Hawaio Takata who introduced Reiki to the West after World War II, says on her web site(1) that Mrs. Takata wanted Reiki Masters, who had been trained by her, to maintain the fees that she herself had paid for the 3 Levels in 1936 to 1938 while studying in Japan. “She asked us not to increase it, though the value of the dollar would change. The groups formed by Master Usui's (the original Japanese teacher and master) students in Japan were commitmented for long periods of time to learn this hands-on-healing, which included paid attendance to their regular weekly meetings and practice, before continuing on to the next level of Reiki. By the time one reaches the second level in a number of years, the cost is about the same as Mrs. Takata’s.”

In “Living Reiki - Takata’s Teachings” the author, Fran Brown, stated Mrs. Takata charged her sister US$300 (by installments) for Reiki Level One. Her sister used it regularly. She found that some of her neighbours, however, who were taught for free, did not bother to use it.

My own experience, after I became a Reiki Master in 1997, seems to bear out this point. Of the three friends and relatives, new to Reiki and taught by me, only one used Reiki. One other friend decided not to take Reiki Level One training, although he had serious health problems, when I required him to give a sum of money (to be agreed) to his favourite charity and give up two days of his vacation for training. At least by this energy exchange requirement, it tests how sincere someone may be in wanting to learn Reiki and not merely to satisfy their casual curiosity.

I was curious about the current fees structure of present day Reiki Masters in Canada at present (2003), so I sent out an email survey to the 111 Reiki Masters listed in the directory of the Canadian Reiki Association (www.reiki.ca) asking them the following questions:

1. How much do you charge for each level of Reiki training?

2. The reason(s) you decided on these charges or are they fixed by the Association you belong to (for example, by the costs incurred for providing the training, such as rental of venue, stationery and printing, traveling expenses and hotel accommodation)?

3. Does the fee include additional training in modalities other than training in Usui Shiki Reiki Ryoho?

Of these, 15 Reiki teachers could not be reached as their email addresses appeared out of date and 11 responded.
I also checked a few web sites of the Reiki Masters belonging to the Reiki Alliance and found that they are charging US$150 for Level One, US$500 for Level Two and US$10,000 for the Master Level.

In a way, it is still like comparing apples and bananas as a four hour quickie evening class for $125 does not compare to an intensive 2 day $200 16 hour course with follow-up and lunches!

The fees charged by the 11 respondents of the survey are listed below: Reply  *  Reiki 1  *  Reiki 2  *  Reiki 3 Master/Teacher
(note: The figures below are all in CAD and before GST.)

1           $150           $250           $350           $500
2           $125           $225           $225           $625
3           $99             $133 - $333
4           $150           $200           $300           $300
5           $150           $150           $375           $750
                                                            ($75 only self treatment course)
6           $200           $300           N/A             $550
7           $125           $250           N/A             $325 - 450
8           $100           $200 - $5000
9           $100           $150           N/A             $300
10         $100           $200           $500           $500
11         $125           $275           $550           $550

There were a number of very interesting answers to the first question! Two of the respondents (1 and 3) would consider a reduction in fee or provide free training at Level One if the student could not afford the course fee. Six of the above provide Advanced Reiki Training (a Level between Level Two and Three), and/or a Reiki Level Three which separates learning to teach others into another Master/Teacher Level. These Levels may be taught separately or together by paying the combined fees. Respondent number 5 splits level 1 into 2 alternatives: a full certificated course or a self-treatment training without a certificate. Respondent number 7 charges a higher fee of $450 for the Master level if the Reiki Level two practitioners are from other teachers.

Interestingly, none of the teachers from the 3 hour truncated classes presently sponsored by Community Centres in BC responded. Two of the teachers felt that Master Usui never intended high fees for either training or healing sessions and also that there are other ways of exchanging energy like providing a service instead of money.
One Reiki Master suggested that the idea of charging US$10,000 came from Mrs. Takata herself who was known to have a keen business sense. However, as stated at the beginning of this article, Rev. Fran Brown was apparently told by Mrs. Takata that Dr. Hayashi charged this amount for her own Master training. (Mrs Takata also needed to have her services at her healing clinic continued to be provided and covered by her stand-in as she travelled for two days up and back to the mainland to teach four or five day classes - rather clostly.

Most of the replies to the second question indicated that Reiki teachers first compare what other practicing Reiki Masters in their area are charging before setting their own fees, taking into account overhead costs on printing manuals, handouts, refreshments and, for full time professionals, the renting of accommodation or offices. Some respondents pointed out that due to the need to keep classes to small numbers (5 to 8 students), that at Level One, they may actually take a financial loss. Respondent number 3 had a unique way to determine the fee structure by using numerology (3’s and 9’s). Respondent number 8 considered that the time and effort spent in teaching the Reiki Master Level, deserved that it be priced at 50 times the fee for Level One!

Four replies to the third question are that they teach only Usui Shiki Reiki Ryoho. One reply stated the system taught is Usui Reiki Ryoho but did not mention what is included although an additional level, Advanced Reiki Training before the Reiki Master/Teacher Level, is also taught. If this level is the same as that provided by the International Centre for Reiki Training, in Michigan, then it obviously includes other modalities like the use of crystals in grids and healing and psychic surgery and is not strictly “Usui Reiki”.

One Master/Teacher pointed out that many Reiki teachers nowadays not only include other modalities but also teach other forms of Reiki including Karuna Reiki, Tibetan Reiki and new material forming “Traditional” Japanese Reiki not taught by Mrs. Takata. It is quite clear from the replies that some not only include additional symbols but also the use of crystals, psychic surgery, past life regression, dowsing with pendulums, and colour therapy. It seems that some Reiki Masters may even not be aware that these add-ons are not part of the original Reiki!

It is interesting to note that the 11 respondents have, by comparison, substantially lower fees at the Master/Teacher Level ranging from Can$300 to $5000 as compared to Mrs. Takata’s US$10,000 and often these teachers also teach additional non-Reiki modalities or Reiki techniques revealed recently by Reiki Masters from Japan. At Level One and Two, the majority charge less than the US$150 and US$500 respectively, with more than a 50% decrease of the original price (Mrs. Takata’s) at Level Two! With the extensive spreading of Reiki practices worldwide, I personally see this as a welcome change, as it means more people can afford to learn Reiki both for healing and spiritual growth while still making a strong commitment (of a monetary or barter nature). Also more practitioners can become teachers and teach it whilst undertaking other employment so that they do not have to depend only on it for their livelihood as some teachers in the past, such as Phyllis Furumoto had stipulated. A win-win situation for all!

Ruy da Silva, Reiki Master

1: www.reikifranbrown.com
2: www.reiki.ca



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