The simple definition of the system of Reiki, given on the Reiki Council’s website is;
“The practice of Reiki is an original method of healing, developed by Mikao Usui in Japan early in the 20th century. Reiki is a natural healing energy that works on every level, not just the physical, and is understood to promote the body’s regenerative self- healing ability.”
Reiki is a healing method developed so that anyone who chooses to be attuned to Reiki, can feel the presence of Universal Energy easily, in order to bring healing through the palms to themselves, to others and to all.
The word Reiki in Japanese script, is made up of two kanji, Rei and Ki reading from top to bottom. Below is the kanji used today, it has changed a little since the original but in essence has the same meaning.
Rei – Best translated as Spirit, Divine or Source
Here we see the canopy of heaven from which rain is falling into three "mouths", symbols of mind, body and spirit.
Below the mouths, a shaman, stands on the earth with arms outstretched to receive.
Ki – Best translated as Universal Energy, Universal Life Force or Energy.
Here we see the symbolism of the staple food of Japan, a grain of rice shown here as the cross, surrounded by steam which represents the aura. It shows the level of form and how it is nourished by the breath of life (the aura or energy).
Reading the two kanji together, it could be best described as heaven and earth coming together. If we reach up to the rain and it falls, it gives nournishmet to all it touches.
The word Reiki when both kanji are read together, is best translated as Spiritual Energy.