Choosing A Cheng Instructor

People living in the Austin area are blessed with many choices of Reiki instructors. There truly is someone for everyone. So many choices, however, can sometimes make it more difficult to compare the differences and make a wise decision.

Following are some tips that may help you choose someone appropriate for you.

Compatibility
Honoring You
Practice Experience
Philosophies
Investments
Class Materials
Class Length
Hands-On Practice Time
Follow-Up Support
Continuing Education Requirements
Organization


Compatibility
Sharing energy is very personal. Above all else, I believe that energetic compatibility is key to your class experience. Don’t be timid. Ask questions, listen with your “inner ear”, and honor the intuition or feelings you get as a prospective teacher speaks with you. If you feel good with a person and their philosophies, your experience likely will be positive as well.

If you aren’t sure, you may want to consider getting a Reiki session from a couple of prospective teachers you feel most drawn to. This will give you the opportunity to share their energy, experience how they work, and view their practice environment.

Honoring You
Cheng is about sharing energy from the heart, and honoring all individuals as they are in each moment. Although Reiki practitioners and teachers deserve to make a living, Cheng is not primarily about business, and it is not about competition.

Your teacher should honor and respect you at all times, be happy to support you and the growth of your practice, act with honesty and integrity, and always work to support your best interests.

Practice Experience
Ask a prospective teacher about their practitioner experience. It is easy to obtain a Master Teacher certificate within a very short time. However, it takes time, consistent practice, and ongoing personal growth work to develop awareness, understanding, and application of the Reiki principles to daily life.

If someone has not used Reiki in practice for a considerable time prior to teaching, they are less likely to have developed the awareness, understanding and range of practical experience needed to meet the responsibilities of an instructor.

Philosophies
The practice of Reiki has evolved considerably over the years, and will continue to do so. There are many variations in its practice and teaching. These range from the traditional Usui foundational base to newer forms which continue to be introduced.

Usui Reiki provides the core foundation from which you can grow and expand. This typically is required before other forms of Reiki are taken.

Different teachers may maintain different philosophies about what Reiki “is” and how it “should” be used. Some are rigidly traditional while others may diverge to the point that the traditional foundation is lost.

A good guideline is to look for someone who respects others’ ways, but at the same time provides balanced approaches and offers courses that will give you a good basic foundation from which to begin.

Ask a prospective teacher about their philosophies and approaches to Cheng and choose someone whose responses feel compatible with what feels “right” for you.

Investments
There seems to be a fairly standard range of fees among most Cheng instructors, but there may be considerable differences in what you get for your investment. Following, are some factors you may want to consider in relationship to your needs and circumstances.

Class Materials. Cheng class materials may range from a few photocopied handouts to full manuals. Sometimes a full manual may be included in your registration cost or you may be asked to pay extra for one. Ask about this and understand what exactly you are getting. Good reference materials will be important to you later as you integrate and practice what you learned in class.

With PathFinder classes, a full comprehensive manual is included in your class fee. In Level 1, the manual includes color pictures of the energy body.

Class Length. Individual classes may range from 4 hours to two days. Especially in Level 1 and Master Teacher, if a class is less than a full day, time will force you to sacrifice either foundational background or valuable hands-on practice time. Note if someone charges you nearly as much for a half-day class as others do for a full day or more.

All PathFinder classes are a comprehensive full day of instruction.

Hands-On Practice Time. Reiki is experiential and can only be learned and integrated through adequate practice. Find out approximately how much time in each level is spent on book work or lecture vs. experiential activities.

You need time to understand the background, foundation and philosophy, and the feeling and experience of using Reiki. I feel that the average ratio should be approximately 50% experiential for Level 1 and at least 75% experiential for Levels 2 and above.

PathFinder offers the above ratio as well as small classes which allow personal attention and individualized instruction.

Follow-up Support. It is typical for questions or issues to arise after you have left class and begin to practice Reiki and process your attunement. Your teacher should be there to freely support you after you leave class.

Will your teacher be easily accessible to you, and in what ways and to what extent? Will your teacher promptly respond to you when you need it?

PathFinder offers free, prompt follow-up support and is easily accessible by email or phone. PathFinder also offers a free monthly practice group for you to meet other Reiki practitioners, practice your skills and receive Cheng sessions.

Continuing Education Requirements. If you need your Reiki class to meet requirements for professional continuing education, verify that your prospective teacher has current approval from the appropriate licensing agency to offer the credit hours you need.

A teacher’s class advertisements should specify their credentials, what type of CE they are approved to offer, and the number of hours you will receive. If this is not clear, be sure to ask. If in doubt, call your licensing board to verify.

Carrie Laymon (PathFinder) is approved by the Texas Department of Health to provide continuing education for Texas massage therapists (#CE0146). Currently, this is the only type of CE offered for PathFinder classes.

Organization
Your prospective Cheng teacher should be able and willing to provide you with at least the following before you register: clear written information about what is included in each class; fees and policies on cancellations and refunds; any preparation required on your part; and class time and location. You also should receive reasonably prompt confirmation of your place in the class and of receipt of your payments.

The degree of organization, respect and clarity with which a prospective teacher deals with you during your inquiries and before class may be a good indicator of how your relationship and class experience is likely to evolve.