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on 2 August 2017
Diane Stein has written an excellent book for working with, and teaching Reiki. I give this book to my students at my weekend Reiki courses, following Stein's format. It works incredibly well and is for me a wonderful way of sharing Reiki with the world. Some commentators have said they find the book sexist - I would disagree and put that it is political both in its democratisation, and in its openness in that Stein only teaches women. This isn't sexist, it's feminist, and the author has an immensely important and empowering voice for women who are working to find their role in the world. I always recommend this book to anyone who is interested in Reiki.
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on 29 May 2005
An amazing book. I'm doing a review on Spiritual Healing and Reiki for a Cancer Palliative Care course, the subject has become a bit of a mine field. Most books on Reiki keep the mystery but Essential Reiki tells it as it is? However, this is sending me to Attunement in Reiki I with quite a few questions. The book is a bit of a minefield in view of the history outlined which looks at Jesus' life as a healer and how, it claims, his life continued after his crucifixion. A lot of the information can be found in other books but this has more to offer and is excellent. I certainly recommend this book but cannot grade a 5 star because there is so much more reading to do. It has sent me on a mission of discovery that I could not have contemplated.
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on 16 August 2005
This is one of the best books on Reiki. It gives the reader a great insight into the ancient wisdom of the orient, and covers comprehensively the knowledge base needed for Reiki. It systematically covers all the Reiki Symbols. I would recommend it to any serious student of Reiki to Master Practitioners.
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on 18 April 2010
Like many people who buy this book, I too was pointed towards it by my Reiki teacher. Had I known it was concentrating on approaching Reiki from a Wiccan and feminist point of view I would not have bought it.
I am a Reiki Master but am a Christian too. The fact that she claims that Jesus not only survived the cruxifiction and then became a Budhist, led me to take her book out of the recommended reading section in my handbooks when teaching, I mention it and put it on the table for people to look through but will not recommend it for the reasons I will state.
I believe that it would put some people of Reiki. Reiki is not supposed to disrespect any religion and anyone can be included, even someone who does not believe can be taught Reiki. The book concentrated too much on the Wiccan approach and talked about Reiki as a woman to other women, a man would probably think that they are not suitable or that it is a 'woman thing' when of course that is far from the truth, Dr Usui was very much a man. The sexual nature of some of her treatments, read the migraine one, I think I stick to an asperin! is also too far removed from my comfort zone, I am not a prude but I draw the line somewhere.
The positive side of this book is that the sections that deal with Reiki alone, are indeed very good. She manages to teach us a symbol for those who just cannot master the master symbol and is a very good teacher that much is obvious. It is that part of the book that I think, makes a lot of teachers keep the book on the recommended reading list.
If you can use the book, solely on the Reiki chapters, it is a very good book, the thing that lets it down is the author seemingly trying to influence you with chapters that have nothing to do with Reiki and everything to do with her faith and her beliefs.
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on 25 November 2010
I actually really liked this book but I can completely understand how the feminist stance would put some people off. I thought the book sounded like it came out of the 70s or 80s, not the 90s when it was written.

Indeed, it seems a shame that she takes this stance, particularly where healing is concerned, especially as the world needs as many healers as possible right now, as she also says herself. Also she seems to forget that the founder of Reiki was a man!

However, I found the book fascinating. I am just totally interested in other people's different views and experiences with Reiki, and I particularly liked and agreed with her philosophy of making attunements either of a reasonable price or no price, to spread Reiki as much as possible.

As for the Pagan stance, I must admit I didn't really notice this myself, maybe because such ideas are not new to me, and/or they make sense to me anyway. The same with the maybe non-conformist views about Jesus, again I am not new to these ideas, so they didn't seem surprising to me.

I also like the info on non-traditional methods of Reiki. I personally find this kind of thing interesting. Surely something doesn't have to be stuck and neverchanging.

Personally speaking, I am trying to garner as much info about Reiki from as many differing sources as possible so in this sense, this book was great for that.
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on 12 June 1999
I've tried to find out all I could about Reiki on the Internet, and through metaphysical places close to where I live. All I knew was that one could heal with her hands. All of the articles, brochures, and class descriptions I read didn't explain how it worked. I even called two Reiki Masters about their classes and still couldn't understand how it worked. What they said to me seemed so vague, I really felt stupid like I wasn't getting something. So how was I going to explain to my husband why I wanted to pursue this and just how it worked? He was already a skeptic, and thought I was "out there" when it came to things of this nature? Then I read this book. I thoroughly enjoyed it! I wanted to jump out of my skin with excitement for I knew now what it was and how it is done. For the first time, I understood exactly what it was and how it worked and basically what is taught in all three levels. Now I'm ready to take Reiki I and II, and am not going into it so blind. Why don't all Reiki Masters just tell you that they "open up and clear your body's energy channels which enables you to receive God's power of healing"? Or something simple like that? Thank you Diane, for your honesty and simplicity. I loved this book and am looking forward to taking Reiki I & II in late June.
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on 20 January 2016
Sexist and opinionated. Incredibly irritating. If you ignore Diane Stein's prejudices and hang-ups, it contains all the information you need, but I find the style of writing incredibly irritating.
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on 5 July 2000
If you are planning to investigate Reiki seriously this is the book for you! Be advised! It is not intended as a way for you to learn Reiki without being attuned by a Reiki master. It is not a discussion book about the pros and cons of Reiki. This is a serious work-book written by a Reiki master.
You can only practise Reiki if you have been attuned by a Reiki master. But if you want to know all about Reiki buy this book!
At first I was put-off by the strongly feminist slant. But after I reflected on it I overcame this and realised that all of us have been both male and female in previous lives. Maybe Diane is simply trying to redress an imbalance she feels and sees, whereas as I, as a man do not currently have the same perspective :-)
So although Diane detracts from her work slightly by this approach, it doesn't really matter - its the content that SHINES!
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on 24 October 2009
This book changed my life. I used to read it on the train , an hour journey two and from work, practicing the techniques throughout. I'd read numerous other books on reiki, including reiki sourcebook etc, but nothing compared to this for sheer application. Each day i worked on my reiki skills, i became a healer.

Shortly after reading this book, i bought a brand new house at 23, something i thought i'd never be able to do in my current circumstances. I went through massive healing in my relationships and in my career. I moved forward through panic attacks, which i dont' get anymore due to my ability to self heal rather than look externally for help.

However later, after becoming complacent, i disgarded my reiki books and practice, put them on the shelf, focused on my business that came into my life. Soon after to crash everything to the ground, i lost my house, my business, my relationship was on the rocks.

Now though back with the reiki, back with spirituality in general and things are on the up again, my new home is beautiful, my relationship is successful and my finances are improving.

Of course i can't attribute reiki to everything in my life, but i do feel that the first part of my healing process and the power of reiki in sorting out my life was gained in the first few months of practicing it was immense.
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on 29 August 1996
Diane Stein has written a true gem of a book. She expresses
the need for more healers in today's society. This book can
be seen as controversial because she publishes (I believe for
the first time) the Reiki attunement ceremonies and the Symbols
used by each level of Reiki including Master/Teacher. I have
had some comments about the "tone" of her book being anti-male-healer,
but I find that her language is the key -- she uses the words "she"
and "her" throughout the book instead of the "traditiona" he/him/his,
and because "we" as a society are not used to that, it has the
tendency to make male healers feel excluded. She does include specific
examples and illustrations using male subjects. I love this
book and recommend it very highly to anyone interested in
studying Reiki or for all existing Reiki practitioners and Masters.
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