A growing number of Catholic convents are incorporating the practice of Reiki into their programs. Reiki is a New Age therapeutic touch practice in which it is believed that a universal energy (chi) flows through all things and can be passed on from a practitioner to a client.
An example of Reiki being used in convents is the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati. Their Spirituality Center offers Reiki, labyrinths, and spiritual direction (contemplative). The center believes that “all life is sacred,” which is another way of saying that divinity or God is within all things and all people. Sister Mary Fran Davisson, one of the sisters at the Sisters of Charity is a Reiki Master. Their website describes their Reiki sessions:
It is the God-consciousness, REI, that guides the life energy, KI, in the practice of Reiki. A person is fully clothed during a session. He/she may experience an opening of blocked energy, a sense of balance and centeredness, an awakening of the body’s natural ability to heal itself, and a sense of personal well-being and peace.
Another convent that incorporates Reiki is the Sisters of St. Benedict, also in Indiana.1 A First Degree Reiki course is being held on August 9th at that convent. Sister Anita Louise Lowe is a Reiki Master and has been practicing energy healing since 1995.
Another convent that includes Reiki is the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville (Kentucky). Reiki is being taught during their 2008 summer program.2 And there is the Racine Dominicans (Wisconsin) where two of the sisters provide Reiki instruction.3
Contemplative spirituality is strongly integrated into Catholicism (largely credited to monks Thomas Merton, Thomas Keating, and Basil Pennington); and considering the connection between contemplative and Reiki, it is little wonder that this move to bring Reiki into the convents is taking place. And with the closing gap between Catholicism and evangelicalism (largely credited to Richard Foster, Chuck Colson, Rick Warren, and the emerging church, et. al.), it is just a matter of time before Reiki becomes an integral part of evangelical churches begin as so many have already brought in contemplative spirituality (and yoga). In view of the following statement about Reiki, discerning, biblical Christians should find this growing acceptance of Reiki very troubling:
Reiki came to the United States (from Japan) in the mid 1970s. It took about twenty years for this particular practice to reach 500,000 practitioners. This number is comparable to those who were serving in the entire U.S. Army at that time. By the year 2005, the number skyrocketed to an astonishing one million practitioners in just the U.S.! … Reiki is in line with all the other New Age transformation efforts. It changes the way people perceive reality. Most practitioners acknowledge the truth of this. A German Reiki channeler makes this comment:
It frequently happens that patients will come into contact with new ideas after a few Reiki treatments. Some will start doing yoga or autogenous training or start to meditate or practise [sic] some other kind of spiritual method….. Fundamental changes will set in and new things will start to develop. You will find it easier to cast off old, outlived structures and you will notice that you are being led and guided more and more….
Of all the New Age practices and modalities, Reiki holds the title to being the most intriguing and perhaps eerie one. This is brought out in the following observations made by one of the leading Reiki masters in the country. He reveals:
When I looked psychically at the energy, I could often see it as thousands of small particles of light, like “corpuscles” filled with radiant Reiki energy flowing through me and out of my hands. It was as though these Reiki “corpuscles” of light had a purpose and intelligence. (Ray Yungen, FMSC, chapter 6)
William Lee Rand, a New Age advocate for Reiki states:
Reiki can be defined as a non-physical healing energy made up of life force energy that is guided by the Higher Intelligence, or spiritually guided life force energy.
We believe this “Higher intelligence” reached during Reiki sessions is not a source of good universal energy as is stated by Reiki masters but rather is of a demonic nature.
Just as contemplative prayer and yoga have entered evangelical Christianity at a continually fast pace, Reiki will do the same. “The reason for this level of acceptance is easy to understand. Most people, many Christians included, believe if something is spiritually positive then it is of God” (Yungen). Unfortunately, Reiki, as with contemplative and yoga, is not spiritually beneficial, and as it is more and more accepted into the Christian faith, spiritual deception will grow exponentially stronger too.
For further research on Reiki, click here.