Yesterday, I taught my once annual Reiki Master-Teacher course in Portland, Oregon. At the Master-Teacher level, there is a deep need for a discussion of ethics because once you have attained that level, you also have the privilege of teaching and attuning others as energy healers. I view it as a huge responsibility and an absolute honor and joy that I am able to share with others in such a significant way on their path of spiritual growth.
What I teach my students about ethics is this: When you do energy work, you must always do so from a place of integrity. What I don't tell them, however, is what that integrity should look like.
It's important as an energy healing practitioner if you are working with healing partners (in other words, clients but I prefer the term healing partners because it reminds me the healing work is a partnership and not just something I am doing for them), you decide what your values and ethics are surrounding your practice of energy healing. Some ethics, of course, are required by law, such as having the appropriate licensing/certification in place, following ethical business practices, keeping appropriate documentation, and adhering to HIPAA, but others are deeply personal.
Within the framework of Reiki, we are offered a simple set of ethical standards called the Five Principles of Reiki. I teach them in First Degree Reiki and return to them throughout all degrees of the teaching and attunement process in my classes because they are the perfect jumping off point for developing any personal ethical framework for energy healing practice.
Just for today, I will not anger.
Just for today, I will not worry.
Just for today, I will be kind to all living creatures.
Just for today, I will do my work with truth and integrity (I translate this to "I will live with truth and integrity").
Just for today, I will be grateful.
These are simple beliefs and practices; something to strive for in our lives while understanding we're not going to hit every target every moment of every day. But keeping them as my core values serves as a lodestar, helping me to right myself quickly when I have moments of anger, worry, or unkindness.
As individuals, we can choose to accept or reject any of the above principles. We can also choose our own ethical framework for how we practice our energy healing and how we live our lives. I strive for internal consistency across all aspects of my life - as a healer, as a friend, as a sister and daughter, as a wife and mother, as an employee, as a writer, as a teacher, as a human being, etc. So my ethics for my teaching and writing are the same as for my energy healing practice, and they're the same for how I strive to live every moment of my life.
But I can't tell you what your core values should be or how you should apply them in your life and practice. This is something you need to do for yourself. Yesterday in my Reiki Master-Teacher class, I offered this suggestion. In the days and weeks to come, spend some time thinking about what your core values are as an energy healer. How do you want it to manifest in your life, and what effect do you wish to have on the lives of others? From there, think about individual habits and practices, and determine what your version of an ethical energy healer is. Then, work from there.
I have neither walked in another's shoes nor had their experiences, so I am in no place to tell others what their core values should be or how to live and act from those core values. I have spent a lifetime developing mine and allowing them to grow and shift as I have grown and shifted. But I invite you to spend some time thinking about your core values. What is the highest vision you have for yourself? How does it make you feel to visualize dwelling within that vision? If it feels good deep down in your soul, then this is the place to begin forming your core values as an energy healer and as a human being.