Reiki and Gratitude

by Colleen Benelli
First Published – Reiki News Magazine, Fall 2007.
Artwork by Gaia Orion.

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“Just for today, be grateful,” is one of the Five Reiki Ideals. It is important for Reiki practitioners to notice and to spread thoughts of gratitude each day, because as each of us lives in his or her grateful heart, we not only create light within ourselves, but we also become a powerful collective consciousness for light.

Gratitude is a vibration of Divine Light. Everything in the physical universe shares gratitude as a part of its life force. When we live in gratitude, we are in the flow of creation, and we create a band of light that collects the gratitude we express and becomes a prevailing thought form of peace and thanksgiving encircling the Earth. I do not always know what to do about the darkness in the world, but I do know that the light always illuminates the dark, and that the greatest power I have personally to effect change in the world, is to add light to the light. And so I:

“Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say that I am a dreamer, but I am not the only one. I hope some day you will join us and the world will live as one.” John Lennon, Imagine.

Reiki is a source of Divine Light. When we activate Reiki, we become a portal for the Divine Light to enter into the density of this world. The Usui Master symbol literally means, “treasure house of the Great Beaming Light,” and “Great Being of the Universe, shine on me.”  Reiki sends the vibration of Divine Light to the Earth through us, and the more we use it, the more Divine Light there is on the planet.

Being human and living life on Earth can be hard, and it is sometimes challenging to be in gratitude. Therefore, we need specific tools that help. Gratitude is a practice. The more attention and focus we give it, the easier it is to be grateful. It actually can be developed as a skill. Reiki offers many tools that can help us focus on our blessings each day. I asked my Reiki guides for ways to express gratitude, and they gave me the Reiki Gratitude Ceremony and the Reiki Gratitude Treatment as two powerful Reiki tools.

The Reiki Gratitude Ceremony creates an entrance point for the presence of Divine Light. People gather together to pray and claim their intentions. The power of the prayers and intentions is increased when a circle of Reiki light unites the people who are gathered. Reiki amplifies the light and invites the divine presence to join the circle.

A Reiki Gratitude Treatment can help to heal negative thought patterns and assist in the discovery of the grateful heart even in the midst of turmoil. It can empower us and make it easier to perceive and choose gratitude, wisdom, and love each day. Reiki can heal the places where we are blocked and ungrateful.

When we think about our gifts and blessings and say thank you, our hearts open and our minds are positive, inspired, and receptive. When we are grateful, it is easier to have a creative mind, which makes it easier to manifest our goals and dreams.

When we think about all that is not good enough in our lives, we can spiral into negative circling thoughts. Mind chatter, negativity, blame, and criticism rob us of a full and happy life. “Mind garbage” distracts us; we cannot hear our inner guidanc e, and there is no room for inspired ideas. We can become depleted, stressed, and anxious, and feel as if we do not control our own lives.

Usually it is a matter of training our minds to think about our blessings, but we have to make a deliberate choice to notice them. This can be a full time job at first, but as we develop positive mental habits, it becomes easier and easier. Reiki and gratitude are powerful tools that can instantly change our thoughts the moment we focus on our blessings. A grateful heart is one of the quickest ways to heal mind chatter, negative thought, and unwanted perceptions. Jan Engels Smith, writes in Becoming Yourself, the Journey from Head to Heart:

“Be directive in what you create in your life. If you are directive, you are utilizing your gift of choice your sacred free will to choose the personal thoughts and beliefs that will man ifest in your life. When you realize the power of your thoughts, and start to monitor them, you have taken the first step toward creating change for yourself.”

I recently had a client who struggled with her negative “stories.” She was preparing for a four-day ceremony of prayer and fasting, and negative thoughts were stuck in her head repeating themselves and cir-cling in her mind. She knew this would distract her during her prayer ceremony and wanted a Reiki treatment to help her dump her unwanted thoughts. Reiki guided me to lead her through the Reiki Burning Bowl Ceremony. I suggested that she write the titles of her negative stories and burn them in a bowl imbued with Reiki. (See my article in Reiki New Magazine, Winter 06.) I followed this with the Reiki Gratitude Treatment below, accompanied by upbeat music. She felt great afterward! The Reiki guides asked her to continue to dump her distracting thoughts and replace them with grateful thoughts before her prayer ceremony so she could focus on what she wanted to create in her life.

Reiki Gratitude Treatment

This Reiki self-treatment is more powerful if practiced daily. If you are using it for a client, ask the client to say the affirmations during the treatment and at home. The more attention and focus given to gratitude, the easier it is to recognize blessings, and the easier life feels.

1. Prepare yourself and the room with Reiki.

2. Activate the Usui Mental/Emotion al symbol and the Power symbol.

3. Ask the Mental/Emotional symbol to heal your mind garbage and the Power symbol to completely lift your unwanted, negative thoughts from you. Send the negative thoughts to the light to heal them.

4. Fill your body with Reiki and the Power symbol where you are depleted, stressed, or tired.

5. Ask Reiki to empower you with gratitude. Fill your heart and body with Reiki and light.

6. Close your eyes and say, “I am grateful.” Notice the subtle shift in your mind and notice how your body feels.

7. Now close your eyes and say, “Thank you.” Invoke the Mental/ Emotional symbol again.

8. Say thank you again. Ask and listen for the deeper meaning of the words. Listen for the truth of the words asyou speak them in your daily life.

9. Invoke the Mental/Emotional symbol again and say, “I am grateful, thank you. I awaken my mind and heart to my blessings.”

10. Notice the light in your grateful heart.

11. Make a commitment to yourself to say the affirmation, “I am grateful, thank you,” many times daily, until it becomes a habit and feels true.

12. Ask your Reiki guides to help you remember your gratitude and blessings each day.

13. Say, “Thank you, I am grateful,” and seal the treatment with the Power symbol.

Reiki Gratitude Ceremony

The Reiki Gratitude Ceremony is a powerful way to combine Reiki with intention, prayer, and thanksgiving. Use it for honoring any part of your life: babies, anniversaries, birthdays, memorial services, holiday meals, or anything else for which you are thankful. The ceremony can be as simple or elaborate as you choose.

Here’s how it works:

Several ways of using the Reiki Gratitude Ceremony are shown in the accompanying photographs.

The first photo is of a “Reiki Gratitude Ceremony for Family,” which I did when we went to our son’s home for dinner. It was short and simple with prayers of thanksgiving for our healthy, happy family, and for our granddaughter Eva. I said the prayer of gratitude and lit the big candle, and each person said their prayer of thanks giving, and then lit a tea candle. The ceremony gave us the opportunity to thank God and each other for the love and blessings in our lives. It filled their home with Reiki and light. Baby Eva really liked it!

The remaining photographs are of a Reiki Gratitude Ceremony for the Earth, which was done during a Reiki II work-shop. Native American prayers for the Earth are blended with Reiki in this beautiful ceremony of thanksgiving for our Earth, all life on it, and for the gifts and blessings we receive from the natural world. The ceremony sends our love and blessings of peace to all of creation.

I placed photographs of the World Peace Grids under the center candle, then I placed traditional Native American symbols of gratitude for the Earth over the photos; dirt, cornmeal, tobacco and flowers. I said an invocation and a prayer of thanks to the Earth, lit the center candle, and then each person said what they were thankful for and lit their candle. Next we invoked the Usui Distant Healing symbol and sent blessings to the World Peace Grids, asking that all people feel peace and thanksgiving.

The prayer I used is an Iroquois prayer called  Ohenton Kariwahtekwen,which translates as, the words that go before all else. It gives thanks to the people, the Earth, the waters, fish, plants, food plants, medicine herbs, animals, trees, birds, the four winds, the thunderers, the sun, the moon, stars, enlightened teachers, and the Creator.

The complete prayers and instructions for the Reiki Gratitude Ceremony for the Earth are on my web site,

This wonderful ceremony also taught the students attending the Reiki work-shop another way to use the Distant Healing symbol. Afterward, I allowed the flowers to dry, then gave them as a blessing to the tree in my yard.

My Reiki guides also suggested that a powerful way to increase the vibration of love and thanksgiving on the planet would be for many of us to send our blessings using the Reiki Gratitude Ceremony for the Earth during the upcoming holiday meals, especially Thanksgiving Day!

The Reiki Gratitude Ceremony and the Reiki Gratitude Treatment are two Reiki tools that can help us and others live in gratitude.

My Reiki guides continually tell me to shine the light in my heart. They say that living with a grateful heart heals the Earth and us. When we are in gratitude, it is easier to remember that we are beautiful beings of light, spirits being human. As we shine our inner light, we increase the light vibration of gratitude in the world. We can empower light, love, and thankfulness, and bless our amazing planet, Earth. In so doing, we truly live Dr. Usui’s wise admonition to his students to be filled with gratitude, just for today.

Colleen Benelli can be reached by email at, by phone at 503.912.0664, on her website at, or on her Facebook page, Reiki Lifestyle-Colleen Benelli. Join Colleen’s monthly ReikiChat™ conversation,

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