In Japan if you go to learn something from a teacher it is understood that they will have clear lineage.
A lineage is a list of teachers who learnt before them, linking back to the founder of the school, and who have permission to pass on the knowledge they have gained. Lineage is only passed on by teachers. The understanding is that students or practitioners belong to a lineage, but do not have their own lineage so they relay that of the teacher whom they learnt from.
In Reiki it means anyone who has attained the Shinpiden/level III/Master or above can claim that they have a lineage which is passed to their students.
Anyone can learn Reiki and use it for themselves or practice on others. They may then go on to gain experience and can become a teacher. When a teacher lists their link back to Mikao Usui (the founder of Reiki) or their lineage, this is ok, but their student can only say they have learnt from their instructor who has a certain lineage.
This is why it is important for anyone wishing to learn Reiki to find out a teacher’s true lineage when looking to start on their Reiki journey, so they are confident that they are learning from someone affiliated to a recognised and respected school or style.
A teacher level lineage must show who taught the teacher how to teach, and the most important thing, how to perform attunements/Reiju/initiation.
Why is this important? Reiki is Reiki, correct? Absolutely, there is no difference in the Reiki or energy from one Master/Teacher to another, but the methodology and theory which is relayed can differ, along with their personal experience. The distinction needs to be made between who a teacher learned the first two levels with and who taught them to teach.
If the former school or style of Reiki is different from the latter, it is possible they may not be clearly able to pass on the methodology and practice coming from the school they mention in their lineage. The student then may not be receiving the knowledge and practice they have paid for.Equally, if you are a teacher, please be clear about what you teach.
The information being passed on should come from the school or style where you took your Master or Shihan/Shihan Kaku course.
If you are looking for a teacher, please ask to see their teaching certificate from the school they learned with.
We hope this helps and good luck with your Reiki practice.
With thanks to Jonathan Stuart from Jikiden Reiki and Kate Jones from Reiki Alliance for this information.