There are many Reiki Masters. With so many choices, selecting a teacher can seem overwhelming.
I was lucky, in that I had known the woman I chose to study under for over a year before she became a Reiki Master and started teaching. I had been in the same place, wondering how I was supposed to select a teacher.
So that is one way to find a teacher, wait till someone you already know starts teaching. Probably rather rare, though I do believe in the adage "when the student is ready, the teacher will appear."
Things to consider when selecting a Reiki teacher are whether you prefer someone with a traditional lineage or someone with a non-traditional lineage. There are pros and cons to each. At Reiki 1 level, there is not much difference other than the format of the attunement process. For purposes of further Reiki training, most non-traditional Reiki teachers will accept either traditional or non-traditional Reiki 1s, however most traditional teachers will only accept traditional Reiki 1s.
For a better understanding of the different "schools" of Reiki, you could check out Light and Adonea's site, as they have a section detailing the similarities, differences, and histories of many of them. It gets confusing, because what is considered 'traditional' in the U.S., is not considered 'traditional' in Japan. Personally, I chose a non-traditional path.
Some of the questions I would ask a Reiki Master before signing up for a class would be:
Lastly, I'd try to see if their teaching style matched my learning style. If I need lots of hands-on work, I'd look for that. (There should be a fair amount of it, anyway.) If I tend to be very visual, I'd ask what sort of visual aids will be used. If I tend to be very concept-oriented, I'd ask how s/he plans to discuss the more abstract elements of Reiki. That sort of thing. If I had a specific learning disability, I'd ask if there were ways to work with that in the class. (With ADD and Tourette's, I've recently learned, having a Reiki treatment before and/or during a class can sometimes be a big help.)
Some things I would avoid in a teacher are a sense of grandiosity (some do seem to get off a bit too much on the title of "Master"), anyone who just wants to attune you and send you off with a book, anyone who does not make themselves available for questions and processing after the class (ask them up front whether you can call them after the class is done with any questions or issues that come up -- if the answer is no, I'd say forget them), or for that matter anyone who doesn't make themselves available for questions before the class so that you can make a reasonable decision on whether you want to take the class with them.
If you still aren't sure, or just want to feel you know more about Reiki before taking a class, there are two books in particular that I would recommend. One is One Degree Beyond: A Reiki Journey Into Energy Medicine: Your 21-Day Step-By-Step Guide to Relax, Open and Celebrate by Janeanne Narrin. It is a book that discusses the author's own journey into Reiki, and offers questions and exercises to help you a)learn more about it b)decide whether you want to pursue it and c)select a teacher. She comes at it from a fairly traditional perspective. This book is relatively new, so it may be hard to find in the library unless you have a very extensive metropolitan library at your disposal.
The other is Essential Reiki by Diane Stein. This is the most non-traditional and controversial book on Reiki in print, and also the most complete. (Hence the controversy -- the symbols that are taught at levels 2 and Master are traditionally kept secret from all who have not received the attunements for those levels. Stein published them.) It also offers a Wiccan perspective on Reiki. While I disagree with the author's decision to go on and create a school of Reiki called "Wicca Reiki," I do still think this book is well worth the read. This one has been around a little longer, and so you should hopefully be able to find it in most library systems, at least through interlibrary loan.
Lastly, here are a few resources that may help you find a Reiki teacher in your area.
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