Many of my students have asked me – why do some people get their Reiki I degree in 15 minutes, while others must commit to a several week period? Why do some Reiki Masters offer attunements for free or nominal fees, while others ask for over $300? Why the differences?
Instruction for Reiki I varies from a few minutes to several weeks. It depends on the Master. The shortest and cheapest Reiki I initiations are generally received at festivals and gatherings. They usually consist of the Reiki I attunement only; i.e., you receive little to no training along with the attunements. Longer classes include training about Reiki and how to use it, as well as practice. The longest classes add even more practice, and occasionally combine Reiki I and II.
More recently, some are offering Reiki training in half the time as most other Reiki classes, using "spiritual" language to justify these shortcuts. Unless your instructor is bending time, there is no way you can learn as much in a 3 hours of Reiki training as you can in 5, unless the training is done individually.
Many classes offered over a 2 day period combine Reiki I and II training in one weekend. Because each Reiki attunement initiates a healing process within you (please see Healing Voyage), I believe it is generally best to wait between attunements -- approximately 3 weeks between Reiki I and II, and about 6 months between Reiki II and III. However, each person is an individual, with different life experiences and knowledge of energy work, so I try not to make absolute rules for that reason.
In my Reiki trainings, I try to take the middle route. My Reiki I class is 5 hours long and priced mid-range. I try to offer a balance, because I want to both: a) keep Reiki accessible to as many people as possible (we need more, not less healing in this world); and b) offer enough training/instruction in the use of Reiki so that the attunement is useful to the person. My goal in Reiki I is to give students enough information and practice that they may then practice on their own (or in Reiki Practice & Shares) until they are ready for the next level. Longer classes require greater commitment than I feel is generally necessary to get most students started on their healing path.
Know what is right for you. If you just want a healing boost, get the cheaper attunement or a treatment. If you want to use Reiki to heal yourself and others, consider getting some training along with your attunement. I have had several students attend my classes after receiving cheap attunements with little or no training. Ask your Reiki Master what s/he includes with the attunements.
Each Master teaches differently -- you must choose the right Master (and amount of training) for you.
For more information on what I include in my classes, please see Reiki I, Reiki II, and Reiki III.