This item is from the Millennium Edition of the alt.healing.reiki FAQ, by Scott Maxfield (v2.001).
The views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the author or of the posters to the newsgroup alt.healing.reiki
No guarantee or warranty is expressed or implied in any form and no liability is accepted for any harm arising from use or misuse of this information. In medical matters always seek the advice of a qualified medical practitioner.
There are three (or more) levels of training in Reiki, each level requiring an attunement/set of attunements. A level is simply a degree of initiation, that delineates the techniques and symbols taught. As one progresses through the levels there can be a distinct and noticeable difference in the effects/sensations of both the practitioner and the patient. There is little substance to the claim that a level III practitioner will provide better treatments than a level I practitioner.
Reiki I is Reiki level one, the first level. Reiki II is Reiki level two. Reiki Master is the third level. (It might also be referred to as Reiki III.) In traditional schools this is the highest level. At this level one is taught how to and is permitted to pass on attunements.
In four-level systems, the R3 level is split into a Reiki Master level, and a Reiki Teacher or Reiki Master/Teacher level. One is attuned to the energy at level III but one is not permitted to pass attunements until being accredited as being of the fourth level.
It has been said this splitting of R3 into two levels of its own is done for no readily apparent reason other than to make money, though one person has informed me his Reiki Master has split the level to allow one to "integrate" Reiki before teaching it.
Other divergent systems may have seven or more levels.