Another very hot topic in the Reiki world is whether to charge when performing Reiki sessions on people other than family and friends and for Reiki classes and what how much to charge. There are again, two camps in the Reiki world on this subject, those who think Reiki should be given away for free because it is a spiritual healing modality and those who adhere to Dr. Usui's teachings that Reiki should never be given away freely as things that are given away are not appreciated and thus devalued.
I am of the second camp. There is an old story that Dr. Usui begin treating beggars early on in the slums of Tokyo. He supposedly worked there for several years, healing many and sending them off to find jobs and live normal lives. After 2-3 years, as the story goes, he begin to notice many people he had "healed" returning to the slums. He asked several of them why they had returned and their response was that it was easier to beg for a living then to have a job, a home, family and all the responsibilities that all that entailed, so they gave it all up and moved back into the slums to beg. This astounded him and his realized that because he had given Reiki away for nothing it's value was nothing. He vowed to never give Reiki away again.
Awhile back I had a talk with a friend of mine about raising my prices for sessions and classes. I spend a lot more than the average amount of time on my clients (way above the standard 1 hour that many others give their clients) and was feeling that I was not being appreciated for all the extra time and energy I put in on top of charging under the going rate and very few ever thought of offering to pay me more or tip me for all the extra time I spent with them. She related this life changing story to me:
There was a very high end jeweler in Santa Fe who decided to carry a line of Native American Silver and Turquoise jewelry which he marked at very low prices. It sat there for ages and didn't move at all. Then one day, someone came in to do a major cleaning of all the displays and accidentally replaced all the price tags with new ones, marking up all the silver/turquoise jewelry well over what it was originally marked. It began flying out of the shop. Moral of the story: if you put a low price on something people take the cue that you only value it for that amount, and something with a higher
price tag is seen as much more valuable and thus much more desirable. The jewelry and clothing industry knows this very well and has taken advantage of it for ions. After I raised my prices to reflect the going market rate, my business showed a very big increase and continues to do so.
So, if you charge below market rates or not at all you are in essence saying to the Universe, I do not value what it is I do nor my time and energy in doing it.
There are those also who do Reiki sessions and hold classes who do not need an income from this as they are financially in a position where all their needs are met and they see this as a way of giving service to mankind. There are VERY few in this position as you can imagine. Most of us have had to pay large sums of money to be trained to do what we do and many like myself continue to take new classes and learn new skills. You have to purchase a vast array of supplies to set up a business and either lease or rent a space to do it in or do it in your home where you have to pay a mortgage, utility bills and so on and so on. Someone has to pay the bills or we would not be in service for long. So charging for Reiki sessions and classes is not an immoral thing to do it is the right thing to do. You would not expect an acupuncturist or massage therapist to not charge you, so why would you think a Reiki practitioner or teacher should give it away?
There is also the issue of an energy exchange. We are not charging for what the Reiki energy does, we are charging for the time and energy that we put into what we do and our society is set up on a monetary system of exchange. This exchange does not always have to monetary, it can be something like making a meal, doing some kind of service for the practitioner like an exchange of services (massage, acupuncture, etc or house cleaning or gardening) or taking them out for a meal, whatever. But an energy exchange needs to be made. Some even say it sets up a karmic debt between the receiver of the energy ad the practitioner if this does not happen.
To sum up, everyone is going to and should do what they feel is right for them, but I have hopefully given you some food for thought.