Understanding the Power of Cho Ku Rei in Reiki Practice
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Understanding the Power of Cho Ku Rei in Reiki Practice

Sep 8, 2023
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SectionKey Takeaways
Introduction– Cho Ku Rei (CKR) is the primary symbol in Reiki, translating to “put the power here”.
– It embodies earth energy and activates Reiki’s full potential to heal.
– It is used to focus energy flow and initiate Reiki sessions.
Origins and Meaning– Developed by Mikao Usui in 1922 as part of the original Reiki healing system.
– The symbol consists of a spiral and a straight line, representing earth energy and the direction of energy flow.
– It is used to amplify and focus healing energy.
Role in Reiki Healing– Known as the Power Symbol in Reiki.
– Helps in amplifying and channeling universal life force energy.
– Can be used to cleanse and protect energetic space and charge objects with positive energy.
Benefits and Effects– Facilitates physical healing and promotes emotional balance.
– Supports spiritual growth and offers protection.
– Can be used for energy cleansing.
Advanced Uses– Can be combined with other Reiki symbols for enhanced effects.
– Useful in distance healing, energizing food and water, and cleansing spaces.
– Helps in manifesting goals and breaking unhealthy habits.
Practicing Meditations– Can be incorporated in various meditation practices including guided meditations, chanting, and body scanning.
– Useful in Reiki self-treatment and energy clearing.
Activating Cho Ku Rei– Involves learning to draw the symbol correctly and setting a clear intention.
– Invoking the symbol by saying its name three times helps in channeling energy.
– Can be used during Reiki sessions to guide the healing process.
Usage in American Reiki Practice– Fundamental part of traditional Usui Reiki practice in the US.
– Used in Reiki healing sessions, distance healing, and Reiki attunements.
– Useful in personal and space cleansing rituals.
Conclusion– Cho Ku Rei is a powerful and essential Reiki symbol with deep meaning and a wide range of applications.- It helps in activating, amplifying, and focusing Reiki energy.- Useful in grounding energy into the body or aura for balance and harmony.- A key to unlocking Reiki’s potential.

The practice of Reiki relies on the use of sacred symbols that act as focal points to direct healing energy during sessions. In the traditional Usui Reiki system, the first symbol taught to students is Cho Ku Rei, or CKR for short. Considered the primary symbol in Reiki, Cho Ku Rei carries great power and significance. Translating to “put the power here,” this symbol embodies earth energy and activates Reiki’s full potential to heal.

While simple in form, containing only three strokes, Cho Ku Rei packs immense meaning. Master Mikao Usui himself developed Cho Ku Rei as part of his original Reiki method, understanding its ability to focus energy flow. Today, Reiki practitioners start most sessions by drawing or invoking Cho Ku Rei at the beginning stage. It sets the tone for strong Reiki healing to follow.

In this blog post, I’ll provide a complete guide to Cho Ku Rei. You’ll learn its history, meaning, proper use, benefits, advanced applications, and FAQs that demystify this fundamental symbol. Whether you are new to Reiki or a longtime master, understanding Cho Ku Rei will empower your practice through the source of Reiki’s power. By the end, you’ll comprehend the vital role of Cho Ku Rei in directing healing and honing your intentions.

Origins and Meaning of Cho Ku Rei

The Cho Ku Rei symbol has its roots in the original Reiki healing system founded by Mikao Usui in 1922. Usui developed a total of five Reiki symbols, with Cho Ku Rei as the first and most essential one. 

The name “Cho Ku Rei” derives from the Japanese phrase “chōbu kurei” which translates to “put the power here” or “place it here”. As this translation indicates, Cho Ku Rei is meant to amplify and focus healing energy wherever it is used.

A close up image of a healing reiki symbol Cho Ku Rei written on a sacred stone.

The symbol consists of a spiral at the bottom with a straight line moving vertically through it. The spiral shape connects Cho Ku Rei to earth energy and the grounding quality. The vertical line shows direction and movement upward, guiding Reiki energy to where it needs flowing. 

Together, the spiral and line represent Cho Ku Rei’s main properties – activating Reiki, intensifying its power, and channeling it precisely. The spiral also symbolizes spiritual development unfolding.

While simple in design with just three strokes, Cho Ku Rei packs great meaning. Drawing or invoking it establishes a connection to Reiki energy right away, enabling a practitioner to direct the flow during a session.

Role of Cho Ku Rei in Reiki Healing

How Cho Ku Rei Works?

The Cho Ku Rei symbol, often known as the Power Symbol in Reiki, serves as an essential tool to amplify and channel the universal life force energy during a healing session. This powerful symbol is like a switch that can quickly turn on the flow of Reiki energy, almost akin to turning up the volume on a radio.

How Cho Ku Rei Works

Just as we need electricity to light up a bulb, we require life force energy for our bodies to function optimally. However, this energy can sometimes become stagnant or imbalanced, leading to physical discomfort, emotional distress, or even illness. The Cho Ku Rei symbol acts as a conduit that connects us to the abundant supply of universal energy, enabling healing at all levels – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.

The Role of Cho Ku Rei in Directing and Increasing Energy Flow

One of the significant roles of the Cho Ku Rei symbol is to increase the power of your healing abilities by directing the flow of energy. When drawn or visualized during a Reiki session, Cho Ku Rei acts as a beacon of light that guides the life force energy to where it’s needed the most.

As a Reiki practitioner, you might intuitively feel called to use Cho Ku Rei in certain parts of the body where energy is blocked or stagnant. By focusing the symbol on these areas, you can increase the concentration of healing energy and clear any blockages, thereby restoring balance and flow.

Additionally, Cho Ku Rei is not limited to physical healing. It can also be used to cleanse and protect your energetic space, thereby promoting emotional and spiritual wellness. It can even be employed to charge objects like crystals, food, or water with positive energy.

Benefits and Effects of Using Cho Ku Rei

Using the Cho Ku Rei symbol in your Reiki practice can lead to profound shifts in your healing journey. Here are some potential benefits and effects:

Physical Healing: Cho Ku Rei can facilitate healing of physical ailments by focusing Reiki energy on the affected areas. This might include alleviating pain, speeding recovery from injury or illness, and improving overall wellness.

Emotional Balance: By helping to clear energetic blockages, Cho Ku Rei can assist in releasing pent-up emotions and promoting emotional balance.

Spiritual Growth: Using Cho Ku Rei can strengthen your connection to the universal life force, supporting your spiritual growth and development.

Protection: Cho Ku Rei can be used to create a protective energy shield around you, warding off negative influences and creating a safe space for healing.

Energy Cleansing: The symbol can cleanse objects and spaces of negative energy, creating a more harmonious environment.

Advanced Uses for Cho Ku Rei

  • Combine with other Reiki symbols: Cho Ku Rei can be drawn or visualized together with other symbols like Sei He Ki, Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen, or Dai Ko Myo to enhance their effects.
  • Distance healing: Visualize and draw Cho Ku Rei when sending Reiki distantly to others. It creates a stronger energy connection over physical space.  
  • Energize food/water: Drawing Cho Ku Rei over meals, drinks, or supplements charges them with purified healing energy.
  • Cleanse spaces: Draw the symbol throughout a space to clear stagnant energy and invite positive vibes.
  • Manifest goals: Focus on Cho Ku Rei while visualizing desires to manifest them, taking advantage of its power.
  • Reiki charged objects: Cho Ku Rei can infuse Reiki into crystals, candles or any significant objects for amplification.
  • Break habits: Drawing Cho Ku Rei on body parts associated with addiction or unhealthy patterns helps shift behavior. 
  • Protective grid: Visualize Cho Ku Rei surrounding your home or aura, spinning clockwise, to create a shield.
  • Send healing: Draw over photos or names of people who need Reiki healing sent distantly.

The key is using Cho Ku Rei’s activation and intensification properties creatively. With some practice, it unlocks Reiki’s potential in many ways beyond hands-on healing.

Practicing Cho Ku Rei Meditations 

  • Guided meditations: Follow along with a recorded or live Reiki guide leading a Cho Ku Rei visualization. This could be imagining drawing the symbol or chanting its mantra.
  • Manifestation: Sit quietly and focus on the qualities of Cho Ku Rei you want to manifest – grounding, empowerment, flow. Draw or visualize the symbol. 
  • Chanting: Chant the Cho Ku Rei mantra “Cho Ku Rei, Cho Ku Rei, Cho Ku Rei” out loud or silently. Let the vibration resonate.
  • Body scanning: Slowly scan your body from head to toe, stopping to draw Cho Ku Rei anywhere you intuit it’s needed. 
  • Nature meditation: Sit with nature and use Cho Ku Rei to become more present and connected to the earth’s healing rhythms. 
  • Reiki self-treatment: Use Cho Ku Rei hand positions combined with mindful breathing and visualization of the symbol.
  • Energy clearing: Visualize Cho Ku Rei spiraling through your whole aura or energy field, clearing stagnation.
  • Candle meditation: Gaze at a candle flame while connecting with Cho Ku Rei’s essence.

Activating Cho Ku Rei

A. Drawing Cho Ku Rei 

The first step in activating the Cho Ku Rei symbol is learning to draw it. The symbol consists of a spiraling line moving into a straight vertical line, with three horizontal lines crossing it. The drawing should begin at the top and move downwards in a counterclockwise spiral, indicating the flow of energy from the cosmos to the earth. This action is followed by the three horizontal lines, which symbolize divine protection, love, and light. 

Drawing Cho Ku Rei 
Drawing Cho Ku Rei symbol with a paintbrush isolated on white background.

Visualizing or drawing Cho Ku Rei before a healing session can help Reiki practitioners tap into the universal life force and direct it where needed. Remember, the act of drawing the symbol itself is a meditation, so take your time and be present in the moment.

B. Intention Setting

Activation of Cho Ku Rei also involves setting a clear intention. As you draw the symbol, silently or aloud, state your intention for using it. This could be anything from sending healing energy to a particular part of the body, to clearing a room of negative energy, to protecting someone from harm. 

Remember, Reiki, like all forms of energy work, is guided by intention. Your thoughts and intentions are powerful guides for the Reiki energy, helping it to work more effectively towards the desired goal.

C. Invoking Cho Ku Rei

After drawing the symbol and setting an intention, the next step is to invoke Cho Ku Rei. This is done by saying its name three times. Invoking the symbol in this manner helps in channeling the energy and focusing the mind, thus amplifying the power of your Reiki healing session. 

As you invoke the symbol, visualize or sense the energy flow increasing, becoming brighter and stronger. You can imagine the energy as a bright light moving through you and towards the area where you wish to direct the healing.

D. Using Cho Ku Rei during Reiki Sessions

Once you have activated the Cho Ku Rei symbol, you can use it during your Reiki sessions. Position your hands over the area where healing is needed, visualizing or drawing the symbol in your mind’s eye. 

As you do this, trust in the energy of Reiki and the power of Cho Ku Rei to guide the healing process. The energy knows where to go and what to do – your role is to serve as a clear and open channel.

The process of activating and using Cho Ku Rei in your Reiki practice is a profound spiritual journey. It not only enhances your healing abilities but also deepens your connection with the universal life force, empowering you to help others and yourself on the path to holistic well-being.

Usage of Cho Ku Rei in American Reiki Practice

A. Incorporation into Traditional Usui Reiki

In the United States, Cho Ku Rei is a fundamental part of the traditional Usui Reiki practice. It’s often the first symbol students learn in their Reiki Level II training. The symbol is used to increase the power of the healing energy and to focus it on specific areas or issues. It can also be used to cleanse spaces, objects, and people of negative energy.

B. Reiki Healing Sessions

During a typical Reiki healing session, American Reiki practitioners use Cho Ku Rei to open and close the treatment. The symbol is used at the beginning to increase the power of the healing energy and direct it where it is most needed. At the end of a session, it’s used again to seal in the healing energy and offer protection to the receiver.

C. Distance Healing

Cho Ku Rei is also widely used in distance healing, a practice where Reiki energy is sent across space and time to recipients who are not physically present. In these instances, the symbol is used to focus the practitioner’s intention and to guide the Reiki energy to the recipient.

D. Reiki Attunements

During Reiki attunements, where a Reiki Master initiates a student into a higher level of Reiki, Cho Ku Rei is used to open the student’s energy channels, allowing them to access and channel more Reiki energy.

E. Personal and Space Cleansing

Many American Reiki practitioners also use Cho Ku Rei in their personal and space cleansing rituals. By drawing the symbol and invoking its name, practitioners can clear their homes, workplaces, or personal auras of negative energy, replacing it with positive, healing energy.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Do all Reiki lineages use Cho Ku Rei?

    Most traditional Usui Reiki schools teach Cho Ku Rei as the first symbol. However, some modern or adapted Reiki styles may not use Cho Ku Rei specifically.

  2. Is Cho Ku Rei only for Reiki practitioners?

    No, anyone can learn about and work with Cho Ku Rei for personal healing and meditation. However, some formal Reiki training is recommended to fully understand its applications. 

  3. Can you use Cho Ku Rei on yourself?

    Absolutely. Drawing or visualizing Cho Ku Rei during self-Reiki sessions focuses the energy flow. It is commonly placed over areas on the self that need healing.

  4. Does the Cho Ku Rei symbol expire or need recharging?

    No. Once a Reiki practitioner has been attuned to Cho Ku Rei by a teacher, they can use this symbol indefinitely. It does not lose power.

  5. What are other names for Cho Ku Rei?

    It is sometimes called CKR (its initials) or “Power Symbol”. The Japanese kanji translation is “九鬼”.


In the world of Reiki, no symbol carries more weight than Cho Ku Rei. As the first symbol taught in the traditional Usui Reiki lineage, it establishes a strong foundation for all energy work to follow. Though simple in its graceful spiral and vertical line, Cho Ku Rei brims with deep meaning and endless applications. 

When invoked at the start of a session, this Power Symbol activates, amplifies, and focuses the flow of healing Reiki energy precisely where it needs to go. Like a lightning rod, Cho Ku Rei attracts the force of Reiki and grounds it into the body or aura for balance and harmony. Its soothing earth essence and meditative qualities make Cho Ku Rei the perfect symbol for self-care rituals, spiritual development, or manifesting goals.

Master Reiki founder Mikao Usui understood the necessity of accessing universal life force energy through sacred symbols. Of these powerful keys, none unlock Reiki’s miraculous potential more than Cho Ku Rei. Honoring its origins and purpose will allow any practitioner to channel the limitless benefits of this ancient healing art.

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