Level 1 is a practitioner's initiation into Reiki and is open to anyone. The focus during Level 1 is on opening the energy channels on a physical level, allowing the practitioner to connect to the universal life force energy, which flows from the cosmos through the crown of the head and down to the heart and hands. Many Reiki Masters emphasize self-Reiki as the goal of the Level 1 designation, encouraging students to focus on practicing Reiki on themselves, thereby working through their own obstacles.
Level 2 is often defined by a focus on practicing Reiki on others, as well as an expanded opening of the energy channels. Additionally students receive the "Reiki symbols" and Level 2 attunement. The Reiki symbols allow the practitioner to connect more deeply to the universal energy, as well as draw on the qualities that the symbols represent. This includes the ability to provide distance Reiki, or sending healing energy to individuals wherever they may be.