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- a look at some of the primary evolutions of Usui-sensei's Gift...
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[Version 1.07] Copyright © 2009 James Deacon
THE USUI REIKI RYOHO GAKKAI
[Copyright © 2002/3 James Deacon]
While some sources maintain that the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai (Usui Reiki Healing Method Learning Society) was founded by Usui-Sensei himself in 1922, it is generally accepted that the Gakkai was actually founded by Rear Admiral Juusaburo Gyuda (Ushida) and other students around 1926/7. It is also said that they posthumously honoured Usui-Sensei by naming him as the first kaicho (president / chairman) of the society, Ushida himself being classed as the second. Prior to the Japanese entering W.W.II, Hayashi-Sensei had committed suicide, and with Takata-Sensei returning home once more to Hawaii, all contact between Japanese Reiki practitioners and the West was, it seems, lost. [Well, almost all - fourteen years after Hayashi Sensei's death, Takata-sensei made a return visit to Japan and met with his wife Chie, who was also a Reiki Master] Certainly, in later years, it seems to have been the general consensus amongst Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki practitioners that the practice of Reiki had eventually died out in Japan, and that (up to 1976 when she began initiating masters) Takata-Sensei had been the only living Reiki Master on the planet. However, as journalist and "Radiance Technique" Reiki practitioner Mieko Mitsui was to discover on returning to Japan in 1985 to research the origins of Reiki, this was not the case. Not only was Reiki alive and well, but so, it seemed, was the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai. [Though it has been suggested that the current Gakkai (if in fact it exists at all) might actually be a recently 'restablished' society - in much the same way that, in the West, long-defunct esoteric orders have been re-established by those with no direct connection to the originals] The current president of the Gakkai is said to be a Mr. Masayoshi (or Masaki) Kondo. Between Ushida (who held the office from 1926 to his death in 1935) and Kondo (1999 to date) there have apparently been four other presidents: Kanichi Taketomi; Yoshiharu Watanabe; Hoichi Wanami; and Kimiko Koyama. At one time there were supposedly more than 80 branches of the Gakkai, though at present there are only 5, with a combined membership in the region of 500 people, only 12 of which are of Shinpiden level. According to Hiroshi Doi [who claims to be a member of the Gakkai] at the Gakkai's headquarters in Tokyo, weekly meetings referred to as shuyo kai are held, during which the students chant the gokai (the Reiki Precepts), practice the Hatsurei-ho and sing Gyosei - poetry penned by the Emperor Meiji. [These poems are in a style known as waka, ('Japanese Song') - short poems with lines containing fixed numbers of syllables. The familiar Zen haikyu are a form of waka]
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Reiki Ryoho No Shiori Members of the Gakkai are given a Reiki manual entitled: Reiki Ryoho No Shiori or: 'Guide to Reiki Ryoho'. This is a booklet compiled by two Gakkai presidents: Koyama & Wanami . Amongst other things, the Reiki Ryoho No Shiori covers the history & purpose of the Gakkai, and sets out its administrative system. It outlines the characteristics of Reiki Ryoho, deals with the how to strengthen Reiki, & includes a number of techniques such as: koketsu ho, byosen, nentatsu ho, etc. It also contains comments by mainstream Medical Practitioners, lists 11 of Usui-Sensei's shinpiden students; and instruction from Mikao Usui.
Reiki Ryoho Hikkei Another document, the Reiki Ryoho Hikkei (Reiki Treatment Companion) - a 68 page manual - is given to Level 1 (Shoden) Gakkai students The 'Hikkei comprises of an introductory explanation & Reiki Q & A section (supposedly in Usui Sensei's own words), a healing guide (Ryoho Shishin), & Gyosei. The 'Hikkei' was compiled in the 1970's by Kimiko Koyama. Current membership of the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai is, so we are told, intentionally limited, and is by invitation only...
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HAYASHI REIKI RYOHO KENKYU-KAI & HAYASHI SHIKI REIKI RYOHO (Hayashi Reiki Treatment Research Association & the 'Hayashi Style Reiki Treatment/Healing Method')
Copyright © 2005/6 James Deacon
Chujiro Hayashi, a Medical Doctor, graduated at the Japanese Naval Academy in 1902, and in 1918 was appointed Director of Ominato Port Defense Station, at the foot of Mt Osore, Northern Japan. Hayashi-Sensei has been described by Shou Matsui* as "a warm-hearted yet serious man". In May 1925, he apparently began studying at Usui-Sensei's dojo (training centre) in Nakano, outside of Tokyo, progressing rapidly and competently through the grades to Shinpiden level. A few months after Usui-Sensei's death in 1926, Hayashi-Sensei is believed to have been instrumental in having the dojo moved to Shinano Machi (where apparently his own clinic was). Shou Matsui (writing in 1928) mentioned that Hayashi-Sensei would give Reiki treatments to clients in the mornings, and also taught Reiki Ryoho for five days each month. (It seems that in the late 20's, Shoden level training was for an hour and a half a day over the five day period) In 1930, so we are told, Hayashi-Sensei had begun modify his approach to Reiki (presumably to bring it more in line with his own understanding of clinical methodology/practice) and it was some time around this period that he established the Hayashi Reiki Ryoho Kenkyukai (Hayashi Reiki Treatment Research Association). Hayashi-Sensei eventually left the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai in 1931. One of Hayashi-Sensei's students - Chiyoko Yamaguchi (-founder of Jikiden Reiki), referred to his system as Hayashi Shiki Reiki Ryoho (Hayashi Style Reiki Treatment/Healing Method) We know from Takata-sensei that her training with Hayashi-Sensei took the form of an internship at his clinic - her own apprenticeship for Reiki levels 1 and 2 lasted well over a year. However, she also tells us that initial tuition for the first level or grade consisted of four days of training - a separate initiation being given on each day. Day 1 dealt with treatment of the head and neck, and related medical conditions Day 2 - treatment of the front of the body Day 3 - treatment of the back, spine and nervous systems Day 4 dealt with treatment of accidents and acute illnesses; and also with the spiritual aspects of Reiki - including the Principles
________ *See: 'A 1928 Reiki Article by Shou Matsui ' - also available as a free .pdf file from www.aetw.org
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[Chiyoko Yamaguchi (founder of Jikiden Reiki) claimed that, in 1938, her training with Hayashi-sensei took a form not dissimilar to this initial 'seminar'-style teaching (though perhaps of a somewhat simplified nature) - as apparently it consisted of both Level 1 and 2, presented over a single five-day period.] Takata-sensei tells us that Haysahi-sensei's clinic was quite small, with 8 treatment couches; and that generally at least two practitioners/students would give treatment to each patient. (Not counting Haysahi-sensei and his wife Chie, there were apparently 17 other practitioners at the clinic when Takata-sensei began her apprenticeship there) Hayashi-Sensei is credited with the introduction of the formal set of treatment handpositions taught in 'western' Reiki. [Though, as Chiyoko Yamaguchi was apparently not taught formal positions when she studied with him in 1938, it seems likely that he either modified his teaching to suit particular types of student, or else had decided to revert to Usui-Sensei's more intuitive approach to hand-placement.] Hayash-Sensei's system focussed primarily on Reiki as a practical method of handson treatment, playing down some of the more spiritual elements of the Usui system. He used and taught the 4 symbols as a central component of his system, and though we cannot be absolutely certain about this - he is possibly also responsible for the creation of the denju attunement format taught in 'western' Reiki. We are told that in the early 30's Hayashi-Sensei taught Reiki in four levels named: Shoden, Chuden, Okuden and Shinpiden, though by the time he taught TakataSensei, the system had only three levels. He also created a 9-section 'treatment guidelines' booklet - known as the Hayashi Ryoho Shishin which was given to his students. [It is possible that he was also responsible for creating a similar guide known as the Usui Ryoho Shishin ] During 1935-6 Hawayo Takata studied at Hayashi-Sensei's clinic and it seems both Hawayo Takata and Hayashi-Sensei's wife: Chie, received the master level initiation some time near the end of 1936. After Hayashi-Sensei committed seppuku (suicide) at his Villa in Atami, near Mt. Fuji in 1940, his wife Chie took over the running of his Reiki clinic. (Even though HayashiSensei's daughter had accompanied him on a tour to promote Reiki in Hawaii, it seems she had no interest in becoming involved with the clinic. The same was true for Hayashi-Sensei's son) It was Hayashi-Sensei's modification and development of the Usui system [evolving it into a clinically-presented hands-on healing practice] that Takata-Sensei would later present to the West as 'Usui Shiki Ryoho' (Usui Style Treatment/Healing Method).
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USUI SHIKI RYOHO ('Usui Style Healing Method')
Copyright © 2002/3 James Deacon
'Usui Shiki Ryoho' refers to the system of Reiki that has come to us via the lineage: Mikao Usui, Chujiro Hayashi, Hawayo Takata. While on several occasions Takata-Sensei referred to Reiki as 'Usui Reiki Ryoho' she used the name 'Usui Shiki Ryoho' on her certificates. When asked what 'Reiki' meant, Takata -Sensei frequently gave a very simplistic answer, along the lines of "...Rei means 'Universal', and Ki means 'Energy'..." [Yet it has been said on more than one occasion that this particular explanation was something that only came to prominence, probably during the latter 60's, to fit a more generalised 'frame of reference' of the people drawn to her as potential students] However, in attempting to transmit a deeper understanding of the meaning of Reiki to her students, Takata-Sensei spoke of Reiki as: "...a universal force from the Great Divine Spirit" and "...a cosmic energy to heal the ill..." and yet more specifically, as: "God Power". " It is not associated with any visible material being.", she said of it, "It's an unseen spiritual power that radiates vibration and lifts one into harmony. This power is incomprehensible to man, yet every single living being is receiving its blessings. "Reiki helps attain health, happiness and security which leads to the road of longevity..." Usui Shiki Ryoho is taught in 3 Degrees or Levels. Being tailored to suit western students, Japanese terminology is not used to describe these Levels - infact, beyond the symbol names and the terms: 'Reiki', 'Usui Shiki Ryoho' and 'Usui Reiki Ryoho' there are no Japanese terms used at all. [Since Takata-sensei's death, numerous modifications have been made to Usui Shiki Ryoho. What follows is an example of the contents of each level as currently taught by many Reiki Masters] First Degree Reiki training covers the following topics: What is Reiki? How Reiki works What can Reiki heal? The 'history' of Reiki ( i.e., the 'parable' or 'teaching story' about Usui-Sensei, his quest, his experience of the phenomenon that is Reiki, and the response that his gift of healing elicited from those he sought to share it freely with) The Five Reiki Precepts The Reiki Degrees A discussion on the Reiki Attunements The 'Healing Crisis' Grounding
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Self-treatment Treating others Finishing a session Lineage. Four Attunements are given in the First Degree. Second Degree Reiki training covers the following topics: A review of the First Degree What is Second Degree Reiki? The three Second Degree symbols - how to draw them, their names, and significance Various ways of using the symbol. Distant healing - various methods Self-treatment using the symbols Treating others using the symbols. Lineage. One Attunement is given in the Second Degree. Third Degree Reiki (Master -level) training covers the following topics: Review of First & Second Degrees What is Master Level Reiki? The Usui Master symbol - how to draw it, its name and significance Discussion and demonstration of the Reiki Attunements. A breath empowerment technique Lineage. One Attunement is given in the Third Degree - after which students practice giving (and receiving) Attunements.
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'TAKATA REIKI' (or: What Takata-Sensei really taught)
Copyright © 2005 James Deacon
Of late there seems to be a (growing?) trend amongst some sections of the Reiki community (well, amongst sections of the online Reiki Community at least): it seems that amongst many who consider themselves practitioners of 'proper' Japanese Reiki, there is a need to express a somewhat less than 'Reiki-like' attitude ranging from simply dismissive to strongly derogatory - towards Takata-sensei and her teachings. Some of these people almost fixate on the 'errors' in Takata-sensei's 'Story of Reiki' how several details in her account are 'untrue' - i.e., at odds with currently 'accepted' versions of the tale [though these people completely overlook the fact that there is
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still no documentary substantiation for most of the purported 'facts' presented as the 'new', 'true', history of Reiki either!] However, the important point which has been completely missed by these and great many other Reiki practitioners is that Takata-sensei's 'Story of Reiki' was not meant to be a concrete, factual, 'history'. Rather it was first and foremost a 'teaching-story' part of the process of making an 'emotional connection' with new or prospective students; that it was intended as a parable to engage and teach the Heart. And, as is the case with all good Teaching Stories, what was important in the sharing of the 'Story of Reiki' was the inner meaning - the moral - the essential truths regarding human nature that it sought to convey. In almost every culture, it is a common feature of the Teaching Story that 'factual' details are freely modified - especially if it is felt that such modifications may help enhance the hearer's 'emotional connection' with the inner meaning of the tale... Another major point of fixation seems to be the numerous 'original' techniques which we now 'know' to be part of 'proper' Japanese Reiki - but which, for some reason, Takata-sensei neglected to teach. But the fact is that Takata-sensei did teach many of the socalled 'original Reiki techniques' - it was simply that she did not use Japanese terminology in speaking of them. (And we have to remember that there has been much confusion as to which techniques are meant to be Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai techniques, and which are from Hiroshi Doi's modern, Gendai-ho Reiki system. And of those that are said to be Gakkai techniques, which are 'original' Reiki ones. For example, Doi tells us that the 'Reiki Undo' practice, was introduced to the Gakkai by former president Koyama-san. [In fact it is actually derived from 'Katsugen Undo' - a practice from the healing art of Noguchi Setai]) Now, probably the main reason for the misunderstanding as to what was part of what I will call 'Takata Reiki' and what was not, stems from the fact that not long after Takata-sensei's death, some of the 22 masters she had created began making modifications (some subtle, some notso,) to the way in which they taught Reiki and also, to the content of what they taught. Many of their students in turn made further modifications in what they passed on to their students, and so on, to the extent that there are probably relatively few amongst the newer 'generations' of Reiki masters (be they practitioners of 'Western' or 'Japanese' Reiki) who are aware of precisely what Takata actually did teach. To some extent, Takata herself might be hardpressed to recognise her teachings amongst what passes for Usui Shiki Ryoho today! The following are examples of versions of some of the 'original' techniques taught by Takata-sensei: Byosen Reikan-ho: In one of her diaries Takata-sensei writes:"Going through the body in minute detail, the hands become sensitive and are able to determine the cause and to detect the slightest congestion within, whether physical or mental, acute or chronic." and also "During the treatment, trust in your hands, Listen to vibrations or reaction. If there is pain, it registers pain in your finger tips and palm. If the patient has itch, it reacts the same; if deep and chronic, it throbs a deep pain; or if acute, the pain is a shallow tingle. "
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Enkaku Chiryo: 'Distant Treatment' methods. Takata-sensei referred to it as 'Absent Healing' Ketsueki Kokan-ho: A further diary entry: "I finish the treatment with a nerve stroke which adjusts the circulation. .....I place my thumb and fore finger on the left side of the spinal column and the three fingers and palm flat on the right side of the spinal column. With a downward stroke, 10 to 15 strokes to the end of spinal cord." [She sometimes referred to this as the 'Reiki Finish'] Koki-ho: Level 2 students were taught how to heal with the breath. Kokyu ho: Master students were taught breath empowerment techniques. In a 1935 diary entry, Takata-sensei actually mentions this technique using a variant 'romanisation' of its Japanese name: kokiyu-ho Reiji-ho: "Sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes, concentrate on our thought and relax. Close your hands together and wait for the sign..........listen to your hands and allow them to guide you." In the above-mentioned 1935 diary entry, Takatasensei also mentions this technique using a variant 'romanisation' of its Japanese name: Leiji-ho. Reiki Mawashi: The 'Reiki Circle' Renzoku Reiki: Takata-sensei referred to this as the 'Reiki Marathon', [though perhaps 'Reiki Relay' might have been more fitting] Seiheki Chiryo-ho: Takata-sensei referred to it as a means of changing bad habits and concepts, and for removing addictions Shuchu Reiki (Shudan Reiki): the 'Group Treatment' And, as well as this matter of Takata-sensei's use of 'original' Reiki techniques, there are also other elements of 'Takata Reiki' that people are generally misinformed about. For example, much hype has surrounded the recent 'discovery' in Japan of Hayashisensei's 'treatment manual' - the Hayashi Ryoho Shishin - in which he lists specific hand placements to treat certain diseases. But Takata-sensei had been in possession of Hayashi's Ryoho Shishin since somewhere between 1938 & 1940 - the booklet was given to her by Hayashi himself. And we know she gave the booklet (written in Japanese,) to at least a few of her master-level students, though exactly how many received it is unknown*. Almost all those who did, it seems, treated it as a curiosity, 'shelved' it - possibly forgot about it. Why? Were they uninterested in Hayashi-sensei's knowledge? Was it some sort of ego thing? We cannot say. It is possible that Takata-sensei gave them the booklet - in part at least - as a test: Would they appreciate its significance? (It was a tangible link back to their teacher's teacher.)
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Would they have 'kansha'- be grateful for this special gift? Would anyone make the effort to get it translated? Then to actually use it; and in time, pass it on to their own students? Or did they want everything 'handed to them on a plate' - did they want Takatasensei to do it all for them? [the Hayashi Ryoho Shishin was also later included in Leiki: a memorial to Takatasensei', a compilation by Alice Takata-Furumoto (Takata-sensei's daughter) and made avaiable to all of Takata-sensei's '22'] Then there is the issue of Chakras - Takata-sensei did NOT teach the chakra system! Though a great many people believe she did. Rather, Takata-sensei taught the concept of the Japanese hara system and the lower (seika) tanden point (though not by that name): "In order to concentrate, one must purify one's thoughts in words, and to meditate to let true "energy" come out from within. It lies in the bottom of the stomach about 2 inches below the navel." However, unlike many who profess to teach original 'Japanese' practices, Takatasense did not teach the three-Tanden ('belly', 'heart' and 'head') system - which is actually a Chinese conceptualisation, not a Japanese one. It is also commonly claimed that Takata-sensei removed the spiritual element from the Reiki system, but on the contrary, she emphasised the Primary importance of the spiritual element - this was one of the core morals of her version of the 'Story of Reiki'. In 'Takata Reiki' the Five Principles were key - and of the five, Takata-sensei, it seems, placed greatest importance on kansha: gratitude: "The patient who is about to receive this treatment must purify one's thoughts, feel comfortable, and a desire to get well. One must not forget to feel grateful. Gratitude is a great cure for the mind..." And amidst the 'hype' surrounding the 'rediscovery of Japanese Reiki', it seems, many other misunderstandings about what Takata-sensei said, did and taught have also arisen: It was from Japanese sources we learnt about Hayashi-sensei's wife: Chie who was also a Reiki master - and how she took over the running of her husbands clinic after his ritual suicide, wasn't it? No actually - it was from Takata-sensei. She mentions this in one of her recorded talks. Well, we know that it was from Japanese sources that we learnt that the 'Master' level was properly called 'shinpiden'? No - it was from Takata-sensei. She first made menton of this in a 1935 diary entry. Ah - but at least we can say that it was only after western Reiki practitioners visited Japan that we discovered that not all Japanese Reiki Masters had died during WWII? No - Takata-sensei again. In one of her recorded talks, Takata Sensei states that about fourteen years after Hayashi Sensei's death, she made a return visit to Japan and met with Reiki master Chie Hayashi. Japanese sources assure us that Usui-sensei DID NOT discover the Reiki symbols in bubbles of light on the last day of his meditation on Mount Kurama - as Takata had
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claimed? In yet another of her recorded talks, Takata-sensei tells the 'Story of Reiki.' In it she states that on the last day of his meditative fast, Usui-sensei saw a vision of millions of multi-coloured bubbles; then he saw a great white light; and then he saw appearing before him: "what he had studied in the Sanscrit" in glowing, golden, Sanscrit letters. [i.e. Usui-sensei had a vision of a piece of text he had read in a Sanscrit sutra.] This is what Takata-sensei tells us - that he saw Sanscrit text - not the four Reiki symbols - be it in bubbles or otherwise...
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Copyright © 2005 James Deacon
"Reiki is a life-enhancing art. For those suffering from illness, it is a means of returning to health. For the healthy it is a means of refining mind, emotions and body; calming the soul, clarifying the thought-processes and powers of perception; assisting suppressed creativity to awaken and blossom; and of revealing glimpses of our essential nature. With Reiki we can free up trapped emotions. With Reiki we can dissolve and transform through the patterns of these freed emotions - transmuting them, giving them new patterns - new forms of expression..." - Kenji Hamamoto Originally based in Sapporo, Japan, Kenji Hamamoto lived for a time in Brazilia, Brazil, before moving to South Korea where he currently resides. Since 2002, he has been practicing and quietly teaching what he has just recently begun referring to as Hekikuu Reiki - his personal 'understanding and expression' of the therapeutic art, based on almost two decades of practice. Hamamoto-san's initial introduction to Reiki (the 'Barbara Ray' variety) was thanks to Mieko Mitsui (who also taught Reiki to Hiroshi Doi), however he actually went on to train to master level in Usui Shiki Ryoho via apprenticeship with the Reiki Alliance, rather than via Barbara Ray's organization. Later, he also trained in Reido Reiki, and has, over the years, studied with a number of other Japanese Reiki Teachers. He has also been particularly inspired by the Reiki-related insights of a healer named Karasu-san. Hekikuu Reiki (Hekikuu translates as 'Azure Sky') is strongly informed by elements of Japanese 'Folk Spirituality', including a pragmatic, empirical belief in kami; and an understanding of the role of ancestral and other noncorporeal spirits as possible influencing factors in the manifestation of illness and dis-ease.
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This latter conceptualization gives rise to the practice within Hekikuu Reiki of frequently offering treatment for the particular ancestral or other spirits recognized to be associated with the presenting condition, prior to actually treating the client directly. Hekikuu Reiki is not about attunement to a different 'Reiki Energy'. In fact: "Reiki is only 'energy' in the sense that all things are energy - your thoughts, a flower, the moon... Reiki is a power of the human spirit, a power of the human soul. It is the power, the ability to influence the flow of (life) energy to transform and heal." - Kenji Hamamoto Hekikuu Reiki does not pretend to be "Reiki exactly as Usui-sensei taught". At the same time, it does not teach chakras, crystal work, or any other new age 'add-ons'. Rather, it teaches 'healing' and personal/social transformation from a perspective of traditional Japanese spiritual practices. It is: "Reiki of the Spirit, Reiki of the Heart, Reiki of the Body." "First we must cultivate mindfulness. In order to manifest and emanate Reiki, we must focus the mind, purify the mind: we must rid ourselves of greed, of resentment, of vengefulness, of anger, of worry - of hesitation... Receiving and giving Reiki is bound up with our own spiritual purification - the experience of receiving and giving Reiki enhances our own spiritual purification , and working on our own spiritual purification enhances our Reiki ability." - Kenji Hamamoto While Hekikuu Reiki does not profess any particular Buddhist affiliations, practitioners make use of what may be described as a special, 'secular' version of Buddhist prayer beads or nenju* as a 'focussing device'. This (for want of a better term) 'Reiki nenju' a tasseled string of 55 small beads - is also worn over the hand while giving treatment, and as is the case with its 'religious' counterpart, is considered to also manifest a protective influence for its owner (no doubt as a result of its continual exposure to the phenomenon that is Reiki).
[ *The term nenju refers to 'beads used for mindful practice']
There are no extra symbols taught in Hekikuu Reiki - there are the 'standard' three symbols given at level 2, for use in a therapeutic context (Yet in Hekikuu Reiki, the HSZSN is not taught as a 'Distant' symbol but rather as one pertaining to the mental faculties); and the fourth 'standard' symbol is introduced at level 3, (however, while this is indeed the regular DKM symbol, in Hekikuu Reiki the symbol has a subtly 'nonregular' three-tiered significance). Recognizing the profound importance of physical contact between teacher and student, Hekikuu Reiki does not hold with the practice of 'Distant Attunement': "To effectively assist the student to awaken to Reiki, the teacher needs to be present, needs to be able to watch for the physiological signs that the process is actually unfolding; to receive tangible energetic feedback. It would be disrespectful to the student to merely raise the hands at a distance, take their money, and hope." - Kenji Hamamoto
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Hekikuu Reiki has a 4-level structure: Level one training, which focusses on hands-on therapy, is open to all. While none of the 4 Reiki Symbols are explored at this level; the student is introduced to the first three in a series of kanji which Hekikuu Reiki uses purely for meditation purposes. [These are not ever classed as 'Reiki Symbols', and not used in giving treatment]. The student is also introduced to a number of other concepts including the importance of being 'fully present'; the significance of bowing; and they begin working with the Reiki Principles, learning to integrate them into their daily life from the outset. Level 2 is open to those who are seen to have immersed themselves fully in the experience of Level 1 - having significantly developed the 'potentials' conferred via the Level 1 'attunement/initiation' and training. As well as being introduced to the three Level 2 Reiki symbols, the student also begins to learn about the possible influence (not necessarily malefic) of spirits in the manifestation of illness and disease, and ways of therapeutically interacting with such influence. At Level 2 the student is introduced to a further three meditational kanji, and to further spiritual concepts which assist the student in deepening their 'awakening to Reiki'. Level 3 training is only open to those who are seen to have immersed themselves fully in the experience of Level 2 and have significantly developed the 'potentials' conferred via the Level 2 'attunement/initiation' and training. Level 3 in Hekikuu Reiki is not presented as a 'Master' level. It is rather a 'spiritual' focussed level, wherein the student continues to work with and fully incorporate all that they have previously learnt and experienced. The 4th Reiki symbol and its particular significance within Hekikuu Reiki is introduced at this level; and the student is introduced to yet a further three meditational kanji. The journey that is level 3 takes the form of an apprenticeship - a Sensei-Deshi relationship. Level 4 - the Teaching Level of training - is presently only a theoretical level. Speaking in early 2004, Hamamoto-san said it will only be available by invitation and then only to very exceptional students, whom he will take as uchideshi (live-in students). He stated that he forsees that he will 'develop' only a very limited number of Instructors/Teachers: "Though Usui-sama chose to share his Reiki-centred healing method with the world, permitting all to study and receive the gift that is the Usui Reiki healing ability, it can be seen that he did not intend for all people to learn all that his method entailed. All were taught Shoden, but only those who proved worthy were allowed to progress to Okuden; fewer still were considered suitable to enter into the Mystery Teachings. Today, it seems everyone wants to be a 'master' without even having begun to explore the surface, let alone grasp a glimpse of the depths and potentials that Shoden entails. My vision for Hekikuu Reiki is to facilitate and nurture the development of skillful, experienced and effective therapeutic practitioners, not create a new business opportunity for Spirit World* seminar salesmen..." - Kenji Hamamoto
[ * 'Spirit World' is a Japanese term for 'New Age']
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Copyright © 2006/7 James Deacon
Reido Reiki is the system as created and taught by Fuminori Aoki, of the Nagoya Reiki Lab (formerly the "Human & Trust Institute" - founded in 1990). Reido claims to be true to the origins of Reiki, and is essentially a combination of Western-style Reiki and various Japanese techniques. It is strongly influenced by Barbara Ray's modified and augmented version of Reiki; and, somewhat reminiscent of Barbara Ray's system, Reido also consists of several additional levels beyond the three found in Usui Shiki Ryoho. [ Reido has the following levels: 1, 2, 3a, 3b, - then three 'master' levels: 4a, 4b, 4c,] In Reido there is an emphasis on regular Reiki practice, meditation, and a need to live life with sincerity. Level 1 is presented as a 1-day 6-hour course. This foundation level includes a discussion on the history of Reiki. The student receives two basic attunements, is taught a symbol unique to Reido Reiki, and receives two attunements to this symbol (called 'koriki'*). As with other styles, the focus of Reido Level 1 training is on practical elements of Reiki. Students are taught the basic techniques, including feeling the energy, and how to do self-treatment. Time is also allotted for actual treatment practice.
[* 'Koriki' ='force of happiness' or 'power of happiness'. The symbol is said to grant peace and serenity]
Level 2 is also presented as a 1-day 6-hour course Again, as with other styles, Reido Level 2 is about building on the abilities gained at Level 1. It includes the teaching of the 3 Usui-Reiki symbols and mantras. There are a total of 6 attunements at this level. Focus is on the treating of others (in a non-professional capacity), mental-emotional work, and distance treatment. Japanese Traditional Reiki techniques including Hatsurei-ho are also taught. Level 3a is presented as a 2-day course This level brings a further increase in connection with the Reiki ability and amongst other things, goes deeper into self-healing and purification (including soul-level healing/healing the past/clearing of karmic influences?), and the awakening of the creative influence of our true self. There are three attunements, and the Master symbol is introduced at this level, as are various additional healing techniques, meditation practice, and practices to help achieve specific goals.. Level 3b is presented as a 2-day course One attunement is given at this level. 3b rounds out and completes training in Reiki therapy. The student needs to show a comprehensive understanding of methods and techniques such as scanning,
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beaming, working in the aura, etc. There is emphasis on deepening ones self-reliance, and of integrating Reiki practice and understanding into daily life. Level 4a is presented as a 2-day course This level is the first level of training for those who wish to teach Reido Reiki. The initial attunement process is taught here Students are expected to undergo an internship before going on to run their own courses. Beyond this are levels 4b and 4c - training in which involves working closely with Reido Reiki's founder Fuminori Aoki
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REAL REIKI: THE RADIANCE TECHNIQUE
Copyright © 2002/3 James Deacon
The Radiance Technique ® (TRT® ), also known as: 'The Official Real Reiki' ®, 'Authentic Reiki' ®, 'The Official Reiki Program' ®, 'Radiant Touch' ®, & 'Real Reiki' ®, is the system of Reiki presented by Barbara Ray (/Webber) Ph.D. - one of the 22 Reiki Masters trained by Takata-sensei. TRT purportedly is - in contrast to other systems of Reiki - the "unpolluted" art/ science as developed by Usui-Sensei, in its entirety. From 1978 - 1980, Barbara Ray studied Reiki extensively with Hawayo Takata at Takata-Sensei's home in Iowa, during which time, she maintains, Takata-Sensei instructed her in: "... the entire, intact Seven Degrees of the Usui System of Natural Healing...", and passed, "... the complete Keys..." to the system to her. Barbara Ray is of the opinion that the only way to activate and transmit Reiki is through these: "...correct, intact and non-polluted Keys." Barbara Ray began using the expression "The Radiance Technique" in 1986. While TRT can not be said to be amongst the more 'popular' forms or styles of Reiki
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( - in terms, I hasten to add, of discussion in the more prolific online newsgroups and communities, and for that matter, in terms of coverage on Reiki-Information websites), it is none-the-less of major significance in terms of the re-establishment of communication between Western Reiki traditions and those surviving in Japan. TRT is the form of Reiki practiced by Mieko Mitsui, a New York- based journalist, who, in 1985, went back to Japan to see what she could discover about Reiki's origins. While there, she began teaching TRT (though at the time it was apparently known as: 'Real Reiki') - and also translated Barbara Ray's book: "The Reiki Factor" into Japanese; and in the process, could be said to have been single-handedly responsible for sparking the revival of interest in Reiki as a medium for Healing and Spiritual Development in Japan. It was Mieko Mitsui who first reported to the somewhat stunned 'Western' Reiki community that, contrary to the then accepted version of the 'History', the Art of Reiki had seemingly not died out in Japan at all. [Interestingly, Mieko Mitsui - who apparently also received training from a Japanese lineage Reiki Master: Goro Myazaki - stated that 'Japanese' Reiki had (as is the case with Barbara Ray's system) more than the standard three Levels or Degrees found in familiar Usui Shiki Ryoho style of Reiki.] One of the first people to learn TRT from Mieko Mitsui, was Hiroshi Doi - who went on to found the Gendai Reiki Ho system. However, due to the nature of the training structure utilised in TRT (see below), Mieko Mitsui was, at the time, only permitted to initiate practitioners to the Second Degree level (- apparently a contributing factor which led to Hiroshi Doi attempting to seek out a survival of the original Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai in an attempt to further his training). Mieko is also said to have taught TRT to Toshitaka Mochizuki - founder of the Vortex school of Reiki in Yokohama* The "Traditional Japanese Reiki" system (created in Canada in 1995 by Dave King) is based on Mochizuki's Vortex Reiki, which, as well as teachings from TRT, professes to also incorporate pre-existing Japanese practices.
[*However, I have a rare English translation of Mochizuki's 1995 book, iyashi no te, and in it there is no mention of this training - Mochizuki states his first encounter with Reiki was not until 1988 ]
TRT is a system of Reiki divided into seven Degree levels. First Degree TRT is said to activate and expand the student's 'Radiant Power' - for healing, abundance, creativity, personal growth and transformation. Training covers the following topics: History of Reiki The Reiki Precepts / Principles
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12 Hand Positions for giving Reiki treatment [- the first four cover: eyes, sinus tract, brain, pituitary & pineal glands, throat, thyroid gland; the next four cover: lungs, heart, liver, gall-bladder, stomach, spleen, pancreas, intestines, bladder, reproductive organs; the final four cover: heart, lungs, adrenals, kidneys, spinal cord, lower back, & intestines.] On-the-spot stress release Reiki first aid Centering technique. Four Attunements are given in the First Degree. Second Degree TRT is said to increase and deepen the student's 'Inner Plane' (psychic) capacities. Training covers the following topics: The three Second Degree symbols - how to draw them; and their significance* Methods to transform anger & negative behavior patterns, expand intuition and creativity Use of Positive Affirmations in conjunction with hand-positions for head-treatment (compare with 'original Reiki technique' called 'Nentatsu Ho') Distant healing Healing Self, Others, & Relationships - past, present and future Breath-empowering process. One Attunement is given in the Second Degree. *[Unlike many other, later, reworkings of Usui Shiki Ryoho, in TRT while the level two student is still
introduced to the three Reiki symbols, the Japanese mantra-names of the symbols are not given at this level - the symbols are referred to as: Cosmic Symbol (or Cosmic Pattern) One [power symbol], Cosmic Symbol (/Pattern) Four [mental/emotional symbol] and Cosmic Symbol (/Pattern) Twenty-two [distance symbol]. The actual mantra-names are only given at a higher Degree level. It is interesting, I feel, to note that later, when Hiroshi Doi (a TRT level two student) claimed to have made contact with a survival of the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai, he also claimed (for a time at least) that the Gakkai referred to the symbols, not by their mantra-names, but simply as Symbol 1, Symbol 2, etc...]
Third Degree TRT is said to bring increased Radiant Power, for Awakening to the Cosmic Symbols & for Expanded Service, Growth & Joy. At the Third Degree level the student is taught a fourth 'Cosmic Symbol' ( the Usui Master Symbol) - again the Japanese mantra-name of the Symbol is not given at this level - and the student "... explores the radiance" of the symbol, and new ways to advance their service to "...self, the planet and all other living beings." In TRT, the Third Degree is divided into three parts - 3, 3a & 3b. With the Third Degree comes a dynamic increase in the student's Radiant Power - for transformation and stress management on multi-dimensional levels. The Third Degree (3b) gives the student the capacity to use an Attunement to: "...cocreate Light energy" [i.e. initiate students]. A Third (3b) Degree practitioner can teach First and Second Degree classes and pass initiations to these two levels; however they can not teach/initiate students to the three-part Third Degree itself.
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A Fourth Degree practitioner can teach First, Second and Third Degree classes and pass initiations to these levels; but can not teach/initiate students to the Fourth Degree itself. A Fifth Degree practitioner can teach First, Second, Third, and Fourth... And so on, up to the Seventh Degree, which can teach every level.
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Copyright © 2003 James Deacon
Usui Teate, propagated by Chris Marsh and Andy Bowling, is said to constitute the Spiritual Teachings of Mikao Usui. According to Usui Teate, Usui Sensei spoke of these teachings as the "Method to achieve Personal Perfection". We are now (mid 2003) being told that these teachings are purely about spiritual practice [which can be undertaken regardless of the student's religious leanings] and do not actually equate with what we generally understand by the term 'Reiki'. Rather, to quote Andy, Usui Teate is "the Spiritual Path undertaken by Usui Sensei which resulted in the birth of Reiki." They tell us that the Usui Teate teachings are about 'Personal Mastery' and 'healing of the self' - as opposed to healing others - which is a little confusing as the term teate specifically refers to a hand/palm based treatment modality with a focus on healing others... Chris and Andy's source for these Spiritual Teachings is - so we are told - a Buddhist nun: Suzuki-san, who it is claimed, was a student of Usui Sensei's. [Though it must be stated that concerns regarding the authenticity of Suzuki-san's teachings have been raised in some quarters, some even going so far as to question the very existence of this Buddhist nun who is shielded from the public apparently in order to respect her privacy.] We are told that, although studying these Spiritual Teachings with Usui-Sensei, Suzuki-san was only introduced to the 'palm healing' (teate) as a secondary practice. The information and teachings that constitute Usui Teate seem to be in a ongoing state of flux - continually being modified and updated. According to Chris and Andy - this is necessary as they learn more about Usui Teate from Suzuki-san. The teachings of Usui Teate are held to be 'Special' but not 'Secret', and are only taught directly on an ongoing one-to-one basis - no manuals are provided, not even course guidelines.
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Apparently the teachings [Based on Buddhism and Shinto] are adapted and tailored to meet the needs of each individual student, with each student only being taught what they are considered ready to comprehend and appreciate at any given time. The initial Spiritual Practices of Usui Teate focus on 'cleansing', 'opening' and 'Mindfulness' as a precursor to self-healing. The receiving of Reiju may also be a feature of the initial stages. Usui Teate is not something which can be learnt in a couple of days, or even over the course of a year. Gradually, over time students are introduced to, and work with, an open-ended series of meditations aimed at the deepening/developong of their spirituality. According to Usui Teate, the ability to heal others is considered a relatively minor byproduct of the Self-development process. In Usui Teate, Reiju is not considered an empowerment for developing healing abilities (ie. for healing others), but rather for deepening ones own spiritual development and discovering ones own true essence. ______
NOTE: As of 2006, Andy Bowling has dismantled his website and has apparently decided to distance himself from Reiki. One can only speculate as to what discoveries led him to take this action ...
Chris Marsh has apparently now given up teaching the 'Usui Teate' materials. However, it is perhaps interesting to note that, back around early/mid September 2004, Dave King of 'Usui-do' (see below) had begun referencing 'Usui Teate' on his Usui-do website. By March 2005 a statement had appeared on Dave's site to the effect that only Laurie Anne King and Dave himself had been authorised to teach Usui Teate outside of Japan. However, some what confusingly the 'Usui Teate' as offered by Dave and Laurie is, according to Dave, not the same as the 'Usui Teate' taught by Chris Marsh(!)
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Copyright © 2003 James Deacon
Usui Do [Usui's Way], propagated by Dave King, is said to constitute: "an authentic reconstruction" of the "meditative, Spiritual system" of Mikao Usui. According to Dave King, Usui Do, is about "Unity of self through harmony and balance" and is a means of achieving "Empathic connection with the self and all of creation." Usui do does not focus on healing others. While, from this, one might initially be forgiven for believing that Usui Doi and Usui Teate are almost identical, Usui Do practitioners are at pains to point out that the system has no connection with any other interpretation of Usui-Sensei's teachings.
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It is not based on Mikkyo Buddhist teachings, has no ritual content, Qi Gung-type practices, etc; and it is not necessary to learn any Japanese terminology in order to practice the system. Usui Do is taught in the traditional Japanese 'Dojo' format - more familiar to practitioners of the Martial Arts - with students (referred to as doka) attending on a regular basis. The original system was divided into 13 levels, apparently based on the grading system divised by the founder of Judo: Jigoro Kano. While, in progressing through each of the 8 lower grades, the Usui Do student will at each stage undergo a rite-of-passage referred to as a 'transformation', this is not an 'empowerment', 'attunement' or 'initiation' process, merely a rite of acknowledgement of the level achieved. The Usui Do teachings were unknown to the western world until December 1971, when - according to Dave - as a result of a chance encounter in Southern Morocco, Dave and a number of other Taoist Qi Gung students (including Melissa ['Shen-lissa'] Riggall and George Mullen) who were holidaying there, received training in the Usui system from a Japanese gentleman named Yuji Onuki. Yuji Onuki, is said to have been born in 1898 and to have been - from 1926 until 1930 - a student of Toshihiro Eguchi [a friend, student and associate of Usui Sensei]. Onuki - apparently dressed only in a simple robe and sandals - and carrying a blanket and a small leather shoulder-bag containing a few hundred Yen - was, so we are told, travelling around the world in order to pass on the Usui system to anyone who was willing to learn it. However, prior to encountering the Qi Gung students in Morocco, Onuki had apparently only taught two other groups since leaving Japan. According to George Mullen, Onuki, accompanied by a Russian friend, had made his way by ship from Yokohama to Russia. There he had boarded the Trans-Siberian railway to Moscow, and from there on to Marseilles, then along the Mediterranean coast to Spain, eventually reaching Southern Morocco where he met Dave, Melissa, George and the others. George also states that, during the time they spent training with him, the septuagenarian Onuki slept nightly on the beach.... Dave King also tells us that later, in 1995, another chance encounter - this time in rural Japan with a gentleman called Tatsumi, - presented him with a further opportunity to expand his understanding of Usui-Do. To the information provided by Onuki and Tatsumi, additional information is said to have been provided by a number of Usui-Sensei's (still -surviving) students. One of these long-lived individuals is said to be a Buddhist nun (born in 1897) who had worked with Usui-Sensei from 1920 until 1926. This nun, referred to as 'Mariko-Obaasan', has apparently provided a valuable insight into the day-to-day activities of Usui's dojo, and is a primary source of much of the 'new' history of Reiki...
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GENDAI REIKI HO ('Modern/Contemporary Reiki Method')
Copyright © 2002/3 James Deacon
As its name suggests, Gendai Reiki Ho is a modern system of Reiki. Created by Hiroshi Doi, who tells us that he is a member of the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai, and studied with the former Gakkai chairperson, Mrs. Kimiko Koyama, Gendai Reiki blends western Reiki with what Doi claims to be the teachings and methods used by the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai - as well as concepts and practices from other therapeutic modalities. Doi, an avid 'collector' of therapy systems [having studied: Shinmeikan Healing, Seiki-ho, The Silva Mind Control Method, Genkyoku Kiko, Dokiho, Crystal Healing, Hypnotic Kiko, Osteopathy, Energy Balancing, Nishino Breathing, Astral Healing, SAS Shinkiko, Kihodo Healing, the Natural Vibration technique, Balance Therapy, Multi-dimensional Body Work and others] had originally learnt the first, modified and augmented, Western style of Reiki to be introduced to Japan, i.e. "Radiance Technique" - as taught by Reiki practitioner Mieko Mitsui. Hiroshi Doi's school, the Gendai Reiki Healing Association, teaches four levels of Reiki: Shoden (Beginners Level), Okuden (Inner Teaching) Shinpiden (Mystery Teaching) and Gokui Kaiden (Highest Level). Shoden Shoden level training includes: an introduction to Reiki; the History of Reiki; three attunements, Reiju; basic healing techniques for people, other animals & plants; aura-purifying technique; energy purification; energy pouring method; self-growth methods; 'Reiki Shower' technique; Chakra Kassei Kokyu-ho [chakra activation]: and 'traditional' Japanese techniques (including: Renzoku Reiki ['Reiki Marathon'], Kenyoku-ho [dry bathing], Gassho Kokyu-ho ['Gassho Breathing Method'], Hikari no Kokyu-ho [Breath of Light] and Nentatsu-ho ['thought-transmission' via the hands] ) Okuden Okuden level training includes: increasing the power and versatility of your Reiki; the first 3 symbols, their significance and use; Kotodama; three attunements; distant healing; healing the past & future; western Reiki techniques; grounding techniques; the 'reiki box'; self-purifying & self-growth techniques; a 'deprogramming' technique; Heso Chiryo-ho [energy balancing]; Saibo Kasseika [cell activating technique]; Gendai Reikishiki Hatsurei-ho [Gendai version of Usui Hatsurei-ho]; and traditional Japanese techniques (including:Tanden Chiryo-ho / Gedoku-ho [body detox.], Kokiho [ healing breath], Gyoshi-ho [healing look], and Seiheki Chiryo-ho ['thoughttransmission' via the hands] ) Shinpiden Shinpiden level training includes: the Master symbol, its significance and use; selfpurifying & self-growth techniques; affirmation techniques; three attunements; the 'Reiki Wave' and spiritual growth; the Spirit of Usui Reiki; Reiki meditation; using and transcending symbols; self-purification with light; making contact with your higher self / 'guides' / higher beings; recognising the Essence of Reiki Healing; Sekizui Joka Ibuki-ho [spinal cord cleansing], Hado Kokyu-ho [Vibration-raising breath]; and traditional Japanese techniques -(including: Uchite Chiryo-ho [patting / palpating], Nadete Chiryo-ho [stroking], Oshite Chiryo-ho [pressing with fingertips], Ketsueki Kokan-ho ['Finishing' or 'Smoothing' technique], Hanshin Koketsu-ho ['Half-body Blood-purifiying Method'], Zenshin Koketsu-ho [Full-body Treatment Method]
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Gokui Kaiden Gokui Kaiden means 'highest level', i.e. Master Level. Gendai Reiki Ho uses the term Shihan for its Masters. Gokui Kaiden level training includes: Reiki Master Principles: the role of the master; training policy; understanding what healing is; understanding attunement and symbols; the Spirit of Reiki-ho; teachings of Usui-Sensei; how to give attunements & Reiju*: method, mental attitude and preparation; the characteristics of each level and particulars to teach; and traditional Japanese techniques (including: Byosen Reikanho [sensing energy fluctuations], Tanden Chiryo-ho [body detox.] Ketsueki Kokan-ho ['Finishing' or 'Smoothing' technique], and Reiji ['intuitive' guidance in hand placement] ) * It must be pointed out that this particular version of reiju is Doi's own creation - his attempt to replicate the experience of receiving the reiju empowerment as used by the Gakkai (something that Doi, not being a Gakai master, has not learnt how to perform) [Addendum, July 2008] On the issue of Hiroshi Doi's training... Doi trained to level 2 in the modern, western 'Radiance Technique' style of Reiki with Mieko Mitsui [a student of Barbara Ray] some time around 1991?. Later, he did all three levels of another modern, western, Reiki style: Osho Neo Reiki [a Takata-lineage style: modified by Himani a follower of 'Osho' (Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh) ] Doi also claimed that from 93(?) - 99 he received Shoden and some Okuden level training from Kimiko Koyama (who was, according to Doi, Gakkai President at the time) Later, when, he had begun teaching Gendai, and 'sharing' Gakkai techniques and practices, Doi was asked for clarification about the level of Usui Reiki Ryoho training he had received. [Presumably someone had wondered: if he had not even completed level 2 in a very formal disciplined organisation as he himself claimed the Gakkai was, how was it that he supposedly knew so much about higher levels of Gakkai teaching?] It was then that Doi apparently 'remembered' having received complete training in a simplified form of Usui Reiki Ryoho back in the early 1980's from a Mr Hiroshi Ohta [lineage supposedly: Usui, Taketomi, Sasaki, Ohta]... However, according to Doi, this system was not actually called Usui Reiki Ryoho. It was simply called Te-ate* - a general term for all kinds of hands-on healing in Japan. (*not to be confused with Usui Te-ate as taught by others). In 2000 Doi received training from Jikiden Reiki's Chiyoko Yamaguchi; and so he tells us, also began training with Gakkai President Kondo - apparently completing his Okuden level….
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JIKIDEN REIKI ('Directly Taught' or 'Original Teaching' Reiki)
Copyright © 2003 James Deacon [Modified: Mar 2009]
Jikiden is the Reiki method as taught by the late Chiyoko Yamaguchi who died Aug. 19th 2003, and her son Tadao Yamaguchi, who is Director of the Jikiden Reiki Kenkyu Kai (Jikiden Reiki Association). Born in 1921, Mrs. Yamaguchi, a student of Chujiro Hayashi, had received her first attunement in 1938, in Daishoji, Northern Japan. [Mrs Yamaguchi's elder sister Katsue, and her uncle, Mr Wasaburo Sugano, had also been attuned to Reiki by Hayashi Sensei - Wasaburo in 1928 & Katsue in 1935 - but Mr Sugano had insisted that Chiyoko finished high school before receiving her first attunement] Jikiden Reiki is presented as comprising the exact system that Chiyoko Yamaguchi was taught by Hayashi-Sensei, along with additional information apparently gleaned by Tadao Yamaguchi in interviews with some of Hayashi-Sensei's other surviving students? Mrs. Yamaguchi referred to Hayashi-Sensei's system as "Hayashi Shiki Reiki Ryoho" (Hayashi Style Reiki Healing Method), though the certificate she received is said to have had the name Hayashi Reiki Ryoho Kenkyu-kai (Research Center) on it. While some Japanese Reiki lineages focus primarily on spiritual development, in Jikiden-Reiki the focus is strongly on healing, however, unlike western-style Reiki, apparently Jikiden does not teach formal hand positions [Mrs. Yamaguchi maintained that she was not taught any formal hand positions] She said she used have a number of notes (apparently copied from Hayashi-Sensei's - it was customary for students to copy their Teachers notes), which (along with her certificates?) were later lost in a fire in Manchuria. The symbols (shirushi), as used in Jikiden, are somewhat different to the symbols as taught by Takata-sensei. They also have different names - which are not used as mantras (jumon). The way in which the symbols are used and understood is somewhat different to that of Usui Shiki Ryoho. For example, what we refer to as the 'distance symbol', Jikiden classes not as a symbol, but as a jumon [Somewhat surprisingly, Chiyoko Yamaguchi had never received the fourth symbol leading many to question whether she had actually completed the teacher level training at all.] Jikiden has been taught in slightly different ways in recent years; for example, the first two levels - Shoden and Okuden - have, it seems, been taught together over a single 5-day workshop (the first three days - three hours per day - being devoted to the Shoden level and the last two, the Okuden level). A 3-day version of the combined Shoden/Okuden workshop involved three hours training on the first day, and six hours on each of the two other days. Shoden was apparently also taught alone as a three and a half day workshop (and in England it has been taught as a 2-day workshop) At Shoden, Jikiden students learn the first Reiki symbol, and amongst other things are taught about byosen and scanning.
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Okuden has also been taught alone as a 1-day course. Okuden teaches psychological and distant healing and the student learns the Jikiden version of the second symbol, and the socalled 'distance jumon' at this level. The third level, referred to as 'Teacher' level or Shihan (Jikiden doesn't use the term 'Shinpiden' for the third level ) is apparently offered to students assessed to be of a suitable level of development. The Teacher level itself is actually split into two parts - Shihan-Kaku (Assistant Teacher) and Shihan proper. Those who have completed the Shihan-Kaku training are permitted to teach and initiate students to Shoden level. Shihan training is generally only offered to suitable candidates some 6 -12 months after completion of the Shihan-Kaku grade. Those who have completed the full Shihan training are permitted to teach and initiate students to Okuden level. [Mrs Yamaguchi is said to have achieved the Shihan-Kaku in Spring 1939 and full Shihan status in the Autumn of the same year - however, while it had previously been understood that she had completed her training with Hayashi-Sensei, it is now known that she only received Shoden and Okuden level training from Hayashi-sensei, the rest of her training apparently being provided by her uncle, Wasaburo Sugano, who had also been trained by Hayashi-sensei. ] Beyond the grade of Shihan, there is a further grade: Dai-Shihan which is bestowed at the discretion of Tadao Yamaguchi. Those who achieve Dai-Shihan status may teach and initiate the Shihan-Kaku level; and when they have developed sufficient experience, may be permitted to teach and initiate the full Shihan level. However, as Jikiden Reiki is supposedly Reiki as passed on to Chiyoko Yamaguchi by Hayashi-sensei - who did not teach a 'Dai-Shihan' grade to Mrs Yamaguchi (or anyone else, for that matter) - one wonders just what prompted Tadao to create and incorporate this new grade into Jikiden's teachings... [This type of teaching structure, with its various degrees or grades of teacher - and its restrictions as to what level each grade of teacher can initiate others to - is also used by certain other styles of Reiki in Japan, such as Reido Reiki. However it is actually based on the structure to be found within Radiance Technique Reiki - the first, modified and augmented, Western style of Reiki to be introduced to Japan in the 1980's] Jikiden Reiki, it is claimed: "is the first attempt to re-introduce 'original' Reiki to Japan and the rest of the world"...
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Copyright © 2003-5 James Deacon [Updated Jan 2007]
The Reiki Principles, according to Hyakuten Inamoto Today only Do not anger Do not worry With gratitude work diligently Be kind to others
Hyakuten Inamoto, an 'independent' Buddhist priest, studied Reiki with the late Chiyoko Yamaguchi - a student of Chujiro Hayashi and founder of Jikiden Reiki. At the time, Jikiden Reiki was an oral teaching, so Inamoto-san created a manual/workbook for his own students, and modified elements of Jikiden Reiki to reflect his own personal understanding of (and approach to) Reiki. He also incorporated various Buddhist concepts, terms and practices, as well as some elements probably drawn from Hiroshi Doi's Gendai Reiki teachings. Inamoto-san named his system Komyo Reiki. Komyo Reiki places emphasis on personal spiritual transformation or Satori - through Reiki practice. (Inamoto-san teaches that Usui-sensei intended his system to be a path to enlightenment) Komyo is taught in four levels: (1) Shoden, (2) Chuden, (3) Okuden & (4) Shinpiden (Teacher level). An all-enclusive weekend workshop is also available (existing Reiki masters only). The focus of the first two levels is on the therapeutic aspect of Reiki, while the third and fourth levels have a more spiritual focus. Each level is not considered an 'advancement' on the previous, but rather each level simply has a specific element of the overall teaching to convey. Level 1 is concerned with self-healing. Training covers the basic history and knowledge of Reiki and basic hands-on healing techniques for self and others, and includes 4 reiju attunements. It has been taught over a four-week period, or as two, 3-hour classes Level 2 is concerned with self-healing and also with healing others. Training covers the first three shirushi (symbols) and their jumon (mantras) and how to use them; also includes 4 reiju attunements. Training is a single 4-hour class Level 3 introduces the student to the more spiritual aspects of Komyo, e.g. putting the Reiki principles into action in your daily living; and covers the fourth shirushi (symbol) and jumon (mantra) and how to use it. 2 reiju attunements are given at this level. Training is a 4 - 5 hour class (or occasionally, this might be presented over two classes) Level 4 covers attunements/reiju and how to pass them to others, as well as teaching the three mudra practices:
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jo sango, renge bu sanmaya, and butsu bu sanmaya* - which are used in the Komyo Reiki attunement/reiju process. Komyo Reiki teaches three different types of reiju, each for use in different situations** There are slight differences in the forms of the first three symbols, as used in Komyo Reiki, compared to those commonly taught in western-style Reiki. There are further differences concerning the symbol-names and jumon. For example, the second syllable of HSZSN is pronounced ja, rather than sha] . Hatsurei ho is an central element of Komyo Reiki - as is the Buddhist contemplative breathing practice: anapanasati, and there is a definite emphasis on the philosophical aspects of Reiki. Inamoto-san also emphasises the importance of daily gassho meditation on the Reiki Principles, and holds that this, along with daily use of Reiki therapeutic practice itself, will raise energy levels and deepen the practitioner's connection to Reiki, bringing greater peace, balance and centeredness to their lives Great significance is also placed on 'being in the moment' and trusting in Reiki, no matter what particular technique or self-developmental texercise we are practicing The Komyo Reiki Kai (Association) has the motto: "Go placidly in the midst of praise or blame" _________
* These three also comprise part of the esoteric Buddhist goshimbo ('five-fold protection method') ** a 'full' version, a 'condensed' or 'compressed' version, and an 'open' or 'temporary' version. This
latter reiju (which is very simple and does not use symbols) may be given to non-Reiki practitioners. It does not permanently awaken the Reiki ability. Amongst other things it imparts therapeutic benefit to the individual, however the effects of this particular reiju will, in time, wear off. It is not clear as to the exact sources of some elements Inamoto-san has incorporated into Komyo which do not come from Yamaguchi-san's, Jikiden Reiki. Inamoto-san has no doubt been influenced by some of Hiroshi Doi ideas; and the 'open reiju', for example, seems to be based on William Rand's temporary 'healing attunement'. Also, Komyo's 4-level format is very reminiscent of the 4-level - 1, 2, (3)ART, (3a)Master - format of teaching used by many 'independent' western Reiki Teachers.
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'Japanese' Reiki - 'Original' Usui Reiki?
Copyright © 2005 James Deacon
We hear a lot now about 'original Japanese Reiki' or 'traditional Japanese Reiki', but of the different styles of 'Japanese Reiki' now being taught - which, if any, actually stem directly from 'original' Usui Reiki, rather than from the later, more formallystructured, 'Hayashi-style Reiki' - as brought to the West by Takata-Sensei? Well, Jikiden Reiki is a Hayashi-lineage Reiki Hyakuten Inamoto's Komyo Reiki is derived from Jikiden... Hiroshi Doi first learnt Hayashi (Takata)-lineage Reiki (from a student of Barbara Ray), and his Gendai Reiki Ho is said to be a combination of this and 'Gakkai' Reiki And as for the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai themselves (and, lets face it, many people doubt that the Gakkai still exists at all) - aside from Reiju, the use of a few modified qi-gung techniques, the chanting of Poems written by the Meiji Emperor, and no longer using the symbols - is there really that much difference between what Doi-san tells us their version of Reiki entails and Hayashi-lineage Reiki - as actually taught by Takata-sensei (as opposed to what many seem to think she taught)? And (now, please forgive me - but I have my skeptics hat on today), as to the two other main streams of 'Japanese Reiki' (even though they are at pains to point out that Usui-sensei's system was not in fact called 'Reiki'): Usui-Do: is said to constitute: "an authentic RECONSTRUCTION" of the "meditative, Spiritual system" of Mikao Usui - rather than being a therapeutic modality. It claims to be based on teachings received by Dave King and others, from someone who can only be described as a septuagenarian Japanese 'hippie', on a beach in Morocco in 1971 - combined with further teachings from a student of Hayashisensei whom Dave 'happened' to meet on a journey in rural Japan; and yet more info from a very ancient Buddhist nun (born in 1897) who had conveniently worked with Usui-Sensei from 1920 until his death... Usui Teate: promoted by Chris Marsh and Andy Bowling is described by Andy as being "the Spiritual Path undertaken by Usui Sensei which resulted in the birth of Reiki." They tell us that the Usui Teate teachings are about 'Personal Mastery' and 'healing of the self' - as opposed to healing others - which is a little confusing as the term 'teate' specifically refers to a hand/palm based treatment modality with a focus on healing others... Chris and Andy's source for these Spiritual Teachings is - so we are told - yet another ancient Buddhist nun - who, it is claimed, was also a student of Usui Sensei's...
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[To date I have not been able to track down one single person who has ever actually met Dave's - or Chris and Andy's Buddhist Nuns. (I nearly said 'Imaginary Friends') ] So, beyond all the hype that would have us believe that because something is 'Japanese' Reiki, it must be 'original' Reiki, there does not really seem to be any verifiable evidence that any of the 'Japanese' Reikis stem directly from 'original' Usui Reiki. And for that matter - just what was 'original' Usui Reiki? Do we really know? Can we cite any actual manuscripts, books or other documents, etc - actually written by Usui Sensei himself - detailing his teachings and practices [hands-on healing or otherwise]? There are none that I'm aware of. However, there have been several claims that such documents exist, hidden away from the unworthy... For example: Chris Marsh (Usui Teate), I believe, says he was shown some of Usuisensei's diaries and other documents - but that (conveniently, some might say) he wasn't allowed to xerox them, photo them, etc, etc. Then of course, there was Richard 'Lama Yeshe' Blackwell [of Medicine Dharma Reiki/Universal Healing Reiki/Men Chhos Rei-ki infamy], who claimed to actually personally be in possession of Usui-sensei's papers himself... But unlike other hand-healers of the time, such as Toshihiro Eguchi and Kaiji Tomita (both said to have been students or at least friends of Usui-sensei) - who published books on their practices, there is no sign of anything in open print by Usui-sensei The Usui Ryoho Shishin (The Usui Treatment Guidlines) was at first said to be Usuisensei's own work, but is now apparently said to have actually been penned by Hayashi-sensei on Usui-sensei's behalf [and afterall, it is little more than a wordlist anyway] And, of the information about Usui-sensei and his practices, recorded by others, how much of this can be said to be genuine? The only things I'm aware of that may be "genuine and accurate" are: * The 'Interview with Sensei' section (claimed to be Usui-sensei's own words) from the Usui Reiki Hikkei (a booklet apparently put together in the 1970's as a modernday handout for Gakkai members) * A section of the other, modern, Gakkai handout - the Reiki Ryoho No Shiori which claims to present instruction from Usui-sensei himself (Though I have not personally seen either a translation or original copy of this latter document yet) * The Usui Memorial which stands next to sensei's grave in Tokyo - but is this a subjective view of things from the Gakkai perspective? [and 'in best 'conspiracy theory' mode - is it really, as I recently heard suggested - a fake, erected in the mid 1980's !! ] Unfortunately, when it comes to the 'facts' about just what constitutes 'original' Usui Reiki, about what Usui-sensei really did or said or believed - well, too much of it seems to be 'all smoke and mirrors'.
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More On Gendai, Jikiden, and Komyo: Just how 'traditional' are these 'Japanese Reiki' styles?
Copyright © 2008 James Deacon
Gendai Reiki Ho: a brief glimpse behind the hype... Gendai Reiki Ho, the system taught by Hiroshi Doi, is a modern invention (its name literally means Modern Reiki Method). It is quite obviously based on western Radiance Technique Reiki (which Doi learnt from Mieko Mitsui - a student of Radiance Technique founder Barbara Ray), though with numerous additional techniques and practices (several, claimed by Doi to be 'original' Reiki techniques, several others probably borrowed/adapted from other healing and related arts, and even some* created by Doi himself). Doi has stated that at the time he learnt 'western-style' Reiki, he was seeking to develop his own healing technique by uniting various systems he had already learned. Amongst the systems he mentions are: Nishino Breathing, Shinmeikan Healing, SAS Shinkko, Genkyoku Kiko, Crystal Healing, Kihodo Healing, Hypnotic Kiko, Osteopathy, Energy Balancing, Astral Healing, Silva Mind Control Method, the Natural Vibration technique, Seikiho, Dokiho, Balance Therapy, & Multi-dimensional Body Work.... So, just how heavily has Gendai Reiki Ho been influenced by these various, nonReiki, modalities? As mentioned, in promoting his newly created Gendai Reiki Ho, Doi, shared some techniques which he claimed were original Usui Reiki Ryoho techniques - as practiced by the fabled Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai ... Now, several people have commented how it is perhaps primarily due to the hype generated around these so-called 'original Reiki techniques' that Gendai Reiki Ho caught the attention/imagination of the Reiki community in the first place - that without this hype, Gendai Reiki Ho may have in fact gone the same way as any number of other, modern-day, 'chakra-ridden' New Age Reiki styles.... In fact, probably due to this hype around the 'original Reiki techniques', many people now seem to think of Gendai Reiki Ho as actually being 'traditional' Usui Reiki Ryoho; however, it must be stated that Doi himself has pointed out that what he teaches is not Usui Reiki Ryoho - that he has never taught Usui Reiki Ryoho (Which, of course, not being a Gakkai Shinpiden, he would not be trained/entitled to do) In an extract from the English translation of a 2006 announcement, Doi states: "I have taught nothing but Gendai Reikiho until now, and I will never teach anything else in the future as well.... ...Gendai Reikiho does include traditional techniques. However, if a Master simply picks out these techniques and says that I teach both Gendai Reikiho and Usui Reiki Ryoho, this is wrong. I never taught anything but Gendai Reikiho Seminars, and this will remain the same in the future...."
[* Most notably, the reiju process! Doi has pointed out (though not loudly enough, it seems...) that the particular version of reiju used and taught in Gendai Reiki Ho is his own creation - his attempt to replicate the experience of receiving the reiju empowerment as used by the Gakkai - something that Doi, not being a Gakkai master, has not learnt how to perform]
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Jikiden: Some things that do not seem to 'sit' quite right...
It was only a few years before her passing that Chiyoko Yamaguchi began teaching Reiki under the name 'Jikiden'. Jikiden claims to be Reiki as Hayashi-sensei taught it. Yet Mrs Yamaguchi apparently had no knowledge of the DKM being used as a Reiki symbol, and was not aware of the term 'shinpiden' being used for the third level either... In defence of this, it has been suggested that perhaps Hayashi-sensei didn't use the term shinpiden. However, we know from Takata-sensei's diary that he did. It has also been suggested by some that the DKM was not yet used as a Reiki symbol at the time of Mrs Yamaguchi's training - that this was something introduced by Hayashi-sensei himself at a later date! However, the use of DKM as an initiating symbol was indeed part of the system when both Takata-sensei and Chie Hayashi (Chujiro Hayashi's wife) were initiated as Reiki Masters. Having been initiated to Master Level some time around 1936, Takata-sensei had completed her Master level training (- she received her certification as a Reiki Master in February 1938 - ) more than a year and a half before Mrs Yamaguchi claims to have completed her training (training received, not from Hayashi-sensei, but from her own uncle, Wasaburo Sugano, who had apparently been one of Hayashi-sensei's students) So if Mrs Yamaguchi had not heard the term shinpiden, and was not taught the DKM, had her uncle taken it upon himself to alter Hayashi-sensei's teachings? Or perhaps, had Mrs Yamaguchi not actually been given level three initiation and training at all? (Could it be that, unlike Hayashi-sensei, Wasaburo Sugano didn't hold with the idea of women learning the complete system?) It is interesting that the other three symbols, as taught in Jikiden, are slightly different from the ones Takata-sensei had learnt earlier as part of her level 2 internship with Hayashi-sensei (in 1936). [The Jikiden version of the 'power' symbol is actually very similar to one of the modern 'alternative CKR's' created by western Reiki practitioners in the early/mid 1990's...] And not only does Jikiden seem to break with tradition by teaching the first symbol at level 1 (similarly to the the way in which the modern Japanese 'Reido Reiki' style teaches a new, 'non-traditional' symbol at level 1), Jikiden symbols also have different names to those learnt by Takata-sensei, and what, in Usui Shiki Ryoho, we refer to as the 'distance symbol', Jikiden classes not as a symbol, but as a jumon. Even though it is claimed by some that both Usui-sensei and Hayashi-sensei provided training manuals for their students, when she started teaching Reiki (informally) in the mid-to late 90's, Mrs Yamaguchi did not. [Shades of Usui Shiki Ryoho...]
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She didn't provide manuals when Hyakuten Inamoto (founder of Komyo Reiki) trained with her (1996-7). It seems she only began to provide them when she later began to teach on a formal basis. (A response, it seems, to the inability of some western students to memorise the symbols as used in Jikiden, and also, to their confusion about the lack of training materials.) Also, it seems, when she began teaching in the 90's, Mrs Yamaguchi did not provide certificates for her students, and there was no specific format to the training – in particular, no clear division between the levels as now taught under the 'brand name' Jikiden. Apparently, when Hyakuten Inamoto began training with Mrs Yamaguchi, her son, Tadao, showed little interest in Reiki (it seems he was involved with Johrei healing at the time). However by the time Mrs Yamaguchi began to teach formally (around 1999-2000) Tadao had become actively involved (- and now stresses his involvement with Reiki since childhood...) According to Hyakuten (who would technically have been the 'senior' student at the time?), although he had been taught how to do so, Mrs Yamaguchi instructed him not to teach Jikiden to others - as Tadao wished to be the only individual to bear her direct lineage. [A case of 'Keeping it in the family'?] Mrs Yamaguchi claimed she used to have copies of Hayash-sensei's notes and other Reiki-related materials. It had been said that these were all lost in a fire while she was living in Manchuria; however, in another account, all her Reiki-related materials, including her Reiki Certificate were apparently lost on board the ship bringing her back to Japan from Manchuria. We do know that in the last years of her life she had a copy of Hayashi-sensei's 'Healing Guidelines' (the Hayashi Ryoho Shishin) in her possession - however it transpires this copy of the Guidelines was actually a gift from Canadian Reiki Teacher Rick Rivard! The Jikiden lineage is given as: Usui - Hayashi - Yamaguchi; though, as Mrs Yamaguchi admitted she did not complete her training with Hayashi-sensei, but apparently with her uncle Wasaboro Sugano, there should really be another link in the lineage-chain… Could it be that Wasaburo Sugano was simply omitted from the lineage in an attempt to put Mrs Yamaguchi on the same level, lineage-wise, as Takata-sensei? Or could there be some other reason? It has defensively (and IMO, somewhat confusingly) been suggested that it was not necessary to include Wasaboro in the lineage - that Hayashi-sensei's name appears in place of Wasaboro's because, at the time of Chiyoko's training with her uncle, Hayasi-sensei was head of the school (the Hayashi Reiki Kenkyukai), and thus, the name of the head of the school - rather than the name of the actual teacher appears in the lineage, as it was with the permission of the head of the school that the teacher had trained the student. However, to the best of my knowledge (and also based on some personal experience), in Japanese disciplines (Spiritual, martial, therapeutic, or otherwise) where lineal instruction/initiation is important, your immediate instructor/teacher in that lineage is always acknowledged.
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To dis-acknowledge your actual teacher by omitting them from that lineage is to dishonour both the teacher and yourself. And by the very nature of lineage, the head of the given school is automatically already acknowledged in the 'teaching chain'. For the chain to be broken by omission is perhaps one of the most disrespectful things one can do. The only 2 instances I'm personally aware of where a teacher has been omitted from a lineage was where that particular individual did not have the 'license' (i.e. right/permission) to train a student to the given level - and in both cases the student was, as a matter of course retrained and mentored by the 'unauthorised' teachers own teacher, thus providing an amended lineage... And why, if Jikiden is supposedly Reiki as taught by Hayashi-sensei, has the 'teacher' level now been broken up into 2 parts (a practice originating in some Western styles of Reiki that were imported into Japan in the 90's) Also, I find it interesting that, especially after all the hoo-haa about the spurious nature of the 'Grandmaster' title in Reiki - and how it was never used by Hayashisensei or Usui-sensei - Jikiden has, relatively recently, acquired the new 'uber'-level of dai shihan. You see, while the term dai shihan is commonly used to indicate a senior instructor, it also has the meaning: Grandmaster... [In the Jikiden teaching structure, those who have achieved the first part of level 3 (referred to as Shihan-Kaku - 'assistant teacher') are permitted to initiate students to level 1 (shoden). Those who have achieved the second part of level 3 (referred to as Shihan - 'teacher) are permitted to initiate students to both level 1 (shoden) and level 2 (okuden). A Dai-shihan l can initiate levels 1, 2 and 3. While this type of teaching structure is also used by certain other modern styles of Reiki in Japan, such as Reido Reiki, it is actually derived from the structure found within Radiance Technique Reiki - the first, modified and augmented, Western style of Reiki to be introduced to Japan in the 1980's...]
Komyo: a Reiki hybrid for the New Millenium... Komyo Reiki Kai is based primarily on the Reiki training Komyo's creator Hyakuten Inamoto received from Chiyoko Yamaguchi. As mentioned above, Hyakuten trained with Mrs Yamaguchi in the late 90's, however Mrs Yamaguchi had instructed him not to teach Jikiden to others. It seems it was primarily in response to this that Hyakuten chose to begin teaching Reiki under the name 'Komyo' (or more fully: 'Komyo Reiki Kai'). While Komyo contains much of what Hyakuten learnt from Mrs Yamaguchi, it actually appears to be the product of a blending of techniques, practices and beliefs from several different sources:
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Komyo would seem to include elements drawn from Hiroshi Doi's modern Gendai Reiki Ho teachings. (Hyakuten had spent a good deal of time acting as Doi's interpreter, and had obviously been influenced by Doi's approach to Reiki) It has further elements from what seems to be Rand-lineage western Reiki (including a reiju version of Rand's non-permanent 'healing attunement'), and Komyo also uses a 4-level structure which is very reminiscent of the 4-level - 1, 2, (3)ART, (3a)Master format of teaching used by many Rand and many 'independent' western Reiki Teachers. And Hyakuten has also 'adopted' the use of the DKM symbol into his Reiki practice a symbol which, as stated, was not something found in Jikiden (at least, not originally)... Also, unlike Jikiden, Komyo does not teach the first symbol until level 2... There have been other changes also, in relation to the use of the jumon associated with each symbol:. For some time Hyakuten had apparently been teaching the jumon as an optional practice; however now it seems Hyakuten may have finally made the decision to abandon the use of the jumon altogether. In order to reflect his own Buddhist beliefs, Hyakuten has chosen to give Komyo a particularly Buddhist flavour which is not present in the styles he has borrowed from. Amongst other things, early on in Komyo's development, he introduced three Buddhist mudras: jo sango, renge bu sanmaya, and butsu Bu sanmaya into Komyo. These mudras, to be used in the Komyo Reiki attunement/reiju process, comprise part of the esoteric Buddhist practice known as goshimbo ('five-fold protection method'). Hyakuten also introduced the Buddhist meditative practice of anapanasati or 'watching the breath' into Komyo And whereas, in Jikiden, the emphasis is on healing, in Komyo the emphasis is on personal spiritual transformation - or Satori - through Reiki practice. (Hyakuten teaches that Usui-sensei intended his system to be a path to enlightenment). Even though, as stated, Komyo is essentially a hybrid system - drawing influences not just from Jikiden but also from Doi's modern Gendai Reiki Ho, 'western' Reiki, and Buddhist practice, it still uses Jikiden's somewhat problematic lineage...
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THE STRANGE CASE OF USUI RYOHO KAI ...
Copyright © 2004/5 James Deacon [Updated: Jun. 27, 2006]
Recently, a New Zealander named Liam Richards has begun teaching a style of Reiki which he refers to as Usui Ryoho Kai . (Usui Treatment Association) Richards claims that this is Reiki as taught in the Kyoto branch of the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai and further claims to have learnt this style while living as a young foreign exchange student in Japan in 1993. According to Richards, the head of the family he was staying with - Yoshinori Takida - worked at the Kyoto Sangyo University as a teacher of Linguistics (In some versions, Richards maintains that Takida was a teacher of English. He has also apparently told some people that Takida was actually a Professor at the University?)
Further, Richards would have us believe that Takida also (conveniently) just happened to be the 'Shihan' of the Kyoto branch of the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai from some time in the early 1960's, right up to 1999. He tells us that both Takida and his father had been taught Reiki by former Gakkai President, Hoichi Wanami, and that it was Wanami who made him Shihan of the Kyoto branch. Takida had apparently been involved with Reiki since he was 11 years old. He died in January 2003. According to Richards, Takida's wife and his two sons were apparently also Gakkai members. As well as teaching Richards (who had already studied western-lineage Reiki in NZ) this particular style of Reiki used in the Kyoto Gakkai, Takida also apparently introduced him to Kimiko Koyama (then President of the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai in Tokyo). He claims that Koyama approved of his training even though he was a foreigner (and a minor?) , and encouraged him to teach. According to Richards, he spent a few days with Koyama in Tokyo. Apparently he received some Reiki instruction from her and, he says, she also gave him Reiju. [It is perhaps not surprising that there is no evidence to support these claims.]. Richards says that, as well as attending formal classes run by Takida, he also received private tuition from Takida. Amongst other things, Takida apparently also helped him with his understanding of Japanese language and culture, and of written kanji.  We are told that Richards attended Reiki gatherings on a weekly basis. These gatherings apparently often included Shihan from other areas. One of these was a woman called Sakiko, a friend of Takida's who, so Richards informs us, was head of the Osaka branch of the Gakkai. (Richards apparently stayed with Sakiko for three weeks in 2000, and says he was invited to give Reiju to attendants at one of her Gakkai meetings) Richards claims that, after returning to New Zealand, he continued to receive training (via phone, letter and email) from Takida, and also received weekly distant Reiju. He tells us that he had achieved the Okuden grade (which, as taught in the Kyoto branch, apparently had 4 levels) while living in Japan; and that he achieved the first level of Shinpiden in 1995. Takida is said to have visited Richards in New Zealand in 1997 conferring on him the
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2nd level of Shinpiden, and then the Shihan or teachers level. According to Richards, the branches of the Gakkai in Kyoto and Osaka have little to do with the main branch in Tokyo. He tells us that, in 1999, Takida severed ties with the Tokyo Gakkai. This was apparantly as a result of differences with the new Gakkai President, Masayoshi (or Masaki) Kondo, over approaches to teaching. However, Takida apparently continued to teach locally and hold weekly Reiki gatherings. Richards would have us believe that (conveniently?) the Kyoto branch teaches techniques which differ somewhat from those used by the Tokyo Gakkai branch. He says no symbols are taught; and the form of Reiju used differs from the other forms of Reiju currently being taught by other 'traditionalists'. However, Richards also offers a condensed, more intensive version of the Kyoto branch training to existing Reiki Masters. This is comprised of two sections, with aproximately a year between the two. The first section covering Shoden, Okuden and Shinpiden levels, is apparently spread over three days. Students are required to receive treatment for about five consecutive days prior to the three-day teaching session. They also receive Shoden level Reiju in advance of training, with further Reiju (for the other levels, I assume) given during the course of the actual teaching session. Some course materials are provided prior to the session, and further materials are presented over the course of the three days. Apparently the three-day session itself also includes information not covered in the written materials. Level Certificates are only issued when the Shihan ( i.e. Richards) feels the student has integrated the relevant training. Having achieved Shinpiden status, students are required to work at this level for anything upto 12 months, after which time, if considered suitable, they may be invited to take the Shihan level. All new Shihans in the Usui Ryoho Kai system must be approved by Richards and the Takida family...
NOTES:  Back in 2002 Richards claimed to be a "Sensei' (and then later, a 'Shihan') in something called the 'Usui Shiki Ryoho Gakkai' (-which should not be confused with the 'Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai'). He eventually admitted that this was an organisation which had been set up in New Zealand (by Richards himself, I felt), and was not connected to the Gakkai in Japan. According to Pati Wolfgang (see below), there is no trace of Yoshinori Takida having worked at Kyoto Sangyo University  According to Hiroshi Doi, neither the current Gakkai President nor Kimiko Koyama's granddaughter have ever heard of Yoshinori Takida; also that his name was not listed on an official roll of Gakkai members. Somewhat strange for a supposed Head of one of the Gakkai's main surviving branches? It is generally understood that the Gakkai won't even talk to foreigners, let alone train them (and if we are to believe Hiroshi Doi, it would seem that, even amongst Japanese members, there are no young people - Doi stated that at meetings he was frequently the youngest person present.)  Interestingly, for someone apparently gaining extra tuition - and from a supposed Reiki Master at that - in conversations with Richards (again in 2002) it was obvious to me that he had an ill-informed understanding as to the basic, common meanings of the kanji which make up the DKM and HSZSN symbols, let alone their potential significance within Reiki - which he was then claiming to be of Shingon Buddhist origin.
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You might like to read an 'open letter' by Pati Wolfgang (see: http://www.aetw.org/reiki_open_letter_richards.htm ), which outlines some more serious concerns raised regarding Richards' character, conduct, and various spurious claims made by him (which I feel must surely impact on our acceptance of the validity of his claims about the origin & authenticity of his Reiki teachings.) In January 2006, I was contacted by Andrew Beban (Liam Richard's former partner). Andrew kindly provided me with many details which certainly seem to support the overall view of Liam's character as presented by Patti Wolfgang in her open letter. Amongst other things, Andrew recounted how Liam had used his name to run up a string of debts; and also how there were outstanding legal actions filed against Liam by several different parties - including former landlords, and several of their mutual friends and acquaintances (whose generosity Liam took advantage of). Further, in relation to Liam's claims regarding his involvement with (and training received from) Reiki sources in Japan, Andrew had the following to say: "... I too believed his Reiki lineage, and training and supported him in his teaching and 'healing'. At the time it did strike me as odd that someone with his knowledge and experiences should have to create lesson plans from library books, and then teach by reading from his books." "His father told me that that he [Liam] had never been to Japan (and strangely enough I was never allowed to mention this or several other aspects of his life unrelated to healing around his parents or family)" "...The only Reiki training he had received was a Reiki one attunement from a teacher in Auckland "
I would like to thank Andrew for stepping forward with this information, and for giving his permission (as of June 2006) for me to present it. I feel it is very important that people be aware of this information provided by both Andrew and Patti. I would hope that it will put Reiki folk on their guard about Liam (who is apparently very charismatic and convincing) - and also make them wary of any Reiki teachers who are still intent on presenting Liam's teachings as 100% genuine ( - even though aware of the above-mentioned information e.g. that Liam had never even been to Japan) [I can't help but wonder if such teachers truly believe in the validity of Liam's 'teachings' or if this is merely a pretence and they are simply focussing on the potential financial gain to be made from selling 'Usui Ryoho Kai' training seminars] * * * * * * *
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'ORIGINAL' REIKI INFORMATION - THE SOURCES
Copyright © 2002/5 James Deacon
What follows is a list of some of the people responsible for the 'new' information regarding the History of Reiki which has already emerged - and still continues to emerge. It is an open-ended list and will be added to from time to time
Mieko Mitsui (a journalist) had become a 'Master' ('Instructor' - Level 3b) in Barbara Ray's "Radiance Technique" Reiki while living in New York. In 1985 she went back to Japan to try and see what she could discover about Reiki's origins. She started teaching Reiki there - and also translated Barbara Ray's Reiki book "The Reiki Factor" into Japanese - and in the process could be said to have been responsible for single-handedly sparking a 'Reiki Revival' in Japan. In addition to promoting Barbara Ray's style of 'western' Reiki, Mieko reported that, contrary to the 'Takata version' of the History, Reiki had not died out in Japan. She spoke of a privately printed book, "Usui Reiki Gakkai" (said to be an academic text written by a mathematician at Meiji University, Tokyo) which supposedly talks about Reiki and a man named Usui. Mitsui also stated that 'Japanese' Reiki had (as is the case with Barbara Ray's system) more than the standard three Levels or Degrees found in familiar 'Takatastyle' Reiki. She also claimed said that she tracked down the home of Usui-Sensei's son's family, but that they refused to speak to her about Mikao Usui. Apparently Mieko Mitsui herself received some training from a Japanese lineage Reiki Master: Goro Myazaki, who had been a student of Usui-Sensei's friend & student: Toshiro Eguchi. Amongst many others, Mitsui taught Reiki to Hiroshi Doi; however, due to the nature of the training structure utilised in the 'Radiance Technique' style of Reiki (also known as 'Real Reiki') which she practices, she was, at the time, only permitted to initiate practitioners to Level 2. Frank A. Petter One-time 'Sannyasin' (i.e. disciple of the Indian Guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh AKA: 'Osho' - 1931-1990 ), and author of several books including: 'Reiki Fire: New Information about the Origins of the Reiki Power', German-born Reiki Master Frank 'Arjava' Petter and his wife Chetna began teaching Reiki in Sapporo, Japan in 1993. On discovering that Frank and Chetna were offering Third Degree training and attunement, a great many Second Degree Reiki students (most of whom had presumably been attuned by Mieko Mitsui), sought them out. It could be said that Frank and Chetna's research in to Reiki survivals in Japan took over from where Mieko Mitsui's research left off. It was Chetna's mother: Masano Kobayashi who translated the inscription on the Usui Memorial (written in old the old form of Japanese kanji-characters) into modernday Japanese, enabling Frank and Chetna to produce the first (known) English version of the Memorial inscription.
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Toshitaka Mochizuki. Published "Iyashi No Te" in 1995 (- believed by many to be the first modern day Reiki book written by a Japanese master, but see Fumio Ogawa, below). Trained originally in western style Reiki, apparently also received tuition from Masters in Japan whose training history is partly Japanese. Mochizuki attributes some of his historical information to an obscure Japanese book entitled "The Secret of How to Take Care of Your Family Members" by Takichi Tsukida. Runs the Vortex school of Reiki, in Yokohama. The "Traditional Japanese Reiki" system (created in 1995) is based on the Vortex system's teachings which contains material from both Western and Japanese sources. Fuminori Aoki Fuminori Aoki is Chairman of the Nagoya Reiki Lab (formerly the "Human & Trust Institute"). He is also the author of the book: "The Reiki Healing". At the Institute's Clinic, Aoki teaches his own form of Reiki, known as 'Reido Reiki' - a system which attempts to unite Western and Japanese Reiki Traditions. Hiroshi Doi Author of 'Iyashi no Gendai Reikiho' or "Modern Reiki Method for Healing". learnt Reiki from Mieko Mitsui. He also received Neo Reiki training from an Indian Reiki master in Tokyo. Professes to be a member of the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai - the Society believed to have been set up shortly after Usui-sensei's death by some of his students. Apparently he studied with the former Gakkai chairperson, Mrs. Koyama. Doi claims that the objective of Reiki was to attain a state known as: Anshin Ritsumei (or: Dai Anjin), a state in which ones mind is totally at peace - not bothered by anything - and in which one perceive one's life's purpose. Hiroshi Doi also says that in the early eighties he studied a form of Téaté (healing) with a Mr.Hiroshi Ohta, but only later discovered that what he had learnt was actually Reiki. He states that at the time he met Mieko Mitsui he was seeking to develop his own healing technique by uniting systems he had already learned. Amongst the systems Doi mentions are: Nishino Breathing, Shinmeikan Healing, SAS Shinkko, Genkyoku Kiko, Crystal Healing, Kihodo Healing, Hypnotic Kiko, Osteopathy, Energy Balancing, Astral Healing, Silva Mind Ccontrol Method, theNatural Vibration technique, Seikiho, Dokiho, Balance Therapy, & Multi-dimension Body Work. Hiroshi Doi's school of Reiki, called "Gendai Reiki Ho" -Modern / Contemporary Reiki Method - blends western Reiki with what he claims to be Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai practices, though one wonders to what degree "Gendai Reiki" has been influenced by the above-mentioned therapeutic systems. Chris Marsh Martial Artist and Tendai Buddhist, Chris states that, during a visit to Japan in June 2000, to complete some martial arts training, he was introduced to several people all having had connections with Mikao Usui, including a 107 year old Tendai nun referred to as: 'Suzuki-san', who was one of Usui Sensei's original students from 1915 to 1920.
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Chris was apparently also shown a number of artifacts related to Usui. On a further visit to Japan in June/July 2001 he claims to have been introduced to a further 11 very elderly students of Mikao Usui, including Buddhist monks and Nuns, Shinto followers and a farmer. Chris says he was also shown many of Usui's own papers including diaries, notes and precepts, all in his own handwriting. Apparently he was allowed to make handwritten copies of some of these documents and other copies were forwarded to him later. Chris's contacts apparently emphasise that Usui was Tendai until the end of his life, that the Reiki teachings were Buddhist in origin although they included some Shinto energy practices, and also that Usui Sensei did not really have a name for the system - the name used by Usui's students is 'Usui Teate' - 'Usui Hand Touch / Usui Hand Healing' and also 'Usui Do' - 'Usui Way' - that the name Reiki is not used or known by Usui's students. According to Chris, Reiju is the most important aspect of Usui-Sensei's teachings and as such is taught very late on in training. He says there are seven levels of shinpiden (the 'Master' degree) and reiju is taught at the sixth level. Suzuki-san (There seems to be some confusion regarding Suzuki-san: some sources claim she is a cousin (or even niece) of Sadako Suzuki, Usui-Sensei's wife - yet others say she is Usui-Sensei's cousin). Born in 1895, Suzuki-san apparently began her training with Usui-Sensei when she was 20 years old. The focus of Usui-Sensei's teachings, according to Suzuki-san, was on selfrealization. The ability to heal others was seen simply as a beneficial side effect of 'working on self', and not only was healing of others not central to the teachings but the whole approach to healing is different to that found in the system we know as 'Reiki'. Dave King & Melissa Riggall Dave King promotes what he refers to as Usui-Do - claiming this to be "an authentic reconstruction" of the "meditative, Spiritual system" of Mikao Usui. Melissa Rigall (died March 12, 2003) maintained that she has met several of Dr. Hayashi's students while in Japan, and both she and Dave claim to have met about a dozen of Usui Sensei's surviving students, including one who was more than 112 years old and a Buddhist nun aged 105 who was apparently trained to the second highest level by Usui Sensei. According to Dave, he and Melissa were taught Reiki (Rokudan level) by Yuji Onuki (who apparently trained to Shichidan level with Toshihiro Eguchi - a onetime friend and student of Usui-Sensei) in 1971 in Morocco. Dave says he spent time with Mr. Tatsumi, [said to be one of Hayashi-Sensei's Shichidan (Usui-Do) and Shinpiden (Hayashi Reiki) students], in rural Japan and achieved Usui-do shichidan (level 7) in 1995. He apparently learnt Tatsumi's attunement process and was allowed to trace copies of the four Reiki symbols in Hayashi's handwriting. Tatsumi died in October 1996 and is said to have left his complete set of master level notes for Dave and Melissa to review. Apparently Dave and Melissa also had Godan (3rd highest level in the original UsuiDo) conferred on them in October 2002 by from Mariko-Obaasan, a Tendai Buddhist nun whom, we are told - like Chris Marsh's 'Suzuki-san' - was one of Usui-Sensei's original students.
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Recently (Autumn 2003) a number of people have begun to voice concerns as to the validity of the Usui-Do information propagated by Dave King. Mariko-Obaasan's accounts regarding early Reiki history, Mikao Usui, and the Reiki teachings have not been confirmed or verified. In fact, the very existence of MarikoObaasan is being questioned in some quarters, with the suggestion that the MarikoObaasan material may actually be - to put it diplomatically - 'channelled' information. [However, in all fairness, it should be pointed out that concerns have also been voiced with regards to the 'Suzuki-san' material being taught by Chris Marsh, and indeed even the validity of the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai information being circulated by Hiroshi Doi has been questioned.] 'Mariko-Obaasan' (AKA Tenon-in* ) Mariko-Obaasan, a Buddhist nun (age 105), apparently has no knowledge of UsuiSensei's experience on Kurama Yama, although she and her friend met him on Mt. Hiei (Headquarters of the Tendai sect) in 1920 and spent almost every day working with him, up to the time of his death in 1926. Apparently she says that Usui Sensei was not pro-Meiji; also that he was true to Tendai all his life, and made an offering every day to Amida Nyorai. According to Mariko-Obaasan, initially there were no levels or grades - students simply worked through a series of exercises until Usui-Sensei felt they were ready to proceed - then in 1923 Usui-Sensei introduced a grading system used by (Jigoro?) Kano. Thus the levels in the original Usui-Do system became: rokyu, gokyu, yankyu, sankyu, nikkyu (CKR symbol taught at this level), ikkyu (SHK symbol ), shodan (HSZSN symbol), nidan (DKM symbol), sandan, yondan, godan, rokudan, shichidan (nanadan). Mariko-Obaasan reached the 2nd highest level of Rokudan (in Japan, women were traditionally not allowed to attain the highest levels in a given art). Seemingly, Usui-Sensei's system was one focussing on spiritual growth and MarikoObaasan apparently has no knowledge of it having a healing component (i.e. in the sense of being a therapeutic modality for the treatment of others). [Mariko-Obaasan apparently died Sept 30, 2005 - aged 107] * [ - the "in" of Tenon-In is a title for a nun who takes holy orders after the death of her husband (he had been killed in WW-I)] Mrs. Chiyoko Yamaguchi [1921 - Aug. 19th 2003] Mrs. Yamaguchi, founder of 'Jikiden Reiki', apparently taught exactly what she herself had been taught (as a Shoden & Okuden level student) by Hayashi-Sensei in 1938, when she was 17. She referred to Hayashi-Sensei's system as "Hayashi Shiki Reiki Ryoho" (Hayashi Style Reiki Healing Method), though the certificate she received is said to have had the name Hayashi Reiki Ryoho Kenkyu-kai (Research Center) on it. Mrs. Yamaguchi maintained that she was not taught any formal hand positions; she said she used have a number of notes (apparently copied from Hayashi-Sensei's - it was customary for students to copy their Teachers notes), which (along with her certificates?) were later lost in a fire in Manchuria. We are told Chiyoko Yamaguchi's uncle had invited Hayashi-Sensei to run a Shoden / Okuden class for approximately 20 students in their town, and apparently paid her tuition fee. While it had been claimed that Hayashi-Sensei returned at a later date to provide third level training and authorise her to teach Reiki, it is now said that she actually received Shimpiden level training from her uncle, Wasaburo Sugano,
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who had also been trained by Hayashi-sensei. While Mrs. Yamaguchi was not completely sure, she believed it possible that Hayashi-Sensei employed different teaching methods when providing classes outside the Capital than he did in his Tokyo Clinic. Hyakuten Inamoto An 'independent' Buddhist Priest, learnt Reiki from Mrs.Yamaguchi... Teaches what he calls Komyo Reiki . Komyo Reiki places emphasis on personal spiritual transformation - that is: 'Satori' through Reiki practice. Like many others, Hyakuten-san holds that Usui-Sensei's original teachings focussed on spiritual development, and that any healing that took place was merely considered a side effect to this spiritual growth. Apparently, Hyakuten does not understood why Usui Sensei, if he was -as many claim - a Tendai Buddhist until his death, has a grave stone in a Jodo shu Buddhist cemetery.
Fumio Ogawa (1906-1998 ) Fumio Ogawa, who lived in Shizuoka, learned Reiki from his (adoptive?) father: Keizo (or: Kyozou) Ogawa, who in turn had learnt Reiki from one of Usui-Sensei's students: Kanichi Taketomi (- who would later become the 3rd president of the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai). Keizo Ogawa was apparently also a good friend of Usui-Sensei and had received his Reiki Master initiation from him as well. Fumio Ogawa said that he completed his Reiki Master level training on November 18, 1943. He stated that Usui-Sensei's system in Keizo's day comprised of six levels, with level 6 being the lowest. These were: 6th Class - Dai Rokutou,..5th Class - Dai Gotou, .4th Class - Dai Yontou,..3rd Class - Dai Santou,.2nd Class - Okudenzenki, .1st Class - Okudenkouki. He also said that during the 1940's there were about 40 Reiki centres across Japan. In 1986 Fumio Ogawa compiled (and apparently privately published) a 'book' (essentially a small manual)entitled: "Everyone can do Reiki", which, it is claimed, is based on two Gakkai documents: one being the Handbook of Reiki Treatment and the other a book written by one of Usui-Sensei's students referred to as Teacher Wanami. Tsutomu Oishi (192?-?? ) A resident of Shizuoka, Mr. Tsutomu Oishi learnt Reiki during the 1950's from Keizo Ogawa. (It is said that Mr Oishi had 'put aside' his interest in Reiki during the 1960's). Tsutomu's mother had apparently learnt level 2 Reiki when he was a small child. His brother had had polio and his mother treated him on a regular basis until, according to Tsutomu, he was completely healed. Afterwards, she began treating all the young polio sufferers in the locality. According to Mr. Oishi, a failed business venture had left Usui-Sensei with large debts, and the experience had led him to the conclusion that there was something more to life than striving for material wealth. This realisation would start him on a quest culminating in his experience on Kurama Yama, where, Tsutomu says, UsuiSensei used to regularly meditate under a waterfall (note: this is a practice common to practitioners of 'Shugendo'). According to Tsutomu, during Usui-Sensei's lifetime a Reiki Centre was set up in Shizouka and was run by Keizo Ogawa, who was a talented healer. Mr. Ogawa - a
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retailer of school uniforms - would treat any sick children he came in contact with. Tsutomu maintained that both Keizo Ogawa and Usui-Sensei used to give Reikicharged crystal balls to their students to employ in the healing process. (These balls would apparently be placed directly on the site of ailment or injury.) He says students also received a Reiki Manual. This manual included a set of treatment guidelines, as well as describing symptoms and giving an explanation of what Reiki is. Mr. Oishi also tells us that Reiki teachers used to assess a student's ki/ talent for healing by touching their hands which were held in the gassho (prayer position) while the student sat in seiza ('sitting on ones heels' - traditional Japanese style.). According to Tsutomu Oishi, Keizo Ogawa did not have any children (?), so when he felt he had become too old to continue running his Reiki Centre, he asked Tsutomu Oishi to assume responsibility. However Tsutomu respectfully declined the honour as he had heard that healing others would diminish his own vitality. George (Tan Lin) Mullen Like Dave King and Melissa Riggall, George claims to have been trained by Yuji Onuki in 1971. He says that Yuji Onuki showed them two systems. One, called Usui-Do, was a system of self development - apparently the same as is currently being taught by Dave King. The second, was a 'religion' which Onuki claimed had been developed by Toshihiro Eguchi (a friend and student of Usui Sensei), based on some aspects of UsuiSensei's work. According to George, it involves summoning a consciousness/deity/kami beyond the self that can guide the practitioner to form a connection with the recipient of the healing. George further maintains that he (George) studied for some time at a remote Taoist retreat in Heilongjiang province, China, where there is extensive library of ancient Sino-Japanese texts. He says that in several books there is a clear description of the origins and use of all four Usui symbols, and also the basic philosophy of Usui's early teachings. He further states that contrary to some current views, the symbols were not "added as aids to training" but were an essential part of Usui-Sensei's system as early as 1921. He tells us that Hayashi-Sensei stopped teaching Usui-Do in 1931 in favour of his own system - Hayashi Reiki Ryoho Kenkyu-kai - which incorporated both palm healing and jikiden (direct transmission of teachings by "initiation"). George also says that he has personally seen several (Tendai?) temple records, mentioning Mikao Usui, in the Kansai area of Japan. Richard Blackwell (Lama Yeshe Drugpa Trinley Odzer) According to Richard Blackwell - a Clinical Psychologist, who claims to be ordained as both a Tibetan Lama and Japanese Shingon Priest - he is in possession of a black lacquered box containing documents once belonging to Usui Sensei (- documents which a German antiquarian apparently confirmed as authentic manuscripts from the 7th to the 19th Century), detailing the Reiki tradition and teachings. One of these documents: the Tantra of the Lightning Flash, is said to present a comprehensive healing method derived from esoteric Buddhism as practiced in Tibet, and was supposedly brought to Japan by Kobo Daishi (Kukai), the founder of Shingon Buddhism. [Note: the idea that this 'Tantra of the Lightning Flash' had originated in Tibet is
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problematic, as Kukai had actually returned to Japan (from China) with the sacred texts on which Shingon was founded, several years before Guru Rinpoche (founder of Tibetan Tantric Buddhism) had even taken the Tantric teachings to Tibet. Further, the original catalogue of the texts brought to Japan by Kukai still exists (in his own handwriting), and this 'Tantra of the Lightning Flash' is not one of them]. Richard maintains that the box was purchased just after WWII by his father (who was then a Captain in the US Army) from some destitute monks who were raising funds to rebuild their fire-bombed temple. According to Richard, Usui Sensei - although born into a Tendai family - became a devout Shingon Buddhist after a Cholera-induced near-death experience during which he experienced visions of Dainichi Nyorai (Mahavairochana) - the central Buddha of the Shingon Faith.
[See notice re: Medicine Dharma Reiki, Universal Healing Reiki and Men Chhos Rei-Ki at: http://www.aetw.org/main1a.html]
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