“Guide to Original Usui Reiki” from Reiki Evolution
Guide to Original Usui Reiki
This in an incredibly exciting time to be involved with Reiki. Just a few years ago everyone thought that Reiki had died out in Japan, and that the only Reiki that was left to the world was Mrs Takata's. The discovery that Reiki had still continued in Japan, and was being practiced in a way that was very different from Takata Reiki, has led to a flood of new information coming from the East. Unfortunately it has all ended up quite confusing now, with information coming from what is said to be Usui's Association in Japan (the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai), from what is said to be Usui's training manual, and from what are claimed to be long-forgotten Usui documents found in an old Japanese casket in someone's garage in the States.
Usui's Surviving Students
The most exciting development in all this confusion is the discovery that some of Mikao Usui's students lived on into the 21st century. There were about a dozen of them, they are all very old (the youngest was about 107 in 2000) and they are were in contact with only one or two people in the West. Since we cannot speak to the man himself directly, it would seem that these students are the best source of reliable information about what Usui's system was all about, and the message coming from these students contradicts many of the things that we are used to in Western Reiki, and many of the things that are being promoted as 'original Usui Reiki'! In this article I want to run through the basic message that is coming from Usui's surviving students, to show the simplicity of the original system, and to show which of the many techniques currently being taught as 'Usui originals' are in fact original Usui techniques.
The 'Gakkai' Myth
A lot of what are claimed to be 'original' techniques are coming from an Association in Japan called the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai (Association for Usui's Reiki Healing Method), a society that certainly carries Usui's name. But Usui Sensei did not set up 'the Gakkai'; it was set up after his death by some of his less experienced students, Dr Hayashi and the two other Imperial officers, rather like a memorial society. They were all fairly
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Two Big Revelations
So what was Usui's Reiki like? Well. So most of the practices of the 'Gakkai' that have been passed to us do not represent Reiki in its original form. probably introduced by the Gakkai's founders.
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. it seems. The next revelation is that the purpose of Usui's method was to achieve satori. because they had trained with Usui for a very short time. In fact. it was not focused upon. not completed it. though it has been described by one of Usui's students as "Method to Achieve Personal Perfection". The word Reiki does appear in the Reiki precepts. the first revelation about original Usui Reiki is that it was not called 'Reiki'! The system had no name. it was a side-issue. and through Hiroshi Doi as 'Usui Reiki Ryoho'. This is being called the 'Usui Healing Guide'. based on a manual that is given to students of the 'Gakkai'. but the word 'Reiki' seems there to mean 'a gift of satori. to heal oneself.“Guide to Original Usui Reiki” from Reiki Evolution
inexperienced Masters. and the guide was included in the 'Usui' manual given to 'Gakkai' students. Treating others was not emphasised. it seems because of the many changes that the other Masters were making to their practice of Reiki. to find one's spiritual path. Usui's system was not really about treating others. Usui's way was much simpler. Dr Hayashi left the 'Gakkai' quite soon. rather than being Usui's work.
Dr Usui's Handbook?
There is an 'Usui Manual' available in the West. Dr Hayashi's medical background seems to have led him to try and push Reiki into fitting the medical model: you diagnose a condition and 'prescribe' a set of hand positions. though Hayashi was doing this research with Usui's knowledge and approval. The 'Gakkai' have not 'opened their doors' to the West. and had only started on their Master training. It contains a long list of different medical conditions with suggested hand positions for each condition. this is the work of Dr Hayashi. had been taught a limited form of Reiki. but some of their methods have been passed to the West via Frank Arjava Petter. The name 'Reiki' came later.
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. and if they wanted to take things further then they could start formal training. and these studies may have contributed in some way to the system that he developed. they would live their lives in accordance with Mikao Usui's precepts. The system was based on living and practising the Reiki principles. The training was rather like martial arts training: you had an open-ended commitment to study with Usui. Tendai Buddhism (a form of mystical Buddhism) provided spiritual teachings. and Shintoism contributed methods of controlling and working with the energies. Shoden was all about opening to the energy through receiving many Reiju empowerments (simple connection rituals). and it was only when you had developed sufficiently that you were invited to move on to higher levels. and he also took Zen training.
First Degree Training
First Degree (Shoden) was very simple.“Guide to Original Usui Reiki” from Reiki Evolution
Origins of Usui's System
The system was rooted in Tendai Buddhism and Shintoism. He would routinely give people empowerments (connect them to Reiki) so that they could treat themselves in between appointments with him. it was about cleansing and selfhealing. There also seems to be a strong connection between Usui's system and Shugendo (mountain asceticism). people who came to him because they wanted something treated. The student would practice different forms of selfhealing. The vast majority of Usui's students started out as his clients. Usui had a strong background in both kiko (energy cultivation) and a martial art with a strong Zen flavour (Yagyu Shinkage Ryu). and they would practice a couple of energy exercises. including self-healing meditations. and it seems that Usui taught hundreds of people at this level. that was the hub of the whole thing. not a fixed-length training course.
The Lotus sutra is the foundation document of Tendai Buddhism. using meditations. Second-degree was all about strengthening your ability as a channel. You became a stronger channel for Reiki by receiving Reiju empowerments on a regular basis. Though one source of 'original' information claims that Usui became a Shingon Buddhist.
Second Degree Training
Second Degree (Okuden) was split into two levels (Zenki and Kouki). since you had to learn to 'become' the energies fully. Students would be introduced to the concept of mindfulness. and receiving spiritual teachings. and maybe 30 reached Kouki level. becoming familiar with some specific energies and a particular state of mind. or working with sacred sounds called kotodama. or working with both. Spiritual teachings were introduced at Second Degree level. and that would lead to second-degree level. his surviving students insist that he was 'Tendai to the end'. The fact that he was Tendai did not stop him from drawing from other spiritual traditions in Japan though. You would work on that renewed connection by doing daily energy exercises which took a different form from those carried out at first-degree.
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. Students would not treat others at first-degree level. At this level you spent many months working with one energy after another. and by practising energy exercises. which involved studying Buddhist sutras.“Guide to Original Usui Reiki” from Reiki Evolution
The exercises taught at first-degree level were Kenyoku and Joshin Kokkyu Ho. which are taught in the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai as part of a longer sequence of exercises called 'Hatsurei Ho'. specifically the Lotus sutra. This process was not rushed. the Heart sutra and the Diamond sutra. Reiju continually reinforced your connection to the source and allowed you to grow spiritually. Maybe 70 students reached Zenki. and for example Usui Sensei followed Soto Zen Buddhism for a while. It was quite normal for someone to follow more than one tradition at a time. they would focus on developing their awareness of their hara.
to kill. where you worked with a state of mind that would allow you to carry out distance healing if you wanted to.
The interesting thing here is that Usui would give his students a series of meditations to work with over a long period of time. to a time when the sound of the human voice was said to be able to stop armies. representing that which we in the West we use the symbols to represent. No symbols entered into Usui's system for most of his students. It was only when the students had become completely familiar with the energies that they were given a 'trigger' to connect to what they already had strongly within them. to heal and to control the weather. or jumon. since Usui's system was up and running long before he introduced symbols for the benefit of Dr Hayashi and the other naval officers in 1923. This takes us back to the mists of ancient Japanese history. In the West we use a symbol to connect to an energy that is unfamiliar to us. why would they. though it was a bit of a sideline to the main thrust of the system. taught at second degree. in Usui's system you became familiar with an energy and then were give a way of triggering it.the three energies again and again and again. There were three kotodama. This is really ancient stuff. and students might do some treatments at this level.
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. Usui seems to have taught his spiritual system as early as 1915. They used these meditations to experience . Two energies were introduced at Okuden Zenki and had to be fully integrated before you moved on to Okuden Kouki. and thus the empowerments (connection rituals) do not use symbols either. the indigenous religion of Japan.to become . Again this was not emphasised. or Jumon
The sacred sounds that you used to further your self-healing and spiritual development could also be used to treat others. These 'kotodama' (also called 'Jumon' from a Buddhist perspective) come from Shintoism.“Guide to Original Usui Reiki” from Reiki Evolution
though this was near the end of your training.“Guide to Original Usui Reiki” from Reiki Evolution
Most of the various 'Usui' treatment methods that are practised by the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai are in fact not Usui originals. you let the energy guide you to the right place to treat. So far we have a picture of an elegant system where the focus is firmly on the individual: you are travelling a path to enlightenment. So rather than using a set of 'standard' hand positions. The goal here was to travel further along your spiritual path and bring you closer to enlightenment. Eventually you learned how to perform Reiju and other 'higher ' empowerments. and if you worked on others you would work intuitively. No doubt Usui knew of these techniques. You worked with a further kotodama. and you receive spiritual empowerments regularly. but they were not part of his system. you have committed yourself to carrying out daily exercises and meditations. and learning how to empower yourself.
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. and you practised a whole series of meditations which built on each other and were designed to move you closer and closer to your own satori. You are focusing on selfhealing and spiritual development. but are Japanese QiGong healing techniques. because he practiced kiko. and let the energy guide you in terms of what aspect of the energy . you followed Mikao Usui's precepts.if any – you might emphasise. receiving Reiju and other 'higher' empowerments.
Master Level Training
The Master levels (Shinpiden and Shihan) involved receiving further spiritual teachings.
We do this so that we can deal with your individual questions and needs. giving you one-to-one attention and support.“Guide to Original Usui Reiki” from Reiki Evolution
A Few Words about Reiki Evolution
Each month Reiki Evolution offers First and Second Degree courses from bases throughout the UK. Glasgow Northern Ireland Tyne & wear North Yorks Leicestershire Suffolk Cambridgeshire Essex Hertfordshire London Kent Surrey Somerset Wiltshire Cornwall
Plus Equine Reiki courses in Lincolnshire
We only teach small groups (no more than six people at a time. and also for people wanting to retrain with us
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. We provide comprehensive study packs for all of our courses: professionally printed manuals. Handouts and Audio CDs We also offer regular Reiki Master courses for people wanting to take Mastership for the first time. and at a lot of our venues the maximum is four).
co. self-healing and spiritual development system first and foremost. and students are guided step-by-step through the practical exercises they need to get to grips with. These courses are very high quality. which are a lot closer to the original Japanese system that Mikao Usui taught than are most Reiki courses in the West. To find out more about all these courses. Our courses are free from dogma and silly rules and regulations about what you should and shouldn’t do and they don’t drift off into New Age crystals and spirit guides. which many Masters want to do. Reiki Evolution courses present a simple and intuitive approach to Reiki. please visit our web site here: http://www.uk
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. while also dealing comprehensively with the treatment of others. We have also pioneered the use of multimedia home study courses for the benefit of those who cannot attend a live course or who wish to learn their Reiki at more of a leisurely pace. just as good as our live training courses. and to read a whole range of articles about Reiki. we publish regular newsletters. the small class-sizes. to see how we support our students.reiki-evolution. We support our students long-term in various ways: we host an online support network that all our students are invited to join. the free ongoing support and advice that we provide. focused on using Reiki as a self-development. and the content of our courses. and we support our students when they need it via telephone and e-mail. with unlimited practice time.“Guide to Original Usui Reiki” from Reiki Evolution
at this level. with one-to-one e-mail support. our students host Reiki shares various different parts of the UK. We even offer our students weekly distant empowerments! What makes Reiki training with Reiki Evolution special is the quality of our training materials.