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Truth, Secrets & Lies
"Towards a Conspiracy Theorist’s version of the ‘New’ Reiki History"
[Not to be taken too seriously, perhaps?]
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[Version 1.00] Copyright © 2005/7 James Deacon
REIKI RUMOURS Truth, Secrets & Lies or: "Towards a Conspiracy Theorist’s version of the ‘New’ Reiki History"
Copyright © 2005/7 James Deacon
Unconfirmed Reports from 'Unnamed Sources': # Reiki really did die out in Japan?
In 1997 - as part of an attempt to establish a licensing system, reflecting standardization and quality of practice and training throughout the Usui Shiki Ryoho community - Phyllis Furumoto (Grand-daughter of Hawayo Takata, and viewed as 'lineage bearer' by the Reiki Alliance) was seeking to Trademark several Reiki-related terms including 'Usui Shiki Ryoho', Reiki', and 'the Usui System', worldwide. If successful, this would mean that no one would be able to use these terms to describe their therapeutic practice or teaching without licensed permission. However - concerned about the effects on their 'Reiki Franchising' businesses (should Ms Furumoto be successful in her attempt) - a cabal of unnamed 'International' Reiki Businessmen began to hatch an ingenious scheme in an attempt to subvert her plans.... "What if we could somehow make people believe that Reiki hadn't died out in Japan after all" someone had suggested, "what if we could 'prove' Reiki was 'alive and kicking' (or should that be: 'alive and healing'?) in Japan. I mean, if Reiki had survived in Japan, then Ms Furumoto's claims of right to exclusive use of these terms would surely be invalidated - we would have 'proof' that the various Reiki-related terms have been used continuously to refer to Usui's art outside of Takata's/Furumoto's lineage and therefore that Ms Furumoto and her Reiki Alliance would have no grounds for laying claim to them." "But if Reiki had survived, surely people would know about it?" "Not necessarily - not if, say, it had gone underground - y'know, like those secret societies in Europe..." "But what about tangible evidence?" "Well, for a start, anyone recall hearing about that little Japanese booklet Takata had gave copies to a few of her master-level students" "Oh yeah, wasn't it supposed to be some sort of series of treatment guidelines, written by Hayashi? Yeah, I remember now, I heard none of Takata's students ever bothered
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with it - probably thought it too much effort to get it translated - most probably just shelved it and forgot about it." "Or gave it away" said another, "to, ehem" - pretending to clear his throat - "their favorite student." "You don't mean...? "Yep, yours truly! I've got a genuine piece of Reiki heritage (probably the only genuine piece of Reiki heritage) and the best thing is, hardly anyone seems to be aware of the booklet's existence." "So, y'mean-" "Yep, we can say that by pure serendipity, we discovered it in a secondhand bookshop in Japan." "Or perhaps", someone else suggested, "that we were presented with a copy of it by a member of some obscure Japanese Reiki group..." "Yeah, I like that!" "Oh, and I'm sure we could also fabricate a few documents. Perhaps a few pages purporting to be from an early training manual, or a couple of magazine articles..." "Actually, I knew a guy once, faked a whole magazine just so he could claim he had discovered an article in it - stroke of genius really, gave the magazine an obscure title and claimed it had been privately published with only a small circulation; of course it had conveniently ceased to be printed soon after the desired article was published!" "Yes; and I suppose we could 'make contact' with a few of Usui-sensei's original students - how old would they have to be - to still be alive today? That old? Really? Oh, that is old! Hmm, maybe not then - though we could always suggest the possibility of making such contact to someone else..." "A living student (or two) of Hayashi's, though", someone had suggested, "now that would be more believable, wouldn't it?" "And...and... what if this 'survival' of Reiki in Japan was subtly different from Reiki as practiced in the West? We could 'rediscover' a whole series of techniques to help restrengthen the Reiki energy-flow. (I mean, lets face it, ever since we started making alterations to Takata's initiation process, you've got to admit, something has been lacking) We could maybe modify a few practices from that Chinese Chi Gung book I was reading last week - just need to get someone to translate their names into Japanese..." "Oh, I can do that - studied Japanese Language and Classics at College - I'll do the translation of Hayashi's booklet also"
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"Ah, another thought! Besides not knowing about Hayashi's booklet, from what I've seen, with all the modifications that are continuously being made (- much of it by Takata's own master-level students -) very few of the newer 'generations' of Reiki masters seem even to be aware of precisely what it was that Takata really taught. (Lets face it, with all the focus on 'Reiki Guides', and crystals and 'Higher Selves', and chakras and stuff that we keep adding, Takata herself might be hardpressed to recognise her teachings amongst what passes for Usui Shiki Ryoho today!). So what I was thinking was this - we extract some of the particular elements of Takata's original practices, oh, like that thing she did for changing bad habits, and the 'group treatment', and the 'Reiki finish' - that sort of thing - maybe modify them slightly - our friend here with his Japanese Language and Classics degree can give them some nice new 'old' names and we can present them as 'original' individual techniques - still practiced in Japan, but for some strange reason, missing from Reiki as we know it in the West." "Good, good. Now, there is something else that's been bothering me lately. It's this whole thing about Usui being a Christian Minister. To be honest, it's just not... well... fashionable. I've noticed lately - the majority of folk who turn up at my Reiki classes are very much 'New Agey' types - and, y'know, when I start recounting the 'Reiki Story', well as soon as I mention the whole 'Christian' thing, I can see the uneasiness on peoples faces - seems to make some folk uncomfortable - embarrassed even - one or two actually star fidgeting in their seats. So far, no-one has got up and walked out, but..." "Yeah, well I suppose there's lots of folk, specially some of the younger ones, been trying to get away from what they see as the 'dogmatic control' of a Christian upbringing - that's often why they get into New Age stuff in the first place." "Suppose so, but what's to be done about it? I'm becoming concerned it might begin to effect the number of folk who want to sign up for my courses. This 'Christian' element could prove to be bad for business." “Indeed. Though... I wonder... I heard somewhere that one Reiki master - forget who - wrote to the place where the 'Reiki Story' says Usui was a Minister - looking for background info, y'know but he was told Usui had never even been there. (Whether they meant he definitely hadn't been there, or just that there are no surviving records to prove he was there, I'm not sure - must have been a heck of a lot of records lost in the incendiary bombing-raids in WWII) - but.... well I'm thinking, could we somehow play on this to our advantage?" "Not sure if I understand." "Well, if we present it as though it was a definite fact - that Usui wasn't a Minister at the place - then maybe we can also take it just that bit further, and say that he wasn't actually a Minister at all - not even a Christian at all? That somehow, over time, the story got confused..."
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"Or maybe got intentionally altered for some reason?" "Good - I like that! Yes, intentionally altered... but why? Oh, I suppose we can come up with something half-way plausible if we give it some thought, don't you?" "Sure. But if we get rid if the 'Christian' thing, are we going to put something else in its place?" "How about we say Usui was a Buddhist? Most of these New Age folks seem familiar with (and comfortable with) Buddhism - and it does mention Buddhism in the story already..." "Yes, that would work. I don't suppose it matters really. Just as long as we're all - what's that old expression...'singing from the same hymn sheet'?" "Hah, or in this case, shouldn't that be 'Chanting from the same sutra'! OK, Buddhism it is then. We're agreed." "Now, if we're claiming Usui was a Buddhist, wouldn't that possibly have been reflected in his Reiki teachings?" "Hmm - oh yeah, I didn't think 'bout that - anyone know anything about Japanese Buddhism?" "No, not really, but I've heard of Zen of course - and aren't there supposed to be several other types as well? We'd have to check up on that." "Shouldn't be too difficult. I quite like this notion of our 'original' Reiki teachings reflecting some elements of Buddhism - I suppose we could incorporate something about 'non-attachment', or 'mindfulness' - possibly a genuine Japanese Buddhist meditation or two, that sort of thing?" "Yeah sure. But what if we take it a step further?" "Explain?" "Well, I'm thinking - back when Takata was teaching, people were satisfied with learning Reiki for what it was then - and always had been - a simple, focussed and effective healing method. But as we all know, ever since Reiki 'escaped into the wilds' of the New Age community, there has been an ever increasing demand for our Reiki courses to be 'spiced up' with endless 'add-ons', haphazardly adopted-in from all manner of different mystical and spiritual traditions...." "So?" "So, how about we ditch all the existing 'add-ons' - all the talk of chakras, and guides, and crystals and stuff - and focus instead on incorporating a whole bunch of new addons - ones more specifically related to Buddhism.
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After all, Mrs. Takata said Usui found the keys to Reiki Healing in a Buddhist Sutra. So we could claim that these new add-ons are really ‘re-discovered’ elements of the original teachings; may be something about how we've discovered that in the early days, Reiki was not simply a healing practice, but also, a Buddhist-inspired system of personal spiritual development. This way, we could add a whole new dimension to our training courses." "Brilliant! That will really whet the jaded appetites of the 'Reiki-buying public'. But it could take quite a bit of research to come up with enough material to pad out the system in this way." "Well, I believe I might just have an answer to that one. My son's got a big stack of those Japanese - (now, what do they call them? oh that's it) 'manga' comic books - full of tales of Mystics and Ninjas and Buddhist Monks. Y'know the sort of thing - obscure esoteric Buddhist beliefs, secret practices, healing powers, mystic gestures, martial arts abilities, magic spells (which I think the boy called 'jumon' or something?), and a plethora of 'Buddhist Deities'. I'm sure we could get a few ideas from these comic books, y'know - esoteric symbolism, meditation practices, and so on. Mix 'em in with the 'repackaged' Takata practices, and a few of the 're-branded' Chi Gung exercises you mentioned earlier - and hey presto!" "Ah, splendid! Hmm, that reminds me - I was watching a documentary on TV a few months back - about these groups of Japanese ascetics who head off up into the mountains to meditate and stuff - something called Shog gi.... ah, no, I mean Shugendo. I think this was also somehow tied in with Japanese Buddhism - but the documentary was mainly focussing on how it borrowed heavily from Shinto folk-practices; maybe we could kinda blend a few elements from this Shugendo into the mix as well?" "Sure. I don't see why not." “Hmm, just a thought, but it might be prudent not to, as they say: ‘put all our eggs in one basket’. I mean, if we go exclusively down the route of ‘Reiki is a Buddhist-inspired system of healing and self development’, well where would that leave us, if say - at some point in the future - Buddhism should fall out of favour with the Reiki-buying masses. Y’know just like Christianity - cease to be fashionable? “Right; yeah, good point” “So, could we perhaps claim that there were in fact several different forms or expressions of Reiki? Oh, something to the effect that, over the years, different Masters had – for whatever reasons - evolved Reiki in somewhat different directions? That, even today, there are actually a number of different styles of Reiki in Japan?” “Yes, wonderful! This way we can develop this whole Buddhist-Reiki thing – with all the necessary esoteric ‘bells and whistles’ – and at the same time, still promote a ‘secular’ version, with the primary focus on simple therapeutic practice (with, of course, its own, secular set of ‘bells and whistles’), for those who simply want a mumbo-jumbo-free healing method.”
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“Good, so it’s agreed. Several different styles it is then.” "OK, so, continuing with the theme of diverse forms of expression of Reiki – and I realise now, maybe this might be taking things a bit too far, but, d'you think we could possibly get away with claiming that, say, in the very beginning, Usui's teachings were purely about spiritual development? Nothing to do with a healing method at all?" "Huh?" "Well, its just that ... well... y'see the whole idea of Reiki is great an' everything, but I really don't get on well with being around sick people - don't like touching them - don't even like being in the same room as them (in fact I'm sure that, of late, I'm becoming a bit phobic). Obviously, becoming a Master meant that I didn't have to bother about actually treating folk - much easier (and financially more rewarding) just to run the occasional seminar but lately I'm finding that too many people want to experience the efficacy of Reiki before signing up for training, and they expect me to give them healing sessions. So I was just thinking it might be nice to shift the focus completely away from healing, and just concentrate instead on this 'spiritual development' notion? "I've got to admit, it's a novel approach." "I suppose you might find a niche in the Reiki-market for it. You'll never know until you try it" "Yes, well.... so, anyone else got any other thoughts or ideas?" "Yeah, just one: what if, after all this, Ms Furumoto still manages to get worldwide Trademark on the various Reiki-related terms - what then?" "Hm, yes, good point. We could do with some form of contingency plan..." "I think I've got an idea. We could perhaps say that Reiki wasn't always known as Reiki or Usui Shiki Ryoho - that it was originally called, oh - something like 'Usui's Hand Treatment Method' or 'Usui's Way (of Healing)' - only in Japanese of course. Perhaps we could say it actually had different names at different times. And if we can popularise this idea, well then even if the word Reiki itself becomes trademarked - well, we'll still be able to practice it (and more importantly, teach it) - but under an one or more alternative names that people will have by then become familiar with." "I like it!" "Ah, just think of the possibilities (for that matter, the financial opportunities – training seminars, conferences, books, videos!)" "Actually, why didn't we come up with this idea years ago..."
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But for all its cunning, this cabal of Reiki Businessmen forgot that the Japanese are masters of taking an idea, improving on it and re-exporting it to a world hungry for new innovation... # Famous Students - and Usui Reiki Ryoho?
As a result of endless requests from their gaijin (foreign) counterparts, several Japanese practitioners of imported Takata-style Reiki had decided to do a little research into the Japanese origins of the art (even though they had no real interest in these origins themselves - they only wanted to know about 'proper' Reiki - from America!). In the main, they had been unable to find any reference to Mikao Usui, let alone actual detailed information about him and his healing practices. However, in the course of their research efforts, a couple of them had discovered information about other healers who were around in the early part of the 20th century - and quite a substantial amount of information at that. It was a pity they hadn't found anything about Usui, but it would also be a pity if this other information they had uncovered was simply allowed to go to waste...
"Well, I suppose we could always pretend that some of these other healers - like, for instance, that guy Eguchi Toshihiro, or even Tomita Kaiji - were friends or associates of Usui Mikao?" "Maybe even students of his?" "Hmm, yes - that might just work. Then we could take some of their ideas, methodologies, perhaps a few specific techniques - mix them into the Reiki we've learnt from the west, and tell the gaijin ..." "You mean SELL the gaijin ...!!" "Ha! yes, sell the gaijin a seminar in newly rediscovered 'Early Reiki' practice." "Good. Good. But we can't actually call it 'Early Reiki', can we? We need to come up with a suitable name - and we can't just call it Usui Shiki Ryoho either." "Ooh, I've just thought of something. I was talking with a Reiki guy from Yokohama a while back. Someone in America gave him a tape recording of a lecture given in the 1970's by Mrs. Takata. (He learnt English at college so he could understand most of it)" "So?" "So - I remember him telling me that there is one point on the tape where Mrs. Takata refers to Usui's methods, not as 'Usui Shiki Ryoho' as is normal, but as 'Usui Reiki Ryoho'. Well, we could call our new 'old' Reiki practices 'Usui Reiki Ryoho'.
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"Yes, 'Usui Reiki Ryoho', I like the sound of that." "Great, 'Usui Reiki Ryoho' it is then." "And if the seminars are successful, we could perhaps set up a society to oversee the training?" "A Usui Reiki Ryoho Society? A Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai - hmm, wait a minute - this gives me another idea..." # Japanese Reiki seminars
"But we really need something to present to the gaijin very soon - before their interest wanes. How long do you think its going to take us to construct a comprehensive 'Usui Reiki Ryoho' system - I mean, it has to be believable, we can't afford to mess up - we'll probably only have one chance at this. We really need to get it right first time" "Or do we?" "What do you mean?" "Well, we could set up a few initial 'introductory' seminars - tell them that what we teach is actually a blend of western Usui Shiki Ryoho and native Usui Reiki Ryoho. And if we sell it just right, they'll be so eager to take the training that they wont even realise the seminar content is - oh, say - something like 85% re-hashed western Reiki and about 15% beliefs and practices drawn from other non-Reiki healing arts from the Meiji- and early Taisho-eras." "Great idea! That way we'd have a basic system to work with and build on - it would give us time to see what else we can - to use that gaijin phrase - 'MacGyver' together for more 'advanced' training - and if by some fluke we do happen to discover any real info about early native Reiki practices, well we can incorporate that too" "Yeah, I like that! Just the sort of flexibility we need." "Exactly. And this way, just to get things moving, all we would need to do is simply modify some things from western Reiki, add in bits here and there from those other healing systems and flesh the whole thing out with some historical and cultural references - oh, lets say about the changes wrought as a result of the Meiji Restoration y'know, 'Last Days of the Samurai', and all that. The gaijin love all that old 'bygone era' stuff." "And how about this: as well as mentioning those other healers, we can maybe also drop in a few other famous names - y'know, people from Usui Mikao's time - suggest some vague connections between them - nothing specific though, y'know - nothing easily checkable. I mean, we could say something about how he knew - oh, for example - Ueshiba Morihei, the founder of Aikido; and people like that..."
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"How about if we claim Usui Mikao was also involved with martial arts?" "Aikido maybe - it would tie in nicely if we want people to believe he and Ueshiba knew each other, wouldn't it?" "No, that won't work, Ueshiba didn't even use the term Aikido until the 1940's" "Oh, right - well how about some older martial art -something not too many people will have heard of? "I've got a friend who practices ... I think its called yagyu ryu (or is it yagyu shinkage ryu?) - something like that - anyhow, its not very well known and it's definitely been around since long before Usui's day. We could say he was highly skilled in yagyu - even an instructor?" "Or perhaps - well, Ueshiba trained in daito ryu and aikijutsu - could we just tell people that Usui studied these?" "How about we play the 'vague card' ?" "Huh?" "I mean, what if we claim that Usui was a skilled martial artist, but that this element of the history is still a little unclear - that we're not absolutely sure as to which art he was skilled in? We could say that there are some conflicting opinions - that some 'sources' say he did... what was it, ah yes, yagyu ryu, others think it might have been a combination of daito ryu and aikijutsu?" "Yes, that would work! In an odd way it might even add a sense of credibility to the tale..." "But are we maybe getting a little side-tracked here - wont we need more 'content', for this new 'Usui Reiki Ryoho' system itself I mean?" "Yes, well, I suppose we could always use the old line about how at this time we have only been given permission to reveal certain facets of the 'original' system to foreigners but say that if they prove worthy students, we might be given permission to teach them more... "Ah, quite so - with, of course, a few vague hints as to what that 'more' might entail...!" "Of course! Well we gotta keep their interest. What's that expression they have: 'Always leave them wanting more!'... " # Symbols and their meanings?
"So, anyone got any idea as to what the Reiki symbols really mean? - ask me about the Tibetan Mani-mantra and the meaning of its shuji, or even about European omajinai [magic] symbolism, and I'm OK - but I don't know much about all that old boring homegrown spiritual stuff from Taisho and Meiji period.
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Take this 'power' symbol for example, The only CKR I'm aware of is an Imperial Edict we know it can't be anything to do with that." "Well, I suppose we could let people think it has something to do with an Imperial Edict just be vague about it - then if we can find out what it is really about we wont have actually told anyone that the Imperial Edict stuff was a fact." "Hmm, maybe" "Or perhaps we could get round the whole thing by saying that the symbols aren't used any more in native Reiki?" "Yeah, I like that - maybe even something about how, originally, they weren't really that central to the system at all?" "Oh - or better still, like maybe that originally they weren't even part of the system at all but added later, for some reason - I'm sure we can think of some scenario, in time..." # Gakkai
"And what about this 'Reiki Society' idea - anyone got any thoughts?" "Well, um, perhaps. I suppose its safe for us to claim Hayashi Chujiro was part of it?" "I guess" "And maybe those two healers you mentioned, who were they again? Right, Tomita, and Eguchi." "Well, yes, but we better only mention them in passing - we don't want to fall into the trap of claiming something that can be easily disproved - there is probably a lot more known about them than we're aware of." "And what about the Society itself - its structure, etc.?" "Well, for the present we can always go with the old 'suspicious of outsiders - especially gaijin' ploy. That will save us a lot of work in the short term. Then I suppose in time, as we gradually develop a suitable background-story - well who knows, perhaps the society will begin to see the error of its isolationist ways, and begin, little by little, to share some of its inner teachings (albeit, newly created ones!) with our gaijin cousins...!" "While we're on the subject, I do have a few ideas we could perhaps use - stuff I learnt about those Shumei people - y'know one of the organisations who practice Johrei healing?" "Like what?" "Well, I was reading a little about their structure - I think we could maybe borrow a few things from it.
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Like: the head of the organisation is referred to as a ‘president’ or kaicho. Recently, the kaicho was a woman named Koyama - though I'm not sure if she has retired now. They have regular meetings at which they give and receive healing. And if I remember correctly - I'm pretty sure its these folk - they use some kind of blessing practice called reiju - we should look into this, I've a feeling might be useful. Oh, yes, before I forget - their practices also include chanting. They use some norito prayers, but they also chant poems written by their founder. They have a collection of them, the Miakarishu: often referred to as the 'little blue book'..." "Slow down a moment, will you - I'm just making some notes. kaicho... Koyama... retired... regular meetings…and what was that, ah, yes, reiju... some form of blessing ceremony, you say? D'you think we could somehow incorporate this into the Reiki Initiation process?" "Wait - what if we present this reiju thing as an alternative to the Initiation process - that would surely get the gaijin's interest!" "Yes, yes, excellent idea! Now what was the other thing you were saying - that was it, chanting. Yes, I like the idea of chanting. Ah, but how long would it take to create a selection of poetry 'written' by Usui Mikao? Wait a minute though - "the little blue book", you say"? I've got a 'little blue book' of poems, and a very famous one at that: the poems of Meiji Tenno..." "So, what... you’re seriously suggesting we attempt to persuade the gaijin to recite the Meiji emperor's poetry while they practice Reiki...! Hah! Well, if you really think it will work… Oh, OK, sure, why not...
Heck, next you’ll be trying to persuade them that Usui actually died as a result of a stroke in 1926…”
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“Never Let the Facts Get in the Way of a Good Story”: # Tales of Intrigue and Imagination
Over the last decade or so, we have been regaled with numerous Reiki-tales of Intrigue (and more than a little Imagination, I feel): Tales of extremely long-lived Buddhist nuns who had conveniently worked with UsuiSensei during the 1920’s… Tales of the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai: legendary 'keepers of the flame' of Original Reiki (yet apparently no longer teaching some of the things Usui Sensei taught, and apparently also teaching things he didn't)… Tales of chance meetings with students of Hayashi-sensei… Rumours of a hidden shrine (housing some of Usui-sensei’s ashes, and the original handwritten version of the Reiki Principles) – its location known only to an honoured few… Accounts of ‘Secret Usui Diaries’ and other Reiki-related documents - locked away in a Japanese Temple – and how, by sheer good fortune, access to them had been granted to one particular Reiki practitioner and martial artist, who of course (all too conveniently, some might say) wasn't allowed to Xerox them, photo them, make written notes, etc, etc… Yet other accounts of ‘Secret Usui Diaries’ and other Reiki-related documents – though this time, claimed to have been discovered in a box, conveniently purchased from some Japanese monks after WWII, by the father of the Reiki practitioner in question… Tales of how, as an exchange-student in Japan, one ‘antipodean’ teenager had supposedly been trained by the Shihan of the Kyoto branch of the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai [even though the particular individual had not even been to Japan as an exchange-student] … Other tales of a group of Taoist Qi Gung students and their fortuitous encounter on a Moroccan beach in 1971 with a septuagenarian Japanese 'hippie' – who just happened to be a student of Toshihiro Eguchi, and who was of course also willing to train them in the original system as taught by Usui-sensei… Then there were claims that Reiki was based on a Tibetan Tantric Buddhist text, supposedly part of a cache of Buddhist documents brought to Japan by the founder of Shingon Buddhism (- at a time before Tantric Buddhism – originating in India - had even arrived in Tibet)… There were also claims that Usui-sensei’s development of Reiki Ryoho had been strongly influenced by the Sonten-worshipping ‘Kurama-Kokyo’ sect who occupy the temple on Mount Kurama
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[- even though this particular sect did not take possession of the Kurama temple until nearly a quarter of a century after Usui-sensei’s passing]… Yet others claimed that Reiki came originally from China… That the Reiki Principles had probably been composed by the Meiji Emperor… That there were really only three Usui Reiki Symbols, not four… Then there were people, with Tendai Buddhist’s leanings, claiming: "Usui Sensei was Tendai Buddhist"… There have been others, with Shingon leanings, claiming: "Usui Sensei was Shingon Buddhist"… Practitioners of Taoist arts claiming: “Usui Sensei taught Taoist energy-work”… People familiar with the Shinto-based practice of Kotodama claiming: "Usui Sensei taught Kotodama"… Martial artists claiming: "Usui Sensei was a high level martial arts practitioner"…
- the list goes on and on...
“The secret to being a good storyteller lies in the ability to seamlessly blend truth and fiction together - to convincing and emotionally-engaging effect”
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Go in search of 'Original' Reiki, you will find what you want to find... # More than Three Degrees ?
The first known Reiki practitioner to go to Japan (in the mid 1980’s) in an attempt to discover something about the origins of Reiki had been trained, not in Usui Shiki Ryoho, but rather in a modified form of Reiki (to all intents and purposes, the first ‘new’ style of Reiki to appear in over 40 years) - taught by one of Takata-sensei’s students: Barbara Webber Ray. One of the primary differences between Ray’s version of Reiki and Usui Shiki Ryoho was that training in the former was spread over more than the ‘standard’ three levels found in Usui Shiki Ryoho. Was it then simply mere coincidence that this Reiki practitioner – having begun to teach this modified form of Reiki while in Japan (and in doing so, no doubt also mentioning the multi-level structure of the system) - was told by those professing to ‘know’ that original Usui Reiki also had more than three levels? # Attune again?
In Takata-sensei's day an attunement was a one-off event. You received attunement to level one, then possibly some time later, to level two, and in the case of 22 particular students, level three. Once you were attuned to a level, you were attuned - for keeps. Attunement was permanent, and it didn't 'fade', need 'topping up' or have an expiration date. But over time, there were western Reiki Masters who had begun experimenting with the idea of 'repeat attunements'. The evolving theory supposedly being that repeating the process would (besides no doubt providing them with an opportunity for making some extra cash) result in a 'deepening of the quality' of the student’s connection to Reiki. And then (will the Reiki coincidences never end?) – imagine these Reiki Masters' surprise when they discovered (from someone claiming to be in contact with a 'Original Japanese Reiki' source) that, apparently, Usui-Sensei didn't use a one-time-only attunement process - but rather, used something called reiju - which he gave to students on a regular basis - over and over again, with the intent of 'deepening of the quality' of the student’s connection to Reiki... # Hayashi-sensei's training? It has been claimed by some that, unlike certain other students, Hayashi-sensei did not receive the higher levels of Reiki training/initiation from Usui-sensei Was this really simply a story invented by less-than-generous Gakkai folk in response to Hayashi-sensei decision to leave the Gakkai and set up his own school. ["Our Reiki is better than his" sort of thing?] Or is it perhaps possible that the story could actually be a modern invention, by some current members of the pro-Gakkai Reiki camp? An attempt to cast doubt on the 'quality' - even the very validity, of the entire 'Western' Reiki lineage? Could it simply have been a
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ploy - a fiction devised in the hope of creating a level of insecurity in the minds of a great many 'Western' lineage Reiki practitioners concerning how strong/powerful/real their Reiki was, to the point, in fact, where a great many would hurry off to sign themselves up (and hand over the substantial booking fee deposit) for the very next available 'Japanese' Reiki course? Well, it certainly does seem to have worked, doesn't it? # The exact spot where Usui-sensei sat?
Recently some enterprising Reiki-folk have been advertising 'Reiki Pilgrimage' tourpackages to Japan, combining sightseeing in Kyoto with the opportunity to meet 'famous' Reiki people, receive training in either Jikiden, Komyo, or Gendai Ho Reiki, and make trips to Mt Kurama. Seems that the tours also include a chance to receive either denju attunements or reiju at what is claimed to be the 'exact spot' on Mt Kurama where Usui-sensei undertook his 21-day shugyo and had the 'Reiki Experience'. I can't help wondering if it is purely coincidental that the 'exact spot' just happens to be the very place revered as the site where the Kurama deity mao-son no kami is said to have arrived on earth? So how did they suddenly discover that this was the legendary spot where Usui-sensei first experienced the phenomenon that is Reiki? The fortuitous (and highly lucrative) result of a 'channeling' session, perhaps? # Auspicious Cloud? Or how CKR got its 'true' name...
One day, at a seminar run by a Japanese Reiki Master, one of several foreign students began asking questions about the meaning of the term CKR. However, for some time the Master himself has secretly been puzzling over this (he had mistakenly understood the name of the symbol to refer to an 'Imperial Decree' and had tried unsuccessfully to find a way to tie this in to the symbol's Reiki usage). It wouldn't look to good if he said he didn't actually know - especially as he claimed to have 'inside information', so-to-speak, about Usui-sensei's original teachings. So, in an attempt to 'save face', he decided to 'accidentally' let slip that CKR wasn't actually the symbol's true name at all, and in doing so hopefully divert the wide-eyed student's focus from a question he didn't know the answer to. However, not having interacted with that many gaijin, the master was not used to (what to Japanese sensibilities is viewed as) the big, loud, 'in your face' - and impolite manner of many westerners. Thus, he was somewhat taken aback by the demanding tones in which a number of the students pressed him to reveal this (nonexistent) 'true' name he had alluded to. Hurriedly trying to come up with a name, but failing to do so, his eyes alighted on the small table where a few sticks of Japanese aloeswood incense currently smouldered in a small wooden holder. Also lying on the table was the incense box. The name on the lid
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read: Zuiun ('Auspicious Cloud'). Smiling to himself with relief, The Japanese Reiki Master turned to look at the group. 'Zuiun' he said. The true name of this symbol is: 'Zuiun' ... # Mikao Usui not actually Tendai Buddhist at all?
When it was discovered that Takata sensei's story about Mikao Usui being a Christian Minister at Doshisha University was inaccurate, it was decided (by those who professed to know the 'truth') that he must have therefore been a Buddhist. But what type of Buddhist? On the Usui Memorial there was mention of the experience on Mount Kurama (i.e. 'kurama yama' - though Takata Sensei had called it koriyama). It didn't take much to discover that prior to WWII the Temple at Kurama belonged to the Tendai sect - and hey presto - for no other reason than the fact Kurama Yama was under Tendai control during the time he had the 'Reiki experience' there, Mikao Usui was suddenly a Tendai Buddhist!! Foolproof, except for one small detail - his ashes are interred in a grave at the Saihoji Temple in Tokyo - a temple belonging to the Pure Land sect... # Usui Memorial a Modern-day Fake?
An unnamed, retired Tokyo labourer claims he was part of a workcrew contracted to erect the commemorative stone at the Usui gravesite - in October 1985! It would be interesting to see photos of this area of the Saihoji Temple cemetery prior to this date...
* * * * *
No doubt “the Truth is out there” – perhaps its just that it doesn’t want to be found…
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The contents of this E-book may be updated from time to time. This current edition is [Version 1.00] The availability of newer versions of this E-Book will be publicized on my Reiki Pages at:
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