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The Authors, CT Conroy & JA Conroy, have made their best effort to produce a high quality, informative and helpful document. But they make no representation or warranties of any kind with regard to the completeness or accuracy of the document. They accept no liability of any kind for any losses or damages caused or alleged to be caused, directly or indirectly, from using the information contained in this document.
History (or Herstory) of Reiki
…There are presently two different versions of how Reiki came to be ‘re-discovered’ doing the rounds. There is the ‘Western’ version and the ‘Eastern’ version. We will look at the ‘Western’ version first, and it goes something like this.
In the mid 1800’s, the Meiji period, Dr Mikao Usui was the dean of a small Christian university called Doshisha University in Kyoto Japan. During one of his classes several students wanted to know whether he believed in the Bible. Dr Usui replied that he did indeed believe. The students then asked if he believed in Jesus’ ability to heal the sick. Again Dr Usui replied that he did. The students pressed his beliefs further. They quoted Jesus’ statement “You can do this too, and more”, and asked when, if Dr Usui also accepted this as being true, they would be taught how to heal just like Jesus. Now Dr Usui was a Japanese of very traditional values. He was not able to pass these teachings on to his students and honour demanded that he resign. He did so, immediately.
Dr Usui leaves Japan
He visited every monastery in turn. . had all the largest monasteries so naturally Dr Usui continued his search there. Despite spending seven years studying Christianity. as he knew Buddha had also healed the sick. he was unable to find the knowledge he sought. Dr Usui was becoming more and more despondent but he did not give up his search. The response from each monastery was always the same. No. He had learned that Jesus was said to have travelled throughout India and Tibet and so decided that he too would follow in his footsteps. They were aware that Buddha had healed the physical body and that it was written in the Sutras. However it was their belief that healing the spirit was more important and because of this they did not know how to heal the body. philosophy. He continued on and came across a Zen monastery. the scriptures and several other religions. at that time. He reasoned that as Jesus was a Christian he would find this knowledge in a Christian country and travelled to America. On his arrival in America Dr Usui studied at the University of Chicago.He decided that he would make it his life’s mission to seek out the ability to heal as Jesus had done and went off in search of this knowledge. It was here that he met with great support for his search. Further studies in Buddhism It was here that Dr Usui learned Sanskrit and studied the Indian and Tibetan Sutras. But still he was unable to find what he sought and so decided to travel back to Japan to further his studies in Buddhism. Kyoto. asking the monks whether they were able to heal as Buddha had done.
He climbed the mountain and found a beautiful spot. Through meditation and discussion with the other monks. Dr Usui sees the light . and it was to here that Dr Usui travelled. Dr Usui came to the realisation that enlightenment on how to use the formula would be given to him if he fasted and meditated for 21 days. They invited Dr Usui to join them. in itself. Mount Kurama Near Kyoto was a very holy mountain called Mount Kurama. To prevent himself from losing track of time he gathered together 21 stones with the intention of throwing away one stone at the dawn of each new day. searching the Sutras and meditating with the other monks. This formula was. Nearing the end of his search He spent three years there. and eventually he discovered a formula for contacting a higher power able to bestow on the seeker abilities for healing the physical body. facing east. very simple.Even though the monks at this monastery were also concentrating on healing the spirit they believed that the knowledge for healing the body would be made available to them through their meditations. but it was going to need interpreting and testing to see if it worked. with water for drinking nearby. Ready for whatever experience that presented itself. Dr Usui began his vigil.
The decision to allow this to happen was entirely up to Dr Usui. As Dr Usui focussed on this light it began to travel towards him becoming brighter and brighter. meditated. it had to be his own choice.For twenty days Dr Usui fasted. . Inside the bubbles were different symbols and as he studied them he became attuned to their energy. He was to understand however that the light would have to strike him in the third eye. and it was so powerful it might actually kill him. Dr Usui was suddenly aware that the light was actually a consciousness and was seeking to communicate with him. read the scriptures. chanted and prayed without anything out of the ordinary happening. Calming himself he remembered that this was the very reason he was there. Then on the morning of the twenty-first day whilst looking out into the darkness of the pre-dawn he noticed what seemed to be a small flicker of light away in the distance. The force of the blow knocked him unconscious and it was whilst he was in this trance like state that he saw beautiful bubbles of coloured lights rising up before his eyes. even if that meant his own death. He became very afraid and was in two minds as to whether to stay or run away. The light continued to get closer becoming much brighter as it did so. It said that this was the enlightenment to healing others that he had been seeking. The light strikes Dr Usui decided to allow the light to strike him. He stood up and determined that he would stay where he was and accept anything that happened.
felt so good he ignored the concerns of the proprietor and ate heartily. ordered a full breakfast. Quickly he got his few possessions together. however. Quickly he got back to his feet and hurried off down the mountain in the direction of the monastery. They seemed to have emanated a tremendous heat whilst he was holding his toe. Dr Usui was thrilled. Dr Usui. He did not want his first customer of the day getting indigestion. he wanted to get back to the monastery to share his experiences with the abbot. with great enthusiasm. He could see by Dr Usui’s unkempt and unshaved condition that he had obviously been meditating and. stubbing his toe quite badly in the process. therefore. fasting for some time. There was something very different about his hands now. At the foot of the mountain he came across a typical Japanese snack bar that had been set up to feed weary travellers. It was like a miracle.When Dr Usui regained full consciousness he knew that what had transpired had been all that he had been looking for. . Dr Usui stopped and. The first miracle Setting off at a great pace he stumbled. finishing the complete meal with no ill effects whatsoever. He felt tremendously energised and not at all weary. Immediately the pain began to subside and a few minutes later both the pain and the bleeding had stopped completely. The proprietor warned Dr Usui to only have a light meal of rice gruel. The pain lanced through his body and he instinctively bent down and cupped the damaged toe in his hands.
She appeared to be in great pain. With the profuse thanks of the proprietor and the girl ringing in his ears Dr Usui set off on the rest of his journey back to the monastery. Dr Usui heals his first patient As Dr Usui was preparing to pay for the meal the proprietor’s granddaughter came to clear away the dishes. he learned that the young girl had been suffering severe toothache for many days.Another miracle. He also learned that the proprietor was unable to afford either the time or the money to take his granddaughter to the dentist seventeen miles away in Kyoto. On arrival he learned that the abbot had been laid up in bed with an acute attack of arthritis. A third miracle. The girl gladly accepted this offer of help and allowed Dr Usui to gently cup her face in his hands. On enquiring from the proprietor as to why this was. . Overwhelmed with compassion Dr Usui was overwhelmed with compassion and asked for permission to attempt to heal her. He noticed tears in her eyes and that the side of her face was very red and swollen. Within seconds the discomfort began to subside and minutes later the pain and the swelling had completely disappeared.
He had gone back into the main part of the city and had even found himself a good job. Reiki should not be given for free . Unfortunately this was not an isolated case. Dr Usui questioned this man as to why he had returned once more to the life of a beggar. He spent the next seven years working in this poor part of Kyoto. Perhaps. he thought. Dr Usui discovered more and more people who had returned to begging after having been healed. It turned out that the beggar had been. helping as many people as he could. Perhaps it was more important to heal the spirit than the body. and it greatly saddened him. For a while he had prospered but the responsibility of looking after himself became too much for him. very happy at having been healed. It was much easier living the life of a beggar. Many remarkable healings took place and Dr Usui was content with his life until he came across a beggar that he had healed many years before. Again within moments the discomfort began to subside and minutes later had disappeared altogether. the Buddhist monks were right.Wasting no time he went to his old friend and whilst recounting his experiences on the mountain gently rested his hands on the abbots body. initially. and was extremely dismayed at the response. The abbot was astonished at this demonstration of healing and as the two friends talked into the night it was decided that the best thing to do next would be to go out into the city to heal the sick. Dr Usui chose to go out and take up residence in the Beggars Kingdom.
I will count my many blessings. Dr Usui had unwittingly strengthened their belief in begging as being the only way of getting what they wanted. 2. On his death in 1926 he had initiated 16 people as Reiki Masters and had charged one of his most dedicated students. Today. Today. For his remaining years Dr Usui travelled the length and breadth of Japan spreading his Reiki healing. With this realisation he immediately closed his healing practice and left the Beggars Quarter. It was also during this period that Dr Usui developed his Five Principles of Reiki. none of the beggars had apportioned any value to this help. 4. 5. Just for today. He discovered that his biggest mistake was in healing the bodies of the beggars without teaching them the value of responsibility. Dr Chujiro Hayashi. I will be kind to every living creature. I will let go of anger. 1. and became aware that the symbols he had been shown on Mount Kurama were to be used for initiating others into this healing system that he now called Reiki. Just for today. I will let go of worry. with the responsibility of preserving and continuing the Reiki teachings. He also realised that because he had been giving away the healing for free. I will do my work honestly. Today.Dr Usui went into meditation to seek the answers on how he could have got it so wrong. ThefiveprinciplesofReiki . 3.
Dr Chujiro Hayashi A retired naval officer. He had spent many years following Dr Usui on his travels around Japan and had become a very capable and dedicated healer in his own right. therefore. Mr and Mrs Otogoro Kawamura were Japanese immigrants. her parents. rewarded him by passing to him the title of Reiki Grand Master prior to his death. Although being born in Hawaii. Hawaii. much impressed with this competent leader of men. This he did in the knowledge that many of the men he had trained would be killed in the fighting and he wanted to ensure that Reiki survived. It came as no surprise. . that Dr Usui. on the island of Kauai. He also refined the attunement process by dividing it into three separate levels called degrees. Dr Hayashi was forty-seven when he was initiated as a Reiki Master. gave her American nationality. being a renowned psychic. Mrs Hawayo Takata Mrs Takata was born on 24 December 1900 in Hanamaulu. Dr Hayashi foresaw the coming of the Second World War and decided to pass on Reiki to two women. It is not known how many people Dr Hayashi trained in Reiki but it is known that. The two women he trained were his wife and Mrs Hawayo Takata. Dr Hayashi went on to open the first Reiki clinic in Tokyo and it was here whilst using a combination of observation and clinical record keeping that he developed the twelve basic hand positions in use today. a commander in the Imperial Navy of Japan.
and decided to begin treatment with them. as her parents had returned to Japan. making a complete recovery. As a result her health began to suffer and in 1935. This was 1935. Mrs Takata’s two great hurdles Unfortunately. Not only did she experience the wonder of Reiki at first hand. Number one. Saichi died in 1930 at the age of thirty-four leaving Hawayo to bring up the family completely on her own. Over the next few months Mrs Takata attended the Reiki clinic on a daily basis. Mrs Takata immediately cancelled her operation and went to the Reiki Clinic for consultation. she also saw Reiki in action with other people. tragically. Mrs Takata was very encouraged when the clinics’ diagnosis of her illness. Mrs Takata continued to work at the sugar plantation but with the loss of her husband’s wage she found she had to work harder and longer to make ends meet. The results spoke for themselves and Mrs Takata knew she had to learn the art herself. she was not Japanese. matched the one she had been given by the hospital. that Hawayo eventually fell in love with and married.Her father worked at a sugar plantation on Kauai and it was the bookkeeper of this plantation. Mrs Takata had two very large hurdles to overcome first if she was to be taught Reiki. Her surgeon. she was a woman and number two. They had two children but. her condition deteriorated so rapidly she was admitted to hospital. Mr Saichi Takata. when on a visit to her parents in Japan. knowing of Dr Hayashi’s work at the Reiki Clinic. . mentioned that she might benefit from Reiki treatment and suggested she might try it. She was in the operating theatre being prepared for surgical intervention when she was strongly impressed to question the doctor on alternatives to surgery.
She knew that to be taken seriously she would have to show total commitment and dedication. though. She spent the next year working with Dr Hayashi and then received her Second Degree initiation. But all of this may not have been enough however. Finally Accepted into Reiki Mrs Takata’s Reiki instruction began with her immediately receiving the First Degree initiation.and the notion of any Japanese art being taught to foreigners was unthinkable. As already mentioned. Mrs Takata became the beneficiary of this insight. This she did and even offered to sell her house in Hawaii to emphasise her devotion. Just prior to his death in 1941 he declared Mrs Takata Grand Master. . had it not been for Dr Hayashi’s psychic abilities. In 1938 Dr Hayashi travelled to Hawaii and ensured the continuance of Reiki by initiating Mrs Takata as a Reiki Master. And to teach a woman was impossible. He also knew that a woman would have a greater chance of surviving this madness. was not the kind of person to give up lightly. At this time Mrs Takata was the only practicing Reiki Master in the West. Mrs Takata. On completion of this training she returned to Hawaii and opened her own Reiki clinic. and for quite a while that was the way it stayed. he knew that the Second World War was coming and that many of the men he had taught Reiki would be called on to fight and die.
As many people do. He read voraciously and became extremely knowledgeable in medicine. for it was well known in the area as a place of spiritual enlightenment. psychology and religious practices from around the world. It was a beautiful spot near a waterfall and it was whilst actually meditating under the waterfall that he had a moment of enlightenment or ‘Satori’ as it is known in Japanese. He was a very happy and industrious person who gave a great deal of his life to the study of metaphysics and spirituality. And it was to Mount Kurama that he went to seek his answers. He was also known for his abilities as a psychic and fortuneteller. The Eastern Version Dr Usui was born on August 15 1865 in the village of Yago in the Yamagata district of Gifu prefecture. he sought help and guidance from ‘Higher Sources’. th Dr Usui’s Satori At that time it was not unusual for people to go on a twentyone day meditation and fasting retreat on the mountain. He wanted to know what the meaning of life was all about. and it was known that Dr Usui had a favourite place where he liked to meditate. when life seems to be letting them down. leaving him deeply demoralised and heavily in debt. Before re-discovering Reiki he had been running a small business but it had failed. beginning in the 1970’s. This is when .Eventually she saw the need for more Reiki Masters and. initiated 22 people before her death in 1980.
Dr Usui used his Reiki healing to great effect during this time and such was the success of his Reiki that his first clinic soon became too small to cope. wouldn’t you just know it. With this fame came invitations to travel to distant cities. the proponents of each one claims their version to be the original and genuine article. which Dr Usui undertook. bringing people from far and wide. Now as you can see. and death and injuries to many thousands of inhabitants. which Dr Usui called ‘Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkei’ (Usui Healing Method Society). Dr Usui’s fame began spreading even further now. th . As it worked well he began using it on the general public and eventually opened up his first clinic in Tokyo. These people came not only for healing but also to learn the system for themselves. From this time on Dr Usui used the Reiki energy on himself and then on his friends and family. Which one would you like to choose? Either or neither may be the truth. indeed his name began to be known throughout Japan. the two versions are quite different. became known to him. This led to the founding of the Reiki movement. and the healing system he called Reiki. And. The Tokyo earthquake In 1923 a powerful earthquake hit Tokyo causing massive damage to the city. His fame as a healer began to spread.the full realisation of the meaning of life. and it was while on one of these visits to Fukuyama that he had a stroke and died on March 9 1926. To rectify this problem a larger one was built in Nakano outside Tokyo.
for God’s sake. Reiki is supposed to enlighten. saying that their method of receiving Reiki is better than another is implying that God shares their jaundiced view. that Reiki still exists in Japan. . Anyone. bringing about the almost obligatory.Whilst you’re deciding let’s give you another issue to consider. It cannot be any other way. of course. Reiki simply enters and works regardless. How arrogant. Western Reiki has recently ‘discovered’. and we really do mean . therefore. ‘Ours is better than yours’ game being played by both sides. It had not died out in the Second World War as was originally believed. There are differences. for in our universe there is only one energy. So. Reiki as taught and practised in the East WORKS. How misguided. Inevitably this has led to comparisons between the two styles. If this weren’t so sad it would be laughable. just know and understand this… Reiki as taught and practised in the West WORKS.for God’s sake. To say any different is to deny the essence of Reiki itself. Reiki is the life force energy – the life force energy is GOD. Reiki is the energy of the Divine. It cares not one jot as to how or where it is brought into the lives of those who have chosen to receive it. This childish nonsense has no place in Reiki and should be firmly set aside.
he was far more likely to have been a Buddhist. his Japanese students or disciples referred to him as Usui-Sensei (sensei means teacher). It is known that he did travel to western countries and China. [We have no problem in continuing to call him doctor though. He was not a doctor in the conventional western sense. Mr Wanami. His knowledge of other religions would probably have included Christianity but there is no record of him being Dean of Doshisha University in Kyoto. we’ll put the soapbox away for now. as some people believe. No Grand Master Title There was no title of Grandmaster created. . instead there was a president of the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkei. by the way]. but there is no record of him attending Chicago University as either a student or lecturer. Reiki was not just an oral teaching Dr Usui and Dr Hayashi both produced manuals for their students. Mr Watanabe. Dr Usui was. quite obviously. But before we move on too much further let’s just go over the main issues. Reiki did not die out in Japan and only become available in the West through Mrs Takata.Okay. the first president. Mr Taketomi. Dr Usui was not a Christian Dr Usui was almost certainly not a Christian. Mrs Koyama and finally Mr Kondo who is the present president at the time of writing. Dr Hayashi did teach Mrs Takata and did pass on the complete teachings to her. There have been six further Presidents: Mr Ushida. Dr Hayashi was not given the title of Grandmaster (for as we have said this title did not and does not exist) he was a respected disciple of Dr Usui who had been granted teacher status. The existence of the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkei now known as Usui Kai confirms this.
Don’t worry today. The ability to channel the Reiki energy and give Reiki treatments. 4.000 for taking the Reiki Master attunement Students of Mrs Takata introduced the required waiting times between the classes for the attunements. and who might have received mixed messages from others. please ignore and forgive the political wrangling and just enjoy Reiki for what it is. The Reiki that was taught by Dr Usui probably consisted of the following five items: 1. The three degrees of Reiki. 2. 5. Dr Usui did not develop the five principles. 3. Be kind to others today. Be grateful today.He obviously did not pass on to her the title of Grandmaster. The five Reiki principles. The necessity to charge for a treatment Dr Hayashi added the twelve hand positions of Reiki through his observations on healing taking place in his clinic. If you are new to Reiki. Mrs Takata introduced the high fee structure of $10. . The attunement symbols and the ability to pass on Reiki to others. he adapted them from the Meiji Emperor and which were: The five principles of the Meiji Emperor Don’t get angry today. A clearer picture? We hope this is beginning to bring a somewhat clearer picture of Reiki history to those people who may already be involved in the art. Work hard today.
sometimes known as the Reiki Ideals. Traditional Reiki. psychic surgery. . Most of these additions are quite valid in there own right and can be extremely useful. to us. As far as we are aware at this time. Seichem. The three degrees of Reiki (although in Japan they teach six). and. The probability. would appear to be just going for the money! It also has to be taken into account that Dr Usui was a great student of metaphysics and spirituality. Advanced Reiki or any of a host of other techniques and trainings now available. The ability to pass the energy on to others through the attunement processes. Karuna Reiki. That is the entirety of Reiki as originally taught by Dr Usui to over 2000 people. can probably only be the Reiki as taught by Dr Usui. both themselves and others. All of these are add-ons and have been introduced by other Reiki Masters who have followed on after. The five principles of Reiki. the healing attunement. the Antahkarana. Sekhem. And possibly the notion that people have to pay for Reiki treatments.Drawing some final conclusions As you can now see. Tibetan Reiki. that’s it. had they proved to be useful. He almost certainly did not teach crystal grids. That. therefore. from what we can make out. is very high that he might have gone on to expand Reiki by including these extras himself. He taught his students how to use the Reiki energy for healing. Raku Kei. Tera-Mai. very eclectic in nature. like the splitting up of Reiki into many more levels is not. if there could ever be such a thing. Some.
God is not accessible purely through a religion. vital force that animates all living things. Interpreting the word Reiki In Japanese the Kanji Ideogram Rei apparently can be interpreted as having several meanings. ☼ Right we are then. . (and we say apparently because we cannot read Japanese ourselves and have to rely on others). It has nothing to do with religion of any kind. which is why the Reiki founded by Dr Usui was called Usui Shiki Ryoho (Usui System of Natural Healing). Anyway. So from this it can be seen that the word Reiki can be translated into – the universal and holy.As far as we are concerned. spiritual consciousness. in Japan. bringing Reiki into your life is and always should be a wonderful experience.universal. Reiki is a generic term for healing. You see.energy. holy. of course. our interpretation of the word. that’s the potted history of Reiki. bring yourself to believe in such an entity. For us it is simply the act of experiencing God more directly. at the moment. The kanji for Ki can mean . For us Reiki simply means this: Personal Communion with God This is. or prefer to use another name. Are there many more apt descriptions of God? Even if you are someone who can’t. life force energy that energises and animates all living things. spiritually conscious. the meanings for Rei are . life force.
Reiki. . Just remember. To imagine differently would be like believing only members of a certain religion have the right to breathe the air. He merely discovered or. belong to any one society. just like air. country or person. It belongs to everyone. more accurately. rediscovered a method for pulling it more clearly into his life. Reiki was not ‘invented’ by Dr Usui.Don’t take any of it too seriously. it was already there. Reiki does not. is everywhere and can be drawn upon by anyone at any time. indeed cannot.
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