Reiki in Japanese The work Reiki written in Japanese

History of Reiki

Traditional Story

Reiki was discovered by a Japanese born Christian monk, Dr Mikao Usui. While teaching in a Christian college Dr Usui was asked by a student how Jesus facilitated the healing miracles that he performed. Usui had no answer. The question had planted a seed and before the year was out Dr Usui resigned from the College and set out on his destined life path to answer "that question". Dr Usui set out on a quest, determined to learn the secret of healing so that he might help others. His journey took him to many countries and for many years he attempted to trace the same footsteps as Jesus and Buddha. Unable to find knowledge of healing in translations of the Sutras, Buddha's teachings, he sought out the original version. Here was to be found the wisdom of healing and means of empowerment. Photo of Dr Mikao Usui

During his journey Dr Usui visited and asked different Buddhist Sects if they could perform the miracles that Buddha performed - could they heal the body. The Buddhist's felt that the healing of the spirit and the healing of the body were not always directly connected. They concentrated on the spirit and not on the body they felt that the body and the spirit were separate and that the spirit needed to be healed, they left the healing of the body to the medical doctors. Dr Usui finally went to a Zen Monastery in Kyoto, he asked the same question of the Abbot "Do Zen monks and priests know how to heal the body?" and the Abbot answered "Not anymore". Dr Usui was puzzled by this answer "What do you mean not anymore?" The Zen Abbot explained that they has been concentrating so heavily on healing the spirit they had forgotten how to heal the body.

The Abbot felt that if Dr Usui's destiny was to rediscover how Master Buddha had healed the body, it would unfold before him. So Dr Usui asked if he might stay and study at the Zen monastery. He was accepted, for all people who desire mastery were accepted in their quest.

Wanting to read the sacred books in their original language, Dr Usui learned Chinese and eventually Sanskrit. It was in the Indian sutras, written in Sanskrit that he discovered a formula for contacting a higher power that could bestow healing. Dr Usui had now found the information he had been looking for, yet it was only a formula; simply knowing the formula did not give him the ability or understanding to heal. He talked to the Abbot about this. It was decided that all he could do now was to follow the practices in the formula. So he travelled to the holy mountain of Kori-yama where he fasted, meditated and followed the directions in the formula for 21 days. Usui realised he had to attain a high altered state of consciousness in order to be empowered with healing energy.

On his arrival at the mountain, he placed 21 little stones in front of him and removed one at the passing of each day as a kind of calendar. During this time he read the Sutras, sang and meditated. Nothing unusual happened until the last day dawned. When he saw a shining light moving towards him with great speed. As he looked at the light he realised that the light had consciousness and that it was communicating with him. He realised the light had the healing power he was looking for and if he was to receive what the light had to offer, he must allow the light to strike him. However, he was told that the light was so powerful that if it did strike him, it might kill him.

He was given the opportunity to decide. Would he risk death to obtain the knowledge for which he had searched so long? He decided the ability to heal the sick would be of such great value that it would be worth risking death to receive it.

The beam struck him in the forehead knocking him unconscious. Rising out of his physical body, he was shown beautiful bubbles of light filled with colours. In the bubbles were symbols. As he contemplated each symbol, he received an attunement for that symbol and knowledge on its use. In this way, he was initiated into the use of the Reiki healing power.

When he returned to normal consciousness, the sun was standing high in the sky. He felt full of strength and energy and began to climb down the mountain. In his rush, he stubbed his toe. He held it with his hands for a few minutes and the bleeding stopped and the pain disappeared. Since he was hungry, he stopped at an inn at the wayside and ordered a large Japanese breakfast. The innkeeper warned him not to eat such a large meal after fasting. Dr Usui was able to eat it all without the least of consequences. The granddaughter of the innkeeper had a bad toothache, from which she had been suffering for several days. Dr Usui laid his hands on her swollen face and after a while the swelling started to subside and the pain eased. She ran to her grandfather and told him that their guest was no ordinary monk.

Dr Usui returned to his monastery but decided after a few days to go to a Beggar City in the slums of Kyoto to treat beggars and help them lead a better life. He spent 7 years in the slums, treating many illnesses. One day, he noticed that the same old faces kept returning. When he asked why they had not begun a new life he was told that there was too much responsibility and that it was better to go on begging.

Dr Usui left the slums and while returning to the monastery as he walked along he was greeted in Spirit by the teachers who had greeted him on Kori-yama. They bestowed upon him understanding of two very important elements: healing of the Spirit and the responsibility of the healee in the healing process. Dr Usui had realised that he had done the reverse of the Buddhists by concentrating on healing the body and not the Spirit. He was at this time given the Spiritual Principles of Reiki by the Teachers in Spirit.

Just for Today Do not worry, Accept
Just for today, do not anger.
Honour your parents, teachers and elders
Earn your living honestly
Show gratitude to all living things.

Dr Usui practised and taught Reiki throughout Japan for the remainder of his life. Before his transition around 1930, he gave the Master attunement to sixteen teachers one of whom was Dr Chujiro Hayashi. Photo of Dr Chujiro Hayashi of Reiki Lineage

Up to this point, the Usui system of healing consisted of the energy itself, the symbols, the attunement process and the Reiki ideals. Dr Hayashi went on to develop the Usui system of healing. He opened a Reiki clinic in Tokyo and kept detailed records of the treatments given. He used this information to create the standard hand positions, the system of three degrees and their initiation procedures.

Dr Hayashi sensed a great war coming, and knew that most of the men would be called. In order to make sure Reiki would be preserved, he decided to pass the complete teachings on to two women: his wife and Hawayo Takata. He chose Mrs Takata because she was a Japanese Hawaiian and she had American citizenship. Dr Hayashi had word from Spirit that the Japanese would have heavy losses in the approaching war.

Hawayo Takata was born in 1900 on the island of Hawaii the child of Japanese parents but was a citizen of the United States. She was a widow with two small children and at the end of her physical and spiritual strength when her path led her to Reiki in 1935. She was suffering from a number of severe illnesses at the time when an inner voice told her to go to Japan and seek healing there. Photo of Mrs Hawayo Takata of Reiki Lineage

Having arrived in Japan, she was lying on the operating table, about to undergo an operation, when the voice spoke to her again, telling her that the operation was unnecessary. She asked her doctor about the other methods of treatment and he said "Yes but they may take months or years to heal you." He told her about Dr Hayashi's Reiki clinic. Once there, she was applied Reiki daily by two practitioners and, after four months, she had won back her health completely.

Hawayo Takata became a pupil of Dr Hayashi's for a year and was attuned to Reiki I and 2 and then returned to Hawaii with her daughters. She established a Reiki clinic in Hawaii which was very prosperous. In 1938 Dr Hayashi went to Hawaii to help her with the clinic and initiated Takata as a Reiki Master, she was the 13th and last Reiki Master Dr Hayashi initiated. On Dr Hayashi's death in 1941, she succeeded him as Grand Master. She lived and healed in Hawaii for many years, but she first began to train Reiki Masters when she was in her seventies. She made her transition on 11 December 1980. Between 1970 and 1980 Mrs Takata initiated 22 known Reiki Masters. Takata had not formally named her granddaughter Phyllis Furomoto as Grand Master at the time of her death. Some 'sibling rivalry' occurred among the 22 masters concluding with three masters declaring themselves Grand Master. Phyllis Furomoto was given the title of Grand Master by the Reiki Alliance (a collection of Reiki masters that was formed after Mrs Takata died to ensure the continuation of Reiki).

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