Archive for May, 2013

The History of Reiki

There are many stories about how Reiki was first discovered although it is agreed that Dr Usui re-discovered and named Reiki.

We already know that Reiki is a Japanese healing treatment that was later brought to the west. This means that there are two different branches of Reiki, a western and a traditional, we will look at these branches in a different chapter. Along with the different branches comes different stories on how Reiki was discovered. So lets have a look at the differing stories

The Western Version

Dr Usui was the dean of a small christian university in Koyto Japan. Whilst teaching one of his classes some students asked if he believed in the bible, he replied that he did, he was then asked if he believed that Jesus could heal the sick, again he replied that he did, the students pushed him further and quoted jesus’s saying “you can all do this too and more” and wanted to know if he believed this too and when would they be taught how to heal the sick like Jesus.

Dr Usui was Japanese and held very high values. He was not able to teach the students how to heal and honour told him that he should resign, which he did immediately.

Dr Usui made it his life’s mission to seek out the ability and knowledge to heal. He decided that as Jesus was christian he would travel to a christian country to find some answers, he traveled to America where he studied Christianity, philosophy and the scriptures at the university of Chicago for the next 7 years. He did not find what he was searching for in America so decided to follow in Jesus’s footsteps and go to Indian and Tibet in search of enlightenment.

Whilst in India Dr Usui studied the Indain and Tibetan sutras and learned sanskrit. But he still did not find what he was looking for so he decided to travel back to Japan to further his studies in Buddhism as he knew that Buddha had also healed the sick.

He visited many monasteries and asked the monks if they could heal the sick as Buddha had done as it was written in the sutras that he had healed the physical body, but all the monks said no and believed that healing the spirit was more important and that is why they couldn’t heal the body. Dr Usui was becoming very despondent but he did not give up his search. He came across a zen monastery where the monks agreed that the spirit needed healing 1st and this is what they were concentrating on and they believed that the answers for healing the body would come to them during their meditations. They invited Dr Usui to join them.

Dr Usui spent 3 years at this monastery searching the sutras and meditating with the monks. Through this meditation and discussions with other monks he came to the realization that enlightenment on how to heal the body would come to him if he fasted and meditated for 21 days.

Near Kyoto was a mountain called mount Kurama, he climb this mountain and found a beautiful spot for meditating and with water near by, he collected 21 stoned so that he could keep track of the days, he would throw one away everyday. For twenty one days he mediated and fasted, read the scriptures and prayed. During this time not unusual happened. Then on the morning of the 21st day, just before dawn he saw a flickering light way in the distance. As he focused on the light it got closer and closer, brighter and brighter. This did scare him a little and was tempted to run away but realized that was what he was there for and decided he should stay. He stood up and decided to see what happens, even if it meant his own death. Dr Usui realized that the light was a consciousness and was wanting to communicate with him, it said it was the enlightenment to healing others and it would have to hit him in the 3rd eye and could kill him. This decision was down to him, it had to be his own choice.

Dr Usui allowed the light to strike him, it was so powerful it knock him unconscious. it was in his trance like state that he started seeing coloured bubbles and symbols, this was Dr Usui being attuned to their energy. When he fully regained consciousness he knew that this was all that he was looking for. He felt amazingly energized and couldn’t wait to get back to the monastery to tell the other monks about it.

Dr Usui left the mountain in a hurry to get back to the monastery and on his way down the mountain he stubbed his toe, quiet badly, the pain ran through his body, he bent down and cupped his toe in his hand, the pain stopped almost instantly and so did the bleeding, he was amazed, he also noticed that his hand were getting really warm whist they were holding his toe. He continued on his journey, at the bottom of the mountain was a typical Japanese snack bar, he decided to stop and have something to eat, as did many who came down the mountain after fasting. It was here he met his first patient, after eating a very hearty breakfast, against the advise of the stall holder who was concerned that after fasting for 21 days he would get indigestion, he was preparing to pay when the owners grand-daughter came to clear the dishes with a very swollen face and tears in her eyes, he asked why, he was told tooth ache, he asked the owner if he could attempt to heal her, the girl gladly accepted. Dr Usui cupped her face in his hands and within a few minutes the pain and the swelling were gone. Both the proprietor and the girl were very happy and Dr Usui continued his journey.

When Dr usui returned to the monastery he learned that his good friend the abbot had been taken ill with very bad arthritis and was laid up in bed. He wasted no time in healing his friend, he placed his hands on the abbots body whilst telling him all about his enlightenment. The Abbot was astonished by his demonstration of healing, the friends talked into the night and decided that Dr Usui should go out in to the city to heal the sick. Dr Usui spent the next 7 years healing people in the poorest part of town and he was happy for a while until he realised that people were returning to him to be healed again. On questioning some of these people it became apparent that they didn’t value the healing they had received as it cost them nothing. He meditated on this and decided that giving the healing away for free did not give people any value to helping themselves and he closed his healing practice with great sadness.

It was at this time that he developed the 5 Reiki principles:

Just for today i will let go of anger

just for today i will let go of worry

Today i will count my many blessings

Today i will do my work honestly

Today i will be kind to every living thing.

He also realised that the symbols he was given on Mount Kumara were to initiate others into this healing system he called Reiki. He spent the rest of his years traveling around japan healing people. He also initiated 16 people before his death in 1926 into Reiki and charged his friend Dr Hayashi with the responsibility of continuing his Reiki teachings .

Dr Hayashi was 47 when he was initiated in reiki and had spent many years following Dr Usui on his travels around Japan. He was an excellent healer in his own right and it came as no surprise that Dr Usui made him Reiki Grand master before his death. Dr Hayashi went on to open the first Reiki clinic in Tokyo and it was whilst observing and record keeping that he came up with the 12 hand positions that are used today. He also divided the reiki attunement process in to 3. It is not known how many people Dr Hayashi attuneded into Reiki but as a know psychic he knew that there would be a great war and decided that two women should be initiated as most of the men he had attuned would have to fight and Reiki needed to live on.

Mrs H Takata

Born in 1900 in Hawii to Japanese imagrants Mrs Takata was an American national. She worked at a sugar plantation and was married with 2 children, unfortunately her husband died at a very young age and she was left to keep the family going. She worked harder and harder to replace her husbands wage to keep the family going and she was becoming sick, her parent had already returned to japan at this time. On a visit to japan to see her parent she became very sick and was rushed into hospital, in the operating theatre whilst being prepared for sugery she was strongly impressed to question the doctor about alternative treatment.

The surgeon knew of Dr Hayashi’s work at the reiki clinic and sugested that she may try this. She immediatly cancelled her operation and went to the clinic. She was very impressed with the diagnosis the clinic had given her as it was the same as the hospital diagnosis and she decided to start treatment with them. She attended the clinic every day for a few months and made a full recovery. Whilst she was at the clinic she not only saw how well Reiki worked on other people but on herself too. She knew she had to learn the art of Reiki.

Unfortunately Mrs Taukata had two major things to overcome before she could learn Reiki, firstly she was and woman and secondly she was not Japanese. It was 1935 and the notion of a Japanese art being taught to a foreigner was out of the question but to teach a woman was unheard of. She did not give up and knew that she had to show her devotion and offered to sell her house. All this would not have been enough had Dr Hayashi not had vision of the world war and he knew that a woman had to be attuned.

Mrs Taukata was finally initiated in the 1st degree of Reiki and spent the year working with Dr Hayashi. She then took her second degree and returned to Hawaii to open her clinic. In 1938 Dr Hayashi visited her in Hawaii and gave her her third degree making her a Reiki master. At this time she was the only practicing Reiki master in the west and she was given the title Reiki grand master by Dr Hayashi just before his death in 1941. She stay as the only Reiki master for a while but then saw the need for more Reiki master and in the 1970′s she initiated 22 people before her death in 1980.

The Eastern Version

Dr Usui was born in 1865, he was a very industrious person that gave a lot of his time to study. He was very knowledgeable in medicine, psychology and studied many religions. He was also known as a psychic and fortune teller. Before he re-discovered Reiki he was running his own business, which had failed and left him in debt and demoralized. He wanted to know what the meaning of life was and sought guidance and help from above.He went to Mount Kurama, a place well know for spiritual enlightenment. It was not unusual at this time for people to meditate and fast for 21 days, so he went to his favorite spot, close to a waterfall and began his meditations. It was whilst meditating under the waterfall that he had a fleeting moment of enlightenment or Satori in Japanese, that he realised the meaning of life and the healing system he called Reiki became known to him.

From this time Dr Usui used the Reiki energy on friends and family. He saw how well it worked and he started using it on the public and then opened his Reiki clinic in Tokyo. His fame as a healer spread quickly and people visited him from far and wide, not only to be healed but to learn the healing system for themselves. It was then that the Reiki movement was born and he called it Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkei (Usui healing method society).

In 1923 a huge earthquake hit Tokyo causing total devastation, there were thousands injured and hundreds killed. Dr Usui used his reiki healing to great effect at this time and his clinic quickly became too small as his name and fame for healing spread all over Japan. He built a larger clinic just outside of Tokyo to cope with all the people that wanted healing. As his fame grew so did his invitations to travel, which he undertook and it was whilst he was traveling that he had a stroke and died in march 1926.

As you can see there are a some differences in the two versions of how Reiki was re-discovered. It is thought that the western version was brought about so that Reiki was more acceptable to Christians and particularly American who were not really taken with the Japanese and their culture at the time and Reiki is a healing method to be available to everyone. So personally i am not bothered with the stories about how Reiki was Re-discovered, just that it was re-discovered.


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 Reiki has been used very successfully with both children and teenagers who are exceptionally receptive to healing and energy changes. Reiki is exceptionally good for children on the autistic spectrum including ASD, Aspergers and ADHD.

Children and teenagers (young adults) have to deal with many issues on a daily basis including: Bullying, peer pressure, school and exam pressure, worrying about things that maybe happening at home.

Reiki can help children in the following ways:

  • Allows children to accept themselves for who they are
  • Raises their self esteem
  • Increases their confidence levels
  • Enables better coping strategies for lifes problems
  • Increases their ability to concentrate
  • Heals mind, body and spirit
  • Allows children to know they are loved and cared for despite all that is going on around them
  • Helps calm and ground them
  • Aids sleep
  • Helps relieve stress
  • Helps to relieve tight muscles
  • All the above

These are just a few ways in which reiki can help.

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