Reiki - Detailed
What is the History of
Usui started a Reiki organization
in Japan soon after rediscovering Reiki. He was the first president.
he died, he was followed by a succession of presidents: Mr. Ushida, Mr.
Iichi Taketome, Mr. Yoshiharu Watanabe, Mr. Toyoichi Wanami, Ms. Kimiko
Koyama and the current successor to Dr. Usui as of 1998 is Mr. Kondo.
to what has been said by some in the west, there is no "lineage bearer"
or "Grandmaster" in the system of healing started by Dr. Usui, only the
succession of presidents listed above. While Dr. Hayashi was a
Reiki master, he was never in charge of the Usui system of Reiki. Reiki
is a generic word in Japan, and is used to describe many types of
and spiritual work. It is not exclusive to the system of healing based
on Dr. Usui's method. The system of healing that evolved from Dr.
method is called the Usui System of Natural Healing or Usui Shiki Ryoho.
in the West
coming to the west, the Usui System
of Natural Healing has evolved over time. In its current state, it is
more organized and structured than the simple, flexible, intuitive
practiced by Dr. Usui. The following is a description of the evolution
of the Usui System of Reiki.
his mystical experience on Mt.
Kurama, Dr. Usui received the ability to do Reiki treatments, the Reiki
symbols and the ability to pass Reiki on to others. Later he added the
Reiki Ideals and the idea that one needs to receive compensation for a
treatment. Dr. Hayashi added the standard hand positions, the three
and t heir attunement processes. Mrs. Takata added the fee structure
mentioned. The required waiting periods between classes were added by
of Mrs. Takata's Masters after she passed on.
Mrs. Takata's transition, a few
teachers began making changes in the way they taught Reiki. Most of the
changes were beneficial, and included the addition of knowledge and
skills the teachers had learned from other systems or had acquired from
inner guidance. However, some changes were restrictive, making it more
difficult for students to progress. Some took the Third Degree and
it into several small parts, calling each new part a new Degree and
additional money. Often, the fact that they had modified the Usui
was not mentioned and when their students became teachers, they began
what they thought was pure Usui Reiki when in fact it was not. In this
way, many varieties of Reiki have developed with some thinking they
the only authentic version of Reiki when actually what they are
is a modified form.
editors of this FAQ and The International
Center for Reiki Training which provided much of the source material
this FAQ support all Reiki schools which adhere to the original spirit
of Reiki. See our Purpose and Philosophy and The Reiki Ideals - The
Principles of Reiki.
based on knowledge of other
ancient healing systems has led to a plausible hypothesis that may shed
some light on the pre-Usui origins of Reiki. There is a Tibetan
healing technique called the Medicine Buddha. It involves the laying-on
of hands similar to Reiki. The ability to do Medicine Buddha healing is
transmitted to the student through an empowerment given by the teacher
similar to a Reiki attunement. There are other spiritual lineage's in
Buddhism involving the transmission of ability or value through
Since Tibetan Buddhism is the only form of Buddhism that uses
it is likely that the Reiki Dr. Usui rediscovered was formerly a
technique that had been lost. It is known that a spiritual lineage of
type may stop due to the failure of the teacher to pass it on. The
may then resume hundreds or thousands of years later when a monk or
seeker receives instruction and empowerment during a mystical
Perhaps this is what happened to Dr. Usui. Perhaps he had been a Reiki
Master in a past life and this gave him the determination to seek the
power again. Perhaps the lineage had come to an end only to be started
again when Dr. Usui's eiki was reactivated during his mystical
Development of Usui Reiki
following three passages trace the
story of Reiki as researched by William Lee Rand. A more detailed
can be found in his book, Reiki, The Healing Touch.
Mikao Usui, or Usui Sensei as he
is called by his students in Japan, is the founder of the Usui System
Reiki. He was born August 15, 1865 in the village of Yago in the
district of Gifu prefecture, Japan. It is thought that he entered a
Buddhist school on or near Mt. Kurama ("horse saddle mountain") at age
four. He also studied kiko, the Japanese version of qigong, which is a
health and healing discipline based on the development and use of life
energy. The young Usui found that these healing methods required the
to build up and then deplete his own life energy when giving
He wondered if it were possible to do healing work without depleting
own energy. He went on to study in Japan, China and Europe and ended up
spontaneously receiving Reiki during a meditation practice on Mt.
Sensei had an avid interest in
learning and worked hard at his studies. He traveled to Europe and
to further his education. His curriculum included medicine, psychology,
and religion as well as fortune telling, which Asians have long
to be a worthy skill. It is thought that he was from a wealthy family,
as in Japan only the wealthy could afford to send their children to
Eventually he became the secretary to Pei Gotoushin, head of the
of health and welfare who later became the Mayor of Tokyo. The
Usui Sensei made at this job helped him to become a successful
Usui Sensei was also a member of the Rei Jyutu Ka, a metaphysical group
dedicated to developing psychic abilities.
1914 Usui's personal and business
life was failing. As a sensitive spiritualist, Usui Sensei had spent
time meditating at power spots on Mt. Kurama where he had received his
early Buddhist training. So he decided to travel to this holy mountain,
where he enrolled in Isyu Guo, a twenty-one-day training course
by the Tendai Buddhist Temple located there. We do not know for certain
what he was required to do during this training, but it is likely that
fasting, meditation, chanting and prayers were part of the practice. In
addition, we know there is a small waterfall on Mt. Kurama where even
people go to meditate. This meditation involves standing under the
and allowing the waters to strike and flow over the top of the head, a
practice which is said to activate the crown chakra. Japanese Reiki
think that Usui Sensei may have used this meditation as part of his
In any case, it was during the Isyu Guo training that the great Reiki
entered his crown chakra. This greatly enhanced his healing abilities
he realized he had received a wonderful new gift - the ability to give
healing to others without depleting his own energy!
refer to Reiki, The Healing Touch,
by William Lee Rand for a detailed description of Reiki and how Dr.
Hayashi was a retired naval officer.
He received the Reiki Master initiation from Dr. Usui about 1925 at the
age of 47.
to this point, the Usui system of
healing consisted of the energy itself, the symbols, the attunement
and the Reiki ideals. This was what Dr. Usui had received during his
experience on Mt. Kurama. Dr. Hayashi went on to develop the Usui
of healing. He opened a Reiki clinic in Tokyo and kept detailed records
of the treatments given. He used this information to create the
hand positions, the system of three degrees and their initiation
comes to the West.
Takata was born at dawn on December
24th, 1900, on the island of Kauai, Hawaii. Her parents were Japanese
and her father worked in the sugar cane fields. She worked very hard as
she was growing up. She eventually married the bookkeeper of the
where she was employed. His name was Saichi Takata and they had two
In October of 1930, Saichi died at the age of thirty-four leaving Mrs.
Takata to raise their two children. In order to provide for her family,
she had to work very hard with little rest. After five years she
severe abdominal pain, a lung condition and had a nervous breakdown.
after this, one of her sisters
died and it was the responsibility of Hawayo to travel to Japan where
parents had moved to deliver the news. She also felt she could receive
help for her health in Japan. She took a steamship and was accompanied
by her sister-in-law. After informing her parents of the death of her
she entered a hospital. It was found that she had a tumor, gallstones
appendicitis. After resting several weeks, she was ready for the needed
the operating table, just before
the surgery was to begin, Hawayo heard a voice. The voice said, "The
is not necessary. The operation is not necessary." She had never heard
a voice speak to her like this before. She wondered what it meant. The
voice repeated the message a third time even louder. She knew she was
awake and had not imagined the voice. It was so unusual, yet so
that she decided to ask the doctor. She got off the operating table,
a sheet around herself and asked to speak to the doctor.
the doctor finally came, she asked
if he knew of any other way that her problems could be helped. he
knew of Dr. Hayashi's Reiki clinic and told Hawayo about it. This was
she wanted to try.
the Reiki clinic, she began receiving
treatments. She had never heard of Reiki before and did not know what
was. Using their Reiki hands the practitioners could sense what was
with Mrs. Takata. Their diagnosis very closely matched the doctor's at
the hospital. This impressed her and gave her confidence in what they
Reiki practitioners would treat
her each day. The heat from their hands was so strong that she thought
they were using some kind of equipment. She looked around, but saw
Seeing the large sleeves of the Japanese kimono one of the
was wearing, she thought she had found the location of the equipment.
grabbed the sleeves, but found nothing. The startled practitioner
to know what she was doing and when she explained, he began to laugh.
he told her about Reiki and how it worked.
Takata received daily treatments
and got progressively better. In four months, she was completely
Impressed with the results, she wanted to learn Reiki. However, it was
explained that Reiki was Japanese and that it was intended to stay in
It could not be taught to an outsider.
Takata talked to the surgeon at
the hospital and convinced him to ask Dr. Hayashi to allow her to learn
Reiki. Since Dr. Hayashi wanted to teach Reiki to another woman besides
his wife, and since Mrs. Takata was so persistent, he decided that she
should be the one. In the Spring of 1936, Mrs. Takata received First
Reiki. She worked with Dr. Hayashi for one year and then received
Takata returned to Hawaii in 1937.
She was soon followed by Dr. Hayashi and his daughter who came to help
establish Reiki in Hawaii. In the Winter of 1938, Dr. Hayashi initiated
Hawayo Takata as a Reiki Master. She was the thirteenth and last Reiki
Master Dr. Hayashi initiated.
1970 and her transition on December
11, 1980, Mrs. Takata initiated twenty-two Reiki Masters. Below is a
of the Reiki Masters she initiated. This is the list she gave to her
before she passed through transition.
* George Araki
* Barbara McCullough
* Beth Grey
* Ursula Baylow
* Paul Mitchell
* Iris Ishikura
* Fran Brown
* Barbara Weber
* Ethel Lombardi
* Wanja Twan
* Virginia Samdahl
* Phyllis Lei Furumoto
* Dorothy Baba (deceased)
* Mary McFaden
* John Gray
* Rick Bockner
* Bethel Phaigh
* Harry Kuboi
* Patricia Ewing
* Shinobu Saito
* Kay Yamashita
* Barbara Brown
original twenty-two teachers have
taught others. In the decade since Mrs. Takata experienced transition,
Reiki has spread rapidly in the West. It is now practiced throughout
and South America, Europe, New Zealand, Australia and other parts of
world. There are now an estimated 50,000 Reiki Masters with as many as
1,000,000 people practicing Reiki throughout the world.
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