Practical Reiki – Excerpt

Practical Reiki

Practical Reiki

Mari Hall, Thorsens/Harper Collins 1997

The Human Body and Systems

Reiki, the beginning

Imagine that it is morning and you are sitting on the top of a mountain in Japan. You have been there for twenty one days fasting, praying for enlightenment, and for a deeper understanding of how to heal the body. The early morning is dark and as you throw the last of 21 small stones that you previously gathered to mark the days, suddenly a light appears from no where and streams towards you, and in that moment your prayers are answered, your 21 year quest to understand ends and another exciting journey begins.

It sounds like a fairy tale and yet it is part of the journey undertaken in the Meji-era in Japan by Mikao Usui to rediscover the ancient hands on healing method that he named Reiki.

There are many stories about Mikao Usui. When I studied Reiki many years ago I was told that Mikao Usui was a Christian Theologian who searched for the answer to his question, How did Christ Heal ? Recently a more Eastern version of the story of Usui has surfaced in a book entitled “Reiki Fire” by Frank Petter. Frank is a Reiki Master who lives and teaches in Japan with his Japanese wife. They desired to be closer energetically to the man who gave us Reiki by visiting his grave site in the Toyotama district in Tokyo, Japan. They have also spoken with the people that continue to uphold Usui’s principles in Usui Shiki Ryoho. This Reiki movement “Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai” that Usui founded in Tokyo, Japan is still very active today. This is what they have discovered.

Mikao Usui was born on August 15, 1862 in the village of Yago in the Yamgata district in southern Japan to Uzaemon and Kawai Usui. It was the Keio period. We are given to understand that he was a talented and hardworking student and as an adult he traveled several times to countries in the West and also to China to study. He was a very dedicated man. He married Sadako Suzuki and had two children a girl and a boy.

One day he went to Mount Kurama to undertake a twenty one day retreat. During this time he was fasting and meditating. At the end of this twenty one day period he felt an incredible energy enter his head and discovered that he could use his hands to heal various ailments in himself and his family. He had reached a level of understanding and had been given answers in his meditations. He called this energy Reiki He opened a clinic in Harajuku, Aoyama Tokyo in the April of 1921. He gave Reiki treatments to many people who came from far and wide and also started to give workshops to spread his knowledge to others. In 1923 there was a devastating earthquake that shook Tokyo, Japan. Thousands of people were killed, injured and became sick in its aftermath. He took Reiki to this devastated city. Giving Reiki treatments to the surviving victims. His clinic became so popular that it soon was too small to handle the amount of people that came to him to experience the healing powers of Reiki. He built a larger clinic outside Tokyo in Nakano in 1924 The Meiji Emperor of Japan honored him for the work he had done with the people of Tokyo after the earthquake. He was called Sensei (Teacher) he was a warm and humble person who always had a smile on his face and never showed off his knowledge. He was simple, honest and very courageous in the face of adversity. The people loved him and showed great respect for his knowledge and his compassion. During his travels to Fukuyama to work and lecture about Reiki he had his fatal stroke on March 9, 1926. He was sixty two years of age and had previously recovered fully from two strokes he had two years before. He is buried with his wife and son named Fuji Usui who had taken over the family business after Usui’s passing, at a Saihoji Buddhist temple in the suburbs of Tokyo. The inscription on the tomb stone on Usui’s grave that was put there shortly after his death by a group of his students reads that he taught Reiki to about 2000 people. There were Reiki centers and Reiki clinics in all parts of the country. Workshops by Usui and his chief disciples were conducted on a regular basis. The inscription on the tomb stone it also goes on with the following direct translation.

“Someone who studies hard ( i.e. practices meditation) and works very hard to improve body and mind for the sake of becoming a better person is called a man of great spirit. People who use that great spirit for a soul purpose, that is to teach the right way to many people and do collective good, are called teachers. Dr. Usui was such a teacher. He taught the Reiki of the Universe, (universal energy) countless people came to him and asked him to teach them the great way of Reiki and to heal them.

Reiki not only heals diseases, but also amplifies innate abilities, balances the spirit, makes the body healthy, and thus to achieve happiness. To teach this to others you should follow the five principles of the Mejji Emperor and contemplate them daily in your heart. They should be spoken daily, once in the morning and once at night.

1. Just for today, do not anger
2. Do not worry
3. Be filled with gratitude
4. Devote yourself to your work
5. Be kind to people

Originally the five spiritual principles for Reiki were adopted by Mikao Usui because he felt that using them like a prayer would enhance ones ability to lead a healthy spiritual and physically strong life. Variations of them have been adopted as the Spiritual principles for Reiki. What I have found for myself is that they help me to live in this moment. I am asking myself only for this day to do these. Yesterday is past and tomorrow is in the future. Today is the moment of living and creating. When we live this way, each precious moment matters and we are truly connected to the source. Things just happen to support us. It is the time to make dreams come true. By making a commitment to live this way it also gives us the opportunity to deepen experiences. We are responding into life!

Eventually Reiki was brought to the United states by Hawayo Takata. She was a widow who studied with one of Usui’s sixteen Reiki Masters, a man named Churijo Hayashi. Takata had come to Japan seeking help for her chronic illness. While there she was treated in Hayashi’s clinic and eventually worked beside him and other therapists as part of her training procedure. After a year she went back to Hawaii where she lived with her two daughters. Hayashi visited her in Hawaii in 1938 and he made her a Reiki Master (Sensei) at that time. She eventually brought the message of Reiki to the United States and only in her 70’s did she begin to train Reiki Masters herself.. On December 11, 1980 she passed away, leaving twenty Two Reiki Masters in the USA and Canada. A group of her Reiki Masters formed the Reiki Alliance and elected Takata’s grand daughter Phyllis Lei Furumoto as her successor. The Alliance was formed to insure that the knowledge of Reiki was passed on. Some of Takata’s Masters did not join the Alliance and choose to be independent of the Alliance. One of these independent Masters was a woman named Barbara Ray who founded what is now called the “Radiance Technique”.

Now just 20 years later Reiki has spread all over the world. There are many Reiki Masters from the Alliance teachings and certainly many others from the independent Masters. Hundreds of Thousands of people’s lives have been changed as a result of these three people’s initial dedication to Reiki. Usui, Hayashi and Takata. I am one of these Masters. I worked independent of any organization until 1987 when I founded the International Association of Reiki. The center for the association is in Liberec, Czech Republic.

What is Reiki

The word Reiki is Japanese and is translated as Universal Life Giving Energy. Out of my own experience I feel it is Universal Unconditional Love or Pure Heart Energy. A love that has no boundaries and gives us the potential to be the witness to miracles in ourselves and others. It works on the mental, emotional, spiritual and physical aspects of all living things. bringing back into harmony what is dis-eased or distressed.

Understanding Reiki

When I first starting doing Reiki I made many attempts to give a logical explanation about Reiki. As hard as I tried I still could not touch the core of what Reiki is. There is an apparent mystery regarding Reiki that is not logical. and can not be explained by words, but rather felt with experience. The experience of giving Reiki once you have been initiated into the system by a Reiki Master and certainly that of receiving it from one who has been initiated. In this experience you discover such an incredible peace and relaxation that it may seem as if some how you are brought back into relationship with your innate truth, your perfection of body mind and spirit. I am reminded of a spiritual teacher who said to me “Just because I say there is a sun does not make it so, it is your experience of feeling it’s warmth on your skin that pulls you into relationship with it.” Experience is the key to understanding Reiki.

It is probably the safest and yet most effective method of transferring life energy that I know of. It requires no specific philosophy or religion. No skill or special preparations or previous degrees are necessary. Anyone can become an instrument for the energy of Reiki in a matter of a day or two. Of course it goes with out saying that daily practice will deepen the understanding of this universal life force and will also help one to become a clearer instrument for the energy.

I use the term instrument simply because the person who is giving the energy is not healing anyone. The energy passes through them to another person, plant or living organism and it is the receiver of this loving energy that heals themselves by using the energy. I am blessed as a Reiki instrument and Reiki Master to be a witness to many miracles. I have no expectation how the energy will be used. The process of healing is not in my hands, rather I am a part of their process but am not “it”. The perspective is then different to traditional healing where the “Healer” is doing something to you and you are depending upon them or yourself to follow the instructions given. The Reiki treatment is safe in any situation, time or circumstances irrespective of the disease or discomfort. It is also suitable for professional medical care. It is easily combined with orthodox medicine as well as alternative methods.