What is Reiki?
The word Reiki's earliest known translation is "Reiki is the Atmosphere of the Divine" Today the word Reiki is a Japanese noun meaning "the energy of the Universe". Reiki-ho is a methodology to use Reiki for spiritual growth, transformation and healing.
The History of Reiki >
"Reiki" was founded as Usui Reiki by Usui Mikao Sensei in 1922. Mikao Usui was born in 1865 in Gifu Prefecture Japan. He sought counsel from his superior monk who counseled him to "Die One time" in order to find the Satori, the state of enlightenment he was searching for.
March 1922: Sensei went to Mt Kurama in Kyoto to follow his Spiritual Advisors guidance to "die one time". Willing to surrender everything and literally die, he sat in meditation and fasted. At the end of week three he experienced his Spiritual Awakening. He "awoke" to realize his Oneness with the Universe, beyond time and space in the presence of Be-ing. He had merged with everything. On his way down the mountain he stubbed his toe and 'automatically reached down to nurture it. In this simple response his toe healed. He realized his merging with the universe held an inherent healing capacity and he called his awakening "Usui Reiki". He made his five Gokai, the Reiki Principals to live by and established Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai the original Reiki Society.
Along with the five Reiki principles, Usui based his Reiki system on three other practices; Gassho, Reiji-ho, and Chiryo
September 1923: Sensei & his students healed many victims of the Great Earthquake in Kanto district with his Reiki healing system.
March 1926: Usui Sensei was acknowledged for his healing treatments and for training 2000 Reiki Practitioners. He gave Shinpiden Level to 16 Masters, one of whom was Chujiro Hayashi. Hayashi sensei was previously a Captain in the Japanese Navy, serving as an active doctor. On Sensei Usui's direction Hayashi sensei opened and ran a Reiki clinic in Tokyo. After Usui's death, Mr. Hayashi left Usui's Reiki Society the Gakkai, and established his own Reiki Research Center differing enough from Sensei's original intentions and practices, to be called "Hayashi Reiki Kenkyu-kai. This is the Reiki System that was to come West with Mrs. Takata
It was at Hayashi San's clinic that in 1935 Hawayo Takata, a second generation Japanese woman from Hawaii received healing from a serious illness. She was so impressed with her recovery that she stayed in Japan for a year to practice Reiki as a working student at Hayashi San's clinic. After returning to Hawaii, and on a subsequent visit from Mr. Hayashi she became one of the thirteen students Hayashi-sensei gave the Shinpi-den level to from his new system.
1940: Hayashi's death. After Mr. Hayashi's death, Mrs. Takata shared Hayashi's lineage Reiki system and initiated 20 Hayashi-Takata Reiki Masters and thus Takata Reiki was shared with the Western world. One of the 20 Hawayo Takata initiated as Reiki Master was Barbara Lincoln McCullough, Barbara initiated Judy-Carol Stewart and Judy-Carol initiated Libby Barnett. Libby Barnett initiated Audrey Pearson (Devdasi) into Takata, Hayashi Reiki in 2002. This was the Author's 3rd Western influenced Reiki certification.
This Author was never comfortable with the very unlikely "history" being presented and eventually went deeply inward and REALized REIKI for herself. It must be noted that Mrs. Takata felt it necessary to embellish Sensei Usui's background, presumably to appeal to a Western population. Without the World Wide Web to verify the stories this was of course possible at the time.
For example it has been spread throughout the West that Sensei Usui was a Christian Minister, this is not true. Sensei was a Shinto/Buddhist all his life. Other incorrect information spread through Western Reiki is that "Chujiro Hayashi and Hawayo Takata were grand masters and succeeding Presidents of the Gakkai. 'Also not true. Hayashi was not the 2nd President of the Gakkai. Takata was not either. Mrs. Takata's emphasis was on healing, perhaps as a way to reach westerners who at the time would not have been open to receive spiritual guidance from a Buddhist/Shinto perspective.
Sensei Usui did not search for healing. He was interested in Satori.
In Hiroshi Doi Sensei's 'Iyashino Gendai Reiki Ho" (translated into English in 1998 and unfortunately not available in print at this time) Doi Sensei (member of the original Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai) shares the following...
"Usui Sensei created Gokai as the base of Reiki and established Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai in April 1922. He started to teach Reiki in Tokyo after that. According to "Reiki Ryoho Shishin (policy), it is stated that "to heal the heart and soul first, then heal body second", "to create good human relationship". Healing diseases was not the first purpose for Usui-sensei since he established the Gakkai. In addition, Usui-sensei also wrote "to promote happiness for all people" in the "Reiki Ryoho Shishin"
It is important to credit Sensei Usui and Usui Reiki with the correct history of Reiki, and to clear up previously incorrect "histories" spread throughout the Western Reiki Communities. Perhaps in the day when Mrs. Takata was teaching she did mold Reiki to suit her American audience, perhaps believing Westerners and Japanese were too far apart in spirituality and politics at the time. No blame. She did what she felt was the way to get Reiki to the West and she succeeded, spreading Reiki throughout the Western world reaching many cultures who subsequently embraced Reiki.
Mrs. Takata's Reiki was so prevalent in the Western world that it ironically returned to Japan via a Western Reiki Master. And soon after the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai was re-discovered, alive and well with Head Quarters in Tokyo.
After Mrs. Takata's death in December 1980 Western Reiki veered in two major streams of Reiki paths. Mrs. Takata's granddaughter Phyllis Furumoto established the Reiki Alliance. Barbara Ray established The American International Reiki Association, later renamed The Radiance Technique. Reiki quickly spread throughout the world. Western Reiki was brought "back to Japan" by FrankArjava Peter who later studied with Japan's Hiroshi Doi Sensei, the only Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai member with permission to teach the original Usui Reiki Ryoho outside the Gakkai. In 2010 after 15 years as a Western Usui Reiki Master Teacher, this Author Audrey Pearson began her study and practice of Japans Gendai Reiki Ho. In 2012 she and her husband and teaching partner James Mohan Pearson spent 2 weeks in the study and practice of Gendai Reiki Ho with Hiroshi Doi Sensei and both were initiated as Carriers of the Gendai Reiki Lineage: Japanese Lineage: Reiki Master (Shihan) in the Spiritual Gendai Reiki Lineage of: Usui Mikao-Kan'Ichi Taketomi-Kimiko Koyama-Hiroshi Doi-Audrey Pearson and James Pearson. Gendai Reiki Shihan Audrey & James share Gendai Reiki and perform Gendai Reiki Reiju in Training Seminars at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Stockbridge MA. Look for Pathway to Enlightenment. Gendai Reiki Ho
Know the History of 'Reiki: A Spiritual Path'