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History of Reiki

A Brief History of Reiki

Dr Mikao Usui in the mid 1800's was the dean of a small Christian University in Kyto, Japan.

During discussions one day his students asked if believed literally in the Bible. When he replied that he did, the students mentioned that in the Bible Jesus Christ healed and also walked on water; Jesus Christ also stated that "you will do what I have done, and even greater things". If this is so, said the students, why aren't there many healers in the world today performing the same acts? "Please teach us these methods"!

Usui was stunned, unable to answer these questions, he immediately resigned his position and began the long search for answers. In Chicago he completed a doctoral thesis on the scriptures whilst trying to uncover the secret of how Jesus and his disciples healed the sick, but did not find the answer here.

The Buddhist tradition also held that Buddha had the power to heal, on returning to Japan, Usui visited the Buddhist monasteries and searched for the records of Buddha's healings of the body. Eventually an old abbot in a Zen monastery showed interest and encouraged him to study the Sutras in Japanese, Chinese and eventually Sanskrit and he found after ten years what he had been looking for. In some Tibetan scrolls in the Himalayas, Dr Usui found the formula - a description of how Christ and Buddha healed.

However, even this was not enough, although he had the knowledge, he did not have the power to heal. Usui took himself to a sacred mountain. Mount Kuri Yama and commenced a meditation and fast for 21 days. On the pre-dawn of the 21st day, out of the sky a flicker of light moved quickly towards him and struck him in the centre of his forehead producing coloured bubbles and Sanskrit characters in gold, each appearing separately and slowly enough for him to register the symbols in his conscious mind.

Usui was filled with gratitude, and was no longer stiff, aching and tired. He walked down the mountain and accidentally stubbed his toe causing it to bleed. He instinctively held his toe and was awed and amazed to find it completely healed in a short time.

Down the mountain he ordered a large breakfast at a roadside stand and felt no ill affects. The proprietor's daughter had a painful swollen cheek due to toothache. Usui placed his hands on her face and healed the pain, and reduced the swelling quickly.

Back in the monastery, the old abbot was ill with painful arthritis. Usui laid his hands on the old monk and the pain disappeared.

Usui then worked for seven years in a beggar camp healing the sick with remarkable results. However, after a few years the beggars began to return. They found it much easier to be beggars than to take on normal family responsibilities. He had failed to teach them responsibility and gratitude. Giving Reiki away was not the answer; the importance of an exchange of energy became clear to him. Healing the spirit is every bit as important as healing the body. He left the beggar's quarters and began to attune other people to take responsibility for their own well-being.

He trained other teachers and just before he died, he chose a successor, Dr Chujiro Hayashi to be responsible for carrying on the Reiki traditions. Dr Hayashi founded the first Reiki clinic in Tokyo where people came for treatment and to learn Reiki.

In 1935 Mrs Hawayo Takata a young Japanese-American woman from Hawaii appeared at Hayashi's clinic, being very ill, she received treatments and was finally healed. Takata learned Reiki herself and began practising Reiki in the USA. In 1938 Takata was initiated by Hayashi as Reiki master. Dr Hayashi died in 1941, just before the war with America. Takata fortunately escaped the incarceration of Japanese-Americans that occurred during World War Two, and Reiki was safeguarded. Takata was the new Grand master.

In the 1970's Mrs Takata trained 21 new masters, giving rise to different lineage's of masters to the present time. Today Reiki is represented by the American International Reiki Association and the Reiki Alliance.

The Reiki Alliance was founded by Phyllis Furumoto, the grand-daughter of Takata with a group of 21 masters and Phyllis Furumoto as Grand master.

In addition there are many non-aligned independent Reiki masters.

The methods of teaching and emphasis on different uses of Reiki vary between Alliance, Independent and Radiance schools, and from Reiki master to Reiki master. The differences are only superficial because there is only one Reiki.

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