This is a page from the Training Manuals section of this website.
Below is a reproduction of an update to file reiki.1.chapter09.01.reikihistory
from the Reiki Level 1 manual which was updated in January 2007 to
delete references to Medicine Dharma Reiki.
The Microsoft Word version of the file may be found by clicking here.
early chapters in this manual serve to provide a foundation of understanding
about us and energy in general. Now, in this and subsequent chapters in this
manual, we start to focus on Reiki itself.
I explained earlier, the energy that I call Reiki is a component of the
universal life force energy that is all around us. Also as I explained
earlier, the Chinese characters that are written and spoken as Rei Ki (pronounced Ray Kee) are translated into English as ‘Universal Energy’,
referring to the life force energy that is all around us.
we start to work with Reiki, it will be helpful for you to understand my
teaching structure for Reiki. I teach it in three levels, this being the way
in which Reiki is usually taught in Western countries. In the first level,
you will be able to start to channel the Reiki energy and to apply it to
other people and to yourself. In the second level, you will be introduced to
some of the healing symbols that are part of the Reiki system, and will also
learn how to send Reiki energy through time and distance. At the third level
(called the Masters Level), you will learn how to pass on the Reiki energy to
your own students and to do a simple form of psychic surgery.
the next Chapter, I will give the details of your Reiki lineage (line of
teachers before you). In the Chapter after that, I will explain about the
nature of the Reiki energy. Now, however, for the rest of this Chapter, I
give you the story of how Reiki came from Japan
into western culture through Hawaii,
from where it has spread all around the world.
traditional history of Reiki as given to most western Reiki students is as
follows. It is based upon Hawayo Takata’s explanation to her students of how
Reiki found its way into Western society and has been passed down through her
teaching lineage to most of the western people practicing Reiki today.
Subsequent research has cast doubt upon the accuracy of some of the story and
it is probably not all correct.
is a very ancient healing system which was first practiced in Tibet
thousands of years ago. The practice of Reiki in Tibet
died out, but was re-established in Japan by a Mikao
Usui in the nineteenth century. Mikao
Usui was a Christian minister teaching at Doshisha University in the ancient Imperial capital city
of Japan, Kyoto.
One day he was asked by his students if it were possible for a person to
perform healing miracles such as those that Jesus performed. Mikao Usui was not aware that
this was possible, but set himself the task of finding out how Jesus did his
healing work. He travelled extensively through Japan and China,
studied at the University of Chicago Divinity School and eventually returned
home to Japan.
Despite all these travels, he had been unsuccessful in finding out how Jesus
was able to heal. One day, Mikao Usui decided to undertake a 21 day meditation on Mount Kurama
at Kyoto. On
the very last day of his meditation, he saw a bright shining light on the
horizon that started to come towards him. He decided not to move out of its
way, and it hit him straight in his third eye centre. As the light entered
his head, he saw symbols and felt a huge flow of energy starting to move through
his body. Mikao Usui then
finished his meditation and started to walk down the mountain. As he did so,
he stubbed his toe on a rock and it started to bleed. As he held his toe in
his hands, the blood stopped flowing and the abrasion on the toe healed
immediately. He realised that the energy that was
flowing through him, which was the Reiki energy, had the healing properties
similar to those of Jesus that he had been seeking.
this moment onwards, Mikao Usui
was able to perform miraculous healings for people. He spent some time
healing people in the slum areas of Kyoto.
He soon realised that although he was able to
achieve physical healings, the best healing came when people also decided to
change their behavioural patterns and attitudes to
life. He had been giving healing treatments for free, but realised
that his patients did not understand the value of the gift he was giving
them. He felt that it was important
that people receiving healing therefore gave something in return and he
started charging for his services.
few years before he died, Mikao Usui
initiated a retired naval officer, Dr. Chujiro Hayashi in his Reiki healing
system and declared that Chujiro Hayashi would be his successor in his Reiki
lineage. Chujiro Hayashi opened a private Reiki clinic in Tokyo where
practitioners were trained and patients were treated. Healing was given
generally by two practitioners together, one treating the head of the client
with the other treating the stomach area. The client would then be treated on
the back. A Reiki organisation had been created, and to become a Reiki
practitioner a student had to be accepted by the organisation and to give a
deep commitment to work with Reiki every day.
this time, a young Japanese woman named Hawayo Takata was living in Hawaii. She was
suffering from a number of physical conditions including a tumour. It would have been normal practice for her
to have undergone surgery, but she received an inner message telling her that
she did not need surgery and that she should go to Japan where she would find an
alternative way of being cured. She went to Tokyo where she found eventually Chujiro
Hayashi’s Reiki clinic. She received healing at the clinic for several months
and was cured eventually of all her physical conditions.
those days, Japan
had a very male orientated society. Consequently, none of the Reiki
practitioners were female. Hawayo was so impressed by the Reiki healing that
she begged Chujiro to train her in Reiki. He refused at first but in 1938 she
became his Reiki student. Unfortunately, Hayashi died in 1941. In the
subsequent years, Hawayo performed numerous healings, being the only Reiki
Master in the world until 1976. (Master means having the ability to pass
the Reiki energy on to other people). In the early 1970’s, she moved from Hawaii to the USA mainland where she started to
teach Reiki. She started to teach anybody who she felt would take a sincere
approach to Reiki practice. As she knew that she would have to die one day,
Hawayo began to train some of her students to Master level so that they would
be able to pass on the energies until after her death. At the time of her
death in 1980, Hawayo had initiated 22 Reiki Masters.
Below are the official
twenty two students that Hawayo Takata initiated as teachers between 1970 and
Barbara Weber Ray
Phyllis Lei Furumoto
Hawayo Takata died without
leaving any structure or organisation through which Reiki could be taken
forward. Consequently, after her death, Reiki was taken forward through two
main paths by her Reiki Masters. Barbara Weber Ray developed the Radiance Technique
School and Hawayo’s
granddaughter Phyllis Lei Furumoto developed the
which the other Reiki Masters joined. Phyllis Furomoto
eventually started to refer to herself as the ‘Grand Master’ and lineage
bearer of Reiki. The Reiki Alliance
developed very strict procedures and rules in connection with the practice of
Reiki. In the mid-1990’s, Phyllis Furomoto tried to
trademark Reiki around the world. The idea was that everybody who wanted to
become a Reiki Master had to pay the sum of US$10,000. As far as I am aware,
the trademarking application was unsuccessful in every country except Latvia.
problems associated with so much money being involved with Reiki that had
nothing to do with the spiritual aspects of Reiki or with the energy itself
led many Reiki Masters not wishing to belong to the Reiki Alliance or its
equivalent elsewhere in the world.
the present day, there must be several million Reiki Masters around the
world, each of these Reiki Masters doing something to help the world and its
wording on the certificates that have been passed down the Reiki teaching
line is ‘Usui Shiki Ryoho’.
In the context of energy work, this translates loosely in to English as
working with divine energy in the way or method of Mikao
the following pages are pictures of Mikao Usui, Chujiro Hayashi and Hawayo Takata. (If you are
reading from the Word file for this section, please keep scrolling down to
find the pictures.) The first picture is of Mikao Usui, underneath which is the picture of Chujiro Hayashi,
followed by Hawayo Takata.