Reiki History

Dr. Mikao Usui
Dr. Mikao Usui was born in Japan in the mid 1800's. He was impressed with the Buddha's desire to help others and set out to learn the secrets of healing so that he might be others too. He travelled throughout Japan searching for someone with the knowledge of physical healing. He always received the same answer – The spiritual side is more important than the physical body and the ability to heal is best achieved when concentrating on healing the spirit.

Eventually Dr. Usui stayed at a Zen monastery where he studied both Buddhist and Indian Sutras sacred writings and discovered the Reiki symbols but how to activate them. He then went on a pilgrimage to the mountain of Kori-yama where he fasted and meditated for 21 days. On the 21st day he saw a strong beam of light shooting towards him and decided to stand and wait for it. As it struck him be fell unconscious and he saw bubbles of coloured light containing the Reiki symbols rising out of his body. He received the attunement and knowledge of each symbol and was initiated into the Reiki power.

Dr. Usui returned to Kyoto where he began to do healing work in a beggar's camp. Those that were young enough were sent off to find work again. After seven years he realised that those that he had helped were returning to the camp. When he asked why they were back, they answered that working was hard and begging was easier. Dr. Usui realised that he had not taught the beggars to appreciate life or a new way of living.

In meditation he received further guidance about the healing of the spirit through a conscious decision to take responsibility for one's own health and well being in order for the Reiki healing energies to have lasting results. He therefore left the camp and looked for people who wished to be healed. He taught these people to heal themselves and gave them the principles of Reiki to heal their thoughts. He was also given the five spiritual principles of Reiki to balance the physical aspect of his healing work.

Dr. Hayashi and Hawayo Takata
Dr. Usui gave the master attunements to 16 people, one of whom was Dr. Hayashi who was charged with keeping the essence of Reiki alive after his death. He opened a clinic in Tokyo and created the hand positions, the three levels of initiation and initiation procedure. Sensing a war coming he passed the information on to a woman called Hawayo Takata the daughter of Japanese immigrants in Hawaii. She met Hayashi while in Japan to receive treatment for a tumour.

While in hospital she heard a voice stating that she did not need an operation and was taken to Hyashi's clinic. In 4 months she was completely cured and stayed on to learn it herself before returning to Hawaii and later introducing it to America. Feeling that the Japanese concept of respect would be accepted in the West she decided to charge a large amount of money for the Mastership to create the respect that was needed. She also created the story that Dr. Usui was a Christian monk to prevent bad feeling between the West and Japan, as she believed that a Christian background would be more acceptable than a Buddhist. There are no documents of him attaining his theological degree at the universities of Chicago or Doshisha as some stories record.

Modern masters
Reiki has evolved since these early days and as it becomes more widespread, many Masters have incorporated their own wisdom. This is an important part of life as change is the only constant. However, these differences may cause confusion. Reiki is and always will be a simple system that can be used by everyone. As such, you should trust your own feeling and not become embroiled in the inevitable 'Reiki politics'.

Reiki is different from other systems of healing in that the attunements, or initiations, are an ancient process of tuning the healer's body, both physical and etheric, to a higher vibration. This allows a clear channel for the higher vibrational energy to flow. Once this channel is opened it will remain open for the rest of the healer's life. The Reiki energy moves through the healer's body and releases and dispels blocks and negativity before being channelled through to the recipient.

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