The Reiki Story

According to tradition, Reiki has its origins in Tibet. The method was apparently lost through the years but was preserved in the sacred written Sanskrit sutras.

Reiki was rediscovered by Dr. Mikao Usui toward the end of the 19th century. Dr Usui formulated the modern Reiki method known as “Usui Shiki Ryoho” (The Usui System of Natural Healing).

During the mid-1800’s, Dr. Mikao Usui was the Dean of a small Christian University in Kyoto.

One day, during a discussion with some of his students, Usui was asked if he believed literally in the Bible. When he replied that he did, his students reminded him of the instant healings of Christ. The students mentioned that in the Bible, Christ states, “You will do as I have done, and even greater things. If this is so,” they stated, “Why aren’t there many healers in the world today performing the same acts as Christ? In addition, he tells the apostles to heal the sick and raise the dead. If this is true,” the students said, “please teach us the methods.” Usui was stunned.

In traditional Japanese style, he was bound by his honour as Dean, to be able to answer their questions. On that day Usui resigned his position, and determined to find the answers to this great mystery.

After a very long search that took him to America, Japanese monasteries and possibly even Tibet, and after searching through American, Japanese, Chinese and Sanskrit texts, Dr. Usui thought he had finally found the intellectual answers to the healings of Christ. What he needed then was the empowerment.

He found the methods of empowerment after he did a 21 day fast on Mount Kurama in Japan.

He was amazed to discover that this new force could stop bleeding and relieve pain as he continued to apply it. After some meditation, he decided to work in the Beggars Quarters in Kyoto where he hoped to heal the beggars so that they could receive new names at the temple, and thus be reintegrated into society.

While the results were remarkable and many received complete healings, Usui began to notice that many of the people he had helped were just returning to the Beggars’ Quarters.

It finally dawned on him that he had failed to teach them responsibility, and most of all, gratitude. He then realized that the healing of the Spirit was every bit as important as the healing of the body. He saw that by having given Reiki away he had further impressed the beggar pattern in them. The importance of an exchange of energy became clear to him. People needed to give back for what they received or life would be devoid of value.

He left the Beggars Quarter and began to teach throughout Japan. Shortly before his death, around the turn of the century, Usui charged one of his most devoted teachers, Dr. Chujiro Hayashi, a retired naval officer, with the responsibility of carrying on the traditions of Reiki. Dr. Hayashi founded the first Reiki clinic in Tokyo.

In 1935, Hawaya Takata, a young Japanese-American woman from Hawaii appeared in Hayashi’s clinic. She was ill with a variety of organic disorders, and also lacking energy due to depression over the death of her husband a few years earlier. Having been on the verge of surgery while visiting her parents who had returned to Japan, she heard the voice of her deceased husband urging her emphatically to avoid the operation. After conferring to the doctor her reservations about the upcoming surgery, he recommended that she try the Reiki clinic, and it was there that she began to receive treatments, and was finally healed.

Takata was understandably impressed with Reiki and decided to learn it herself. Reiki had become a man’s domain, and that meant hands-off to women. Takata was a typical determined “Gaijin” (alien) woman and did not give up easily. Her persistence ultimately paid off, and she was finally instructed in both First and Second Degree techniques. Later Takata returned to the U.S. and began her practice. In 1938, Dr. Hayashi and his daughter came to visit her. Soon after, Takata was initiated as a Master and the Hayashis returned to Japan.

This gutsy little lady pursued the teaching of Reiki in post-war America during the McCarthy era, a very closed-minded period of America’s history.

In the 1970’s Mrs. Takata began to train other Masters, and at her death in December of 1980, 21 had been trained. Today there are over 300 Reiki Masters teaching around the world.

The above text was summarized from the book by HORAN, Paula-«Empowerment through Reiki”, Lotus Light, Shangri-La»