Reiki is a subtle and yet powerful way of energy healing. The word Reiki comes from the words Rei which means „Gods Wisdom or the Higher Power“ and ki, which is „life force energy“. Reiki, therefore means something like „spiritual guided life force energy“. The universal life energy is in everything and everywhere and is accessible for everybody. It is a wonderful (self-) healing tool which relieves stress and promotes deep relaxation. After being initiated by a Reiki teacher, one can receive and give the Reiki energy for healing purposes simply by „laying on hands“.
Many books have been written on the origins of Reiki. There are lots of facts which we know to be true today, but there are also many myths. Mikao Usui is considered the founder of Reiki but there is evidence, that there were a few Reiki masters before him. There is not much knowledge of these so we will start with Dr. Usui to begin the history of Reiki. Usui Reiki, as founded by Mikao Usui, is the form of Reiki which is most commonly practiced in the west.
Dr. Usui – Founder of the Usui Reiki system
In March 1922, Mikao Usui had a mystical experience on Mt. Kurama and was given the universal life energy we today know as Reiki. He then developed his own unique style and called it Usui Reiki Ryoho. His goal was to give Reiki healing to as many people as possible and so he started a Reiki institute offering treatments. Many people came from near and far to receive Reiki treatments to cure their ailments. Furthermore, he trained more than 2000 pupils to become practitioners.
For Dr. Usui it was particularly important that Reiki is as accessible as possible to many people. He didn´t want his teachings to be complicated. His aim was, that everybody could easily learn this amazing technique and benefit from it. Reiki is not only available to heal physical ailments but also to correct the mind and promote deep relaxation.
Reiki is coming to the west
Another important person for Reiki as we know it today was Hawayo Takata. She was born on the island of Kauai, Hawaii in 1900. Her parents were Japanese immigrants and they worked on a sugar cane plantation. After developing severe health conditions, she travelled to Japan to visit family and seek treatment for her issues. In a hospital, she was diagnosed with several diseases and told to prepare for operation. She declined and went to a Reiki clinic instead where she received treatments every day. After four months of Reiki she was completely healed and so fascinated that she wanted to learn if for herself.
In 1937, she returned to Hawaii after receiving the first and the second Reiki degree and working in the clinic where she was treated. One year later she was initiated as a Reiki master and established several clinics in Hawaii. She became a well known healer treating many students and initiating them in Reiki levels l and ll. Often she travelled to the U.S. mainland and other parts of the world to teach Reiki and give treatments. Sometimes she stayed with a client and his family giving extensive treatments and also initiating the family members so they could support the healing process.
Hawayto Takata took the Usui Reiki system and transformed it for the West. She changed some techniques, adding her own hand positions and reduced the number of attunements. But the most important fact is, that thanks to Takata Sensei Reiki survived the war and was brought to us. She initiated 22 Reiki masters who continued to spread her work around the globe.
As we can see by the examples of Dr. Usui and Miss Takata, Reiki is something that can and should be modified and developed. Every Reiki master and teacher comes from a different background and lineage and the teachings and initiations may differ slightly. Also, it is mostly an oral tradition and therefore things were constantly added or removed. Always remember, Reiki comes from an infinite source and is available to everybody who is channeling this universal life energy. No matter how developed and evolved ones abilities have become.
There are plenty of forms of Reiki and many great Reiki Masters. If you are interested in becoming a practitioner yourself, I recommend checking out books by William Lee Rand and Frank Arjava Petter. They both, amongst others, did extensive research on Reiki.
I was initiated in 2019 (Level l) and 2020 (Level ll) by the great teacher Ageh Popat in the lineage Usui – Hayashi – Takata – Furumoto – Helbing – Gilgen – Popat. I´m already looking forward to receiving my master level in 2021. For those living in (the north of) Germany, you should check him out. Ageh teaches Usui Reiki and also the traditional Japanese Jikiden Reiki. http://www.kayakalpo.de
If you are curious to read more about Reiki, you can find additional information here.