Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Reiki - what story have you been told?

Many Reiki practitioners and teachers are still laboring under the belief that the founder/creator of Reiki, Dr. Mikao Usui was a Christian teaching in a Christian school in Japan and as the story goes was asked by one of his students if he believed everything he read in the bible and if so did he believe that Jesus could heal with his hands and so on.  We know now that Mrs. Takata (refer to my other posts about "the Mother of Reiki)" made up a parable along these lines many years ago when she first begin practising Reiki in Hawaii.  To her credit, doing so is the traditional Japanese way to get across important spiritual teachings so she was not lying just simple trying to get across an important point.

In the past 10 years or so, many very high level Reiki Master Teachers and authors of very well known and admired Reiki books, have taken it upon themselves to go to Japan to learn all they could about the real origins of Reiki and it's creator.   They include such people as Frank Arjava Peter and his wife, James Deacon, Chris Marsh, William Lee Rand and many others.  They were able to connect with an actual practising Japanese Reiki Master Teacher, Hiroshi Doi who made many other connections for them including several 100+ year old Buddhist nuns still living who were connected to Reiki and taught by Dr. Usui himself as well as many others. 

They learned many things about Usui we didn't know which clearly debunked the Christian myth surrounding Reiki that Mrs. Takata created.  We now know that Usui was born into a very old and high ranking Samurai family and as such was sent off at the tender age of 4 to a Buddhist monastery to study.  Among  the many things he learned there were Kiko (the Japanese form of QiQong) and martial arts.  He actually became a very accomplished and admired martial artist in swordsmanship and grappling.

In his relatively short in modern terms life, he studied and worked in many areas and at some point became a Buddhist lay priest (meaning he could marry and live at home as a priest, he did not have to live a cloistered life as a monk in a temple).  He also studied Zen Buddhism with it's founder at one point.  So clearly he was not a Christian. 

Like many seekers of our time he worked at many diverse jobs (working in a prison, as a secretary to a government official for example) and studied a large variety of things including psyhic phenomena, Shintoism and a form of Japanese shamanism. (see Taggart King's Reiki Level I manual).

It is currently believed that Reiki is actually a compilation of all the things Usui studied in life in his pursuit to achieve "satori" - the state where nothing that happens to you in life bothers, you, you are calm and serene and you are doing what you came here to do or on your soul path.  It is possible  that he also did have an "enlightenment" experience on top of the sacred Japanese mountain Kuryama as many say. but others say he performed the "Lotus Repentance Meditation" as many as 5 times (not the one as you always read or hear about in just about every Reiki book there is).  The story goes that he went to the top of the sacred mountain with the intention of receiving the instructions on how to understand and utilize all the information he had gathered about the system of Reiki but could not figure out how to activate it.  Being told by the head monk of his temple to go up and meditate/fast for 21 days and either get the answers or die.

At the end of 21 days he had still not received any answers and was preparing to come down off the mountain when he saw a "great light" heading towards him at very high speed and made the decision to allow the light to enter his body (at the third eye) and all was revealed to him upon contact which knocked him unconscious.

As with most things about Reiki and actually with many other things in life, we will never know the "real" story as Usui has been dead for many many years as well as Hayashi (his predecessor) and Mrs. Takata, the last of the BIG THREE in Reiki history (so far).  But this new information is very arresting and eye opening and gives one a much better idea of how this hands on healing modality was originated and why.

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