The Ancient History of Reiki
The History of Reiki
Reiki is a relatively new healing art invented by Mikao Usui, a Japanese Buddhist monk, in 1922. It was later simplified by Chujiro Hayashi, a disciple of Mikao Usui. Although Reiki has made a splash in recent historical records, legend has it that Reiki actually begun thousands of years ago in that great mystical nation of Tibet or Northern India.
The word Reiki means “mysterious atmosphere” when translated from Japanese to English, and probably refers to the unseen atmospheric energy field surrounding every person. It has been successfully captured and measured by a branch of photography called Kirlian, and it’s called the Aura.
Mikao Usui taught “Usui teate,” which means “hands-on, and it wasn’t called Reiki until it reached the West. The Laying on of Hands tradition is a wide spread religious practice the world over. Unlike some religions, which require a complex belief system, Reiki does not have any religious belief systems and claims that anyone can train in the art.
Other than the five daily precepts, Reiki is devoid of religious dogma (it is, however, mention extensively, but not by name, in the Buddhist Suttras) and is supposed to usher the practitioner into a state of permanent enlightenment.
Combined with mindfulness developed through meditation, the Five Daily Precepts manage to regulate a practitioners progress to a deeper understanding of self and Universe:
1. Do not be angry.
2. Do not worry.
3. Be grateful.
4. Work with diligence.
5. Be kind to people.
The five precepts where written by Mikao Usui, but they were based on the teachings of Emperor Meiji. Originally, only two of the three levels of Reiki were publicly taught. It wasn’t until the Western Master Takata started openly teaching the third, or Master/Teacher level, that the Japaneses also published their own teachings. Today, there are seven traditions in Reiki. Four belong to the East, and three belong to the West.
In the East:
1. The Usui Reiki Healing Method Learning Society.
2. The Spiritual Occurrence and Spiritual Energy Society.
3. The Enlightened Spiritual Energy Meeting Association.
4. The Direct Teaching of Spiritual Energy.
And in the West:
1. The Usui’s Spiritual Energy Style of Therapy.
2. The Usui Tibetan Reiki.
3. The Modern Spiritual Energy Method.
Takata became a Reiki Master in February 1938, and she brought Reiki to the West via Hawaii. Takata is responsible for all Western Reiki teachings, and she trained 22 Reiki Masters before her death in November of 1980.
She traveled through out America practicing and teaching Reiki and setting up centers.
Legend, and the Suttras, state that a Buddhist monk climbed up a mountain and was taught many things by the Buddhist Spirit of the Northern quarter (sun or fire). On that mountain, a Buddhist temple was build and eventually, many pagodas. From this mountain, Mt. Kurama, spread the teachings of Reiki.
Even today, scientific studies are verifying this ancient art. In fact, Reiki has probably survived the centuries gone by because of its effectiveness. According to a report done by J. Altern Complement Medicine, “Reiki therapy is documented for relief of pain and stress.”