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Origins of Reiki

The history of Reiki is indeed complex. Unfortunately, there is much conjecture and literature on what is fact and what isn’t.

What is known, is that Reiki is commonly schooled into the categories of Traditional Japanese Reiki (founded by Mikao Usui Reiki Ryoho) or Western Reiki (founded by Hawayo Takata) or a combination of both.

The most common Reiki practice is Western Reiki that was passed down by Hawayo Takata, a student of Chujiro Hayashi who was a direct student of Mikao Usui. It was Mrs Takata who then brought Reiki, as largely a ‘healing method’, from Japan to the Western World.

Ironically, it is also at the hands of Mrs Takata that the origins of Reiki became unclear. For whatever reasons, it was purported that some mistruths were told in her teachings including altering some of Mikao Usui’s life history, that led to misinformation in the paper trail that would define the history of Reiki.

In saying this, the western world owes a lot to Mrs Takata for bringing these wonderful teachings of Reiki to us and the emphasis on hands-on healing that has benefited so many and continues to heal so many lives today.

Mikao Usui

The founder, Mikao Usui introduced the Usui Reiki Ryoho (Usui’s Spiritual Healing Method or Usui’s Reiki System) to Japan during the 1920s after decades of spiritual searching. During his 50’s, he underwent a 21-day retreat on top of Mount Kurama when he had an epiphany that would lead to the creation of Usui Reiki – a path to enlightenment that would also enable healing.

Under his System of Reiki taught, there are 5 principal components:

  1. Attunements – how to attune someone to energetically become more sensitive to channeling energy from God/ Spirit/ Universe
  2. Meditations – the importance of being a clear and empty vessel to channel energy at it’s highest forms and enabling one to connect deeply to Self
  3. Precepts – these are principles (and affirmations) to live by daily to help lead a fulfilling, happy and peaceful life
  4. Healing – the importance of self healing that must come first before the ability to heal others effectively
  5. Mantras and symbols – these work on the same level as meditations and can help empty one’s mind to better channel energy from God/ Spirit/ Universe
Usui’s Reiki System believes in the consolidation of all of the above and one’s devotion to this that can bring forth fulfilment and enlightenment.
Mikao Usui Reiki

Mikao Usui Reiki (Source)

* There are many sources of information relating to the history of Reiki. I have largely translated this according to my learnings.

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