SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME
A Vision ...
© 2015 James Deacon
Perhaps it was that ...
One morning in early 1926, on a fine
day, just after dawn, Usui Sensei woke with a start from what had been a
very lucid dream.
"Most interesting!" he thought
to himself, as he sat up.
Then, turning his focus outwards, he
arose from his bed and began his preparations for the day
Yet, some time later, at the morning meal, his focus
had once again returned to his dream.
His wife could not help
but notice that he was not 'present in the moment' - at breakfast, he
was seldom ever not 'present in the moment'.
"Is the meal not
to your liking?" she asked quietly.
"Ah, forgive me"
He responded, returning to himself. He smiled, and nodded in
approval."As ever, the food is excellent. It is just that ... I
find myself unusually... preoccupied..."
He made a dismissive
gesture, "It was just a dream" he said, and continued with
However, from his demeanour, his wife sensed it must
have been more than 'just' a dream.
And so, with gentle
prompting, he began to explain.
"Just before waking, I
experienced a most lucid, vivid dream. A vision, A vision within a
He paused thoughtfully. "Of course, in my
meditations, I have from time to time had momentary fleeting visions:
but I have not felt anything like this, not felt anything so
intensely since that fortuitous day on Kurama Yama when I first
experienced the Influence-of-Spirit - the Reiki - above my head."
His eyes dis-focussed, his attention turned inward, Sensei was
silent for some moments.
His wife waited ... Attentively.
He shook his head slightly, then
"In fact, in this vision-dream, I was once more on
Kurama, at the very spot where I had sat years ago - sometimes it
seems like an eternity ago...."
His words came slowly.
His wife felt the intensity in the silence between the words
"I was sitting quietly in the emptiness of Spirit."
he said, "when I became aware of a Presence in the form of a
crow-headed mountain tengu. And in the instant of his
appearing, it seemed as if some strange vortex of air and light
opened up in front of me, and deep inside my being the tengu
laughed and said 'Look. Listen. Understand. Remember."
I looked, and listened, and understood, and remembered..."
this strange vortex, I began to perceive luminous spheres, hundreds
of them, floating in the air in front of me - each in their turn
drawing closer to me; and, as they did so, presenting me with scenes
from places far and wide - scenes from another time."
in response to his wife's question "No. Not the past. Scenes
from the future - many years in the future."
He shook his
head fleetingly. "When I say 'scenes'," he explained, "that
doesn't really describe it - yes, there were scenes: sights and
sounds - but more - it was so vivid, so real: a total
immersion in an experience. It is difficult to put into words.
vivid 'memory of the future' perhaps?
(Or at least, a 'memory' of
one possible future...)
And as each sphere drew close
before me, I found myself fleetingly living that scene -
living in the moment it encapsulated..."
Sensei fell silent.
what, to his wife, seemed like an eternity, he continued:
know how," Sensei said, looking directly at his wife,"I
have long resisted requests from my students to put my thoughts and
my complete teachings in a book? I have been firm about this, and you
know my reasoning?"
She made a sound of acknowledgement,
"Well, it seems I must adjust
my reasoning ..."
"In this vision dream," he
said, "things came rapidly: momentary flashes, scenes forming,
then suddenly snatched away to be replaced by another, and another...
Fragments from here and there. Short conversations. Familiar things,
yet unfamiliar. But always, many years in the future...
fleeting glimpses of America, and Europe - but these lands were very
different from how they had been when I visited them in my
There were also scenes from many other places.
wonders ( - and horrors) of technology.
And the pace of life, so
fast ... "
Again, Sensei fell silent for a
Inhaling swiftly, he resumed is account. "Some of
the 'experiences' of this possible future held in the spheres were
stronger than others - more intense, more vivid - had a sense of
greater emotional content, greater importance than the others.
one, I was aware of a time - perhaps forty years or so in the future
- when my Reiki Ryoho had been all but forgotten in Japan.. "
Sensei's wife looked shocked and
made protestations of disbelief.
"Oh," he continued, "there
were several other drugless treatment practices known to the Japanese
people of the time, but contrary to all my hopes" he said,
somewhat dejectedly, "in this particular version of the future,
the public treatment centres and the training centres I have
envisaged, did not exist. What had become of my students (and their
own students) was not clear. But one thing was certain: my Reiki
Ryoho was nowhere to be seen..."
"Even so," he
went on, "all was not lost."
"In the vision, there
was hope - in the form of a Nisei born in the Hawaiian
Islands. It seems my honourable student Hayashi-san will eventually
train a second-generation Japanese woman named Takata from what is
now the American-held Territory of Hawaii."
woman?" his wife asked in a tone which questioned: 'Have
I heard you correctly, husband?'
"Yes, Yes indeed. A
woman - fully trained and certified as a teacher of my Reiki
"According to the vision, this
teacher, Takata-san, will bring the very
essence of my Reiki Ryoho back to Japan half a century from now*.She
will visit Japan and train several students here in the first level
of the art, and so, begin the re-awakening of public interest in my
teachings. By this time she will have been practising, and also
teaching the art for
somewhere in the region of forty years."
"Sadly though, it
seems," Sensei continued, "through no fault of her own,
Takata-san will not be in a position to return to
Japan and continue these students' training to the next level, nor
begin the training of further students. That task will fall to
others, and in this particular version of the future, it seems it
will be another decade before it happens ..."
during this decade, Takata-san will pass away. Her own students in
the west will teach a great many students, and these in turn will do
likewise. The number of practitioners - and teachers - will mushroom,
expanding at an ever quickening rate..."
without their teacher Takata-san to guide them, with each new
'generation' of students and teachers, there will be many changes
"In the vision, I saw how, rapidly, people
began to... or do I mean will begin
to?," Sensei questioned, then, "this 'past tense - future
tense' - it's all rather confusing..."
His wife suggested
that he simply recount the details and assured him that past,
present, or future - the tense didn't really matter. It was all the
"They will change various aspects of how
they were taught and also change aspects of what
they were taught by Takata-san." he said.
course, change is part of the very fabric of our existence. There
will always be change - must
always be change: growth and evolution - in any art. I have myself
made subtle alterations in the form and methodology of my Reiki Ryoho
over these past few years.
However, these changes I have seen in
the vision dream - I cannot help but wonder - will some of it be
simply change for the sake of change?"
with each new 'generation' of students," he continued, "it
seems there will be changes: with some people adding additional
levels of training to my Reiki Ryoho (or 'Reiki' as it seems it will
simply be called in this time). Others will make changes to my
symbols and their names and function: others still will add
additional, new symbols. Strange new ideas will be incorporated into
the art. Beliefs borrowed from various other cultures; theories and
practices from other healing and spiritual traditions which are
popular in their time. People using healing stones, and chanting, and
burning bundles of dried herbs; people invoking magical forces and
spirits, and claiming to do something called 'channelling energy'
from beings referred to as 'Ascended Masters'... And in this way,
many new 'styles' or expressions of 'Reiki' as they call it, will
come into being."
"And so it will be that, a decade
or so after Takata-san brings my Reiki Healing art back to Japan,
other teachers from the West will come to continue the work.
if there is truth in this vision - and I firmly believe there is -
'Reiki' will grip the hearts of the people. There will be a
great interest - news will spread far and wide throughout Japan, and
many, many people will come to be initiated and learn..."
in this new enthusiasm, there will be those here in Japan who begin a
quest to discover what they can about the roots of the art - the
origins and history of my Reiki Ryoho ...
But, it seems, there will be
very little for them to find. A few brief references in old
newspapers; other even scantier references in several old books;
half-remembered truths and hearsay passed down the generations from
the grandparent or great-grandparent of a friend, or of a friend's
"On discovering that there had
apparently been something called the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai: a
society founded to teach my Reiki Ryoho (a society which will have
ceased to exist many years before Takata-san rekindles the flame of
'Reiki' in Japan) it seems some individuals will set out to resurrect
this society, at least in as far as they imagine how it might
Several people (albeit with good intentions) - their
reasoning perhaps being that my Reiki Ryoho may have been not too
dissimilar to that of some of my more well-known contemporaries - as
part of their researches, will turn their attentions to the work of
other healers of the Meiji and Taisho Eras and beyond. They will seek
out techniques, practices and theories they believe to be in keeping
with their idea of what my Reiki Ryoho originally entailed.
will incorporate these things into their own Reiki practice,
effectively creating - just like their Western counterparts will do -
several new styles and expressions of the art.
Some will also
divide the training up into different levels of teaching, some will
use extra or modified symbols, or teach significantly different
beliefs concerning the nature and purpose of the symbols; others will
devise new formats and understandings as to how to transmit the
'Spiritual Gift' that lies at the very core of my Reiki Ryoho...
as is the case with the Western practitioners," Sensei
continued, "what these people here in Japan will be doing is
interesting, genuinely quite creative, and their practices will be
viable and effective methods of healing. However, on several levels,
their teachings will have little to do with my
After another brief pause, Sensei resumed
his account. "I mentioned my previous reluctance to
create a book fully detailing my Reiki Ryoho, and also, how I now
believe there may be need for such a book?"
"Well, you see," he explained,
"I am saddened that in this possible future as shown to me in
the vision, there is so little surviving evidence of my Reiki Ryoho
ever having existed; and as a result, there is so much confusion - so
many contradictory beliefs concerning what precisely my Reiki Ryoho
For example," Sensei
continued, "it would seem that three-quarters of a century from
now, some people - particularly Westerners, but
also I think some Japanese - will come to believe that my teachings
were originally solely about Spiritual Development, and that healing
was a secondary concern - or even unimportant. Can you imagine that."
His wife questioned. "Spiritual Development without
confusion and misunderstanding." Sensei replied, in a somewhat
perplexed tone. "But I see now, this is the very kind of thing
that can happen if there is no clear, explanatory, well-documented
account of my actual teachings available to future generations. This
is why I must write ..."
confusing," he continued, "while some who hold to this
believe seem to think this imagined, separate, non Healing-centred
Spiritual Development system had it's own distinct name, many others
will insist on still referring to it as my Reiki Ryoho.
will be those who will say 'Usui's teachings were really solely about
Spiritual Development - healing was just a side-effect' - yet in the
same breath they will say that it was called Usui's Reiki Healing
"And once they had", he paused,
corrected himself, "once they have,
gotten this idea of a system focussing solely and directly on
Spiritual Development firmly implanted in their minds - but not being
able to find any historical trace of such a thing - several people,
in their enthusiasm and over-eagerness will set out to, as they will
see it, 'reconstruct' both these supposed teachings and the method
of transmitting these
teachings - teachings and practices that many people seem to imagine
must have constituted some intricate system, full of complexities and
"It seems they will look to a variety of
historic Japanese sources: spiritual, esoteric,
religious, and philosophic, enthusiastically 'borrowing' from here
and there, exercise, meditations and mystic practices, adopting them
in to this 'reconstructed' Spiritual system."
Sensei continued, after a momentary pause - a look of mild
bewilderment on his face,"Yes, they will seek out teachings,
methods and practices from various Buddhist schools of thought, and
from the doctrines of several of the 'New Religions', and also from
Shinto belief. They will incorporate all manner of ideas. In many
instances, things I am not even familiar with, let alone teach. In
fact, many of the things they will include are those very things I
have striven to step away from: endless techniques and practices -
supposedly to help develop their 'spirituality', but in reality
originally devised simply as a means to occupy
and distract the 'monkey mind'... "
"So you see, I am now decided,"
Sensei explained, "I must create a comprehensive guide to my
Reiki Ryoho - a definitive account for those who are yet to come. A
publicly available book."
"I must stress the elegant
simplicity of my Reiki Ryoho. That my Reiki Ryoho is intentionally
devoid of mind-cluttering, attention-distracting practices - that it
contains nothing extraneous.
I must get across the important
understanding that 'less is more'...
I must make it clear
that my 'Spiritual System' IS my Healing System - that my
Healing System IS my Spiritual System
That the Healing
Practice is the medium for achieving Spiritual Development -
That, in my Reiki Ryoho, Spiritual
Transformation is achieved via the sharing of Healing
Treatment, and Healing Treatment is the primary expression of
"That my Reiki Ryoho is a Spiritual,
"A Spiritual Gift, a Divine
Blessing: a method of freeing and uniting body and
"We heal the soul, make the body
healthy, the mind becomes calm.
Our being is refined,
In Harmony and Balance we discover Unity-of-Self, and
in doing so, we identify with our Divine Nature.
body-being becomes a suitable
medium through which our True Self can express.
live by the Five Principles; our compassion develops and is expressed
in a desire to heal others.
This is how we achieve happiness:
through the Spiritual ability to Heal.
heal of ourselves and others, free ourselves and others from
emotional and physical suffering.
Soul and body are in harmony and
our life is joyous and peaceful.
this way, we deepen the happiness of ourselves and others...
is the aim of my Reiki Ryoho. "
Sensei's voice trailed away into
Moments passed, then:
"So, even if these future
people of the vision, on discovering my Reiki Ryoho, choose to follow
the variations in form which exist in their age rather than reverting
to the methods and practices I myself actually apply and teach, a
book will act as a record of what truly constitutes my Reiki
Ryoho now, today."
"Yes." he said, partly to
his wife, partly to himself. "Yes", he nodded. "I must
set out my teachings - and the method of imparting my
teachings - in a book. Clearly, simply, succinctly, yet fully - so
there can be no misunderstanding, no confusion, no
Again he nodded, smiled, and clasped his hands -
filled now with a sense of clarity - a sense of resolution.
that I could begin right away." he said,"However, as you
know, there are these matters at hand, matters which cannot wait.
And there is much to be done today, things to oversee, minor issues to
be dealt with, preparations to be finalised for the journey
"But soon, once this business has been dealt
with - once this situation is resolved - then I will give
myself over 'ten tenths' as they say, to the task of compiling the
book. The book of my Reiki Ryoho."
said. "It is decided then. Just as soon as I return from
Fukuyama, I will begin ..."
is a little known-fact that Hawayo Takata taught first degree Reiki
classes in Japan in 1975.
follows is an extract from a recording of a talk given by
Takata-sensei at the Trinity Metaphysical Center, in Redwood,
California in 1976:
took Reiki out of Japan.
Last year I went back and I gave
them the first degree, and they are just crying for the second degree
this year, so I am going back again.
Next year, I shall go back to
Japan and create ten Teachers.
And this is the way I'm going to
return Reiki, back to Japan.
There will be Reiki Centres
in Japan, and Masters there, and they will take care of all the
necessity and they will have many, many Reiki students; and so, I do
not have to go again.
And so … next year to Japan will be my
So, I will spend many months there"
it seems Takata-sensei never got the opportunity to return again to
Japan, as she had intended, to teach levels two
reasons behind this are not clear, but possibly can be put down to