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THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME
A Vision ...
Copyright 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 ahead.

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 his meal.

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 dream."
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 continued.
"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."
"And I looked, and listened, and understood, and remembered..."

Within 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."

Then, 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.
A 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.
Then, after what, to his wife, seemed like an eternity, he continued:

"You 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, and nodded.

"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...
I had fleeting glimpses of America, and Europe - but these lands were very different from how they had been when I visited them in my youth.
There were also scenes from many other places.
Many wonders ( - and horrors) of technology.
And the pace of life, so fast ... "

Again, Sensei fell silent for a time.

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.
In 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."

".A 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 Ryoho!"

"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 ..."

"Though, 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..."

"But 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 same...

"They will change various aspects of
how they were taught and also change aspects of what they were taught by Takata-san." he said.

"Of 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?"


"Yes, 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.
And 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..."

"And 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 friend ..."

"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 have been.
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.
They 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... "

"Now just 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 Reiki Ryoho."

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?"

His wife nodded.

"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 actually entails...

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."

Really?” His wife questioned. "Spiritual Development without Healing Practice?"

"Yes. Such 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 ..."

"And equally 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.
Yes, there 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 Method."

"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 mystery..."

"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."

"Yes," 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 - Spiritual Transformation
That, in my Reiki Ryoho, Spiritual Transformation is achieved via the sharing of Healing Treatment, and Healing Treatment is the primary expression of Spirituality."

"That my Reiki Ryoho is a Spiritual, Healing-Practice..."

"A Spiritual Gift, a Divine Blessing: a method of freeing and uniting body and soul."

"We heal the soul, make the body healthy, the mind becomes calm.
Our being is refined, transformed.
In Harmony and Balance we discover Unity-of-Self, and in doing so, we identify with our Divine Nature.
Our body-being
becomes a suitable medium through which our True Self can express.
We 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.

We 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.

In this way, we deepen the happiness of ourselves and others...
This is the aim of my Reiki Ryoho. "

Sensei's voice trailed away into silence.
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 error."

Again he nodded, smiled, and clasped his hands - filled now with a sense of clarity - a sense of resolution.
"Would 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 tomorrow."
"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."

"Yes!" he said. "It is decided then. Just as soon as I return from Fukuyama, I will begin ..."


               

_______
NOTE:

* It is a little known-fact that Hawayo Takata taught first degree Reiki classes in Japan in 1975.

What follows is an extract from a recording of a talk given by Takata-sensei at the Trinity Metaphysical Center, in Redwood, California in 1976:

"I 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 last trip.
So, I will spend many months there"

However, it seems Takata-sensei never got the opportunity to return again to Japan, as she had intended, to teach levels two and three.

The reasons behind this are not clear, but possibly can be put down to health..




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