Copyright © 2005/11 James Deacon
[Latest addition: Sept. 2011]
. .. .FIVE Usui-Reiki Symbols ? [Sept 28.11]
Several styles of Reiki teach additional symbols alongside those
handed down from Usui-sensei.
Most of these styles clearly identify these additional symbols as
being just that - additions to the system.
However, I've noticed of late, there seems to be have been a
significant increase in the number of Reiki masters teaching that
Mikao Usui used FIVE Reiki symbols.
I have even seen this repeated in a couple of Reiki books ['No
names, no pack drill', as they say].
Now, in most cases, the Fifth supposedly 'original' Usui Reiki
symbol is claimed to be the lightning-bolt symbol known as "Raku".
Yet Raku played no part in Reiki prior to the 1980's when it was
introduced as part of the pseudo-Tibetan Raku Kei Reiki, created by
Reiki master Arthur Robertson....
Some other folks who teach that Mikao Usui used Five Reiki
symbols, cite the fifth as being a symbol called Tamarasha (or as a
few people miss-spell it Tanarasha).
Likewise, Tamarasha, is actually a modern-day symbol borrowed from
the KOFUTU Healing system created by Frank Homan in the 1970's ...
The water gets ever muddier...
. .. .Moving Tales ? [Oct 09.09]
would seem to be at great pains to have us believe that Usui-sensei
was a devout, life-long adherent of theTendai sect of
Yet for quite some time, these same people seem to have, in
the main, glossed over the fact that Usui-sensei's remains are
actually interred in a grave in the grounds of the Saihoji
temple - a temple belonging to the Jodo sect of Buddhism.
seems like a half-hearted attempt to explain this anomaly, some have
suggested that perhaps the Saihoji temple could have previously
belonged to the Tendai sect?
King would have us believe that he has the answer:
Dave tells us that recently (Summer 2009),
a colleague of his (George Mullen?) visited the Saihoji temple in
Tokyo, and discovered that grave-stones from a Tendai Buddhist
graveyard had been relocated to the Saihoji temple grounds during 1960-61, when the Tendai site was cleared to facilitate construction of a new subway route.
Now, according to Dave, his colleague also
claims that he learnt (from whom, it's not clear) that the Usui family
grave, and also the additional grave where Usui-sensei's son, Fuji, is
interred, just happened to be amongst the stones brought to the Saihoji
temple from the (unnamed) Tendai graveyard at this time.
On hearing this, my first thought was: If the Usui grave was only moved to Saihoji Temple in 1960/61, how come the Saihoji temple site is mentioned on the Usui memorial (dated1927)?
[ on the memorial, it states: "Lately, many students came together and decided to erect this memorial in the graveyard at Saihoji Temple..." ]
However, it seems I
might have been getting a little ahead of my self:
As it turns out, the
story Dave King is asking us to believe is that it was only the Usui
graves themselves which had originally been located in the
(unnamed) Tendai cemetery. The fact that the memorial stone was
indeed originally erected in the Saihoji temple grounds is apparently not being
we are being asked to believe that,
while Usui-sensei was buried in a Tendai graveyard, the following
year (1927), the honourable and respectful creators of
the memorial stone - instead of erecting it at the grave-site of
their beloved Sensei, decided to place it in a totally different graveyard in the grounds of a totally different temple -
hidden away in amongst some graves with no connection to
Sensei at all?
That they chose to omit any reference
to Usui-sensei being buried elsewhere - would that not have been
somewhat disrespectful in itself? It would mean that future students
would be denied the opportunity to pay their respects to Usui-sensei
by visiting the grave.
And is it perhaps too convenient
that some thirty years after the erecting of the memorial
stone in the Saihoji temple graveyard, there just happened to
be plenty of space directly beside the memorial, amongst the
crowded graves, for both Usui-sensei's tomb (in which his wife and
daughter are also interred) and that of his son, to be erected?
In a way, I'm surprised that it was only this year that Dave became aware of the (supposed) relocating of Usui-sensei's grave.
he tells us that in 1971, while in southern Morocco with a group of
Taoist qi gung students, he met and spent a month training with, a
70+year-old Yuji Onuki. [Onuki had apparently been a student of Toshihiro Eguchi in the
late 1920's, and it seems, was also a Shichidan level (7th Degree)
student of Usui-sensei's early teachings. ] Dave
says that, many years later (in the early 1990s ?), when he visited
Tokyo, he was able to find Usui-sensei's grave based on Onuki's
description of the location of the memorial.
also tells us that while at the Saihoji temple site on this visit, he met a man who
showed him around, then invited him to his home to meet his father –
who had been one of Usui-sensei's students in 1923...
was apparently also taken by this unnamed person to private shrine
which housed the original copy Reiki principles and also some of
another occasion Dave sells us, he met a man named Tatsumi. Tatsumi,
apparently in his nineties, had been one of Hayashi-sensei's students
in the late 20's-early 30's...
colleague, Melissa Riggall is also said to have spent some time
studying with Tatsumi.
yet another occasion, in the mid 1990's Melissa Riggall, as a result
of a chance conversation with an innkeepers wife, was apparently
introduced to a woman who had studied with Usui-sensei in 1924 –
and over the next couple of months was introduced to a total of about
30 people (the majority were apparently women) who had studied with
Usui-sensei, Hayashi-sensei or Toshihiro Eguchi. One of these people
was the Buddhist nun, Tenon-in. [Tenon-in (aka Mariko Obaasan), Onuki
and Tatsumi, would seem to be the prime sources for the information
Dave has shared with the Reiki community over the years.]
seems perhaps a little strange that of all these people apparently encountered
by Dave (and / or Melissa) over the years, not one of them ever
mentioned the story of the moving of Usui-sensei's grave?
. .. .'Usui Sa-ke Reiki' ? [Mar 14.09]
. .. .'Reiki
Teddybear' meets 'Voodoo Doll' ? [Aug
US-based Reiki practitioner (who wishes to remain nameless) related
Having recently done the Level II course, and wishing to do some
distant treatments for a friend who lived in the next county,
this lady decided to try the 'teddybear method' (i.e. using the
bear as a surrogate) taught on the course by her RM.
So she borrowed one of her daughter's bears - one the child didn't
play with much - and over the following week, 'treated' the bear
each evening. Her friend had been suffering from a stiff back,
and after speaking to her on the phone and being told that the
stiffness had completely disappeared, the lady in question decided
to stop the treatments.
A couple of days later, she returned the teddybear to her daughter's
About ten days later, she phoned her friend again, to enquire
how her back was feeling.
"Great" was the reply, but I'm now experiencing a really
strange ache in my left arm - it kind of feels, well, empty..."
So the lady told her friend she would 'send' her some more treatment;
and after the conversation, went to her daughter's room to borrow
the bear again.
To her surprise, on entering the room, she found her daughter
playing 'nurse,' with the particular teddybear as her patient.
The bear was now wearing a neatly tied bandage (actually a length
of ribbon), so she asked her daughter why.
that a couple of days earlier, the family's five-month old puppy
had been playing with the bear, and managed to pull most of the
filler out of the bears left arm...
. .. .Hayashi-sensei's
training ? [May.24.06]
has been claimed by some that, unlike certain other students,
Hayashi-sensei did not receive the higher levels of Reiki training/initiation
often wondered if this was simply a story invented by less-than-generous
Gakkai folk in response to Hayashi-sensei decision to leave the
Gakkai and set up his own school. ["Our Reiki is better than
his" sort of thing?]
is it perhaps possible that the story could actually be a modern
invention, by some current members of the pro-Gakkai Reiki camp?
An attempt to cast doubt on the 'quality' - even the very validity,
of the entire 'Western' Reiki lineage? Could it simply have been
a ploy - a fiction devised in the hope of creating a level of
insecurity in the minds of a great many 'Western' lineage Reiki
practitioners concerning how strong/powerful/real their Reiki
was, to the point, in fact, where a great many would hurry off
to sign themselves up (and hand over the substantial booking fee
deposit) for the very next available 'Japanese' Reiki course ?
it certainly does seem to have worked, doesn't it?
# . .. .The
Mythologised Reiki Story and parallels? [Jan.28.06]
on this site I mention how the theme of the 21-day Meditation
- resulting in revelation of healing gifts - has parallels in
the 'founding' stories of other healing groups.
More recently, in my researches I discovered a further parallel:
In the 'Reiki Story' as told by Takata-sensei, we hear how Usui-sensei
healed the physical ills of many beggars and arranged for them
to be given employment - enabling them to find their place again
in society. However, many that he had healed, in time abandoned
their new lives and reverted to their old ways. This lead Usui-sensei
to the realisation that in order to effect lasting change, it
was not enough to simply heal the body - there must be a spiritual
element to the practice...
Now, compare this with the story of one of Usui-sensei's contemporaries:
Yamato Shôfû - founder of the faith-healing sect Shôroku
becoming possessed by the deity, "Yamato no Ôkami,"
just after WW1, Yamato:
"...not only began treating the pains
and ills of the people around him, but found that he had an unusual
power which allowed him to effect unfailing cures.… Taking
no reward for his work, he cured numerous people of their illnesses.
But many of the people who came to him for healing quickly returned
to dissipate lives of heavy drinking and gambling. Seeing this,
Yamato realized that healing people of illnesses was not necessarily
linked to their larger salvation, and he concluded that the revitalization
of one's spirit and the holding of a proper mental state were
more important than the curing of physical ills…."
from: Healing in the New Religions: Charisma and `Holy Water'
by Masako Watanabe & Midori Igeta [in Contemporary
Papers on Japanese Religion , Vol 2, Institute for Japanese Culture
and Classics, Kokugakuin University, 1991]
# . .. .The
exact spot where Usui-sensei sat? [Nov.03.05]
some enterprising Reiki-folk have been advertising 'Reiki Pilgrimage'
tour-packages to Japan, combining sightseeing in Kyoto with the
opportunity to meet 'famous' Reiki people, receive training in
either Jikiden, Komyo, or Gendai ho Reiki, and make trips to Mt
Seems that the tours also include a chance to receive denju
attunements or reiju at what is claimed to be the 'exact
spot' on Mt Kurama where Usui-sensei undertook his 21-day shugyo
and had the 'Reiki Experience'.
I can't help wondering if it is purely coincidental that the 'exact
spot' just happens to be the very place revered as the site where
the Kurama deity mao-son
no kami arrived on earth?
how did they suddenly discover that this was the legendary spot
where Usui-sensei first experienced the phenomenon that is Reiki?
The fortuitous (and highly lucrative) result of a 'channeling'
# . .. .Reiju
- and other 'higher' practices? [Sept.06.05]
the 'Reiki Community' in the western world first learned of the
process called reiju being used
by Reiki Masters in Japan, we were told that this was the original
version of what eventually became the 'Reiki Attunement' or 'Initiation'
taught by Takata-sensei. But whereas Takata-style initiation/attunement
process (denju in Japanese) was only given at the 'introduction'
to each level, reiju was a practice repeated on a regular
basis, and was said to have a cumulative effect - ever deepening
the quality of the attunement.
was Japanese Reiki Master Hiroshi Doi who introduced the reiju
process to western reiki practitioners. However, at first there
seems to have been some confusion (possibly due to language barriers)
concerning the exact origin of the reiju method he was
teaching. Initially many western Reiki Practitioners were under
the impression that the reiju being taught by Doi-san was
the original version used by Usui-sensei himself. But this was
not the case. And not only was it not Usui-sensei's original reiju,
it was not even a version as used by the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai.
Rather it turned out to be a procedure developed by Doi-san himself,
to emulate the experience of the Gakkai version of reiju
- which Doi-san had received on many occasions, but
had not actually been taught how to give.
time later, Usui Teate teacher Chris Marsh (who claims to be in
contact with some of Usui Sensei's original students) also began
teaching a form of reiju - which he maintained was
the original version [but it is unlikely that this will ever be
verified]; and over the last few years, several other versions
of reiju have also appeared. Hyakuten Inamoto (of Komyo
Reiki Kai), for example, utilises a variety of reiju's,
including an 'open' or 'temporary' reiju which can be given
to non Reiki practitioners [- this latter is, I feel, based on
the 'Healing Attunement' found in some western styles of Reiki]
As mentioned above, when we in the west first began to hear about
reiju we were told it was the forerunner of the denju
initiation/attunement process as taught by Takata-sensei.
its deepest sense, Takata-sensei's denju constituted a
'transmission-ritual' by means of which the Reiki Master conferred
the 'Reiki Ability' on the student - both in an actual, practical
sense, and in the more spiritual/esoteric sense of passing on
to the student the 'spiritual permission' to manifest this essentially
sacred phenomenon. This type of 'transmission-process' is something
which has a deep resonance with practices central to Japanese
Mikkyo (esoteric) tradition.
strangely, while it is claimed by some sources that reiju
is actually derived from Tendai Mikkyo Buddhist practice, [in
which 'transmission-empowerment rituals' are core to the student/disciple's
'unfolding'] these sources are also now telling us that, rather
than being a form of attunement or initiation, reiju is
simply a 'blessing ceremony' - that it is not a transmission-empowerment
process at all.
though, while in one breath effectively downgrading the significance
of reiju in the Reiki scheme of things, these same sources
in the very next breath intimate that they themselves have been
made aware of other 'higher' practices that can take the student
to levels of Reiki experience that reiju can not.
it be that, with the passing of time - the original enthusiasm
about reiju having eventually died down to a level where
it is widely realised that reiju (or at least the modernday,
'reinvented reiju') is not all it was hyped up to be -
the time has come for the next, new 'big secret', in the shape
of one or more of these 'higher' practices to be rolled out (via
an expensive seminar, no doubt) to an unsuspecting and ever-eager
# . .. .'Komyo Kai' Reiki
and 'Komyo Ki' Reiki
Recently, on a Reiki forum I read a post requesting a 'distant
attunement' for Komyo Ki Reiki. Initially I had thought this a
mere typing error - that the person was actually looking to be
'distantly attuned' to 'Komyo Kai' Reiki - or Reiki Komyo
Kai: the style of Reiki as developed and taught by Hyakuten Inamoto.
I was considering mentioning that Inamoto-san [and I do not wish
to get into a discussion re the validity of 'distant attunement'
here] was very clear on this - stating that Komyo Kai Reiki does
not hold with the use of distant attunement/reiju - however, noticing
yet another post mentioning Komyo Ki, I decided I needed to do
a little research.
out 'Komyo Ki' Reiki is 'Komyo Kai' Reiki
- and then again it isn't...
seems that Reiki Master Rick Rivard wanted to sell Komyo as part
of his 'distant/online training' programme for existing Reiki
Masters, but as Inamoto-san doesn't consider distant reiju practice
to be part of Komyo Kai [he states very specifically that Komyo
reiju is intended for 'in-person' use only], Rick - apparently
out of respect for Inamoto-san's wishes - decided to re-brand
the 'Komyo Kai' system as 'Komyo Ki'.
The only difference between 'Komyo Kai' and 'Komyo Ki', as far
as I can currently ascertain, is that Rick has subtracted
the letter 'a' from 'Kai' and added permission for people
to receive distant reiju.....
# . .. .Te-ate and Te-no-hira
Traditionally, the collective/generic term for Japanese forms
of hands-on healing is te-ate. [The term can also encompass
the use of other manual techniques including manipulation, 'pressure
Reiki is in essence a form of te-ate.
Toshihiro Eguchi, a student of Usui-sensei developed his own form
of hands-on healing which he called te-no-hira ryoji.
Now, while accepting that te-ate is indeed the generic,
recently, some people are claiming that te-no-hira is the
proper term to use when referring to an individual, structured,
form of hands-on healing; and as such, are using the term to speak
of the practice we generally think of as the 'Reiki treatment'
- ie. the 'giving' of Reiki with the hands. (Perhaps the intent
behind this is to imply that Eguchi was at least in part responsible
for the development of Reiki as a hands-on healing practice, I
cannot be sure)
However te-no-hira simply means 'palm of the hand' - in
isolation does not actually refer to 'healing', nor, for that
matter, does it necessarily even imply 'healing'. In the
phrase: te-no-hira ryoji as used by Eguchi, it is the word
ryoji which refers to healing/treatment, not te-no-hira...
# . .. .Gokai or Gainen?
The gokai - the Five Principles - are, as we all know,
at the very core of the Reiki system. There are several English
renditions of the Five Principles, eg:
."Just for today, don't get
..Be kind to others"
renditions are quite literal, some less so, but even if its a
version you haven't heard before, whatever the wording, you know
there will always be FIVE principles - right?
according to Usui-do's Dave King, you'd be wrong - there are only
As most of us are aware, Dave claims to be in contact with one
of Usui-sensei's original students, a very elderly Buddhist nun
known as Tenon-in.
Tenon-in apparently explained to Dave that something got 'lost
in translation' and that the Principles (or rather 'Concepts'
- gainen - as Tenon-in is said to call them) should actually
be read like this:
Today only, anger not, worry not
2, Do your work with appreciation
3, Be kind to people
admittedly, there is not much difference here - but, what puzzles
me is this: if there were technically only three 'Principles'
or 'Concepts' to begin with, then surely they would have become
known, not as the gokai (five principles) but rather as
the sankai (three principles)?