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A LETTER FROM PHYLLIS FURUMOTO
- 7 March 1997


To the worldwide community of Reiki Masters:

This is a letter to give you an overview of my process and my thoughts regarding the last fifteen years in the practice of Usui Shiki Ryoho. Additionally I want to share the strategy I am implementing in response to my own calling as the lineage bearer of this system.

You are able to influence this next step for the Usui System or Usui Shiki Ryoho. I am open for your communication. When you first read this letter, you will have reactions, automatic body and heart feelings. Please share your reactions. After a period of time, you will have thoughts, concerns, insights, and suggestions, that come from within. I would appreciate knowing these as well.

You may have questions for clarification. I cannot anticipate the information you will need or may wish to confirm before this letter makes sense. To receive an answer to these questions quickly, the best way is through the e mail. This is informal and quick. If you do not have an answer within three days, it means that I am not able to get to a telephone hookup for compuserve. I will reply as soon as I can. My email number is [account given now defunct]

The next best way is to write. Letters will be read. I will try to drop you a note in answer as soon as possible. Please include in the body of the letter your full name, address, and phone number. I ma' call you instead of writing.

I prefer that you not send faxes.

For the next years, we have the possibility to work together in fine tuning this plan that will strengthen this system. I have the willingness to do this. We will need discipline, the willingness to give the system appropriate honor and attention, and constant focus. I need for you to communicate with me with honesty, with the willingness to share your vulnerability, and the wisdom of your mastery .

The Process

The practice given to us as students during our first degree class began a healing journey that has touched every fiber of our being. This practice has become a precious gift, a golden key to unlock the love in our human body, and an entrance into the mysterious realm of the soul. When stories or experiences are recounted to us that seem to threaten this precious gift, defenses arise and we want to blame someone.

Action feels necessary . The pain of a gift that has been disgraced often comes out as anger. Following the anger is grief. As masters we feel this most deeply. As masters we want an answer, a relief from the pain and discomfort of mistrust. The task is to hold true to our own precious experiences while living in an atmosphere of unresolved emotion and feelings. Some of the pain will remain. We can use the pain to notice that our system is in need of attention.

This is the process I have observed for the last five years. During this time I have gone through this myself, along with an examination of guilt. Could I have done something? Is it possible to take action without the motivation of defense? If so, how? I have been studying the possibilities of action while becoming aware of the parts of myself that have kept me from speaking clearly.

During the last two years, I have been using confidentiality agreements with masters to keep the spread of second hand information to a minimum. I understand that many of you have felt left out and disregarded. I was not ready to discuss my research and process publicly. I used smaller groups of masters to give me feedback, energetically and verbally, in order to take the next steps for myself. I am now ready to share this with you.

Though I encourage you to share this letter with other masters, I would ask that you have discretion in the way you may share this information or your reactions with your students. I would prefer that questions, feelings, and concerns be shared with me first. If you need conversation about the content of this letter then I would like for you to choose a group of masters rather than a group of students. The issues raised are issues of masters.

The Practice

The Usui System of Natural (or Reiki) Healing was brought to us through Hawayo Takata. Her teachings came through her words and through her way of being. She was not a saintly personality. Part of the challenge was to notice what was personality and what was her embodiment of the practice she camed. As her grandchild, this was a different process for me than for her other students. I saw her first as a grandmother and then, years later, as my master. There are principles that I learned from her both as a grandchild and as a master. One of them was "Do without questioning." This did not mean I did not have questions or did not rebel. I did. And I always returned or was drawn back into the pattern she wanted me to follow, whether this was the way in which I cut vegetables or swept the floor or did a treatment. From this principle, with some seventeen years of practice, I have offered the form of the Usui System with Mitchell in the Master Intensives. The forms and principles that have guided us as Takata's students for the years of our practice are contained in these Intensives.

During the Intensives, many of her teachings have become clear. What I mean by "clear" is, they have come into my conscious mind so that I can speak them out. This clarity accompanies the groping part of me that is the lineage bearer.

Grand Master or lineage bearer? In my memory Takata did not refer to herself as the Grand Master. She was the successor. She referred to Hayashi and Usui as Grand Masters in a certain contexts. The use of titles is too often misinterpreted as a way of grabbing power. So the subtle and honorable way to address oneself is in an oblique style. The push from others to claim the position of successor to Takata by using this title, the part of myself that liked the attention but did not want the responsibility, and my insecure personality combined to create a struggle that took years to resolve. I became "healed enough" through this practice to begin accepting the obvious. This journey of being the successor to Takata with little noticeable training was my calling. Once I understood this, I looked back on my life and realized I had been in training for many years without being conscious of it.

Both of these descriptors, Grand Master and lineage bearer, can carry the same quality, the energetic embodiment of the essential spirit of any discipline. In my life the embodiment is the spirit of Usui Shiki Ryoho, a specific method of healing passed down through a specific lineage of masters. The authority I hold comes from the "authorship" of each of the masters of the lineage, residing now in myself.

My task is to hold a way open for any student who wishes to have access to this system. The task is to keep the system strong and clear while accessing the deepest wisdom of the practice. The student must understand that faithfulness to the practice is an essential part of the value. The practice must also be well defined so the student can feel the boundaries and honor them.

'1n this present situation, what do I feel called to do?'' After several years of research, hearing the questions of the community, and responding to the urge of the system itself, I feel the next step is to establish Usui Shiki Ryoho (Usui System of Natural Healing) as a complete and independent healing art, not an addendum or simply a technique.

In the early days of Takata's teaching, this system was a folk art shared carefully from person to person. During the 1970's the New Age movement, the people seeking spiritual practice, and the demand for "alternative medicines" discovered Reiki. Thus Reiki or Usui Shiki Ryoho was suddenly thrust into the public eye apparently fulfilling many of these possibilities. An explosive stage of development. The carefulness of the folk art was threatened by the needs of the society for fast answers.

Though the internal strength of the system remains intact, investing attention and energy into the core practice of this system will result in a clear definition or outline of the system for the purpose of identification.

The strategy: There will be two non profit corporations; one for masters and one for public and student education. These corporations will be supported energetically and financially by a third corporation that holds the trademarks of Usui Shiki Ryoho in trust for students of the system. The licensing structure is inclusive with possibilities for associations and centers to be licensed as well as masters. These associations, centers, and individuals would be identifiable to the public by means of a logo.

Energetically, trademarks provide a clear definition of the system, recognize the lineage bearer as the person who holds the practice for students, offer a way for masters to contribute to the system, and communicate the boundary of the community to others. The money generated by this corporation from licensing fees would provide trademark protection for the licensees, provide legal and business services, establish a masters' educational program, and give financial backing for the two non profit corporations.

An example: Many masters have dreamed of Reiki Centers and many students have dreamed of clinics. Individuals who have begun these endeavors have struggled and often not been financially successful. It has occurred to me that an individual cannot hold the energy for these centers. Supported energetically by the system itself, these individuals have a greater opportunity for success in running a center or clinic or program. Imagine individual centers which meet the criteria for licensing under Usui Shiki Ryoho gathered under a listing of "Centers for the practice of Usui Shiki Ryoho." The public and masters alike could be sure of the focus of the practice in these centers.

Where are we now? The Reiki Alliance, an established non profit corporation, is going through a revisioning of its relationship with Usui Shiki Ryoho. The basic premise of being a master community who practices this system has not changed, but the expression of this commitment seems to be shifting.

The Reiki Foundation is being formed. Funds have been donated by a group of masters to initiate the process of establishing a non profit tax exempt corporation in the United States. When the paper work is complete, the office will open. Some suggested long term goals of this Foundation are:

To create a physical office of the Usui Shiki Ryoho for the international community.

To establish, organize, and promote educational programs for students of all levels including a public practitioner program, a program for master candidates, and first and second degree meetings.

To promote and coordinate public appearances by Paul and Phyllis, either separately or together.

To promote student and master gatherings held in individual countries throughout the world.

To organize regional and global gatherings for students of all levels.

To provide educational material for the public.

To publish a magazine for students of the Usui System.

To establish and maintain confidential network mailing lists.

To support the emergence of a global student organization.

To provide a forum for networking and community communication
ie. telephone, fax, and email question/answer lines.

To organize service projects within the community and for the public.

To serve the Office of the Grand Master and the functioning body of leadership within the worldwide Reiki Community.

Usui Trademark Corporation has been formed. This corporation is exclusively held by the lineage bearer of Usui Shiki Ryoho (at the present, Phyllis Lei Furumoto) and will be excluded from the personal estate of the lineage bearer by legal documentation. Succession of the lineage bearer will be clearly addressed in the corporate structure.

The trademarks held by this corporation will be acquired by accepting the registrations from a group of masters within a country. These masters will file and register the following terms for the corporation. This corporation will hold them as a service for the world wide community. Trademark registrations from several countries have been accepted. There are trademark registrations in several other countries pending. The protocol for registration and maintenance of the trademarks is available from my office should you wish to do this in your country. Please write to the address above.

What is being trademarked? The word "Reiki" is not able to be trademarked in some countries and is in others. As the holder of the trademarks, I assume that the word Reiki when used to describe a system of healing is referring to Usui Shiki Ryoho whether the word Reiki can be trademarked or not.

The phrase "Usui Shiki Ryoho" designates this system and this lineage. The details of the practice of Usui Shiki Ryoho will be published in book form.

Translation of the phrase "Usui Shiki Ryoho" is able to be trademarked in some countries. This decision usually is made with the advise of a trademark lawyer. In some countries this translated phrase is not necessary; in others, the phrase is not able to be trademarked.

A newly designed logo to identify those who practice Usui Shiki Ryoho will be trademarked by the trademark corporation world wide. Those masters, centers, and programs who reflect the teachings and practice of the system faithfully can be licensed and given the right to display this logo indicating affiliation with this lineage.

The licensing plan

The license for masters will be offered in three categories. These categories or circles consider the following factors: (I ) where the master is in the process of alignment, (2) how much the master wishes to participate in the community, (3) maturity of mastery, and (4) the calling of the master ~ healing process. This licensing plan demonstrates my intention that all masters who intend to practice Usui Shiki Ryoho will have the possibility of being licensed, of being recognized, and the opportunity to move toward alignment in his/ her own timing.

The bamboo circle: This circle indicates a master who has the intention to practice Usui Shiki Ryoho, is in the beginning process of alignment, and meets the minimum requirements concerning the form of teaching. Additionally, there will be recommendations and reguirements to sustain this license in proportion to the level of participation in the practice of mastery or alignment. The purpose of the requirements will be to increase the level of alignment and further the education of the master in Usui Shiki Ryoho.

The orchid circle: This circle indicates masters who are deeply in the process of alignment and are willing to assume a corresponding higher level of responsibility. These would include masters who have attended the Usui I Intensives, who have a working knowledge of the practice through personal contact with Paul Mitchell or myself, and are teaching actively . There will be requirements to sustain this license.

The chrysanthemum circle: This circle indicates masters who are practicing in alignment with the system These masters have been active within the community for a number of years, have an interactive relationship with the lineage bearer, and have made the full commitment to this practice. These masters will be expected to offer their services as mentors, facilitators, or supporters for others in the system. These services may be reimbursed as well as voluntary. These masters will be recognized as trainers and initiators of other masters and will assume the corresponding higher level of responsibility to the community as well as the system itself.

Notes of explanation regarding the licensing circles:

Alignment: The quality of alignment has to do with being in constant thoughtful relationship with the form of the practice. The ever present question is: " Is this action in accordance with the principles and form of the system?" The decision is yours to make as a master. This process does not expect perfection or the development of experts. This process develops the quality of a faithful student and the first step to being a faithful student is to know the practice.

The circles are not static. Masters may change their license commitment to reflect their own process. For example, a master w ho has been licensed in the chrysanthemum circle might feel called to retreat into a quieter lifestyle for a time. This master could choose to go into one of the other circles for this time.

These circles are not to be translated into levels of mastery. Put the idea that there are good masters and bad masters to rest. All of us are masters doing the work of healing ourselves. This will provide a way for each master to move through phases of healing without needing to give up the practice or separate from the community.

The requirements, recommendations, and context of the circles will be responsive to the changes in our community over time. Once the majority of the community and the public are acquainted with the definition of the system, the differences between the circles may change. However, there will always be people who come to this system from other practices. It will be the challenge of this community to make a path for these students.

In conclusion This practice calls out in each of us the discipline to be a faithful student of the system; the courage to take on appropriate levels of responsibility in the journey; patience for our inadequacies; and the foresight to consider the generations ahead. The value of this teaching is more than the everyday miracles of healing a broken arm or relieving the side effects of chemotherapy . This practice heals us enough to keep on the path of our journey. Crafted by our own hands we create a uniquely expressed life that is the calling from within. Suffering is a given Suffering without love, without compassion, without comfort is inhuman. The practice gives us the opportunity to be held in our human form with love, with compassion, with comfort. This has been the gift of my path with Usui Shiki Ryoho.

This practice has a history; it has predictability; it has substance. My call is to act in order to sustain this practice, to give the foundation needed for this time and this moment of history, to do my calling.

It is my privilege and m! desire to, share this with you.

[Signed] Phyllis Lei Furumoto


P.O. Box 220
Cataldo, Idaho 83810 USA

PHYLLIS FURUMOTO  on Trademarking issues - 9 October 1997




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