A LETTER FROM PHYLLIS FURUMOTO -
7 March 1997
To the worldwide
community of Reiki Masters:
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.
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.
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]
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.
prefer that you not send faxes.
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 .
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
create a physical office of the Usui Shiki Ryoho for the international
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.
promote and coordinate public appearances by Paul and Phyllis,
either separately or together.
promote student and master gatherings held in individual countries
throughout the world.
organize regional and global gatherings for students of all levels.
provide educational material for the public.
publish a magazine for students of the Usui System.
establish and maintain confidential network mailing lists.
support the emergence of a global student organization.
provide a forum for networking and community communication
ie. telephone, fax, and email question/answer lines.
organize service projects within the community and for the public.
serve the Office of the Grand Master and the functioning body
of leadership within the worldwide Reiki Community.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
of explanation regarding the licensing circles:
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
is my privilege and m! desire to, share this with you.
Phyllis Lei Furumoto
P.O. Box 220
Cataldo, Idaho 83810 USA
FURUMOTO on Trademarking issues - 9 October 1997