© 2005 James Deacon
"Reiki is a life-enhancing art. For those suffering from
illness, it is a means of returning to health. For the healthy
it is a means of refining mind, emotions and body; calming the
soul, clarifying the thought-processes and powers of perception;
assisting suppressed creativity to awaken and blossom; and of
revealing glimpses of our essential nature.
Reiki we can free up trapped emotions. With Reiki we can dissolve
and transform through the patterns of these freed emotions - transmuting
them, giving them new patterns - new forms of expression..."
- Kenji Hamamoto
based in Sapporo, Japan, Kenji Hamamoto lived for a time in Brazilia,
Brazil, before moving to South Korea where he currently resides.
Since 2002, he has been practicing and quietly teaching what he
has just recently begun referring to as Hekikuu Reiki - his personal
'understanding and expression' of the therapeutic art, based on
almost two decades of practice.
Hamamoto-san's initial introduction to Reiki (the 'Barbara Ray'
variety) was thanks to Mieko Mitsui (who also taught Reiki to
Hiroshi Doi), however he actually went on to train to master level
in Usui Shiki Ryoho via apprenticeship with the Reiki Alliance,
rather than via Barbara Ray's organization. Later, he also trained
in Reido Reiki, and has, over the years, studied with a number
of other Japanese Reiki Teachers. He has also been particularly
inspired by the Reiki-related insights of a healer named Karasu-san.
Hekikuu Reiki (Hekikuu translates as 'Azure Sky') is strongly
informed by elements of Japanese 'Folk Spirituality', including
a pragmatic, empirical belief in kami; and an understanding
of the role of ancestral and other noncorporeal spirits as possible
influencing factors in the manifestation of illness and
This latter conceptualization gives rise to the practice within
Hekikuu Reiki of frequently offering treatment for the particular
ancestral or other spirits recognized to be associated with the
presenting condition, prior to actually treating the client
Reiki is not about attunement to a different 'Reiki Energy'. In
"Reiki is only 'energy' in the sense that all things are
energy - your thoughts, a flower, the moon...
Reiki is a power of the human spirit, a power of the human soul.
It is the power, the ability to influence the flow of (life)
energy to transform and heal."
- Kenji Hamamoto
Reiki does not pretend to be "Reiki exactly as Usui-sensei
taught". At the same time, it does not teach chakras, crystal
work, or any other new age 'add-ons'.
it teaches 'healing' and personal/social transformation from a
perspective of traditional Japanese spiritual practices.
of the Spirit, Reiki of the Heart, Reiki of the Body."
"First we must cultivate mindfulness.
In order to manifest and emanate Reiki, we must focus the
mind, purify the mind: we must rid ourselves of greed, of resentment,
of vengefulness, of anger, of worry - of hesitation...
Receiving and giving Reiki is bound up with our own spiritual
purification - the experience of receiving and giving Reiki
enhances our own spiritual purification , and working on
our own spiritual purification enhances our Reiki ability."
- Kenji Hamamoto
Hekikuu Reiki does not profess any particular Buddhist affiliations,
practitioners make use of what may be described as a special,
'secular' version of Buddhist prayer beads or nenju*
as a 'focussing device'. This (for want of a better term) 'Reiki
nenju' - a tasseled string of 55 small beads - is also
worn over the hand while giving treatment, and as is the case
with its 'religious' counterpart, is considered to also manifest
a protective influence for its owner (no doubt as a result of
its continual exposure to the phenomenon that is Reiki).
[ * The term nenju refers to 'beads used
for mindful practice']
are no extra symbols taught in Hekikuu Reiki - there are the 'standard'
three symbols given at level 2, for use in a therapeutic context
(Yet in Hekikuu Reiki, the HSZSN is not taught as a 'Distant'
symbol but rather as one pertaining to the mental faculties);
and the fourth 'standard' symbol is introduced at level 3, (however,
while this is indeed the regular DKM symbol, in Hekikuu Reiki
the symbol has a subtly 'non-regular' three-tiered significance).
the profound importance of physical contact between teacher and
student, Hekikuu Reiki does not hold with the practice of 'Distant
"To effectively assist the student to awaken
to Reiki, the teacher needs to be present, needs to be able to
watch for the physiological signs that the process is actually
unfolding; to receive tangible energetic feedback. It would be
disrespectful to the student to merely raise the hands at a distance,
take their money, and hope."
Reiki has a 4-level structure:
Level one training, which focusses on hands-on therapy, is open
While none of the 4 Reiki Symbols are explored at this level;
the student is introduced to the first three in a series
of kanji which Hekikuu Reiki uses purely for meditation
purposes. [These are not ever classed as 'Reiki Symbols',
and not used in giving treatment]. The student is also introduced
to a number of other concepts including the importance of being
'fully present'; the significance of bowing; and they begin working
with the Reiki Principles, learning to integrate them into their
daily life from the outset.
2 is open to those who are seen to have immersed themselves fully
in the experience of Level 1 - having significantly developed
the 'potentials' conferred via the Level 1 'attunement/initiation'
and training. As well as being introduced to the three Level 2
Reiki symbols, the student also begins to learn about the possible
influence (not necessarily malefic) of spirits in the manifestation
of illness and disease, and ways of therapeutically interacting
with such influence. At Level 2 the student is introduced
to a further three meditational kanji, and to further spiritual
concepts which assist the student in deepening their 'awakening
3 training is only open to those who are seen to have immersed
themselves fully in the experience of Level 2 and have significantly
developed the 'potentials' conferred via the Level 2 'attunement/initiation'
Level 3 in Hekikuu Reiki is not presented as a 'Master' level.
It is rather a 'spiritual' focussed level, wherein the student
continues to work with and fully incorporate all that they have
previously learnt and experienced. The 4th Reiki symbol and its
particular significance within Hekikuu Reiki is introduced at
this level; and the student is introduced to yet a further
three meditational kanji. The journey that is level 3 takes
the form of an apprenticeship - a Sensei-Deshi relationship.
Level 4 - the Teaching Level of training - is presently only a
theoretical level. Speaking in early 2004, Hamamoto-san said it
will only be available by invitation and then only to very exceptional
students, whom he will take as uchideshi (live-in students).
He stated that he forsees that he will 'develop' only a very limited
number of Instructors/Teachers:
Usui-sama chose to share his Reiki-centred healing method with
the world, permitting all to study and receive the gift that is
the Usui Reiki healing ability, it can be seen that he did not
intend for all people to learn all that his method entailed. All
were taught Shoden, but only those who proved worthy were allowed
to progress to Okuden; fewer still were considered suitable to
enter into the Mystery Teachings. Today, it seems everyone wants
to be a 'master' without even having begun to explore the surface,
let alone grasp a glimpse of the depths and potentials that Shoden
My vision for Hekikuu Reiki is to facilitate and nurture the development
of skillful, experienced and effective therapeutic practitioners,
not create a new business opportunity for Spirit World*
seminar salesmen..." - Kenji Hamamoto
* 'Spirit World' is a Japanese term for 'New Age']