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I read somewhere that Mrs Takata only attuned 22 students in all her years of of Reiki practice. How come?

Actually, Takata Sensei initiated a great many level 1 and level 2 students over the years* (the exact numbers are unknown). However it was not until the 1970's that she initiated her first student to 'Master' level. It is generally acknowledged that she only trained 22 students to the level of 'Master' - not 22 students in total.

* [It has recently been suggested that Yuji Onuki who apparently taught 'Usui-Do' to Dave King in 1971 may have possibly been one of Takata-Sensei's level 2 students...]

I was shown an attunement where the Reiki Master drew symbols on the student's middle fingers. Is this a standard practice?

It is currently believed by many researchers that Reiki was strongly influenced by elements of Mikkyo (esoteric) Japanese Buddhist practice. Mikkyo speaks of a Buddhist elemental system known as 'godai': the 'Five Elements' (-not to be confused with the Chinese Five Elements system).

Everything in the universe is perceived to be a manifestation of five great elemental 'building blocks'. - referred to as: Earth, Water, Fire, Wind/Air, and Void/Sky/Ether. Earth gives substance; Water holds things together; Fire heats or transforms; Wind/Air is responsible for movement; & Void/Sky/Ether connects with the creative source.

In the godai system, the middle finger is seen to be directly connected with 'ka' - elemental Fire - and in particular, with heat in the body

Picking up on this point, some Reiki practitioners believe that attuning the middle finger directly will help increase 'ka' - the fire element, and with it increase the 'hot hands' sensation which is considered the sure sign that you have actually 'got' the attunement.

However godai is all about a BALANCED interplay of all 5 elements - too much Fire can increase the passions - but also increases aggression and anger...
(so ideally, if people are working with finger-tip attunements, they should attune all the fingers [and thumb] to maintain the dynamic balance)

I have heard that Mikao Usui's '5 Principles' were endorsed by the Emperor Meiji, is there any actual evidence of this?

The Meiji Emperor died in 1912. Now, while he is revered by many Japanese people as being a great psychic, his psychic/precognitive powers must have indeed been truly amazing if he endorsed the gokai (5 Principles), as - according to the 'new' history of Reiki - Usui Sensei is said to have only drafted his gokai in or around April 1921.
However, it seems that an almost identical set of principles were presented in a 1915 edition of a book entitled Kenzen no Genri (Health Principles)

On a website about Raku Kei Reiki they showed something called Kanji Hand Positions. I thought kanji was the name for the characters used to write Japanese, so why are the Hand Positions called Kanji?

Kanji is indeed the name for the Chinese characters used in writing Japanese.

The 'kanji hand positions' (sometimes called 'kanji mudras') used in Raku Kei Reiki are supposed to be Tibetan meditative gestures. However, while Tibetan Buddhism does make use of mudras, the specific ones used in Raku Kei are actually drawn from a set of nine mudras used in Japanese Ninja mystical practice.

A handout provided by many Raku Kei Teachers shows photos - actually taken from a book on Ninjitsu - of a young woman performing the socalled 'kanji mudras'.

In another Ninjitsu book by the same author, under sections titled "1st Kanji/Mudra", "2nd Kanji/Mudra", "3rd Kanji/Mudra", etc, not only is each mudra described, but there is also a depiction of a specific kanji character to be drawn in the air while performing each mudra.

It seems that "Kanji/Mudra" (indicating a kanji and a mudra) was changed to the subtly different "Kanji Mudra" (and later, Kanji Hand Position). Whether this was intentional or was a misremberance of what had been read in the Ninjitsu book, is unclear.

Can you explain to me what exactly is this reiju. My teacher has never mentioned it, but I heard someone mention it on a Reiki list.

Reiju means: "to confer/receive a Spiritual Gift" and it is said that Usui Sensei used a process known as Reiju (rather than the 'Denju' Initiation/attunement process taught by Takata Sensei) as a means of initiating and deepening the students connection with the Reiki Phenomenon

The most common versions of 'reiju' found on the net are Japanese Reiki Master Hiroshi Doi's reiju and a version supposed to have come from some of Usui Sensei's surviving students (however, this is in fact simply a slightly modified form of the Hiroshi Doi reiju.)

For a long time, it seems, most people were under the illusion that the reiju taught by Doi was the process used by the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai (the original Reiki Organisation), and also by Usui Sensei.

It was some time before Doi pointed out that this was not the case. It eventually transpired that this reiju was something created by Doi himself 'in the spirit' of the Gakkai practice.

On a related note, Hiroshi Doi learnt Barbara Ray's "Radiance Technique" style of Reiki from Mieko Mitsui in Japan in the late 1980's, and personally, I find it somewhat 'co-incidental' that his reiju actually bears a striking resemblance to a version of the short-form Reiki Treatment I learnt from a "Radiance Technique" Reiki Instructor several years ago...

You will find a version of the reiju process (- plus a link to the short-form Reiki Treatment, for comparison purposes) here

I would like to know, of the Japanese Reiki Techniques, which one should I practice to increase my Reiki energy the most as well as produce the greatest amount of heat in my hands?

Aside from meditation on (and living) the Gokai (Five Reiki Principles), Hatsurei ho and gassho meiso / gassho kokyo ho are the primary Japanese Reiki Techniques for deepening your connection with the phenomenon that is Reiki. You might also like to work with some of the non-Reiki techniques in the Japanese Spiritual Techniques section of this site. For example, the exercise for increasing the circulation of ki to the hands also, Seika Tanden Pulsing and Seika Tanden Kokyo

But a word of advice, don't become fixated on the levels of heat you feel in
your hands - some of the best healers I know have stone cold hands - but
fiery-hot hearts...

Probably the best non-Reiki exercise for deepening the quality of your Reiki practice is: Kokoro no Kokyo

My Reiki master taught me that the CKR power symbol should be drawn clockwise to focus the energy, but now I have been told by another teacher that this is a mirror image of the original CKR symbol - and also that one version is for putting energy in and the other for drawing energy out?

Over the years since Takata-sensei's passing there have been many new meanings and associations added to the four Usui Reiki symbols (and also, it seems, elements of the original meanings have often been removed or obscured - albeit unwittingly).
In addition to this, several people have made changes to the actual forms of the symbols themselves [presumably in an attempt to make them 'fit' with their own personal views & perceptions]

It was not till the 1980's (after the death of Takata-sensei) that mirror-image versons of the choku rei started appearing.
Up to this time there was only one choku rei - and it was always drawn (from the top): from left to right, then the vertical line down, and then an ANTIclockwise spiral inwards to the centre.

There was no concept of drawing choku rei one way to 'put in' energy and drawing a reversed or mirror-image version to 'draw out energy' (for the simple reason that this was not what the symbol was about)

The first proto-version of the 'reversed' choku rei actually seems to have originated (albeit unintentionally) with one of Takata-sensei's master-level students: Iris Ishikuro.

Iris was a follower of Johrei Healing (- an outgrowth of the Shumei religion) and introduced a new symbol into her Reiki practice. Named 'White Light', this symbol was a stylised version of a piece of calligraphy sacred to Johrei and the Shumei.

The proto-version of the reversed choku rei is actually part of Iris's 'new' Reiki symbol

It is in the lineages coming down via Iris that the reversed choku rei in its 'proper' form seems to have originated, first truly becoming popularised by Kathleen Milner as part of her Tera Mai system.

To see a copy of the 'proper', original, choku rei symbol actually drawn by Takata Sensei, click here

Is Reiki Jutsu a particular style of Reiki or just a term for Reiki in general - in my Japanese dictionary it says jutsu means art - so Reiki Jutsu is Reiki Art or Art of Reiki, am I right?

Yes - the term Reiki Jutsu does translate as 'Art of Reiki', however Reiki Jutsu is actually the name of a martial art (developed by Karate Instructor Andy Wright) which combines elements of Reiki, Qi Gung, Shotokan Karate & Ju Jutsu!

I have recently done my first degree in Reiki and I have now heard several people say that I should remove my watch, rings and other jewelry when doing Reiki - why is this?

Some people say that jewelery can interfere with the 'energetic vibrations' -however there does not seem to be any viable evidence to support this claim.

There are, however a few valid reasons for removing jewelery items prior to giving a Reiki treatment.

Firstly: on occasion, items of jewelery have been known to 'snagg' on the client's clothing - and having to interrupt treatment in order to cautiously disentangle yourself without pulling too many threads in your clients designer sweater (- not to mention the concern that the client might bill you for damages), can somewhat 'break' the soothing atmosphere of the treatment room.

Secondly: some practitioners have a tendency to suffer from 'bracelet, bangle & bead overload' and many clients do not appreciate, for example, having almost half a kilo of jewelery resting on their head while receiving treatment on their face/eyes.

Thirdly: (and this is also a reason clients are requested to wear non constricting clothing, loosen belts, and take off their shoes) When the body relaxes ( -a central response in Reiki treatment - for both practitioner and client) blood flows towards the surface of the body, sub-cutaneous blood-vessels dilate resulting in the production of surface heat and various degrees of natural, temporary, swelling - particularly of the hands and feet.

So, in the case of both practitioner and client, it is a good idea to remove tight-fitting jewelery such as rings, and either remove or at least loosen items such as watches. This is partly for the sake of comfort; and also to avoid the even the slightest inhibition of the circulation.

I know Mikao Usui is buried in Tokyo, Japan, but do you know where is Mrs Takata buried?

Takata Sensei was cremated and her ashes were interred at the Honpa Hongwanji Hilo Betsuin in Hawaii, the oldest Jodo Shinshu (True Pure Land sect) Buddhist organization in the West. [NOTE: They have apparently been moved now to an undisclosed location - presumably to deter Reiki-'pilgrims']

I have been reading about reiki and the whole process of attunement and there is something I just do not understand: this founder of reiki, how was he "attuned"? nobody attuned him, so can you "attune" yourself, in that case?

Certainly it is true that no human being 'attuned' Usui-sensei to the specific phenomenon that is the Reiki healing ability - but nor, for that matter, did he 'attune' himself.

What we call an 'Attunement', whether it is to Reiki or any other energy, power, or spiritual force, is essentially something you receive - most commonly from another living being - i.e. someone who is already attuned to that energy, power, or spiritual force.
To use an I.T. analogy, its a bit like having someone who possesses a very specific program which enables them to interact with an energy/power/force, download a copy of that program into your being.

Alternatively, if you have a deep understanding, and a stout heart, you can attempt to 'write your own program' as it were, by intentionally going in search of an 'attunement experience'. This search might, for example, involve something like the arduous Vision-Quest practices found amongst several Native American peoples; or might involve the Japanese shugyo practices: severe meditative, ascetic & spiritual disciplines derived from Mikkyo (Esoteric Buddhist) and Shinto tradition.
We are told that it was as a result of the life-threatening 21-day shugyo practice Usui-sensei undertook on Kurama Yama that he received an intense, spiritual Initiatorial experience - one outcome of this being the manifestation of the abilities we know as the Reiki Healing Phenomenon.

The intentional search for an 'attunement experience' is usually considered a difficult & potentially (psychologically) dangerous route, but if successful, is said to result in a far more personal & intensely spiritual experience.
[There are, admittedly, some rare cases of what is referred to as 'spontaneous attunement' or 'spontaneous initiation' in which an individual becomes 'attuned' to an energy, power, or spiritual force quite unintentionally and for no perceivable reason]
You will also often hear people talking about 'self-attunement', but generally the people in question have already been 'attuned' in one or more different energetic disciplines, and are really talking about 're-attunement'.

On a related note:
While Usui-sensei received the 'Reiki Experience' independently of 'human intervention', he may have also have received other forms of initiation 'hand to hand' from practitioners with other healing abilities.

Did any of the people Mrs Takata made Reiki Masters make any Masters of their own while she was still alive?

Yes. While Takata-sensei Certified 22 people as Reiki Masters, one of the 22, Beth Gray, was not actually initiated to Level 3 by Takata-sensei herself, but by one of the other master-level students - John Harvey Gray. After Takata-sensei's death, Phyllis Furamoto was the first of the '22 Masters' to start initiating students to master level. She initiated four Masters between Feb.1981 and April 1982.

Is it true that Hawayo Takata used to run a health spa ?

Yes, for a while in the mid 1950's, Takata Sensei owned a health spa in La Jocinta, California; however it wasn't that long before she sold up and returned to Hawaii.

How many Reiki symbols are there? Some people seem to have only a few, but I have heard that there are lots of different ones.

Technically, there are four symbols in the system of Reiki developed by Usui-Sensei (-though some folks would have us believe otherwise..)
[See: here for images of the symbols and details of their significance and probable origin.]
However, since the early 1980's, several Reiki practitioners have developed their own personalised 'styles' of Reiki - some adding modified versions of the original four symbols, or incorporating symbols from other spiritual/esoteric systems, and also adding new, 'channeled', symbols from numerous diverse sources.

I am a reiki master, but have never given an attunement- I am curious as to how to empower images/objects so that they give reiki to others. Any suggestions?

While there are several ways of achieving this, I would like to suggest that you really should begin with passing attunements/Reiju directly to other living beings first, and develop both your confidence and experience in this most sacred aspect of Reiki.

Of course, anyone with even Level I Reiki can theoretically 'charge' an item temporarily (i.e. suffuse it with Reiki). However, the use of images/objects is really only a subsidiary method to 'usual' Reiki practice.

Yes, attuned items are helpful to 'reach' people with Reiki. But, for many Level III's there is a risk the practice may become an impersonal substitute for direct, consciously-intended work with living beings. After all, Reiki is about Interaction
(- personally I feel this should, where possible, be face to face - but that's just
But you have the HSZSN symbol; and equipped with this and the other three, you can reach people wherever they are.



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