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Is it true that Mrs Takata taught different versions of the symbols to different students?

Actually there is very little evidence to support this (to all intents and purposes it is something that falls in the category of 'Reiki Myth')

At the first meeting of the majority of Reiki masters - in Hawaii in April 1982 - it emerged that Takata-Sensei had taught each master somewhat differently (- i.e. she had adapted her approach slightly with each student, as any good teacher would)

It also emerged that a couple of the students were 'writing' the symbols ever-so-slightly differently from most of the others [Takata-sensei frequently spoke of 'writing' rather than 'drawing' symbols]

As a result, some folks later claimed that Takata-sensei had shown different students very different versions of the symbols.

However, it is generally accepted that the minor differences which actually existed were primarily due to mis-rememberings on the part of the students (generally, Takata-sensei did not allow students to keep copies of the symbols) .

While later, endless different versions of the original symbols began to appear, [due to students intentionally modifying symbols and their meanings/significance as taught by Takata-sensei, to suit their own purposes], originally, the primary differences seemed to be in the way a couple of the students wrote HSZSN (which is of course for many folk the most difficult symbol to master)
It also emerged that there were what seemed to be two or three slightly different versions of the DKM.

However, it must be remembered that these two 'symbols' DKM and HSZSN are in fact phrases written in Japanese kanji and just as there are several ways of writing words/phrases in the 'roman' (English) alphabet, eg: Block Capital and lower-case letters of numerous different 'font' styles, and also cursive /handwriting script - with most individuals having their own style - so too with Japanese writing.

Essentially there are four main Japanese writing styles, and if anything, the 'different' versions of the DKM are due to nothing more than the phrase being written in a couple of different styles….

In describing what Reiki Ryoho is to others, should we present it as an alternative to traditional mainstream western medical practice?

Use of the term 'alternative' (in connection with Reiki - or any other 'non-mainstream' form of palliative/ameliorative practice) may be seen as somewhat antagonistic by the medical community - and in my opinion, only helps to strengthen the divisive "us versus them" perception that so many practitioners (not solely mainstream ones) hold.

Personally, I feel we should speak of Reiki Ryoho more in terms of being "complementary to…" rather than "an alternative to…"

If you want to speak of Reiki Ryoho as being an 'alternative' to traditional mainstream western medical practice, then that is of course your choice - but, just precisely which aspect of mainstream medical practice do you consider it to be an alternative to?

If you are lying in a mangled heap of metal that moments before was an automobile, with blood spurting out from the gash in your femoral artery, and theres a shard of what used to be your dashboard which has taken an intercostal detour, straight into your left lung - given a straight 'either or' choice, would you opt for a Reiki treatment, or would you prefer I call a Paramedic?

In your Reiki Timeline you say "Cognisant of the likely entry of Japan into what we now designate W.W.II, and of the moral and ethical conflict between resuming military duty and his Reiki values, Hayashi Sensei … committed seppuku (suicide)". But surely as a doctor his job would have been to save lives - to heal the wounded?

Indeed. Save them, and patch them up - so that a great many could then go back to battle and kill people…

Also, we must remember that as well as being a Doctor, Hayashi-sensei had been a Commander in the Imperial Navy [ - up to the time of his death, he was still a Commander in the Naval Reserve].

He had previously been Director of Ominato Port Defense Station - and as a Commander, even in a defensive posting (as would probably be offered yet again to the 59/60 year-old Reserve officer), in his eyes, he would have been responsible for the deaths (caused by those under his command) of all Naval and Airbourne forces attacking their position...

I have heard you and others mention: Holding The Healing Space in connection with a Reiki treatment. What does this involve, are you referring to the atmosphere you create: space clearing, toning, smudging, drawing the symbols in the air around your treatment area, and such things?

The phrase 'Holding the Healing Space' refers to the whole process of facilitating the client's 'opportunity for healing' - the creating and maintaining ('holding') of a suitable environment - not just the physical environment but also (and more importantly) the emotional and energetic 'environment': a safe and relaxing psychological 'inner space' in which the individual can heal themself with Reiki's assistance.

So essentially it involves "whatever it takes" for that particular session with that particular client. But don't get too hung up on 'bells and whistles'.
Can you really imagine Usui-sensei doing smudging, etc
While the client is with us, the atmosphere of the room, the sensory stimulus - music, warmth, lighting, fragrance, etc (or lack of it), and the treatment itself - none of it is about what we want/like/consider conducive to healing - rather it is about what the client wants - about what enhances the experience for them

I have been reading on several different Reiki forums about the 'three diamonds' or 'three haras' that make up the hara system...?

In the 'Hara System' there is only one Hara

There is commonly confusion here. The concept of 'Hara' often becomes confused with the related concept of 'tanden' (even amongst many who teach the Japanese Reiki styles!)

Hara literally means 'belly' - and is commonly used to refer to the lower part of the abdomen - the area between the navel and the top of the pubic bone. Though it is - more fully - the entire area from the top of the pubic bone up to the base of the sternum (encompassing abdomen and diaphram).

In many Japanese arts (spiritual, therapeutic, martial or creative) the term 'Hara' is often used as a shortened way of referring to 'the tanden that lies in the Hara'

The 'tanden' [more properly called the 'Seiki Tanden' or 'Seika no Itten'] is an energy centre - a focal point, or rather, a focal area - a place of 'energetic convergence', located deep inside the body, in a specific area of the Hara, roughly midway between the navel and the top of the pubic bone (people often say 2 inches [4-5cm] below the navel)

In the more traditional Japanese spiritual, therapeutic, martial and creative arts there is Hara (belly) and there is only one tanden - situated within the Hara. And this one 'Seiki Tanden' - this abdominal centre, is the focal point for all 'dimensions' of energy - personal, spiritual and otherwise.

Ones very life - even ones spirit itself, is seen to reside here.

However, many who now claim to be teaching the Japanese 'Hara System' are actually teaching the Chinese 'Three Jewels' or 'Three Tan Tien' system instead.

You see, in Japan, there are also several spiritual, therapeutic, martial and creative disciplines ( - some , 'imported' - having actually originated in China, others, 'homegrown', yet nonetheless very heavily influenced by Chinese Chi Gung/Qi Gong philosophy) which speak of not one, but three tandens (Chinese:'tan tien' also 'dan tian' ) and their associated Chinese attributes.

In the Chinese system, the 'lower tanden' is identical (position-wise) to the Seika Tanden conceived of in the traditional Japanese philosophy/practice we refer to as 'the hara system' or 'the Way of Hara'

However, the Chinese system posits a second (middle) tanden in the region of the thymus / chest, and a third (upper) tanden in the region of the pineal gland / brow

These two additional tanden have no place in the 'Hara System' - for the simple reason that neither of them are located within the Hara (- even using the term in its broadest sense, i.e. indicating the entire area from the top of the pubic bone up to the base of the sternum)

As mentioned, in the Japanese 'Hara System', Seika Tanden is situated within the Hara - and, under certain circumstances the term 'Hara' may be used to imply this singular tanden

However when it comes to the Chinese-influenced systems, the term 'Hara' cannot be used to refer to the two additional tanden which are situated at the brow and the 'heart'

Hara means 'belly'

You cannot have a 'middle belly' in your chest, nor an 'upper belly' in your head!

Is it known if Mrs Takata ever taught Reiki in Japan?

There are several audio recordings of Takata-sensei talking about Reiki, and in one, she mentions how she went to Japan to teach a few people the introductory level in 1975. She also spoke if her intention of returning to teach the second level - and eventually initiate several masters in Japan also.

However, it seems Takata-sensei never got the opportunity to return to Japan to teach level 2, and certainly not the master level*
The reasons behind this are not clear, but possibly can be put down to health. I believe it was sometime in '75 or '76 that Takata-sensei had her first heart attack, so after this she was probably less inclined to travel overseas...

We know of course that Takata-sensei went to visit Hayashi-sensei's widow, Chie, in the early 1950's - so I suppose it is possible she taught some classes there at that time.

*[Phyllis Furumoto. has confirmed that no masters were created by her grandmother in Japan in the 70's]

Is there any way to do the Nerve Stroke (Ketsueki Kohan Ho) technique on yourself?

In my opinion, not unless you are made of rubber!

I have never met anyone who can physically perform the full spinal sweep on themselves.

However, you can do a simplified version, depending how flexible you are.

Just reach behind your back with one arm and reach up as far as is comfortable (perhaps you can get up between your shoulder-blades) - and using the back of your hand, sweep gently down your spine to the tailbone. (You are still essentially doing the 'nerve stroke', just not starting from the occipital ridge)

Alternatively, if you have a suitably developed ability, you can perform Ketsueki Kohan Ho as a 'visualisation' (or rather - as a deeply, and precisely imagined, re-experiencing of the sensations created when receiving the technique from another practitioner)

The degree to which this will be effective depends entirely on how well you can recreate the experience.

Far better (and also possibly, far easier) to go to a Reiki share and trade ketsueki with others, 'hand to hand'

[As with all other Reiki techniques, there is a particular energy-dynamic in sharing in the experience of Ketsueki Kohan Ho with another person that is not present in self-work]

Instead of placing both hands on the healee, can you only use one? And does the total amount of energy that would have flowed from both hands now flow from the one? And what about placing one hand on top of the other to increase flow - I read we were not really meant to do this?

Some people do only use one hand to give treatment, keeping the other by their side. This is the way Fumio Ogawa taught his students to practice Reiki. However, giving treatment in this way does not necessarily seem to result in increased intensity of flow in the hand being used.

I and many other folk often work with one hand in contact with the body and the other held at varying distances from the body (in the biofield/aura) - and again, in giving treatment in this way, I personally have not been aware of this causing an increased intensity of flow in the hand that is in body-contact. [It does however bring a further dimension of interaction to the practice, which, in my experience, seems to assist the client achieve swifter resolution of issues being treated.]

As to the practice of placing one hand on top of the other: somewhere along the line, the idea that you should not connect (or for that matter, cross) the hands has crept into various lineages of Reiki from certain specific forms of 'magnetic healing' therapy. The theory behind this being that in doing so you would somehow 'short out' the energy flow.
Personally, I find that touching the hands together or even placing them one on top of the other can indeed produce the effect of increasing Reiki flow.

However, it must be remembered that greater intensity of flow does not necessarily mean more effective Reiki

In my opinion, greater subtlety is more important than greater intensity.

I am thinking about doing a Reiki course, but I've read that new students go through this 21 day period of automatic detox, and that it can be unpleasant depending how out of balance your system is. This worries me.

The whole '21 day cleanse' is something that has ascended into the realms of 'Reiki Myth' and has been blown out of all proportion.
The Reiki initiation is primarily about conferring/awakening therapeutic ability, and as a result, it may trigger automatic and often intense self healing processes ['all healing is self-healing'] in the student.

However, there is no reason for anyone to experience such unpleasant abreactive phenomena

A sustained course of Reiki treatments prior to Initiation will rebalance the students system in a more leisurely and less acute manner than occurs in those who undergo initiation while in an imbalanced / unwell state.

My teacher said that there is no such thing as a 'right' or 'wrong' Reiki attunement process?

It really does come down to how the word 'Reiki' is being used here:
If we are taking the word 'Reiki' as a contraction of Usui Reiki Ryoho, then in my opinion, this statement is incorrect.
However if we are taking the word 'Reiki' in the commonly-used (and, as I see it, incorrect) sense - i.e. as a generic term for just about any form of channeled healing (whether energy or spirit), then, in an absolute sense, the statement might be seen to be true:
all attunements will attune you to something (otherwise we wouldn't label them as 'attunements')
but the emphasis should be on the word something
Different attunements will attune you to different things...

All attunements will attune you to something

Not all attunements will attune you to the specific Spiritual Energetic Phenomenon that is at the heart of Usui Reiki Ryoho.

On a related note: Whatever attunements you have received are modified by other, different attunements you later receive, and what you pass on is further modified by the specific attunement process you use to pass on attunements to others

Since I received my attunements, my Reiki master has begun to use a new symbol in place of one of the symbols I was attuned with, and has requested that we all use the new symbol when attuning students of our own. Do I need to get re-attuned with the new symbol in order to be able to use it?

Personally, I feel that you have to have experienced a symbol (via attunement) before you can really use it effectively - and especially so, if you wish to use it to attune others. It doesn't matter even if the new symbol is only slightly different to the one you were actually attuned with, the differences may be very subtle, but there will be a difference.

Should there be a gap between level 1 and 2 attunements? Some people are saying that both Usui and Hayashi taught Reiki 1 and 2 together - that this was the original approach?

In the 'Usui Reiki Ryoho Hikkei', in response to the Question: "How can I receive the second degree ....."?

Usui-sensei answers:
".....We will give okuden to enthusiastic shoden students who bring good results, are of good character, and behave properly."

This in itself would suggest that there had to be a period of time between shoden (level 1) and okuden (level 2) in order to establish the required criteria, i.e. that the student is achieving good results in their shoden practice*, is also ethical in their practice (as well as in life generally); and amongst other things, that they are not boasting about their newly-awakened abilities, making false claims as to how they gained them, attempting to instruct others in things they themselves have not yet mastered, etc, etc.

[*It is a traditional approach that only when a student is perceived to have integrated a given element of a teaching - and 'run with it' as far as they can - that the next element is presented to them.]

Takata-sensei tells us that her level 1 and 2 training with Hayashi-Sensei took the form of an apprenticeship/internship at his clinic, and lasted well over a year. (She received the level 1 initiation in 1935 and the level 2 in 1936). However, she also tells us that initial tuition for the level 1 consisted of four days of training - a separate initiation being given on each day; also each day dealt with a different area of treatment: Day 1 - the head and neck, and related medical conditions; Day 2 - the front of the body; Day 3 - the back, spine and nervous systems; Day 4 accidents and acute illnesses; and also with the spiritual aspects of Reiki - including the Principles.

Chiyoko Yamaguchi (Jikiden Reiki) claimed that, in 1938, her training with Hayashi-sensei took a form not dissimilar to this initial 'seminar'-style teaching, though perhaps of a somewhat simplified nature - as apparently it consisted of both Level 1 and 2, presented over a single five-day period. This is the primary source for the belief that Hayashi-sensei taught levels 1 and 2 back-to-back, but as we can see from Takata-sensei's training, it was not the way he was teaching back in 1935/36.

Can we send distant treatment to several people at the same time?

We can send to several people at the same time.

- but perhaps we should be mindful that if we choose to do so, we are not doing so out of laziness.

I personally feel that in providing distant treatment, the client is deserving of the same level of individual attention and care as would be afforded to them were we treating them 'in-person'.

In a recording made at a level 2 class, Takata-sensei said that we should treat only one person at a time; and even then, treat a maximum of three people in succession [i.e. during any one session]







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