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A number of people have asked questions along the lines of:

"How or where did Usui-sensei get the idea for reiju, and were the symbols always a part of the process?"

Well, I think the only person who truly knows the complete answer to that is Usui-sensei himself.

However, in the course of his spiritual studies, he no doubt became aware of many forms of blessing/initiation procedures used by others (both individuals and groups), quite possibly having received several different forms himself.

If he was, as is commonly claimed, a student of the esoteric teachings within Tendai Buddhism, then receiving such blessings etc would have been a central part of his training.

It has also suggested that Usui-sensei had been involved with the Reijutsu Kai movement, and also had links with the Omoto Kyo sect, both of which also utilised rituals of empowerment, blessing and healing.

We can also be pretty sure that Usui-sensei's own approach to initiation was one of experimentation - probably evolving through various forms over the four years or so he used it [prior to his death]

Current understanding is that originally (- rather than being a purely therapeutic modality,) Usui Sensei's system was essentially a spiritual-philosophical system - a system 'for the improvement of body and soul' - that is, a system primarily focussing on spiritual development, but one which also incorporated a self-healing element.

So, the reiju process was not simply about imparting practical 'healing abillity', but also (as the term reiju implies) about imparting spiritual qualities or 'gifts'

Some say that originally there were no symbols used in the reiju process - that Usui-sensei incorporated them into the procedure at a later stage in its development.

However, there is of course the possibility that the symbols were there all along (They are, afterall, important keys to Usui-sensei's spiritual teachings, which predate the healing practice we generally think of as 'Reiki' today)

It is quite possible that Usui sensei (even early on) used two different versions of the reiju process

- one, without symbols: being a means of conferring blessing / empowerment / awareness of the healing ability, on soto-deshi (lit: 'outside students') - ie those who simply sought to develop a 'practical' remedial ability

and one, with symbols: a more spiritually-oriented process - being reserved for conferring blessing / empowerment / awareness of the healing ability, on ushi-deshi (lit: 'inside students') - i.e those who had been accepted to study Usui-sensei's spiritual teachings.


See also:

Reiju - and other 'higher' practices?

Reiju: The Spiritual Gift

From reiju to denju...

Reiju: 'Attunement' , 'Empowerment', or simply a form of'Blessing Ceremony'?


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