THE INTRODUCTION OF THE SYMBOLS INTO
© 2002/5 James Deacon
Reiki symbols (shirushi in Japanese) have been the source
of great interest and much discussion over the years.
is a common belief, amongst many western lineage Reiki practitioners,
that Usui Sensei originally 'discovered' the four Reiki symbols
in Buddhist texts - and that he re-experienced them (in 'bubbles
of light') and received understanding of their true significance,
in his visionary experience on Mt. Kurama.
in one of Takata-sensei's recorded talks, she tells the 'Story
of Reiki'. In the recording, she clearly states that Usui-sensei
discovered a formula for accessing healing
in the Buddhist texts, there is no mention of him
finding the Reiki symbols in the texts.
She also states that on the last day of his meditative fast, Usui-sensei
saw a vision of millions of multi-coloured bubbles; then
he saw a great white light; and then he saw appearing before
him: "what he had studied in the Sanscrit" in glowing,
golden, Sanscrit letters.
this telling of 'Story of Reiki', Takata-sensei makes no mention
of the four Reiki symbols per se - in bubbles of light
or otherwise. Rather, she states that Usui-sensei saw Sanscrit
text - a vision of a piece of text he had read in a Sanscrit
some sources have claimed that, initially, Usui Sensei did not
use symbols in the Reiki system - that they were in fact something
he added at a later date, out of the need to incorporate an effective
focussing method to assist those students who were experiencing
difficulty in feeling, and differentiating between, certain aspects
of the Reiki 'energy'.
fact, the way that many people tell it, we might be forgiven for
believing that one day Usui Sensei just plucked four symbols out
of the air at random to use as the first 'Reiki add-ons' !)
in a discussion (in 2002) with a Reiki Master from Japan, we were
talking about this issue of the introduction of the symbols, and
the version of the story he shared, seems to put things in a slightly
we are all aware, ongoing research seems to continually reveal
new information as to the history and nature of 'original' Reiki.
understanding is that originally (- rather than being a purely
therapeutic modality,) Usui Sensei's system was essentially a
spiritual-philosophical system (incorporating certain Buddhist
and Shinto elements) - a system 'for the improvement of body and
soul' - that is, a system primarily focussing on self-development,
but one which also incorporated a self-healing element.
this was indeed the case, then 'Reiki', as it came to be understood
in the West (i.e. as essentially a purely therapeutic modality),
would seem to be a natural 'outgrowth' from this original spiritual-philosophical
according to the Reiki Master Jiro Kozuki, when it came to incorporating
symbols into the therapeutic element of his teachings, it was
not so much a case of Usui Sensei creating four new symbols
- nor, for that matter, importing symbols from outside sources
-but rather, selecting four symbols which were already a feature
of his spiritual-philosophical system, and assigning them
new significance as 'keys' (or as NLP terminology puts it: 'Resource
Anchors') to assist focus of intent as part of the evolving 'therapeutic
modality' aspect of the system.
'Power Symbol' and its 'secret Shinto jumon'
'Mental-Emotional Healing' Symbol
different forms of Symbol 2
different forms of Symbol 3
Master Symbol part 2 - The Reiki symbol that (supposedly) never
different forms of Symbol 4
Reiki Symbols - Unsubstantiated Associations
Wheels' or Essential, Deeper 'Spiritual Tools'?
Symbols from a Japanese Buddhist Perspective
Kurama Kokyo Sect and the Reiki Symbols
Choku Rei Trail -
the terms 'Choku Rei', 'Dai Ko Myo'
and 'Reiki' in Japanese 'New Religions
on the Reiki symbols...