stated, Reiki Therapy can be said to be a synergistic combination
of 'spiritual healing' and 'energy healing' techniques, and
the system has been influenced by spiritual and therapeutic
discipline, practice and ideals found within Shinto, Buddhism
(and possibly Taoism), Reiki itself has no specific religious
Reiki - a generic term
latter years, however, the word 'Reiki' has, it seems, achieved
as the word: 'Biro' has, in many places, come to mean any
ball-point pen, or: 'Hoover' is used to refer to the vacuum
cleaner in general - no matter what particular form or style
or manufacturer - so, the word: 'Reiki' has (erroneously),
at various times, been applied to all manner of forms of 'energetic'
has been used to refer to the hands-on practices of certain
South American Shamans, to forms of western Spiritualist Healing,
to high-level Chinese Chi Gung healing practices (and has
even been cited by some as the means used by Jesus, Buddha,
and many other religious figures to enact healing miracles).
many people - having undergone Reiki training - have taken
the essential phenomenon that is at the very core of Reiki
Therapy and successfully integrated it into various spiritual,
cultural and esoteric belief-systems and practices.
has resulted in the manifestation of numerous viable and effective
new 'styles' of Reiki, or what at least may be referred to
as 'Reiki-derived' or 'Reiki-influenced', therapeutic modalities
and systems of personal development.
- Energetic Radiance
technically, the term "Reiki" is properly solely
used to indicate the therapeutic and self-development system
created by Mikao Usui (i.e. 'Usui-Sensei').
specifically, the name "Reiki" identifies the wonderful
therapeutic energy radiance, or phenomenon,
which lies at the heart of this natural healing system.
"Rei" part of the name is often translated as "Universal*",
and in essence, it refers to something Spiritual or Sacred,
and can mean "Soul".
is often translated simply as "Life-Force Energy",
yet also implies 'Spiritedness' or 'Feelings'.
depending on ones perspective, Reiki can be understood as:
"Universal* Life-force Energy", "Spiritually-influenced
life-force Energy", or even as "Charismatic Healing
'Universal' in this sense, originally being a contraction
of: 'the Universal' - an alternative (and intentionally less
religious) term for 'the Divine', 'Numinous', 'God''.
Reiki - a gentle therapy
is a gentle, yet profound, non-invasive therapy, which can
facilitate stress-reduction and relaxation, support effective
immune-system function, enhance the body's self-healing mechanisms,
and replenish and nurture vitality.
can be effectively used in combination with other therapies
- both allopathic and 'alternative' - and has been shown to
effectively stimulate the relaxation response.
than acting solely on a physical level, Reiki is holistic
in its effect - eliciting a healing response across the entire
spectrum of ones being - physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.
can prove beneficial in the resolving of physical disorders,
nervous conditions and emotional issues, and help nurture
a greater sense of balance, well-being, and wholeness in ones
gentle Reiki phenomenon has no negative side effects, and
does not require any concentration on the part of the client.
The Reiki Principles
to the Reiki system of wellness and self-development, is a
set of 5 guiding Principles or Precepts - referred to in Japanese
as the gokai.
principles - affirmed morning and night, and kept in ones
thoughts throughout ones daily activities - are intended to
assist in transforming ones attitude to life, and bring the
soul/self into balance, enabling one to respond with compassion
in all situations.
are many slightly different translations of the Reiki gokai,
yet they all express the same sentiment.
secret method of inviting blessings, the spiritual medicine
of many illnesses:
for today ...
(1,) Do not rise to anger
(2,) Do not succumb to worry
(3,) Express Gratitude for all your blessings
(4,) Apply yourself diligently
(5,) Manifest compassion to all beings
and evenings sit in the prayer position and repeat these words
out loud and in your heart, for the improvement of body and
Reiki - Receiving Treatment
person receiving Reiki treatment remains fully clothed, and
sits in a chair, or reclines on a therapy couch - whichever
is most comfortable. The only participation required is a
desire to let oneself relax and be open to the positive effects
of the Reiki healing energy.
its simplest form, treatment is given primarily by means of
a structured series of touch-based interventions at specific
points on the body (- a process sometimes referred to as 'laying
on of hands').
Reiki session usually lasts between 45 minutes and I hour,
during which time, the recipient may experience heat, or become
aware of tingling or pulsing sensations, as the healing Reiki
energy radiates from the therapist's hands and begins to effect
positive change, and restore balance, throughout the recipient's
therapeutic influence of the Reiki treatment continues to
manifest for some time after the session ends. For this reason
it is desirable (where possible) for the recipient to take
things easy for a day or so, in order to gain the full benefits
of their Reiki session.
How does Reiki work?
there are various theories as to how Reiki might work, there
is no clear answer to this - all that can be said for certain
is that it does.
dis-harmony, un-wellness is believed to occur due to disruptions/inhibitions
in the flow of vital life force within our being.
believe that the specific radiant energy-pattern which we
call Reiki, emanating from the practitioner's hands, simply
assists the body to 'correct' and re-balance the flow of our
life force, thus returning us to a state of wellness and generally
enhancing the quality of our experience of our life.
Reiki Training & Attunement
people wishing to learn to work with Reiki directly, training
is commonly (though not always) structured in a series of
three Levels or Degrees.
ability to 'do' Reiki is not something that is learned in
the normal sense.
Rather it is something which is activated or awakened within
the individual through a process of Initiation ( also referred
to as an 'Attunement')
This Initiation or Attunement - the central focus of each
Level or Degree - involves a special energetic transfer technique
whereby the Reiki Teacher ('Master') essentially 're-patterns'
or 'recalibrates' the student's etheric field & subtle
use an I.T. analogy, its a bit like having someone who possesses
a very specific program, which enables them to interact and
work with the Reiki phenomenon, download a copy of that program
into your being, thereby enabling you to also interact and
work with the Reiki phenomenon .
Level 1 Reiki
Level 1, the Initiation/Attunement opens the student to the
flow of Reiki (some would say: opens them to the awareness
of the flow of Reiki).
in Usui Shiki Ryoho, the 'outer' focus of Level 1 Reiki is
on hands-on therapy at a purely physical level [both for self-treatment
and for treating others].
the 'inner' focus of Level 1 is about learning to become 'a
clear channel' for Reiki.
Level 1 is about learning to 'let go and let the energy flow'
- about learning to 'step out of the way' - learning to override
the desire of ones conscious mind to interfere in the therapeutic
process, and instead, simply let the Reiki phenomenon 'happen'.
attitude should be one of almost Zen-like, compassionate,
"Sitting quietly, 'not doing', not seeking after outcomes,
Reiki Flows. If healing happens, it happens, if it doesn't,
it doesn't - either way it's no concern of mine."
this attitude early on will greatly enhance the quality of
ones journey with Reiki.
Level 2 Reiki
Level 1 opens
the student to the (awareness of the) flow of Reiki
the Level 2 Initiation/Attunement deepens the quality of that
developed the attitude of 'compassionate detachment from outcomes'
at level 1, the Level 2 student is provided with a number
of symbolic tools enabling them to 'set' intentions - and
broaden the scope of their therapeutic interventions.
Level 2 training, the student is introduced to three sacred
symbols, and is instructed in their use as a means of:
....enhancing the effectiveness
of physical level treatment (both hands-on and
....non-contact - i.e. in the
....carrying out treatment at
deeper psycho-emotional levels
....and performing 'distant'
or 'remote' treatments - i.e. for people not physically
3 is commonly referred to as the 'Master' level, but is more
properly the 'Teacher' level, being the level at which the
practitioner will manifest the ability to impart Initiation/Attunements
level's Initiation/Attunement brings yet a greater deepening
of connection to the Reiki phenomenon.
practitioner is introduced to a fourth sacred symbol - the
Master symbol, and is instructed in its uses, including its
significance in the Initiation/Attunement process.
many people will choose to progress to Level 2 (- with its
deeper energy connection and expanded healing techniques -)
and eventually to Level 3 (the 'Master' /Teaching Level),
Reiki Level I training will provide all the basic awareness
required to practice this special therapeutic art - primarily
for self-healing, and also for treating others - family, friends,
pets - even household plants.
those attuned to it, the phenomenon that is Reiki can, amongst
other things, be utilised as a form of body-centred meditation.
It can also, especially at the higher levels, prove an invaluable
tool for spiritual growth, having a subtle yet profound effect
on ones personal development.
Usui (Usui-Sensei) was born on the 15th of August 1865 in
Kyoto, Japan, in what is now the prefecture of Gifu.
is believed to have been sent to a Tendai Buddhist monastery
school in 1869.
the age of 12 began martial arts training. He would progress
to the highest levels of proficiency in his particular art,
achieving his 'Instructors Licence' in his 20's
his late 30's Usui-Sensei married Sadako Suzuki. It is known
that they had at least 2 children: a son, Fuji (born 1908)
and a daughter, Toshiko (born 1913).
is said that in March 1922, as a result of undergoing arduous
spiritual discipline (shugyo) on Kurama Yama (Mt Kurama) near
Kyoto, Usui-Sensei experienced the phenomenon that is Reiki,
and gained an intuitive understanding of how to work with
Reiki as a medium for healing and self-development.
Usui-Sensei did not have a formal name for his system, simply
referring to it as 'the spiritual medicine of many illnesses'
(Apparently he did not call it 'Reiki')
time it came to be known as Usui Do, or Usui Teate, and eventually
Usui Reiki Ryoho.
April 1922 Usui-Sensei opened his first Training Centre in
Harajuku, Aoyama, Tokyo.
His 'motto' for the training centre was: "Unity of self
through harmony and balance".
reputation grew rapidly, and people came from far and wide
to study with him.
fact the demand for training became so great that in February
1923, Usui-Sensei had to move his Centre to larger premises
in Nakano, outside of Tokyo.
the 9th of March 1926, in Fukuyama town where he had gone
to meet with his creditors, Usui-Sensei died as a result of
a stroke (he had apparently had several previous ones).
Usui-Sensei's death, some of his students formed the "Usui
Reiki Ryoho Gakkai" (Usui Reiki Healing Method Learning
Society/Association), posthumously honouring Usui-Sensei by
naming him as the first kaicho (president or chairman)
of the society; and in Feb 1927, they erected a memorial stone
commemorating his achievements in a graveyard at the Saihoji
following month, a family tomb (containing some of Usui-Sensei's
remains) was erected on the same plot as the memorial by his
son, Fuji Usui.
in the West
person responsible for introducing Reiki to the western world
was Mrs. Hawayo Takata, a Hawaiian-born American citizen of
been cured of an illness by Reiki while visiting Japan in
1935, Hawayo Takata (Takata-Sensei) herself underwent Reiki
training (both first and second degrees) from retired Naval
Officer and Doctor, Chujiro Hayashi (Hayashi Sensei), before
returning to Hawaii (in 1937) where she set up her own Reiki
1938 Hawayo Takata received her certification from Chujiro
Hayashi as a Master of the Usui Reiki system of healing, and
with it, the authorisation to teach the art of Reiki to others.
was in the early 1970's that Hawayo Takata brought Reiki to
In a relatively short time, the gentle healing art of Reiki
- or Usui Shiki Ryoho (Usui Style Healing Method) as Takata-Sensei
called it - became very popular, with numerous people seeking
treatment and also seeking to learn the art for themselves.
over the years she had trained numerous students, it was not
till 1976 that Hawayo Takata conferred the first Reiki master
certification on one of her students.
Samdahl is formally recognised as being the first of 22 people
who would eventually receive certification as a master of
the Reiki system from Hawayo Takata before her death in 1980.
some sources now suggest that one of Takata-Sensei's own sisters:
Kay Yamashita, was the first person on whom Takata-Sensei
actually conferred Reiki mastership)
22 master-level Students:
are the people who received certification as a master of the
Reiki system from Hawayo Takata. However, 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
Dorothy Baba (Deceased)
Ursula Baylow (Deceased)
Patricia Bowling Ewing
Barbara Brown (Deceased)
Fran Brown (Deceased)
Phyllis Lei Furumoto [Takata-Sensei's granddaughter]
Beth Gray (Deceased)
Iris Ishikuro (Deceased)
Barbara McCulloch (Deceased)
Bethal Phaigh (Deceased)
Virginia Samdahl (Deceased)
Barbara Weber Ray
Kay Yamashita [Takata-Sensei's sister] (Deceased)
The term: Reiki Master
The term Reiki Master is possibly the source of greatest confusion
for new or would-be Reiki students.
a number of different Reiki practitioners the question: "What
is a Reiki Master?" and probably the most common answer
you will get will be something along the lines of: "someone
who has received the master level Reiki attunement."
Takata-Sensei said that in order for a person to be considered
a 'Reiki Master' it was not enough to have received Master
Level attunement and to know how to carry out the attunement
process for all three levels:
have to have taught at least one class and thus have actually
attuned at least one student...
relation to Reiki, the original Japanese term: sensei
which is translated - very loosely - as: master, does not
imply 'one who has mastered the art of Reiki', (nor for that
matter, one who has achieved some form of exalted status -
though many would have you think so!)
word: sensei is actually a term of respect, which first
and foremost means: 'teacher' and refers to someone who is
part of a Teacher - Student (Mentor - Student) relationship
sensei as 'master' is simply akin to the way in which
a 'school-teacher' is sometimes referred to as a 'school-master'.
as is the case with a school-master, ideally a Reiki-master
is someone who (as well as having received the relevant attunements)
possesses a good understanding of their subject, has a strong
desire to help their students develop their own potentials,
has respect for their students, (as well as eliciting
the respect of their students) and also has the ability
to inspire their students and to draw the best from them.
Reiki after Hawayo Takata
first meeting of the majority of Reiki masters took place
in Hawaii in April 1982.
the meeting, it emerged that Takata-Sensei had taught each
master somewhat differently, including (so it seemed) teaching
slightly different versions of a couple of the sacred Reiki
symbols to different masters. These revelations were the source
of considerable upset amongst the masters. One outcome of
this meeting was a decision that the masters who were present
at this meeting would all start using the same forms of the
after Hawayo Takata's death, several of the Reiki masters
she had certified began to modify elements of - or add new
elements to - the way in which they practiced Reiki, and also,
the way they taught it to their own students.
modifications were essentially a matter of personal preference,
and the results of experimentation with independently evolved
techniques, and practices 'adopted' from other therapeutic
of the other masters, who continued to teach Reiki exactly
as they themselves had learnt it, considered the modifications
and new additions to be less than positive developments.
so, in 1983, at the next meeting of Reiki masters (which now
included a number of new masters*) held at Barbara
Brown's home in British Columbia, the decision was made to
form an association - the purpose of which would be to preserve
the integrity of the Usui Shiki Ryoho, as presented by Takata-Sensei.
association, for Reiki masters only, would be known as the
The Title of Grand Master
Reiki Alliance acknowledged Phyllis Lei Furumoto as Takata-Sensei's
successor as 'Grand Master', and 'Spiritual Lineage-Bearer'
of Usui Shiki Ryoho.
prior to this, the term "Grand Master" had no meaning
in relation to Reiki.
Certificate, received from Hayashi-Sensei in February 1938,
certainly makes no mention of this term.
admittedly stating that Takata-Sensei was: "..at this
time the only person in the United States authorized to confer
similar powers on others..." , it clearly designates
her status as being: "...a practitioner and Master of
Dr. Usui's Reiki system of healing..."
Growth of the Reiki Alliance
Reiki Alliance continued to grow steadily but slowly over
Up until 1988 almost all new masters had been initiated by
Takata-Sensei's granddaughter and acknowledged successor,
Phyllis Lei Furumoto.
in 1988, Phyllis decided that to permit a number of other,
highly experienced, masters (ones who had a minimum of 3 years
[later increased to 5 years] experience in teaching Reiki
at first and second degree level) to begin initiating their
own students to master level.
level training would involve a minimum of 1 year's apprenticeship.
fee for Reiki Master training and initiation was $10,000.
Aspiring Masters were asked to make two commitments: to honour
Reiki as an oral tradition and to make Reiki their sole source
this point on the Reiki Alliance grew rapidly, becoming a
global association with masters in at least 50 different countries
across the five continents, with somewhere around two-thirds
of all masters residing in Europe.
the role of Grandmaster, or as it is now termed: 'the office
of Grandmaster' is held jointly by Phyllis Lei Furumoto and
The American Reiki Association, Inc.
American Reiki Association, Inc. was founded in 1980 by Barbara
Weber Ray and Takata-Sensei.
It is now known as The Radiance Technique International Association,
TRTIA rejects Phyllis Lei Furumoto's claim to be Takata-Sensei's
is maintained that Usui Reiki had never been passed according
to a lineage defined by one's ancestors and family. Rather,
the process has always been one of non-familial succession,
and that Barbara Ray is Takata's successor.
of Takata-Sensei's master-level students joined Barbara Weber
Ray's Association - though not as many as sided with the Reiki
'Independent' Reiki Masters
term: 'Independent' Reiki Masters was coined to refer those
masters who did not belong to either the Alliance or the Association,
but rather preferred to 'go their own way'.
mentioned, several of the Reiki masters certified by Takata-Sensei
had begun to modify elements of - or add new elements to -
the way in which they practiced Reiki, and also, the way they
taught it to their own students.
modifications were essentially a matter of personal preference,
and the results of experimentation with both independently
evolved techniques and practices, and ones 'adopted' from
various other therapeutic disciplines and / or from diverse
spiritual, cultural or esoteric belief-systems.
Ishikuro was the first master to abandon the practice of charging
the $10,000 fee for Reiki master-level training and initiation.
(She also 'adopted-in' elements from the 'Johrei Fellowship'
soon followed suit, many charging a fee in the region of $300
fee for Reiki master-level training and initiation.
began to reduce the 'waiting time' between the student receiving
each of the three levels of training and initiation.
others still, began to add extra symbols, or increase the
number of levels or degrees in which they taught Reiki.
some cases, the degree of modifications, abandonment of imposed
requirements, and introduction of independently evolved techniques,
and practices 'adopted' from other therapeutic disciplines
resulted in the recognition of several clearly identifiable
new 'styles' of Reiki.
time, some of these new styles actually evolved to the point
where they have almost ceased to be recognisable as being
forms of Reiki at all.
www.aetw.org/main1.html for details of over 40 different
current 'styles' of Reiki]
of the newly evolving styles also began making claims as to
how their style or system was more effective, their initiations
or attunements more powerful, their system's 'energy' (/energetic
phenomenon) of a better, purer, or 'higher vibrational' quality
- and so on.
the general consensus is that in an absolute sense, all such
claims are unfounded.
as the various new styles came into being (and further new
variations are still being created) as a result of personal
preference and personally perceived effectiveness, so too
the merits and benefits of any one style over another is purely
a subjective one.
'style x' may prove to be highly effective for 'person a',
'style y' may prove better suited to 'person b', and so on.
Some examples of newer styles of Reiki, and Reiki-derived
systems of Wellness and Self-development:
by Barbara Weber Ray
1983, Barbara Weber Ray published the first-ever book on Reiki
in the western world, entitled: The Reiki Factor.
while originally teaching Reiki as a three-level system, later
claimed that from 1978 - 1980, while studying extensively
with Takata-Sensei at Takata-Sensei's home in Iowa she was
the only Reiki master to be instructed in: "... the entire,
intact Seven Degrees of the Usui System of Natural Healing..."
Ray (she dropped the 'Weber' some time ago) teaches this seven-degree
system as The Radiance Technique ® (TRT® ).
has also been trademarked as: 'The Official Real Reiki' ®,
'Authentic Reiki' ®, 'The Official Reiki Program' ®,
'Radiant Touch' ®, & 'Real Reiki' ®.
Raku Kei Reiki
Kei Reiki - known as "The Way of the Fire Dragon"
- is the creation of Reiki master Arthur Robertson (deceased)
- a student of Iris Ishikuro.
who had apparently travelled in Tibet, claimed Tibetan origins
for Reiki, stating that the name was actually derived from
the term Raku Kei.
to him, the Reiki system was based on Tibetan teachings concerning
an ancient system of self-development, rediscovered by Usui-Sensei
in certain obscure Tibetan sutras.
Robertson introduced several new symbols into his Raku Kei
system, including a symbol known as the 'Anthakarana', a Tibetan
'Master symbol', and 'the Fire Serpent' symbol [See: www.aetw.org/symbols.html ] and a further calligraphic symbol: the 'White Light'
(originating with the Johrei fellowship) is believed to have
been introduced by Iris Ishikuro.
Kei Reiki also incorporates the use of certain mudras
(- a Sanscrit term for mystical hand gestures); however, the
particular mudras used in Raku Kei Reiki are of Japanese origin
rather than Tibetan.
Reiki is essentially a combination of Reiki as taught by Takata-Sensei
and elements of Raku Kei Reiki. It makes use of both the standard
Usui Reiki symbols and some Raku Kei symbols.
this mix has been added: symbol meditations, Reiki psychic
surgery, and the use of 'crystal grids'; as well as the concept
of a 'healing attunement', which unlike a normal Reiki initiation/attunement,
does not awaken the permanent Reiki ability within the individual,
but rather is believed to enhance the healing process.
teachers of Usui/Tibetan Reiki also include a practice of
Qi Gung-like moving meditation.
In Usui/Tibetan Reiki, the third degree/level is divided into
two parts: Advanced Reiki Training (ART), and Reiki Master/Teacher.
also learn a meditation process for meeting one or more Reiki/Spirit
originator of Seichim Reiki - Patrick Zeigler - tells us that
in 1980 he had a mystical experience in the Great Pyramid
after, he received a spiritual initiation from a Sufi order
1984 Patrick studied Reiki, to which he began adding extra
symbols and making alterations reflecting his previous experiences
in Egypt. Through a 'Consciousness' named Marat - channeled
by Patrick's girlfriend at the time, he was informed that
the 'energy' he was now working with was something called
Reiki (in the past, often referred to as Renegade Reiki) is
a system that seems to mutate/evolve continually, and there
are currently several different versions in existence.
has more recently evolved his system into another new expression
known today as SKHM.
involves a meditation-based attunement process during which
heart chakra is opened and connected with Earth and Universal
energies. The energetic phenomenon experienced during the
attunement meditation is said by some to resemble that of
The Radiance Technique.
Mai is the creation of Kathleen Milner.
to Kathleen, she had long felt that the Reiki system as taught
by Takata-Sensei was incomplete; so, she sought spiritual
guidance (through prayer & meditation) concerning the
states that, initially via one of her students (Marcy Miller),
a Spiritual Being [originally thought to be the Indian spiritual
master: Satya Sai Baba] gave her a fifth symbol & additions
to the initiation process.
this Spiritual Being [who apparently turned out not to be
Sai Baba] appeared to Kathleen on the inner planes. She maintains
that some months later she received several other symbols
and additional information concerning initiations, the origins
of Reiki, and methods of application of the system.
had also learnt a version of the Seichim system developed
by Patrick Zeigler, and with the assistance of the above-mentioned
Spiritual Being, also made modifications to this system.
Kathleen refers to her version using the slightly different
Karuna Reiki ®
Reiki ® was essentially developed by William Lee Rand
and some of his students at the International Center for Reiki
Training, primarily based on an early version of Kathleen
Milner's Tera Mai system, which was then referred to as 'Sai
However, the major influence of Sai Baba Reiki in the development
of Karuna Reiki is generally played down.
The way William Lee Rand tells it, in the late 1980's, people
began giving him non-Usui Reiki symbols (and accompanying
attunement processes) which were said to have beneficial effects,
and he began experimenting with some of them.
the end of 1993, he and some of his more psychically/spiritually
sensitive students, experimented with what by this time were
a great many additional symbols (and attunement processes),
to decide which were the most useful.
they came up with a set of symbols and an attunement process
that seemed to have, as they put it: "…the best
William says, he was 'guided' in the further developing of
the attunement process and eventually - in 1995 - evolved
the Karuna ('compassion') system of Reiki.
is, however, clear to point out that he did not 'channel'
any of the symbols himself - rather that they came from other
Reiki masters, including Marcy Miller (see: Tera Mai).
'new' symbols in Karuna Reiki® are identical to those
used in some other Reiki styles. However William maintains
that, due to differences in attunements and the intention
behind them, the 'energies' of Karuna Reiki® are unique
to the system.
importance of Reiki Lineage
Because Reiki is an ability conferred via initiation,
each practitioner should (theoretically at least) be able
to trace their lineage back from teaching master to teaching
master - right back to Usui-Sensei.
In Usui Shiki Ryoho and also in some of the more recently
evolved Reiki styles, considerable emphasis is placed on awareness
of ones lineage and each student is provided with lineage
details as a matter of course.
- human nature being what it is - a small number of practitioners
seem to view issues of Reiki lineage as really being issues
example, it is not unheard of for a Reiki practitioner who
has fewer links (teachers) in the chain between themselves
and Usui-Sensei, to adopt an air of (completely unfounded)
superiority in regard to those with a longer lineage chain!
Possibly due to such Reiki snobbery, many Reiki practitioners
do not consider lineage to be of any importance, and frequently
have no idea of their own Reiki lineage at all.
However, there are at least a couple of reasons why lineage-awareness
is of importance.
lineage-awareness is a matter of Respect.
In acknowledging their lineage a practitioner is acknowledging
the teachers in that lineage - their 'Reiki forebears', as
secondly, with all the various different styles of Reiki in
existence (and with further new variations still evolving
- as existing styles meet and merge, and adopt-in techniques,
practices and conceptual frameworks from other therapeutic
modalities and esoteric belief-systems) the more aware a practitioner
is of their own specific lineage in the 'Reiki Family', the
more they can come to understand the various influencing factors
which have shaped the teachings they themselves have received.
The original Usui Reiki Symbols
in the very early days, no symbols were actually used, Usui-Sensei
later introduced FOUR symbols to his system.
taught that the Reiki symbols are sacred and as such should
be kept secret - not shown to the uninitiated. To this end,
her students were required to memorise the symbols and were
not permitted to keep written copies of them.
believed that the symbols should be treated with respect -
even the practice sheets used by students in her Reiki classes
had to be disposed of respectfully, rather than simply crumpled
up and dumped in a bin.
the four symbols used in Usui Shiki Ryoho and Usui Reiki Ryoho
are still considered by many of us to be Sacred (or at least,
of Sacred significance), ever since the symbols were first
published in the book "The Challenge to Teach Reiki"
(1992), by A.J. MacKenzie Clay, the belief in the need to
keep them secret is no longer generally considered relevant.
the less, many people who have just begun (or are considering
beginning) their path with Reiki may not wish to actually
be shown the symbols [something difficult to avoid these days,
it seems] or learn about them outside the context of their
Level 2 & 3 Classes.
this reason, the symbols are not shown in this document. [They
can however, be found at: www.aetw.org/reiki_symbols.html
stated, in Usui Shiki Ryoho and Usui Reiki Ryoho, only the
four Usui symbols are used. However, as seen, 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.
Reiki goes back to its roots
the years following Takata-Sensei's death, the number of Reiki
practitioners grew exponentially, with Reiki spreading to
the U.K., Europe and many other places around the globe.
Takata's teacher, Chujiro Hayashi, had committed suicide in
1940, and after that, partly, one assumes, as a result of
Japan's entry into the war, Takata-Sensei is believed to have
lost all contact with other Reiki practitioners in Japan.
in one of her recorded talks, Takata Sensei states that fourteen
years after Hayashi Sensei's death, she made a return visit
to Japan and met with his wife Chie, who was also a Reiki
general concensus amongst Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki practitioners
was that the practice of Reiki had actually died out in Japan,
and that (up to 1976) Takata-Sensei had been the only remaining
Reiki Master alive.
in 1985, thanks to the efforts of a New York-based journalist
named Mieko Mitsui, it was discovered that this was not the
living in New York, Mieko had become an 'Instructor' (Level
3b) in Barbara Ray's Real Reiki, (as it was then being called).
In 1985 she decided to go back to Japan to see what she could
discover about Reiki's origins. While there, she started teaching
classes in the first two levels of Reiki. [Due to the nature
of the training structure utilised in the Barbara Ray's style
of Reiki, Mieko - as an 'Instructor' (Level 3b) was, at the
time, only permitted to initiate practitioners to the Second
Degree level ] She was also responsible for translating Barbara
Ray's book: "The Reiki Factor" into Japanese.
the process, Mieko could be said to have been single-handedly
responsible for sparking the revival of public interest in
Reiki as a medium for Healing and Spiritual Development in
was Mieko Mitsui who first reported to the somewhat stunned
'Western' Reiki community that, contrary to previous belief,
the Art of Reiki had never actually died out in Japan at all.
Reiki in Japan
Mitsui spoke of a privately printed book, "Usui Reiki
Gakkai" (said to be an academic text written by a mathematician
at Meiji University, Tokyo) which supposedly talks about Reiki
and a man named Usui.
Mieko herself actually received some training from a Japanese
lineage Reiki Master: Goro Myazaki, who had been a student
of Usui-Sensei's friend & student: Toshiro Eguchi.
also reported that she had tracked down the home of Usui-Sensei's
son's family, but that they refused to speak to her about
Mieko Mitsui's initial discoveries have, over the years, inspired
other Reiki practitioners to carry out research into both
the origins of Reiki, and also into its current surviving
forms of expression in Japan.
example, the German-born Reiki master, Frank 'Arjava' Petter
has written a number of books on his research into the history
of Reiki in Japan.
'Sannyasin' (i.e. disciple of the Indian Guru Bhagwan Shree
Rajneesh - AKA: 'Osho' - 1931-1990 ), Frank, and his Japanese
wife Chetna, began teaching western style Reiki in Sapporo,
Japan in 1993.
discovering that Frank and Chetna were offering 'master' level
training and attunement, a great many Level 2 Reiki students
(most, if not all of whom, one assumes, had been attuned by
Mieko Mitsui), sought them out.
seems to have been primarily via several of these students
that the Petters gradually began to uncover snippets of information
concerning Japanese Reiki, leading them to make contact
with the wife of Usui-Sensei's grandson and later, a couple
of individuals who, so we are told, had received Reiki training
around the time of WWII.
could be said that Frank and Chetna's research in to Reiki
survivals in Japan took over from where Mieko Mitsui's research
was Chetna's mother: Masano Kobayashi who translated the inscription
on the Usui Memorial at the Saihoji Temple (written in old
the old form of Japanese kanji-characters) into modern-day
Japanese, enabling Frank and his wife, Chetna, to produce
the first (known) English version of the Memorial inscription.
western Reiki practitioners, including an English Reiki master
named Chris Marsh, and a British-born Canadian: Dave King,
have supposedly made contact with a number of Usui-Sensei's
original students - including, so it is claimed, two Tendai
Buddhist nuns - who, at ages in excess of 100, are still alive
and well and sharing their memories of the early days of Reiki.
more information began to emerge concerning the early days
of Reiki in Japan - and also concerning its survival and development
over the years, it gradually became obvious that there were
numerous subtle yet none-the-less significant differences
between what was now being referred to simply as Japanese
Reiki and Western Reiki ( i.e. the system Takata-Sensei
had learned from Hayashi-Sensei in the late 1930's.)
example, Mieko Mitsui had stated that Japanese Reiki
(as is the case with Barbara Ray's Reiki system) had more
than the standard three levels found in Usui Shiki Ryoho as
taught in the west be Takata-Sensei..
Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai
not only was the practice Reiki alive and well in Japan, but
so, it seemed, was the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai (Usui Reiki
Healing Method Learning Society/Association) - the society
formed by a number of Usui-Sensei's students soon after his
death in 1926.
As mentioned previously, the students had posthumously honoured
Usui-Sensei by naming him as the first kaicho (president
or chairman) of the society. The second president, and one
of the founders of the 'Gakkai was one Rear Admiral Juusaburo
Gyuda (also known as Ushida).
The current president of the 'Gakkai is a Mr. Masayoshi Kondo.
Between Gyuda (who held the office from 1926 to his death
in 1935) and Kondo (1999 to date) there have apparently been
four other presidents:
Kanichi Taketomi; Yoshiharu Watanabe; Hoichi Wanami; and Kimiko
[Though it has been suggested that the current Gakkai (and
some question if in fact it currently exists at all) might
actually be a recently 'restablished' society - in much the
same way that, in the West, long-defunct esoteric orders have
been re-established by those with no direct connection to
seems, at one time there were more than 80 branches of the
'Gakkai, though at present there are only 5, with a combined
membership in the region of 500 people.
are all apparently given a Reiki manual entitled: Reiki
Ryoho No Shiori or: 'Guide
to Reiki Ryoho'.
Current membership of the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai is, so we
are told, intentionally limited, and is by invitation only...
it should be pointed out that the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai
does not actually teach Usui-Sensei's original system
of Spiritual Development, but rather has, from its inception,
taught what is essentially
a significantly different system of energywork, which the
Gakkai founders consciously evolved, based on Usui-Sensei's
also emerged that the form of Initiation/Attunement process
which was a core feature of Usui Shiki Ryoho, was something
that had not even been a part of Usui-Sensei's original system.
Usui Sensei had utilised an open-ended, accumulative process
of empowerment/attunement known as reiju. The Japanese
term reiju implies: 'to confer/receive a Spiritual
students would attend training meetings on a regular basis,
and at the end of every meeting, during a meditation session,
would receive reiju to further deepen and strengthen
their connection, and develop the quality of their experience
of the phenomenon that is Reiki.
was also discovered that Usui-Sensei had taught his students
several developmental exercises and meditations to help deepen
and strengthen their ability to work with Reiki.
it transpired, it was not just in regards to Reiki practice
that there were significant differences between the 'Japanese'
and 'Western' lineages of the Art.
The 'Story of Reiki'
part of the process of making an 'emotional connection' with
new or prospective students, Takata-Sensei would commonly
recount the 'Story of
Reiki'. In fact, this story was one of the primary elements
of the Level 1 Reiki class.
story was essentially an account of what had motivated Usui-Sensei
to seek out an effective method of healing, his initial experience
of the phenomenon that is Reiki on Mount Kurama, and the response
that his gift of healing elicited from those he sought to
share it freely with.
to this was an account how Takata-Sensei herself had come
to be involved with Reiki and her own experiences as a result
of sharing the gift with others.
it transpired that several central details in the story concerning
Usui-Sensei as told by Takata-Sensei were at odds with the
version of the story as it was understood amongst the practitioners
of Japanese lineage Reiki.
it was discovered that several specific details of Takata-Sensei's
version of the Reiki story could at best not be substantiated,
and in some cases could actually be 'proved' to be inaccurate,
many Western Reiki practitioners felt some what disheartened,
yet others perhaps even felt, in some vague sense, betrayed.
of course there were a great many who - having previously
recounted the 'Reiki story' with reverential attitude - could
suddenly not disassociate themselves quickly enough from this
'misrepresentation of the facts'.
the important point which had been completely missed by the
greater majority of these practitioners was that the 'Story
of Reiki' was not meant to be a concrete, factual, 'history'.
Rather it was first and foremost a 'teaching-story' - a parable
to engage and teach the Heart.
as is the case with all good Teaching Stories, what was important
in the sharing of the 'story of Reiki' was the inner meaning
- the moral - the essential truths regarding human nature
that it sought to convey.
almost every culture, it is a common feature of the Teaching
Story that 'factual' details are freely modified - especially
if it is felt that such modifications may help enhance the
hearer's 'emotional connection' with the inner meaning of
Different styles of Japanese Reiki
as, in the West, numerous Reiki masters have made changes
to Usui Shiki Ryoho as taught in the Takata-Sensei lineage
- so too, it seems, Japanese Reiki Masters have not been adverse
to modifying Japanese lineage Reiki as apparently taught by
Some examples of Japanese Reiki styles:
its name suggests, Gendai Reiki Ho ('Contemporary Reiki Method')
a modern system of Reiki.
by Hiroshi Doi, who tells us that he is a member of the Usui
Reiki Ryoho Gakkai, and studied with the former 'Gakkai president,
Mrs. Kimiko Koyama, Gendai Reiki blends western Reiki with
what Doi claims to be the teachings and methods
used by the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai -
as well as concepts and practices from other therapeutic modalities.
It should be pointed out that the majority of information
currently available concerning the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai
comes from Hiroshi Doi.
Doi was one of the first people in Japan to learn Reiki from
Doi's school, the Gendai Reiki Healing Association, teaches
four levels of Reiki: Shoden (Beginners Level), Okuden (Inner
Teaching) Shinpiden (Mystery Teaching) and Gokui Kaiden (Highest
Developed by Toshitaka Mochizuki, another student of Mieko
Mitsui. Toshitaka apparently also received tuition from Masters
in Japan whose training history is partly Japanese.
some of the information presented in Vortex Reiki is attributed
to an obscure Japanese book entitled "The Secret of How
to Take Care of Your Family Members" by Takichi Tsukida.
The "Traditional Japanese Reiki" system (created
in Canada in 1995 by Dave King) was apparently based on Mochizuki's
is the Reiki method taught by the late Chiyoko Yamaguchi (-
student of Chujiro Hayashi -) and her son Tadao Yamaguchi,
who is Director of the Jikiden Reiki Kenkyu Kai (Jikiden Reiki
Association). [ChiyokoYamaguchi died Aug. 19th 2003]
Reiki is presented as comprising the exact system that Chiyoko
Yamaguchi was taught by Hayashi-Sensei in 1938, along with
additional information gleaned by Tadao Yamaguchi in interviews
with some Hayashi-Sensei's other surviving students.
brief glossary of important Reiki-related terms
Reiki Association, Inc.
An association founded in 1980 by Barbara Weber Ray and
Takata-Sensei. It has since changed its name to The Radiance
Technique International Association, Inc. (TRTIA).
central focus of each Level or Degree - The sacred process
performed by a Reiki 'Master' (Teacher) essentially re-patterns
or recalibrates the student's etheric field & subtle
energy centres, enabling them to interact with the phenomenon
that is Reiki.
of the Fire Dragon
special breathing technique used in Raku Kei Reiki.
A variation of this practice, used in Tera Mai, is referred
to as the 'Violet Breath'
of the first of the four Usui Reiki symbols. Commonly
called the 'Power' symbol in Usui Shiki Ryoho.
A particular geometrical layout of crystals that have
been charged with Reiki, designed to continually eminate
therapeutic or protective influence.
of the last of the four Usui Reiki symbol. Commonly called
the 'Master' symbol in Usui Shiki Ryoho.
of performing a Reiki treatment for a client who is not
physically present at the time.
- Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen
'Tibetan Master Symbol' - as used in Raku Kei Reiki and
several other modern styles of Reiki
A symbol used in Raku Kei Reiki and several other modern
styles of Reiki. Said to represent the kundalini
energy residing in the spine. Also known as Nin Giz Zida
Reiki Method' - modern form of Japanese Reiki created
by Hiroshi Doi - combines some traditional Usui teachings
& techniques with teachings & techniques from
other energy-healing arts
Five Reiki Principles / Precepts
title created by the Reiki Alliance to refer to the head
of the organisation.
the different styles of Reiki numerous different sets
of hand placement positions are used in giving Reiki treatment.
Some sets involve as many as twenty positions, and some
with as few as five.
(Hatsu), Spirit (Rei), Method (Ho) - a set of primarily
meditation techniques which Usui Sensei is said to have
taught as an aid to self-development
person responsible for bring Reiki to the West in the
attunement process which unlike a normal Reiki initiation/attunement,
is said not awaken the permanent Reiki ability within
the individual, but rather is believed to enhance the
Sha Ze Sho Nen
of the third of the four Usui Reiki symbol. Commonly called
the 'distant' symbol in Usui Shiki Ryoho.
term originally coined to refer those masters who did
not belong to either the Reiki Alliance or the American
Reiki Association, Inc, but rather preferred to 'go their
Teaching' or 'Directly Taught' Reiki - Japanese Reiki
as taught by the Tadao Yamaguch, whose mother Chiyoko was apparently a level 2 student of
characters used for writing Japanese
of Reiki developed By William Lee Rand and the International
Center For Reiki Training, based primarily on Sai Baba
(Kurama) Mountain (Yama) - the Sacred Mountain where Usui-Sensei
is said to have first experienced Reiki
Dai Ko Myo
and Reiki Practitioner. The first person to teach Western
style Reiki in Japan, Mieko could be said to have been
responsible for single-handedly sparking a Japanese 'Reiki
of the Reiki system of healing and self-development
name for Raku Kei Reiki's 'Fire Serpent 'symbol
Style of Reiki incorporating seven Levels or Degrees,
promoted by Barbara Ray. Ray claims that Takata Sensei
taught her this seven Degree system between 1978 and 1980.
Radiance Technique International Association, Inc.
Originally founded in 1980 by Barbara (Weber) Ray and
Takata-Sensei as the American Reiki Association, Inc.,
the Radiance Technique International Association, Inc.
(T.R.T.I.A.) considers Barbara Ray to be Takata Sensei's
Known as "The Way of the Fire Dragon" - Raku
Kei is the creation of Reiki master Arthur Robertson (deceased)
Method' - as in: Usui Reiho: Usui Spiritual Method
Some people claim that 'Reiho' is a contraction of: 'Reiki
Ryoho' (Reiki Healing Method)
of the Spirit' - Spiritual guidance in the placing of
your hands to give treatment
(Rei) Gift (Ju) - term for the original form of Reiki
The term commonly used to indicate the therapeutic and
self-development system created by Mikao Usui, and more
specifically, the wonderful therapeutic energy radiance,
or phenomenon, which lies at the heart of this
natural healing system.
organisation formed in 1983 by a number of Takata-Sensei's
original Reiki Masters, with the intended purpose of preserving
the integrity of the Usui Shiki Ryoho, as presented by
for Reiki teachers and practitioners concerning professional
Spirit Beings who are believed by many to attend and assist
Reiki practitioners in giving treatments.
chain of Reiki Teachers between any given practitioner
properly 'Reiki Teacher'.
Someone who has not only received Master Level attunement
and knows how to carry out the attunement process for
all three levels, but has also taught at least one class
and thus has actually attuned at least one student. Technically
refers to someone who is part of a Teacher - Student (Mentor
- Student) relationship
Method; Medical Treatment' - as in:Usui Reiki Ryoho: Usui
Reiki Healing Method
Sai Baba Reiki
early expression of the Tera Mai system, developed by
originating with Reiki Master Patrick Zeigler, who claims
to have had a mystical experience in the Great Pyramid
at Giza, and also received a spiritual initiation from
a Sufi order in Egypt.
second of the four Usui Reiki symbols: commonly called
the 'mental/emotional' symbol in Usui Shiki Ryoho.
term of respect, sensei means: 'teacher' and refers
to someone who is part of a Teacher - Student (Mentor
- Student) relationship
term for the four Usui Reiki symbols
developed from Reiki and Seichim by Kathleen Milner with
the assistance of a 'Spiritual Being' (at one time taught
to be the Indian spiritual master Satya Sai Baba)
Symbol used in Raku Kei Reiki and other modern styles.
Also known as Dumo, this symbol is seen as the equivalent
to the Dai Ko Myo used in more traditional Reiki styles.
of Reiki developed by Dave King. Traditional Japanese
Reiki (TJR) is based on Vortex Reiki as developed by Toshitaka
Mochizuki, which is itself heavily influenced by The Radiance
Term used to denote original Usui Shiki Ryoho practice
as taught by Takata Sensei
Way'. Term used to refer to Usui-sensei's original system
of Spiritual Development.
Reiki Healing Method.' Term used to refer to Reiki as
it evolved in Japan. Said to be closer to Usui-Sensei's
original format. Utilises Reiju rather than the symbol-centred
attunements familiar in 'western' style Reiki.
Reiki Ryoho Gakkai
(Usui Reiki Healing Method Learning Society). While some
say the society was founded by Usui-Sensei himself in
1922, it is generally accepted that the Gakkai was actually
founded by Rear Admiral Juusaburo Gyuda (Ushida) and other
students around 1926/7.
Style Healing Method'. 'Western' Reiki as taught by Takata-Sensei
-a system divided into 3 levels, using attunements involving
the four Reiki symbols..
Hand Treatment'. Term used by some of Usui-Sensei's surviving
students to refer to his Healing Method.
a combination of Reiki as taught by Takata-Sensei and
elements of Raku Kei Reiki. It makes use of both the standard
Usui Reiki symbols and some Raku Kei symbols.
special breathing technique used in Tera Mai.
The Violet Breath is a variation of the ''Breath of
the Fire Dragon" technique found in Raku Kei Reiki.
Japanese style of Reiki, developed by Toshitaka Mochizuki,
who had learnt Western style Reiki from Mieko Mitsui
101 Review Quiz:
term Reiki means:
a, ray of light.
c, healing energy.
d, Spiritually influenced lifeforce energy.
Reiki was developed by:
a, Iris Ishikuro
b, William Lee Rand.
c, Kathleen Milner.
d, Barbara Weber Ray.
current president of the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai is:
a, Masayoshi Kondo
b, Hoichi Wanami
c, Kimiko Koyama
d, Yoshiharu Watanabe
first master to abandon the practice of charging the $10,000
fee for Reiki master-level training and initiation was:
a, Barbara Weber Ray.
b, Iris Ishikuro.
c, Phyllis Lei Furumoto.
d, Kay Yamashita.
a, four Reiki Principles or Precepts.
b, no Reiki Principles or Precepts.
c, seven Reiki Principles or Precepts.
d, five Reiki Principles or Precepts.
Usui was born in Kyoto, Japan, in what is now the prefecture
of Gifu, on:
a, the 24th of June 1865.
b, on the 15th of August 1865.
c, on the 17th of August 1864.
d, on the Tokyo bullet-train.
first of Takata-Sensei's students to receive Reiki master
status is generally believed to have been:
a, Fran Brown.
b, Iris Ishikuro.
c, Virginia Samdahl
d, Barbara Brown.
Kei Reiki is known as:
a, Renegade Reiki.
b, The Way of the Fire Dragon
c, White Light Reiki
first known English translation of the Usui Memorial was done
a, Goro Myazaki
b, Frank Petter & his wife
c, Chris Marsh
d, Juusaburo Gyuda
has been influenced by spiritual and therapeutic discipline,
practice and ideals found within:
a, Confucianism & Tibetan Buddhism.
b, Shinto, Japanese Buddhism (and possibly Taoism).
c, Christianity and Islam.
memorial stone commemorating Usui-Sensei's achievements is
a, on mount Kurama.
b, in Harajuku, Tokyo.
c, in a temple graveyard in Kyoto.
d, in a graveyard at the Saihoji temple, Tokyo.
is commonly taught in:
a, 5 levels or degrees.
b, 3 levels or degrees.
c, the 3rd Grade.
d, Ancient Aramaic.
first book to publicly display the Reiki symbols was: One
Step Forward for Reiki
has been shown to effective stimulate the relaxation response.
term 'Grand Master' has always indicated the Supreme Head
of the world's Reiki practitioners
originated in Tibet
Reiki was developed by Toshitaka Mochizuki
are FOUR symbols used in the Usui Shiki Ryoho system
died in Fukuyama on the 9th of March 1926
can be effectively used in combination with other therapies
- both allopathic and 'alternative'
was born in Iowa
Mitchell is a leading member of the TRTIA
Hayashi committed suicide in 1941
Reiki Alliance is open to all level of Reiki practitioners
requires deep concentration on the part of the client.
received her certification as a Master of the Usui Reiki system
of healing in 1938
initiated a total of 14 Reiki masters in her lifetime
is holistic in its effect
(match the correct description with each of the following
Usui Te-Ate means:
Usui Reiki Healing Method
Usui Shiki Ryoho means:
Usui Do means:
Usui Spiritual Method
Usui Reiki Ryoho means:
Usui Style Healing Method
Usui Reiho means:
Raku Kei Reiki was created by:
The Reiki Alliance is headed by:
TRTIA is headed by:
Gendai Reiki was founded by:
Phyllis Lee Furumoto & Paul Mitchell
,'Western' style Reiki was
re-introduced to Japan by:
James Deacon's REIKI STORE, UK:
Deacon's REIKI STORE, US: