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'Japanese' Reiki - 'Original' Usui Reiki?

Copyright © 2005 James Deacon

We here a lot now about 'original Japanese Reiki' or 'traditional Japanese Reiki', but - of the different styles of 'Japanese Reiki' now being taught - which, if any, actually stem directly from 'original' Usui Reiki, rather than from the later, more formally-structured, 'Hayashi-style Reiki' - as brought to the West by Takata-Sensei?

Well, Jikiden Reiki is a Hayashi-lineage Reiki

Hyakuten Inamoto's Komyo Reiki is derived from Jikiden...

Hiroshi Doi first learnt Hayashi (Takata)-lineage Reiki (from a student of Barbara Ray), and his Gendai Reiki Ho is said to be a combination of this and 'Gakkai' Reiki

And as for the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai themselves (and, lets face it, many people doubt that the Gakkai still exists at all) - aside from Reiju, the use of a few modified qi-gung techniques, the chanting of Poems written by the Meiji Emperor, and no longer using the symbols - is there really that much difference between what Doi-san tells us their version of Reiki entails and Hayashi-lineage Reiki - as actually taught by Takata-sensei (as opposed to what many seem to think she taught)?

And (now, please forgive me - but I have my skeptics hat on today), as to the two other main streams of 'Japanese Reiki' (even though they are at pains to point out that Usui-sensei's system was not in fact called 'Reiki'):

is said to constitute:
"an authentic RECONSTRUCTION" of the "meditative, Spiritual system" of Mikao Usui - rather than being a therapeutic modality.

It claims to be based on teachings received by Dave King and others, from someone who can only be described as a septuagenarian Japanese 'hippie', on a beach in Morocco in 1971 - combined with further teachings from a student of Hayashi-sensei whom Dave 'happened' to meet on a journey in rural Japan; and yet more info from a very ancient Buddhist nun (born in 1897) who had conveniently worked with Usui-Sensei from 1920 until his death...

Usui Teate:
promoted by Chris Marsh and Andy Bowling -
is described by Andy as being "the Spiritual Path undertaken by Usui Sensei which resulted in the birth of Reiki."

They tell us that the Usui Teate teachings are about 'Personal Mastery' and 'healing of the self' - as opposed to healing others - which is a little confusing as the term 'teate' specifically refers to a hand/palm based treatment modality with a focus on healing others...

Chris and Andy's source for these Spiritual Teachings is - so we are told - yet another ancient Buddhist nun - who, it is claimed, was also a student of Usui Sensei's...

[To date I have not been able to track down one single person who has ever actually met Dave's - or Chris and Andy's Buddhist Nuns. (I nearly said 'Imaginary Friends') ]

So, beyond all the hype that would have us believe that because something is 'Japanese' Reiki, it must be 'original' Reiki, there does not really seem to be any verifiable evidence that any of the 'Japanese' Reikis stem directly from 'original' Usui Reiki.

And for that matter - just what was 'original' Usui Reiki?

Do we really know?

Can we cite any actual manuscripts, books or other documents, etc - actually written by Usui Sensei himself - detailing his teachings and practices [hands-on healing or otherwise]?

There are none that I'm aware of.

However, there have been several claims that such documents exist, hidden away from the unworthy...

For example: Chris Marsh (Usui Teate), I believe, says he was shown some of Usui-sensei's diaries and other documents - but that (conveniently, some might say) he wasn't allowed to xerox them, photo them, etc, etc.

Then of course, there was Richard 'Lama Yeshe' Blackwell [of Medicine Dharma Reiki/Universal Healing Reiki/Men Chhos Rei-ki infamy], who claimed to actually personally be in possession of Usui-sensei's papers himself...

But unlike other hand-healers of the time, such as Toshihiro Eguchi and Kaiji Tomita (both said to have been students or at least friends of Usui-sensei) - who published books on their practices, there is no sign of anything in open print by Usui-sensei

The Usui Ryoho Shishin (The Treatment Guidlines) was at first said to be Usui-sensei's own work, but is now apparently said to have actually been penned by Hayashi-sensei on Usui-sensei's behalf [and afterall, it is little more than a wordlist anyway]

And, of the information about Usui-sensei and his practices, recorded by others, how much of this can be said to be genuine?

The only things I'm aware of that may be "genuine and accurate" are:
* The 'Interview with Sensei' section (claimed to be Usui-sensei's own words) from the Usui Reiki Hikkei (a booklet apparently put together in the 1970's as a modern-day handout for Gakkai members)
* A section of the other, modern, Gakkai handout - the Reiki Ryoho No Shiori which claims to present instruction from Usui-sensei himself (Though I have not personally seen either a translation or original copy of this latter document yet)
* The Usui Memorial which stands next to sensei's grave in Tokyo - but is this a subjective view of things from the Gakkai perspective? [and 'in best 'conspiracy theory' mode - is it really, as I recently heard suggested - a fake, erected in the mid 1980's !! ]

Unfortunately, when it comes to the 'facts' about just what constitutes 'original' Usui Reiki, about what Usui-sensei really did or said or believed - well, too much of it seems to be 'all smoke and mirrors'.

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