From the beginning of time people have touched others to offer comfort and healing, both physically and spiritually. Reiki is a natural method of touch healing that uses energy channeled through a practitioner’s hands to assist healing of the body and soul. Our knowledge of reiki has been obtained from both oral and written history and is therefore constantly being updated as new information becomes available. We do know that Usui Reiki was developed as a combination of other ancient healing methods, Japanese religion (Shintoism), and Miko Usui’s intuitive leap of understanding that he received while fasting on Mount Kurama. It is believed that in the beginning this reiki was more spiritual in nature and that the healing aspect was secondary. Today’s advanced knowledge indicates that Usui took four symbols which were already a feature of his spiritual-philosophical system, and gave them new meaning for use in assisting the focusing of intent as part of the therapeutic aspect of the system.
It has been theorized that the history of reiki goes back over 2,500 years and is documented in the Vedas, which are a large body of texts originating in ancient India. They were composed in Sanskrit (the oldest known written texts) and were written by Tibetan Monks. This history was rediscovered by Mikao Usui, born August 15, 1865. He was spending time meditating and fasting on Mount Kurama when he had an epiphany. This, combined with the information he had previously researched is what we call reiki today. He died March 9, 1926 of a stroke and is considered the founder of what we call reiki.
Before his death Mikao Usui taught Dr. Chujiro Hayashi reiki. Dr. Hayashi developed formal hand positions and divided reiki training into three levels. He trained sixteen reiki masters, including Mrs. Hawayto Takata (an American of Japanese descent), born December 24, 1900. She had multiple physical problems including depression. She was treated at Hayashi’s clinic for several months and was healed. At her request, Dr. Hayashi attuned her to reiki. She opened her first reiki clinic in 1937. Before she died on December 11, 1980 she attuned 22 reiki masters spread throughout the United States. At the time of her death there was only a small number of reiki masters and practitioners in the entire world. Today practically anyone one can find a reiki practitioner or a reiki master near where they live or work.
Dr. Usui developed what he called “the secret art of inviting happiness; the miraculous medicine of all diseases.” Today we call these the reiki precepts. They are as follows:
Every morning and every evening,
Pray these words and take them into your heart:
Just for today I will:
- feel no anger
- have no worries
- show gratitude
- be diligent in all undertakings
- treat others with kindness