History of Reiki
Dr. Mikao Usui
Dr. Mikao Usui was born in the Gifu prefecture of Japan on August 15th 1865. He was fascinated with Buddha’s desire to help others and the extraordinary metaphysical abilities he received after his enlightenment. He noted mainly his ability to heal physical illness and that many of his disciples acquired healing abilities by following his teachings. When Dr. Usui realized the limitations imposed on people by their sicknesses or physical disabilities, he wondered if it would not be possible for him to heal these physical illnesses the way Buddha had done. He realized, after a long time of pondering, that if it was done once, it must be possible to do it again and set out on a quest, determined to learn the secret of healing so that me might help others.
During his quest, Dr. Usui began talking to Buddhist priests about healing but apparently they had either lost the ability to heal the physical through disuse or it was held as a secret Buddhist technique by a few spiritual groups. So Dr Usui was not able to find anyone who could heal the sick. Everywhere he travelled throughout Japan, he had the same answer. The monks said that they used to know how to heal the body but this information had been long lost when they began to focus on healing the spirit because the spirit was a much more important part than the physical. He was allowed to study the sacred writings at each temple and he would occasionally make notes.
Wanting to access the sacred writings in the original format, Dr Usui learnt Chinese and Sanskrit. As per Mrs Takata, it was in the Indian sutras that Dr Usui discovered the formula for contacting a higher power that could bestow healing. With only a formula however, he did not know what to do except follow it. He travelled to Kurama-yama, a sacred mountain near Kyoto, where he fasted, meditated and followed the formula for 21 days. After the 21 days, he received the Master attunement, the healing symbols and the power to heal.
In 1922 Dr. Usui established a healing society in Tokyo and started to give treatments. He created three degrees for the Reiki training which he called Shoden (First Teaching), Okuden (Inner Teaching) and Shinpiden (Mystery Teaching). He practised and taught Reiki in Japan for the rest of his life. Before passing, he gave the Master attunement to Dr. Chujiro Hayashi.
Dr. Chujiro Hayashi
In 1925, at the age of 47, Dr. Hayashi received all the Reiki degrees including the Master initiation from Dr. Usui. Before passing in 1926, Dr. Usui asked Dr. Hayashi to accept the responsibility of preserving Reiki so that it would not be lost and Dr. Hayashi accepted. Until now, the Usui system of healing consisted of the healing energy, the symbols, the attunement ant the principles. This is what Dr. Usui had received during his mystical experience on the Kurama-yama mountain. Dr. Hayashi, through detailed records of all the treatments given, went on to develop the Usui system of healing and created the standard hand positions. Dr. Hayashi felt the great war coming so he decided to pass the complete teachings on to two women: his wife and Hawayo Takata.
Hawayo Takata was born on December 24th 1900 in Hawaii on the island of Kauai. Both her parents were of Japanese origin and her father worked in the sugar cane fields. Her husband died when he was only thirty four leaving Mrs Takata to raise their two children. She worked very hard with little to no rest and she eventually developed severe abdominal pain and a lung condition and had a nervous breakdown. When one of her sisters passed away, it was Hawayo’s responsibility to travel to Japan where her parents had moved in order to give them the sad news, but she also felt that travelling to Japan could help her health. Once there and after delivering the news, Hawayo checked into the hospital where she found she had a tumour, gallstones and appendicitis and required surgery. Right before the surgery, on the operating table, she heard a voice saying The operation is not necessary. The operation is not necessary. When she heard the voice a third time, and even louder she knew she was awake and had not imagined it. It was very unusual but so compelling that she asked the doctor. He told her about Dr. Hayashi’s Reiki clinic and she decided to try it.
At the clinic she started receiving treatments. Although she had never heard of Reiki before, she was impressed by how close the diagnosis of the Reiki practitioners was to the one the doctor had given her. So she decided to continue with the treatments which she was receiving daily, from two practitioners. Their hands were so hot hat she thought they may be using some sort of device but saw none. She started to grab at the loose clothes of the practitioners looking for the device so they laughed and explained to her how the Reiki energy works. In four months she was completely healed so, impressed with the results, she wanted to learn Reiki herself. In 1936 Mrs. Takata received her First Degree Reiki. She worked with Dr. Hayashi for one year after which she received her Second Degree Reiki.
In 1937 Mrs. Takata returned to Hawaii soon followed by Dr. Hayashi and his daughter who came to help establish Reiki in Hawaii. In 1938, Hawayo received her Master Level Reiki from Dr. Hayashi and she was the thirteenth and last Reiki Master initiated by Dr. Hayashi.