Throughout his life,
Usui searched for knowledge, studying medicine, religion
and psychology, and travelling extensively throughout
Japan, China and Europe. He was a successful businessman
for some years, but in 1914 he decided to become a Buddhist
In 1922, he returned to Mount Kurama,
where he had practised kiko as a boy, to take a retreat
on the mountain. After fasting and meditating for twenty-one
days, he experienced a powerful light entering the top
of his head, he saw a series of symbols within the light
and he understood that the light was Reiki energy. He
was now able to channel healing energy.
Following his discovery, he moved to Tokyo, opened a clinic
and started the ‘Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai’,
or Usui Reiki Healing Society. In 1923 an earthquake in
Japan killed 140,000 people and injured many more, and
Usui and his students worked tirelessly to bring Reiki
to as many people as possible.
In 1925, Dr Usui began to travel throughout Japan to spread
Reiki. It was his wish that Reiki would be available to
everyone, all over the world. In the short time before
his death on March 9th 1926, he had taught Reiki to over
two thousand people and trained sixteen teachers.
Mr Juzaburo Ushida, one of the
sixteen teachers trained by Usui, was president of the
Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai after Dr Usui´s death. Dr
Chujiro Hayashi was another of these sixteen teachers,
but he was never president of the URRG. Later, Hayashi
broke away from it to form his own association. He was
never the Grandmaster of the Usui system, indeed the original
Usui system never used the title of Master or Grandmaster.
Hawayo Takata was born in Hawaii in 1900. Her husband
died in 1930 and she worked hard to bring up her two children
alone. In 1935 she was in poor physical and mental health.
She went to Japan to visit her parents and was admitted
to hospital, but decided to try a different approach and
eventually went to Dr Hayashi’s clinic, where, after
four months’ treatment, she was completely healed.
She decided to learn Reiki, and was taught by Dr Hayashi
and worked in his clinic.
In 1937 she returned to Hawaii.
Dr Hayashi later visited and they travelled together around
Hawaii teaching Reiki and giving treatments. In 1938,
Mrs Takata was initiated as a Reiki teacher by Dr Hayashi,
and she opened two clinics in Hawaii. She later travelled
to the United States to teach Reiki.
In 1970 she began training people
to the level of Reiki Teacher, or Master as she called
it, charging $10,000 for the weekend class. She initiated
twenty-two Reiki Masters before her death in 1980.
Mrs Takata’s way of teaching
Reiki was different from that of Dr Usui. A number of
the exercises that he developed were later excluded from
Mrs Takata’s teaching. Fortunately these methods
are still available to us in Dr Usui’s handbook.
.After her death in 1980, some
of the restrictions that Mrs Takata had placed on the
teaching of Reiki were relaxed; various schools of Reiki
• Phyllis Lei Furumoto, Takata´s granddaughter
continued the Reiki Alliance with the exact same teachings
of her grandmother,
• Barbara Weber Ray said that Takata taught her
techniques that she had not taught to anyone else and
developed Radiance Reiki,
• Other Reiki Masters wanted to charge much lower
fees and for Reiki to spread more rapidly. Some also wanted
to allow their students to take notes and to include other
techniques such as meditation and working with crystals
and from this, the Usui Tibetan system of Reiki was formed.
This is the form that Teresa and I teach. It combines
the Usui system with some additional techniques and meditative
practices, and at Master level it offers four extra symbols.
It was first taught in the United States in 1989, and
was introduced into Spain in 1994.
It would seem that the most direct line of Reiki originating
with Dr Usui remains in Japan, although nowadays several
different schools of Reiki exist even there.
In the West, there are now over
thirty different types of Reiki, including The Radiance
Technique, Raku Kei, Tibetan Reiki, Karuna Reiki, Rainbow
Reiki, Golden Age Reiki, Reiki Jin-Kei Do, Seichim, Saku
Reiki, Blue Star Reiki, Reiki Plus (1).
The following four characteristics
define a healing technique as Reiki:
1. The energy is channelled after receiving an attunement,
2. The technique has been passed from teacher to student
through an attunement.
3. The energy is not guided by the mind; it goes where
it is needed.
4. The energy can do no harm.