Brief History of Reiki

Reiki, (pronounced Ray-key) is a widely growing healing, meditation and self development system which was discovered and developed by a Japanese man called Mikao Usui, (1865-1926).

Usui was a Tendai Buddhist who re-discovered the energy of Reiki in the course of a spiritual practice during a retreat on Mount Kurama in Japan. He was a dedicated scholar for many years, a successful businessman and travelled in China and Europe to further his studies. He trained in Kiko a Japanese energy cultivation technique and was also drawn to esoteric practices, becoming a member of a metaphysical group dedicated to the development of psychic abilities. He experienced a spiritual awakening after a 21 day period of fasting and meditation on Mount Kurama and this is when he opened to his gift for healing. He spent several years in Kyoto and Tokyo using his healing ability and he later opened a clinic where he taught classes and gave treatments. He taught his students how to make the connection to the Reiki energy themselves through various meditative practices, taught over a certain length of time. He trained 16 teachers and about 2000 students in Reiki.

The way that modern day students are introduced to Reiki is through an energy transmission ceremony or ritual commonly called an "attunement" or "empowerment". This empowerment enables practitioners to achieve a reliable, permanent connection to a deeply relaxing and healing “universal” or “spiritual” energy that we call Reiki. In the Japanese tradition this is called Reiju.

The teaching and practice of Reiki made its way out of Japan via a Hawaiian born woman called Hawayo Takata. Suffering from an acute illness, on a visit to Japan she encountered a group of people in a clinic using Reiki, proceeded to learn it herself from Chujiro Hayashi, a Japanese naval officer and student of Usui. Usui had taught some Japanese naval officers including Hayashi a quicker way of connecting to and using the Reiki energy.

Hawayo Takata taught a number of people to master level in the United States and Hawaii including her grand-daughter Phyllis Furumotowho is still teaching Reiki today. The majority of Reiki masters and practitioners will be able to trace their lineage through this western line of Hayashi-Takata-Furumoto and a minority have an direct Japanese lineage.

Here is a Youtube video by William Lee Rand, founder of Karuna Reiki and Holy Fire Reiki, in which he explains some of the known history of the development of Reiki. He shows how the original system differs from the one developed by Mrs Takata. He also recounts some personal experiences that explain how reiki works, respecting each person's free will and the possibilities for the use of Reiki in the future.