A Brief Overview
Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by "laying on hands" and is based on the idea that an unseen "life force energy" flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one's "life force energy" is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.
The word Reiki is made of two Japanese words - Rei which means "God's Wisdom or the Higher Power" and Ki which is "life force energy". So Reiki is actually "spiritually guided life force energy."
A treatment feels like a wonderful glowing radiance that flows through and around you. Reiki treats the whole person including body, emotions, mind and spirit creating many beneficial effects that include relaxation and feelings of peace, security and wellbeing. Many have reported miraculous results.
Reiki is a simple, natural and safe method of spiritual healing and self-improvement that everyone can use. It has been effective in helping virtually every known illness and malady and always creates a beneficial effect. It also works in conjunction with all other medical or therapeutic techniques to relieve side effects and promote recovery.
An amazingly simple technique to learn, the ability to use Reiki is not taught in the usual sense, but is transferred to the student during a Reiki class. This ability is passed on during an "attunement" given by a Reiki master and allows the student to tap into an unlimited supply of "life force energy" to improve one's health and enhance the quality of life.
Its use is not dependent on one's intellectual capacity or spiritual development and therefore is available to everyone. It has been successfully taught to thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds.
While Reiki is spiritual in nature, it is not a religion. It has no dogma, and there is nothing you must believe in order to learn and use Reiki. In fact, Reiki is not dependent on belief at all and will work whether you believe in it or not. Because Reiki comes from God, many people find that using Reiki puts them more in touch with the experience of their religion rather than having only an intellectual concept of it.The word Reiki (pronounced Ray-Key) is a Japanese kanji for universal life-force energy.
Reiki is a Japanese holistic, light-touch, energy-based modality. Working as a support mechanism to the body, Reiki re-establishes a normal energy flow of ki (life force energy) throughout the system, which in turn can enhance and accelerate the body's innate healing ability. Through a series of hand positions either directly on, just above the body or by distance healing, the energy worker allows for the flow of energy through their body. The client’s body then draws off the amount of energy that is required. The simplicity of a Reiki session may raise some skepticism, however, after experiencing it, many clients keep coming back for more of those relaxing feelings.
Reiki is simple and produces measurable results. It is power, light and love. Reiki transcends the man-made divisions of religion, economics, location, gender, and race.
It has only been in the last 10-15 years that members of the Reiki community in Japan have opened their hearts to us in the west and supplied us with truthful information about how Usui Reiki came to be on our planet. Prior to this time, the facts were either distorted or not disclosed and we were left in the dark.
Here is the history, in a nutshell…
Mikao Usui was born on August 15, 1865 in Taniai, Japan. He was always a spiritual seeker. He practiced Kiko, which is similar to Qi Gong or Chi Kung. Kiko consists of breathing exercises, meditation, and movement. It could be described as a ‘moving meditation’.
He studied medicine, psychology, religion, and spiritual development. He was a member of a metaphysical group called Rei Jyutu Ka. Mikao Usui became secretary to Shinpei Goto (the head of the Health and Welfare Department who went on to become the Mayor of Tokyo). Usui sensei started a business, which failed.
In 1914, at the age of 49, he decided to become a Buddhist Monk. In 1922, he went on a 21-day retreat of meditation, prayers, chanting and fasting at Mount Kurama in Kyoto, Japan. While standing under a waterfall, he did a meditation designed to open and purify the Crown Chakra. This caused him to have a spiritual awakening on the final day of his retreat. A powerful light entered the top of his head. His awareness was expanded and he realized a great power had entered him. He intuitively knew he could now heal others without depleting his own energy, as he had when he practiced Kiko.
Mikao Usui moved, with his wife and children, to Tokyo in April 1922. On the basis of his lifelong spiritual journey and his more recent spiritual experience, he developed “The Usui System of Natural Healing”. He then started a healing society named "Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai". Shortly afterward, he opened a clinic in Harajuku and began doing Reiki sessions and teaching classes.
Just before noon, on September 1, 1923, the great Kanto earthquake struck with a force of magnitude 8.3 and killed over 140,000 people, leaving thousands more injured and homeless. Usui sensei and his students grieved for their people and decided to take Reiki to the survivors. They worked day and night, giving Reiki to help as many as they could. The need for healing continued for many years, as you can imagine. The Meiji Emperor honored Mikao Usui for his dedication and contribution to their country.
At the age of 60, in 1925, he opened a larger clinic in Nakano and then began traveling and lecturing until he crossed over from a massive stoke on March 9, 1926. In four short years, he taught over 2,000 students and trained 16 teachers. He wanted this simple technique to be available to all people worldwide.
Mikao Usui is buried at Saihoji Temple in Suginami-Ku, Tokyo. A large memorial stone was erected by his students, describing his life and work with Reiki. We all owe Mikao Usui a deep debt of gratitude for what he has done for our world.
They offer a simple guideline for daily conduct with others and self. They are:
- Just for today, I will not anger
- Just for today, I will not worry
- Just for today, I will be grateful
- Just for today, I will work hard on myself
- Just for today, I will be kind to others
The focus of Level One is on self-healing and helping others. After the student completes the required training, which may take one to four days, they are able to practice Reiki and do self-healings. At this level, the student learns the history of Reiki, the energy system, the nature of the Reiki energy, the Reiki Ethics, the five principles or precepts, the three pillars of Reiki, the hand positions, how to do a self-healing and how to provide a session for others.
At Level Two, the focus is on learning the Japanese healing symbols and on sending Reiki from a distance (we must always get permission to send a distant healing). It is suggested that a student wait at least 21 days so that level one can be properly instilled and grounded within the student.
There is an in-depth discussion on clearing unwanted habits, empowering personal goals, and manifesting permanent change in the student’s life. The Japanese healing techniques are introduced and practiced. Distant sending is practiced.
Level Three ‘A’ Master Practitioner: In some lineages, the levels of training are taught in four instead of three sessions. This level can include meditation techniques, a Healing Attunement, the Hui Yin, the Violet Breath, Psychic Surgery, and Reiki Crystal Grids. The Master symbol is given but the student is not taught how to attune others or teach Reiki.
Level Three Master/Teacher: Here, the focus is on attuning others to the Reiki energy and on teaching Reiki to others. An essay is written on why the student wishes to become a Reiki Master/Teacher. It is discussed at length. The master symbol is introduced and practiced. The benefits of living a spirit-based life are discussed, as well.
In Reiki, master means teacher. Master also means that the student has come far enough along in his or her development that troublesome lifestyle habits and limiting belief systems are taking less and less time and energy away from living a fully conscious life.
A Master has taken the responsibility to become Master of himself or herself. It is not a designation used for ego inflation or to manipulate others.
One does not have to base their life on spiritual practices to be a Reiki Master. Everyone has his or her own belief system and is quite free to maintain it and still be considered a Reiki Master. The mastery is in dealing with oneself so that one is able to stay in his or her own energy and not interfere with the path of another being.