Before we begin our history page we would like to share a quotation that is attributed to Buddha:
“Believe nothing, O monks merely because you have been told it….or because it is traditional, or because you yourselves have imagined it. Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher. But whatsoever, after due examination and analysis, you find to be conducive to the good, the benefit, the welfare of all beings–that doctrine believes and cling to, and take it as your guide.”
THE HISTORY OF REIKI
We believe this to be a good reminder to those seeking guidance and knowledge to discern for yourselves what truth is for you and what is most appropriate for your path. After a considerable amount of study we found there are at least several versions of the history of both Reiki and Seichim, with conflicting information and opinions. It is difficult to establish an honest accurate account as there are as many stories as there are people who have been a part of this evolving healing chain. Hopefully, this information that we provide here will help to bring a greater understanding of the “possibilities that await us as we mature and advance through the transformative process of expanding our consciousness.” Patrick Ziegler
The Traditional Dr. Usui Reiki Story:
Until 1982 Usui Reiki was an oral tradition. with nothing being written down. The only source that we have of the history of Dr. Mikao Usui, and his rediscovery of Reiki, is from a tape recording made by Mrs. Hawayo Takata in 1979, towards the end of her life. Later attempts by other Reiki Masters have failed to verify some of the historical details of Dr. Usui’s life. Such as his travel to America. However. This should not detract from the purpose of Mrs.Takata’s story, which was to inspire her students with a love of Reiki and an admiration for Dr. Usui, and his search for truth. Many of the principles of Reiki will be found embedded within this story. Read it with discernment, from the heart, as an inspiration for your own inner search.
Dr. Usui’s story starts in the late 1800’s when, according to Mrs.Takata, he was Principal of the Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan. She claims he was a Christian minister. It is said that one of his students asked Dr. Usui to demonstrate his healing abilities, as: Jesus had done with his laying on of hands, saying, “I tell you the truth, anyone who had faith in me can do the same miracles I have done, and even greater things than these will you do.” But Usui had to admit that despite his great faith, he was unable to demonstrate any healing skills, as he had not learned them. The students then replied that despite their great respect for Dr Usui, they did not share his blind faith, nor did they wish to. With this, Dr. Usui promptly resigned from both his ministry and the University not in anger; but in a desperate search to find the answer to their questions. He started his search in America, where it is said he entered the University of Chicago, in order to study philosophy. It has since been discovered, however, that there IS no record of his attendance there. But of course, being at the University, he also had the opportunity to study Hinduism, Zoroastrianism and Buddhism. And it was during the study of the latter that he found a passage stating that Buddha had also healed through the laying on of hands, and had taught his followers to do the same. So after seven years in the U.S, he decided to return to Kyoto in Japan, in order to search their Buddhist teachings for a record of the Buddha’s formula for healing. He visited each of the many monasteries in Kyoto, and finally spent three years in a Zen monastery himself. Finding that while the monks were aware of the healings performed by the Buddha, from reading the Sutras, they were taught to concentrate on healing their spiritual lives, not the physical. They felt that the knowledge of physical healing would be revealed to them through meditation, once they had reached enlightenment. Constantly Usui searched for the truth, even to the extent of learning first Chinese and then Sanskrit, since the Buddha came from a Hindu tradition, so that he could read the Sutras for himself, in their original form. Eventually in the early Indian sutras, written in Sanskrit, he found the simple formula that he had been searching for. Now he needed to test both the formula and himself, through prolonged meditation.
He decided to spend twenty-one days on Mt. Koriama near Kyoto, a place where people often went to fast and meditate. He took no food with him, but settled down under the pine trees, near a stream, with a pile of twenty-one stones in order to keep track of time, hoping for some sort of phenomenon, but not really knowing what to expect…just trusting. As he opened his eyes on the morning of the final day, just before dawn when the sky is at its darkest, he noticed a small flickering light, just like a candle flame. The light started to come towards him, and despite his apprehension, he realized that this was the test. He relaxed and sat firm, with his eyes wide open, facing his fear. The light hit him straight between his eyes, and he fell over. As he lost consciousness, his last thoughts were, “I have made contact!” When he awoke, the light was gone, but the sun was rising. Looking to his right, he suddenly saw millions and millions of dancing, rainbow-colored bubbles, followed by a streak of light containing seven colors, including blue, lavender, rose and yellow. Lastly, contained within a great white light, just like looking at a screen in front of his eyes, he saw all the letters of the Sanskrit formula that he had studied flashed before him in gold, as if to say “Remember, remember!” He then meditated upon these letters.
This was the first of four miracles that he was to experience that day. When he at last stood up, he felt fit and well, despite his long fast, and quite able to make the twenty-five mile walk back to Kyoto. As he made his way down the mountainside, he stubbed his toe, lifting the nail and making it bleed. He held his toe in his two hands, until slowly the pain ebbed away. Not only had the bleeding stopped, but the toe was back to normal. “This,” he said, “is the second miracle”. As he continued his journey down the mountain, he came upon an old man with a charcoal stove, selling food by the roadside. Dr. Usui ordered a huge breakfast, but the old man, on seeing the length of his beard growth, and realizing that he had been up on the mountain for a long period, warned him that he would get indigestion if he ate so much at once.
Dr. Usui assured him that was what he wanted, he would be fine. It was while waiting for the food to be prepared that the old man’s granddaughter approached, bringing the bowls, chopsticks and tea. Dr. Usui noticed that her face was swollen and she was in tears. For the last three days she had been suffering from dreadful toothache, the nearest dentist being seventeen miles away. Dr. Usui placed his hands over the troublesome tooth, and soon the pain was gone. “He is no ordinary monk, he makes magic!” cried the delighted girl. And this was the third miracle of the day. So grateful was the old grandfather, that he insisted that the food was “on the house”. So an exchange was made for the healing received. Of course, as he predicted, Dr. Usui experienced no discomfort after his huge meal, this being the fourth miracle. On his return to the monastery, he found that one of the older monks had taken to his bed with very bad arthritis. Dr. Usui went to visit him, sitting with his hands on the old monk’s bed covers, as he told him of the great success that he had had with his experiment. They talked late into the night, and as Dr. Usui got up to leave, the old monk reported that all his pain had gone, and that he felt full of energy.
Dr. Usui decided to start his healing practice with those most in need, in the slums of Kyoto, where he remained for seven years. He went wearing the robes of a monk, but disguised as a peddler with two panniers of vegetables. It didn’t take long before the local gang of beggars had him before their leader, divesting him of all he possessed, including his clean clothes, in return for the rags of a beggar. It is interesting that Mrs. Takata refers to this as his “initiation”, as though the trappings of his old life were being released and stripped away to be replaced with the new. Dr. Usui quickly struck a bargain with the beggar chief: that in return for somewhere to stay and three meals a day, he would work from sunup to sundown, healing all the sick that they brought to him, no matter what their disease, even impetigo, TB and leprosy. When asked if he was not afraid to touch these people, he replied, “No, I am a healer.” According to Mrs. Takata, he started to work on the cause and effect of their diseases, noting that the younger people got better quicker, and that “the older the person and the deeper the disease” it took many days and months. It would seem that already he had noticed that it was the accumulation of past experiences and emotions that had led to many of their diseases. Many were sent to the Zen monastery, to be given new lives and jobs in the outside world. But despite this, they often returned to the slums and the empty lives that they had previously led. On meeting with several of his previous patients, and on hearing how they had chosen to abandon their work, preferring to return to a life of begging, Dr. Usui actually broke down and cried like a child. He said that the beggars were greedy, by wanting all the time, giving nothing in return and showing no gratitude.
But Dr Usui was a man of great determination, courage and strength. He learned from this lesson and refused to be defeated. He made a pilgrimage all over Japan, at one point carrying with him a torch, and shining it even in broad daylight. When questioned about this strange behavior he replied, “I am searching for people that need this light to brighten their hearts, take away their depression, cleanse their character, their mind and their body. If you want to hear this lecture, come to the church.” And so he spread his rediscovery of Reiki to anyone who would listen. Through the length and breadth of Japan, creating 16 or 18 Reiki Masters (the exact number varies, depending on the source). One of these was Dr. Chujiro Hayashi, a retired military man, who stayed with Dr. Usui until Usui’s death. Dr. Hayashi continued teaching the Reiki Healing system after Dr. Usui’s death. One of his students was Mrs. Takata, who took Reiki out of Japan and into the rest of the world.
Dr. Mikao Usui.
Dr Usui dedicated his life to the teaching of Ancient truth. Without his disciplined perseverance, we might not have the blessings of the Reiki Ray. Our lives will be enriched from his labor of Love for humankind. His dedications as a Servant of the Light continues to shine upon our Spiritual path in Reiki. (Februari 7,1802 until October 16,1883, unconfirmed dates)