Definition of Reiki
Reiki as a healing art was first developed in Japan. When interpreting the word reiki, there are many factors to consider. Since the Japanese language is so subtle, each word or syllable carries multiple layers of meaning. Therefore, there are many slight variations on the way in which it can be defined; and yet, a common thread runs through them all.
Reiki is actually composed of two Japanese characters (or kanji): rei and ki. We like to define them in this way:
Rei represents the energy of Source or Higher Consciousness, and incorporates the mystery of the unknown.
Ki represents the energy of Life. It is also called chi in Chinese, prana in Sanskrit, manna in Hawaiian, and life force in English.
As a healing art, Reiki was rediscovered by Mikao Usui in Japan in 1922. He was an extraordinary man living a normal life. Usui was raised as a Buddhist; and at a certain point, when he encountered personal difficulties, he deepened his spiritual practices and went to Mt. Kurama to pray for guidance. After fasting and meditating for twenty-one days, he received enlightenment. In that joyful moment, Usui was attuned to the intense power of Reiki energy and his life was changed forever. He somehow had found his way out of his dilemma and in so doing, found a new path for himself. This path was Reiki.
He immediately recognized the power of this gift and its potential to help himself, his family, and others. In Tokyo, he established a clinic and a healing society where he began practicing and teaching Reiki. Over the next four years, Usui taught more than 2000 students, and also trained sixteen people to teach and attune other students. He died on March 9, 1926.
One of Usui’s students was Chujiro Hayashi, who was a physician and a retired naval officer. After some time, Usui bestowed the honor of Reiki teacher on Hayashi. He soon went on to found his own school and clinic, where he developed some variations on Usui’s teachings, based on his medical knowledge. Hayashi’s best-known student was Hawayo Takata, who introduced Reiki to the Western world. Hawaiian-born Takata, studied with Hayashi in Japan and Hawaii, and was given the honor to teach by him in 1938.
Takata continued to practice and to teach Reiki in the United States and other places for the next thirty years, although she did not train any Reiki teachers until 1970. As she aged, Takata realized the importance of continuing the Reiki legacy. In the following ten years, before she died in December of 1980, she initiated at least twenty two Reiki teachers, creating the title of Reiki Master for them. Thus, Hawayo Takata assured the survival of Reiki in the West. Since her death, the number of teachers and practitioners has continued to grow; and many new Reiki groups have formed. Today there are more than thirty Reiki schools in existence.
Mikao Usui knew that Reiki had the potential to do more than alleviate pain and suffering on the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual levels. He believed that it could introduce a more fulfilling way of living in the world and that it could provide ethical guidelines for leading one’s life. To illustrate these beliefs and to place Reiki within a larger philosophical context, Usui turned to five principles which provide guidance on how to live one’s life with discernment, sensitivity, and integrity.
Do Not Be Angry
Do Not Worry
Usui suggested that
one recite the Reiki Principles each morning and evening